I feel obliged to begin this review by stating clearly that Isobel FitzRoy is my friend. And as such it follows that I would never give her a bad review.
However… if I genuinely thought what she had produced was rubbish, I just wouldn’t review it at all – let’s not forget, I have my own meagre reputation to think about…
Since she first wowed me one break time when at school she took to the piano and started to sing, I have been (and I am very firm on this point) her number ONE fan (asides her family obviously). I think her music is simply ace. And not because she’s my friend and she is also simply ace, but because Izo is an original.
Not for her the tacky love tunes of ‘Ring me, baby’, ‘Your love is sweeter than a bag of marshmallows’, and ‘I hate you, you’re a di*k’. Izo’s songs are about people: a feeder, Jack the Ripper, Michael Coins…
But who or what is ‘Michael Coins’? I’ve no idea. And neither did Izo. She just walked past his shop in Notting Hill one day and invented a song about him.
She’s now made a video too.
Here it is:
As I watch this Lord of the Rings-esque mystical feast for the eyes, I think to myself at LAST – at last a female musician has come up with a vid that has nothing to do with:
a.) freak winds blowing into anyone’s faces
b.) prancing about in non-existent clothing made out of bacon (or some other obscure ‘alternative’ material).
c.) thrusting pelvises which make their owners look like they are trying to lay a punnet of eggs (I think the correct term for this is ‘dancing’)
I ‘ve tried to think of a line to sum up the Michael Coins video and a number of options come to mind:
‘Pixes and elves discovered in West London’
‘Time travel with Funk and Soul’
‘Hot young singer torments old coin collector’
For a video with such options, who wouldn’t want to see it?
I won’t go into detail about ‘pitch’ and ‘sound’ for I’m not an NME contributor and would never pass for one. But I can say this – I think everyone will take something different from IF&TRB’s Michael Coins. In listening to it, you are not force fed feelings or emotions but invited to find your own.
To some, the song is literally about an old man wasting his life. Or about someone deriving pleasure from historical artefacts:
Countries at war over love and for land
His imagination unfurls
To others, it’s an example of how times have changed and where once hobbies like stamp and coin collecting were socially acceptable, they are now so ‘of yesteryear’, they must be enjoyed in secret, in basements, away and unseen.
But for me, Michael Coins is about this:
‘Who needs friends when I have these old companions?
They’ve been here my whole life through, here beside me.’
I know it’s about coins, but I like to think it might also mean:
‘Who needs ‘friends’ when I have old companions (ie true friends)
They’ve been here my whole life through, here beside me…’
And this is because, as one of my old companions, Izo FitzRoy always has.
By Beenie Langley