"Gimmie Some Space" by Shanghai Hostage


"Gimmie Some Space" by Shanghai Hostage

Review

It is literally only a single month since I reviewed the most recent Shanghai Hostage single "Convent" for you, yet here today am I writing about its follow-up, "Gimmie Some Space" (sic). It remains a considerable if pleasant surprise how many new tracks are being created during this pandemic & if there were a prize for musical proliferation beyond the satisfaction of forging new cultural content, while several of the front runners are fairly obviously solo artists with the skills & equipment to home record, this band must be leaders in the category of ensembles. That is not to say however that this is a full Hostage experience: although their most recent releases, "Convent" and "Free Lovin' Woman" derive from full band sessions at the Tin with Ian Whitehead producing, this one dates from the earliest days of the lockdown & like "Mr Motivator" features (as did that track) Sophie & Ian, though this time with Beth too.

It's probably just as well in some ways as the past two have been very full on songs & performances which would have been difficult to follow along similar lines: "Convent" being easily the most extreme track by them I can think of. "Gimmie Some Space" reverts to more classic Shanghai Hostage territory sonically, starting at least with their trademark funky dance style (albeit pretty laid back in pace) & evolving into something a bit more psychedelic yet just as danceable.

Also very much present is the SH humour & wit: in fact you can picture the fun they presumably had putting it together. The overt starting point is in fact the dance floor they are conjuring up & the idea of needing greater space in order to practise responsible social distancing upon it (I guess that back last Spring none of us could quite picture the fact that there would be no dancing together whatsoever for the duration). From there, the tune heads off into outer space & gets progressively more woozy, morphing from somewhere in the region of Chic to more like the intergalactic territory inhabited by Sun Ra and his Arkestra (Beth's guitar plays a significant part in achieving the latter effect). If last time out Sophie was channelling her inner P J Harvey, then this time out it's closer to what a Donna Summer session might have sounded like had she been provided with increasing doses of the gases astronauts use.

All this and some excellent advice too: what's not to like?

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