Perfect: Sickly Men of Thirty or So…

Englishman Jamie Clarke first came to prominence in the 80’s rock group “Innocence Lost”, and had some minor success with that band. After “Innocence Lost” split Jamie was asked to play 5 live shows with the Pogues filling in for the sick Phil Chevron, 5 gigs turned to 5 years. Jamie was also involved in the songwriting (“The Sun And The Moon”) for the last Pogues album “Pogue Mahone”. After the Pogues, Jamie moved to Germany and hooked up with Padja Zaric, the highly regarded Bosnian high-speed accordion player and formed “Perfect”.

“Sickly men of thirty or so…” is the third full length from the band (and the first with drummer Andreas Schabinger) and what a widely diverse album it is, Punk, Folk, Country, Garage and classic British Pop influences from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. For the most part Jamie seems to have moved back to his 80’s roots. The music is acoustic based (but not always) Beatles influenced British pop mixed with a heavy doses of Padja’s accordion that gives “Perfect” it’s very distinctive identity.

“Adorable” is the best song, classic British Pop, a hit single if there was any justice (or taste) left in the world. Pogues fan should check out the cover of “I Fought the Law” the accordion makes it much more Joe Strummer with the Pogues then the Clash. “Sheer Perfection”, “Oh Man”, “Moving Up” and especially “Heart Shaped Sunglasses” (co written with Spider Stacy and James McNally) are all highlights.

October 2001

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