Featuring: Frantic Elevators, Manicured Noise, Jon the Postman, The Things, The Smirks, The Distractions.
Contributors: Andy Zero, Martin X, Godzilla, Kev.
Offices: Russell Club, Royce Road, Hulme, Manchester
THE POP GROUP/ALTERNATIVE T.V. / MANICURED NOISE.....Manchester POLYTECHNIC. Saturday, March 10th.....
Right! For a start, Manicured Noise were the band of the night- Not that I'm much into Avante- garde stuff,sounds like blasted computer tape played backwards to me. But the standard of musicianship/presentation offered by Manicured Noise, compared to the pretentious din that followed them, well, there WAS no comparison. Let's just say it was worth turning up to see Manicured Noise,and for a chance to lay into Mark P.
"Why?" I asked, as I staggered up from the Bar (Where I'd retreated to escape the wall of noise....honest). "Why wot?" He replied,sipping on his lager and lime... (Southern Jessie)...."Why have you give up music?"...."Well, you gotta progress, mate,You can't play the same stuff for ever,can you?"
PROGRESS HE CALLS IT! PROGRESSION TO WHAT? ABANDON SONG STRUCTURES.... OKAY.... BAWL YOUR HEAD OFF,.... NO MUSIC IS GOOD NEWS.... BANGS, CRASHES, SQUAWKS IN THE BACKGROUND.... FREEFORM ? AW, COME ON, WHOS'E KIDDING WHO?....
"Oh, We've changed a lot since you last saw us". ( At the Poly, supporting Wayne County last year). "YOU THINK WE WERE BETTER THEN ? .....incredulous look.... Fuckin' right I do!
"Why?" asked the Postman,emerging from the Bar,(Where he'd retreated in case beer ever became obsolete). Postman, raincoat akimbo,cheeks healthily flushed from herbal remedies. Carlsberged up to the eyeballs, now proceeds to harangue the Great Man......
"You said in your fanzine(Sniffin' Glue, a pale London imitation of CITY FUN) that you'd never form a band in the accepted commercial sense, just play for fun, YOU FUCKIN' SOLD OUT ON THAT ONE,You should do what I do,just put out records for kicks,have a good time,and justpay for the next one...You'd do THAT if you were honest!"
"You said you'd never try to promote any commercial band of your own in your own fanzine....Publicity ain't important, just get out and do it, that's what I do, You're just a pretentious sell out- And what about the free A.T.V. single you gave away in your OWN paper,pushing your own ego for future profit or what?"
Stunned silence, pause for breath, then "Well, we really wanted to GIVE the kids something,give them something back in return for what they'd give to US. We figured the best way was through the'Glue.
Draw your own conclusions as to the ethics of that one. Motivation apart, they're bloody DIABOLICAL on stage.Maybe it's like medicine,the more horrible it tastes,the more good it's supposed to do you.Well, I've had mine,it was like doing bloody penance.
Manicured Noise.....Greatly improved! Gone are the silly pieces of paper.Their songs at last seem to have some direction. Not like the old days,when they seemed to be frantically trying to catch/form a "wave". They've taken the time out to get it right, a far wiser move than riding on ballyhoo, going out unprepared,and having nothing to really back up the claim. A stable line-up at last? It certainly seems so, they're certainly doing it tightly. Ignore the super-latives of the Jet Set, they'll praise any thing that most people don't comprehend just to head a minority, be a big fish in a small cult. Take it steady,in your own way, and you should do okay.....................
The Pop Group.......For the un-initiated,not a Pleasers-type powerpop combo,nor even a punk pop cabaret band like Gen. X. Another Avante-garde type band, the namebeing a clever ploy....(huh?)
The fact that I've not so far mentioned the titles of any songs is not due to the fact that I was too pissed to rememer them, it's just that, for the most part,I couldn't distinguish between numbers, none was instantly(or otherwise ) memorable. Like the Led Zep film, folks "All the songs are the same"....
Halfway through the Pop Group, I gave up the ghost(before it gave up me), and ankled off upstairs again for the musical highlight of the evening, THE DOORS on television, a film of Morrison and the band made in 1968. SEE, THERE'S ALWAYS SOMETHING GOOD ON AT THE POLY. The upstairs bar was crowded with various local musical worthies, so some of the in-crowd must agree with me........."Oh good, I'm so glad.........
(exits for last orders at the Russell Club).