The La’s : The La’s

The La's : The La's

Score

There's magic in these songs, so we should play them, over and over again.

The tall stories, half-truths and old wives’ tales surrounding La’s founder Lee Mavers are legion. Since disbanding his group, the rumourmongers have it that Mavers has become an alcoholic and spends most of his life in a betting shop by Liverpool Central station. The same people will tell you that he’s still fighting a battle with heroin, listens to nothing but Captain Beefheart, surfaces from his home only once a month, and then goes under the cover of darkness.

Those who are closer to Mavers will tell you that [I]most[/I] of these tales are rubbish and that Mavers is actually a happy family man who, every couple of months, receives a nice royalty cheque off the back of ‘There She Goes’.

Choose what you want to believe, but one thing is certain Mavers was an incredible talent, the likes of which this country has not seen since he took his songs out of the recording studio and back into his own mind. (Mavers will play anyone his new songs, but refuses to put them onto tape).

By Noel Gallagher’s own admission, it was Mavers’ vision that inspired the songs that made Oasis household names. Listen to the melody, guitar sound and lyrics of ‘Timeless Melody’, ‘There She Goes’ and ‘I Can’t Sleep’, contained here on this reissued version of The La’s 1990 debut (and only) album with extra bonus tracks, and it’s easy to see the connection.

Listen to the rest of this record and you realise how lumpen and uninspired Mavers’ countless imitators actually are. While Noel G and Shack’s Michael Head have both carried his torch admirably, the rest of the competition simply don’t register.

If you don’t know the album already, and you’re even remotely interested in guitar pop, then its purchase is an absolute necessity.

Whether or not Mavers approved the

re-release of this record and the vault-trawling that brings us a new version of ‘IOU’ and a recording of ‘Over’ live in a Liverpool stable is immaterial there’s magic in these songs, so we should play them, over and over again.

Andy Capper