It don’t mean a thing if it aint got that swing

Hopping back on a favoured bandwagon of mine, lets look again at how vintage has gone viral in the UK in the past couple of years. And I don’t mean those “Keep Calm and Carry On” tea towels/mugs/rip offs that have become so terribly ubiquitous. No, I mean the electro swing revival, or as I termed it a while back “Antique Beat”. 

Not listening to the charts much it came as a surprise to hear Yolanda Be Cool’s “We no speak Americano” on the wireless, and even more so to realise it had gone to number 1. Naturally I sought out the video, and what a snazzy number it is too. With tongue firmly in cheek it emulates the early visual slapstick of Keaton, Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, pulling it off with some aplomb. Enjoy…

With brain fully engaged in the subject I dredged from the memory banks a similar mash of musical styles that I’d also heard via the internet jukebox: Gramophonedzie and “Why dont you”. Yet another revivalist chart hit (number 12 pop pickers), who’d have guessed it. Next up we’ll all be painting lines up the back of our legs and dogging for victory, or whatever they did for kicks during the Blitz. Once again the video itself is a bit of a rehash, juxtaposing a rough round the edges modern male with a silver screen siren. Works on so many levels…

As a kid who spent far too long watching black and white movies, I’ve always had a bit of a thing for the old fashioned big band jive. So I must have come across Gene Krupa and his syncopated rhythms many years ago, without realising who he was or what a syncopated rhythm is. To prove you dont need to mash it up electro style, and for an intro to his style, you can’t beat this excerpt from the 1941 film “Ball of Fire”, it’s “Drum Boogie”. Check Gary Coopers note taking at 1.01 and the related dialogue at 3.40…


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