See Yourself (Clowns) – Ella Mental
Don’t be fooled by the word ‘clowns’ stuck in the brackets of this song’s title. This is not a red nose, honking horn, large shoe, custard pie in the face song. There is something dramatic about this song from the tension building strumming guitar that opens it, through the silkily ominous alto vocals of Heather Mac to the chorus ending staccato, ‘Self!!!’ which echoes into a moments silence before the song resumes again for another go at your senses.
Ella Mental were one of the big bands of the 80s in the country. ‘See Yourself (Clowns)’ topped the 702 charts, made number 9 on Capital 604 and 15 on Radio 5 (what were those 5 jocks thinking letting it flounder so low in the charts while letting Wham! top the charts that week?) and is not only one of Ella Mental’s memorable songs, but also one of the songs of the 80s.
They performed the song live at Operation Hunger’s ‘Concert in The Park’ and this version can be found on the CD release of that event. This version has the band speeding the song up drastically for the last chorus, becoming an almost thrashy punk version of its former self. The audience at Ellis Park that night were also treated to some fine guitar licks from Tim Parr. It’s worth checking this one out as well as the studio version.
Where to find it:
Uncomplicated Dreams – Ella Mental (2002), RetroFresh, freshcd127
Concert In The Park version: