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Guns of Brixton: Paul Simonon the beating heart of The Clash

April 22, 2010

GUNS OF Brixton could be the very zenith of the kind of ‘wiggerism’ many Clash critics point to in their criticisms of the band, and perhaps rightly so.
Bass player Paul Simonon gets a chance to live his roots reggae dreams of outlawism in a cod Jamaican accent while telling a story of police lifting a bandito in the far off flung climes of Brixton.
Well, it may be flawed, but ‘Guns of Brixton’ has an awe inspiring bass line, some great guitar fills from Jonesy and the vocal is spot on from Simonon.
And the composer is the heart of this debate: there really hasn’t been a cooler wielder of the four string rhythm section axe in history than Simonon (right).
I reviewed him in the overblown and overhyped Albarn-helmed four piece The Good, The Bad and The Queen and even 30 years on the man was the essence of rock and roll cool.
And this song has haunting harmonies, is underrated and wsn’t even spoiled by the fey shit sandwich that is the Nouvelle Vague cover.

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