Thin Lizzy tea-leafing MOFO!
Right. If you’re going to throw down the Throwing Muses, I’m going to go a bit Indie myself, otherwise it's just geezers with beards, innit.
The urbane and erudite (urbudite? You suit yourself, I’m going to use it from now for the sake of compression and accuracy, or compraccuracy as we children of the digital revolution have it) Baron Hatherley is wont to tease me when I express my total lack of interest in all things Ravey circa 87/88 by suggesting ahh, yes you were no doubt drinking Special Brew in Barrow in Furness and listening to Bogshed. Out by a couple of years, but pretty close.
Equally, I used to work with the guy who ran Ron Johnson records, about ten years after it had gone tits up, who, you’ll recall had a goodly proportion of the tracks on NME C86. Given that I was a bit of fan of the label and that we were the only two people in the whole of Thanet who seemed to have remotely similar music-obsessive type attitudes we got on very well. The other label that was well represented on the compilation was of course Creation. Alan McGee is now deeply rich, Dave lives in Broadstairs. McGee’s revivalism was a return to the sweet and poppy sixties, Dave’s was a return to Beefheart, an attempt to forge some of that Trout Mask blues abstraction into a new, hyperkinetic white funk, i guess: James Chance and Lester Bowie were also in the mix. Actually Dave’s roster was probably the wonky of its day: how do you dance to this, where’s the tune, where are the dynamics? It seemed a bit cerebral and arch and not-very-goodtime compared to mooning around to Velocity Girl.
Ron Jonson had one absolutely superb and now totally neglected band on their roster : big Flame, a Militant trio from Manchester (the guitarist later formed one of Factory records more obscure signing's Meatmouth, a lumpen Manc hip-hop meets angle-grinder guitar thing that produced one E.P. I think. The bassist was in Peel fave's Great Leap Forward).
This is, I reckon bIG FLAMES best track, as terse as the title suggests, and these were I reckon the best Ron Johnson or roughly affiliated riffs I can find on youtube.
I should confess to another un-hairy Indy weak-spot here, which is the mid-paced, motorik, two-chord Bo Diddley driving tune. Roadrunner’s the archetype, and Sam is certainly right about the Feelies, but these have to be my two favourites. Shit, all this talk about hidden emotions welling up is making me want to confess to the awful truth.
I love Beat Happening!