Posts from July 2003

17
Jul 03

Good Lord it’s the Foxgloves!

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Good Lord it’s the Foxgloves!. Strangely familiar reviewer name, too.

Dey Do Dough Don’t Dey, Do Dey?

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Dey Do Dough Don’t Dey, Do Dey? All bands from Scotland and Liverpool sing with that artificial transatlantic accent – its a truism. That isn’t true. Just listen to Pass It On by The Coral to hear – at least in the verses – the thickest Scouse committed to a record for quite some time.

Goodbye NYLPM comments

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Goodbye NYLPM comments: as part of the relaunch/redesign we’ve decided to ditch comments on Freaky Trigger blogs (plural intentional) – just as well as they’d started to not work anyway. Thanks to everyone who’s commented here. If you do read something here and want to reply then you can mention it on ILM, or write to the new! working! replied-to! email address given after every post, or even mention it on your own blog. (Remember when people actually did this?)

16
Jul 03

Club Freaky Trigger

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Club Freaky Trigger is back and the site will relaunch on the same day (August 6th).

RUPEE — ‘Tempted 2 Touch’

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Futurism seekers look away — this is a lovers’ jam with sticky-tape and eggbox backing. Not that it won’t get you moving — the ‘Grippas’ rhythm Rupee rides bumps most addictively — but its cheapo vibe (those synth flourishes are pure Argos) is surely what’s preventing it getting picked up on by the Shaggys of this world and reversioned into a Summer monster. Maybe it works better on a smaller scale, though — Rupee is MCing a party and wants to touch every woman on the dancefloor, which is corny but not as corny as if the dance was stadium-size. Even so it could just be a groper’s charter (maybe it’s best that it isn’t a hit!) but Rupee’s voice has a kind of shy innocence that lets him skip the loverman patter and make a sweet tune soar.

John Otway At Glastonbury – Beyond The Fringe

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John Otway plays every year at Glastonbury in the Cabaret tent, but no one ever goes to see him. He had a novelty hit single called ‘Cor Baby That’s Really Free’ in the late ’70s and has reputedly been living off that in a rather sad manner ever since. This makes him a somewhat unappealing prospect.

However, in the interests of science I decided this year that John Otway must be seen. So on a sunny Saturday afternoon I joined those taking shelter inside and caught most of his act. It turned out that he was surprisingly entertaining. The music is not so good, but he has a very engaging stage manner and for someone who has enjoyed so little success he is very good at working the audience.

His act is essentially a comedic one, albeit based around musical performance. He was accompanied by another guy on guitar, who looked like an escapee from A.R.E. Weapons, but he played guitar himself on most tracks, and used on a variety of gimmicks to keep us amused. One of these was his trick of folding a coathanger so that it became a hands-free microphone holder. More striking was when he wheeled on a theremin and strapped some kind of beatbox onto himself, so that he was able to dance and make music simultanaeously. Truly this man is a genius. He also had a great comedy roadie who had to keep running onstage to re-connect mikes and stuff, especially when Otway was using the coathanger microphone. The roadie was so funny to watch that I am still wondering whether he was part of the act and his interventions scripted.

The actual music was less important. I’m not sure if I caught the Hit, and a lot of the tunes performed were covers – e.g. ‘Delilah’ and ‘Two Little Boys’. Apparently the former of these was released as a single in the relatively recent past, and charted (albeit peaking at number 192), so Otway is now entitled to release a greatest hitS compilation. I always find ‘Two Little Boys’ strangely affecting – I mean, I know it is a mawkishly sentimental song for small children, but a lot of its themes touch my heart. When listening to it I always imagine some poor fuck on a battlefield somewhere waiting to die beside his dead horse, and then he is saved by his childhood friend. Hurrah. Also, the whole thing of sticking close to your childhood friends (something none of us ever do) is a great source of regret and guilty nostalgia.

Otway finished with ‘Cheryl’ – wasn’t this the song he released after ‘Cor Baby’, the track that no one bought, thereby dooming him to a career as a figure of fun rather than a proper musical artist? I found myself thinking that it is actually quite a good tune. Perhaps in an alternate universe John Otway is primarily famous as a songwriter and not as that surprisingly funny guy who always plays the Cabaret Tent at Glastonbury.

