Stuart Maconie reviews Bona Drag by Morrissey, 20th October 1990

Stuart Maconie reviews Bona Drag by Morrissey, 20th October 1990.

Can’t say I agree with this positive, yet workmanlike review from Maconie. Morrissey was coming up short in the lyric dept. with increasing frequency even during The Smiths and post Viva Hate has bluffed it ever since.

Yet with the breakup of the Smiths still fairly recent in 1990, the starving demanded to be fed, unfortunately there was nothing left on the menu except gruel. Viva Hate had its morsels, Suedehead in particular, but without the foundation of Marr’s compositions and his sublime guitar work, the cracks in Morrissey’s irrelevant lyrics just became more and more apparent. With Bona Drag, Morrissey’s long, slow slide into irrelevance began. It pains me more than you realise that it still continues to this day.

But I will stick up for November Spawned A Monster, which I think of as the last great thing Morrissey wrote. Maconie dislikes it because it’s “so morbid and cheerless” Duh! That’s precisely why I like it. I can empathise with it. Sure it lacks wit and is dressed up in a touch too much metaphor but he’s singing to us, for us, the ugly and marginalized here, instead of prattling on about bloody Ouija boards and the like.

If all this just makes you want to listen to The Smiths, and it really should, then why not break out the old records for another spin and while you’re at it read Taylor Parkes latest retrospective piece on The Smiths over at The Quietus.

Note to self: Do not explicitly refer to a TV programme title that could be misconstrued, especially in conjunction with the sexualised use of the F word, if you do not want lots of people coming to your blog for all the wrong reasons.

Note to Pin-Up Nights: Thanks! You flatter me, but you really shouldn’t encourage me.

I spent a few days with some Glaswegians recently.

“What’s the difference between Glasgow and Edinburgh?”

“Well, Glasgow is a lot friendlier but you’re also much more likely to get stabbed”

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Live Reviews featuring Back to the Phuture at Brixton Fridge

Various live reviews taken from NME, 29th October 1988.

Simon Williams reviews All About Eve at The Marquee and The Blue Aeroplanes at Dingwalls.

Sam Crowe reviews Christy Moore at London Dominion Theatre

This taken quickly and in recognition of the fact that this site has finally made it to the N.M.E. forums as grist to the mill for the old “Was the music press better in the old days?” Answer: Yes. Thanks boneyboy.

With the Watchmen trailer breaking this bit of old Acid House / rave culture caught my eye. I’m sure I’ve got some old Shoom reviews too but there’ll have to wait for another time. The poor old smilee face….once a symbol to strike fear into the establishment and now so passée the tweenies don’t even want to use it in MSN chats. I went to The Fridge late 2006 and it was like the band playing on whilst The Titanic sank. And I bet the film’s shit too.

Other than that my new favourite waste of time is http://blip.fm/ It’s a little like The Hype Machine but simpler and better for it. Oh and Edward Aczel was probably the most unassumingly good thing I saw in Edinburgh even though I did ask for a jigsaw towards the end. Great BBC Four doc on Stiff records, If it Ain’t Stiff, a few days ago too. Unfortunately it seems it’s not available on iPlayer. Shame.

That’ll have to be it for now. I can’t exactly say it’s nice to be back – the break has only made me realise how much time this thing has started to take, but it’s nice to know people still surfed through without having anything new to look at. This is afterall what this site exists for, as a repository for fans of the music, the papers and pop culture generally.

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Ride Live Review from N.M.E. 1989

I bloody loved those early Ride EP’s. Simon Williams went on to set up Fierce Panda which is fourteen years young this year.

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