"Talking To Clarry" is the first song on Bluetones debut Expecting To Fly. Clocking in at 6:53, it's the longest song of their career, and definitely one of the most ambitious.
It opens with the roar of an aeroplane taking off which serves as:
A) a nod to the album title
B) a reference to their home town Hounslow's place next to Heathrow airport (maybe?)
C) a way of saying "listen up there, something big is about to happen"
And soon enough it does, ponderous bass leading up to a sunburst of resplendently jangled guitar that lights up the song before settling into a calmer pattern. The way that the guitar alternates with the opening sung lines is brilliant, each line dangling over an empty space before being caught at the last moment. This section really fits the song's the theme of breakdown in communication too, sounding like a conversation where each side is completely speaking a different language.
From there we twist through numerous tricksy but well handled time changes, culminating in an beautiful acoustic section where Mark Moriss is bewildered but bouyant as 'so many people crowd out the shadows', slightly spaced out and adding to the hint of psychadelia that they would never really return to after this album. It's quite the thrilling journey, but as they reach for an epic conclusion they bite off just slightly more than they can chew. Adam switches up to wah-wah soloing that couldn't get much more Squiresque, Mark extends to vaguely grand proclamtions ('it's all gone quite absurd', he bellows) and the song is sealed as a kind of miniature "Breaking Into Heaven". Which is for my money the best Stone Roses song ever, regardless of the awful quality of the rest of that album, and "Talking To Clarry" can't help but suffer in comparison, despite some great touches of their own (my favourite: 'yeah, no... yeah, yeah'). Three-quarters of a great song, but a missed opportunity to fully carve out their own identity, and the one time that the Stone Roses' shadow looms a little too large over them.