12/02: The Datsuns got changed inbetween their bob-a-job helping out with Gaza Strippers and their headlining spot. Wow, they have a selection of ROCK outfits at their disposal (this season it's mainly tight troosers). This is the big time.
12/02: A Datsuns/Hellacopters tagteam of longhaired lankies taking it in turns to bound onstage to help out singer-less (his wife had gone into labour) support Gaza Strippers. ROCK inna communal style.
12/02: Manics play Wembley. Doesn't sound too thrilling on the face of it, but there are eyelinered up boys in charity shop fur coats that they fling off to be trampled underfoot as the first chord of 'Motorcycle Emptiness' squiggles out. Disposable Decadence! The crowd is up for it, jumping up and down, yelling along with every word. Nicky Wire is still an excellent popstar in his dress and kneesocks. They play 'Slash and Burn'. 'You need your stars even killers have prestige' widdle widdle etc. Yesss!
12/02: Primal Scream at Brixton Academy. Hey old men! 16 years of yer gigs and you still ROCK MY SOCKS! In particular the hammering spazz-out that is 'Swastika Eyes' and honeydripping beehive 'Burning Wheel'. And from that distance Bobby still looked about 12 and Kevin Sheilds didn't look like Bagpuss.
12/02: The Kills supporting Primal Scream at Brixton. How can two people, a backing track and some skronking guitar be so mesmerising? And V V u r utter coolness personified (apart from pretending to be called V V obviously).
11/02: Oh yeah, and Jackie O's singer is called Jackson Starfield. Fantastic.
11/02: Album launch No2: 'Nothing Shines Like A Dying Heart' - Baptiste at the Arts Cafe complete with Brazilian blokes trying to chat you up by discussing Pantera in broken English, a novel marketing ploy. A short and sweet set of warm candle-flickery Velvety languorousness and fuzzing, driving melancholy melodies.
10/02: Album launch No1: 'Taste' - The Lollies at Canada House, with chandeliers, much swankiness, interesting syrupy Canadian beer and of course your favourite sugar-coated, wiley lyric-ed mean-rockin' sweethearts playing a take-no-prisoners ROCK set, including an utterly beguiling lovely new song which I wake up with in my head the next day.
10/02: Puressence: first 2 lps are delicious bundles of swooning gloominess, perfect for sticking on yer walkman and gazing out of train windows on autumnal afternoons as a grey and brown sodden England wooshes by. James Mudriczki's curious, beautiful voice insisting 'All I want to do is snuff you out'. New lp seems to have gone off the boil a tad, with sub New Orderisms, but then they play a blinder at the Scala. James, a chubby northen bloke, carries off rockstar schtick with charm, in shades, leaning over to sing to the front row. His voice spot on spinetingling, flung out effortlessly. There is swirling and chiming, the warm rush of delicious melancholy tempered with spite. And of course traditional set-closer 'India' making all the Mancy clobber boys go mental with its woozy, mesmeric thunder.
10/02: W-o-w. Jackie O = fantastic thrilling scratchy racket of howlin' blooz and Pussy Galore mangledness. Cool clattering girl dummer with big Sideshow Bob hair. Babyfaced bassgirl scritching and scratching in perfect neo-garage boutique chic. And scarey hollerin' man rampaging round stage, cutting open fingers on strings, blood congealing on fretboard and smeared across face in the heat of primal howling noise. Sonic Mook Shoreditch scum look on glazedly.
9/02: Dawn of The Replicants return with a new record 'Touching the Propeller'. I am both thrilled and afraid.
8/02: The sleeve of The Pattern's new lp 'Real Feelness' is ace retrorock coolness. Blackcreamredwhite heaviosity and a sneaky rip off of the old Philips logo. Sounds good, too.
8/02: Hey! Cider + Jellybabies = memory enhancing properties*. The (fab!) new Comet Gain LP has got this song on it that sounds really familiar, what is it? A cover of a Pastels song? No. Argh, s'driving me mad every time i play it. Go to see Comet Gain, drink cider, eat Jellybabies, they cover a Felt song, but it's not the mystery song. Go home pondering, stare at records, cider & jbs kick in... of course the mystery song is 'She Never Understood' by Biff Bang Pow! Triumphantly pull out record and play. *Not scientifically proven.
