Candy Opera ‘Diane’

People who know me will be unsurprised to discover that I am a huge fan of BBC’s new Big Cats series, which started last night. As a devotee to the humble house cat, watching lions, tigers, and snow leopards prowling around in super HD was quite special, but best of all was the tiny rusty-spotted cat, which is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand when fully grown. My cat also thoroughly enjoyed the programme, eyes darting back and forth as she followed her distant relatives on the screen. It was almost unbearably cute – does she watch these big cats and feel inspired to be more…cat-ish? More cunning? A better hunter? Does she long to roam the vast plains of the Savannah, or the blistering loneliness of the Himalayas? Seeing her curled up on the sofa this morning, belly warm and fluffy, the faintest hint of dribble on her chin, I doubt she would swap her cushy lifestyle for the perils of true wildness. Sometimes the music world can seem to be a bit of a wilderness, and it’s entirely possible to find yourself adrift in the unforgiving terrain of the industry. This is something Liverpudlian band Candy Opera know all too well – having emerged onto the bustling indie scene in the early 80’s, they soon found themselves playing with the likes of The Pogues, with favourable reviews in NME, Sounds, and Jamming Magazine following soon after. Yet, the band found themselves with only a few demos to their name despite label interest, eventually disbanding in 1993 and becoming yet another casualty of mainstream Brit Pop’s meteoric rise. Luckily for us, Firestation Records came across an entire host of demos and fell in love immediately, releasing them as an album entitled ’45 Revolutions Per Minute’ – and boy, is it good. If you are a connoisseur of 80’s/90’s indie (like myself), this is an absolute treat, with meandering guitar riffs, cascading bass lines, and sweetly unguarded lyrics. Enjoy.

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