Steve Sutherland interviews Damon Albarn, 16th September 1995. Photos by Kevin Cummins.
Seeing as I have the N.M.E. pile out and we’re all still flushed from seeing Blur on stage again at Glastonbury 2009 I thought I’d post this, the counterpart to this cover, which has proved extremely popular. Gasp again to the cut and thrust of Blur vs. Oasis; thrill to the shenanigans of Cuntry House and The Great Escape; or just simply drool over the lovely Cummins picture of the young Albarn.
The years are starting to show though aren’t they? Quite understandable for Albarn to change the lyrics in End of a Century from “the mind gets dirty, as you get closer to thirty” to fifty, given the circumstances. It doesn’t scan as well but I’ll forgive him.
So I dunno if I was naive, but I wasn’t expecting quite such a retreat to the ‘Britpop’ Blur – perhaps Damon & Co. needed to be reminded of what great work they’ve produced over the years to feel re-invigorated for the future? It has, lest we forget, been a long slog for them over the last 20 years. Something I was reminded of again today thanks to the serendipitous joys of Twitter when I read Rhodri Marsden’s first hand recollection of meeting Blur in their orignal Seymour form and then subsequently touring with them. Well worth reading and there’s this photo that shows why Dave gave up drinking.
It just so happens that I’ve managed to scan in a review from one of these early Blur performances where The Keatons supported. If you missed it the first time it’s here.
And let’s not forgot all of Blur’s festival unfriendly tunes. Here’s a Spotify playlist showcasing the gloomy side of Blur through the years.
June 25, 2009
I’ll leave it to his contemporaries to write the perceptive, insightful, emotional stuff.
In James Brown’s piece he says “Anything loud or unhip became his domain” which seems particularly astute in the context of the few measly scraps I can offer.
Carter USM, Jesus Jones and finally, perhaps fittingly, Snuff.
Steven Wells interviews Carter USM, 19th November 1994. Photos Roger Sargent & Derek Ridgers
Steven Wells interviews Jesus Jones, 1st July 1989. Photo Lawrence Watson.
Steven Wells reviews Snuff Said by Snuff, 18th November 1989
December 31, 2008
It’s late. I am alone but the red wine is flowing so I thought I’d kill the time semi constructively and make sure something got posted for the month of December. Happy New Year to your all wherever in the world you happen to be. I’ll be in Copenhagen with any luck. God only knows where Courtney Love will be.
November 24, 2008
Richey Edwards still missing. NME news item, 4th March 1995.
Blame it on the fact that I was forced to read Roland Barthes, Mythologies at an impressionable age but all I can see looking at this spread now is “Get Ready Gravediggaz”. They’ve had to wait a long time but Richey Edwards was finally declared officially dead today. R.I.P.
4Real or not 4Real? That is the question.
November 23, 2008
Sarah Champion on Manchester’s Acid scene, 22nd October 1988.
The other 2 pages of the NME feature on the acid scene for everyone joining from Faith Fanzine forum. Do you want more of this stuff?
Paolo Hewitt interviews Paul Oakenfold about Acid Culture, 22nd October 1988.
You could sum up this whole piece with “Take drugs kids, they’re amazing and everyone is doing them”. Of course, the NME couldn’t come out and say this directly, especially when they’ve started the piece by accusing the media of being out to kill the acid scene because of the drugs the media assume are involved. So you get quotes from Oakenfold like this,
“Obviously, drugs are involved but I don’t know to what extent. It’s impossible to say”.
Er, yeah…sure Paul. Maybe it’s impossible to say because you’ve already taken so much Ecstasy your brain resembles swiss cheese.
He continues with this gem, where if you replace the cipher word ‘fun’ with ‘drugs’ does actually sum up the scene perfectly.
“The key,” he [Oakenfold] explains, “the secret to the whole thing is fun. People have never had so much fun. People thought they would never be able to dance again. I’m 26 and I thought I’d never dance again. Now I go to clubs and dance. When you’ve got something that is so much fun everyone wants a piece of it.”
Haha! Who did they think they were kidding? Drugs have always been at the heart of every vibrant music scene. With the Acid/Rave scene they were at the heart, lungs, eyes, feet and every other part of the body. The real reason why so much modern music sucks so badly is because society sorely lacks for a new drug to kickstart it.
One of the brilliant things about the web is how so many of these records are being archived and made available on themed mp3 blogs. Audio.Out is particularly good, especially for the rarer stuff. Indeed it’s just posted Balearic Beats Volume 1, Part 1 which ties in nicely with this interview.
Who watches The Watchmen? The Daily Mail of course.
November 21, 2008
November 20, 2008
November 19, 2008
This is the back cover to the U2 cover just posted previously.
This ad, like almost every big corporate ad placed in the music weeklies, being all sorts of wrong. From the saxophone to those preppy clothes and haircut, even back in 1988 I remember cringing at how these companies kept getting ‘cool’ so spectacularly wrong.
Aside from this I can’t help but notice how that strapline pre-dates txt speak. This would surely read “Without UR, ur missing out” today. And of course whenever I think of Maxell tapes I always, always, think of this TV ad.