Thursday, 20 June 2013

Underworld - 'Jumbo'

Musical Medicine.....electronic dance heavyweights, Underworld give me some sugar.....

Underworld - 'Jumbo' (1999)

In April my wife, four year old son and I went to Haven Holiday Park Littlesea, on the Jurassic coast, for some 'luxurious' trailer living, dino hunting and more importantly, early spring sunshine. It's usually quite nice in April right? Wrong, it was probably one of the coldest Aprils on record and was as freezing inside as it was outside, I can usually tolerate the cold but the first night in these Arctic conditions was ridiculous. I awoke to see my breath, my exposed face and one arm completely numb with my extremities particularly raw (stop it!). To avoid a repeat of a Scott of the Antarctic style adventure and my grumblings about the weather my wife suggested I get a wooly hat to sleep in. There seemed to be a shortage of hats in Weymouth as we scoured the area but my wife was beaming when she eventually found me a cheap 'Arsenal' hat from one of those 'always closing down sport shops', I like Arsene Wenger's style of play but I certainly wouldn't display the team colours on my fat head. It hardly mattered really as wooly hats make me look like a buffoon anyway and this was survival, we had a week of this, the park was full and therefore were unable to move us to a trailer with heating. 
Caravan 420 is complaining about the cold....

I was laughing at the face of frostbite, armed with three quilts,  in full track suit with the socks tucked in and my Arsenal wooly hat, I was ready for bed. My wife in a hideous leopard print onesy and a white wooly hat, with the cold on her face, it ensured I'd wake up to some sort of freaky Smurf. Who said romance was dead!? My son was ok though, as a horrific evening being wound up into a frenzy of excitement by the kids entertainers, he was far too tired to notice the cold and with all the layers we put on him, he looked like a mini Michelin man anyway. The critter was enjoying himself and if he was happy then his parents were happy....brrrr.

There are usually one or two notable songs you listen to which remind you of a trip, for me Jumbo is one, huddled around a gas fire in a freezing cold caravan, this track comes on random and suddenly everything warms up (well certainly for me anyway). Taken from the 1999 album, Beaucoup Fish, 'Jumbo' is my favourite Underworld track, it's pure musical bliss and a track that, despite the cold, reminds me of memorable holiday.

Karl Hyde - 'The Boy With The Jigsaw Puzzle Fingers' (2013)

Apart from smashing it up at the London Olympics with Danny Boyle, Underworld's main vocalist, Karl Hyde, released a debut solo album entitled Edgeland earlier this year and the bleak but gorgeous, 'The Boy With The Jigsaw Puzzle Fingers' is the first single from it. 

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Underworld - 'Jumbo'
4/ 5


21 June 2013 at 22:02

Cornwall in April? You've only got yerself to blame!! Brilliantly told - I could feel your freezing pain despite the current humidity.

I've never been a huge Underworld fan, but 6music have played a few tunes from the Karl Hyde solo album, which I've enjoyed a great deal - 'Jigsaw Puzzle Fingers' included. Mr Hyde has been interviewed a couple of times too and comes across as a thoroughly decent (and musically knowledgeable) chap. Love the video as well.

22 June 2013 at 09:28

Oh I loved that story...I really do enjoy misery...very funny too...come on you Arsenal....great track too as is the new one...good title

22 June 2013 at 17:30

Thanks the Swede, they have much much more to offer than Born Slippy. I think I may have heard the same interview too, he has a very broad taste in music, even some traditional African trance influencing Underworld's catalogue.