366 Songs 021: Move Over

Mover is one of those British bands that came and went at the same time as Britpop, but somehow seems to happen outside of it somehow, even though they fit so many criteria for inclusion (The name! The five-twentysomething-males line up! The retro appeal!); they put out two albums (Well, one in the UK; like menswear, the second was a Japan-only release, I seem to remember), and had a handful of singles with great art direction and perfectly agreeable songs, but the first two singles, “Kick The Beam” and “Move Over” was as good as they got; raucous, with a sound that felt as if they preferred the earlier Beatles to anything that’d come after Rubber Soul. There’s an R&B influence (Not modern R’n’B, but the 1950s/1960s stuff) to their sound, and that – along with the basic arrangements of their music and the female backing vocals – was probably what knocked them out of Britpop inclusion for most. But nonetheless, “Move Over” has one of the best openings to any single of the era, with the spiky riff, drums that collapse over themselves to get started and the great couplet “In the beginning, there was the word/And He said unto you, ‘Get On Your Feet'” (That space is taken in a later verse with the fun “Soon to be making all the right connections/Woman is good, man is the beast”), signs that what you’re listening to has no greater aim than making you get out of your seat and shake your butt a little. It’s a song that was made be heard live, to be sung along with (That chorus!), and to make Mover into, if not superstars, then something more popular than they actually became.

The other week, I was watching something on PBS and saw the lead singer of the band, Sam Hazeldine, in a lead role in the drama; some Googling and I discovered that he’d finally found fame as an actor, which made me as happy as it did surprised; he has some charisma, but he also has one of those voices that I’d always hoped would keep singing, putting out random things you’d find by accident that sounded permanently out of time and wonderfully timeless. Maybe one day, Mover will end up living again, who knows?

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