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Radio 4 : Party Crashers

It's their party and they'll cry if they want to...

Bass! How low can you go? "Er, here, actually," replies Radio 4's bass

guitar, motioning, in as much as an inanimate object can motion, to its battered underKings

Of The Grumbling Spirescarriage. Oomph!

But then, such injury is par for the course for the . After all, one does not deploy

one's bass in the manner of Peter Hook (ie pavement-scraping, throbbing) unless one has not merely an agenda, but an Agenda; the sort of grandstanding battle plan

that would, were it to occur in at the end of an episode

of 'Dynasty', culminate in the chinking of champagne flutes and a conspiratorial wink.

Radio 4's Agenda - here, at least - is simple: they

want, claims singer Anthony Roman, to reclaim the New

York scene from the mitts of the miserabilists. To cut loose. Footloose. "All the party crashers/They let me down down down!" he shrieks, as the bass plays hopscotch across the New York skyline.

How good is 'Party Crashers?' Not only is it Radio 4's

best single to date, it's the sort of song that sends your

mind leaping behind its sofa in search of other favourite songs it reminds you of. Ah, yes. Got it. It's Soft Cell's 'Memorabilia' wrapped up in newspaper and sealed with a note that reads "Took what we needed - cheers." And, ooh… what's this? It's Yoko Ono's 'Walking On Thin Ice' galumphing across a frozen lake in enormous boots,

hoping it'll fall in so that it can start a fight with the paramedics.

What else has it got? It's got desolate Eastern Bloc

pianos. And guitars that sound like bagpipes. And it's

got that weird '80s synth noise that sounds like there's

a sinister helicopter chop-chop-chopping overhead.

Suffice to say, their party's started. And you're on the

guest list. Result.

Sarah Dempster

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