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kitten's record reviews

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you can contact Kitten Painting at
kp@kittenpainting.co.uk

All change please! Kitten Painting has gone bloggy and now resides at kittenpainting.blogspot.com

 

Smitten Kitten:
 
Spittin' Kitten:

6/07: I want to live in Dungen’s Stadsvandringar video, spacing about having blissed out Swedish hippy sunshine fun.

10/06: The wonderous Fog Band may have drifted to a standstill, but don’t fret, Bobby Grindrod has a new band. Ladies and gentlemen, I suggest you marvel at the swellegant splendour of Friends Of The Bride www.myspace.com/friendsofthebride Not least because they have a song called ‘Buckle Up Sunshine’ which kicks off with the words, “Well I was sitting in the snug having a three hour lunch". Plus, their single 'Want In' will have you smoothing your hair and straightening your tie as you spin out onto the dance floor to its perfectly balanced cocktail of finger snapping ratpack croon and irresistable fuzz garage stomp.

9/06: An elegantly simple summation of the wonder of the drone from Andy Partridge in the current issue of Plan B, "I love repetition, but manually played repetition, not sequenced repetition. It's the joy of a human doing a repeat action, because each one is slightly different." Nice repetition of the word 'repetition' there, too.

8/06: I have developed an unhealthy obsession with Dungen's Ta Det Lugnt and cannot stop playing it. I look forward to the journey to work so I can plug into its crazy sumptuous whirl as I rattle along underneath London, east to west. When I open my eyes I'm deep in a dappled forest, giddy on crunching, other-worldly Scando psychedelia. Where will it all end? There's a splendid live review of the 'gen on Pitchfork, dig this well-evocative paragraph, a sweet piece of writing (apart from the bit that makes it sound like the tambourine is wearing clothes);
'The stage looked wonderful, at once inviting and commanding: Three long, crimped, and shaggy coiffures shook like dandelions in a breeze. Gustav Ejstes tangoed with his tambourine, clasped in dangerously tight clothes: A jumble of acute angles revolving nervously under thin fabric. Glass tubes glowed a comforting orange, like nightlights, in the exposed innards of a huge analog synthesizer with two maracas poised upon it like exotic fruit. Dungen opened the show with the crowd-pleasers "Gjort Bort Sig" and "Panda", playing them close to the hip-- no indication of the protracted incandescence that was to come.' Num.

4/06: Oh the sumptuous sulkiness, oh the magnifique hair! It's Thurs 30th April 1987 and The Jesus & Mary Chain are 'performing'
'April Skies' on TOTP and I do a drawing to celebrate:
The Jesus & Mary Chain being sick onstage
"Hurrah the JAMC! Jim had the shirt on agaiinn! and it's a little the worse for wear now 'cos the elbow's all ripped out. He was manic & mean 'n' moody, throwing the mic stand about. John Moore was being insolent chewing gum & William was the usual William & Doug too. Fabby fabby fabby!" - contemporaneous account, 1987.

2/06: Vinyl Waxings; Atishoowerlerlerlee; Stephen ‘Tea Towel’ Duffy; Swingorilliant; Uncle Disgusting; Reg ‘Reg’ Snipton; Likin’thewayyoulook’n’lookin’thewayyoulike; Pervgusting Spewbreeks; Serrniipppp! – Just some of the phrases that Smash Hits! contributed to the Kitten P lexicon of ‘emotive language’ And now it’s gone! Gone!! Gone!!! Smash Hits! was my first pop magazine and it was ruddy hilarious, matey. Barry! The Black Type! ‘Ken’ out of Bros! Plus! it introduced me to The Jesus and Mary Chain. Yer Melody Maker and NME would never have printed the lyrics to ‘Never Understand’ so you could battle it out against the feedback with your reedy teenage voice. I read an SH interview with these surly, spotty Scots and was transfixed. They said they wanted to appeal to girls, so I thought I’d better oblige. And! It was the first place I read about The Smiths, in (mumbles) 1983...
Everyone’s probably got their own fond memories of Britain’s brightest, depending on when they were young and impressionable. For me ver Hits was in its prime circa 1983-1985. And obviously it went shit in the nineties and I never read it again. Sadly my SH collection got binned in the great ‘time to put away childish things’ clearout of the late ‘80s, but a few choice snippets remain preserved, not least the infamous ‘Uncle Disgusting’ football photo-“story” which I share with you now…voici.

