Posts from 18th February 2002

18
Feb 02

UK Garage In 2001

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UK Garage In 2001: Tim Finney’s look at the scene kicks off this week’s Freaky Trigger update, which also includes Pete’s review of the King Of The Boots club, and Douglas Wolk providing the second instalment of C90Go!, the mixtape feature with a time limit difference.

THE GLOUCESTER ARMS – Gloucester Green, Oxford

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THE GLOUCESTER ARMS – Gloucester Green, Oxford

The last time I was in The Gloucester Arms in Oxford was probably about seven years ago. Going back for a wet Monday afternoon session last week I noticed that the place had not changed one bit. The place proudly advertises itself as ‘Oxford’s Number 1 Rock and Biker Pub’ and it is difficult to disagree. Especially since there is not really a rival occupying slot number two.

The rock/biker theme is consistent throughout. Rock is covered nicely by the jukebox (eight different AC/DC albums give you a vague idea) and the selection of yellowing posters on the ceiling. Notably nothing newer than a Pearl Jam one, the pub is still resolutely Old Metal. The average clientele look like members of ZZ Top – the ones which aren’t Frank Beard. The biker chic is in the wall decoration, plates of old Norton’s and Harley Davidson’s. All of this I suppose could be a touch intimidating, if it wasn’t for the generally nice staff and the fact that it is very difficult to be intimidating on a wet Monday afternoon. We sat by the roaring fire and helped ourselves to five rounds of the very cheap booze.

The roaring fire, as I suggest before, was roaring a touch too much and was pretty uncomfortable – but beer and hangover fatigue had set in. The only move we were willing to do was to the well appointed toilets, which came replete with plenty of blackboards. There was a raging discussion on the merits of Deep Purple who had played Oxford the night before – which yet again confirmed my suspicion that for all their scary exterior Metallers and Bikers are the softest people in the world. Even the banter between us and the other people skiving off work in there was good natured.

It strikes me that having a central pub in a town like Oxford cannot always be eay to conjure up any sort of ambience. You are too open to the vagaries of tourists, office and shop workers as well as potential genuine locals (students). One was creating that kind of community is to theme the pub, like this was. The theme here though was completely organic, had come out of the landlords own interests and therefore people who liked his pub, liked him and he liked them back. I do not usually like theme pubs, and it would be rude to lump the Gloucester in that group. This short trip had certainly won me over from my previous trip there where I lost two quid in the jukebox. But maybe only for a Monday Afternoon.

POP-EYE 17/2/02

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POP-EYE 17/2/02

Due to circumstances beyond our control (mainly including lots of drink and Enrique Iglesias still being number one) there was no Pop-Eye last week. Now I don’t intend to pull double shift this week, but I do understand that without a considered Pop-Eye opinion on the new entries a degree of completeness will be missing. Therefore I intend to – when I come across them in this weeks charts – at least give a two word soundbite about last weeks new entries. For instance last weeks highest new entry was No Doubt’s Hey Baby (now fallen to number 7). So I would say No Doubt’s Hey Baby = Crap.

Well why use two words when one will do.

Luckily it was all new entries or old warhorses except for No Doubt in the top ten last week. There weren’t many new releases last week. Question is has anyone managed to topple tedious old Enrique. We sent in the big guns as well – the good ship S Club 7 with a solid summer breeze of a metaphorical torpedo. Unfortunately – and unlike Mark Goodier – I cannot put off the bad news forever. The SClub failed – perhaps You is too lightweight. I predicted number one for this one on flute power alone. But it does have a poor video and the name of the song is actually rather forgettable. As much as I hate parenthesis in titles, maybe they would have been better off calling it You (Are All I Need To Get Me Through).

New number three too, with the first really good video of the year. Its a video which – if you want to be trite – makes you consider the song from another point of view. Yes db Boulevard are your usual bunch of no mark Italian studio monkeys, but in a bit of craft paper they have concocted a sassy diva for the new century. At least until someone drops her in a puddle of water and she goes all soggy. The first thirty seconds of Another Point Of View are rather promising, the rest turns into a standard dancefloor filler with dull, hippy lyrics. ‘Salright I s’pose.

I am not the greatest dancer in the world but even I can work out that there is only one possible dance you can do to What About Us by Brandy. I call it the The Lurch, which is luckily one of the few dances I can do. It is probably apt because that is where it sounds like Brandy has been left in the song. Originally the tricky time signature and piercing electronic beat really annoyed me. Now I can just about put up with it, and I admire the ambition behind the single. But if I never had to hear it again it would be no great loss.

