After eventually clicking on The Jam documentary that’s been sitting on TiVo for a couple of years I’ve spent the last week re-living the band that meant the world to when I was miserable schoolboy. Of course, those were the precious years when singles ruled the musical landscape, and coolest bands didn’t put all of them on their LPs, so you didn’t end up paying twice for the same song. The tune I’ve been humming is Strange Town – Weller’s bittersweet tribute to the capital that he’d loved from afar, and then seemingly fallen out of love with after rubbing up against the big boys of ‘76 and ‘77. Ignoring later greatest hits round-ups, let’s have some love for stand-alone 45s.
The ‘other side’ of the ‘Smash the System’ single – on iTunes etc. on 16 November – this is the first studio recording by ARSE and was filmed at over a dozen locations in Belfast last week (and a bit of the chaps in the studio a month ago).
Petesy has rewritten the Monkees’ classic as a commentary on punk revisionism – people with blogozines who weren’t there and so forth. And yes, the word ‘blogozine’ appears therein!
Here’s what the Petesmeister says on the matter:
‘Punk history belongs to us all. It is a history of individualism and the sense that WE have the power and when WE use that power WE can create a better world. It is not the history of the opportunist or the narcissist, although they do figure in it.
‘It is not the history of the Hollywood-style hero making a stand, changing the world and leaving the meek to bow and scrape in their wake. If you lived it you were as big a part of it as anyone else and don’t be told any different. Our contribution doesn’t seek to attack individuals but it does seek to attack the notion that we » Continue Reading.
A fascinating piece in the Telegraph showing how Margaret Thatcher was briefed prior to an interview with Tom Hibbert for Smash Hits ‘in a bid to appeal to the nation’s youth’.
‘In the event punk did not feature in the interview [it was 1987 after all] and the Prime Minister was able to talk about her respect for Cliff Richard and Paul Daniels.’
The discussions of a lack of women on music mag covers reminds me of what I am sure is not an original observation; the women of punk/ post-punk opened up music the way a bit of ramalama didn’t; The Slits, Siouxie, X-Ray Spex, Rezillos, Penetration, Laura Logic … I can listen to any of these still; I find blokey punk all a bit lumpen. These days I find PJ Harvey, Goldfrapp, and St Vincent more interesting than hip indie sausage fests (and I like sausages). I’ve never been one for positive discrimination and approved quotas; I simply find these acts better.
I haven’t posted here for awhile, busy at work and another visit from the black dog that turns up all too often these days, but I have spent the last two nights in the company of Buzzcocks as they celebrate 40 years of classic, short, hot wired tunes. Any gig that starts with Boredom and then goes up a few gears before the final barrage of What Do I Get, Orgasm Addict, Ever Fallen In Love and Harmony In My Head is pretty life affirming.
Thursday night they played a rammed Lemon Tree in Aberdeen, then onto the Ironworks in Inverness which is a beautiful city despite the rain. Really should have followed them onto Glasgow for the gig tonight. If you get the chance to see them before the tour winds up later this month get yerself a ticket, you won’t regret it!
For those around here who think my path never crosses the paths of new music… well, you’d be *almost* entirely right. But I was contacted recently by David Meagher (Meagre Dave? It would be a great punk name…) about his band the Sons of Southern Ulster and their new album ‘Foundry Folk Songs’.
This is the lead track, ‘The Pop Inn’, and I guess anyone who lived in a small town in the 70s will know where he’s coming from. Where he’s *actually* coming from is County Cavan, a place known for pretty much nothing… except the Sons of Southern Ulster. So he’s made a difference already.
It really shouldn’t be my thing, but I like this, and I hope others round here will check them out. Website link attached.