In this setting, I realised, even in the earlier phase of Dexys, that this element had always been a key part of their vision. It’s working class magical realism. The portal at the bottom of your street.
Of course the use of instruments like a reed organ or a harmonium helps set the tone, as do the lachrymose strings ...but in these things are very much part of a whole, and that whole is a warm, rich experience.
People who like their 60’s classics will enjoy Overgrown Patch, especially if you’re tuned into the more reflective, Arthur Lee / Donovan / Traffic side of things, frayed, acid-soaked folk rock with a touch of soul.
Three releases that - despite their differences in make-up, execution and background – all share a certain sombre and seasonal mood. Perfect for a winter’s listen, dark and Gothic, like a Gustave Doré print
You get the feeling that this is a band that feels the need to hide their light behind a bushel now and again. Despite their incredible power.
...such is the hothouse atmosphere of the music that four tracks are more than enough to digest at first sitting: this no-nonsense and often angsty EP really leaves its mark with the attitude that is cut deep into the recording and an obvious, essential part of the band’s DNA.
The record rides a sort of highly glossed, pumped-up synth sheen, redolent of those La Dusseldorf or La! Neu? recordings; with repetitive, insistent electronic beats cracking the whip.
I’m not sure whether I should be looking for anything deep in this riotous celebration of surface - outside of a snigger at the odd caustic lyric - but regardless, Beets Limes & Rice is very good at setting certain, hoary old chord structures up, things that simply make you feel good.
Repetitor have a fund of human energy that they are looking to share as soon as possible, that’s what gives them their incredible focus on this record. The hooks are sharp, abrasive and metallic, gritty to the feel, like iron fillings.
This record is everything and nothing. Just like the band. They’re just a bunch of people from Groningen. No more than that, and they’re not looking for your approval.
A record of moods, of little show and an unfussy nature. This reticence shouldn’t disguise its quality, and maybe you could overlook this record, but you shouldn’t.
Bludgeoned by an avalanche of facts and images and layered, quirky sounds, (not to mention fucking weird noises popping up when you least expect them) the best thing is to have patience, and hold on.
I suppose all this waffle should lead you to realise that they were fantastic. It was a blast. They’re brilliant. Next time they’re in the playpen of Western Europe you need to see them.
It is a testament to the power of stardom’s siren’s song, that a man who has suffered acute stage fright in a drum circle agreed to appear before a mass of baying students.
When our earnest author, free from the burden of drunken associates, was finally ready to enjoy the gig, an adversary, one he’d buried years ago, manifests to test his fortitude.
Unnervingly one of Joe Orton’s holiday snaps adorns the cover, but after diving into the album’s beguiling waters, immersing myself, I emerged reborn, no longer threatened by the strangely alluring photography. In fact, I rather like it.
Oh yeah, talking of the Voorstraat, what the bloody heck is that rabbit statue about? I think it’s shit and I need to be convinced of its place in the scheme of things.
I say this over and over; great music is informed by personality and intelligence – whether emotional or intellectual – coupled with the seizing of a moment to make the work itself. Not enough dudes take this on board nowadays, preferring to seek comfort in non-arguments and pseudo stylings. Well fuck that, Clinic were killer.
Still, despite the book’s disarming nature, the list of memories are incredible: blazing and funny descriptions of Mudhoney’s and Nirvana’s first UK gigs, the debunking of the Oasis fight incident, and wide-eyed recollections of the Pixies and Throwing Muses double header…
And who amongst us would not, in the light of recent revelations, draw succour from the idea that “you cannot reconstruct a culture without incinerating a few disc-jockeys”?