Monday, June 27, 2022

New Wave Eye Candy (video one-off #3)


A fan writes: "If this song were a feeling, it'd be running late for a job interview while stuck in traffic with explosive diahorrea"

The first time I heard the Cardiacs, I'm not even sure I knew they were the Cardiacs - and it was quite by accident. There was a free festival on Port Meadow in North Oxford - members of Monitor Crew were off one of our habitual nocturnal strolls and to our surprise the meadow was full of tents (I remember seeing this poor tripped-out hippie girl running panicked through the tents and tripping over the guy ropes). And then we came to this stage where a garish, herky jerky frightmare was underway (as opposed to what you'd probably expect at a free festival at that time - sub-Hawkwind / Gong/ Here and Now spacerock, Magic Mushroom Band etc). The lighting was demented, I see to remember. It was not something my ears and eyes were ready for in '85 - and possibly not even now. But so distinctive and memory-indelible that some years later finally encountering the Cardiacs I was like, "oh, that was them!".  

Pronk, some people call this - punk meets prog.  More than punk or postpunk, to me the New Wave-iness of it stands out - but that particular histronic strand of New Wave - groups like Punishment of Luxury (some of whom came out of fringe theatre). Angletrax. Early XTC. Devo but some of the other more annoying groups from Akron and Cleveland even more so.  

Apparently they were fans of Split Enz - the very early Enz who were still a prog pop group rather than streamlining their sound for echt-New Wave

Sunday, June 12, 2022