Goth Euro vision

interpretive dancers, gratuitous violins, extravagant hair… it could almost be a eurovision performance, sadly no horseheaded figure up a step ladder but you can’t have everything can you? Spectacularly grainy old black and white footage here from Riverside in which two members of the royal ballet accompany a version of The Cure through ‘Siamese Twins’. I have to admit to being stubbornly ambivalent about the merit or otherwise of the dancing but the violins work well. (it can also be found in much higher quality colour without too much exertion but for some reason, this is just better) I’ve ended up here on account of The Quietus hymning the wonders of the ‘Pornography’ album and trailing the paperback of Lol’s book. The description of events it includes put this performance about a year after a tour ending fight between Gallup and Smith I guess, explaining Steve Severin’s appearance on bass. Weird to be looking back from today’s perspective where several years pass between releases to see that despite the all consuming, band destroying, conflagration of ‘Pornography’ Smith hardly sat on his hands moping. By this point ‘Let’s Go To Bed’ had been a hit and he spent the rest of ’83 making the singles that became ‘Japanese Whispers’ as well as a Banshees album and The Glove record with Severin which seems remarkably productive, I’m a bit tired just thinking about it. It’s not the piece the record deserves but it’s not bad – a few insights tempered by some John R(ent-a-g)obb and poor old Lol, whose name would become quite literally synonymous with laughter, getting his due for a change. I can’t honestly say it’s made me mad keen to read his book, but I don’t often need much encouragement to listen to the album again.

In other vaguely cure related news Mogwai tease their next record with a lovely track ‘Coolverine’ which finds them sounding more than ever like instrumental outtakes from ‘Disintegration’. No bad thing to be honest. They’ve come up with another terrible, terrible title as well. I picture them sat about after finishing the record with a bag of cans and a bottle of Bucky daring each other to come up with stupider names for the tunes. It’s a hit and miss business – sometimes they’re gold but ‘Coolverine’ is definitely on the ‘you wrote this lovely piece of music and then you called it what?’ pile . . .

If you need a little more high-culture-meets-goth theorising in your week then tomorrow there’s this. A Goldsmith’s event remembering Mark Fisher and featuring Gazelle Twin, a reading of his ‘for your unpleasure’ essay . . .




All You Can Eat Texas Barbecue


A couple of terrifying rock dinosaurs of yesteryear go head to head on the new release schedules today. ZZ Top have a weird greatest-hits-recorded-all-around-the-world-on-their-last-tour album out and Meatloaf has finally made another record with Jim Steinman. Looking back now on our youth it seems weird that Top’s blues based Texas boogie and Meat’s overblown broadway via Spector pop were broadly considered to be in the same rock niche. I guess that tells you just how out of fashion anything ‘rock’ was in the 80’s mainstream or something. Despite which they were both huge and sold a mountian of records adorned with shiny fantasy vehicles and accompanied by preposterous videos. Now, ordinarily in a head to head with these two there ain’t no beating the beards but… live versions of the old hits with Gibbons failing voice and that damn stage jumping fool Jeff Beck guesting on the London numbers? hmmm. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Meat meanwhile has got back with the guy who wrote his only good songs and more importantly for us lovers of overwrought goth nonsense his record includes a version of the Sisters of Mercy’s ‘More’ which Eldritch wrote with Steinman for ‘Vision Thing’. Come on, you KNOW you want to hear that. Even though it’ll be terrible. Unfortunately it’s not yet made it to the yoootooobs but on the upside we can take the opportunity to share Oren Ambarchi’s fantastic reworking of ‘La Grange’. As I believe Reelfoot put it – all the riff goodness with none of the dubious sexual politics.