Lessons Learned From Rocky I To Rocky III – Cornershop

You know Cornershop for their massive hit single Brimful Of Asha. It ruled over the 90’s like a Kaiju. It’s was remixed by Norman (Fatboy Slim) Cook and has featured in hundreds of movies and party compilations ever since. It’s a complete belter of an indie anthem and one of the great pop songs of it’s generation. First released without the Fatboy touch on the hugely under rated indie/country/rock hybrid album When I Was Born For The 7th Time.

It was cool to see an Asian fronted Indie band embrace any preconceptions about them and then just lay down their take on classic rock and roll the way they wanted to. Cornershop had left the sitars to gap year indie posers Kula Shaker at this point. They were making waves with songs closer to Primal Scream’s Give Out But Don’t Give Up era output and to the work of people like Pulp and Blur.

So what would you do if you were suddenly in possession of one of the biggest hit singles of an era? That’s right. Same as me. You’d go full on Led Zeppelin levels of rock star excess. And that’s what Tjinder Singh and his band decided to do for the first single from the follow up album Handcream For A Generation.

The video for Lessons Learned From Rocky I to Rocky III is like watching the movie Almost Famous in just four minutes. The band make fantastically convincing seventies rock stars. As ironic and fun as the video is, you just know this is wish fulfillment and fantasy realisation for everyone involved in the shoot.

When you have a riff and a guitar sound as devastatingly hip-slung as they do on this song, you really have very little choice but to embrace your Golden God-ness and do a little Jagger dancing.

The song was reported at the time (2002) to be a criticism of the Nu-Metal scene and the recent crop of Cry-Baby rock stars who didn’t seem to want to enjoy their fame. Singh wanted musicians to get back to enjoying what they did and looking like it too.

So it was that they played up to the image from the wildest era rock knew. That list of lessons makes for some cool as a cucumber delivery…

“Lessons learned from Rocky I to Rocky III, Sheepskin shoes tend to run the industry, Lesson 2. Cop the groove, Lesson 3. Is to ignore 4, Round 5. Going into 6, 7. We’re cooking with a new direction (or is it Indian Film Producer Amitabh Bachan), 8. It’s a real heavy weight, 9. We’re rocking New York time, 10.x10. It’s like St.John said”

I’ve included a live take from Later with Jools Holland also here so you can see what the band looked like when they weren’t pretending to be Mick and Keef. It’s an incredible transformation I’m sure you’ll agree.


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