I got sent a mixtape from Australia in 2003 by someone who frequented a music magazine’s message board. It was part of a secret santa style exchange where we all sent tapes or CD-R’s to mystery recipients. Mine came from an Aussie who went by the name of MyFriendGoo.
It was made up of bands like Magic Dirt, Frenzal Rhomb and Gus & Frank and it was brilliant. A snotty snarky compilation full of Aussie edged punk pop and sweary anarchic post rock. Amongst all of the beer soaked potty talk and bar room boogie was a little gem of a song called London Still by Aussie indie darlings The Waifs.
The lyric takes the form of a postcard home, a message to the hometown crowd while you’re on the other side of the world in the grey and rain that is the UK.
A sad song that pines for home for a generation of backpackers and ex-pats. On one level it talks of Camden market, shopping for old records, taking the tube in a lonely planet kind of way. Yet it’s sentiment is one of missing your friends, the Sunday hangs and leaving a part of you behind ‘like it’s been lost in a war’. It’s a torch song for people not in love with a significant other but with that period of idle youth where doing nothing is everything.