Everybody Was in The French Resistance…Now – Fixin’ the Charts Volume 1

feels like a holiday romance



When I was fifteen my family took me to Scarborough on holiday. It’s ok, I’ve forgiven them. We stayed in a caravan park located somewhere in a field on the way to Whitby and perfectly equidistant between any form of civilization – which meant it was miles away from anywhere. Otherwise known as Filey. At least we had the view. You see, our caravan was placed precariously by the edge of cliff and there’s nothing like looking out of your bedroom window and seeing a sheer drop to a load of seagull shit and dangerous looking rocks to make you feel like you’re really living on the edge. Well, when you’re fifteen you’ll take any excitement you can get, which is why I spent most of the week in the pool and hanging around the amusement arcade. Why? Because that’s where the girls were. In fact, the pool was always my favourite place. For one thing, it was warm and you didn’t mind getting wet in the same way you did when wandering along the cliffside in gale force winds and driving rain. Also, they had a slide, which made all the difference.

It was on the slide that I met her. I say her because, of course, I’ve forgotten her name. Hey, it was a long time ago! Give it a rest. Anyway, I remember she wore a very fetching black and yellow bikini. Fetching in the sense that she filled it out well. Anyway, bikini girl was putting her hands out, holding onto the slide in order to stop herself half way down, for reasons best known to herself and then, of course, I came hurtling down behind her, lying as flat as possible in order to gain as much speed as possible and smashed right into her. She screamed in agony, the collision almost sent me flying out of the slide all together and in the end we fell into the pool at the bottom, gasping for air and both a bit punch drunk. It was the beginning of a beautiful holiday romance.

We went swimming (or sliding) in the mornings. We went to the amusement arcade together and took walks along the cliff tops holding hands. We even went into Scarborough town together and took a walk along the beach. Then we went into the Ghost House on the prom, where we indulged in a bit of heavy petting beside a glow in the dark skeleton. We had a great few days together. We laughed, we messed around, we drank lots of sugary drinks and ate lots of candy floss but after a few days, things began to change. For starters, I ran out of money, which meant I couldn’t go to the arcade one afternoon. I didn’t see her the next day, she was busy apparently. Then, when I went to the Friday night disco I found her, we talked, we drank a lot of vodka and coke (she had a thermos flask full in her handbag). I went to the toilet and threw up and she went off for the night with one of the glass collector’s. And that was that, your typical holiday romance.

Now what’s all this got to do with Dyan Valdes and Eddie Argos? Well, Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now! feels like a holiday romance. The ultimate side project. Fixin’ The Charts begins spectacularly and will have you grinning from ear to ear for the first half of it, but then after a while the jokes don’t seem as funny and the charm starts to rub off. What was initially charming and na├»ve turns into something that actually sounds quite amateurish and, well before the end, you’ll be ready to throw your vodka violently down the toilet and say your fond farewells. There’s a lot to like here – the opening track Creeque Allies is a blinder! – and if you take any three or four songs out of the running order, you could have a good time with them, but listening to all twelve can become a bit of a chore. It feels like a good idea that’s been stretched too much, or perhaps rushed a little. It may not be a perfect album, but there’s enough to make you remember it fondly and if they decide to take another working holiday together I’d be glad to lend an ear.

I’ll meet you on the slide.