Talk of Muse elsewhere reminded me that back when that Super Massive Black Hole cd came out, I really liked it – silly sci-fi drivel, but good fun nonetheless. Then someone pointed out how Matt Bellamy takes huge, ugly sounding gulps of air at the end of almost every line and the bubble burst. I stopped listening to the song and started hearing the swallows – the music sounded (even more) ridiculous and I haven’t played anything by them since. A similar thing happened with the Decemberists – I was a huge fan 5 years or so ago – all the albums, all those live cover versions Fraser linked to in the Word newsletter, watching live shows on Youtube, NPR etc – then someone (no names lest he should re-appear here) on the Word site said ‘pssst – that Colin Melloy? He sounds like Porky Pig’. And he kind of does – a cross between PP and Elmer Fudd maybe! I tried to carry on loving the band, bought the next album, saw them live, but couldn’t shake thoughts of that wascally wabbit hunter and his porcine pal. I haven’t – couldn’t – listen to the last two releases. The » Continue Reading.
I watched as my mate’s sister’s boyfriend put the vial up his nostril and sniffed. His head went red from the neck up. “Bloody hell,” I thought, “Vicks is strong in London!” We were on the tube, heading to a Dr Feelgood gig. I’d never seen anyone take poppers before. I was 16, and either a little too naive or a little too obsessed with cold remedies.
The Feelgoods were one of a handful of groups we saw over and over at The Town & Country Club (the other regulars being The Pogues, Stiff Little Fingers, and Voice Of The Beehive, which seemed like a perfect mix and match to us). It was a little time-bubble of gig-going, which left these bands forever linked in my head, along with the image of my giggling, cider-sloshed mates, and puce-faced Steve.
Later, there was an even bubblier era. In the early 90s, when I was a young reporter on a local newspaper, I went to loads of gigs at Northampton’s Roadmender, scarcely believing my luck at scoring free press tickets. The bubble bands from this time were Super Furry Animals, Chumbawamba, and The Blue Aeroplanes, and once, memorably, Radiohead. Listening to » Continue Reading.