Tuesday 9 February 2016

As if we were still lovers

Doing the Sheffield two-step
I was putting together a belated birthday CD for a good friend of mine at the weekend; and in so doing tried to compile a playlist that men of a certain age stress over far more than is good for them. Or warranted. As ever, I was trying to shake up the old with the new, throw in a couple of swerve balls and, obviously, include a couple of astutely placed covers.

Many moons ago I remember hearing on Jonathan Ross’ Saturday morning radio show an interview with Sheffield balladeer Tony Christie. He’d just released his Made in Sheffield album – his tip of the flat cap to Sheffield songwriters – and was telling the story about when he first played his version of Louise to his wife. They were in the car driving down to London when he asked her to listen to the demo he’d just finished the day before of the old Human League single.

He said that at first she went very quiet. Then she just started sobbing. I think she liked it.

I put it on Riggsby's CD.

Tony Christie - Louise


  1. I'd never heard this before today. What an interpretation - I'm genuinely lost for words.

  2. It's rather special isn't it? Phil Oakey is often dismissed by his peers, but there aren't many who know the craft of songwriting quite like he does. This is Phil talking!

  3. This is a beautiful and heart-wrenching version. Phil Oakey did a pretty good job writing this song, one that really gets to me every time as it was around just at the time of my first big break-up. It got blanket airplay just as I was at my most vulnerable and I still associate it with that time.

    Funny that I wrote about this song over at my place just 4 days after this post - I was only a month into blogging and didn't even know any of you guys existed.


    1. As you say Alyson, it's beautiful. Having seen both the Human League and Tony Christie live (and they both played it) - it's a song that, I know, will stay with me forever.