Saturday, September 02, 2006

defunkt - live at hurrah circa 1981

A dose of the Scritts

I can only assume that the recent posting by the lovely Sam over at Blogglebumcage of a live version of “Wood Beez” by Scritti Polliti and his declaration “God I love Scritti Politti” stands as nothing so much as a bare-faced rebuke, nay, challenge to The Impostume’s critico-theoretical integrity in the face of the recent observation that I “wasn’t much into” the Politti’s oeuvre.

Why not? Well… it’s the feyness, the doe-eyed, fawning, the whole simpering, Lady Diana aspect to it, the anaemic, drained, whey-faced, sugary funklessness…

It also reminds me of the fact that my brother-in law was convinced that the chorus was “each time I go to bed I splay like Aretha Franklin” which would have been a genuinely dizzying, but appropriate image. Again, it’s one of those situations where YES nearly everybody whose opinion I respect loves them, but I just don’t get it. The most exciting thing about the Scritts seems to be the brilliant writing they’ve provoked in others. Of course I only know the couple of singles they released around “Wood Beez” time and nothing of the early work, (“Skank Bloc Bologna” etc which, yes, I must get round to checking out) or, indeed, the more recent stuff. Perhaps if I had more idea where it fits into the overall development of the man’s vision etc… While we’re on the subject of stuff much beloved by those-in-the- know but which leave the Impostume colder than Christmas in Siberia we should also mention Japan, a truly pulse-deadening prospect round these parts. Lest the Impostume’s gentle readers should surmise that The Impostume’s soul exultuth not under the auspices of any muse other than she who dwelleth, lo, in the primal gloaming of unfettered masculinity ..(err...phew…sorry…had a "Church of Me” moment there), The Impostume should also point out that it has no problem with “camp”, with mincing, peacock-plumed, empurpled Poncey-ness a la Wedren/Eno/Mckenzie, what it can’t take is “fey”, what it can’t take is wilting neurasthenics, peeking, pining and occasionally piping up with quavering, timorus and swooningly oh-so-clever Odes.

The Impostume should not perhaps go down this particular avenue, but… how sexy are Green/Sylvian? I mean, if you (as far as you’re aware) are Hetro (which as far as I’m aware, I am). With both of them, I guess, you’d slip into the room, they’d be starfished on the bed trembling and offering themselves up, peeping coyly back at you from under a foot-thick ledge of immaculately-lacquered, Nicky Clarke fringe, entreating you to be gentle and could you perhaps read a passage or two of Keats to them first to get them in the mood, whereas Big Billy Mackenzie would have your face hitting the headboard hard enough to dislodge teeth before you’d even had time to get your latex t-shirt off. Now there doesn’t seem much point in a homoerotic fantasy in which you are the penetrator of a feminised man, or at least, it feels a bit halfway-house (yes, yes not all gay men have penetrative sex, I know..) where as if you… err…upended the situation that would seem more….well…radical, I guess, a more substantial reversal of gender roles. Wasn’t the thing that was so threatening/thrilling/ transgressive about Glam the combination of hairy-knuckled bloke-ishness and outright panto-dame camp? (Careful not to stare at his puce leotard, leopard skin top hat and fur lined, thigh-high leather boots too long or him and his mates might get the wrong idea and do you up the Gary round the back of the Working Men’s Club at closing time.)

DISCLAIMER: the views expressed above in no way reflect the opinions or beliefs of the author.

The Impostume may be paranoid, defensive, insecure and viciously competitive ( while of course simultaneously condemning such qualities in others: add “an appalling dissembler” to the Impostume’s list of sins!) but worse still it now seeks to wage a war on two fronts, holding the Original Soundtrack at bay with a series of Thrift- shop forays and bargain-bin Blitzkriegs around London in the International Quidditch Challenge while simultaneously throwing down the gauntlet for a You Tube Soundclash with Blogglebumcage. I respond with the video above. “You say ScrittAAY, I say Joe BowaYYY !!!!”

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