So Glastonbury has sold out already. I am not aware who has been arranged for the line up. My prediction is Pink Floyd doing a one-off heritage set.
Daughter no 3 would rather go to a University of Manchester open day than accompany 3 chaps (2 of considerable age and chin-stroking reputation) and my son to see Nick mason in Nottingham this Saturday. PM me if you would like to join us for the freak-out with heavy friends from Spandau Ballet; ticket for face value as I’m not a breadhead. Peace, love, ta.
Thanks, Moose, for this recommendation. If this doesn’t make 100 responses I’ll be gutted.
I am an inveterate ‘deconstructor’ of rock snobs. In the punk years I would be pogoing at punk gigs in a dog-chewed t-shirt, flares, and centre-parted shoulder length hair then off to see Genesis (post Hackett) the next week. My main objection was peers who repeated received NME wisdom with flagrant insincerity to try and keep in with the genuinely cool kids.
I recently told someone who only listens to skronky lo-fi out-takes from bands on John peel in his last year that ‘I like marillion, but only their later stuff’.
I often use the Partridge inversion (as in ‘Gallagher and lyle- the singer-song writers Simon and garfunkel COULD have been”).
I am utterly sincere in the music I like, and genuinely like Al sorts (I probably mostly listen to 60s r’n’b and jazz theses days), and am all for pretentiousness (if one doesn’t reach higher, how can one reach in the first place?), but I hate the humourless rock list model. Isn’t it obvious that The Rezillos are better than the MC5?
I’ was en route to Croatia today. A very busy Stansted and I saw 2 ac/dc t shirts as well as my own Frank Zappa ‘freak out’ number. Is it time up for the rock t shirt as a social signifier? I have a nice gong mandala one for tomorrow. Is it going to be wasted, or will it remsin a dig whistle for the like minded?
In my endless dredging through dodgy mid-70s detritus, i fell upon this lot. I knew them as one of those bands that tried to make it in the time exactly when punk emerged, and were thus pushing against a closing door. I knew the single (“5705”) and never particularly bothered. I find this video compelling for it’s antique quality, and can imagine any of them saying, over a pint when we fall into discussing music in the pub, “it’s a shit business”.
I have some CDs which are scratched and annoying. I have seen advice on line about mending scratches but am frankly sceptical about rubbing them with toothpaste or in a suitably-aligned cardboard pyramid.
is there any magic approved by the ‘Massive?
other home help hints welcomed.
I’ve been reading Cosi Fanni Tutti’s autobiography, and as a result revisiting the charms of Throbbing Gristle and Genesis P Orridge, the latter making a passable living out of making one’s mental disorder art (in my opinion).
Reading up about him, I found his Wikipedia entry said:
After a brief correspondence, P-Orridge met American novelist and poet William S. Burroughs, who later provided an introduction to the English poet and performance artist Dick Emery.
During this era, a book was published of Breyer P-Orridge’s writings, poems, and observations, called Ooh, You Are Awful … But I Like You!.
Is this some kind of joke?
A deeply AW Massive-friendly one, this; two much loved/ much missed artistes in one useful garage package. Sounds like a lot of fun, and King Poodle would surely approve.
As predicted (ah, the loneliness of being right) “rockism” is back. I take a contrarian, post-modern approach. There isn’t good or bad music, there’s music you like or don’t like, and it is determined by the social context and individual factors. Any grumble I had about Abba wasn’t about their being good or bad (“Waterloo” and “Ring Ring” I like, “Fernando” I don’t), but the RECEIVED WISDOM that they are great succeeding the prior view that they are rubbish. Received wisdom is the problem. When I am preached at by Pete Wylie or Stuart Maconie, i find myself drawn to early Whitesnake as an example of “rock in rebellion”.
The more i read about bands, the more I understand it is about 4 colleagues who make music, and who disagree as much as they agree. This is a shock and moderately upsetting. In the 45 years i have been following music, my perception of bands has been as per the Fabs in “Help”, or The Monkees. I really did think bands were pals and ex-flatmates who enjoyed each other’s company, had amusing sessions in the pub (plus full and frank recording sessions like The Troggs, and hedonism like Motley Crue). When i read how distant members of an act are to each other, even when travelling the globe in luxury, I start to understand why they start to get creative inertia and the band is just a brand. Tony Iommi’s description of a Sabs tour above… it sounds a bit sad.
Interesting. much more interesting than more imperial Floyd rehashes.
But the Spandau Ballet connection …. in the words of Nigel Tufnell, “Is this some kind of joke?”.