8/02: Hello Cuca. Wow! Blamma Blamma Waaarghhh! Fantastic rockin' cool bobhead Spanish ladies (and baldy drummer bloke) awakening me out of lesbian poetry torpor at Ladyfest. Almost makes up for The Bangs no show. Then they keep popping up shaking their hair dahn the front at various gigs. So at The Pattern we pass them a note to tell them how fantastic they are. It seems to please them.
8/02: I got a Ramones executive briefcase for my birthday. Oh alright it's a tin lunchbox, but oh my how it rocks.
7/02: More Artrocker fun 'n' frolics in the form of their newly launched weekly club what is FREE! to members. Not only do you get a nice pink membership card, you also get to watch scuzzy bands play in a sweaty cellar as the speakers rock alarmingly and threaten to fall on you and crush your sorry head. And they played 'Gonna Have A Good Time' by The Easybeats last week. Cor! I love that song.
7/02: Young Heart Attack - more scruffy, scuffy ole rawk to swill around yer knees. Woo! 'Mouthful of Love' is a big chunk o' fantastically thrilling MC5 meets AC/DC hollerin' with ladeez on Anadin Brothers type backing vocals, and that's got to be a good thing. Be even better if the ladeez was on geetars too, but you can't have everything.
7/02: The Polyphonic Spree's single 'Soldier Girl'. Ahh the refreshing sound of several squillion nutters in long white robes doing The Beach Boys crossed with some kind of brainwashing Jesus Army type cult thang. It's bonkers 'n' delightful & makes a change from all that scruffy, scuffy ole rawk that's swilling round yer knees at the moment.
7/02: Artrocker - The luvverly people who first introduced Kitten to the live delights of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The D4, The Beatings & The Moonie Suzukie. Not only do they put on rockin' good gigs, they send you a charmingly amusing and informative weekly email full of must know gig factoids and entertaining witterings. Sign yo ass up now at firstname.lastname@example.org
7/02: Loads of bands playing especially to celebrate my birthday in August; KaitO, The Gossip, The Pattern, Hissyfits, Dressy Bessy, The Bangs, Beachwood Sparks, Comet Gain. Hey guys, I'm touched.
7/02: Woo! The Pattern are returning to these shorz. Handbags at the ready ladeez!
7/02: Ha! I get to see The Hives despite the extortionate ticket pricing, and pay 0 pence. Tho this is sadly due to a friend's misfortune. Damn you Hives and your fancy Mick-Jagger-fronts-Rocket-From-The-Crypt ways.
5/02: Bart Davenport, folky solo singer/songer writer, plays a Strange Fruit night at the Spitz, and in an unprecedented move manages to get the entire room to shut up and listen. His voice is crystal-clear, beautiful. He starts off by singing a swooping cover of...er...something. What is it? It nags at me all night. I hum the tune over and over in my head so I won't forget to remember. It's simple and haunting. Must be something seminal, Tim Buckley? Buffy St Marie? The next day I rifle through my records trying to spark my memory. That's it! I've got it. It's 'Like A Motorway' by Saint Etienne! Blimey, Mr Davenport's made me see the song in a whole new light. Not to mention giving me a new-found respect for Bob Stanley & Pete Wiggs songwriting skills.
3/02: Finally the new Trail of Dead album is upon us. Oh the utter gorgeousness of it all. There are twiddly intro bits, there is shouting, there's a flugelhorn and hammered bells and timpani. (One day I'll have a band with ten timpanists and a harpsichord. My how we'll rock). There are songs with tunes and everything, there is wistfulness on the title track, there's a song that sounds like Husker Du. Most shocking of all, there is even proper nice singing, like what auntie would approve of. Plus the usual luscious grandiloquent art work by Conrad and chums. Have fun guessing which piece is by Jason. It wouldn't be the painting that looks like it was rendered by a criminally disturbed psycho-child before being set upon by a knife-wielding maniac would it? Oh it would.
