I love this album. I was turned onto it by Danny, a mutual friend I enlisted to help me DJ on Saturday nights at 38 Bar (now The Castle) in Oldham. Danny would forever be known as Danny Beetle in my circle of friends due to his very nice original (and restored) VW.
I started off DJing purely with old 60s and 70s rock, complimented with some contemporary stuff like Supergrass, Radiohead and the Super Furry Animals. When Danny started DJing with me, his taste in electronica and downbeat rubbed off on me.
I remember seeing Bent play in Leeds as they were touring this album. They were joined on stage by Zoe Johnston, who sings Private Road and Swollen on the album. She stuck around to the end and sang the lead on Always – perfectly recreating the Nana Mouskouri sample that appears on the album.
Looking back, it was probably one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. Just a nice atmosphere (the two members of Bent, and Zoe Johnston, were hanging around and talking to the audience before and after their set), and although there weren’t that many people there, it just felt like a shared experience. When I got home, I put the album on in my bedroom and, still living with my parents, listened to Always through my headphones.
This album stayed with me so much, I eventually turned my future wife onto it, and when compiling a CD of songs that meant something to each of us, to hand out at our wedding, I put Always on at the end.
I regret not seeing Bent play live again, or even checking out their albums after this one. All I have is this, a couple of 12” singles from this album, and the EP they released next. Given the number of times I went to Glastonbury following the release of this album, I’m sure they would have played there. I missed them if they did.
Note to self: check out more Bent !
Hidden Gem: Always