2/06: As usual it's up to the ladies to make something truly special out of that sticky old pop music stuff. Shimura Curves (mmm, maths geekery) wear lovely carefully chosen dresses, they live on pink wine and best of all create silkily strokeable tunes full of luxuriant harmonies and flickering gorgeousness. Like the fab 'Neufriend'. See their myspace and marvel.

2/06: Hurrah for Bob Stanley/Saint Etienne and their tireless search for top pop filmage. this time in the form of a PopFiction season at the Barbican. We trundle along to marvel at 'Three Minute Heroes' from 1981, full of the kids hanging out with their 'youth tribes': two-tone boy, blusher overloaded futurist girl, moped mods, NF bootboy, er rockabilly couples. Then they all go and watch wiry new-wave funkers Fashion play. Plus there's a baffling 'space zombies' dance routine performed by Atmozphier Danze to Fun Boy 3's 'The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum'. Then! there's a showing of rare riot grrl inspiring film 'Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains'. Bob tells us this is the only existing print of it. No wonder there are all these band kids here to watch. We see The Cut Outs, Manic Cough/Schla La Las (Delia counts for both), Black Time, Shimura Curves. Ooh everyone's there. The film's great too. Altogether now, 'Be A Proofessional'. Hurrah.

12/05: La la la, here I am, trundling amongst the 'Modernist' (yowser!), 'Siouxsie' (yer wot?)and '60s Warhol' (give me strength) collections in Top Shop, when a familiar tune strikes up. Oh my God. They're playing The Pipettes' 'Dirty Mind'. In Top Shop! It sounds perfect. Quick, where are the tiny polka-dot dresses?

11/05: Ooh! Fab Swedish Circulus documentary here (fast forward through the blethering Swedish men at the beginning, unless you like blethering Swedish men). Gasp! as they picnic, supping wine from ornate goblets; swoon! at the whirling-skirted 'dancers' as Circulus DJ and sort of drum and that at In The Pines; tremble!! as Michael pretends to be a pixie in front of a wibbly mirror. Yes.

10/05: How I love The Eighteenth Day of May, especially when they play a tag-team set at In The Pines (only 3 people allowed on the 'stage' at once) with loads and loads of songs, including a drone-tastic cover of 'Walking With Jesus' dedicated to the forthcoming Kitten nuptials. I said nuptials.

7/05: Gruff Rhys plays a solo show as part of The Barbican's (fab) Folk Archive exhibition. What a beardy old sweetie he is with his highly amusing banter ("This song translates as 'Where Are The Pirates?' the answer is they're all out at sea stealing stuff"), clockwork caged bird, pigeon call whistle, playing cheesy incidental music during a battery-changing interval, encouraging the audience to make 'rural' sounds as part of a backing track, kitchen matches as maracas, random smoking of a slim cigar, the line 'I vomited continuously throughout your saxophone solo' and putting on a single walking boot for percussive stamping. And it's all free. Cor!

7/05: Alaistair Fitchett has spot-on thoughts on ye olde C86 phenomenon. The Sea Urchins and The Razorcuts were always the thing in the Painting household in those days. Oh and Emily. And The Groove Farm. And...

6/05: Sweetness! The girlfriend of BJM's Frankie Teardrop emails Underexposed to say thanks for the photos and are there any more she can see 'cos she's missing Frankie (who's over here blissing us out with the likes of 'Hide and Seek' and 'Swallowtail').

6/05: Isn't it nice when a band reviews its audience? After being dazzled by the hopskipjump all out wonderfulness of The Grates at Notting Hill Arts Club, their singer comes and tells me 'You were really cute to watch' because I've been grinning like a loon, they're so damned loopily bishbash fab.

5/05: Aah, the 'don't fall in love 'cos we hate you still' style, hormonal rush missive (sadly an email, not stickily constructed from cut up newspaper headlines), the 'Blade-Runner' stripe spray-painted across the eyes, the arrogantly snotty music. Five minutes after perusing The Acute's web site and I'm jovially humming MSP's 'Yes' as I make the tea.

4/05: It's not big or clever, but sometimes it's a bit of a laugh to have a dig at sorry old NME. Like poking a dead dog with a stick or something. So hurrah for Tom Artrocker who's recent editorial flaying of the 'Pop Heat for kiddie-winkies' was a joy to behold. A few gems:' ...it's Thursday and the newsagent had 10 copies; "How many do you get?" I asked, "Ten" came the mournful reply, "Not very popular then?" "Well there are a couple of 10 year olds who always ask for it but the rest usually get sent back to the distributor. It's strange because I can remember people, people like you, turning up at the shop first thing on a Wednesday morning to get their copy. And if we were sold out they'd get really upset. What happened?"'

