The Gossip: Standing In The Way Of Control

A healthy ladleful of soul soup from Arkansas

Soul: everyone likes to think they’ve got it. Being told you don’t have soul is worse than being told you’re the smelliest dullard in the world and that you look like the offspring of Johnny Borrell and Courtney Love. Soulless is mundane. Soulless is accountancy; it’s Yates’ bars; it’s the works of Blunt and the face of Cameron.

Soul is the essence of life, soulfulness in music is the holy grail, and The Gossip’s lead bellow-bitch Beth Ditto oozes soul from every crevice. Philadelphia soul in particular. With a healthy dollop of Detroit soul smothered on top. It’s hard to listen to this without imagining her bent double, eyes clenched shut, yanking every vowel from the depths of her diaphragm. The other two chinwaggers aren’t dicking about prostrate either: the drummer lines up snares like dominoes then throws cymbals at them, while guitarist Nathan’s chanced upon one of the riffs of the year, in a song that’s so trademark it’s been whisked to shreds by everyone from Le Tigre to Soulwax.

‘Standing In The Way Of Control’ is a response to the US government’s ban on homosexual marriages, and in the great canonical rabble of protest tunes, it’s the one at the front, lobbing megaphones and dog shit and tearing clumps of its hair out in frustration. Don’t say we told you: this lot are going to cause meltdown.

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