Graham Reid | | 1 min read
The difference between the American psychedelic experience of the Sixties and that of the British can be captured in two phrases: in the States Timothy Leary was telling people to "tune in, turn on and drop out" which clearly demanded some committment. In Britain however George Harrison -- on It's All Too Much -- was offering the more measured and slightly detached perspective of the LSD experience: "Show me that I'm everywhere, and get me home for tea".
So too when the Nineties rolled around: America had grunge and heroin; in Britain it was E-influenced baggy rock from Manchester. Sorted for E's and Wizz? Thrills, spills and bellyaches -- but not a stomach pain bad enough you'd treat with heroin then blow your brains out.
Northside captured the mood of the Manchester dance scene ("four cheerful, faintly clueless lads from the north side" observed Everett True in Melody Maker at the time) and they sprung this rather generic debut single under a terrific title which captures the mood of the times -- and that Harrison spirit of emotional distance and politeness.
Northside lasted for only one album (Chicken Rhythm) and I have no idea what became of the individual members.
On the Factory label (of course) and produced by Ian Broudie (of the Lightning Seeds, a man who knows a pop hook or three), Shall We Take A Trip -- banned by the BBC for its drug references, "L . . .S . . .D" -- is not the best single to come out of the "Madchester" scene, nor is it a lost classic.
But, as with Harrison's It's All Too Much, it tells you so much about a very English sensibility.
And it's kinda groovy.
For more on-offs or songs with an interesting back-story see From the Vaults.