Melody Maker | Sidelines | 18 January 1992
TOTALLY WIRED INDIVIDUAL
Terry Edwards has long been true to the word "Individual" he has tattooed along his neck. He began his music career monkeying around on a trumpet with Norwich funksters The Higsons. When the band's frontman, Charlie Higson, gave up battering a metal wastepaper bin to start writing scripts for Harry Enfield, Terry teamed up with one-time Madness bassist Mark Bedford to form Butterfield 8. The seven-piece group have so far released just one LP since 1987.
Last year, Terry received widepread critical acclaim for a solo EP, "Terry Edwards Plays The Music Of Jim And William Reid", four jazzy instrumental reworkings of Jesus And Mary Chain songs. The Reid brothers loved the record so much that they bought 25 copies to give away to their friends. Whether Mark E Smith will be as receptive to the ska versions of his work featured on the recently released "Terry Edwards Salutes The Magic Of The Fall" EP remains to be seen.
"I had the idea to try some Fall tunes long before I did the Mary Chain record," says Terry. "It was about the time The Fall released 'There's A Ghost In My House' and 'Victoria', radical interpretations of other people's songs which seemed like Mark E Smith trying to have a couple of hits. I just thought it would be great to put a Fall track into the charts and it also fitted in with the old jazz tradition of covering current songs. Miles Davis's version of Cyndi Lauper's 'Time After Time' most readily springs to mind.”
Whereas the Mary Chain EP was a completely solo project and the drums were programmed the same as the originals, "The Magic Of The Fall" comes with the assistance of Mark Bedford and two other former members of Madness, a Loose Tube and some Serious Drinkers. The songs include "Bingo Master's Breakout", The Fall's first single, "Totally Wired", and an epic version of "Container Drivers", which slowly works up to a spooky, dubby climax.
"I've obviously taken a few liberties along the way," grins Terry. "I'm not too sure what people are going to make of the influence of The Trojans and Roland Alphonso on 'Container Drivers' or the way that the saxophone of 'Totally Wired' is put through a megaphone, but I'm not trying to be wilfully eccentric. I'd hate the EP to be tagged as just a novelty record. While I can't deny that the ideas are certifiable, they work really well in practice. Especially if you've never heard the originals.
"I've also recorded 'Version City' for a forthcoming Clash tribute LP and I'm about to start putting together a collection of exceedingly fast Miles Davis covers. At the end of the day, I'm just following my instincts rather than some great masterplan. That's why I've rejected a lot of the suggestions other people have put to me. The Undertones and the Butthole Surfers are two names that have cropped up in the last couple of weeks, but a reworking of The Undertones seems a little gratuitous and the Buttholes are already far too weird for me to do anything with."