“Shot By Both Sides”

MAGAZINE – “Shot By Both Sides” / “My Mind Ain’t So Open” (Virgin VS 200) January 1978

Magazine “Shot By Both Sides” – having departed from Buzzcocks early in ’77, Howard Devoto stayed in touch with Pete Shelley, and on one occasion was shown some chords by Shelley who played a lead line on top.

Howard was gobsmacked. “OK,” said Pete, “you have it.” Devoto played around with Shelley’s Television-style ascending guitar idea with John McGeoch.

As the title shows, Devoto was entering far graver existential territory as a writer, exploring aspects of performance, paradox and paranoia that went far beyond simple punk philosophies.

For the version on their debut LP, ‘Real Life’, the band had intended just to graft on keyboards from band member Dave Formula, but were forced to re-record it entirely when Virgin lost the multi-track. (Mojo)

This makes single of the week. It’s a relief to find out that there is at least one single out this week worth going mad about. It’s fast, manic and completely controlled.

The bass and drums provide one of the best examples of cohesive playing I’ve heard in weeks. They’re not exactly new wave and they’re not exactly pop. Just bloody good rock ‘n’ roll and the future of rock until at least next Friday. (Record Mirror, 21/01/78)

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