Unfortunately it’s not Brian Fallon singing Wonderwall (something which would complete my life). But it’s still pretty good:

The one thing I’d like to see more than a cover of Wonderwall would be a cover of Masterplan. I think it would be one of those rare covers that could be better than the original, at least from 3 mins onwards:

They have form in this respect. Compare ‘Songs for Teenagers’ by Fake Problems with the Gaslight Anthem cover:

I love Fake Problems. But the cover is vastly superior. Somewhat more contentiously, I think this is better than the original:

(edit to add: line spacing is completely messed up on wordpress. another reason to hate the new wordpress)

I’ve heard Gaslight Anthem cover this Bon Iver song more than once but have never been able to find a video of it. At last! The cover starts at 3 minutes in and it fits gloriously into Angry Johnny & the Radio. I’ve put the combined lyrics below, with Bon Iver’s in bold.

Don’t think twice
I still believe it John, we lived those nights
Like we were dyin’ on the long haul drives
For our Maria, with the ragged sails high
And the radio on

And I always have remembered, in case you’re wonderin’
84 takes a lifetime but Bobby does it better
I still sing ’em ragged for you and Maria
I don’t drive nowhere without the radio on

And I’m still here singin’, thinkin’ ’bout the government
In my old man’s shoes, and how you’d understand that
Are you hidin’ in a basement mixin’ up the medicine?
Every April Fools I say your name

I know your name
I still know your name

And I always have remembered, in case you’re wonderin’
84 takes a lifetime but Bobby does it better
I still sing ’em ragged for you and Maria
I don’t drive nowhere without the radio on

And on and on and on and on and on

Well, I met you at the blood bank
We were looking at the bags
Wondering if any of the colors
Matched any of the names we knew on the tags

You said, see look that’s yours
Stacked on top with your brother’s
See how the resemble one another
Even in their plastic little covers

And I said I know it well
That secret that you knew but don’t know how to tell
It fucks with your honor and it teases your head
But you know that it’s good girl
‘Cause its running you with red

Then the snow started falling
We were stuck out in your car
You were rubbing both of my hands
Chewing on a candy bar

You said, ain’t this just like the present
To be showing up like this?
As a moon waned to crescent
We started to kiss

(We started to kiss) 

And I always have remembered, in case you’re wonderin’
84 takes a lifetime but Bobby does it better
I still sing ’em ragged for you and Maria
I don’t drive nowhere without the radio on

We always loved the sad, sad songs

I learned how to hammer in the burning August sun
I learned how to lie and cheat, how to steel and just how to run
I fell asleep most nights with somebody else’s blood on my tongue,
Your tongue
You learned just how to run

But it’s just the blues, Mary the blues
Swirling around my head like your dreams in Dorothy’s shoes
I’m somewhere over the rainbow for you

You learned how to cry in them lonesome September nights
I learned to get by with the dogs and the dirt and the charm of the street
I fell asleep most nights with your pictures right behind my eyes,
Your eyes
The killer and the victim arrive, right at the same time

But it’s just the blues, Mary the blues
Swirling around my head like your dreams in Dorothy’s shoes
I’m somewhere over the rainbow for you
And it’s just the blues, Mary the blues
Swirling around my head like your dreams in Dorothy’s shoes
I’m somewhere over the rainbow for you

The cause for smile, is bright like the ramparts on the 4th of July
And my baby swings like a boxer, and sends her right hooks onto my chin
She cries like a baby (cries like a baby)
And she wears me just like a ring
Cries like a baby (cries like a baby)
And she wears me just like a ring

Learned how to swagger
I Learned how to hold you while your body burned
I Learned how compromise while this whirlwind hurricane turned
We fell asleep most nights with each other’s blood on our tongues,
My love
Did you ever just have enough

But it’s just the blues, Mary the blues
Swirling around my head like your dreams in Dorothy’s shoes
I’m somewhere over the rainbow for you
And it’s just the blues, Mary the blues
Swirling around my head like your dreams in Dorothy’s shoes
I’m somewhere over the rainbow for you
And it’s just the blues, Mary the blues
Swirling around my head like your dreams in Dorothy’s shoes
I’m somewhere over the rainbow for you

