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Saturday, 3 March 2012

18. The Soup Dragons - Whole Wide World

The early Soup Dragons singles were a blissful combination of C86 style jangle-pop and Buzzcocks vocals with a Scottish twang. At the time I couldn't imagine anything better and bought all the singles and EP's religiously in their vinyl form. It would all end in tears a few years later when the band got all 'baggied up' for their big commercial hit 'I'm Free', but for the briefest period of time in the late eighties the Soup Dragons were the coolest group in the world.

For this reason I decided I had to go and see them live, so I fixed up to stay with a friend and travelled the short distance from Middlesbrough to Sheffield to see them in action. It was probably the best concert I've ever attended, but to call it a 'concert' is possibly over-egging the pudding. Sheffiled Poly provided a dark, sweaty medium sized room and Sean and the boys did their stuff with hardly a pause for breath. It was a near spiritual experience for me at the time and even though the whole venture ended up costing me a substantial chunk of my grant money I was on cloud nine for a couple of weeks. I even bought a t-shirt, which subsequently shrank in the wash, but you can't have everything.

It was a bit of a three way toss up between 'Hang Ten', 'Girl in the World' and 'Whole Wide World', but ultimately I was won over by the latter's campest of the camp vocals, wall of sound style production values and classic ending. It doesn't outstay its welcome either. Forget their later work and 'This is our Art' and remember them fondly for the first few records.

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