How do you start a road trip?
Maybe you’re the kind who takes a “Leaving bowl,” puts on a super mellow track and then chills out as you blend into traffic. I personally am a big fan of such an approach – however – this week – this track – is not that kind of track!
This week it’s all about balls to the wall – foot flat to the floor – peeling out of the driveway as the energy from Mr. Middleton juices your adrenals and slaps a shit-eating grin across your face! Yeah - I’m a big fan of this approach too!
Red Travellin’ Socks is a nuts song - musically it has one of my all-time favorite break downs – you know – the bit in a song where the instrumentation is pared back and then it just builds and builds and builds and then everything comes back in and you just orgasm over the dashboard? No? Go and listen in from 3 minutes on and see what I mean.
The quality of the track is undeniable – the harmonies – the piano – the thrashy guitar tone – the percussive energy – if I’m down it’s one of those tracks that I reach for ‘cos I know it’s going to make me feel good – if I’m doing 30 miles an hour over the speed limit at the same time – even better.
But it’s the lyric – the insane lyric. I mean – who the hell writes a song about socks? I have two theories on this. The first is that it is a super cleverly written perspective of what it’s like to be a touring musician. I have had some experience of this in my lifetime – there’s just something about a tour bus – about being on the road that is just fucking awesome! I baled from my nice safe corporate gig at the age of 30 just to grab a piece of it and it didn’t disappoint.
But here’s the thing – life on the road starts out amazing but eventually becomes monotonous and boring – and as our hero in the song tells us – eventually you start longing for the thing that you had to leave - and the whole thing becomes a beautiful cycle. For a touring musician life is change and change is good.
That being said – what I actually believe is that my wife inspired this track! You see she’s a bit weird and yes – she actually travels in red socks – I shit you not – it’s true - she actually refers to them as her red travelling socks! And of course, we come to Scotland a fair bit – certainly around the time before this album came out in 2009.
So what I reckon happened was - we were in the bar at Edinburgh airport – laughing about her odd choice of footwear – and Malcolm’s behind us having a pint with his song journal out – excited about getting on the road and looking for a metaphor to describe how he’s feeling – and he turns round – curious to see what we’re giggling about – sees the socks and BinfuckingGo – A New Song!
You can learn more about Malcolm Middleton here:
About the Curator - Andrew McCluskey
The first visual memory I have is that of the white upright piano in Singapore, Hell and the dark forces lived at the bottom, Heaven and the Angels at the top. They would play battles through my fingers and I was hooked.
For the next month I'm hijacking Chris' list and will be sharing some of my favorite road trip music. You can check out my lists here: