Sunday, 7 December 2008


Polly is a girl, and Polly has a horse. The horse suffers from depression and is troubled by the voices in its head. The horse is called Blue Monday.

Blue Monday lopes around a windswept paddock to an internal soundtrack of early 80’s Factory Records, as played in 2008 by a bunch Parisian kids on glacial synths, lowwwwww-slung bass and strict, metronomic drums.

It’s Koko Von Napoo.

Now, let’s check those credentials:
  • Four young Parisians (3 girls, 1 boy) – CHECK
  • A love of Factory Records and the sound of crumbling, early 80’s Manchester – CHECK
  • A name that apparently references a Pre-War Manchester gang: The Napoo (as mentioned in Andrew Davies’ Gangs of Manchester) – CHECK
  • A name that makes them sound German – CHECK

Koko Von Napoo - Polly
[buy Koko Von Napoo from Rough Trade / iTunes]

Now, I had this idea that chevalier was French for cavalier – being that cheval is French for horse, it seemed logical. But I foolishly looked it up. It’s actually French for knight.

But let’s go with my idea anyway… we’ll just imagine it’s a knight on a horse, like this one. Okay?

So, I’m sat there listening to Le Chevalier by Jiji, thinking: that must surely be an intentional pun or in-joke, getting a sweet pop songstress called Jiji (a phonetic mimicry of gee-gee –English slang term for race-horse) to sing a song about a knight (on a horse)… Does this pun work in French? Was someone back there in les années 60’s having a little chuckle as they set the hooves in motion for this record? Am I clutching at straws?

Jiji – Le Chevalier
[this song was re-released on the now deleted compilation Ultra Chicks Vol. 6: Vous Dansez Mademoiselle.  Weirdo Records (USA) have copies apparently...]

Next one out of the horse-box: a slab of avant-hard synth-abuse courtesy of Miss Ann Shenton.

In which our heroine mounts her statuesque, battery-powered steed and summons a choir of heavenly Mellotron-ic beings to lead into battle with an army of evil theremin wielding robots…

Add N To (X) – Ann’s Eveready Equestrian
[buy Add N to (X) from Mute / iTunes]

And we couldn’t do a post about horses without including perhaps the best electronic song ever written about a horse (in our humble opinion). 
Sample lyric:
“Oh glittering horse, you were sold
in a shady shop, on the Edgeware Road”

We give you Simon Bookish.
Everybody scream METAL HORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Simon Bookish – Metal Horse
[buy Simon Bookish direct from the horses mouthiTunes]

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