When you’re in the moment. In that sweet spot between the future and the past. Between tomorrow and today. When you’re alive. When your body is electric. When sparks are arcing from your imagination like cartwheeling hallelujahs. Away, away into the ether. When you can do anything, be anything. When the World is spinning just for you. When it’s at your command!
Ever found a song that makes you feel like that?
I have… It’s a song called Sheffield. I love Sheffield. I love this song called Sheffield. So, am I devastated to discover that it isn’t about Sheffield at all? It’s just about a girl from Sheffield. My God, it’s just about a girl? !!!
Yes, I absolutely was! But actually, now I don’t care! I just don’t care! I really, really, don’t care!
Because henceforth, the song belongs to me. It’s mine! It’s mine! Mine forever. Mine for all time!
Karkosa released this beast into the world; they just let it go! Carelessly, recklessly even. And, as is the way with wild things, it took on a life of its own. And… foreswearing its parentage, it eventually found me - its one true and rightful owner.
We read into songs what we will, subconsciously weaving their words into the inconsequential little worlds of our imagination. It is we, not the songwriter, who ultimately decide what a song is about, impart meaning, impart immortality. The authors have done their best, yet we must complete their creations by conferring upon them some real, deeply intimate, and personal significance.
So, this song about Sheffield is about Sheffield. It will always be about Sheffield…
Sheffield. I’ll never walk away - but I did
My first love. I will never let you go - but I did
We all come from somewhere. We were all born somewhere. We all have some place we call home. I’m from Sheffield. Not Sheffield, Sweet Home Alabama, not where The Stones laid down Brown Sugar in 69. No, I’m from the Sheffield of Jarvis and Joe, and the Monkeys, and the Leppards. This band Karkosa, they’re from Birmingham. Not Birmingham, Alabama - the home of Muscle Shoals. No, they’re from Birmingham, UK - the home of Black Sabbath, the greatest rock and roll band ever... period!
Sheffield was a great place to come of age. The Wapentake, The Crazy Daisy, The Mucky Duck; sneaking into City Hall, getting to see all those fantastic bands. But eventually, I left. I moved away.
Wherever we go, whatever we’re searching for, whatever we’re running away from, the place where we grew up will always be a massive part of us. So, for all you displaced souls out there a song such as Sheffield, a signpost song, a song that can take you home to your very own Kansas is a wonderful and powerful thing; because, when you reach the end of your days you will realise that the only things that ever really mattered in your life were fellowship and home.
“Oh, Auntie Em – there’s no place like home!”
It's the vocal. It's the chord progression, the arrangement. It's the melody, it’s the building of tension, the little hints at wizardry yet to come; a raging trigger finger itching for action. The composition is pure amazonian, bottled royal catfish blood - but then, with a full two minutes still to run, the guitars take to the sky and it hits some fantastical musical equilibrium, a dopamine detonator, a hallucinatory epic. It goes to some high place of heathen decadence. It dances with demigods. It becomes a little FREEBIRD for the 21st century!
Indie Rock ➠ Classic rock.
The song's obviously about a lot more than just a girl. It’s about .... but, in pursuit of my narrative, I'm afraid its themes have been heartlessly and ruthlessly sidestepped!
Most people don't get
I'm not an ordinary guy
I just make it all up
Sweet Home Alabama / Freebird - Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Catfish and the Bottlemen
You can learn more about Karkosa here:
About The Curator - Phil Shaw
The world is wrong about music…
and I want to change it’s mind
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings
Look on my playlists, ye mighty, and despair