Pok: The Sidewalk Song

The Sidewalk Song is a brand new studio release that has been added to Pok‘s Anthology album. The song is over 40 years old, and one of the most historic songs in the Wud Records pantheon of amazing music. It remains largely true to the original. Several of its classic recorded versions from deep within the Wud Records cassette vault were used for reference.

The Sidewalk Song is a fun, tongue-in-cheek, bombastic rock song that describes youthful exuberance, confidence and bravado in a world that is opening up and full of exciting possibilities. The song has a typically fun hard rock atmosphere with fantastic performances throughout.

It was first created by Pok and Mark Drower, and was subsequently performed by Now and Wud, with Ken adding his own special flare to proceedings. You can enjoy the Wud version from a live session in the glorious summer of 1985 by clicking here.

This is in essence a very simple song, with just four chords – E7, A7, G and D. Wonderfully straightforward for tyro musicians to jam along to. There is a shout of “G!!!”, as became traditional, to warn everyone that the first G of the song was approaching.

Typical of many of Pok’s songs, it has a long intro that builds slowly. It begins from a base of just guitars, with the riffing guitar playing a fretted note on just the one-beat, and harmonics on all of the other beats. The rest of the band gradually join in to create a glorious raucous crescendo for the choruses: “The sun don’t shine for you, it shines for me!”

The breakdown was improvised and never quite the same twice. Pok used a classic recording of Now with Mark Drower on vocals as his main template, and we added a bit of percussion to keep things fun. During the breakdown, Pok plays guitar left and right whilst the main riff is handled by Fedax playing the cleaner centre riff to anchor the section down.

For the rest of the song, Pok plays Betty the Bastard (an instrument of destruction built originally by Tokai based on the Gibson SG) panned into the right channel, and also plays all the lead breaks on the same guitar.

Fedax is panned left and plays Nicodemus, paying careful attention to the various combinations and permutations of E7 and A7 voicing that were stipulated long ago by the fledgling Masters of Drone way back in the early 1980s. Precise details can be found at the page for The Sidewalk Song at the Explicit Music website, as well as on the song’s Bandcamp page.

If you would like to download or listen to The Sidewalk Song at Bandcamp, please click here.

To listen to The Sidewalk Song at SoundCloud, click here instead.

If you would like to own or listen to the entire Anthology album as it stands right now, please click here.

Pok on guitar in 1984.

Pok on guitar in 1984.