Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jacobites- S/T (1984) / Shame for the Angels EP (1984) MP3 & FLAC

"I moved out from the Bible Belt and down to Silver Street, Victorian oasis in the afternoon, the place we always used to meet."

Following the demise of the Swell Maps, Nikki Sudden took (what at the time) seemed like an unforeseen turn toward the kind of rock classicism that his previous band had been concerned with deconstructing. On the heels of two solo albums, Waiting on Egypt and The Bible Belt, Sudden's initially brief collaborative venture with ex-Subterranean Hawks guitarist Dave Kusworth took form during the various and sundry sessions that had originally been intended for a third Sudden solo record but that soon became the basis for the Jacobites' eponymous debut. Exhibiting an unmistakable penchant for late-sixties Brit-Rock and its tarted-up younger cousin Glam, the obvious touchstone for Sudden & Kusworth's flamboyantly wasted garage aesthetic is Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones mixed with a touch of T-Rex. However, what makes Jacobites such an intriguing listening experience 25 years after the fact is the undeniable quality of the music, which, at the time, ran entirely against the grain of every conceivable music trend in Post-Punk Britain. With a heavy emphasis on acoustic instruments and sonic immediacy, the Jacobites' debut is a beautiful, shambolic mix of raw emotion and authentic Rock 'n' Roll swagger. Opening with the much admired original version of "Big Store" (a highly truncated acoustic version turned up on the Jacobites' second LP, Robespierre's Velvet Basement), the Jacobites turn on the amps and offer up a mesmerizing slow-burner with some great melodic bass-work from Mark Lemon and Nikki Sudden's wasted, heartbroken Dylan-esque drawl. Another gorgeous song among many is "Silver Street," an off-kilter, slightly out-of-tune, ragged ballad that features some memorable acoustic guitar and vocal interplay between Sudden and Kusworth. Some critics point to Sudden's limited ability as a vocalist as an explanation for why his body of work was (and still is) often overlooked; however, Sudden's voice fits this music perfectly, as it manages, in subtle ways, to convey the excess at the core of heartache, something a more polished singer could never accomplish.

Jacobites (2002 Remastered and Expanded Edition)
 1. Big Store (Original Version  (8:01)
 2. Kissed You Twice  (3:24)
 3. Hurt Me More  (4:16)
 4. Jacobite's Grave  (0:39)
 5. Kings and Queens  (5:09)
 6. Silver Street  (4:54)
 7. Hanging Out the Banners  (3:48)
 8. Need a Friend  (4:32)
 9. Little Bird  (2:18)
10. Angels in My Arms  (1:48)
11. For the Roses  (4:01)

Shame for the Angels EP
12. Shame for the Angels  (3:12)
13. Fortune of Fame  (3:28)
14. Heart of Hearts  (3:40)
15. Ratcliffe Highway  (2:33)


  1. Thanks for this. I've been loving the Jacobites since your post about Robespierre a few months ago; can't believe I never found them before! I hadn't heard the Shame for the Angels EP until now, so this post is a treat. Mercury Rev released a fine cover of "Silver Street" many years ago as a Deserter's Songs b-side - have you heard it?

    Any chance those Nikki Sudden solo albums will get a post of their own someday?

  2. Christopher, thanks for the comment. Actually, I haven't heard the Mercury Rev cover. I will be posting the two Nikki Sudden solo albums remastered in the near future

  3. Thanks for this one. I guess this is the record where the Johnny Thunders influence is really starting to show. It's no coincidence that Thunders released Hurt Me around the same time. Voixautre, what's your opinion on The Bible Belt, Nikki's second solo album?


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