Lazy Sunday Afternoon – The Small Faces

Our recent celebration of Modness reminded us where we found the title of this feature. Here’s a chance to read the first ever Lazy Sunday Afternoon – and to note how much better it is nowadays!

Lazy Sunday Afternoon is going to be a weekly feature here at The Dabbler: a bit of musical accompaniment to not doing very much at all. Given its name is taken from a Small Faces song we’ll start with them and with that very song (along with a couple of others).

Not many people know that the Small Faces got their name because they were literally small (‘face’ was Mod slang for a cool customer). Tiny they were. But Steve Marriott (right) sang big – his was one of this country’s great soul voices.

‘Was’ as he died in rather sad circumstances nearly twenty years ago (blame the usual ongoing DDH*). But he remains worshipped by some. Google him – he has probably the longest and most detailed Wikipedia entry I’ve ever come across, longer even than Napoleon’s. Best Marriott Wiki-fact: he acted in the original 1960 production of Lionel Bart’s ‘Oliver’ and sang the Artful Dodger’s part on the album of the show.

But if he was still around I’m not sure he’d thank us for drawing attention to Lazy Sunday Afternoon. The band thought its jokiness led to their not being taken as seriously as some of their po-faced contemporaries. They were probably right – but there’s nothing wrong with pop in the vein of Madness as I’m sure we music lovers living in a more mature age would agree. Indeed, they were doing something rather interesting in carrying on the spirit of old time music hall, for that was surely a strong influence.

Here it is, followed by two personal faves, Song of the Baker Man and Tin Soldier (all but the last from the splendidly eccentric Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake):

* A useful acronym when talking about pop stars, Hollywood actors, that bloke who you see down the corner shop sometimes: Drink and Drugs Hell.


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10 thoughts on “Lazy Sunday Afternoon – The Small Faces

    August 12, 2012 at 09:12

    One of those bands that grows on you. When I used to pretend to be a mod in Scotland in the early 90s it was all the Who and the Creation, half bottles of cornershop Scotch washing down wraps of dubious sulphate. As the years go by I appreciate Marriot’s voice more. But Rene, the Docker’s Delight… what were they thinking?

    August 12, 2012 at 09:29

    … but having relistened to it, the psych plod-out they do at the end of that song is pretty excellent.

    August 12, 2012 at 10:13

    It took about 10 seconds for them to grow on me Ben.
    Matrix Ballroom outside Coventry, sometime (!) in the 60’s, purple hearts meet Carnaby Street, with a side-salad of whey-faced youths – but that sound! And that voice! When I think of the legacy of those far off days – Chris Farlowe, John Mayall, Long John Baldry. Where did we go wrong?

      August 17, 2012 at 01:26

      Must have been quite a gig. The whey-faced youths usually know where it’s at.

    Mike, Ohio
    August 12, 2012 at 22:25

    Enjoyed all of these songs, which were new to me.

    Tin Soldier is such a tease, waiting and waiting to hear the black singer, and then it sounded like a chorus, not just her. Tasty.

    ian russell
    August 13, 2012 at 15:39

    Nice story about Marriott being auditioned for Brian Jones’ (or Mick Taylor) replacement in The Stones and being unable to hold back from singing out to Keith Richards’ guitar licks. Jagger said no.

    The other side to the sweet-sad story of these guys, Ronnie Lane’s Passing Show, is available on Youtube in 6 episodes. Fair brought a tear to my eye, it did.

  6. Gaw
    August 13, 2012 at 17:35

    Thanks for the lovely comments all. Nice to see the little fellas getting their due.

    August 17, 2012 at 01:32

    You know who would make a good subject for a Lazy Sunday? Julian Cope. Listening to Reynard the Fox now.

    • Gaw
      August 17, 2012 at 08:12

      Ben, please feel free!

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