Taylor Parkes reviews The Stone Roses 9th December 1995

Taylor Parkes reviews The Stone Roses, 9th December 1995. Photo Mark Benney.

“…and the collected non-old people of Bridlington and its surrounding villages go bananas (raisins, coconuts, sultanas)”

It’s terrible but it made me smile; and the glaring indignity of the fact that Brown has managed to carve out some sort of post-Roses career while Squire has retreated to his painting is underlined by the subsequent review.


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Taylor Parkes reviews Dex Dexter live at The Cell, 30th September 1995

Taylor Parkes reviews Dex Dexter live at The Cell, 30th September 1995

This review’s a bit ‘high concept’ for me.

Taylor Parkes reviews After Murder Park by The Auteurs, 2nd March1996

Taylor Parkes reviews After Murder Park by The Auteurs, 2nd March 1996

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Madder Rose live at the LA2 and Suede live at The Pavillion Theatre, Worthing, 19th February 1994

Sarah Kestle reviews Madder Rose live at the LA2 and Taylor Parkes reviews Suede live at The Pavillion Theatre, Worthing, 19th February 1994

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These seem quite popular so I’ll keep scanning em in. Dunno if I’m imagining it but seem to think Simon Price was somehow in the video for Whale’s – Hobo Humpin Slobo Babe.

And Cypress Hill – Insane in the Brain reminds me of living at 98 Wells St, Hackney. It got turned into an off-licence; which all of us that lived there thought fittingly appropriate.

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Taylor Parkes interviews Pizzicato Five, 1st April 1995

Taylor Parkes interviews Pizzicato Five, 1st April 1995. Photos by Pat Pope.

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Taylor Parkes reviews the singles of the week, 1st April 1995

Taylor Parkes reviews the singles of the week, 1st April 1995.

A rare column photo of the shy and retiring Mr. Parkes here in (ironic?) debonair, Zoolander mode. 8/10 for the ballsy “I haven’t heard it ” Menswear review.

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Touched by the hand of Mod - Taylor Parkes & Sarah Manning, 19th November 1994

Touched by the hand of Mod – Taylor Parkes & Sarah Manning, 19th November 1994.

Taylor – this is the piece that Robin quoted on his blog recently.

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Everett True interviews The Cranberries on the release of their debut single, 26th October 1991. Photo Joe Dilworth

Compare and contrast the obsequious piece above with this below (taken from this forum), originally printed in the Melody Maker, April 27, 1996. Proof that 5 years is a long, long time in pop and that you can disappear up your own arse in the blink of an eye.

Some people like THE CRANBERRIES. EVERETT TRUE and TAYLOR PARKES don’t.

THE CRANBERRIES
TO THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED

Reasons to hate The Cranberries.

1) Dolores O’Riordan. Her arrogance. Her petty small-mindedness. Her redneck worldview. Her incessant preaching. The fact you can actually see the mean-spiritedness of her thoughts imprinted on her pinched little face. Those American flag jumpsuits. Her cold love of money. The way she’s Sinead O’Connor for people who can’t confront even elementary contradictions. Her anti-abortion stance. Her absolute lack of self-irony. The way she makes even the most fundamental and wonderful emotions sound trite. The way America loves her cliched, stereotypical take on Ireland. Her reduction of serious political issues to 10-second sound-nibbles. Her dress sense. The obscene way she made legions of students slow-dance to the most crushingly banal political lyric (“And their tanks and their bombs and their tanks and their guns…”) since Paul McCartney’s “Give Ireland Back To The Irish”. That wedding.

2) Dolores O’Riordan. Her smug conceit masquerading as concern for all mankind.

3) Dolores O’Riordan. Her lyrics. The fact that no one in her obviously highly technological camp has bothered to buy her anything more than a Second Year rhyming dictionary. The fact that she sees fit to write a song about John Lennon – a bigoted, misogynistic, self-loathing, tantrum-prone asshole who also happened to write some great songs – 15 years after the event, and gloss over all his faults. The fact that she does so by writing the infantile lines, “It was a fearful night of December 8th/He was returning home from the studio late/He had perceptively known that it wouldn’t be nice/Because in 1980 he paid the price…With a Smith & Wesson 38/John Lennon’s life was no longer a debate.” The fact that every person in her camp is clearly so in awe of her (temper? Power? Capacity for retribution? Fragile ego?) that they didn’t take her gently to one side and go, “Er, Dolores, perhaps it’d be better if someone else wrote the lyrics…”

4) Dolores O’Riordan. Her videos. You know how much Dolores hates to be typecast as a “thick Paddy”? Has she actually watched any of her own videos? The way they reinforce received notions of Ireland as a backwards country populated entirely by broken-toothed, bowl-headed, crying schoolkids in grey V-neck jumpers dancing around streets lit by the occasional Armalite flare? And the odd horse – y’know.

