Wednesday, March 03, 2004

WHAT THE POP PAPERS SAY: Two royal gigs edition
A new tribe has been born, and while we're usually waiting at the door with our best baseball club with rusty nails for anyone who turns up bearing sightings of new socio-economic groupings - what did you think happened to Peter Yorke? - since the Fifty Quid Bloke has been identified by David Hepworth, in a piece in this Monday's Guardian, we'll be slightly more welcoming. The fifty quid bloke is found in Borders on a Saturday afternoon, a couple of drinks inside, a loose tie out; buying a couple of CDs, a DVD and perhaps a book; he's then trying to figure out ways to explain this away as an investment to his partner, and, apparently, it's him that's keeping the music industry afloat right now. He's to blame for Norah Jones and Katie Mewla. If you spot him in Borders next week, please lead him over to the magazine sections and show him some other ideas.

But not this week's NME, which has given the cover to the Australian Oasis, Jet. We know there's only two options here: either the NME is right, or we are. And since the first option is almost unthinkable, and the second just unlikely, we've got believe that in a year's time, everyone will be looking back and wondering just why the NME is wasting covers at a time when there's a supply of sexy, lithe, interesting rock stars to feature. It's an abundance we've not had for a very long time and makes the decision to waste time and space on a band who make Heavy Stereo seem like a good idea even more puzzling.

The big news picture is of the metal bit welded to Ryan Adam's wrist to stop his career from ending (and to aid him fighting crime, we think); it also shows his rubbish tattoos; a rare occassion when the double spread has been well used. Courtney Love has given away her guitar to a "hardcore fan" (who hadn't bothered to, you know, buy a ticket) - sadly, it seems Love has other guitars so it can't be taken as a sign of retirement. Franz Ferdinand are doing well in New York, we're told - they've done a lot of interviews, although we're not quite convinced that's the same thing. Perhaps someone in NY could tell us?

Belle & Sebastian do the CD: the theme from Van Der Valk and Brandy, but Stuart Murdoch says that if he'd been making the tape for a girl (yes, he insists on "tape") he'd leave off Eye Level. Apparently, the dutch tec theme was one of the inspirations when they were putting B&S together - which strikes us as amusing, like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs citing the Kojak theme or something.

Ah, now how's this for a bout: Peter Robinson versus Michael Eavis. Asked who'd win a fight between him and a cow, he fancies himself, because he can run faster. But equally, he admits that working with cows makes you slow down. Which might be why he doesn't take down PR's list of what he wants Macca to play at Glastonbury this year. There's also an interesting and serious point, where Eavis claims that the idea behind not letting people buy tickets on credit cards is because "you can't have more than one debit card." Erm... yes, you can. Told that Mr. Robinson has three debit cards (jesus, what are IPC paying him?) Michael admits that maybe he's been given a bum steer by the banks on that one.

So, then... tell us your ten step guide to "breaking the rock sound barrier", Chris Jet. "This is a hard drinking band, and that's why I love it. Sometimes we're great, and other nights we're lousy, that's how it is. If people can't understand that, fuck 'em." Right, so, it's fuck off to anyone who might feel aggreived that you're playing shit because you're pissed? How about we all do that? "Yes, sorry, Mr. Jet, sometimes I do a really brilliant liver transplant, sometimes I poke it in the wrong hole, depending on how drunk I am." Paul Moody then tries to convince us their reputation for boorishness is unfounded. "There's always another gig, another party, more drinking." I suppose we should offer up some sort of thanks that there's someone who has finally made the Stereophonics look like the rather dull local act they are, and maybe if i was twelve I'd find the whole "we drink lots of beer, and, erm, that's it" stance really exciting. But even Nic from the band hints that he's finding the whole two dimensional nature of the band has a rapidly diminishing grasp on people's attentions.

Fingers on buzzers, now... Who Am I? "I've got dry and clean and things don't seem so bad any more. I spent my 20s being a contrary fucker... I was dragged all the way around the fucking world on someone else's megalomaniacal trip.. that was how it felt at the time... I won't rejoin the band. I was given an opportunity to leave and I took it. I know it sounds corny, but being able to play and perform on my own is a dream come true." If you said Graham Coxon, award yourself twenty points.

In something of a journalistic scoop, they've got an interview with Dangermouse, where he clearly contradicts the claim made in EMI's cease and desist letters that he never wanted Grey Tuesday to happen. Interestingly, the NME also gives an URL where the BPI-RIAA baiting album can be downloaded from. We wonder what the EMI beast makes of that.

Continuing a good week, the pull out posters are all Pennie Smith shots, although it does mean that bloody Paul Simonon shot is in there again.

the vines - camden electric ballroom - "mere glimpses of original brilliance isn't enough" - 6 (oddly, now the gigs aren't nme-sponsored they're giving them scores again)
mad action - highbury garage - "supply teachers look... songs beyond ordinary" - 7
explosions in the sky - belfast pavilion - "all a bit too quiet"
brian wilson - royal festival hall - "maybe radiohead should have waited for 37 years before they released Kid A"
motorhead - royal opera house - the review is actually written by a cartoon made-up toff (Mark 'binkie' Beaumont, see), although they should have said it was the bloke from Chapterhouse who used to do the piece in Thrills.

the vines - winning days - "the same terrain as its predecessor without getting anywhere near its heights", 5
mr airplane man - cmon dj - "pretty uneven", 6
tompaulin - everything was beautiful and nothing hurt - "I hate you, tompaulin (not really), 6

sotw - the vines - ride - "explodes into a napalm chorus"
j lo and r kelly - baby I love you - "about as erotic as jamie cullum..."

and finally... Alison Goldfrapp loves Serge Gainsbourg. You could tell.

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