Saturday, 29 September 2007

Robert Wyatt on OGWT

Since I'm only in the mood for nickin stuff from other people's sites today, here's the extraordinary 1983 TV appearance by Robert Wyatt singing Elvis Costello's Shipbuilding, a song inspired by the Falklands War of the year before.

Wyatt, one of Britain's most famous unknown musicians, is admired by just about everybody, and has worked with most of them. He took this song to Number 35. He's in a wheelchair because he got pissed and fell out of a window in 1973.

You can see Costello's own version of the song if you click through to the Tube of You. They're too different creatures: Costello scathing and angry, Wyatt plaintive and resigned. I feel his approach suits the song better. I'm not sure about the accent, though. The song should be sing in an accent from Belfast, Glasgow or Tyneside.