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Who started the trend in ‘ironic’ folk covers often of r&b and rap tracks? Was it Nina Gordon, who cooed “a gat that’s pointed at yo ass” in such a life affirming manner on her version of NWAs “Straight Outta Compton” that Ice Cube didn’t have to use his AK for a month straight? Or was it Jo Whiley and her live lounge? An initially harmless novelty that spawned double CD compilations of such horror that trapped in a car with one I began to ponder how much it must’ve hurt Van Gogh when he cut off his own ear. If he’d heard The Kooks doing crazy he may have gone for the set.

Moaning over I’d like to hypocritically plug Alice Jemimas lovely cover of Teddy Riley’s Blackstreet classic “No Diggity. Some might say it’s so perfect it would sound good in anyone’s hands… these people haven’t heard The Klaxons, Cher Lloyd or Ed Sheeran singing it! Ed’s version was described in the promotional material as a ‘fun cover’, that’s fun in the way sticking a fork in your own knee is fun.

But Alice turns in a treat with the same sparse sound and low bass that led me to accuse her of kidnapping The XX’s Oliver Sim for her debut single “By Your Side”. Thankfully aside from slightly ironic covers Alice has, in songs like “By Your Side”, the material and the gorgeous voice to keep any fans that might come her way via an unusual take on a familiar tune.



It’s not that I hate cover versions, just bad and/or lazy ones. For instance I think it’s time someone declared an international “Get Lucky” amnesty. Any band or singer thinking of producing a hilarious version of Daft Punk’s smash could safely hand in the master tapes to be destroyed and no further action would be taken. It’s just an idea (and I reserve the right to get overexcited by a ukulele Get Lucky at a later date)

While I think of it Farao released a cracking cover of the Queens Of The Stone Age’s “Go With The Flow” from Songs For The Deaf.

Here are two more fabulous No Diggity covers, one from a couple of years ago by Chet Faker and another by the cover obsessed Hackney Colliery Band. And finally Bill Withers “Grandmas Hands” from which Teddy Riley sampled the opening “hmm mmm’s” back in 1996.

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