|The bigger the headache, the bigger the pill...|
...............................not only was I almost physically sick at the sight of so much shit in the form of CDs and books (I was actually puking in my mind! - a torrent of vomit flooding my neurons) yesterday I'm now sick to death of the B-word (Br***t) (and the silly fucking snowflakes bleating on about boo-hoo it shouldn't have happened not-in-our-name blah, blah GET OVER IT AND STOP WHINGING!) which gets mentioned every night on the news on the telly and so I've boycotted the news, or at least will always mute it until I think it's safe and more entertaining subjects are covered such as what Donald Trump has been up to.........
..........this morning I felt sick again flicking through the forthcoming supposed musical highlights of the year according to the London listings mag Time Out, which used to actually contain a lot of listings until the internet killed off that idea, although City Limits was a better listings mag, NOW Time Out IS A PERFECT FIT FOR SOCIETY AND LONDON BRAIN-LITE TWATS WHO WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH THE TICKETS ARE AND WHEN SOME USELESS CRETIN IS WARBLING ALONG WITH WHERE'S THE BEST PLACE TO EAT PERUVIAN FUCKING FOOD OR WHICH SHIT NIGHTCLUB PLAYING MUSIC FOR MORONS THEY CAN GO TO AND WAVE THEIR HANDS IN THE AIR PRETENDING LONDON'S STILL GOT A 'COOL' CLUB SCENE.
"But, Robin, you're into music so why don't you admit that just because you've never heard of an act doesn't mean to say they're shit", you say.
First: FUCK OFF.
Second: I'm awaiting the Second Coming of His Holiness John Coltrane, all right? And not going to a gig until then.
Third: the contemporary music I listen to is mostly made by blokes twiddling knobs in their rooms, or staring at screens and I've no intention of going to watch them doing the latter 'live'.
I haven't seen bands regularly since the Punk/New Wave thing so, for instance, I saw Stiff Little Fingers at their best and you probably didn't - SO THERE. I saw a lot of bands and they were all brilliant because I was young and drunk. That's what middle-aged men of the future will be saying about this era only they'll be lying, obviously - not subjectively, objectively, because it's impossible to see anything more electrifying than The Ramones, Clash, Jam thrashing out tunes amid showers of phlegm from a pogoing pit of snotty young Punks.
I was reminded of all that when coming across a John Peel broadcast from 1978 this morning and listening to it in the office yes little tears of nostalgia trickled through the alleyways of me noodle, dear reader, even though at the time an underlying terror/dread of my life ensured I was miserable most of the time having not long left school to do factory work from which I could see no possible escape (I was so eager to leave school to do this?!). The Peel show was essential listening (yawn, you've heard all that a million times since he died, I know) and this episode reminded me why what with The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, Gang Of Four and great reggae tunes (including a dub which reminded me that door chimes were once the fashion in dub tunes - crazy times).
If, I said if the spirit of all that is at all alive to day it surely resides in Sleaford Mods, those luvvable scallywags who are old enough to know better and do so they make records to prove it. Jason Williamson's absurdist nonsense verse mixed with social observations and verbal phlegm is still a great thing as their latest, English Tapas, proves. 'Punk's not dead / Well, it is now or does no one care about you?' (Just Like We Do). Since I last spoke to Jason they've got big, as big as they can get, perhaps, but don't worry, I'm not saying that to prove anything just making the point that no matter how popular they get they'll probably always be this, what they are - they've been what they are too long to change and even money can't seem to alter, put a gloss on, the anarchic, haphazard-but-knowingly-crafted image/sound of jumbled lyricism (which still has more actual depth, probably, than what most other lyrical lamebrains can muster). Never too obvious yet unafraid of cliche or even trying to pack too many words into a line, therefore sounding gloriously amateurish. 'Given half the chance you'd walk around like a twat just like we do' - the perfect riposte to anyone who dares criticise them for being successful, the admission that, well, they might be twats whilst they're at it. Still the most basic rhythms, best suited to let Williamson's lyrics shine and amid the abstract mindstream ourpourings poetry like: 'Let's go back to corridors of mine and also yours / Where the dust lays on the shelf in this the quiet hell / Of cigarettes and trains and plastic and bad brains / And heartbreak lays upon the self of this the new born hell, well' (Time Sands). English Tapas isn't the nation's favourite dish by a long stretch but every year since I saw them I've noticed friends discovering Sleaford Mods and that's a good thing.