Witch Fever ( @WITCHFEVER )

July 15, 2019

IMG_0582

(I haven’t had time yet to frame this fantastic photo of @WITCHFEVER that I bought from @asupremeshot – so I thought I’d put a photo of it on my blog in the meantime – @WITCHFEVER play Manchester tomorrow night Tuesday 16th – if you’re anywhere near Manchester, run, don’t walk in their direction…)

Advertisements

Badly Made

June 21, 2019

Young men

On a pitiless shore

A jolly jape

Reveals too much

 

A land of strange and beautiful freaks

A handful of humans, a handful is enough

Then the other arrives

The white man’s prison convicts the white man

Scared of the land, scared of his shadow

Scared he will be found out

By the others across the ocean

You’re a bad poet

Inside a prison

Have pity for the bad poet

He just wants to escape

 


Falling over

June 18, 2019

Falling over

Get up quick

Falling over

Getting sick

Falling over

Get a stick

Falling

 

Over


iPhone

June 13, 2019

 

I carry a black lump of stone around

It hurts me but I cannot put it down

It wants to talk to me. I’m scared

Press the wrong part and my words are there

White text on black screen they hang in the air

I want to run away

 

The man who came to see why my arm hurt

Said I should talk to the stone more not less

Enlist its help, with voice commands

Adding insult to my injury

Who is in charge? The stone or me?

I cannot put it down

 

We never know when to leave well alone

Searching for answers in a magic stone


The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2

June 13, 2019

It’s always bad

                            in Gilead


What the hell is Yacht Rock?!

June 11, 2019

One of the many annoying things about getting old is when people who weren’t there at the time grab hold of cultural events that you actually lived through, chop them up and them spray them back in your face like a particularly unappealing  broccoli smoothie.

So this old man has become increasingly annoyed about the press and trails for a BBC FOUR TV series about “Yacht Rock”.

What the hell is “Yacht Rock”?!

A quick visit to Wikipedia reveals that the tern “Yacht Rock” was first coined in 2005. A good twenty years after most of the music which has been lumped together under that ludicrous banner was made and listened to. So I now understand why as someone who read NME religiously every week from the period 1974 to around 1990 I’d never heard of “yacht rock”. It wasn’t mentioned. Because it didn’t exist.

As always with these problems about culture what’s missing is context.

When I was young and foolish what characterized listening to music was scarcity. The weekly music, papers, Top of the Pops (RIP), radio and whatever vinyl your pocket money could buy. That was it. Anyone remotely interested in pop music would be forced to listen to and read about lots of different kinds of things, even if you didn’t like them. This would throw up some interesting juxtapositions. If the last single you bought was “Roche Rumble”, to be then confronted by the likes of Christopher Cross well… you would judge one by the other.

These days you can have what you like all the time. So you never learn what you don’t like. So you don’t know why you like what you like.

yacht

This piece above about Yacht Rock in the Guardian particularly irritated me. So let’s take it apart artiste by artiste:

1. Christopher Cross

When I first heard Christopher Cross’s “Sailing” I felt a deep sense of unease. There was something sinister about the airbrushed production, the air of distance, his cotton wool vocals burbling like John Martyn on heavy tranquilizers revoiced by a Chipmunk. It seemed to be sucking you in, its aim to make you feel nothing at all, withdraw into a bubble. It was 1980 and the world was in turmoil as usual, but this music seemed to encourage enervation and complacency. Something was being hidden, and I still don’t know what it is, but I’m scared of it…

  1. Steely Dan

To call Steely Dan “yacht rock” is like calling the Sistine Chapel painting by numbers. True their final album was a bit over polished but by then their reputation as one of the greatest song writing partnerships of the 20th century was unchallengeable.

I listened to “Countdown to Ecstasy” when I was 12. I liked it but it seemed a little tame next to Roxy and Bowie. But I was 12. You have to have lived a bit to appreciate The Dan (N.B. that’s what we old men call them), that exquisite mixture, heartbreakingly sweet, hilariously cynical. Superb music.

