Posts Tagged 'teenage fanclub'

Lithium

“Sunday morning is everyday for all I care.
And I’m not scared.  Light my candles. In a daze cause I’ve found God.

Yeah yeah yeah yeah…..”

From “Lithium” by Nirvana.

Pop culture and rock music seems to be measured by high water tides, be it the Beat Poet movement, the Summer of Love, the Spirit of ’76 or a whole host of other things.  The recessionary environment and bleakness of the late 70’s and early 80’s produced some great music too.  I wonder how the present global economic situation will inspire new expressions of what it truly is to be human?  It is often cited that this recession has brought a new moral awakening as we are more informed of the impact of our consumption on other world regions.

Throughout generations, music has defined movements, has soundtracked events and captured emotions and memories.  Can we imagine a musical history without icons like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley or the Sex Pistols?  And whilst the influence of such artists is all around us, they aren’t the ones that defined my generation.  Do we make idols of musicians or do we somehow find a sense of something bigger than us through their art?  Something spiritual?  Something of God? And yet a previous generation often frowned and claimed it was all of the devil – even Cliff Richard!!!  Well maybe there’s some truth in that…

This week I discovered a couple of clips that appeared on one of the few TV programmes that covered the indie music scene of the early ’90’s.  They all came from a single episode of Rapido which I had videoed at the time and had watched umpteen times.  On watching it this week I was amazed at how I could virtually recite the journalistic commentary that accompanied the clips together with much of the band’s own conversations.

The first clip is extraordinary.  Nirvana in the UK literally weeks after the release of “Nevermind” – an album which was scrappy, messy, full of contradictions and which was yet deperately urgent and vital upon it’s release.  I listened to it last night for the first time in years and it sounded like a great commercial rock album.  So much subsequent music has been influenced by it.  How the landscape has changed forever even though Kurt claimed he was just ripping off The Pixies. 

This clip shows a band unaware of just how they were going to rewrite rock and it’s a rare insight into a moment in time when NME and others were getting excited about something that was literally destroying the banality of the early ’90’s music scene.  Nirvana were playing to modest sized crowds many of whom were curious.  I still can’t believe I turned down tickets to see them at Calton Road Studios in Edinburgh in November 1991…

The second clip is from a very young looking Teenage Fanclub discussing the success of “Bandwagonesque”, another album that I still listen to all these years later.  Teenage Fanclub’s music has grown over the years and is still hugely treasured by me.

Last but not least, My Bloody Valentine discuss the seminal “Loveless”.  I just couldn’t get my head around this record in 1991.  Was it genius or did you have to be out of your head on some sort of substance to “get it”?  Eighteen years later I still listen to it regularly and whilst I’ve found many of the songs lurking in the strange soundscape, it still doesn’t sound dated to me.  Despite many pale imitations, nothing sounds quite like it.  Oh and it made me nostalgic and happy to see the late John Peel give his tuppence worth too.  

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Panic On

“Had a light one night in the dark.
It won’t show you too much of the future.
Let it go.
Let it fall behind.
I would never call on human nature.”

From “Panic On” by Madder Rose.

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I love my iPod.  I love the way the shuffle function often catches me by surprise and transports me instantly back in time to a period when a particular song came to mean something.  Sign posts, stepping stones and mile stones.  Memories and emotions are re-awoken in seconds.

Sometimes my shuffle function seems to have a mind of its own as if willing me to rediscover an album that has been gathering dust on my shelf for far too long.  This week I listened to the wonderful “Panic On” album by Madder Rose in its entirety for the first time in several years.  I remember discovering it back in 1994 through airplay by John Peel and the odd track appearing on a steady stream of compilation tapes my friend Craig B would send me.  The album still sounds every bit as fantastic today.

Had the iPod existed back in ’94, I guess most played would have included:  Sugar; Pixies; Dinosaur Jr; Teenage Fanclub; Red House Painters; Smashing Pumpkins; The Breeders; The Tinglies; home recorded demos of Craig B’s; and Grant Lee Buffalo. 

I’ve attached a You Tube clip below of a song that still means a lot to me.  A monument or testament I can look back to and see I have happily journeyed with even if I couldn’t have seen much of the future back then.

E102/Sad?

“I’m so happy that love has come around
I’m so happy about the girl I’ve found
I feel like someone’s favourite meal
No sweetner, No additives, the flavour is REAL!

(Go back), I can’t go back
(Go forward) I must go forward
(Go back) I cant go back to living like I did before

(Then repeat this lots of times until the record finishes)”

From the “E102/Sad? EP” by BMX Bandits

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I have no idea how many gigs my wife and I must have been to see in the 16 years since we first started going out.  It only took us 17 days to get along to our first gig of 2009. 

We often wonder what the demographic of the crowd will be given the relatively broad range of bands we manage to catch.  We also have this picture burned on our retinas of a couple of “oldies” dancing badly and looking out of place at some indie gig we went to in the early 1990s and we swore we’d never turn into them…oh, to see ourselves as others may do now might be a worrying thing…

Last night we went to The ABC in Glasgow to see The Shoeshine Records Showcase.  We got tickets from a couple we have just met recently through church and whom I hope we get to know a whole lot better in the years ahead.  Whilst I always hate folks who chat incessantly through bands, I apologise for being that, disrespectful, person during the first band’s set.  I guess I was just keen to chat and get to know our hosts.  Sorry Boa Morte… 

Next on were the indie cult genius that is the BMX Bandits.  Showmanship, singalong tunes and general feelgood factor in equal measure made them a pleasure to see.  One of the people we’d all probably most like to have a cup of tea with, Norman Blake of the, ever wonderful, Teenage Fanclub was the next act on the bill.  Norman was accompanied by Euros Childs (previously of Gorky’s Zykotic Mynci) and the two proceeded with a set of songs they’d penned together and some cover versions by the likes The Stories.  Whilst they ended with the amusing “Do, do, do, do, do, do, do ,do, do, do, do, do the Cave Dance”, most of us would have loved at least one old TFC classic.  Mind you, we did get a wee preview of one of the tracks from the forthcoming Fanclub album.

Last on were The Attic Lights who threw shapes like rock stars and provided more good time sounds.  All in all, a really enjoyable gig and almost like that pleasant feeling of being at a festival and sticking your head in various music tents just to see what’s going on.  The added advantage was not having to navigate our way through a sea of spaced out neds who have exposed themselves to too much Tennents, substances and sunshine.  Also no dodgy festival portaloos to contend with.  

After the gig we went to one of our friends’ favourite haunts for coffees, hot chocolates and snacks.  It provided a great atmosphere to just chat and get to know one another as couples.  During the evening we were receiving entertaining texts from some of our closest friends who had offered to let our daughter have a sleep over at theirs (this is the first time she has done this properly).  All went good on that front and it was such a treat to have a date night with good music and company.

Whilst I may reminisce about some of the good old gigs and times we had, I must move forward and I’m still so happy to be doing it all with the same girl I found all those years ago.  Sweet.


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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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