Cambridge Corn Exchange
A sold-out venue with not a mullet in sight and a ‘mature’ audience, more gender mixed than anticipated and extremely well-behaved were in progressive heaven as Marillion ran through most of FEAR and a good range of older tracks; their “earlier incarnation” was represented by the final encore in which the crowd (those who knew the words) filled in; love those retro-synth sounds. Two and half hours flew by as this complex music (with all sorts of nods to recent sounds, trip-hop, etc.) was performed with tightness and (relative) economy and taste compared top how it COULD be. The show was very nice visually, and well-integrated to the songs and lead vocalist Steve Hogarth’s performance. Sound was pretty damn good, as you’d hope. Vocals could have been a little more up, IMHO, but mostly very clear.
As above. Silent and rapt in the music, and not pissing around on their phones. not too many TRUE FANS having to do their sclerotic shuffle in front of those sitting down. Nice people being friendly to strangers, it was almost like a private party. One thing: middle-aged men drinking beer at gigs: don’t; the » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Chris Squire, the voice and, er, “bottom” of Yes, released a solo album in 1976 with his fellow ex-Synner Andrew Pryce Jackson, plus heavy friends like Bill Bruford, Patrick Moraz , and the LSO. Tuneful progressive pop slightly less frenetic than the home band ensued, including OGWT favourite, “Hold Out Your Hand”, which did for the shortie kimono what only Keith Barron had done for the similarly lengthened bathrobe previously. The album is all present and correct, and as perfectly produced as it once was, along with a remix by latter-day King Crimson multi-instrumentalist, Jakko Jakszyk that makes it sparkle but in a slightly different way. Also included are singles and demos of “Silently Falling”, “Lucky Seven”, and the great Christmas single that never was, “Run with the Fox”.
What does it all *mean*?
Chris Squire’s musicality in Yes was often underappreciated in all the sturm-und-drang and whimsy around him, so when able to control things a bit more to his liking, you can hear what he brings to the show, which is a real sense of choral potential and clever arrangements. This is very tasteful progressive pop which still pushes the limits of » Continue Reading.
What does it sound like?:
Like many, I’ve been snotty about Marillion. The fact is, they are a different and far, FAR better band than they were in their earliest incarnation. Steve Hogarth’s description of themselves as akin to “Radiohead and Pink Floyd in touch with its feminine side” is about right; emotionally intelligent modern progressive rock (which is what Radiohead are, albeit hipper). The first half of the concert DVD is their most recent (and excellent) album, “F.E.A.R” which goes through styles, textures, emotions, amuses, excites, and soothes in a way few albums by bands into their 4th decades do. The band are clearly top of their game in what they do, but unstarry with it. Lead singer Hogarth is a quality frontman who engages and emotes through the songs with wit and charm, and seems close to being overcome by the warmth and love the evening evoked. The second half is a selection of songs from the back catalogue played with a string section and a horn (COR!), but no “greatest hits” as such, nor anything pre-1989. It wasn’t needed, would have lowered the tone, and isn’t missed. It also looks like a million quid, which i » Continue Reading.
There was me thinking The Band were gigging again. Seems not, as the mighty Take That have a musical with the same name. Imagine, if you will, the Robbie Robertson fans who turn up to the show and are presented with homoerotic boy-band callisthenics. They may find their tastes going in a whole new direction.
Any other disturbing potential misunderstandings?
I was at a Damned concert the other day – great fun. My feeling about concerts by heritage acts these days is that the audiences are becoming warmer with each other, and it’s becoming like we are a regimental reunion for our grandfathers. There is the shared experience, the passing of time, the continued love of a particular act, the recognition of particular moments, the characters who emerge (Jonno, who has seen The Damned over 1000 times)… Hawkwind gigs are similarly communal as are ‘Ver Maiden. Is it that people have given up on cool at last? Not that it is easy to be cool without without a trendy barnett, carrying at least 30 spare lbs of lovingly acquired gut, and a slight wish for the gig to be over by a time which means you can be in bed by midnight.
This place sometimes makes me feel there has been no change in 40 years. In music, of course, but also in the personalities. Tigs is the cool clever gorgeous girl everyone is in love with but too shy to ask out (she’d be very kind in her rejections making her even more loved); Beany is lighting farts and has a large collection of comedy records; RobC is the first one to be experimenting with herbal substances and seems to be in on a cosmic secret we are only reaching for; SteveT is a preternatural solid source of common sense and good taste. Black Celebration looks askance at the retro musical taste with pity and amusement, I am Roland Browning in a wig. Have I got this right? Are there other roles that naturally emerge?
