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Return of a Wrecks maniac; ERIC'S COMEBACK.

Byline: BILLY SLOAN

WHEN Wreckless Eric and musician wife Amy Rigby recorded their new album Two Way Family Favourites they got some puzzled looks in their adopted home in France.

The CD is a collection of cover versions... with a difference.

Who else but UK punk pioneer Eric and New York pop heroine Amy would record songs by such diverse acts as The Who, Jackie DeShannon, Tom Petty, The Bay City Rollers, Abba and Smokie? The pair's off beat take on Living Next Door To Alice - a cheesy 1976 hit by Smokie - is worth the price of the album alone.

The original got to No.5 in the UK charts and reached No.1 in six European countries. In 1995, a parody version by comedian Roy "Chubby" Brown reached No.3 and Eric insists the song is a classic.

He said: "It's a very hopeful lyric where this guy has spent 24 years living next door to Alice - hopelessly in love with her - then she heads off without a backward glance."

"But there's also a girl in the house on the other side who says 'I'm still here.' So I always felt the bloke was gonna be alright.

"It's a song of great hope because it's saying in this world there's somebody for everyone - whether you're a nuclear scientist or a bin man."

Eric and Amy's cover choices were so eclectic locals were baffled. He said: "We hoped to get work as a covers band playing in bars around France. But when people heard our versions they were confused.

"At rehearsals, I didn't want to do my own songs like Whole Wide World. I know that off by heart.

"There are so many other great songs, why not do some of them? "The big thing is doing other people's songs but our way."

Tracks include You Tore Me Down by The Flaming Groovies, The Ballad Of Easy Rider by The Byrds plus an inspired cover of Endless Wire, title track of The Who's 2006 album.

Eric said: "First time I heard Endless Wire I thought, 'I wish I could sing that.' "Pete Townshend's inspiration for the song was watching boats laying huge cables across the Atlantic. They line the sea bed with endless cables presumably so we can all be friends on Facebook."

Eric and Amy play Edinburgh's Citrus Club on September 16 and Glasgow Stereo the following night.

One track - Scotland Then And Now - is a cert to go down well. It's a medley of Bye Bye Baby by The Bay City Rollers and Loch Lomond.

Eric said: "In 2007, we were appearing at the Tartan Heart Festival in Inverness - the first time we'd played in Scotland.

"We decided to do a crowd-pleasing number so I mixed Bye Bye Baby with Loch Lomond as our tribute to Scotland.

"It worked... we didn't get lynched."

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Family values: Eric and wife Amy rehearse album
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 15, 2010
Words:485
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