Spotify, Spotify ... Spotify Done To Deserve This (Slight Return)?


Their bloodstreams might run thick with fire and spice, but the Tramps always have a song in their hearts. Usually, it manifests itself within The Tramp's voracious appetite for mindbending beats and wigged-out esoterica (as tabulated in his regular The Tramp's Jukebox Puri column). Or in Trampy's ironic/unironic/platonic/unplatonic love of Bob Seger (not so much the poor man's Bruce Springsteen as the poor-man's-Bruce-Springsteen's stunt double).

But reading about Mister Singh's plans for a new curry and karaoke night later this month reminded TATTGOC's stocky chieftains of a special time, very long ago (October 2009) when they assembled a curry-flavoured Spotify playlist entitled This Charming Naan: The Many Moods Of TATTGOC Vol 1.

Try and imagine what things were like back then ... Rio had just been awarded the Olympics 2016. Zombieland hadn't even been released in cinemas. Cheryl Cole had yet to chart with Fight For This Love. So much has happened since then! We've all grown as individuals! So will these changes be reflected in the much-anticipated follow-up, Bridge Over Double Pakora: The Many Moods Of TATTGOC Vol 2? Most likely!

(Click here to get the rundown ...)

Since we last danced this dance, Spotify itself has gone through various transformations: mostly trying to encourage users to not only sign up to their Premium service but also use the application as more of a social platform, firing recommendations into friends' inboxes and incorporating your own MP3 collection into its overarching directory. Yeah, yeah, very fancy ... but The Tramps still haven't been tempted to sign up. (Maybe when they got some proper Bob Seger on there.) Still, there remains a bewildering range of music to choose from, which is useful when you're trying to put together a compelling curry playlist without resorting to puns ...






That's right. Since you cannae change the text in Spotify playlists, there's no scope for editing songs to make them seem a little bit spicier (so no Tandoori Think I'm Sexy, Dhansak In The Moonlight or Rolling Jhinga Deep). And when you're only dealing with "proper" song titles, it only takes a few wrong turns before you're actually considering including Vindaloo by Fat Les or – shudder – Nan's Song by Robbie Williams.

The obvious starting point is an early, smoky version of He's A Tramp by Peggy Lee which is miles better than the version featured on the soundtrack for Lady And The Tramp, even if Spotify managed to somehow misspell the song title (although "has a Tramp" sort of works too; every Curry Club should have one). That's followed by Chicken Tikka, a vocal warm-up song for younger voices arranged by some dude called Tom Wakeley that starts off all cute and adorable but unstoppably ascends in key until you begin to lose your mind.

Samosa Blues continues the starter theme, but Pete Pidgeon and Arcoda don't seem that bothered with sorting out the rest of the order, preferring to put together a ramshackle bit of junkshop soul. It starts off awkward and twee before gearing up into full-on Polyphonic Spree mode with a pretty awesome "doubt is for losers!" refrain. If it all sounds a bit impassioned for so early in the meal, it's worth noting that Samosa Blues was the last song on this album (called, tellingly, Doubt Is For Losers) so they've got that whole indie-stretching-toward-epic-on-closing-track thing going on.

If you've ever been for a curry with Booker T. Jones you'll know that the veteran organ-wrangler always tans the spiced onions while you're getting acquainted with the menu, which is why the next choice had to be Mo' Onions, a rejigged, herkier-jerkier version of perhaps his most famous track (there'll be more Booker T later – the man is a sundrie fiend). Mango Chutney by New York garage rockers Transit Belle is a short, sharp garage chugger – a bracing palate cleanser before the beautiful Basmati, a tender piano piece by the insanely talented Gonzales, who's usually getting up to far more sonic mischief than this. If there is a rice/naan equation for this fictional playlist feed it hasn't quite worked out – cos this track left us wanting more.

Right. Time for main courses? Tandoori, by the impassioned French band Eiffel, is taken from their 2006 album of the same name and while it's mostly sung dans le francais, there are a couple of key lines in English (that also happen to contain sweary words). The Butter Chicken Is A Must contains a lot of honking sax and some questionable jazz-scat but with a title like that, it was always going in the mix, especially as it genuinely seems to be about eating curry. (Key line: "Bring me all the butter chicken.") There's another palate cleanser in the organ/oboe refrain of Patia Il F Dur – Largo, which might not be as hot and sour as your usual patia but still sounds pretty good, and has the additional benefit of making TATTGOC appear cultured.

Dan The Automator (pictured left) was the man twiddling the knobs for the first Gorillaz album, but he's also a star in his own right, and put together an intriguing mash-up of Bollywood and kung-fu movies in his 1999 album Bombay The Hard Way: Guns, Cars And Sitars. We've selected the cut Fists Of Curry because usually by this time of the night, folk are starting to get grabby-grabby with the sundries. Which is why me might have to order another Nan, this one from Booker T's most recent album, recorded with Drive By Truckers. (There's also a cover of Hey Ya on there that's worth a listen.)

Imagine the joy in TATTGOC Towers when we realised that not only was there a surf instrumental track called Madras, it was also recorded by a band called The Glasgow Tiki Shakers. Someone tell us more about these guys! After such a hot dish, there was a temptation to drop in Sweat, Snoop's new song with David Guetta, but it's way too auto-tuned. Instead, it's time for the classic Tracks Of My Tears, a typically smooth reading from the mighty Michael McDonald. After all that curry, we feel Comfortably Numb, even if this version by The Bad Plus gets a little quease-inducing towards the end. And after that, it's time to Take Me Back To Your House, a return appearance on The Many Moods Of TATTGOC roster for Basement Jaxx, who sneak under the wire since this is the "Balti Skool Mix".

And that's a wrap. Hope you enjoy the smooth sounds of Vol 2, and if you have any suggestions for Vol 3 (which at this rate, should drop around October 2012), noise us up in the comments, on Facebook or on Twitter and secure your exec producing credit now ...

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