Autor: Alexander M.
07.01.2006, England, London
In the era of TV's I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, perhaps we should not be surprised by the unlikeliest of comebacks. But Scritti Politti? Under a ridiculous pseudonym? In a south London pub?
As the working but pampered elite, celebrities with what passes for a real job, many musicians still occasionally find the requirements of the record company promotional department just a little bit too much.
And who can blame them? After a while the prospect of those 5am appearances on Nowheresville Rock FM, the 22 hours on a bus between Medium Sized Stadium and a second support slot with Pantera in Antwerp must seem a touch grim. So perhaps it's to be expected that rockstars sometimes get stroppy, play hard-to-get and in very extreme cases, decide to disappear so completely that their label has to hire a private detective to find them (that's otherwise easy-on-the-brain Madeline Peyroux for you).
But for Green Gartside, the man who is Scritti Politti, it's been a gargantuan two and half decades away from the stag, live performance and public eye. Suffering a more potent mix than most, a youthful heart attack and then paralysing stage fright, this most intellectual of white pop soul singers hasn't graced a stage in nearly 26 years. Until now.
Standing in the backroom of a working men's club in Brixton, South London, awaiting the arrival onstage of "Double G and the Traitorous 3", the anticipation level is slightly surreal. This is what happens when popstars make you wait. The fans ripen. Except that in the post-internet era Scritti's fans haven't left him a forgotten popstar, they've been chatting online, organising, even (whisper it) downloading. If there's one question most on the lips of these 30-plus-something followers it's 'do i know you from the messageboard?'.
Green himself has charted a voyage, from prettyboy Lady Diana lookalike in 1985 to tonight's more modest ensemble of beard and beastie boys t-shirt. His sound has similarly evolved and devolved, from Rough Trade post-punk troubador to 80s high-gloss synthpop to rocking out with Mos Def by the end of the millennium. But as he takes to the tiny stage, fumbling with a music stand and clutching a sheaf of papers with the lyrics on, you're shocked by that voice. The most honeyed tones in pop might be at odds with the facial hair and 45 plus years but it's still arresting, so beguiling, always surprising. Close your eyes and you can pray Aretha Franklin.
After a mini barrage of apologies, Double G launches into part of his next album. If hundreds of current 'woodbeez' have stolen that late 70s wirey post-punk sound Green is happy to let them keep it. New song "BoomBoomBap" is glossy, aching uber-urban balladry and as uncomprisingly unfashionable as it is recognisably Green. His youthful band mug through the rest of the set as if watching someone's terribly cool dad doing a star turn at village fete. Not a sign of the greatest hits package but the new material sounds like a joyous return to the melody obsessed brilliance of his heyday.
Now someone get me the hell out of Brixton.Alexander, Baxendale (hier seine Webpage)