'...there is NO music journalism of any worth
anywhere within it's gaudy, messy, appallingly designed format...and those remaining NME journo's who actually do give a shit can only be
hanging on to their jobs by keeping their gobs shut.'

'NME has become the definition of un-cool, nobody over 16 would ever admit to
reading it, their friends would laugh at them.'

1/05: More hilarity at the expense of the Spacemen book: “Genesis [P.Orridge] …invited them back to his PTV squat in Hackney. According to Sonic the band politely declined…the interior of the house was rumoured to be filled with occult members straddling sex furniture.” With who doing what????!!
On comparing Spacemen 3 with JAMC, “…the two bands roots only seemed to converge at the totems of The Velvet Underground, The Stooges and The Beach Boys. [Fair enough] The Mary Chain divagated into the strange netherworlds of Eisturzende Neubaten [Yes, fine] and The Wedding Present.” What??!! Apart from the fact that JAMC were on the scene way before Gedge’s gang, The Wedding Present inhabiting a ‘strange netherworld’ really doesn’t fit does it?
Old Erik gets a bit worked up over Kate Radley, “It was difficult not to notice her when she floated into a room or a club, every inch of her body had the chiselled grace of a femme fatale.”
Sonic drops by to watch the newly formed Spiritualized, and sticks out like a sore thumb, “The guitarist’s lithe 74” frame only reaffirmed his enormous presence…” Pfffffsssss!! (uncontrollable sniggering).

1/05: 'Spacemen 3 and The Birth of Spiritualized' a sometimes unintentionally hilarious tome by Erik Morse who I'm guessing isn't British as stuff you'd take for granted if you were is described with the tone of a visitor from another world (appropriate I suppose) who hasn't quite got their facts straight. Like...
"I'm crashed on Sonic's sofa drinking a weird concoction of beer & lemonade." Er...that'll be shandy then, as every small child who's been given their first 'proper' drink in a pub can tell you.
"He'd been popping pro-plus pills - Speed that was disguised as a male potency tonic." Hmm, I haven't studied the packaging lately, but I'm pretty sure that's not the strapline Roche Products had in mind for their 'temporary tiredness relief' pills. Nice use of capitals too, like 'Speed' is a brand name, but 'Pro-Plus' isn't.
"A gnarly gang of smoothies converged stage-side and started ripping up the joint." and another reference to "lagered smoothies" I don't think he's talking about tasty fruit drinks, I think it means like townies or casuals or 'pissed up chavs'.

"Sonic and Jason's working relationship had worsened into the Fall" Blimey, Mark E. Smith can't have liked that.

12/04: Habits acquired in 2004 that should be kept up in 2005: Absolut Vanilla with Blackcurrant & Cranberry juice -mmm sickly! luxembourg - fizzing electro pop foppery - mmm stylish!

12/04: Blimey it's 10 years since The Holy Bible (record not book) was released. Time flies when you're gazing into a bottomless abyss of despair. The good thing is we get to go to The Manic's gig and hear them cranking out 'Die in The Summertime', 'Yes' and a proper non-old-man-knees-up version of 'Faster' just like in olden times. And yes that is Simon Price in the crowd, punching the air and screaming out all the words. Some things never change.

11/04: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds plus gospel choir playing ‘Get Ready For Love’ at Brixton Academy…Aieeee! Shivers down the spine, tears in eyes, lump in throat, weak at the knees - isn’t it the best when you’re utterly, physically shaken by a song?

10/04: Finally! The Texas chainsaw massed choir are back! back!! and I've got tickets. Trail of Dead yeahhh. What took you so long?

10/04: To the London Film Festival to see the damn entertaining Dig! Seven years of The Brian Jonestown Massacre vs The Dandy Warhols. Choice moments include Anton Newcombe teetering on rollerskates handing out copies of 'Not If You Were The Last Dandy On Earth' outside the Dandy's showcase gig. All of BJM beating the crap out of each other live! onstage! at their own industry shindig. Anton's incredibly scary smack sideburns. Every moment featuring BJM's Joel Gion,'the biggest untapped comic talent on the West Coast' for sure. The moment when it's decided that Joel should go and sign with the record company - pure incredulity caught on tape.
So Anton says the film is 'boldfaced lies & misrepresentation of facts', film-maker Ondi Timoner says she had to re-edit after test audiences suggested she should portray Anton as a more sympathetic protagonist. Either way, it's bound to get more people wanting to hear the BJM. Decide for yourself when the film is released here in March 05.

