32 Songs - Track 13
Hold On – Crisp
just hold on for one more day
I am, at heart, an Adelaide boy. From the tree lined streets of Parkside to the hot footpaths of Semaphore, the hill at the Oval to the balcony at the Ex. Adelaide has enough memories to keep that stick poking for a long long time.
Late one night in the early 90s I wandered into the Synagogue nightclub off Rundle St to see a band. After making my way past the door I entered just in time to see the act I had arrived to see and as they wandered onto the stage, even though I was prepared, I was quite astounded to see Ben, my oldest friend in the world, get up there with them. It was the first time I had seen a friend of mine in a real working band. And I’ve never forgotten that moment.
This was the early nineties when acid jazz was making waves in the music scene. Bands like Corduroy, The Kyoto Jazz Massive, The Brand New Heavies and DIG were the names to watch and in Adelaide just starting out was a band called Crisp.
Formed by Ben and some of his friends from Uni and around town Crisp was just starting out and were gaining attention with their unique combination of a female vocalist, male rapper and a talented brass section, of which Ben was a defining part.
A couple of days after the gig I caught up with Ben again and I asked him if they had got around to producing a tape yet. He gave me his copy of the demo they had produced only the week before asking me to promise I would get it back to him.
On the demo tape were four songs, Rising and Falling, Hold On, Get it Together and The Word and the Deal. All were good but Hold On and Get it Together were the standouts and to me Hold On is far and away the best thing they ever did. The breathy vocals, the soft horns and the tinge of melancholy combine to make perfection. To this day it remains one of my favourite songs and when I close my eyes I can still see the view of the stage from the balcony just as if it was over 10 years ago, and this is the one I remember even though I saw the band play at least a dozen more times over the following years.
Crisp disbanded after releasing two EPs and recording a full length album that was never released by the label that caused their demise, Creative Vibes.
To my eternal shame and delight I never gave that demo tape back to Ben and due to his hungover state when he gave it to me I don’t think he ever remembered. The tape still sits in a box, a little piece of music and personal history.
As a footnote while Ben gave me the band, the band gave a couple of people to the greater music world. The rapper Sam went on to The Baggsmen and the breathy vocals belonged to Sia Furler who went on to record two successful solo albums and sing for Zero 7 and Jamiroquai.