The Dirty Vicar

15
Jul 03

Beyonce Knowles- Crazy in Love

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Beyonce Knowles- Crazy in Love

Everything about the new Beyonce video seems to be cribbed from Madonna: the burning car and the black saints that recall Like A Virigin (with a new meta level added by the fact that Beyonce is dating the saint in real life); The Fuck Me Harder Bustier which is a direct rip off of Gautiers creation for Blonde Ambtion and being soaked to the skin while dancing through a post industrial wilderness, which was the plot to the Fincher filmed Express Yourself. Even the lighting recalls the banned but boring video for What it Feels Like for a Girl.

Madge may be having trouble on the charts, but she is still is the mother to all of the new pop tarts, and those who love them.

The Wenlock Arms

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The publog vs CAMRA: a battle which is inherent in our very core. They believe the ale is the thing, we beg to differ – it is all about the pub. It is even more nebulous and subjective to judge the atmosphere of a venue than even the taste of a beer which might be why CAMRA has never risen to that challenge. Instead some time in the mid seventies CAMRA decided that quiet pubs without too many lager drinkers and well kept ales were the ticket. Problem with this is that some time in the early nineties that anti-Euro bloke with the funny quiff agreed and set up a pub chain just like it. I’m not saying that all CAMRA members love Wetherspoons, but institutionally they are stuffed if they disagree.

Which brings us to the Wenlock Arms, a regular winner of North London pub of the year. About six real ales on, a chewy cider, a mild and yes – it is actually a pretty nice pub. A genuinely friendly little boozer, with the kids playing cricket popping in and out. The beers seem to get changed every hour or so, and the doorstop sandwiches are just frighteningly large. (I don’t have a big mouth, which explains why my salt beef sandwich won the fight with me). Pubs like this are few and far between which is probably why they get a decent clientele – I certainly did not feel intimidated during the solo pint I had a while back.

That CAMRA run a pub of the year competition suggests they have at least a passing interest in the institutions. In the end though they are merely interested in places that serve the beer they want to drink. Fine, it is their campaign. But you wonder if it only sold Stella and Fosters if the Wenlock could ever win. But then, we wouldn’t have gone off the beaten path on the City Road to go either.

Gorky’s Zygotic Wanci

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Gorky as in Gorky Park – scene of terrible crime (and a pretty terrible film though I always had a soft spot for the book which has long passages about the solace in vodka.)

Zygotic as in the Zygons – a particularly bad Doctor Who villain from the mid seventies whose foolproof method to take over the Earth was to set loose a Loch Ness monster (only just about doable if your definition of the world is pretty much bordered by Inverness).

Mynci as in the Welsh spelling on monkey – cos of course Welsh hasn’t got the letter K. So in Wales you can’t knee someone in the bollocks – you have to nudge their goolies.

When even the name is that much hard work – you know the band really are not going to be worth your time. If the Super Furry Animals (who thinks of these names) had not put you off Welsh bands forever, Gorky’s are here. Twee – we’ve got twee. Rubbish psychedelic paintings – check. A band with a flute player whose members generally wear wizards hats. Oh yes, Gorky’s are the Harry Potters of pop – without the phenomenal sales record. As easy to take in a fight though. Just nick their wands and smash their glasses.

Ver Mynci have been around for ten years, and still have barely scratched the top thirty. They have what is politely called a cult following. Though I remember what the FBI did with cults and hope they tour the US soon. It is quite clear to see how worhtless their music is though – what with their singer/songwriter/chief pointy hat wearer being called Euros. Fine if he was Belgian or Portugeuse – but he’s Welsh. And its not legal tender over there. Boyo.

11
Jul 03

Tom’s Top Twelve, 11th July 2003

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TOM’S TOP TWELVE

LADY SAW – “Let’s Go Party”
THE DARKNESS – “Get Your Hands Off My Woman”
RAGGA REYES – “Te Traigo El…Papichulo”
ELEPHANT MAN – “Nah Lick”
EURYTHMICS – “Sex Crime (1984)”
DIZZEE RASCAL – “Fix Up Look Sharp”
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM – “Tribulations”
SCISSOR SISTERS – “Comfortably Numb”
M MAYER – “Speaker”
JESSICA SIMPSON – “Sweetest Sin”
NAS feat PHARELL – “Flyest Angel”
BEYONCE feat JAY Z – “Crazy In Love” (still!)