10/04: Woo! They're here to rock the microphone. The Go! Team's 'Thunder, Lightning, Strike'. The answer's yes - now what's the question? Album of the year?

10/04: Boycott the NME: www.boycottthenme.com
What, you mean people still buy it?

8/04: Er...has anyone else noticed that Channel 4's glossy yet meaningless 'drama' 'NY-LON' uses 'Oh Katrina' by Tender Trap for its theme tune? Bit weird, innit?

7/04: Hurrah for Art! To the Tate Britain for a delightful soiree involving swanning about in the courtyard eating olives and swilling 3 beers for £6 and fabulous entertainment for 0 pence. Paper daises bestrew the amps as The Fog Band blast out mod fop pop and smart blazer action. The Action Men! Indie boys do swinging vicar and doctor (complete with stethoscopes, oh yes) dance routines with high-kicking gusto. The wonderous Schla La Las wear specially created powder blue confections accessorised with big rosettes and jaunty headgear. Lookin' like deranged '60s air hostesses, soundin' like a poptastic girls in the garage explosion in a sherbert factory. This is exactly how a proper band should be.

6/04: If I can't dance I don't want your revolution...If there's one thing that's almost as life-affirming as pogoing to feminist anthems (see Le Tigre) it's got to be throwing down some moves to Marxist modernist soul punk. The (International) Noise Conspiracy can walk it like they talk it - righteously charged indeedy. Miserably shuffling bands, you should be forced to take dance lessons from Dennis Lyxen. We demand more handsprings and jumping from the Mean Fiddler balcony. Or at least learn how to casually throw your mic up high and catch it behind your back.

6/04: Intrigued by their name, I investigate Earth The Californian Love Dream's site (it's what they're called, okay). They look kind of retro rock with their aviator shades and those old man scarves like what The Faces used to wear. Blokes trying to look cool in those scarves always make me laugh. So I'm chuckling away, poking about in their MP3s when I find a song that goes, 'Pink pink skin/Big bag of intestines you know that I love you so.' Hur Hur! Oh the poetry.

5/04: Hurrah for Sluts Of Trust who, despite the unforgiving daytime-in-a-record-shop atmosphere and John McFarlane's tortured tonsils play a ripsnorting set of 'buy-our-album' convincingness under the knowing/bewildered gaze of those of us who've sidled into the basement at Fopp. And they've got free badges. And stickers.

4/04: Seafood are Back! They are more Pop! But they still play 'Porchlight'! And Ed Harcourt joins them and starts playing the 'Cheers' theme tune on a grand piano and soon everyone in the room has joined in with a big old Cheers singalong. This is true. Come on now, 'Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got....'

4/04: Weird War launch themselves upon The Metro. Michelle Mae is wearing a long embroidered robe and scowling at the lights. Alex Minoff is a boliersuited funked up guitar god. Ian Svenonius is the only man alive able to make dancing with ape-like abandon look suave. And he's turned Bob Underexposed into a human climbing frame whilst staring insanely into my eyes. Must...not...blink.

4/04: We've come to a heavy metalle gig by mistake! (as opposed to when we go on purpose) Last time we saw Young Heart Attack, there was only us and the Sounds XP johnnies there. Now there are proper old-skool unreconstructed headbangers. Wow! It's like 1983 or something. Viking Skull are the support band and they look like greboes! Cor, remember greboes, eh? Remember when the thick boys in denim jackets with the sleeves hacked off left school before exams, but then came back and sat outside all day in a beaten up car?

4/04: Ooer - Scary bouncer woman at The Garage has been on a customer care course, 'Evenin'. Can I have a little look in yer bag love?' she asks, all smiles. 'Photo pass? Course babe, let me get that for you.' It's damn creepy. How long can she keep it up? What'll happen when she can contain her natural belligerence no longer? It's gonna be nasty, kids.

4/04: Hurrah for another splendid Easter weekend courtesy of Track & Field. First, Comet Gain at The Betsey Trotwood where every single fringe-kid in Sweden turns up for support band Radio Dept. It's packed! Ridiculous queues! We can't get in! We don't care! We sit in the pub with all the usual T&F suspects and invent a word to describe the indie socialites all around us, 'Kickerati'. The next day we eschew the scoffing of chocolate eggs for the wonders of Pow! to The People, T&F's annual Easter alldayer. We laughed, we cried (well, felt all poignant about The Loves), we hand-jived. Big smeary, chocolatey kisses go to The Radio Dept. for their swoony Field Micey beat-pop, The Cribs for being a snotty, fizzy rude awakening and of course The Loves playing their final gig in their current incarnation, Simon all in white, handing out hymnsheets (ooh, the symbolism) for the final song. All together now, 'Love is something you want. Love is something you bleed. Love is something you would give your life for. Love is something you need.' Oh the painful irony of it all.

