Song Of The Day 3/11/2015: Kursaal Flyers - "Cruisin' For Love"

Overpop: The '70s: If there’s one form of music you mainstream roller-skaters seem to have an issue with more than power pop, it’s pub rock. We proved that together about 14 months ago, when British Pub Rock Week premiered and went on to become the least popular theme week in this blog’s history. Granted, perhaps it was timing (this blog’s views always go down from January to April before hoisting themselves up in May until the last shred of tinsel descends after Christmas), but I prefer to think it’s because only myself, a rock critic in San Francisco and a weekly gathering off doddering old cribbage players in Essex give a shit about pub rock. Everybody else thought it was some kind of Australian form of brutality.

Anyway, the Kursaal Flyers served as a link between pub rock’s failure as a populist ideal and power pop’s failure as qualitative forecasting. They had a top 20 hit in Britain with “Little Does She Know,” a delightful retro number that sounds a lot like what Wizzard was doing at the time. That’s lead singer Paul Shuttleworth there looking like a slightly narrower version of Willy DeVille played by Fred Armisen. “Cruisin’ for Love” is a similarly delightful blend of banjo and monophonic synthesizer that wasn’t quite as well-attended by the teenagers of Britain. It moves like a house afire, or more accurately a cruiser on fire, with showering acoustic guitars and the stench of desperation. Right up my alley, headlong into that storefront.

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