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The Indian Givers – Fake I.D.

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One of the great forgotten pleasures is the ritual of going into a record shop on a Monday morning and flicking through the new releases. The late eighties were an especially great time for this activity, because in its first week a single – especially one by a new act – was often a bargain 99 pence, and for this you could get a CD single loaded with remixes and extra tracks, or a lovely twelve inch. This meant that the suggestible pop fan could easily discover new music and buy things entirely on the spur of the moment. I distinctly remember purchasing Fake I.D. by The Indian Givers because I liked the font on the sleeve and also rather fancied one of the blokes – and what a great decision it turned out to be, because it’s a brilliant song. Of course this method of music buying doesn’t always work out so well, which explains why I own the second Kaoma single, Dancando Lambada.

It’s somewhat ironic that a year after fellow Scots Fairground Attraction hit it big, here was a song that actually sounded like a fairground attraction – specifically those giant teacups you get, the ride you pick because it seems least likely to kill you. Fake I.D. whirls and spins and rises and falls and is so sweet you might just feel a little sick after too many listens. But in the right quantities it is just lovely – I particularly like the bridge and the ascending “oooooh-ooooh” female vocal, which is worthy of Deacon Blue‘s Lorraine McIntosh.

I seem to remember The Indian Givers being from Edinburgh, and they were on Virgin Records, and got sent out on tour with label-mates Frazier Chorus and Danny Wilson – but beyond that there’s very little trace of them to be found. I eventually bought their sole album Love is a Lie, and it’s filled with lovely, if faintly anaemic synth-pop – but it’s not on Spotify and it’s not on iTunes, so these days it exists only as YouTube clips and possibly in an awful lot of charity shops in Edinburgh. I really do find it quite sad that a song as good as Fake I.D. is all but lost. Sigh.

Entered chart: did not chart

Who could sing this today and have a hit? Hmmm, X Factor USA winners Alex and Sierra could do this very nicely.

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