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The 1992 Reading Festival review, 12th September 1992.

Writers: Everett True, Jim Arundel, Shane Danielsen, Andrew Smith, Simon Price, Sharon O’Connell

Photographers: Kevin Westenberg, Stephen Sweet, Matt Bright, Steve Gullick

Those who also turned up to get drunk: Allan Jones, Steve Sutherland, Andrew Mueller, Ben Turner, Sally Margret Joy, Ben Stud, Ngaire, Black Mat Smith, Clint Poppie

Apart from the mud this was the infamous Reading Festival where ET pushed Kurt onto the stage in a wheelchair. Has the story of how and why that came about been told already? If so please post a link and if not then can I tempt the story from the horse’s mouth?

UPDATE: Discussion about Reading and particularly this Reading Festival over on the WSC message board prompted by Simon Price considering breaking a 21 year attendance record.

And if you’re looking for a timeline of Reading Festival from inception to present day then this site if worth a look

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Everett True reviews the singles of the week, 11th December 1993

He’s a lumberjack and he’s ok. He drinks all night and he reviews all day. Everett True reviews the singles of the week, 11th December 1993.

Listening to Adoration by The Cranes on Spotify and loving it. What are you doing?

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Andrew Mueller reviews The Best Of New Order, 19th November 1994

Andrew Mueller reviews The Best Of New Order, 19th November 1994. Image Pat Pope.

Another bullet in the chamber for Mueller, which given the intro to this piece, seems an even more appropriate metaphor than usual. Elsewhere Calvin Bush reviews a Mo’ Wax compilation and ET reviews Da Brat.

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Chris Roberts reviews Mercury Rev's Yerself Is Steam, 16th February 1991

Truth be told this is a pretty uninspiring issue of Melody Maker but there is this, a review of Mercury Rev’s debut, a record that’s brought me immeasurable pleasure over the years and for which I’m grateful to long time friend and sometime commentator Phil for telling me about. The fact that pointless, one hit wonder, girl duo Soho get the featured review spot seems incomprehensible to me – the only reason HippyChick was a hit was because it used a Smiths sample which seemed quite daring and novel back in 1991.

If you’ve only ever heard latterday Rev then you MUST get hold of a copy of Yerself Is Steam, one of my Top10 records of all time.

Oh and no…I couldn’t fucking dig it and it still amazes me that Vodafone did

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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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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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The Cramps, Sheep on Drugs, Jesus Jones, Ned's Atomic Dustbin live, 26th October 1991

Given the death of Lux Interior this week, picking this issue now seems remarkably prescient.

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Taylor Parkes and Everett True interview Gene - part 1, 25th February 1995

Taylor Parkes and Everett True interview Gene - part 2, 25th February 1995

Taylor Parkes and Everett True interview Gene, 25th February 1995. Photo by Pat Pope.

Were Gene were any good or not? Were they a Rymans league version of The Smiths? Who cares when the always readable Taylor Parkes is ranting.

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Everett True interviews Blur in America (part one) 9th March 1996

Everett True interviews Blur in America (part two) 9th March 1996

Everett True interviews Blur in America (part three) 9th March 1996

Everett True interviews Blur in America, 9th March 1996. Photo by Stephen Sweet.

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Everett True reviews The Pixies, Ride, Cud, The Miltown Brothers & The Boo Radleys live at the Crystal Palace Bowl.

“The Pixies are living affirmation that rock is still alive and kicking its way far into our lives. The greatest rock band on the planet? Name me another of their stature.”

I have to agree with ET and it’s really pleasing to think that unlike many bands who were puffed up to dizzy heights only to vaporise to nothing outside of whatever crest of a scene they rode up on, The Pixies music is still as vital and compelling now as it was then. Truly a great, great band.

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