4/04: Sign on the wall at Super Furries' Hammersmith Apollo gig 'There will be a loud sound effect at the end of tonight's show. If you have any concerns please contact the management.' I wonder if anyone had any concerns. The sound effect was the hairy yetis that come on at the end getting shot. Of course it was.

3/04: First Kevin Shields interview for five thousand years. The spiralling recording costs! (blah blah AGAIN, tell me something new, why doncher?), The madness!! The multiple chichillas!!!

2/04: Greg Dulli is back! back!! etc (taken from the big book of Smash Hits phraseology circa 1983) in the form of The Twilight Singers. Oh giant man of suave rockingness, you sound so ace that I stand at the front and nearly cry. How embarrassing.

2/04: Rahh! Spiritualized play (another) gig of mindblowing wonder. There's no photographer pit or barrier (the perfect opportunity to stagedive to 'Broken Heart', no?) so I get right close and marvel at the splendour of Jason's foot tapping - it gets more frenzied as the gig progresses, whoo hoo. Also, being this close, having one's retinas fried by the strobes, and one's ears boggled by 'Cop Shoot Cop' & 'Things'll Never Be The Same' etc, you can't hear the asinine conversations of all the gits who come to gigs for a big long chat. Pure Piercey bliss.

1/04: Feeling unnecessarily excited when 'Just Like Honey' comes on for the denoument of 'Lost in Translation'. Aah dreamy...1985. My friend K (see Pop Art section) tells me she also got overexcited ("It's The Jesus & Mary Chain! Aiee!!") at this point. Old indiekids - what can you do?

1/04: Sitting in the cinema for ages like a div as the final credits of Lost in Translation roll so I can hear all of the fab Kevin Shields song 'City Girl'. Aaah dreamy...1990

1/04: Jeff Baron of The Essex Green / The Ladybug Transistor / The Finishing School etc etc, a true ambassador in the world of woozy pyche-folk pop, taps me on the shoulder and thanks me for 'coming to all their shows'. I thank him for playing and the politeness-ometer explodes.

12/03: Fun on the bus with yer minidisc player #2: Trundling into town for a spot of Christmas shopping, 'Capitalism Stole My Virginity' blasts out at the exact moment we hit the West End crush. Wry smiles all round, cheers.

11/03: Fun on the bus with yer minidisc player #1: An inadvertent instantaneous bootleg is created in my very ears as I sit in Bethnal Green traffic listening to 'Sting' by The Reindeer Section. Bengali boys blasting out the Bhangra from their open-top boom-box on wheels mixes in perfectly. Spiralling female vocals twisting round belligerent Scottish space-jangle.

10/03: Ooh, a Saturday lunchtime love-in at the Arts Cafe courtesy of Track & Field. With pizza! (finest in the East End and probably beyond) Vodka! The Loves covers set involving excellent hair and shirts (not hair-shirts) & finely hewn tunes of yesteryear! Scanadanavian West Coastin' pop from Loch Ness Mouse & The Jessica Fletchers! With starjumps! And leaping offstage! All before 5pm.

9/03: Cor! Spiritualized getting all rough 'n' ready live, spitting out viscious thundering versions of 'the poncey stuff (tm)' Jason doing snarly growling vocals on 'This Little Life Of Mine', foot on monitor, punching the air, leaping into the crowd, (in a sitting-on-a-stool-with-his-eyes-tight-shut sort of way). Plus a stupefyingly ace version of ye olde 'Things'll Never Be The Same' AND 'Run', which makes me come over all 1991ish.

9/03: Mmm a new Spiritualized LP, the genius of Jase continues unabated. Nifty 'collect the vinyl over three weeks' thrill-building marketing too. I couldn't resist lovingly gathering each record and tucking it up in the special box. (Or sending a friend out to the record shop for the third one, cheers Jim).

9/03: Get yer knickers in a twist for The Hissyfits, scramalama rockin in an unladylike manner in a garage near you and SOON. For dates 'n' places see http://www.hissyfits.com/news.htm

5/03: All hail the man with the (walking) stick, last seen wigging out at The Donnas, glued to the stage throughout all three bands at The Kills ULU gig, nodding head and waggling stick wildly to everything, regardless. Showing the kids a thing or two about rock devotion. Or possibly senility.