5) Dolores O’Riordan. Her lyrics. Guess whose only contact with “real life” has been MTV news and the occasional venture onto the street outside the Four Seasons? Check “War Child”: “I spent last winter in New York and came upon a man/He was sleeping in the streets and homeless, he said ‘I fought in Vietnam’…” You ****ing patronising, prematurely middle-aged cow.

6) Dolores O’Riordan. Her music. The opening song here (“Hollywood”) starts like Stiltskin. Only not as good. Then we’re onto Foreigner territory. With the odd mandolin thrown in, for “local” colour.

7) Dolores O’Riordan. Her lyrics. Check “I’m Still Remembering”: “They say the cream will always rise to the top/They say that good people are always the first to drop/What of Kurt Cobain, will his presence still remain?/Remember JFK, ever saintly in a way….” (Yeah, and an adulterous ego-maniac who started the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War, in another way.) Check: “Bosnia” (no, seriously, folks) – “Bosnia was so unkind, Sarajevo changed my mind…Rummmpatitum, rummmpatitum/Traboo, traboo, traboo…” (We’re quoting from the official lyric sheet.) The theremin and musical box used (spookily!) to spice up the music have the unfortunate effect of making the song sound like something from “The Twilight Zone”.
The situation in the former Yugoslavia seems to have particularly troubled Dolores while she was writing the songs for this album (what’s wrong, dearie? Nothing better on TV?). After all, as she helpfully points out in the heady, emotive (all right: we’re lying) “Free To Decide”, “You must have nothing more with your time to do/There’s a war in Russia and Sarajevo too.” This is, incidentally, the most perceptive insight she offers throughout. (Who are the people who take this woman seriously? Where do they live? Where do they go to at night? Please don’t invite us.)

8) Dolores O’Riordan. Her voice. The way she turned what was a dazzling, intoxicating gift into an atonal corncrake skree by infusing it with her personality. Now it emparts no emotion of any kind, save for pettiness, bitterness, self-righteousness. She tries to suggest such broad sweeps of emotion with her songs but, somehow, they always end up sounding so ****ing small.

Not that we’d want to belittle her.

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David Bennun reviews The Tindersticks second album, 25th March 1995

Here’s the review of The Tindersticks second album to complete The Tindersticks trilogy. My only complaint with this record being its lack of a title. How big an imagination vacuum does it take to not only fail to title your first record, but also your second? It can’t be a conceptual thing either because their tracks have titles, so I can’t for the life of me think what was going through their minds by not giving the record a name.

As it happens I’m currently reading David Bennun’s memoir of growing up in Kenya, Tick Bite Fever. It’s a light, easy read and I’m enjoying it quite a lot, even if at times Bennun’s memory seems rather heightened. His vivid critiques of the cinema ads he saw at the age of 7 seem rather too well remembered and researched for my liking, but that niggle withstanding, it’s something I’d probably never have discovered if it hadn’t been for this blog. And if I’d never bought the book I’d never have found out he’d co-written a whole lorryload of Jeremy Clarkson material either. This latter fact wasn’t quite such a welcome discovery.

It seems most of the journos featured here have dipped into writing books to a greater or lesser extent as the years have past. Most are, in some way or other, connected to music as you might expect, but there are a few, such as Bennun’s that break this mold.

One name conspicuously absent from the ‘I’ve done a book’ list is Taylor Parkes, which is a shame because he writes powerfully and emotively about his life in his sporadic blog posts. To my mind it seems like he could have given us our own (English and almost certainly much better) version of Prozac Nation.

According to wikipedia Elizabeth Wurtzel is a lawyer now which must be a great relief to her after spending so much time as a one trick pony. I’ve no idea how well Prozac Nation is remembered these days. Is it on the compulsory teen angst reading lists along with all the classics like The Bell Jar etc. Please, if you are ‘young’ then do leave a comment about the book and how well known you think it is or isn’t.

It certainly created quite stir at the time. It tapped into that zeitgeisty ‘depression is the new black’ vibe of the mid-nineties. Personally I was always irritated beyond belief by Prozac Nation purely by the simple fact of what Wurtzel looked like. It bugged me that a very pretty, very clever girl could moan so fucking much about how she hated her life. Now I know that’s kind of the point. Depression isn’t rational etc. but I still felt sorry for all the fat, ugly girls who probably felt just as suicidal, if not more so, but didn’t get a book deal because they weren’t going to make for such an attractive book cover. The publishers and marketing people certainly knew what they were doing when they put that photo of her on the cover. I’m not going to say it explicitly in text but she’s another one to file alongside Myleen Klass.

Speaking of which today’s bizarre Google term that brought people to the blog was “obese women in bikinis”. Great. Move along now, there’s nothing to see here.

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