RIFFS

GARY CLARK OF KING L
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The Independent Online
I first heard this song when I was about 13, when the Little Criminals album came out - I think I'd just seen Randy Newman do "Short People" on The Old Grey Whistle Test. I bought it from a record shop in Dundee called Forbes run by a guy called Rab who was always trying to make me buy Keith Jarrett records.

This is a sensitive song on a sensitive

subject. It's a song about child molestation and, possibly, murder. It begins narratively and then half-way through the singer changes position and starts inhabiting the character of the molester / murderer. The key line is, "I'm looking at the river but I'm thinking of the sea". It took me a while to get it. I thought the song was just a creepy murder story, and then I realised what this line was a metaphor for. But that's the thing about Randy Newman. He has a way of getting inside even the most detestable characters and making them seem vulnerable and, ultimately, human.

King L play Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall, Sat; Manchester Academy, Sun; Newcastle City Hall, Mon; Glasgow Barrowlands, Tues

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