Significant Songs (4)

Woman Trouble

In the year 2000, I was 48 years old. I had just moved to Camden, and was living alone, for the first time in ages. I had a new car, and like many tracks featured in this series, I heard a record on the radio in that car, that I had had not heard before. I couldn’t keep still in my seat, and found myself jiggling around, oblivious to strange stares from other drivers, in the heavy traffic leading out to Brent Cross. I didn’t really catch the name of the song, as I was too busy humming along to it, and car-dancing like a fool, to listen to the announcement at the end. I wanted to listen to it again, straight away, and felt empty when it had ended.

I had to endure the embarrassment of going into a record shop in Central London the next day, and asking the juvenile assistant for a record that went “something like this”. What followed was the worst rendition of the tune ever, followed by a puzzled look on the youngster’s face. I suddenly remembered some words, “Oh- ‘fantastic, boombastic’. This snippet was enough to provide the recent school leaver with enough information. He steered me to a CD, telling me “it’s on this, it’s called ‘Woman Trouble’.” The boy knew his trade, and it was the right record, as he confirmed by playing a snatch from the track in the shop. When I said “wrap it up”, he seemed perplexed, and asked, “Do you know it is a compilation of UK garage, you know, like 2-step, by Artful Dodger?” I assured him that it was the right one, and hurried home to play it.

To say that a CD of thirteen tracks, is a classic, and almost flawless, is high praise indeed. However, this compilation of different songs by Artful Dodger, using various samples, assorted vocalists, and fantastic arrangements, is as near perfect as it gets. Young singers, at the top of their game fourteen years ago, render near-perfect songs, and accompanied by haunting melodies, thumping beats, and high production values, the whole thing is a wonder for the ears to behold. There is one track that I am not that bothered about, but one out of thirteen is pretty good odds. This CD is rarely out of my car, and is enjoyed as much today, as it was then. If anything, it gets better with time. As well as the track that led me to seek it out, there are other delights. ‘Think about me’, ‘Please Don’t Turn Me on’, ‘Movin’ Too Fast’, and ‘Re Re-Wind’, to name four more. The CD is called ‘It’s All About The Stragglers’, and is available from Amazon for Β£3.08p, the price of a large cappuccino. I suggest you buy it, but then I would, wouldn’t I?

OK, what was a 48 year old (now almost 62) doing listening to UK Garage, and jumping around in his car, like an unruly teenager? All I can say, is that if you can listen to this and not move an inch, see a doctor. Here is the track in question, an ‘official video’. Try the others please, they are all out there somewhere, free of charge.

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7 thoughts on “Significant Songs (4)

  1. When I hear ‘garage’ I think of the ORIGINAL genre of 1960s garage rock and freakbeat, which as you know is very dear to my heart. Hilarious story Pete, I wish you would video yourself singing and/or speaking and posting it here. Any chance? πŸ˜€ x

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    1. I know you are correct about the original, literally in their garage, groups long before this A. I only use the term to illustrate the confusion I felt, as I am sure the assistant thought I must be buying it as a gift.
      As for singing it on a video, I think I would have to be paid a great deal, to expose myself in such a fashion. However, I have no doubt that such idiocy would ‘go viral’!
      The scene in the shop would have made a good sketch, on a late 90’s comedy programme.
      As ever, Pete. X

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  2. You never fail to surprise me Pete πŸ™‚ I was a garage girl through and through. Think about me was one of my faves – also I met the artful dodger once whilst at a “pimps and hoes” theme night, I was in awe and didn’t want to stop dancing while he played his set but it went straight over my friends heads – he was a little creepy but that’s irrelevant lol – sending you that pic as proof on twitter πŸ˜‰ xx

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    1. That is a seriously good photo (of you) Sophie, though I agree that the guy looks a bit ‘overwhelming’. I knew them as 2 X white guys, with guest DJ’s, assorted vocalists, etc. They went through some changes though later on, when the original blokes split, and the man in your picture was possibly a later member, or former singer. Great memories though, locked away for life, and pics to remember too.
      As ever, Pete. XX

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  3. I didn’t get into garage band music, but I did love trance music around the same time! Loved playing it in my car on the journey from Doncaster to Sheffield, totally buzzed by the time I got to work, and totally chilled by the time I got home. Maybe my son who was into DJ’ing and mixing with his decks influenced me, I don’t know, but there were some good sounds out there at the time. Life would be so boring if you only ever listened to the music of your youth I say πŸ˜€
    Jude xx

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