Steve Sutherland interviews The Telescopes, 20th January 1990
September 30, 2008
Steve Sutherland interviews The Telescopes, 20th January 1990. Photo by Tom Sheehan.
I bloody loved The Telescopes – another, if not the, most underrated band from this period – they really should have had more success than they did. I can only put that down to the fact that they were so hard to categorise….they were a bit Mary Chain, a bit Loop and bit sixties pop yet nothing like any of them really and then they changed tack once they signed to Creation which I think threw a lot of people.
I loved the first album Taste – it’s such a heavy record and the overpowering noise really makes the songs. If you can get past the cacophony of noise and feedback you’re left with the most incredibly melodic pop songs with some truly stunning vocal harmonies – She Screams, I Fall etc. which in turn then allows you to appreciate the layers of noise that have been added.
They did seem to drift into the baggy thing slightly once signed to Creation and maybe those coming to the band fresh just saw them as another Soupdragons – especially with those multicoloured videos. The songs and melodies were still good but I guess their moment had passed. I saw them at The Underworld in Camden around this time (supported by Bang Bang Machine who played the sublime Geek Love incidentally) and they all seemed so fed up and sick of being in the band. Steve sat down and smoked a spliff through one of the longer instrumental sections at one point in the gig and in a small, less than full venue, it was hard not to feel sorry for him – a gifted songwriter unjustly overlooked. I can still remember it all pretty clearly so it must have affected me.
According to wikipedia the band are still together, albeit in a stripped down form and pursuing a different musical direction but Taste was re-issued in 2006 and if you like noisey pop/rock then you should track down a copy. The Telescopes critical rehabilitation starts here.