“Ride white horses today !
Buy a red Chevrolet !
Let’s go swim the Zambezi
Let’s do it just cos it’s easy !”
Fans of Saturnalia and Wedding Present completists may all wonder why I’m so excited about this. ‘2, 3, go’ (catalogue number fry 048) has been around since ’96. It’s well-established in the back catalogue.
Well I never gave this fizzing crackerjack a chance until now. In my defence I barely had access to a turntable between 1995 and the early noughties and by then this disc was safely buried in this old record box. It never occurred to me to dig it out.
Since recording it for present-day thrills I have been roaring along to it every chance I get. It’s a perfect pop song at just a shade over three minutes with a massive chorus and tremendously chaotic, throw-everything-at-it outro.
Gedge absolutely nails the quiet-loud dynamic shifts: as usual there’s some frenetic drumming going on under a whispered verse, signposting the gear-shift to come. And when it comes there is an explosion of noise that shouldn’t be unexpected, but it’s just as much melody as noise and addition of non-staple horns really blows the chorus to the heights.
“Let’s fly close to the sun/do it just cos it’s fun” they sing, as the pounding drums and guitar-horn afterburners send us skywards. It’s a delirious exhortation to escape – and one assumes that for both parties involved it’s an escape from their respective suffocating other halves.
“I know you won’t refuse
Because you agree there is nothing to lose
We’re two of a kind
Don’t look behind”
B-side ‘Up’ splits its two and a half minutes between a thrashing, breakneck opening and an ambling instrumental workout. It’s an unwanted ménage à trois that confronts our narrator: “She said she’d wait for both of us in bed…”
They’re more interested in splitting off and going à deux, however: “I don’t want to scare you, but you’re mine right now, and I don’t have to share you.”
But what happens ? The song just cuts away from the drama to that rolling guitar/drums shuffle without any sort of resolution. Perhaps this really is two songs spliced together and the band just couldn’t work out what to do with it. Except pop it on the flip side… It wouldn’t be the first time I suppose. It’s a little shot of fun, regardless.