Thursday 27 August 2015

Powerpop - Bram Tchaikovsky

Bram Tchaikovsky (not his real name) was the guitarist in the Motors, of 'Dancing the Night Away' and 'Airport' fame. He left them in 1978 for a solo career that didn't really take off as it might have done. His most celebrated single was 'Girl of My Dreams' (1979), a fine piece of powerpop that was a top 40 hit in America, but it was a hit to which he never found a successful follow-up.

His best moment, though, was 'Sarah Smiles', the solo debut released in 1978, which is all about him: his songwriting, vocals and guitar. Well, him and Nick Garvey, also of the Motors (and formerly of Ducks Deluxe), who contributes the slightly odd production. Garvey clearly doesn't like to leave a sound untreated, so everything blends together into a breathless rush. And it's lovely - there are echoes, I think, of the kind of noise that Eno made on Here Come the Warm Jets. Apart from everything else, it features one of my favourite things: a guitar solo accompanied by wordless backing vocals.

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