Happy Mondays on the cover of Melody Maker, 31 March 1990

Happy Mondays on the cover of Melody Maker, 31 March 1990. Photo by Tom Sheehan.

Someone asked for more Madchester stuff so brace yerself for Shaun & Bez at their peak. Besides I never need much of an excuse to scan in Ride interviews. How young does Andy Bell look in this pic?

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Ian Gittins interviews The Wedding Present, 22nd April 1989

Can’t believe we’ve made it to nearly 2 years of AMP without any Wedding Present so far. I’m sure Mr. Agreeable will have savaged Gedge and co. for the Ukrainian folk concept album. Nobody really liked it did they?

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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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The Christians on the cover of Melody Maker, 17th January 1987

The Christians on the cover of Melody Maker, 17th January 1987. Photo by Paul Rider.

OK, so I know it’s not the most scintillating start, but the piece on the New York artpop scene might be good and there’s clearly a live review of Peter Gabriel I can post for Taylor.

February beckons.

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paolo-hewitt-interviews-paul-oakenfold-about-acid-culture-22nd-october-1988

Paolo Hewitt interviews Paul Oakenfold about Acid Culture, 22nd October 1988.

You could sum up this whole piece with “Take drugs kids, they’re amazing and everyone is doing them”. Of course, the NME couldn’t come out and say this directly, especially when they’ve started the piece by accusing the media of being out to kill the acid scene because of the drugs the media assume are involved. So you get quotes from Oakenfold like this,

“Obviously, drugs are involved but I don’t know to what extent. It’s impossible to say”.

Er, yeah…sure Paul. Maybe it’s impossible to say because you’ve already taken so much Ecstasy your brain resembles swiss cheese.

He continues with this gem, where if you replace the cipher word ‘fun’ with ‘drugs’ does actually sum up the scene perfectly.

“The key,” he [Oakenfold] explains, “the secret to the whole thing is fun. People have never had so much fun. People thought they would never be able to dance again. I’m 26 and I thought I’d never dance again. Now I go to clubs and dance. When you’ve got something that is so much fun everyone wants a piece of it.”

Haha! Who did they think they were kidding? Drugs have always been at the heart of every vibrant music scene. With the Acid/Rave scene they were at the heart, lungs, eyes, feet and every other part of the body. The real reason why so much modern music sucks so badly is because society sorely lacks for a new drug to kickstart it.

One of the brilliant things about the web is how so many of these records are being archived and made available on themed mp3 blogs. Audio.Out is particularly good, especially for the rarer stuff. Indeed it’s just posted Balearic Beats Volume 1, Part 1 which ties in nicely with this interview.

Oh and if you fancy saying hello to Paolo Hewitt he’s just launched his own blog

Who watches The Watchmen? The Daily Mail of course.

The Cure live at Wembley, 19-26 December 1987

With a new Cure album (and tour?) in the pipeline this seems topical. It’s a pretty funny review as it goes. Amazing to think that more than 20 years ago The Cure were playing a 3 night residency at Wembley arena.

Never been a massive fan myself but they’ve released some absolutely killer singles time, and time again, so good luck to Bob and whoever else makes up The Cure these days.

But really, it doesn’t matter what I think, or indeed what you think. No, what matters is what Ms Dayglo thinks. She doesn’t add people willy nilly y’know and it’s that bitchin’ punk attitude of hers that just takes my breath away.


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Melody Maker top 30 albums of the year, 1988

Good to see the back of 1987.

And skipping forward 12 months here’s the end of 1988 too. All these end of year lists are available in text form at Rocklist although you don’t get the little capsule reviews.

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