5/03: A fond farewell to Track & Field club nights at the last one ever,ever. Upstairs in The Betsey the windows rapidly steam up, the walls sweat & Kitten's whiskers frizz with the humidity rising from people desperate to dance to the last. Herman Dune cut a rug to Beat Happening, there are commemorative free badges & mix cds, 3 of the best songs for dancing ever (MC5's Shakin' Street, Spearmint's 'Sweeping The Nation', Dexy's 'There There My Dear') and Shaky (Colin Vermont) thrills us with his moves.Top marks to the T&F kids for finishing it now 'cos it feels like it should end here.

5/03: Argh! It's 1987, I'm a-swingin' my fringe to the super sounds of Taluluah Gosh and The Razorcuts when I come over all funny and have a vision of the future. In it Gregory Razorcut has abandoned his fey warblings for an 'Oi Geezer!' cockney rasp and Amelia Gosh is still jumping up and down like a 10 yr old on a fizzbomb high, but she's noticeably pregnant. Man, this is twisted. Oh hang on it's 2003 and I'm watching Sportique and it's all true.

5/03: Whee! The Apples In Stereo make good after the dire-sound debacle of their last visit to London Town by playing a jumping for joy blinder at the Spitz (a venue not known for its crystal clear soundsystem). They fizz and POP! in all the right places. I gargle cider with glee.

4/03: Yikes! Gruff Rhys having a big hair day at Down The Dustpipe. Rocking serious Crystaltips flowing locks. Later on in the bar he's hidden his rogue hirsuteness under a woolly hat so as not to alarm Euros Childs who we spy him having a Welsh summit with in between having to pose for toe-curling fansnaps taken by kidz with those camers-phone things (technical, cheers).

4/03: The Warlocks fill The Garage with their luxurious lysergic rumblings along with dozens of hideous yammering industry trolls. Ignore the biz-gits and delight in delicious, narco-rock played by a shadowy gang of wraiths silhouetted against heavy smoke and radiating beams of blue, red and green. The big-hair blokes from BRMC slither about the crowd. As I stand on a bench, the William Reid BRMC-bloke stands right below my vantage point affording me an excellent view of his bird's nest hair. I really wish I had a handful of Cadbury's Mini Eggs to put in the hair-nest, thus creating a rock 'n' roll Easter tableau.

4/03: Yeah! The Riff Randells are coming to play in July. Go and see them, you know you want to. Only don't all go to the London gig, 'cos I want to get in. And don't bother going if you're one of those band-wagon-jumping, Levis MC5 t-shirt wearing, me-so-cool media spoonfed dim-bulbs, 'cos we don't need your sort clogging the place up, talking loudly about sod all. And you smell.

3/03: Woo! Billy Childish persuades the mighty Fire Dept out of retirement to play The Dirty Water Club. It's been six years since they last played you know. On this very stage. To me. And my friend. And possibly Billy Childish.

3/03: Despite feeling fed-up-to-the-back-teeth with the NME-led hyperama of The Yeah Yeah Yeah's, I thoroughly enjoy their Astoria gig. Fantastic to see them with this big crowd eating out of their sweaty art-skronking palms, if a little disconcerting when the last time I saw them was within the black-hole confines of The Metro. Karen O is a total kool-girl star, ruffling Kevin Cumming's hair in the photographer's pit as Everett True gazes on adoringly, spraying mouthfuls of champagne across the audience,'Take a swallow as I spit' indeedy. And her 'specially designed' clothes are fantastically disgusting. You can buy that designed-on-the-kitchen-table-chic stuff in the poncey shops down Brick Lane you know. Although I wouldn't if I were you.

1/03: Jon Spencer's World of Baking revealed in Time Out: 'I'm best at baking cakes and cookies. I'm very fond of pie, but pies are difficult, because you need to make a good crust and I don't like to roll anything- it's just too hard to do. I do make cobblers (make or talk, Jon?) which are much easier - and a very good, sour chocolate cake with lemon frosting.' Blimey. My Pussy Galore records will never sound the same again.

