The JD Set with Malcolm Middleton, Casiokids, James Yuill, Silver Columns and Cocknbullkid
‘Take an album like Madonna’s Immaculate Collection,’ says Johnny Lynch. ‘That’s basically exactly what it is; immaculate. It’s a perfect pop record in the same way as Erasure’s Pop, or Pet Shop Boys’ Discography are.’ Lynch, who you may also know as Pictish Trail; or the person who runs Fence Records, is here today as one half of Silver Columns, the techno-pop duo he formed last year with Adem. ‘Don’t get me wrong, Madonna’s done plenty rubbish songs too, but we’re ignoring those!’
Silver Columns are one of five acts – all Moshi Moshi labelmates – taking the works of the once lace-gloved, then conical bra-d, now leotarded and fish-netted Material Girl, and reworking them for a one-off gig this fortnight. So when I poked my head in on rehearsals in Glasgow last month, Scandie electro-poppers, Casiokids had just finished recording their Norwegian language version of ‘Holiday’ with laptop balladeer James Yuill. Next, it was the turn of Cocknbullkid, aka East London’s Anita Blay, to sing with Silver Columns on ‘Get Into the Groove’. The day before, they’d all done a slow-pulsed and chillingly sexy cover of ‘Dress You Up’, and are back in the studio the next day to tackle ‘Like A Prayer’.
So what made Silver Columns want to get involved, I ask Lynch? He’s just finished tweaking a new, especially tender version of ‘Borderline’, featuring Adem on Tenori-on, miserablist troubadour Malcolm Middleton on guitar, and some heavily rolled Scottish ‘r’s on words like ‘darling’.
‘Madonna’s a pop icon,’ Lynch shrugs. ‘Adem and I were both fans growing up. I remember listening to my sister’s copies of ‘Cherish’ and ‘Papa Don’t Preach’ when I was about five. She’s never been afraid to experiment with different electronic styles. I think a lot of people have enjoyed watching her progression over the years.’
And what can we expect on the night? ‘Some cowbell, some vocoder, some tears, some ‘La Isla Bonita’, some ‘Vogue’-ing and a bit ‘Frozen’?’ Lynch suggests. ‘We didn’t want to destroy the songs by changing them too drastically, but there are good pop lyrics in there, and some classic dance songs too. We hope the crowd likes what we’ve come up with.’
More info at www.thejdset.co.uk