29 August 2004

Rough Trade Shops: Indie-Pop

I'm 16. Outside the Woolmington, Sherborne. I've just been watching The Chesterfields or The Rosehips or The Carnations. I'm very drunk on Toby (and with Toby, as it happens). My friend has a 19 year old impossibly sexy older sister with see-through DMs and a strapping boyfriend with a quiff that King Kurt would be proud of. I can hardly see and yet I'm challenging him to a cricket ball throwing competiton in lieu of some imagined Gladitorial contest (Jade and Hunter and Falcon are not even thought of yet) that will win her heart. He's not even laughing as he closes the door of the VW and drives away...

The memories are flooding back.

Example


It had to come.

Yeah, Primal Scream probably won't remember being all fey and floppy, but here's one of their '3 year old naked on a tractor having a wee' pictures for all to see. You can just imagine Bobby Gillespie levering himself into one more balls to the wall attempt at rock n roll mentalism as this comes out, you can hear the 'yeah but I was also in The Jesus and Mary Chain' bleating and the scratch of those old indie ruff cuffs being thrust into the garbage disposal before the journalists turn up. Maybe he'll ring up Kevin Shields for some mutual hugs and animal tranqs. If Kevin thought about coming out into the light after Lost in Translation then he's probably about turning right about...now

A lot of this sounds like too much sweets, washed down with Kalpol. It looks like a riot of polka-dot and paisely, bowl haircuts dewed by Toby bitter swishing in the wind of a thousand hysterical lisping teens, suddenly free in the knowledge that it's alright to be a bit crap at football.

It's not alright. It never was.

I guess no one but their Mums ever listen to Modesty Blaise anymore but here they are, along with early Jesus and Mary Chain which still stands up and seems inpossibly interesting in this field of woe, along with The Field Mice who coulda been contenders but shrank their anoraks and were too embarrassed to cut their hair.

There's the tragically overrated Ar Kane who managed at best two good LP covers and about 3 good tracks and never sounded as good as their reviews. There's the brilliant neck-bobbing unapolegetic tweeness of The Flatmates and Talulah Gosh, the trying too hard Felt, The Monochrome Set (Vini Reilly's attempt at aural brain scrubs) and the Cobain-sanctioned Vaselines and The Pastels. Bands who, if nothing else, turned people onto greater things.

At one point these bands infested the world. Little men in striped t-shirts would bounce and pretend to be gay.

A lot of this still sounds good but none of it will do you any harm. There's a lot that I like and I know I shouldn't. I put it down to nostalgia, chasing after girls who looked like The Shop Assistants sound.

There's The Popguns here and the always behind/ahead of the Television Personalities who everyone thought looked too old to be cranking out this stuff and there's early pre-hip hop (and pre-good) Pop Will Eat Itself long Clint they thought of scoring indie films about numbers and the ecshaton. There's the once mighty Wedding Present who sounded 3 times better in French and the much maligned misnomer of Lush. The Pooh Sticks make an appearance to pretend again that really it's all about irony and Josef K to pretend it was never pop at all.

I will probably buy this and then I'll go and start throwing some balls. Until then...

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Upside Down. The only thing I didn't like about Psychocandy was that this wasn't on it. My favourite indie-pop single ever from a time (1985?) just before the rest of the world decided to take all the noise out and play with the melodies.

6 comments:

kek-w said...

The Woolmington, Sherborne. And, before that, The Antelope Hotel. I'm trying to think who the VW-driver might have been.

Psychbloke said...

Wot a nostalgia fest.
I remember those see-through DMs. They had pictures of babies heads on them and were from Red or Dead in Camden.I never bought (or wanted) any, but there were plenty of other shoes I got from there. Shoes so ridiculous my Dad would take them next door to show the neighbours....
I bought 'Upside Down' from Ugly Child records in Walthamstow - a shop that barely recognised the concept of 'customer', let alone 'customer care'.It was a 7" single in a plain sleeve, upon which I scrawled 'Upside Down' upside down. I honestly thought it was the most dangerous thing I had ever owned. I believed everything they wrote in the NME and that it was gonna be punk all over again....So, I was a tad disappointed some months later to see Primal Scream at the Clarendon and find I was the only one who'd forgetten his 'start-rite' style anorak and duffel bag.....
As for The Wedding Present - why isn't 'My Favourite Dress'played during cheap student nights across the land, in place of the paltry fare offered up by James, The Wonderstuff and the like?
Anyway......good post Mr Loki.....
Why no Extraordinary League of Gentlemen review?

Psychbloke said...

Wot a nostalgia fest.
I remember those see-through DMs. They had pictures of babies heads on them and were from Red or Dead in Camden.I never bought (or wanted) any, but there were plenty of other shoes I got from there. Shoes so ridiculous my Dad would take them next door to show the neighbours....
I bought 'Upside Down' from Ugly Child records in Walthamstow - a shop that barely recognised the concept of 'customer', let alone 'customer care'.It was a 7" single in a plain sleeve, upon which I scrawled 'Upside Down' upside down. I honestly thought it was the most dangerous thing I had ever owned. I believed everything they wrote in the NME and that it was gonna be punk all over again....So, I was a tad disappointed some months later to see Primal Scream at the Clarendon and find I was the only one who'd forgetten his 'start-rite' style anorak and duffel bag.....
As for The Wedding Present - why isn't 'My Favourite Dress'played during cheap student nights across the land, in place of the paltry fare offered up by James, The Wonderstuff and the like?
Anyway......good post Mr Loki.....
Why no Extraordinary League of Gentlemen review?

Jim H said...

I'm currently watching 24 Hour Party People so it's good to get what was happening in the south around the same time. A bit more poppy and more haircuts and clothes, I gather.

Spoilt Victorian Child said...

Think I'm gonna have to get myself this...
Got approx 99.9% on vinyl, but since when has that ever stopped any of us eh?
Blast & Past.
Cheers.

Simon
x

Anonymous said...

This is by far the most life-affirming thing I've read all Bank Holiday. Blog on, sir, blog on.

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