Louchie Lou & Michie One – Shout

Release Date: May 93
Chart Position: 7

For every can of lilt there has to be a Happy Shopper tropical fruit splash. This effort from “Londoners” Michelle “Michie One” Charles and Louise “Louchie Lou” Gold certainly act as the Yang restoring equilibrium to the genre.
I don’t buy this song at all. In fact I don’t really appreciate anything that Michie and Lou ever released in the UK charts (Give or take Good Sweet Loving, that wasn’t bad). In 3 years LAMO released six UK Singles, 3 of these broke in to the UK top ten. I don’t think this has anything to do with artistry, skill or talented song writing, I think that this is largely due to timing and skilled management. Because of the Neggae Bandwagon that pumped money back into the UK Music economy. All 6 were covers for christ’s sake, all they did was laid a weak bit of suburban patois toasting over the top and changed a few bits and bobs here and there.
All six of these songs were covers:

Title year chart # Original Artists
Shout 93 7 Isley Brothers/Lulu
Somebody Else’s Guy 93 54 Jocelyn Brown
Rich Girl 94 dnc Topol
Get Down On It 95 58 Kool and The Gang
Cecilia 96 4 Simon and Garfunkel
Good Sweet Lovin’ 96 34 Roy Brown
No More Alcohol 96 24 Basically Tequilla by the Champs

It’s the artistic equivalent of skip diving. If 5ive or Blue were born ten years earlier, they would all be sporting braids with Abs and Lee Ryan leading from the front with the Lyrical attack mon!
Only a few weeks ago I was praising Shinehead on this very same blog for his take on Englishman in New York. The difference is that a lot more thought goes into what Shinehead produced in writing the lyrics for Jamaican in New York. On Shout, it seems like the thought process is virtually missing:
“Tell you what, get that Lulu song, you do a rap over it and we’ll just throw in that sample that Shaggy used. Worked for him didn’t it?” No ladies, its not that simple.
Still, whether truly patois or just a couple of girls from Walton, it would appear that their 15 minutes of fame has left some sort of legacy. Or perhaps a lesson in skip diving for today’s pop artists?
Score: An unimpressed 4 from me.

When I realised this was this week’s offering I feared the worst, but have been pleasantly surprised. My abiding memory of these two’s contribution to neggae was featuring on the, frankly awful, cover of ‘Cecilia’ by Suggs, so when this kicks in with the theme tune from Spy Hunter it makes you sit up and listen.
Then after taking in the catchy production and middling vocals it suddenly hit me, this is the sort of shit Louis Walsh would try and pull if he had a reggae duo on X Factor. Obvious nod to the 60’s for the older viewers with the Lulu sample, poppy production for the kids and uses the same sample as ‘Oh Carolina’ for the serious neggae, muso heads. When I think about that it makes me feel a little cold, like looking into the emotionless, vacant stare of whoever’s on Babestation as you’ve just finished off, I’m dead inside and neggae shouldn’t be doing that. Not a lot to say about the video as it doesn’t seem to exist anywhere, suspicious. I’m not saying it’s terrible and wouldn’t mind watching it being performed by MK1 (not the glasses bloke) in a mash up with ‘Slam’ by Onyx on Saturday evenings settled down in front of scandal free broadcaster ITV, but as a neggae release when the genre’s hitting top gear, it doesn’t cut it.
Score: 5/10. The neggae equivalent of Lance Armstrong’s blood, manufactured for success.

The ragga version of the Isley Brothers original in 1959 and Lulu’s 1964 version of Shout is a so-so effort at best I’m afraid. This song is instantly recognizable in its original format but I think it loses something here. In this instance this one should have been left alone.
I’m no traditionalist when it comes to music and covers but this one just seems a little bit lazy; all they done is nick Shaggy’s bells and bassline from Oh Carolina.
Maybe this is standard fare when you walk into the studio and need an intro or background. They must give it to an artist to “insert here” if they don’t have any creative spirits, like Microsoft Word for automatic pop music. Go > File (click) > New (click) > Templates and Documents (click). “Here’s your bog standard fax coversheet inna ragga style, cut and paste words and rap in strategic places.” Maybe this is why we haven’t heard from these two in over a decade.
I can’t seem to find a video for this one, maybe I’m not looking hard enough but if there is no video that screams low budget and lazy.
Score: 3.5/10, mainly because of Lulu’s influence and bringing me back to the days of Planets, Bojanglez and Cinderellas late night adventures where this was a must have while berking around on the dfloor spilling hyperlager.

I really wanted to dislike this but am now not ashamed to say that it got to me a little bit and I ended up enjoying it. I vaguely remember it from its original release and not really caring for it at the time, but this time around it was a different story and as mash-ups go it’s pretty good.
When it starts with the Oh Carolina baseline it feels as though it is nothing special, but as it develops and the song meanders between this and Shout it continues to please. The next thing that surprises me is that these two chicks can sing; they belt out the rap, that famous chorus and bridge it with some textbook wailing. No surprises that these pair appear a few times on the Hot 90.
Don’t get me wrong this is not a defining moment in pop music, but it is a moment, and a better one than most have I believe. It is never going to challenge the big-hitters and the neg-fathers but I believe they did their bit for the movement and for that they should be applauded.
Already looking forward to their next instalment.
Score: A pleasantly surprised 6/10

The first thing that pops into my mind when I think of this song is the classic (and I mean classic) Little & Large joke they seemed to tell every 6 weeks in the 80s. I couldn’t find it on Youtube, so I’ve drawn it instead:

Should I talk about this song? Do I have to? OK then.
Can’t go wrong with the Oh Carolina guitar and bell (staple Neggae). The Sub Bass is heavy, I liked that. The stuttering drums build up nicely. All in all it’s very well produced.
The girls can sing a bit, the harmonies are decent enough. the melody at “Nice nice, goody goody!” is very similar to the “Way in my brain, no cocaine” part of Sleng Teng. So that’s all good.
Bad points? I’ve never been fond of Shout. The Isley Brothers version is OK, but Lulu’s is a f*cking abomination. So these two were always fighting an uphill battle to win my approval.
And I’m not too fond of the quality of toasting; I get the feeling this song was the reason Alicia from Misteeq thought it was a good idea to do that garage-ragga rap thing every week on T4 in the early noughties. Not good.



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