Boomkat Product Review:
First ever vinyl reissue of Vivian Goldman’s total post-punk evergreen, produced by Adrian Sherwood and PiL’s John Lydon and Keith Levene, and still addictive and brilliant 40 years later
Beloved for its ohrwurming combo of Goldman’s lilting voice with a strolling bassline supplied by Aswad’s George “Levi” Oban, ‘Launderette’ is pretty much the definition of a post-punk anthem in our books. Whether you came across it on original 7” release in 1981, via the influential ‘Anti NY’ comp in 2001, or your mate playing their favourite songs anytime in between, it’s quite simply an unforgettable tune, and once again brandishes a killer B-side that may have previously slipped your attention.
Last heard on ‘Resolutionary’, a 2016 retrospective of Vivian Goldman’s cult solo work and songs with The Flying Lizards and Chantage, ‘Launderette’ was recorded during downtime at the Public Image Limited’s studio, and sees her louchly riff on unrequited attention or the unravelling of a relationship over George “Levi” Oban’s spooling bass in a way that snakes into your memory banks and simply doesn’t leave. However even those familiar with ‘Launderette’ may not know it’s darker, pointed B-side ‘Private Armies’, here in its longer version where she sets withering lyrics about the dibble and racist skinheads to a scowling bassline, phasing violin and jumpy steppers drums in a way that’s aggressive but not macho, just seething, understandably leading it to become a favourite of ‘Rock Against Racism’.