July 30, 2004

neat tunnel bassist

Bird Nest Roys' "Jaffa Boy" (removed), from 1986, was one of the greatest singles ever to come out of Auckland, New Zealand. (Thanks to guitarist "Big Ross" Williams for permission to post it--there was also a Little Ross in the band.) If you ever see a copy, grab it--the other side is a splendid cover of the Hollies' "Bus Stop," a song with a similar kind of longing sensibility. I think I remember Tim Adams writing years ago in the Ajax Records catalogue that if he had to pick one song to have on continuous repeat for the rest of his life, it'd be this one, or something along those lines. This is another one of those songs where I'm not entirely clear on what it's about--is the Jaffa boy a boy from Jaffa, or one who's been eating Jaffa cakes (for the uninitiated: sponge cookie topped with orange jam and chocolate, hence "a little kid with orange lips and chocolate on his mind")? And what's the narrator's relationship to him? Whatever. It's beautiful. Listen to it.

We went to look at more houses today. Two had already been bought up by the time we made it over to them. Another one, though, was perhaps the... um... quirkiest of the houses we've looked at so far. A '50s ranch with immaculate topiary bushes, its outside entirely hot pink, each of its rooms saturated with a single L.A.-in-the-'60s-type color. Plus a huge bathroom that featured a black three-person-size Jacuzzi, a shower that looks like some kind of retrofuturistic capsule-size time machine, and what a sign described as "expensive cream carpeting." Yes. Wall-to-wall shag carpeting in the bathroom. And a basement that appeared to be done up in gray brick--until you noticed that the bricks and mortar were painted on. And two waterfalls and a koi pond in the back yard. I loved its eccentricity, but feared that I'd have to strip a lot of it away if we were ever going to be able to impose our own eccentricities on it, and what fun would that be?

Posted by Douglas at July 30, 2004 12:46 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Another lost gem! And thank you for reminding me of the b-side -- for some reason it wasn't among the bonus tracks included on the (long-out-of-print, I'm sure) CD version of their album.

Posted by: Jen on July 30, 2004 10:15 PM

speaking of that Bird Nest Roys cd, neither were some of the songs from the 12" _Whack It All Down_, although the cd did add that killer live version of "I Need Your Love"; who did that originally?

Posted by: narlus on January 14, 2006 7:19 AM

hi there, I'm a bit late to this here party but oh well; just been listening to said 7" and was disappointed to find that 'bus stop' is not on the cd since i just finalllllly found a copy a few weeks ago. Now and then I get the urge to find out if someone out there has referenced an amazing song I'm listening to, so thanks for being one of those to oblige. I'd have to agree with your appraisal of the 7", I never listened to it much because it's so fiddly getting it out of the sleeve, but now that I've got it on the computer it's certainly doing the rounds in this room... Alien is probably my absolute fave of theirs, has one of the nicest to watch videos ever...


anyhow, answers to a few questions above; in NZ, Jaffa's are a confectionary treat - round balls about 1cm across with a red shell. The chocolate is a kinda chocolatey orange flavour, and the red shell leads to the phenomena of 'little kid, with orange lips, and chocolate on his mi-i-ind'.

secondly, the original of 'I Need Your Love' is by another NZ band from I think the late 70's, Golden Harvest. The only place that I know it is avaliable is a soundtrack to a film called 'For Good', mostly by mr Shayne Carter of Straitjacket Fits/ Dimmer etc fame(http://www.smokecds.com/cd/34924). It's on a few other cds too, and I personally reckon it's better than the Bird Nest Roys version, but probably only because I'm slightly more familiar with it. Anyhow, that's enough nerding from me, thanks for writing about it...

Posted by: blacksand on September 5, 2006 8:56 PM

blast, just lost all me comment...

anyhow, nice to see a write up of this, was just listening to the 7" and struck by a need to find if anyone out there had ranted about this...

answers to a few questions:

jaffas in NZ are a orangy chocolate ball about 1cm in diameter, with a hard shell of ummmm red something, which make your lips go red, t6ho I imaging that orange fitted the song a bit better. Particulalrly popular with childers, and the imagery take me back, certainly a cultural icon...


The original version of 'I Need Your Love' is by Golden Harvest, and was released in 1977. It's on a few compilation cds of old NZ rock, and also on the 'For Good' soundtrack, which mostly features mr Shayne Carter of Straitjacket Fits / Dimmer etc fame. There should be a sample of it at http://www.smokecds.com/cd/34924. I think that it's better than the BNR's version, personally, but they get pretty close. Theirs is a fairly faithful rendition of it tho, and it's hard for me to write anything that could be construed as faulting them!

Posted by: blacksand on September 5, 2006 9:05 PM

incidentally, the post below doesn't specifically identify the 'little kid' but is pretty cool; search for 'roy's in the page and you should find the relevant paragraphs...

http://www.publicaddress.net/default,1804.sm#post1804

Posted by: blacksand on September 5, 2006 9:52 PM
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