Posts from 5th December 2001

Dec 01

Just to counter the Scrit-Bit below

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Just to counter the Scrit-Bit below, heres Kevin Pearce on them, from Tangents. He tears into Songs To Remember, Scritti Politti’s just-reissued 1982 album, essentially accusing it of a kind of treachery, and asserts that history has judged what Green and co. were doing wrong. I – you won’t be astonished to learn – don’t agree: for a start I feel appeals to ‘posterity’ are dubious, especially coming from a writer who has championed the forgotten so eloquently. For another thing I think what Scritti Politti and their (heh) ‘fellow travellers’ were doing is subtler than Pearce does – I think in fact that the Scritti of Songs (and of Cupid And Psyche 85, their peak) is very much engaged in the same game as the Scritti of “Skank Bloc”. Hopefully sometime soon I’ll get around to talking about why.

End Of An Era!

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End Of An Era! “You know how the Beatles broke off, they all did their solo projects and they came back together and they were even stronger.”

“The sound of Scritti Politti 1978 to 1985 is essentially the sound of Green Gartside getting better in bed.”

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“The sound of Scritti Politti 1978 to 1985 is essentially the sound of Green Gartside getting better in bed.”


1978-1979: lived in horrible communal squat. Would probably have presented you with itemised bill (sorry delineation of means of production and exchange) for shag. Unable to keep a steady rhythm – great if producing spasmarxist doubt-beat, less great in other circs.

1982: Writes song called “Sex”. Somewhat gauche but shows willing.

1985: Inner sleeve pic in executive washroom showing Green now familiar with the finer points of personal hygiene. Music now highly danceable wink wink. (Also gets in outside producers – kinky!)

(further popcritsexlife hypotheticals here)


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I can SMELL it coming and it honks like a bastard. It smells a little bit like a very old pair of corduroy flares bought from what those crazy Americans call a thrift store. They’ve seen a lot of action and the bottom is rather rubbed away due to sitting down cross-legged on sticky wooden floors watching yore MATES hahahaha playing choons on their acoustickal geetars. They’ve had shandy spilt on them a few times but hey! Don’t tell Mom! We’re in a ROCK BAND and ROCK BANDS DRINK!! But hold on, don’t they also play Rock Music?

Doh! I knew the Essex Green had forgotten SOMETHING!

You know the times when you feel completely at ODDS with the surrounding world? For me, it’s often brought on by excessive facial hair. Imagine the height of Diana Ross’s plumage crossed with the glamour of Wurzel Gummidge and that’s what they look like. BUT! Image is not important in rock, howl the sore oppressed masses. It’s all about the music! Right then, let’s FORGET the fact that they look like hippies (it matters, it matters) and talk about the music. Although the fact is I’d rather not due to the overwhelming stench that gets recalled in my BRANE each time I try to think about it. PONG! The whiff of “our influences are Jethro Tull”! BIFF! “My vocal style is reminiscent of Mouldy Ould Dough”! STINK! “Why don’t we have a nose flute solo”!

Actually if they DID have a nose flute solo they might be possibly be more entertaining but no, just a boring regular old MOUTH FLUTE. Which is played by a GURL. Now, not that I am making character assassinations based on the cumbersome, uninspired chaff that the Essex Green churn out, but I bet they have the GURL in to play the flute because it makes the boys feel all squiffy about her BLOWING on a large INSTRUMENT. Hur hur. Heh heh. Snigger. What would their parents say? I only ask this question of my gentle reader as it occurred to me whilst standing at back of Essex Green GIG !strikemedown! that my gentle 2001 thoughts were being WASTED on this ponderous pastiche of pastoral PAP! and that in fact, I was my daddy-yo and I should be putting my finger in my ear. Incidentally, perhaps what is wrong is that the Essex Green only sound tolerable after many a tankard of MEAD.

Pop music isn’t SUPPOSED to do “what it says on the tin”. The Essex Green tin marks them as vaguely 60s, vaguely psychedelic, vaguely hinting at understated melody. They don’t tend to get comparisons to OTHER ROCK BANDS which of course is good! However! What do they get compared to instead? Trees and flowers?! It’s enough to provoke me to nick a knackered old Ford Escort, take it over to Brockwell Park and take a JOYRIDE whilst pumping out something, anything that is not at all vague. Perhaps VOGUE, the soundtrack to many a CRIMINAL YOOF (NB this could be a lie). I throw lemons at the back of their greasy heads and my final verdict is thusly: THE ESSEX GREEN MING and 0000 out of TEN.


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HAIL AND FAREWELL — whaddaya know, the new boss is the old boss. Tom Ewing has got that Fire in His Soul again and will be returning to edit Freaky Trigger as of, well, right now. So hurrah and thanks to him, and I’m sure he’ll do a mighty fine job as he did in the first place. In the meantime, my last job as FT editor is to let you know that four new pieces are up: Jess Harvell on Piano Magic, David Raposa considering the legacy of Nirvana, Tim Finney pondering the present of glitch and Marcello Carlin’s marvellous take on Pulp’s newest album. Enjoy, and I’ll see you around on the message boards — and here too, from time to time. ;-)