2/02: One of the upsides of Trail of Dead being signed to the evil scumsucker Durst's Interscope label, aside from the fact that they've had the cash to produce an ear-bogglingly beautiful new album, is the way they've got proper press-people going into overdrive to promote the thing. So we get to see Conrad Keely's bedroom in 'Dazed & Confused'. How stylish, having a piano beside the bed, and nice, er, swathes of fabric on the ceiling there.
1/02: Mogwai ('Take Me Somewhere Nice') playing as background music to the gushy 'it's all okay really' end bit of 'Sex and The City' Is this a good thing? It's certainly disconcerting.
12/01: Big cheers to www.pennyblackmusic.com for their impeccable taste in choosing December's fanzine of the month. Who can it be I wonder? Go to the 'magazine' page and scroll to the bottom. Yay!
12/01: Trail Of Dead, 7th of Feb, Trail of Dead, 7th of Feb. YAAAAY! Ticket numbers 4 and 5 are mine, mwah ha ha! AND a new album out a few weeks later with 'It Was There That I Saw You' on it and everything.
12/01: The RoTa afternoon freebie Christmas fandango at Notting Hill (Rot in Hell) Arts Club.The mince pies, the 'mullet wine', being all warm and cosey in a dimly lit basement drinking Kahlua, Baileys and Amaretto shots in the middle of a freezing December afternoon. Special mentions to the fabulous Lollies and their democratic everyone-gets-to-sing-a-verse 'King Uselessness' (to the tune of 'Good King Wenceslas'), Souvaris' amp-toppling post-rock take on 'Last Christmas' and Chris T-T's Christmas dinner anthem, 'Rise up turkeys/Gonna form an army/Kill a lot of people/Take our revenge.' And still having plenty of time afterwards to zoom back across London to see The Starlets play, bless their little Scottish socks and lovely accents.
12/01: NME actually entertains me with Michael Jackson's best of the year list: 'The Porridge' box set, ha ha ha ha ha. Oh fabulous incongruity.
11/01: Mogwai at Brixton: The mighty 'gwai shake the Academy and its faux venetian stylings to its rafters. Plenty of decibels for everyone and still enough left over to make your trousers and hair vibrate alarmingly in the warm blasts of noise. They should market Mogwai earplugs- practical merchandising and avoidance of future lawsuits from deafened gig-goers, bargain!
10/01: White Stripes played on Radio 2, heh.
9/01: Everett True's book launch at Borders featuring kneesockin' rockin' Lollies, Everett revisiting his old popsong of yesteryear 'Do-nuts' and photographer Steve Gullick having a hissy fit and walking out. Entertainment all round for 0 pence! Oh and getting to tell Mr True how I've got an ageing copy of his 'The Legend!' fanzine at home. Remember doing the 'Are You A Pop-Kid, A Punk, A Hack Or What?' quiz from it at school and being thrilled to come out as a Pop-Kid. Allowing a friend who came out as a Punk to be an honorary Pop-Kid after she'd eaten an ice-cream, drunk some orange juice and danced to 'Talulah Gosh'.Yes, it were all tweeness round here when I were young.
9/01: Gorky's multi-instrumental night at the Shaw Theatre, recreating the new album in from start to finish (Euros, halfway through, 'Well that was the first side.') Including Martin Carr's grand contribution of about five notes on a banjo during the first song. You haven't lived until you've witnessed the duel mandolin frenzy of 'Her Hair Hangs Long'. Rock!
8/01: The Pattern's visit to these shores. Three hip-shaking, thumb-sucking shimmy-shammying garaged-up gigs. They even passed round a bottle of champagne on the final night of the tour.
8/01: Getting the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds video, featuring all your faves: 'Stagger Lee' in which Nick shimmies in a pink 'Take That Love You' tee-shirt. 'Where The Wild Roses Grow' Oh no! Nick what have you done? You've killed Kylie. 'Deanna' with Blixa Bargeld as a saucer eyed, wild-haired skeletal young thing. 'Tupelo' the young Mr Cave looking devastatingly cool with particularly admirable flopsome hair. 'The Weeping Song' with Nick & Blixa, in their own words, dancing like 'two old gay businessmen at the disco'. Oh the joy!
