Album review: THE MEMBERS – Version


Cleopatra Records [Release date 16.08.19]

I can’t say I know a lot about punk rock mavericks The Members, beyond a vague recollection of their 1979 hit single ‘The Sound Of The Suburbs’, my allegiances back in the 1970′s being firmly nailed to the slowly sinking ship of prog, holed below the waterline by piratical upstarts.

Still boasting what could be considered ‘original’ members – Jean Marie Carroll (vocals and guitar), and Chris Payne (bass), The Members are still active and this irreverent ‘covers’ album will most likely divide opinion as much as punk did ‘back in the day’.

Picking 14 unlikely bedfellows, the band give them the most unlikely of treatments, and like punk, it’s something of a breath of fresh air.  It’s also proof, if it were ever needed, that you can do just about whatever you want with a well written song.  You certainly won’t break it.

Prince’s ‘When You Were Mine’ is given an excellent harmonica infused/The Cars style paint job, Abba’s ‘Does Your Mother Know’ is given a glam/Queen circa ‘It’s A Kind Of Magic’ makeover, while Bowie’s ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ is given a fairly reverential treatment (albeit cleverly mashed with ‘Under Pressure’ bassline), as are The Ramones’ ‘Sheena Is A Punk Rocker’, and Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers’ ‘Chinese Rocks’.

But it’s when the band go well ‘off piste’ that Version is most fascinating – ‘On Broadway’, originally by The Drifters, played to the riffs of The Kinks’ ‘All Of The Day And All Of The Night’, and the Two Tone/Specials style reinvention of The Buzzcocks’ ‘Ever Fallen In Love’.  They shouldn’t work, but they do, and it’s marvellously entertaining.

In many ways I was reminded of The Jolly Boys 2010 covers album Great Expectation – against all odds, this most unlikely of mash ups is somehow impossible to dislike and guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.  ****

Review by Pete Whalley


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 24 January, 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 25 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 ART OF ILLUSION X Marks The Spot (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 THE DEAD DAISIES Holy Ground (SPV)
14:00-16:00 TED & MAJELLA Divine Timing (indie)

Power Plays w/c 25 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

THE WEDDING PRESENT We Should Be Together (Scopitones)
MIDNITE CITY Crawlin’ In The Dirt (Roulette Media)
JOSEPH WILLIAMS Never Saw You Coming (Mascot)
ALEX JAMES BRIERLEY Go With The Flow (indie)
THE UNDERCLASS The One (indie)
MASON HILL DNA (7Hz Recordings)

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