St. Etienne - 'Calico' (1993)
What was the first song you searched for when you first got Napster? What was your 'holy grail'? Well when sat in front of the computer with the pressure to think of a song, any song, strangely mine was St. Etienne's Calico. Strange because it was an unreleased album track and I wasn't particularly a fan. I just remember when growing up in Saudi, Old Pa used to bring lots of music mags back from the UK. Most of these magazines had free sampler CDs and some of them had fantastic little gems on them such as this one which was called 'Hippy Chick'. I have no idea what else was on it but obviously it was in some sort of physcadelic, flowery, spaced out theme. Calico stuck in my mind and I just wanted to hear it, right then!
|I will take you to the Holy Grail|
The title had particular significance to me being a big cat lover and having a grey and calico cat called Tippee. She was a very gentle cat and for some reason I think of her when I hear this song. I also loved the bass line, the Arabian sounding synths and the bongo sample. I was sure I heard that sample somewhere else and worked out it was in the Beastie Boys cover version of Anthrax's song 'Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun' too. I've just found out it was from the Incredible Bongo Band track 'Last Bongo in Belgium' which itself is a funky example of 70's jamming.
|Where is the purrrfect bar?|
I find this track really hypnotic and can just picture being in an underground bar somewhere in London, with lots of little nooks and crannies to hide away in, dimly lit and extremely chilled out. If anyone knows of a bar like this, let me know!