Allow The Duke for to indulge the whimsy-glands for a moment;
Back in the day, it brought a fella no end of pleasure for to wander drunkenly towards the swimming pool once a week, in the company of friends similarly intoxicated, and to sing, revel, be merry and such. For the most part, however, whilst we were united in the merriment and the inebriation, we had trouble agreeing on what was fit for singing.
There'd be The Duke's powerfully powerless renditions of Pogues numbers grappling for airplay amidst a buncha demented Euro-Pop choruses from the left and a buncha demented loyalist verses from the right.
Fights would ensue. "Shove your Sash up your hole, I demand a fucking Bottle Of Smoke, you bastards!"
Despite this, there were a select few artistes whom we collectively deemed worthy of a drunken sing-along. No matter what strife we may be wishing on one another, a strategically placed Oasis or Stereophonics tune would unite us every one.
There ain't much could compare back then with clinging drunkenly to the steps in the pool and shouting about how Billy Davey's second daughter threw herself to dirty water. The bartender and the thief were lovers, you'd be informed, should you have the misfortune of passing us by on your way for a couple laps. I'm just looking, you filthy bastard, I'm not buying for a second.
Those first two Stereophonics records, Words Gets Around and Performances And Cocktails, will always have a special place in my heart-sauce for these very reasons. They remind a fella of all sorts of youthful shenanigans. And also, it helps that they were fantastic.
It's easy to forget just how fantastic. Make no mistake, man, Local Boy In The Photograph was a tune fit for shredding a man's throat on any and all occasions, no matter how inappropriate.
"Get the fuck off of your dead uncle Phil, would you ever, and shut up about She Takes Her Clothes Off."
The third record, Just Enough Education To Perform, was unjustly maligned by a music press who took none too kindly to the bitter as bejeesus five-minutes-plus Mr Writer.