1/07 Boo to the dimwits who run The Fly on New Oxford Street (and by the way, in what way is naming your venue after a creature that spends its life eating crap a good idea?). Their clever piece of double-booking meant that folks arriving eager to behold Friends of the Bride get told there’s a private party until 9.30pm and they can’t come in until then i.e. the time when Friends of the Bride are on stage. Even the band have problems getting past the bouncer. It means we are FORCED to hang out in Virgin and mess about on the keyboards in their basement instrument emporium for hours on end. Then when we’re FINALLY allowed into the poxy Fly cellar at 9.30pm, we’ve missed half FOTB’s set. What we see is great though. Bobby Grindrod: 10, The Fly: 0.

7/06 Okay now Artrocker has anoyed me. I turn a blind eye to the well dodgy writing, sub-editing and design (admittedly the first two do seem to be improving), but not casual sexism, it won't wash. An article on the splendour of The Jesus and Mary Chain is, of course, a marvy thing. Hurrah for celebrating the albums of my youth and yes, if you must put it so dryly, then Psychocandy is a "good Artrock landmark essential". But what's this? "'Stoned and Dethroned' - maybe get it for your girlfriend" whines the little Artrocker person. What 'cos the poor little lady might hurt her precious little girlie ears if she dares to listen to anything other than The JAMC's acousto space country record? Are girls not discerning enough to appreciate the bubblegum pop beauty glinting away underneath the evil layers of feedback? White noise is only for boyz? After all these years, you still don't get it do you? Pah.

6/05 Artrocker spot on again, this time discussing gig annoyances, "Bloke and girlfriend squeeze past you in a 'we're on our way to the front' manner so you step back to let them through and instead of making their way further into the morass they decide
that actually this seems like a very nice place to stand. And they're right, that's why I was standing there myself. It's like going to the pictures and having a bunch of latecomers sit on your lap because you've got a good seat."
Absolutement Artrocker, what is with these feeble-minded sociopaths? If you're going to venture out amongst fellow humans, you need to develop some rudimentary awareness of other peoples' existence. This also includes not pushing in front of someone and then proceeding to have a loud conversation during every single song, then clapping at the end as if you've been listening to the music. Gah!

1/05 Bands of yesteryear that nobody ever really noticed. Bands I apparently saw (according to my handy list of every gig I've been to ever) that I don’t remember at all. Mind is a blank. Hands up who remembers…
1988: Catapult, Shine
1989: Blab Happy, Thee Amazing Colossal Men
1990: The Psylons, The Last Peach, Dark Colours, Strobe
1991: Pond, Dreamgrinder, Sensetize, Shake, The Sweetest Ache, Chunk
1994: Melt, Done Lying Down, Blubber, Goya Dress, The Nubiles, Oasis
1995: Monorail, Seefeel, Ilium, Nillon Bombers, Scheer, Pure Morning, Perfume
1996: Whisk, Crawl, Sussed, Skipper, Gigantic, Baby Chaos, Baby Silvertooth
1997: West Pier, Chest, Superstupid, Slushfund, Broccoli, Deluxor, Flyscreen
1998: Agnes, Skylab
1999: Heave, Angel Tech

Now, are all these band names like, really shit, or does the relative success of a band cancel out the fact that their name is rubbish on a stick? So if any of these bands had actually got anywhere would we be marvelling at the semantic genius of, say, Broccoli or (dear lord no) Slushfund?

10/04: Having The Jesus & Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth and er Bogshed among many others introduced to my youthful ears when nobody else would ever dream of playing that music. Countless evenings spent poised over the pause button, waiting for a particular track, then having to stop & rewind because he's put it on at the wrong speed. My old sketchbooks peppered with dry-witted comments - they made me laugh out loud as I listened & drew, and I had to preserve them somewhere. 'Here's another band that's teenterrific for dancing' - sly sarcasm curling from each incongruous TOTP introduction. Saturday mornings, listening out for the glint-eyed little digs and straight up humanity that stopped 'Home Truths' turning into a twee-fest. John Peel was always there, quietly being the greatest living Englishman, an inspiration to thousands. It never ocurred to me that some day he wouldn't be around any more.

10/04: Greg Shaw, the man who put the Bomp, has died. Garage king supreme, we salute you.

9/04: Islington Bar Academy's ridiculous Mean Fiddler style heavy-handed monitoring of photographers which means by the time some silly little man has verified that YES you do have 'permission' to take snaps the band has finished their set. Anyone would think the management were scared the camera might steal their souls. Which is laughable as the IBA is one of the most soulless venues in London, possibly the world.

7/04: Oh woe! The lovely Neil Busch has left Trail Of Dead due to health probs. I wish you a speedy recovery oh charming master of bendy-ankled bass-playing and fearsome amp-toppling mod cool.

