Christmas 1983. At weekends I worked in a miserable newsagents next to the Tesco in Boundary Road, Hove on the “music” counter. (we only stocked cassettes). Cold, miserable Saturday afternoons listening to Thriller and Lionel Ritchie over and over. 3 memorable moments. Being sacked a few weeks later for having the wrong “attitude”. How thrilled I was for this to happen when you like the Smiths and you're 18. Spending weeks summoning up the courage to ask the blonde shopgirl out and then being crushed in 5 seconds. “er, we’ll see” and then she laughed. Nice. Maybe it was my Next jumper. And ridiculously most Sunday mornings playing (the "manager" was invariably asleep hungover on the floor of his “office” overlooking the shop) entire John Peel shows (well what you could fit onto a C90) Yes that is Xmal Deutschland/Cocteau Twins/the Mighty Wah! sir. Is that a Twix you want with your Mayfair and the Sunday People. Fascist!
For months Peel was in love with this. I was in love with this. Even the shopgirl finally fell in love with this (but not with me). My Suitor by Belgian group; Berntholer was a 1983 single full of cello, the spooky vocals of Albanian; Drita Kotaji, and 10 ounces of nico drenched balladery. It was eventually released by WEA (Blanco Y Negro) over here and sold 10,000 copies. As a result it limped into the Festive Fifty for 1984 at No.34 betwen Robert Wyatt and This Mortal Coil and they've been virtually forgotten and misspelt ever since. For years its been unavailable but thankfully a lavish compilation ; "Merry Lines in the Sky" was put together by the LTM fellas late last year which includes this and many more miserable torch songs. Its a very beatiful record. Perfect for sunday mornings on the Boundary Road selling crisps.