Tuesday, December 04, 2007


OK, I have neglected my music fans;

Please note: there is a degree of irony in the title.

Do you all like to PARTY? OK, let's go back to the Manor Hall Disco, Pudsey, in 1977: Catherine Shaw doing a striptease for 50p; some disco dancing extraordinaire, and this; Heatwave - Boogie nights; big tune in 1977, the soundtrack to my summer hols in Perranporth, to teenage snogging at parties, the counterbalance to punk's sneering and spit(e), and above all, a perfect slab of funky pop...

Roxy Music 'Ladytron' - great title and it unfortunately passed me by in 1973, even though it's GENIUS!
My non-existent teenage readers will find it astonishing that in 1973, 11-year olds just weren't musically aware, but that's the way it was. Consequently, I was cheerfully oblivious to most of the amazing music being made at the time, even that which bothered the charts and made daytime radio.
Here is Ladytron, performed in '73 on the Old Grey Whistle Test, the coolest music programme ever...

Right, two tunes don't make a party, do they? SO on to the next piece of music for you to shuffle awkwardly to (so far, apart from Boogie Nights, the 'DANCE' element of the title has been ironic: I challenge anyone to dance to Ladytron).
Way back in 1972, I used to walk to Junior School (on my own!) with this tune ringing in my ears, fresh from the Jimmy Young show.
Widely reviled, sneered at, I have it here as a guilty pleasure, and the warm Northern swell of the brass band, coupled with the blunt, almost flat, vocal style, are guaranteed to warm the cockles of my heart and bring me out in a fever of nostalgic yearning. Oh, and despite what critics may say, it's a gorgeous song of love.
Peter Skellern, with 'You're a Lady'...

Easy listening eh? I love the North, me.

Next up, a contrast. Back in the late 80s, the Son of God, John Peel, went through a phase of playing 'tunes' by death, thrash and doomcore merchants like Extreme Noise Terror (photos), Carcass, Napalm Death, Electro hippies and their ilk.

Below: Electro hippies:

As a lifelong fan of metal (except US hair and pomp metal like Kiss, Van Halen or GnR, collectively known as shite metal or false metal), I thrilled to this new offshoot of the genre, often featuring songs growled or barked out over devastating explosions of guitar, bass and drums, many of them less than 30 seconds long. Timing was critical, to avoid a structured mess of sound becoming just a mess. I ventured to the late lamented Duchess in Leeds (good thread about the Duchess here)to see several of these bands, and very exhilarating they were too.

An offshoot of this metal offshoot was a slowed down version, like the above named bands played at 33 instead of 45rpm. This grindcore was exemplified by dutch masters Gore (whose epic instrumental 'Arena' remains a monolithic statement of the music's visceral power - seek it out if you can!), and by our very own innovators, Bolt Thrower (note the touching Peel tribute on their homepage), whose 1988 LP 'In Battle There is no Law', set the pattern for countless bands to follow.

I now urge you to climb on the sideboard or other suitable item of furniture, and to throw yourself off it into an imaginary crowd of sweating moshers. Repeat until song ends....

Bolt Thrower - Cenotaph

I hope you are now bruised and battered, soaked in sweat, and that your room is totally trashed. Typical Bolt Thrower gig.

Now let's all calm down shall we? Not too much though, because we've already gone all last of the Summer Wine with Peter Skellern, so let's have some still extreme 'easy listening' courtesy of Tokyo's masters of Noise, Merzbow. For those who found Bolt Thrower harsh and tuneless, better skip this next piece (CLUE: Merzbow are described as sounding like "a robot in a woodchipper" - GREAT comment! and "like a cow being castrated" - BULL, surely?)

Nice. Thing is, I really like this stuff, even though it's 'just' noise.

OK, ta ta for now. maybe next time we'll do African, yeah?


  1. Anonymous7:47 PM

    What a load of bollocks!

  2. >What a load of bollocks!

    i was going to say "youre JoHNY and i claim my five pounds", but of course JoHNY is funny and original...


Sorry about the verification bollocks but I was getting so much spam!