Andy Zero, Martin X, Jacqui, Neil
Address: St John's College Student Union, Lower Hardman Str, M/C3
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the small faces classic ‘Wotcha Gonna Do About It’) a good selection of hairy people are having what appear to be epilectic fits in front of the band (this is a cavers club meeting, remember, The Distractions are eclectic, they aren’t into the band as audience syndrome ie, “Aw shit man, we’re not playing to these wankers!”)
By the first chord of “Still it Doesn’t Ring”, a love sick/teenage break-up song that you wish you had written, the audience resemble a school of dolphins (all wet and jumping up and down).
The last song of the set “Valerie” (introduced as a bad song called “Jennifer”bly the well known wit and blade Steve Perri) they’re literally falling over and getting up again as one. Of course, encores, first a quirky, powerful reading of ‘Waiting for my Man’ and “The Shrug”, The Distractions contribution to popular dance music.
Sweet smile and soggy vests all round. The Distractions, virtually ignored for a year(and we all know who to thank, don’t we Paul?), play fast dance music, with lyrics that bring a tear to your eye when you catch them. They play music that your head can enjoy while your feet are pumping iron; as opposed to music that promotes dancing on other peoples heads. They make you smile. They make you unself conscious. You can enjoy yourself. Can you really say that of your last trip to the Russel?
“Be Stiff”tour, UMIST monday 11th. Market overkill. Stiff risk their future on this production- who cares if they win or lose? ‘UMIST atmosphere’, feels like a professional night. First on The Records, a virgin band. ‘Fast’, ‘rocking’, modern, cleansound. Quite melodic some of it. I’m not inspired, they would have been better in a club. 5 minutes break to have a piss, go to the bar etc, Exact timing, Lene Lovich is next- a few numbers. Good time rock and roll , 2keyboards! Pretty Velvetesque. Whats this? Rachel Sweet sings with Lene Lovich. Lene Lovich walks off stage and whats left is Johna Lewie. Hm. yes. I will have another pint please. The audience in the half filled hall starts to get going a bit. Who is this audience anyway? Yes I have got some skins. No, I dont mind if I do. 5 minutes. Rachel Sweet- 2 tracks on the akron compilation and she’s 50% of why I went. I wasn’t let down- she’s the best of the lot. Her voice. That’s all. The music, good in itself seems irrelevant. The band (The Records for this tour) stand back and let her do her bit, only projecting themselves towards the end. They sound better with her than on their own – better music (?). Long loud demands for an encore. Sorry, there isn’t time (the compare). We go backstage to ask for an interview. Lene Lovich goes on stage. We [? Obscured] go downstairs for our ten minutes. Sat there with her sister chaperoned by stiff . Her producer wrote all her songs, she hopes to write a bit for the next album. How much does your music reflect modern american culture? – “Well?-They’re all listening to Foreigner. – It’s ‘girl meets boy’ so it’s sexual commentry I guess”. Thinks more of her voice as a musical thing than a conveyor of messages. I told her I hadnt heard a word she sang, “Well you’re a perfect fan I guess”. Where Rachel Sweet lives – ohio(?) , USA- she is not allowed to leave school, before 18, without her parents consent. She didn’t seem to pleased about it. She thinks england’s o.k. and the english are polite (it is! weare?).10 minutes is up. Her sister likes england. See you. 10 minutes was not enough, we didn’t talk to the real Rachel Sweet. Neil and my first interview, lot’s of questions we didn’t ask. Does she want to talk even or what? Missed all of Lene Lovichs’ second set. In the bar I was told she’s ‘brilliant’. I’m pretty out of it by now. Wreckless Eric- Solid Rock’n’Roll. Convincing foot stompers (Roll Over Rockola, etc,). Whole Wide World- like that and he’s your man. The audience liked it. The floor’s about ¼ inch deep in beer. plastic glasses, theres a lot of dancing. I danced with total strangers. Mickey Jupp – classic good time rock and roll. Professional, competent, what else did I expect? If anybody missed 1/3 pint bitter near the end, claim it back off us. I got carried away. Everyone lines up for the finale- “Be Stiff, Be Stiff”- I’m not impressed. It’s a rubbish song. There were too many bands in too short a time. All were good. All are worth seeing. None of it had much to do with the tower blocks outside.
Meanwhile. Mr and Mrs Statistic sit, watching their colour T.V. they steadily consume librium and valium. Their 2.5 kids sleeping softly on slumberland mattresses. But the night is yet young, cried a voice in the cro
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Artefact added : 28th October 2012