Since Steve Lamacq took over the BBC 6Music early evening show it has become a bit more ‘indie’: I much preferred the eclectic mix of songs, ancient and modern, provided by Andrew Collins. However, as I washed up tonight, he did spin Lazy Sunday by The Small Faces which raised a cheery grin as I’m currently reading All Too Beautiful, a Steve Marriott biography written by key-mod-scribe Paolo Hewitt. It’s a fascinating tome that really conveys the austerity of the post-war East End that Mariott grew up in which contrasts keenly with the vibrant Mod scene of the sixties that he went on to rule. Apparently Marriott hated Lazy Sunday and only recorded it as a bit of a laugh to show how ‘cockney’ he could sound: the need to be taken seriously dominated the Small Faces’ career and they constantly worried that they were merely regarded as a bit of a novelty act. I’m onto Marriott’s Humble Pie career now; less fulfilling simply because I have never heard any of that their stuff and I confess that, from descriptions in the text, it appears to be the turgid unmelodic hard rock that I’d dislike. I am promised a rags-to-riches-to-rags story and I suppose I am still on the ‘riches’ section; I’ll stick with it so I can voyeuristically sneak a peak at Marriott’s descent into mental illness, poverty and the most terrible accidental death.
There are some cracking Small Faces clips on www.youtube.com. The promotional films for Itchycoo Park and Lazy Sunday are the sunny, long-haired, psychedelic gems you’d expect while the band miming to All or Nothing in monochrome splendour is the coolest thing you’ll ever set eyes on. Here’s a tip though: just search for any of the Small Faces clips as they are all utterly stunning.
I wish I’d been a Small Face.