Apparently Victoria Beckham’s Heart has got a mind of its own. There are all sorts of cruel and nasty jokes which can be made about the title of this record suggesting that Vic or her husband are a bit thick. I will not stoop to that, merely to say that a number six entry suggests that if her heart did have a mind of its own it might well be packing its little ventricular bags and trying to get a career of its own too. The song isn’t a bad ballad, but it starts with Vic trying an ill advised rap. Strictly Radio Two fodder.

I had not heard Alizez’s Moi Lolita before yesterday, and had been expecting a Europop nugget of gold. After all songs in French rarely crack the top ten and the French are not known for an excess of pop genius. I can only assume the ‘French Britney Spears’ (TM her PR company) shares more than youth with Britney, because this song is tosh. Pro-paedophillic tosh too if my very poor french is anything to go by. Surely every French pop song sounds like this? What is special about this number, except some highly produced strings? Hmm. All those Hit Me Baby One More Time arguments are coming back to haunt us.

Ja Rule — Always On Time = Naggingly silky.
A1 — Caught In The Middle = Career Suicide.
Alien Ant Farm — Movies = Surprisingly Fun.

Puddle Of Mudd, Tanya had the definitive word on ver Mudd, but I can’t find it in the archives. Suffice to say they sound like Soundgarden and Conflict is a psychobabble teenage rebellion song which puts you firmly in the parents camp. Its a crap name for a band too. Timo Maas on the other hand have not been eviscerated by the first lady of music hatred, so I’ll help her out. This sounds like the Stereo MC’s. To me that is not a particularly bad thing. To Tanya – well.

What else has popped up lower down the charts. Leann Rimes has the misfortune not to have a film with which to tie ‘But I do Love You’ in with. This lack of over-familiarity therefore has assisted its nu-country ways not rocketing up the charts. Ian Brown and Spiritualized are booked in to the retirement home for old respected Indie troupers (the thirties). The much playlisted Dilated Peoples also manage a somewhat disappointing 29 – but then that is what happens to so called conscious rap. Now if they were swearing and shooting people then maybe they would be higher up, or maybe its just that the backing sounds equally as worthy as the lyrics. Edge peoples, we know you are clever but we want stupid edge. Stupid edge which is nicely provided by The Hives. Possibly known as The Swedish Strokes or something equally as dumb this track reminds me much, much more of The Pixies. It goes nowhere, is probably too long, is shouty and stupid and is the first great indie dance track of the year. Which is certainly an improvement on – say – 2000.

So to next week and if the S Club battleship can’t do it, we have been left with only one option for next week. I feel like Dr Oppenheimer letting a pop nuclear holocaust out of its bottle, but we must get rid of the MOR balladeer son of a MOR balladeer. There will always be collateral damage, but we have no choice. Release he SS Westlife.

B-JERK

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B-JERK

Its Oh So Quiet whispers the Icelandic pop pixie on the album Post. Not for long though if Bjork is around, nothing remains quiet once her growly shriek comes into play. Akin to the kind of siren they install in Nuclear Power Stations to warn people that it is about to go critical, it is the kind of sound that can be heard in space. And in space no-one can hear you scream.

But I have not come here to praise Bjork, but to bury her. Preferably in a concrete bunker that her sonic weapon could not break out of. After all she is a very dangerous woman to tackle, weve all seen her attack that journalist. I was quite keen on this moment because I thought it would swing the worlds sympathies on to my side and finally show what a menace pop stars are. Instead people put up with the pop puffin being in rubbish films (I thought we had killed the musical) and boasting about her own army. She is a megalomaniac wrapped in kookie dead swan wrapping. Think about it – only one group of people in the world persist with never learning English properly – and that is James Bond villains. I for one can see Bjork strapping Bond to her volcano sized sonic weapon and trilling:
No Meeester Bond, I expeeect you to die. Innit. Before holding the world to ransom with an oh so ironic rendition of Human Behaviour. Get on the wrong side of her and she will be Violently Happy. Its all fight, fight, fight with her.

The sooner the world realise this menace in our midst the sooner we can do something about her. She has even joined forced with that other major force for evil in the world Thom Yorke on -Ive Seen It All. I bet you have love, from your top secret spy satellites. But will you listen to me, I fear not. It will do you no good wishing you had listened to that voice of reason Tanya Headon when the world is under the jackboot heel of the Icelandic Despot. Or at least the heel of a boot made of jelly or matchbox toys – this is Bjork we are talking about here after all.