6/01: Just an observation, really. Didn't see The Moldy Peaches playing in Borders Bookshop the same night as their Strokes support slot, as it seemed like Moldy overkill to see them twice in three hours. But, intrigued to know how they went down with their lyrics an' all playing right next to the children's section, especially if Kimya was wearing the bunny costume (she wasn't at The Strokes gig).
6/01: Woo! A triple-decker sandwich of gigs over three nights, ie: Thursday = The Strokes, Friday = Belle & Sebastian, Saturday = Super Furries. Yeah, this is how life's meant to be.
5/01: Yeahhh! Trail Of Dead at Reading. On the day I'd already bought a ticket for! Refuckingsult!! Shame they're not in the tent again though, better ambience and that.
4/01: Gruff Rhys singing with Mogwai. Ace combination. Dial:Revenge sounds beautiful. more pairings of my fave bands please. How about Conrad Keely with Broadcast? Euros Childs with The Strokes??
2/01: 'Please Kill Me' by Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain. Ace book full of anecdotes straight from the mouths of your fave New York punk legends. (RIP Joey Ramone). Includes handy Who's Who guide: 'Jayne County, underwent sex change & went from Wayne to Jayne. Former lead singer of the Backstreet Boys.' Ha Ha.
2/01: Mogwai speaking THE TRUTH in their NME interview. Don't know why so many people have written in slagging off Stuart Braithwaite when he's so obviously correct, 'I think some really, really, really vulgar idealism crept in a few years ago: some really fucking nasty sexist ideas and anti-thought devices and they got largely ignored by anyone with any intelligence or integrity. But since then they've been so omnipresent that a lot of young pople and people who actually have a bit of a say, don't think anything of them. A pair of breasts on the cover of NME would have been abhorrent eight years ago. But now breasts are the selling point of almost every magazine in every shop.' And if you can't see what the fuss is then you've obviously been brainwashed too.
1/01: The Creation Records Story-My Magpie Eyes Are Hungry For the Prize' by David Cavanagh. Fantastic exhaustive tome documenting in loving detail not only the shambolic clamber upwards of Creation Records, but the British indie scene in all it's deranged glory before 'indie' became another sorry marketing device. The fact that the Jasmine Minks have fourteen references in the index says it all. And hurrah! for the Mary Chain, 'William had something far more important than his guitar, namely his fuzz pedal.' Top marks too for the book's mentalist subtitle, swiped from a Loft song.
2/01: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead. Kitten's new toppermost of the poppermost fave band, toppling former kings Super Furries from their velvet-lined, rose petal strewn throne in the court of sonic sensation that is my heart. Fuzzy Gruff and chums still get to perch on the royal footstool, though.
2/01: Most amused to read a guide to emo fashions on www.fourfa.com and to ponder how many of the criteria Trail of Dead seem to fulfill:
2/01: The Strokes:pretty cool in Portsmouth, totally rocked da house at the Astoria. Get 'The Modern Age' e.p. and invent a new wave dance to do to 'Last Night'. Record the live set off www.i-gig.com (Richard)Hell, yeah.
1/01: Track & Field Organisation's cheerfully crammed monthly nights at the Betsey Trotwood. We dance to 'Therese' by The Bodines and Orange Juice and The Pastels! It is 1986! We dance to The Strokes, oh it's 1977, er...
12/02: Manics playing 'Faster' in a sunny, strummy lounge stylee. James on acoustic warbling 'I am stronger than MENSA' like Max Bygraves just doesn't cut it. The disappointment is palpable. C'mon give us what we want, ie the chance to jump up and down screaming, 'I know I believe in nothing, but it is my nothing' like a deranged army of venomous dispossesseds. Rather than standing their politely tapping our feet as our former selves look on aghast.
12/02: Primal Scream playing shite old 'Rocks' again. Oi, Gillespie, leave it out. You're embarrassing Kevin Shields.