I am starting to feel the time has passed for big bands and big crowds of pensioners and their phone-fiddling junior relatives to try to relive the excitement of seeing these bands 40 years ago. The reforming Of Genesis 11 years ago was as underwhelming as you might think, going by the footage. Peter Gabriel’s work ethic has decently reduced somewhat (I think it was all over after the “Passion” soundtrack), and Steve Hackett has a variety of ways to get the last juice from the orange. So many artists haven’t really been effective in decades – what has Jimmy page delivered likewise in the last 40 years? Floyd’s last decent album was “Animals”. Just how long do you keep flogging a dead horse before you know it’s over?
I have mixed feelings about The Moody Blues. Love “Days of Future Past” and some of the hits, but they could be painfully safe (Justin Hayward’s bouffant, etc.). Nevertheless, their cheese factor was high, and to me that is a good thing. Plus, and it’s a big one, flutes play a major part in a lot of music I enjoy.
I’ve been dying of this bloody awful flu and fell into a YouTube strand of old “Wheeltappers and Shunters” episodes. The sghow was set in a fake northern working men’s club with lots of variety turns who then seemed elderly but now look younger than most of us on this blog. It was endlessly fascinating, wierd, archaic, and sometimes downright sinister (the Krankies would have me on the phone to the social services now).
with alvin stardust and cyril smith on the judging panel here, it really underlines why we liked punk rock and jethro tull. This life was NOT going to be a option.
“Bands and genres that were scorned and laughable by rock snobs and the hip cognoscenti then are not the bands that are scorned and laughable by rock snobs and the hip cognoscenti now.” Discuss. Use both sides of the exam paper, with worked examples. The most egregious examples are to be named and shamed.
I’ll start: not until Steven Wells in the NME did they stop being such jerks about metal and hard rock.
It is my sad duty to inform you that DikMik (Michael Davies) of Hawkwind has genuinely been “Born to Go” and passed onto the next plane.
Hawkwind’s tour in May was a treat for fans, with them supporting themselves as an unplugged act, This CD has both the more familiar trippy bikerdelic space rock (I will use “bikerdelic” until it is officially adopted) and some of the earlier acoustic set, a mellow section which was rather more enjoyable than I expected, being personally generally suspicious of acoustically style rock. They left “psi power” off this disc, but you can’t have everything. The album was recorded at the spiritual home of the 70s London Underground, the Camden Roundhouse, where Hawkwind last played in 1977, doubtless at an “all-dayer”. Camden has lost the alternative edge it once had (Compendium Books, etc) for a depressing mix of gentrification and student tat, but Hawkwind did their best to bring it back for the evening, and probably played better and with better gear (no snickering, hopheads) than back in the day.
Soon we are back with the more familiar swirling synths, echoed vocals, recited science fiction-poems, stentorian chords and riffage, with hypnotic jams bringing on flashback moments for some listeners. Those jams … anyone who met “Julie” back in the day, will most likely remember her if they listen to » Continue Reading.
The Doobie Brothers supplied a hits-filled, good humoured set that got a much stronger reaction than I expected, and even had Bill Payne (Little Feat) on keyboards (sadly, no “Day at the Dog Races”). The Steely Dan set was a tad truncated, but given that, as stellar as one might expect, thrilling a sold-out 20k seater. A lot of tracks from”Aja” and “Gaucho”, which suited me. Expensive lighting provided big looks and is probably necessary in a hall such as this. Sound remarkably good bar a trombone mike not switched on during a solo, and the band tighter than a gnat’s chuff. Donald Fagen seemed to be enjoying himself; maybe he’ll be back sooner. I’d like to see a solo band gig with more of his solo material at a smaller venue, e.g. the Royal Albert Hall.
Very mixed in age and with plenty of women. A few too many shiny happy people types for us sport-hating snarky hipster types who like to claim Steely Dan for their own. Their “dancing” was a bit of an irritation given a fair few had dodgy knees and so not sitting was not an option; » Continue Reading.
I wonder if the shift away from “edgy” violence in the arts and media will be paralleled by a similar shift from ‘edgy’ sex in the arts and media; it must be 40 years since Mapplethorpe argued you could skewer art pretensions by making it pornographic (see his biography). Then there was the Cosey Fan Tutti/ GPO exhibition at the ?ICA which also sought to deconstruct/ challenge/ [enter your post-modern buzz-word here] sex and pornography. Fashionistas eventually got it, Jeff Koons, his missus, all those photo essays of the fetish and s&m world, Madonna’s “Sex” book (oh those amusing transgressions she played with), Terry Richardson, porn as a norm, and the hiding in plain sight of sexual predators (I see Max Clifford and Weinstein as reflecting similar phenomena). I’m all for sex, and all for it being represented in an honest manner to accommodate a wide variety of orientations and preferences. Can this be done in a better way than currently? Discuss.