I am still
Standing on the chicken wire
Daren’t look down
But try and inch a little higher.

If Things Were Perfect.

J-Five Offerings-If Things Were Perfect (New Master)

Sleeve #108

« If things were perfect », which appears on the 1985 James II and Village Fire EP releases, is probably even odder than the first single. A slow track opening with a dubby bass-line played tight-as – it seems very odd that the current version of James have started playing this again! The drums have a military quality, while Gott’s guitar-playing is much more fluid than Gilbertson’s – as wonderfully jangly as Johnny Marr’s at the time, though the song is much more free-form – decidedly unconventional song structures dominate.

Starring Helen Wheatley on the new release sleeve, the song was originally titled Chicken Wire and a very early version was played at Model Team International’s support gig with The Fall at Manchester Poly in 1980 before Tim Booth had joined the band and appeared on a 1982 demo tape with lyrics rewritten by Gavan and Jennie Ingram.

It formed part of the band’s first John Peel Session in 1983. Although the other track was seen as the lead by Factory, the band were insistent on the double-A side format as they were happier with this track. It returned into the set for a few shows in 2007 after a near twenty year absence.

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