Saturday, 27 June 2015

The Genius Of... Tim Smith #11

#11: Big Ship by Cardiacs

The 'Big Ship' EP, released in 1987, wasn't particularly well-received by critics, but two or three songs from it remain firm favourites with the band and their fans. The title track in particular was ever-present in the band's live shows since before its release - it appeared on the previous year's 'Live Bootleg' album. The studio version soon disappeared once the EP had sold out, but reappeared when compiled on 'Songs For Ships And Irons' in 1991.

It's a typically grandiose effort laden with all the things we loved about the Cardiacs, especially during their 'classic line-up' era. There's loads going on as you'd expect, but it's from 3:18 onwards that does the business for me. It's like a joyous hymn, an anthem - yes, an international anthem to all the lovely, wonderful things that make it a delight to be alive. Imagine the whole world singing Big Ship whilst celebrating happiness and joy all around the world, on land and in the sea.

"We grin like alligators," sings Tim. Oh, indeed we do. Yes.

Utterly glorious live version from the 'All That Glitters Is A Mare's Nest' VHS, recorded 1990. 

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