6/04: The (International) Noise Conspiracy have lost Sara with her guerilla modette cool. I'm very disappointed when she doesn't appear behind the keyboard with its 'armed love' banner. Come on you can't have a revolution without the sistas.

4/04: Gruff Rhys' hair - bloody hell!

3/04: Bag-search woman at Islington Cooking Sherry Academy may be taking the customer care breeziness a step too far, as she digs into my bag and emerges with two train tickets I've just bought. 'Ooh, what're these?' Me:'They're train tickets.' 'Ooh, you must have travelled a long way!' Me:'....' Aren't there regulations about rummaging in people's personal belongings on the doorstep of a corporate musickbiz venue?

3/04: Islington 'Watneys Pale Ale' Academy charging £7.90 for a vodka & orange and a pint of cider. Best neck some cans on the tube first then, eh?

2/04: 'Cider With Roadies' "Stuart Maconie recounts his personal odyssey from music obsessed gauche Wigan teenager to rock star-hugging, but still gauche music journalist." And confirms the suspicion that the majority of music journalists are appalling hacks who can't take the pace when it comes to writing a proper book. There are so many mistakes, did they bypass the proof-reading stage or something? Like the bit about how Maconie hangs out with a girl called Angela...turn the page and she suddenly becomes 'Anne'. Another anecdote describes how Maconie and chums kicked a singer called PAUL out of their teenage punk band. A couple of pages later we get 'Having ousted PETE' Wha? Who's Pete?? There's loads of this stuff in there, rubbish mistakes that make you want to hurl the book across the room for being so crap. And they expect us to pay actual money for this fourth-rate tat.

12/03: They're selling Joey Ramone dolls in Urban Outfitters. As if this wasn't creepy enough, they're not even right. These unlovingly crafted plastic Joey's aren't wearing shades for Sheena's sake (try singing that at breakneck speed)!! What kind of suckers for cheap tat do you think we are?

9/03: Into the autumn night to see Gorky's. Ensconced near the front of a packed and extremely sweaty Dingwalls (heating on full blast or something?) waiting patiently for The Mynci to appear. And waiting...and waiting...and..here...they...are...and...oh bugger I've fainted and have to go for a bit of a sit down. Oh for fuck's sake!

9/03: Gah! The Pattern are no more, we didn’t get nearly enough of their superior motorpowered modrock shilly shallying whilst a thousand and one inferior garbagerocksters stole the limelight. Still, Mr Appleton & Co. I salute you for the thumb-suckin’, dumb-punkin’, zip-slippin’, knee-knockin, kitten rockin’ good times you brought to us.

9/03: Spiritualized seem to have sparked off mass rock'n'roll revisionism in the music press, all 'Ooh I never really liked 'Let It Come Down' you know, too much poncey orchestration. I like my rockanroll served straight up, no messin. Yeeha.' etc. S'funny but I seem to remember most journalists grovelling at Jason's feet & dribbling over his sumptuous sounds last time round. Me, I still love all that poncey orchestration. Bring it on.

7/03: Brixton Academy: £3.05 for a pint? What kind of half witted price is that? Why can't you just be happy with the £3, are you that desparate to squeeze the punters out of all their loose change? Ooh look I think I just saw 1p on the floor, quick pick it up. That reminds me I once found a fiver on the floor at The Academy, ha ha you missed that one.

6/03: Arses! No Riff Randells coming to play in July, they're not gonna be here 'til the album comes out. Bummer of the summer. Still, I've made myself a nice RRs tee-shirt to compensate.

4/03: More random Meanness from the Fiddler, this time at the Astoria. Digital camera gets taken off us at the door and put behind desk in very unsecure thief-tempting manner. Point out ticket says cameras for personal use only. Manager thinks fast (actually quite slow in real-time) and announces 'for personal use' refers to disposable cameras only. Pfffttt! Mean Fiddler you are evil scum, you take my dollar and treat me like shit.

4/03: A last ever gig and a sorry farewell to The Lollies and their heart-cheering array of bubblegum pop/fuzzyrock feisty tunes. They've left a legacy of loveliness and a treasure trove of fine songs, 'Pearls' and 'Call The Girls' especially, not to mention the unrecorded stuff which I'm now going to have to keep captive in my head.

1/03: So the New! Classy! Wanky! Marquee has closed down two seconds after it opened. Maybe they should have concentrated on actually putting on some gigs instead of concocting cringemaking cocktails and rubbishly themed foodstuffs.

beat girl

 

 

skater kitten

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