High Fives 2020 (09) – Graeme Wheatley (ColorColour)

0

Graeme Wheatley’s a bit of a veteran of the High Fives thing; his first contribution was in 2015 and his band has had three names since then. They’re now ColorColour and the line-up really works; Amanda (drums), Iago (guitar) and Dre (vocals) fit together perfectly and the latest album “Strange Ways” (under the band’s previous name of Deep Blue Sea) is packed with great songs built around interesting subjects. How does a song about the Cable Street anti-Fascist protests sound? It works for us. Like all musicians, Graeme’s been incredibly frustrated by the COVID restrictions and, like most, he’s tried to find the positives:

 

When Allan McKay asked me if I’d like to write a High Five for 2020 my head spun! What could I do to find 5 high points of 2020? Had there been as many as 5?

Normally, 5 great gigs or 5 fun moments at gigs, or 5 silly things at gigs, or 5 weird things at gigs, at gigs, at gigs, at gigs……

Last year, I think I selected 5 cover versions of songs that were better than the originals. While I was doing that, I also selected 5 cover versions that should never have been recorded. Things like Paul Young’s version of Love Will Tear Us Apart. Of course, this year, the list is blown out of the water by William (The Shat) Shatner’s new album – every track of which is a travesty. Which I think maybe just about sums up 2020. But I can’t add to the woe. It’s got to be high 5 not low. Not this year.

So, I’ve not been to a gig since March at the 100 Club. Our band, ColorColour, has not been together in a studio, bar, venue or anywhere other than online since then. We’ve written songs, tried recording over the interweb, even made some clips of new songs and old songs and bits and bobs and Dre and Iago have been able to do some solo broadcasts and recordings and Amanda and I have recorded some drum and bass things but really the band has been in suspended inanimation “Another year over, and what have we done?”  

So, wracking the old grey stuff for 5 high points from this mother of all “anus horribluses” (intentional mis-spelling) – I stumble on something in the gloom. 5 things to look forward to in 2021?

 

  1. The vaccine – I am not going to listen to conspiracy theories – if you stand next to a 5G mast after having the vaccine you turn into a werewolf – whatever – I’m a big Warren Zevon fan – gimme the shot Doc – soon as you can – but not before anyone who needs it more than me gets it. I can wait in line behind the Keys – the people who have kept us going – the people who deserve a whole lot more than a clap – pay these people what they deserve you snivelling toads. Meantime, I’ll listen to some music and dream of the day we all go out to play.

Here’s my choice of music while I’m waiting for my shot.

I’m waiting for the man

 

  1. Standing in a crowded venue with loads of people watching a great band blasting out some rock and roll – nuthin fancy – nuthin too clever – all together – good times. Pushing to the bar, getting a couple of cold ones, standing, eyes closed, rocking back and forward, can’t get that smile of my face – it’s only rock and roll – but I like it. Start me up. I’ll be jumping like Jack, we can spend the night together. Remember, it’s just a shot away.

Gimme Shelter

 

  1. There will be parties. Dancing in the street. It’s not like we had to go to war to win this one – but people have done great things – small things and big things. And I know there will still be more tears. But someday, there will be tears of joy mixed with the tears of sad remembrance. And I want to focus on 5 good things coming down the line. So, yeah, sure Brexit will screw us up even further and prices will probably go up even more and my lovely band of gypsies from round the world will find it harder to go play in places where we wanna play but we will find a way and even if they charge us £20.00, we’re gonna party like it’s £19.99

 

  1. So, the last film I saw at the Peckhamplex (best cinema in London, or at least Peckham) sometime in February 2020 was JoJo Rabbit. We went twice. And bought the DVD. I always loved this song off The Vindicator album but in this film it became even better. Pointless to say it was my favourite cinema outing of 2020 cos it was probably my only cinema outing – so I’ll say it is one of my favourite films of all time – I don’t have to wait another 10 years to decide. It’s up there with another few hundred that make me laugh and cry and feel the human condition open and revealed. If you haven’t seen JoJo Rabbit, you need to. Now. I’m not saying it’s a Christmas movie, but it will work at Christmas just as well as any time. Give yourself a treat, we can all do with another yippie ky-aye.

Everybody’s gotta live

 

  1. Now you can say I’m a dreamer – but I’m not crazy – I know we aren’t going to get back to Woodstock. Those times are gone – and to be honest – I’m going to stick my neck out here and say – I’m guessing the toilets were pretty basic – and the whole concept of washing hands while singing Happy Birthday is probably not compatible with the 60s festival thang but:

 

someday

not too far away

we will stand in a field

there will come a time

the sun will shine

there will be wine

and chills down the spine

and upon a sign

standing in line

hands waving, yours and mine

some perfect day

not too far away

 

So, till we meet again, may you stay forever young, and if by chance you don’t know the band, let a little ColorColour into your life right here www.colorcolourband.com