Matthew Bannister lives in Hamilton, lectures at Wintec in the Media Arts department, is married with two grown-up children, and has played in many bands, each more obscure than the last – Sneaky Feelings, Dribbling Darts of Love, The Weather, the Changing Same. With that in mind, he has recently resorted to covering better-known artists – ie The Beatles, and more specifically the album Revolver – on his recent Powertool Records release, Evolver. In the words of John Lennon: “It’s not too bad”. Here are five albums he’s loving right now…
1 – Paul Simon, Still Crazy After All These Years: “You just like him because he sounds like you!” So said my girlfriend, a long time ago. Sly, subtle, kind of passive-aggressive, secretly superior: You’re Kind; Have a Good Time; Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover. Indeed.
2 – Future of the Left, Travels with Myself and Another: Reminds me of the Gang of Four – maybe it’s the Communist thing. Loud but thoughtful, right-on but kind of camp. Bit of theatre in there too – Queen? So much for the revolution.
3 – Grin, 1+1: Nils Lofgren – can’t understand why he wasn’t huge: beautiful guitarist, singer, songwriter, collaborator (Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen) … oh I remember, his lyrics, for some reason they always sound translated, from Swedish perhaps. Shame. The first (eponymous) album is even better, but really hard to find.
4 – The Beatles, Revolver: Hard to say anything original about this… but I remember hearing it first when I was about 16. I didn’t like it. I’d been listening to Rubber Soul and Abbey Road, and this sounded pretty harsh in comparison. Bob Dylan summed it up: “I get it. You don’t want to be cute anymore.”
5 – The Shirelles: 25 All-time Greatest Hits: The Shirelles were the Beatles’ black American mamas. They covered their tunes (Baby it’s You, Boys) and borrowed from them copiously for their own songs, especially Lennon who said they were his favourite act. The Shirelles were a girl group; the Beatles were a boy group, go figure.