Steve Sutherland interviews Dinosaur Jr. and Robert Smith part 1, 6th May 1989

Steve Sutherland interviews Dinosaur Jr. and Robert Smith part 2, 6th May 1989

Steve Sutherland interviews Dinosaur Jr. and Robert Smith, 6th May 1989. Photos by Tom Sheehan.

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Steve Sutherland interviews Swans part 1, 22nd April 1989

Steve Sutherland interviews Swans part 2, 22nd April 1989

Steve Sutherland interviews Swans, 22nd April 1989. Photos by Tom Sheehan

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Steve Sutherland interviews Damon Albarn, 16th September 1995

Steve Sutherland interviews Damon Albarn part2, 16th September 1995

Steve Sutherland interviews Damon Albarn, 16th September 1995. Photos by Kevin Cummins.

Seeing as I have the N.M.E. pile out and we’re all still flushed from seeing Blur on stage again at Glastonbury 2009 I thought I’d post this, the counterpart to this cover, which has proved extremely popular. Gasp again to the cut and thrust of Blur vs. Oasis; thrill to the shenanigans of Cuntry House and The Great Escape; or just simply drool over the lovely Cummins picture of the young Albarn.

The years are starting to show though aren’t they? Quite understandable for Albarn to change the lyrics in End of a Century from “the mind gets dirty, as you get closer to thirty” to fifty, given the circumstances. It doesn’t scan as well but I’ll forgive him.

So I dunno if I was naive, but I wasn’t expecting quite such a retreat to the ‘Britpop’ Blur – perhaps Damon & Co. needed to be reminded of what great work they’ve produced over the years to feel re-invigorated for the future? It has, lest we forget, been a long slog for them over the last 20 years. Something I was reminded of again today thanks to the serendipitous joys of Twitter when I read Rhodri Marsden’s first hand recollection of meeting Blur in their orignal Seymour form and then subsequently touring with them. Well worth reading and there’s this photo that shows why Dave gave up drinking.

It just so happens that I’ve managed to scan in a review from one of these early Blur performances where The Keatons supported. If you missed it the first time it’s here.

And let’s not forgot all of Blur’s festival unfriendly tunes. Here’s a Spotify playlist showcasing the gloomy side of Blur through the years.

Wallow deep.

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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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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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Steve Sutherland interviews Curve, 26th October 1991

Steve Sutherland interviews Curve, 26th October 1991. Photo by Kevin Westenberg

As a dutiful indie kid back in the day I saw Ten Little Girls on Snub and *loved* it – even the rap, something of which I was still very suspicious of back then.  Bought that E.P. and saw them live once (twice?) but never bought an album and I’m not sure why thinking back.

Listening to it right now it sounds like Butch Vig used Curve as the template for Garbage and given the fact that the tracks are now nearly 20 years old it sounds remarkably ‘en vogue’ to me.

Curve – Ten Little Girls

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Curve on the cover of Melody Maker, 26th October 1991

Curve on the cover of Melody Maker, 26th October 1991. Photo Kevin Westenberg.

OK so this is what I’m going to do. Pick a copy from random year. Scan the cover and all pages inside that seem worth it, then move on to another issue. This way there’s a sense of randomness and I get to have just 2 piles, scanned and not scanned.

So I picked this up initially because I have a friend who’s mate’s with Dean, but skimming through this now it feels like there’s something of interest on every page. ET’s not going to appreciate being reminded of the cover story interview he did with The Cranberries though. So tune in again and hold your breath – because Midway Still ARE coming back – at least in print anyway.

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