Going Down To Liverpool

This is a kind of appendix to yesterday’s euphoric post, the extremely positive reaction to which I thank you for, kind readers. It’s by way of a side note to the Bunnymen’s illustrious career.
Paul Simpson left the Teardrop Explodes in 1980 and formed The Wild Swans with Jeremy Kelly (gtr), Ged Quinn (kbds), and Justin Stavely (drums). Luckily for Simpson, an old friend and flatmate of his happened to be one Pete De Freitas, who received his first big royalty cheque in 1982 (see? being in a band’s not an overnight success), and decided to splash out on financing a single. In the event, he ended up producing and drumming on the song as well, which was the last single ever released on the Zoo label (where the Bunnymen and Teardops also got their first breaks).
Revolutionary Spirit (FF 1982 #10) is a vital, thrilling call to arms that ‘fades in slowly, if it ever gets going at all’ in JP’s words, but then grabs the attention with a scintillating mixture of frantic guitar, urgent vocals and splashes of liberating keyboard, with De Freitas drumming as if his life depended on it. After playing, John then articulates what we’re all thinking: ‘I’m with you on that one, brothers and sisters’.
This version of the band could manage no more than one Peel session before Zoo folded and the members defected to other projects Care and The Lotus Eaters. A reformation and two albums satisfied few, including Simpson himself. One shining moment of magic, then, but brilliant enough to last a lifetime.
Wild Swans: Peel Session 1982-05-01
I have included two versions of the single: the original Zoo mix as played on the FF chart (in mono), and a slightly shorter one remixed for the US market (in stereo), which beefs it up, but to my mind loses the unpolished verve of the original. You, the consumer, choose the most pleasing to your ears.

2 thoughts on “Going Down To Liverpool

  1. One of the greatest bands that never was. This version of the band may have only managed one Peel session but they also did a session for Kid Jensen before melting away to prove that the band was greater than the sum of it’s parts. Years later all the sessions (including Wild Swan’s Mark II Janice Long session) plus some live stuff surfaced on the Incandescent album from Renascent records.


  2. the kid jensen session has turned up on a tape on the peel wikia too … probably better to listen to it on the cd but thought you may like to know!

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