Live clubs, Vague, Sabresonic, Megatripolis, Open All Hours, 22nd December 1994

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Dave Simpson reviews Lush and The Pale Saints, 9th December 1989

Dave Simpson reviews Lush and The Pale Saints live at The Warehouse, Leeds, 9th December 1989.

A 4AD love in – and just look at that perfect indie moptop in the picture! This had me rushing straight to Spotify to listen to Pale Saints debut, The Comforts of Madness, which I hadn’t listened to in 15+ years.  Apart from Sight of You seeming to me to be a carbon copy of a bombastic era U2 record (admittedly with a *much* feyer vocal) as a whole it stands up pretty well. But then maybe my ears just enjoyed hearing some old, familiar tunes. You decide – here’s the Spotify link

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Dave Simpson reviews Spooky and David Bennun reviews Kenickie live, 13th July 1996

Dave Simpson reviews Spooky live at The Banks of the Tiber, Rome and David Bennun reviews Kenickie live at The Zap, Brighton.

Well well, who’d have thunk it huh? As Bennun swoons over the gestating Kenickie from the outset, halfway through, there’s this paragraph;

“Just assuming that you can’t justify a band on banter – and if you ever could, this would be the band – how about the fact that they’re stylish, sexy, funnier than life itself? And yes, most of the male music journalists I know want to sleep with them.”

With the benefit of hindsight that really is most amusing as one of them rather famously went on to do just that. You lucky sod.

But that banter was as real and intoxicating as Bennun describes. You just couldn’t help but fall for it. And yet now Lauren Laverne has transformed herself into the de facto face of all things cultural for the BBC, it’s easy to forget quite how intelligent and spunky she used to be.

I’m aware that I need to be respectful when talking about individuals here who could easily be reading, however the sad fact remains; the prettier Laverne gets, the less relevant she becomes. Her personality has now been diluted, flattened and pummelled to a shadow of its former self in order to make her palatable for a mainstream audience. What’s so wrong with allowing women to be intelligent, witty and feisty? Let her be herself. Closest thing these days is her radio show on 6Music but it’s still a pale imitation.

This clip from Planet Pop shows how good she was, and probably still is, despite the annoying editing and her rather lank, greasy hair. But hey…that’s showbiz and these are the compromises it seems you have to make if you’re gonna get on in the world of TV.



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Reading Festival Review - Cover, 3rd September 1994

Reading Festival Review - Friday, 3rd September 1994

Reading Festival Review - Saturday, 3rd September 1994

Reading Festival Review - Photos, 3rd September 1994

Reading Festival Review - Rumour Mill, 3rd September 1994

Reading Festival Review - Sunday, 3rd September 1994

Reading Festival Review - back cover, 3rd September 1994

1994 and another Reading Festival review. Note the Court in the Act column on page 33 as a source of great embarrassment to ET, oh and can someone answer Andrew Mueller’s question/mistaken caption (page 35) “Who the f*** is this?” even if it is 14 years too late. Come on…one of you must have slept with her.

Writers: Everett True, Andrew Mueller, Cathi Unsworth, Caitlin Moran, Sarra Manning, Dave Jennings, Dave Simpson, Ian Watson

Photographers: Tom Sheehan, Steve Gullick,Stephen Sweet, Matt Bright

Those who also turned up to get drunk: Allan Jones, Sharon O’ Connell, Simon Price

If you’ve been paying attention at the back you’ll know this one’s for Alex. Why not follow her on Twitter @loopingtheloop – she has a lovely turn of phrase – which, given she’s a journalist is probably to be expected.

Head like a cold…black as your bathroom mold…

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simon-reynolds-reviews-neil-young-live-at-msg-paul-lester-reviews-slowdive-live-at-surry-university-16th-february-1991

So there was this one time…at a Slowdive gig…
where somehow I caught the eye of Rachel during one of the band’s more ethereal instrumental passages and for a second or two we studied each other, something intangible passing between us, and then she turned away with a coquettish smile, borne out of what exactly….embarrassment, flattery, irrepressible derision?

Reminds me of Larkin’s Wild Oats,
“I believe I met beautiful twice. She was trying Both times (so I thought) not to laugh.”

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Steve Sutherland reviews Bandwagonesque by Teenage Fanclub, 26th October 1991

Steve Sutherland reviews Bandwagonesque by Teenage Fanclub, 26th October 1991.

And when I say “reviews”, I really mean “compares”. Despite the persistent cries of plagiarism this was still a huge Creation success at the time and the start of a lighter poppier sound (when a grungy/shoegaze direction was prevalent) which would eventually become Britpop.

I was never that much of a fan of the Fanclub though and besides, I always thought Grand Prix was better. After that record they slowly slipped off my radar and I’ve genuinely not thought about, or listened to a Teenage Fanclub track for years and years. So memory jogged, and as is now customary, I go to wikipedia to find out if the band have split up or are still together. And stone the crows it seems that in this case it’s the latter. Now I’m not sure if my surprise about this just proves how out of touch with music I have become and that Teenage Fanclub are musical colossus’ selling more records than they ever did before, or if, as I suspect, the band are struggling on for lack of anything better to do, somehow eeking out a living based on former glories. Time marches on and pop’s a fickle mistress.

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Dave Simpson interviews Lush, 20th January 1996

What a momentous day! Yes, I’m back in the saddle of this blog. I very sincerely doubt anything else more news worthy happened today.

So while I sit here and listen to Slayer’s Reign in Blood here’s that “Back from the dead” Lush interview.

Back when I studied colour theory at The Sorbonne one of the things they drummed into us was “Red and green should never be seen”. Well not on the strength of this photo of Miki. What a dirty old man I’ve become.

Thanks for all the comments and mails while I was gone  – I just needed to take a break.