The scene, out of the 1998 version of “Great Expectations”, is a film buff gem. The old, bitter Ms Dinsmoor – played admirably by Ann Bancroft – teases the boy into confiding his infatuation. The girl is out of his reach in many ways and Ms Dinsmoor taunts him – “Isn’t she beautiful?” And he gives in. Coyly, the young Finnegan confides, and the woman mercilessly pierces his heart with her experience: “She’ll only break your heart, it’s a fact”. And without containing herself: “But even if I tell you, even if I guarantee you that the girl will hurt you terribly, you will still pursue her”.
Well, ain’t life a bitch.
The inevitability of despair. We know how to avoid heartbreak, but we choose not to. It is engrained in our fate and even if we are forewarned, we will always pursue love. Even if it leads to loss and disenchantment, over, and over, and over again.
The warning serves as a unifying theme for The Hours Strange first EP, called, just as cynically as Ms Dinsmoor intended, “Ain’t Love Grand”. This short vignette captures the essence of their early songs through a few excerpts of their music, some thoughts of the band on their own coming of age, and a few glimpses of their work in the studio.