Tuesday, April 25, 2017

oi liked it

a bit. for a while.



As I recall it, the Angelic Upstarts insisted on playing this single completely live in the Top of the Pops studio

At the time it felt like they'd totally blown their chance  of a breakthrough hit through sheer bloody-minded obstinacy (commendable in a way)

However listening to the recorded version (first track on the album below) i can't really hear that much difference -  the vocal is a little clearer than the groggy roar of TOTP, the sound is a smidgeon clearer and tighter, but overall it's darn close to the pummeling crudity of  live-in-the-TOTP-studio



I don't think this sound was even called Oi! yet... indeed punk / postpunk had yet to fully go their separate ways (Stiff Little Fingers were on Rough Trade, after all)

So at this time, only a year or so into being seriously awake to rockmusic, I would have been as excited about things like "Teenage Warning" and "California Uber Alles" and "Babylon's Burning" (or in a different way CRASS)  as I was by PiL or Slits or The Fall... it was all hitting my sixteen year old ears as a an attacking rush of newness



The blackmail-letter style cut-out newsprint typography a la Bollocks!



Now I remember at the time finding the tautology of "if the kids were united they will never be divided"  facile  - and the music a simplistic insult - but listening now Sham's big hit sounds pretty exciting



That first revving-off riff is basically a  "No Fun" a bit faster, isn't it

But then and now I would draw the line at "Hurry Up Harry", it's all a bit gorblimey guvnor



I don't think I came across this Sham doc on YouTube last time I brushed against the topic of Oi!




By the time it got to things like  "The Greatest Cockney Rip Off" I'd have been a card-carrying postpunker, so anything Oi! would have been looked down on - seen as only a notch  higher on the reactionary-scale than NWOBHM stuff like Saxon and Maiden




The Rejects are punk if it had only consisted of the Jones-Cook element (even that title - "Greatest... Rip Off"  is a nod to Swindle)




Oh but look at this -  glam-Oi! with a psych-era Stones cover




glaxovision



1979!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Glintshake (or, the Fishbone perplex)




Recently I was in Estonia for the Tallinn Music Week. Saw a bunch of interesting bands  - this is the first in a series of posts (probably) on them.

Probably the most pure entertainment-!wow! was this Russian outfit Glintshake.

The video above is the best of the ones I could find on YouTube and it doesn't go anywhere near to conveying their force-of-personality live - although you do get a glimpse of singer / guitarist Kate Shilonosova's charisma and her repertoire of facial expressions and hand gestures.

That shortfall reminded me - even though they have nothing in common musically or in terms of stage presentation – of Fishbone: an astonishing entertainment onstage but they never seemed able to bottle it on record.

Live, Glintshake was obviously a lot louder and in your face (it was a small space in Old Town Tallinn, astonishingly crammed - there's a big buzz about the group - and hot, steamy, and actually a bit smelly). But also the band's wiry punk-funk sound just jumped and writhed and swerved and sparked so much more. Shilonosova's arch "startled" expressions and steadying-my-balance body-moves conveyed perfectly the feeling of being jolted and tumbled by the music. It looked like she was perpetually skidding on an icy pavement and only just managing to stay upright.

The name "Glintshake" puzzled me a bit and that minor mystery was revealed when I went back to check out their earlier material from 2014, which is shoegaze-derivative both sound-wise and image-wise. Thankfully they seem to have chucked all that in the bin and embarked upon intensive studies of the works of the Fire Engines, Contortions, possibly Big Flame, maybe even Stump. But  all that antipop angularity and friction is sluiced through New Wave aesthetics (little bit of Lene Lovich in the mix, maybe, but without the operatics) and the result ends up very pop: catchy, boppy, fun. 













Kate Shilonosova also has a solo career bubbling away and was given a mini-profile in the New Yorker recently, would you believe.



The approach couldn't be further from  Glintshake -  21st Century hip eclectronica with a pop finish.






The dainty/dinky/airy quality is almost Japanese in sensibility.  Those breathy buttery Sarah Cracknell/Sally Shapiro vocals. Nice, but I much prefer her rolled r's and more jagged delivery in Glintshake.




Thursday, April 13, 2017

once upon a time my favorite band #3



















Yes, I'm a Bob Mould man more than a Grant Hart man. Both great, though - but the Mould melodies cut a little deeper, ache a little keener.

(Never got into Sugar, though).

No, I don't really rate, don't really dig, New Day Rising. Dunno why (I know it's some people's favorite). Prefer Flip Your Wig far more, and even Candy Apple Grey is better I reckon.

No, never really got into the early hyper-speed amphetamine-blur records.

Here for historical curio interest is the first single, though, when Du were PiL-damaged, before they saw the hardcore light