Friday, 10 July 2015

SURRENDER (from Tomorrow Never Dies) by PICTUREBOX

James Bond, for me, was definitely more TV than cinema. Childhood TV too. Hence the “was”. So in that sense he was a lot like Batman or The Six Million Dollar Man, less so Wonder Woman. He didn't have any super powers but lots of gadgets and his own special vehicles. Again like Batman. I didn't associate him with anything in the real world at all. I certainly never thought who the enemies were or why he should be after them. The same as never questioning why The Penguin was The Penguin. They were just these enjoyably far-fetched films that appeared on TV, mostly at holiday times it seemed, when we weren't out playing football.

I know I enjoyed them as I remember rushing off to draw bits on the reams of “computer paper” our elder brother recycled our way from work. I also remember seeing “The Spy Who Loved Me” on Betamax, taped off the telly and thinking “That's Ringo Starr's wife,” as Barbara Bach played tunes on the gears in the van. And being confused by Jaws, thinking 1) isn't Jaws a shark? And 2) why has he got big metal teeth anyway? They were no advantage in Moonraker, one of the only ones I ever saw at the cinema.

My brother had the toy Lotus Esprit car, the white one with fins that came out to help it go underwater and several red plastic missiles that could be fired. Or, more likely, lost. I think I had a Starsky and Hutch car myself, as everything had to be fair.

I didn't see much of Mr Bond from the early 80s on till he chucked the Queen out of a helicopter at The Olympics. But I did hear the music.

For this version of “Surrender”, I tried to imagine I was on Chemikal Underground, maybe in Arab Strap, doing it for The Breezeblock or a Peel Session. Cos you have to start somewhere. I wanted that slightly discordant picking guitar which I'd never played before, I wanted it as slow as I could go, and the vocals as low as I could go, even lower, till I chucked them for a robot. The lyrics sound incredibly creepy, so having them as an unwelcome message on an answer machine seemed ideal. And a message left by a robot, why not? It was all experimental. I began to feel quite sorry for the robot by the end. So it seemed like time to call a halt.

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