The Big Dance Explosion Bang, 22nd January 1994

A-Z of Club Culture, 22nd January 1994

I said dance muthafucka!

Melody Maker’s 15 page special to club culture to be posted over the next few days. I’ve decided to split it up because the content’s too disparate and difficult to tag and categorise in one post. Once this is out of the way I’m going to just start picking random stuff again for a bit.

This post for the excellently titled (and excellent) http://history-is-made-at-night.blogspot.com/

A selection of whistles and glowsticks to these blogs to:

http://www.drawerb.com/

http://teenshoegaze.blogspot.com/

http://joannecasey.blogspot.com/

http://thingsmagazine.net/index.htm

http://wordmagazine.co.uk/blog

See – it’s like I never went away.

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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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David Bennun interviews Super Furry Animals - part 1, 13th July 1996

David Bennun interviews Super Furry Animals - part 2, 13th July 1996

David Bennun interviews Super Furry Animals, 13th July 1996. Photos by Steve Gullick.

I’ve not read it but I will. Then I might leave some retrospective commentary. Then again I might not. I bloody love Radiator though.

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David Bennun interviews The Prodigy - part 1, 1st April 1995

David Bennun interviews The Prodigy - part 2, 1st April 1995

With typical tongue in cheek aplomb, David Bennun interviews The Prodigy, 1st April 1995. Photos Pat Pope
14 years ago before the Appletons, the tattoos and the drugs. Yeah ok…maybe not before the drugs.

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David Bennun interviews The Chemical Brothers, 20th January 1996

David Bennun interviews The Chemical Brothers, 20th January 1996

Been listening to Stephen Jones’ (him from Babybird) Almost Cured Of Sadness for the first time today, co-incidentally Babybird had their big hit with You’re Gorgeous in 1996.

I can’t help thinking that if this record came out today, fronted by a bunch of pretty teenage Hoxton chancers, the N.M.E. would be falling over themselves to call them the future of music. Or something. Our very own Andrew Mueller gives a rather sniffy review of it on Amazon but since when did any of us trust music journalists?

Judge for yourselves. Here’s one of the tracks I’ve picked at random.

Stephen Jones, Someplace Too Faraway

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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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Radiohead live at the Oxford Apollo, 25th February 1995

David Bennun reviews Radiohead live at Oxford Apollo. Taken from Melody Maker, 25th February 1995

Love this photo. It’s basically Thom on his vinegar strokes isn’t it? Or maybe he’s just imagining making love to a beautiful women. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll remember that he’s never met a beautiful woman he’s liked.

Thinking of famous people having sex reminds me of this very funny blog – Filthy Fan Fiction – I’ve stumbled across recently. There’s not that much there yet but the Pauline Quirke set piece is a gem. I’m gonna write and request one for Thom Yorke.

Also justly forgotten trustafarians, Powder, live at the Dublin Castle reviewed by Jennifer Nine.

Powder are now best known for lead singer Pearl Lowe’s (along with husband Supergrass drummer, Danny Goffey) famous drug fuelled, wife swapping exploits with the ‘great and good’ of Primrose Hill. There’s a full article about it here if by some strange chance you’ve not heard about this before under the headline “Cocaine was served on trays, but you had to leave your soul at the door”. Nice.

I’ve skimmed through it so you don’t have to, and this [cough] pearl of a quote from Pearl caught my eye – “I think we were a bit before our time, and we got roped into Britpop when we were actually rock.”

No Pearl, you just weren’t very good.