But “Yacht Rock”? No.

  1. The Doobie Brothers

By the time the Doobies (N.B. this is what old men like me used to call them) were in their final phase they’d already had a five year career as purveyors of moderately diverting boogie like “China Grove”, “Pursuit on 53rd Street*” and radio hits like “Listen to the Music” and “Long Train Running”. More wild west than messing about on the beach.

“What A Fool Believes” is a great song and has made me cry several times.

  1. Joni Mitchell

Someone clearly shouted across the Guardian’s crowded, smoke filled newsroom “we need a woman in this list!”**

A good example of how a well-intentioned thought can lead to a bigger sin.

Joni Mitchell: a singer, songwriter and musician of the very highest quality, streets ahead of her supposed peers, tough, brutal and all that. She needs no defending by the likes of me.

If anything “Hissing of Summer Lawns” is an implicit attack in both content and form on the attitudes and structures that would create something as ghastly as “yacht rock”. “Edith and the Kingpin”, “Don’t Interrupt the Sorrow”, etc etc

To describe “Hissing Of Summer Lawns” as “dark yacht” is journalism so lazy it can’t be bothered to wake up, let alone get out of bed.

  1. Toto

In the 70s with music you took what you could get. I bought a 7 inch single of “Hold The Line” by Toto for 50p second hand. It featured a production which made everything sound like cardboard, empty lyrics, a squealing, “over souled” vocal and a guitar solo so bad if I’d been the producer I’d have made him do it again.

Then I saw Toto on “Top of the Pops”. They looked like your uncle. They looked like accountants. They had terrible haircuts. When you’re 17 you don’t want people in rock bands to look like your uncle.

By the time we get to “Africa” well … I’m going to say something controversial.

I know it’s an internet meme and all that, but “Africa” is complete bollocks. A stapled together piece of ersatz craftsmanship where a bunch of rich white guys patronise an entire continent.

History is written and rewritten by the victors. The victors are younger than me. That’s a lot of people. So if you want to think “Harry’s House” has something to do with idiots with too much power and money dicking around on boats, I can’t stop you.

You’re wrong though.

*”Watch me workin’!”

**I’m well aware that this is not how journalism works now. Now an algorithm sends an automated command via instant message to a stressed out freelancer on less than minimum wage struggling to get the free wifi to work in a café in Hoxton


milkshake snowflake

May 25, 2019

milkshake snowflake

sticky handshake

dodgy hand-break

fascist pancake

 

burning teacakes

mistake heartache

raging earthquake

milkshake snowflake

 

 


second childhood

May 18, 2019

I walk backwards into the dark

squinting at the light in front of me

The light shakes, full of joy and rage

My ears have gone

I don’t hear the light

My bones vibrate

No time to waste

When I grow up I want to be in a band


kangaroo court

May 3, 2019

kangaroo caught

kangaroo court

 

offences

 

bouncing too high

boxing too hard

hiding

 

swag

 

in pouch

 

kangaroo caught

kangaroo court

 

kangaroo

 

convicted

 

 


Ten reasons why you should go and see Witch Fever live at the Shacklewell Arms on Wednesday 9th January @WITCHFEVER

January 8, 2019

1. Because they’re awesome

2. Because it’s January and it’s cold and dark and miserable and you need something to fire up your blood for the battles ahead. Witch Fever will fire up your blood.

3. Because they have the riffs of Black Sabbath, the energy of The Stooges and the words of Andrea Dworkin

4. Because their guitarist is really cool. She has that combination of joy, power and aggression that you want in a great guitarist (see video below)

5. Because it’s impossible to take a bad picture of Witch Fever

6. Because John Robb of the Membranes likes them

7. Because Something Leather are supporting and they’re really good as well

8. Because now is their time.

9. Because Witch Fever are so good I’ve run out of words.

10. Because it’s free. Which is ridiculous. You get to see one of the best new brands in the country for free. Go and see them. And buy some merch.