11/02: A swanky press-pack turns up for the new Marquee. Apparently 'times have moved on' from the legendary days of yore, but happily the new building 'still retains its core values & its dedication to the development of Live Music'. Hang on, is this some political party's manifesto? But hey kids, 'the new club is located in the heart of fashionable Islington' Ha ha ha ha ha! Islington = 'fashionable', how quaint. So now we're in this hotbed of hipness, let's rOck! 'The Marquee Lounge & viewing gallery offers unparalleled levels of comfort & service overlooking the stage & dance floors.' Hmm, ask those chappies on stage to turn that fearful racket down, and pass the nibbles. But, if you do venture there for a gig, never fear, because, 'Careful consideration has been given to the logistical & operational needs of our clients.' Such thoughtfulness, does this extend to not treating the paying customers like a herd of BSE-crazed sheep, then? If being offered 'A total entertainment experience!' isn't enough, check out the bar & grill, where we find, no I can't bear it, the 'Rock Buffet' where the meal options are divided into 'Track one', 'Track two' etc. Arrgh!! Skipping over the numerous menu misspellings ('feat & leek tartlets anyone??), let's check out the cocktails. Hmm what about a 'Purple Haze', a 'Guns & Roses' or maybe 'The Great Rock n' Roll Swindle'. Nooooo! What I really want to know is, whatever happened to the 'Kickass Margarita' they used to serve in the old place. Okay, maybe things haven't changed that much.
9/02: Mean Fiddler really live up to their name (and I don't mean the Fiddling bit), making a random decision that digital cameras aren't allowed for personal use at The Garage, whilst normal cameras are. What the hell difference does it make? Discrimination of digitalisation!
8/02: NME's coverage of Reading. I know I should just ignore them, but the whole festival review issue was such fawning, sycophantic drivel I got transfixed by its toe-curling toadying. Bleurgh.
8/02: Been looking forward to seeing The Bangs for ages, 'cos obviously they have the hair, they have the socks, they have the rock. Bollox then to them cancelling their trip over here 'cos they couldn't get on a plane or something. Gah.
7/02: Argh! Now my beloved Trailies are supporting The Sex Pistols at Crystal Palace. I'm drawing the line here.
6/02: Ticketed up for Reading on the Friday, having decided that day's got the best selection (Von Bondies, Reindeer Section, Bellrays, Moldy Peaches, Janes Addiction!) only to find there's a new addition to Sunday's line up of godawful kiddies' numetal. This addition means I now have to get a second ticket and return to the by now scorched earth, noodlestrewn wasteland that the Reading field will have become and spend the day avoiding the main stage. Who are this addition? Trail Of Dead, obviously.
6/02: RIP Dee Dee, 'I hope they really don't think we sniff glue. I quit when I was 8'. Reunited in the big CBGBs in the sky alongside Joey & Kitten's hamster Ramona (yes cats can keep pet rodents, and no I didn't eat her).
5/02: Trot along to get tickets for The Hives at Brixton for a tie-flappin' fun time. Hurriedly trot away again. Tickets are £26! Twenty six pounds sterling!! Each!!! Leave it out.
4/02: The smug-fest that was NME's 50th anniversary issue, '...we are pretty much the last mag standing. Melody Maker, Sounds, Record Mirror...all the weeklies devoted entirely to broad music coverage have been unable to compete.' Talk about gloating. I remember when Sounds died and it's passing was mourned rather than scoffed at in Melody Maker, because it meant one less comrade out there, one less way for bands to reach a wider audience, less of a debate, less of an argument, less passion for music. I remember when every week there was a choice of four music papers. Of course you pledged your allegiance to one in particular (MM in my case) and grew to know and love your favourite writers (Chris Roberts, The Studd Brothers), but you still had the choice of dipping into the other papers, and a better chance of finding more on your favourite bands. The NME continues, 'We are 50. There's not another music paper in the world that can say that'. Er... I think Melody Maker said it several years ago. Oh yeah, and what happened to MM being incorporated into NME? It doesn't seem to mention that on the masthead any more. And how about this from Everett True, 'At one point, we could have overtaken NME in sales--the Huggy Bear cover was the Maker's best-selling non-promoted issue in over a decade--but our company didn't want the brand leader to lose its position in the marketplace, so we were sidelined.' Check out what else he has to say on the sorry demise of MM: www.thestranger.com/2000-12-28/music.html
3/02: Spiritualized merchandising. The last Spiritualized tee-shirt I bought was a 'Lazer Guided Melodies' one in 1991. Now they've actually got some nice pink ones with a big pill on (good to see Jason continuing to play down the drug thing), but what's this? They have the usual billowing, elephantine blokes size, they've even got teeny kids ones, although I can't say I saw many 6 year olds at Brixton t'other night. Isn't there a vital section of the 'lized's audience not being catered for here? Er...oh yeah! What about the ladies, then eh? We wear tee-shirts too, and we'd quite like some that fit. And no, we don't want to buy one for our kids instead.
