Rockfiles – Billy Bremner for President
If Billy Brenmer’s new album needed an alternative title it might be 2122 Seconds of Pleasure. That’s how I’d describe my experience listening to the former Rockpile guitarist/vocalist, Rockfiles and the new LP entitled Billy Bremner for President.
It’s a joy to hear these old Rockpile classics again. What makes this record particularly enjoyable is the way Bremner puts his own stamp on 13 songs, all from the Lowe/Edmunds Rockpile catalog. The emphasis is on finesse more than power, perhaps the result of a few more years of perspective.
Billy’s lineup includes former member of the Swedish Refreshments, Micke Finell (bass, vox), Bonne Lofman (gtr) and Peter Sandahl (drums). But it’s the addition of Geraint Watkins and his piano that make this version of Rockfiles something very, very special. The former Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds, Mark Knopfler and Paul McCartney keyboardist is positively brilliant, making each song seem new all over again.
Bremner starts off the proceedings with the Dave Edmunds standard “Down Down Down” with as much get up and go as the original. Finell takes over lead vocals for the kick-ass Lowe classic “Heart of the City”. Billy delivers big time again with “Love So Fine” a song with the memorable, not so politically correct lyric:
“She’s got a pair o’ tits that just won’t quit. Everything that she got, ya know I like it a lot. She’s so fine. Love’s so fine”.
The Chuck Berry penned “Oh What a Thrill” and the Edmunds classic “Sweet Little Lisa” are every bit as good as the originals. Micke Finell does the honors again on “Knife and Fork”, a cover of the Kip Anderson original, standing in for Edmunds admirably. The disk appropriately finishes with a live version of the quintessential Edmunds track, “I Hear You Knockin’”.
Billy Bremner for President is a joyous trip down memory lane for the initiated and an opportunity for those not that familiar with Rockpile to hear timeless pop done right. Order your copy at Kool Kat Musik. It’ll be your best purchase this year. In the meantime, enjoy this live video of Billy Bremner and Rockfiles performing several of the album’s songs in 2018.