Another treasure from Keith Hawkins’ stash. “Rebel Land” is fairly well known as one of the Peel Sessions songs, and had been a candidate for a B Side until the master tape got lost; it was also wheeled out on the Summer 1985 tour to great effect.
But here it is in its original demo format. I’ve always thought that it’s one of a pair with “The King of Rock’n’Roll”, and covers much of the same ground – disillusionment and the loss of youthful passion.
Written by Paddy as part of the reaction to the “Steve McQueen” straitjacket, and Simon Potter was famously hoodwinked on the subject by a Paddy joke during a 1985 interview for “The Beat”.
“There’s no such thing as keeping politics out of music, even if you don’t refer to it. What’s the point in learning a musical instrument if all you’re going to do is rip off Chuck Berry Memphis ’55 riffs. Your music has to be informed by the world outside. You won’t catch Prefab Sprout with titles like ‘Rebel Land’ or ‘King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll’!”