2/02: 'Rock Sound' going on about 'dark wave'. Look, its called goth, deal with it. If you're too ashamed to call it goth then you shouldn't be listening to it. Take it from someone who was a teenage Bauhaus fan. Dark Wave, arf!
2/02: A downside to Trail of Dead being signed to the evil scumsucker Durst's Interscope label is the way they've got proper press-people going into overdrive to promote them. I obviously have to buy all this crap. Does anyone ever actually regularly buy 'Dazed & Confused' for a good read? And where the hell did 'Rock Sound' magazine come from? Happenin' free tattoos, mind.
12/01: The RoTa afternoon freebie Christmas fandango at Notting Hill (Rot in Hell) Arts Club. Have you seen the price of drinks in that place? Two vodka and cokes (and they give you doubles unless you specify - sneaky) costs £10.50!!!!! And the coke was flat. Next time, I'm bringing my own.
11/01: 'Its A Girl Thing' Channel 4's 'fashion' programme type thing based around a bunch of vapid girlie house mates. Who is this aimed at? Its monstrous. Don't even watch it 'ironically' you'll get sucked in by its painfully fascinating inanity. Argh! No! My eyes! And I hate that phrase 'Its a (insert whatever here) thing'. Like 'Tentacles: Its an octopus thing.' Its a shite thing, thats what I say.
7/01: The continuing '80s revival. Argh! I had to live through this the first time round and it was not a pretty sight or sound: the perms, the hi-lighted hair, the batwing sleeves, the Go West 'tunes', the horror, the horror...
6/01: Spending aeons waiting for a bus to Highbury, only to arrive at The Garage and find a) KaitO had cancelled due to illness and b) Black Neilson had been wiped from the bill without a by-your-leave (whatever that is). Going home again to indulge in the unlikely pairing of drinking Jack Daniels whilst listening to Belle & Sebastian.
6/01: Super Furries being photographed at Liverpool Street station for NME. I'm there nearly every day. Why weren't they there when I was? Swizz. I could have been in that big photo of the concourse, staring up at the camera knowingly.
6/01: Overzealous singing along to lyrics at gigs (see Moldy Peaches and bloke trying to approximate a breathy, girlie Isobel Campbell vocal at Belle & Seb, arf). Yes, yes, well done, you know all the words and of course nobody else here does, so you must be the biggest fan ever. Or maybe everyone else isn't such a big git.
5/01: Strokesmania continues apace with a piece on Radio 4's (as in the actual BBC radio station, not the Poptones club thing) 'Front Row'. That's really enough now thanks.
5/01: Strokes playing at Heaven. This may come as a blow, but Heaven is a really crap place to be. It's too long and thin, like the Electric Ballroom, and gets impossibly packed and hot. And it takes five years to get in, due to the fact that everyone has to go thru a metal detector fergawdssake. This isn't New York you know.
4/01: Gruff Rhys joining Mogwai onstage at Shepherds Bush Empire. In itself a mighty fine thing, but he proceeded to crouch down so we could not marvel at his Super Furry Splendour. Its all very well being modest, but it's been nearly a year since the last SFA sighting, we are pining for you, Gruff. (Or 'Pine In For You' as the er, pine shop down the road used to be called.)
4/01: Badly Drawn Boy 'chic'. Loads of boys in scruffy beards and woolly hats.You look shit, not cool. Sharpen up! Read that guide to emo fashion or something. Oi you, boy on the bus wearing a Diesel bobblehat, how much did that cost you? Sucker. Look there's a small child with exactly the same hat on from Mothercare.
4/01: People wearing rucksacks on their backs at gigs (yes you, constantly jiggling girl at Mogwai), what do you think the cloakroom's for? Not cloaks.