My singles collection, vol.12
It’s always with a lot of shock that I read the news about pop stars dying, especially those whose music has made a lasting impression on me. Late this afternoon I read how Keith Girdler of Blueboy died of cancer on 15 May. It immediately brought back the feelings of exasperation and disbelief, that I remember feeling when I heard that Grant McClennan of the Go-Betweens had died last year at this time. People this young are not supposed to die, well maybe they are, but it makes me realize what a tenuous hold we have on this mortal coil.
Blueboy was the band Gridler was best known for, he was the singer and wrote the songs along with Paul Stewart. He and Stewart released three full length albums and a number of singles on the now defunct Sarah and dormant Shinkansen labels. Their first record, If Wishes Were Horses has long been out of print but is, in my opinion, their best record. Girdler shared vocal duties with Gemma Townlet on Horses. Although it has been derided by some as twee, it did a masterful job at melding indie pop, chamber music and bossa nova.
They turned up their guitars a bit a shed some of their preciousness for the Dirty Mags single and their final album Bank of England. In fact the Dirty Mags single is a bit of an anomaly in their catalog, sounding a little like the Wedding Present with it’s pounding bass line and feedback.
After that Girdler continued to work with Stewart in Beaumont, Arabesque, and Lovejoy. He also collaborated with Pam Berry in the Snowdrops. I still can’t believe that he’s gone.
The Dirty Mags ep: