Simon Price reviews Lenny Kravitz live at Wembley Arena, 11th December 1993

Simon Price reviews Lenny Kravitz live at Wembley Arena, 11th December 1993.  Photo by Matt Bright.

Completely with Pricey on this one but then what sort of right thinking person wouldn’t be? There are plenty of artists I don’t “get” but I do at least understand why they exist and can see why they have a large following. But Kravitz…Kravitz is so utterly bland, so completely detached and unemotional I just can’t fathom what he does to connect with so many people. From memory the first time I was made aware of Lenny was Let Love Rule, video was all hippy dippy lens flares (in both senses) and then he was shagging Lisa Bonnet and then he had a pub rock anthem with Are you gonna go my way? before actually going away, at least for me, just as the witty title of this piece begs him to do.

So Wikipedia what can you tell me of Lenny these days? Oh God it’s depressing, you might want to stop reading from this point on but these are the “highlights” worth noting

C onsecutive Grammy awards from 1999-2002

U nreleased tracks for Michael Jackson’s Invincible album

N icole Kidman dated 2003- 2004

T he worldwide album sales total runs to 33.1+ million

Lenny Kravitz today

Lenny Kravitz earlier today

Many thanks to Johnny2000 at http://linkfilter.net for spreading the Archived Music Press word.

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Various live reviews including Minty at Feet First London, 20th January 1996

Simon Price reviews Minty live at Feet First, 20th January 1996.

Nicola Bowery née Bateman gets naked again. Yawn. But if you’ve never heard of Leigh Bowery then you should definitely read up  some more. Here’s the obligatory wikipedia link for starters. And if you find yourself in a good bookshop then there is a great book full of *amazing* pictures of Leigh and his costumes which I’d strongly urge you to take a look at.

I’ve got that Useless Man single you know.

Who the hell Googles “Moby Naked”? Who? WHO??? Freaks.

simon-price-reviews-olympian-by-gene-11th-march-1995

Simon Price reviews Olympian by Gene, 11th March 1995.

Final part of the Gene trilogy. Posted this more because of the contrasting ‘importance’ implicit in the treatment Gene get here (full page colour review by Price) compared to Jennifer Nine’s review of The Bends by Radiohead (black and white, shared review etc.)

And this despite the fact that using MM’s own clumsy star rating Gene comes out as just ‘Recommended’ compared to Radiohead’s ‘Bloody Essential’

I don’t know if this simply testament to the fact that Radiohead weren’t that important back then or if it’s proof of some MM or record company agenda to break Gene.

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David Bennun interviews Plastic Fantastic, 9th March 1996

Firstly thanks to the comments from Pavemental and Robin regarding ROMO from when I posted the cover featuring the infamous “Fiddling while ROMO burns” compilation tape. As promised here’s the David Bennun interview with long forgotten ROMO band Plastic Fantastic from 9th March 1996.

I was going to write ‘justly forgotten’ just then but checked myself. I realise that if I had ever heard any of these ROMO tracks I’ve long since forgotten what they sounded like. Even if I could remember I want to hear them again with a fresh pair of ears. I’ve been searching hard for some mp3’s without much success – can anyone help? I still feel pretty confident that they were justly forgotten though.

However the comment from Robin got me thinking. I remembered nothing of the scene except, as I said previously, that I remembered ROMO as the tipping point where I gave up on Melody Maker. I was probably too old by this time but I’d grown so tired of the endless conveyor belt of hype. And ROMO felt so desperate, so utterly contrived, so pointless. I only had to see a few of the pics or read some of the de rigeur ‘manifestos’ and I just knew, “I’m not having that. No way”. But this makes it seem like I still cared….like I still felt passionate enough to love and hate new bands. I didn’t. It all just bored me. Melody Maker became an irrelevance to my life.

Did ROMO come before or after S*M*A*S*H and the “new wave of new wave”? It’s so hard to remember. By the time Elastica had broken I hated most of the bands I read about in the press. Nothing excited me. It was just more of the same. And again. And again. Menswear, Gene, Echobelly. Gay Dad was somewhere in the mix too. I forget. All I remember by the mid 90’s was that the latest scenes just kept coming and coming and none of them worked.

Oh Mac-onie, so much to answer for….look what you went and started with Britpop. In retrospect I do admire the (possibly noble) intentions of Price and Parkes, the desire to move us on from Britpop in a less laddish, more feminine direction, but it just led us from one dead-end to another. No excitement. No challenge. With Britpop and the Maker so mainstream I craved to hear music that was most definitely NOT mainstream and with the internet still finding its feet, the music press was still the only real viable communication channel I/we had. I wanted to discover music the mainstream would dismiss out of hand not more mainstream acts in the making. I wanted music that would surprise me. Music that I couldn’t ignore. Music that I might not like, but that would make me think. In short I wanted the journalistic equivalent of Mixing It, or failing that, a less genteel Late Junction. I suppose in many ways I still do. The closest thing I’ve found to date comes out via http://wfmu.org because while I admire Resonance FM I find it works better in theory than as an actual radio station.

But enough of my pathetic attempts to try and articulate what I once wanted, here’s a brilliant, MUST READ piece from Simon Reynold’s that perfectly encapsulates the end of the MM and the part Britpop and ROMO played in its own downfall. It would be really interesting to know how Simon Price and Taylor Parkes feel about ROMO today and if they agree that it unwittingly contributed to the papers rapid decline. Let it be said that both of you were two of the brightest and best writers left along with Kulkarni so I’m not blaming you. I’m just interested to know more now that the dust has settled. Can I tempt either of you into leaving a comment?

Would ROMO have been called Nu-Romantic today? Will we live to see New Labour rebrand themselves as Nu-Labour for the jaded voting youth that grew up in the 90’s?

UPDATE: 6th June 2009

Came across this advert for the Fiddling while Romo Burns tour so thought I’d add it to this post. The dates also match the number of people that attended.

Fiddling while Romo burns tour dates ad, 2nd March 1996

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Simon Price reviews Underworld's Second Toughest In The Infants

Simon Price reviews Underworld’s Second Toughest In The Infants, 9th March 1996.

Elsewhere Neil Kulkarni makes (I think) his first appearance in this blog reviewing the eponymously titled debut from Arrested Development’s Speech. Jennifer Nine reviews Cindy Dall’s Untitled and Mark Luffman (just about) reviews The Smoking Popes Born to Quit.

I’m reading about ROMO. Expect a more lengthy post next.

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Various album reviews includings Coolio\'s It Takes A Thief by Simon Price, 12th November 1994.jpg

Yo! Yo! Yo! Simon Price in da house y’all. Various album reviews including Coolio’s It Takes A Thief by Simon Price. Taken from Melody Maker, 12th November 1994.jpg

And then Coolio lost all his coolio with Gangster’s Paradise. I think they bonded over hairstyles as alternative forms of sculpture.

Elsewhere David Bennun reviews a Best of Bon Jovi whose video for You Give Love A Bad Name was “…a style bible for a million proto-Butt-Heads and a frightening number of Germans – but then any figure greater than one constitutes a frightening number of Germans”  which made me smile again given Obama’s recent Kennedy-like speech in Berlin.

Tried to dig up some info on Jamie T Conway and drew a blank. I did however find this which I subsequently discovered to be a blog belonging to the singer in Gravenhurst, a very fine band that I’d urge you to investigate further if you haven’t heard of their music before.

Finally many thanks to AnyMajorDude who wrote a little review of this site on his excellent blog. Fans of Mick Hucknall should avoid visiting at present but for everyone else there’s much to enjoy.


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The Boo Radleys Interview Part 1 18th February 1995

The Boo Radleys Interview Part 2 18th February 1995

Taylor Parkes interviews The Boo Radleys, 18th February 1995. Photos Tom Sheehan & Stephen Sweet.

Welcome to anyone joining from the When Saturday Comes forum link. Thanks to EIM for spreading the word.

A very amusing thread as it turns out. On the one hand you’ve got Taylor (Parkes) feeling like the last kid to be picked for a football kickabout while Spearmint Rhino, (Simon Price) pitches in with “I think the Boo Radleys cover story was by me, but he’s only scanned the cover, not the story…” Well here’s the story in all it’s glory – take a bow Mr. Parkes. God it’s like throwing meat to a couple of hungry lions although this probably still won’t satisfy. I’ve moved my response to anyone feeling Taylor’s confusion about the apparent random posts and lack of ‘meat’ into the About page on this site.

Oh and go and see Martin Carr play The Social on 12th August.

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