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Tin Soldier - the Small Faces

Some time around the turn of the century I read an interview with Ian McLagan in which he dreamily mused on a future occasion when the Small Faces classic line-up would all meet again in heaven and reform the band, only to spoil this idyll by saying: "and then we'd sack Stevie Marriot!"

The problem was that that same maddening, contrary, exhibitionist side of Marriott that so annoyed the rest of the band was also the vital component that made the band so successful. It's no surprise Marriott always retained that cheeky cockney persona, having as a thirteen year old spent a over year performing the roll of the Artful Dodger in Lionel Bart's West End production of "Oliver".

As can be seen on this wonderful film of them playing "Tin Soldier", he is an irrepressible showman, the visual heart of the band, even with the beautifully cool PP Arnold (she and Marriott were going out together at the time) on vocals threatening to steal the show. But also, here you can feel the vigour and energy of the whole band. Okay, I'll come clean, even though I love this whole clip, the bit that always picks me up whenever I'm feeling low is that moment exactly 1 minute 25 seconds in, when the spine-twisting riff and the physical joy in the movement of Marriott, Laine and Arnold epitomises the greatness of rock music in seven blissful heartbeats.

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