Mondeo Pop Month: Lightning Seeds – Pure
Released: June 1989
UK chart position: #16
From the album: cloudcuckooland
Between 2001, Ian Broudie’s mother, father, sister and brother all died, his brother choosing to react to the terminal illnesses of the other three by throwing himself off of Liverpool Anglican Cathderal’s roof. I’m not saying that Ian Broudie’s loss is equal to the wiping of my hard drive (his mother was probably incapable of playing the Hefner Peel Session circa the release of “We Love The City”, for instance), but there’s a feeling of kinship there.
Look, it’s the end of October, ain’t nobody in a good place right now. What, you’re looking forward to Guy Fawkes Night? You think that bringing back double-baked jacket potatoes is gonna save your year? You think your job isn’t going to freeze bonuses in 2009? Fuck you. Life’s a struggle man.
I knew that Broudie was a man who’d coped with loss in his time, even at the start of his career in the early 80s he looked like a man coming to the end of a three-month lounge about the house in his pants eating Dominos after a turbulent divorce. But I had his death spurt as occuring a longer time before. He wrote songs like a man who needed some brief merriment in his life to detract from the misery. This is why he was always Mondeo Pop’s lost warrior, a man who was never going to be a Finn or a Heaton, but deserved better than being dragged out onto the playlists every time England have a crunch last-game-of-the-group-must-win fixture against Hungary.
Think about the lyrics to “Three Lions”. “So many hopes, so many sneers/ But all those oh-so-nears/When you’re down through the years”. You really think he’s talking about Terry Butcher’s poor tracking back in 1986? No, he’s on it for the working man, the little guy who gets beaten and bashed around day in day out and all that can keep his mind off the agony and monotony of work is a little tune on the radio. Something like “Pure”, something about how he wishes you’d “never learned to weep”, I mean this doesn’t actually mean anything, it’s just words he’s singing aloud, Broudie isn’t a “lyricist”, but he knows that if you can get across some sort of vague definition of “cheer up, might never happen” across.
The idea comes that Mondeo Pop is just “Cheer up, it might never happen”, but as a musical genre. Does that cheapen it? I don’t think so. Ill-placed optimism is what this nation needs more of, and what you can expect from a man who wrote the anthem of the England national team.