Blyth Power entered my life via a dear friend, a chap called Yogs, who had grown up in Brighton. There he had immersed himself in a music scene that contained a fledgeling Levellers (previously The Fence), bands like Salad From Atlantis, an emerging Fish Brothers, Peter and the Test Tube Babies and many even more obscure names. He was also a fan of Blyth Power, who seemed to play there a lot, though not from that place. He became a fan, and I followed suit once we had become drinking buddies in a smaller Wiltshire market town.
There was, and still is, something odd, beguiling and outstanding about the band. A singing drummer with a fantastic lyrical bent. Wave after wave of harmonies to back him up. Punk guitars wielded too often pop perfection. A penchant for history, politics and train spotting. They posed questions such as Will Charles succeed to the throne? Will politicians ever keep their pants on? Why was Mary Tudor so uncouth as to burn total strangers, and will the legacy of sweat and boredom left in the desert by the Templar Knights be rekindled in the Kevlar helmets and SA80s of the modern armies bound for Baghdad? Anyone can make music, but not everyone can find the time to make every word count for a dozen or to unravel the intricacies of human fallibility with a perception that rarely falls short of sympathetic. Not the usual TOTP fare. Thank God.
And they have had some cool ex-members over the years; there have been quite a few. Early guitarist Wob has forged a successful solo career. Jamie Hince went on to front Scarfo and later was one-half of The Kills. And Attila The Stockbroker, was often to be found helping out.
Their music, to me, has always been unique, intelligent, challenging and unlike any other band, I can think of. And this track, and the album of the same name that it is the opening salvo for, is a high point.