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WATCH: Thing & Neneh Cherry Cover DOOM
The Quietus , May 4th, 2012 05:16

Watch the video for 'Accordion', an unlikely team-up taking on an unlikely cover

On 18th June, the unlikely pairing of Neneh Cherry and free jazz powerhouses The Thing release their debut collaborative album, The Cherry Thing. As well as featuring original material, it also features versions of tracks by Ornette Coleman, Martina Topley-Bird, Cherry's father Don Cherry, The Stooges and, perhaps most unlikely, smoked-out rapper (MF) Doom. The video for their fantastic take on the latter's 'Accordion' matches the track's bristly, free-flowing intensity with an equally unrelenting visual barrage - you can watch it above.

"Well, I knew there wasn’t any way I was going to go in and rap it," said Cherry, speaking to us for an in-depth interview published this week, "and I think the whole reason to do a cover version is for you to find your own way through the song. I just went in and they started playing it and then I figured I would just say some of the words and then I just “heard” this melody. And it just kind of fell out. And it was done in one take…

"For me there was something absolutely liberating about finding myself in a place with three musicians who knew what they were doing," she said of working with The Thing on material that's ostensibly difficult to cover. "With that you can’t [go wrong]. I mean, they have played together so many times that they are almost syncopated in a telepathic way. So in a way it’s just about listening, feeling and stepping out and showing how you feel without thinking about it too much. So it’s like, “Yeah, I might do a few weird things and I might fuck a few bits up, but it’s just about the force of the expression.” So I sang a bit and then I started to rap a bit more and then went back to the melody and I was just riding it through with them. It made itself. That was the one that was like a stream of consciousness."

To read John Doran's full interview with Neneh Cherry, where she talks about the making of the album, her early days in the post-punk scene and the influence of her father, click here.

Photo by Cat Stevens