18
Jan 02

STOP YOUR SERICULTURE

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STOP YOUR SERICULTURE

A sort of reply to Dave’s post:

The point about the Human League, of course, is that their tours aren’t reunion tours – they never broke up (well, they did, but before they got famous). They’re still a working unit, still have something to contribute – so the comparison was a compliment as much as a diss. I’m not saying Mission Of Burma should get less respect, I’m saying the Human League – art-synth pioneers who watched their styles go pop and then rather than bitching about it went and did it in the charts better, an 80s band whose occasional albums get respectful-to-rave reviews today – should get more.

80s nostalgia plays a part, of course it does, and it does for Burma too – what else would you call the wave of good-feeling that Michael Azerrad’s This Band Could Be Your Life has unleashed for 80s indie-rock? It’s useful to remind ourselves that – a glut of sarky celebs pimping their memories on TV notwithstanding – “nostalgia” can be a good thing, if you’re willing to turn it round and call it “learning from experience”. I went to that Wire tour too, and liked it – it was blank and compacted and noisy, a working-through of the project the 80s Wire had set themselves, only with a 70s setlist. They played “The Drill” and then played “12XU” – and of course they were the same song. “We’ve been doing this since the beginning,” they were saying, “Catch up.” Those kind of disappointments I want more of.

(Course, “nostalgia” can be fun even if there’s no great artistic task uncompleted. I stopped writing this to get up and jump and air-bass to ABBA (The Visitors remaster – a messy but compelling record, go buy it), and if they got back together I might very well turn up and gawk and…well, god knows why I’d go, but I probably would. To pay respects, I suppose, like Dave says.)

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