You wait years for a decent recording of a song and suddenly, like buses, two come along.
Jacques Brel wrote his famous song Jackie in the 1960s, spinning a yarn from his fantasy of ending up as a cabaret crooner in cheap clubs. Scott Walker, Marc Almond and others sang translated versions. In the 1980s Momus, the brilliant Scottish singer-songwriter, translated it as Nicky (his real name is Nick Currie), a version less literal and more pertinent to the times. I loved that version but couldn’t quite get behind some of the lines, so I changed some of it in the 90s to suit me, and stuck on it one of the fantasy names I’d had as a kid (when being called ‘Norman’ was plain embarrassing): Ricky.
Although it’s been popular with audiences as long as I’ve been playing it, I’ve never recorded it till our recent afternoon at Edinburgh College studio, where Gerry Callaghan requested it. Jason Pillay was there too and asked if I’d join him to produce his take on it. I’m glad he did as I love trading lines with him and his arrangement is fresh and alive.
Hope you enjoy both. Look up the Brel and Momus versions too.