Tuesday, 16 February 2010

England's Dreaming Tapes #2

A couple of people have E Mithered me to ask what was meant by the last sentence on the last "blog" ... "If it wasn't for The Fall"... Well, I wasn't trying to be cryptic or ought, but thanks for asking. Thanks, too, for reading, and these E Mithers weren't from my "followers" either. I don't know if I like having "followers" - I have always said: "Don't follow me...follow Satan" Ah well.
What I was trying to say was that the book seems to think that if it wasn't for the antics of a handful of folks in London in the Spring/Summer of 1976 then a lot of other groups/singers/artistes etc would never have existed, and I disagree with this. Certainly Mark E Smith was at the Sex Pistols gig in Manchester but he was already on the way to forming the Fall. Ultravox!. Pere Ubu, Devo, Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire - all these existed before the Sex Pistols were formed and were producing evocative and original material.
When I heard the Sex Pistols they sounded like a tired rock band. Nothing special - it was their attitude, or that of John Lydon that made them stand out. Other than that they were a very poor "covers" band. McLaren caught the zeitgeist and when Glen Matlock left they ran out of songs because he was the main songwriter. from then on they were on a crash and burn mission. The Clash were just bloody awful. Awful bland pub rock. I got bought their "London Calling" LP for a birthday present and a ticket to see them in Leicester (Whirlwind support). Simply, bloody awful.
What the Sex Pistols did was shake the foundations. New groups who were starting around that time, bands like No Dice, Widowmaker and Burlesque just got exposed as talentless wastrels and opened the door for bands like....the bands that I liked.

Another interesting thing in the book. Captain Sensible gets a chapter to talk about the birth of The Damned and the "Anarchy" tour. He states that he cannot stand the second Damned LP "Music for Pleasure" - in fact, if he sees it in somebody's collection he will smash it up and pay the owner a tenner and be told to go and buy a better record. "Music For Pleasure" is my favourite The Damned album! I find this a lot in the books I read, my favourite seems to be the artistes albatross. Nurse With Wound "Insect + Individual Silenced" / XTC "Go+" 12"EP / Simple Minds "Reel To Real Cacophony". Last year I had Adi Newton round for a drink and a chat and I told him my favourite Clock DVA record was "Advantage", not only that but I have 2 versions of the "Breakdown" 12" - his wife said that was the worst DVA song ever recorded and she could not stand it! I bloody love it!!

Anyway. If it wasn't for The Fall.....

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