I have no idea why but I woke up with this stuck in my head. Posted here in an attempt to externalise it and get on with my day:

I’m broke and I’m hungry, I’m hard up and I’m lonely
I’ve been dancing on this killing floor for years
And of the few things I am certain, I’m the captain of my burden
I’m sorry doll, I could never stop the rain

Once you said I was your hero
You would dance with me on a dime
We could spin this world right right right round
And catch back up on the flip side

I was gonna get this real big engine
I was gonna get them Broadway stars
You were gonna be my Judy Garland
We were gonna share your tin man heart

There’s a dirty wind blowin’, there’s a storm front comin’ in
There’s an SOS on the seas tonight
Steady now, steady now, soldier, hold fast now
It’s heads or tails and heart attacks and broken dreams tonight

We used to drive all night
All over town
We’d go waltzing Matilda
When Matilda came around

I sang them blues to you

There’s a dirty wind blowin’, there’s a storm front comin’ in
There’s an SOS on the seas tonight
Steady now, steady now, soldier, hold fast now
It’s heads or tails and heart attacks and broken dreams tonight

There’s a dirty wind blowin’, there’s a storm front comin’ in
There’s an SOS on the seas tonight
Steady now, steady now, soldier, hold fast now
It’s heads or tails and heart attacks and broken dreams

And heart attacks and broken dreams
Atlantis is my only dream tonight

Give me mercy and a minute now
I’m a bleed a little poison out
I’m a cry a little river down
And then I’m setting this whole thing on fire

And I’m burning up the night she died
And I’m putting every last picture aside
I’m gonna say what I need to say
In my very last letter to you

Cause you always made it clear
Said that you’d never be my pain
So here’s to you and your bright baby blues
And just a pause to cool the refrain

And you said you were satisfied
And now this body’s just waiting to die
And that you missed him sometimes but you said it’s alright
It’s just a whole lot harder alone

But I wish you knew her now
She’s a better side of me now
And I’m doing the best I can
It’s what you wanted

And I see you like you were there
And I know just how you’d smile
Mary, you looked just like it was 1930 that night

But here the days will eat you alive
But I won’t give in tonight
You said it’s not worth my time
And not to regard them

And not to settle just for piece of mind
But I can wait it out all night
If you’ll just keep breathing

But Mary I found a sound
And this heart keeps pouring it out
And the glory hasn’t come and it’s probably gonna fade
Like a tattoo that hides the shame

And the reasons always fade
And the pain gets out some day
So I’m saying my goodbyes to your deep blue eyes
Cause I don’t know how to say, “Stay still in the pain.
Stay still in the pain.”

But I wish you knew her now
She’s a better side of me now
And I’m doing the best I can
It’s what you wanted

And I see you like you were there
And I know just how you’d smile
Mary, you looked just like it was 1930 that night

If I recall the last thing you said to me
Before it broke up, before it took you from me
And you said, “I love you more than the stars in the sky
But your name just escapes me tonight.”

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/gaslightanthem/1930.html

A few days after Bruce Springsteen appeared with Gaslight Anthem at Glastonbury, he invited Brian Fallon on stage with him at Hyde Park Calling. It’s hard to watch this video and not get the impression that the minute following 1:23 was probably the happiest moment of Brian’s life (though he does look like he’s about to burst into tears at the end of it).

And he does the second verse of No Surrender very well:

Well, now young faces grow sad and old
And hearts of fire grow cold
We swore blood brothers against the wind
Now I’m ready to grow young again
And hear your sister’s voice calling us home
Across the open yards
Well maybe we’ll cut someplace of own
With these drums and these guitars

Afterwards the press picks up on the Bruce Springsteen comparison in a big way and suddenly Brian Fallon is the ‘new Springsteen’. Suddenly their popularity sky rockets and a narrative begins to form about the band which clearly starts to grate. By this summer he was starting to get rather pissy about it:

Screen shot 2013-09-19 at 22.52.45

And then I stumbled across the video of this festival show over the summer where he seems to have not only got over his frustration at being compared to Springsteen but has diligently reproduced an outfit I’ve seen countless pictures of Springsteen wearing: