Real Life Permanent Dreams

Brian Mathews’ passion for talking over session intros right up the vocals either ruins or adds to the charm of the Traffic Jam’s quite phenomenal I Don’t Want You. Months later they would evolve into The Status Quo, a session version of whose Pictures of Matchstick Men is also featured.

Brian Mathews’ passion for talking over session intros right up the vocals either ruins or adds to the charm of the Traffic Jam’s quite phenomenal I Don’t Want You. Months later they would evolve into The Status Quo, a session version of whose Pictures of Matchstick Men is also featured.

 

Real Life Permanent Dreams (Sanctuary)

 

Sanctuary’s companion to the seminal Nuggets box sets doesn’t retread the latter’s ground. What’s more of an achievement is that it also largely avoids replicating Mojo’s 2001 box, nominally concerned with similar territory – British psychedelia of the late 60s. And where Real Life Permanent Dreams does feature better-known tracks or repeat the content of earlier sets, compiler David Wells is at pains to provide alternate takes, hence a brass-free version of Arthur Brown’s Fire, and BBC session take of The Kinks’ Love Me Till the Sun Shines.

 

The benefits of censorship are retrospectively evident in a lyrically clumsier demo version of The Smoke’s My Friend Jack (the enforced lyrical tone-down didn’t help – the single was banned anyway), while, depending on your perspective, Brian Mathews’ passion for talking over session intros right up the vocals either ruins or adds to the charm of the Traffic Jam’s quite phenomenal I Don’t Want You. Months later they would evolve into The Status Quo, a session version of whose Pictures of Matchstick Men is also featured. Sadly for the exponents of much of the na├»ve acid-fuelled mush that characterises Real Life Permanent Dreams, it’s slightly cynical cash-ins like Matchstick Men and the wry scene mockery of Warm Sounds’ Nite is A-Comin’ that provide the box’s highlights, along with Immediate protege Billy Nicholls’ London Social Degree and the brilliant garage stomp of You’ve Got to Hold On by Ladbroke Grove scenesters The Deviants.

 

Elsewhere, the mainstays of British psychedelic imagery are all evident – militaria (The West Coast Consortium’s Colour Sergeant Lillywhite), childhood – (The Small Faces’ Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire and Happydaystoytown) and daft technicolour/Victorian-Edwardian/bicycle/sub-Lewis Carroll nonsense (The Yellow Bellow Room Boom’s Seeing Things Green,  Our Plastic Dream’s Encapsulated Marigold, The Orange Bicycle’s Trip on an Orange Bicycle and The Nice’s The Diamond Hard Blue Apples of the Moon). Tune in, turn on, trip out.