the beginning of the binge
Still taking the lion’s share of my scrobbles too! Also gave spins to Re-Mit, YFOC & Kurious Oranj spins too. Never really given Middle Class Revolt nor Imperial Wax Solvent much time - how highly do you rate them Ic-Smic?
Aye I binged through most of my collection plus a couple of others on Spotify, so there’s lots more below those 9 on my chart as well.
Imperial Wax Solvent is among the best late period records for me, not quite as solid as YFOC but almost as good and at times much stranger. I like some of the guitar sounds a lot too. Well worth a listen.
Don’t own Middle Class Revolt but give it a spin on Spotify now and then and I reckon it’s fairly underrated among their 90s stuff, as I’ve seen it being maligned a bit at times. Bit inconsistent but has a lot of their best 90s singles on there (15 Ways, Behind the Counter, M5). Sounds a bit less dated than the early 90s albums, which took me a while to get into cos of the production. They also surprisingly resurrected 15 Ways last time I saw them live in 2013.
Turnover are playing a few gigs near where we’ll be driving up from LA to SF in april, so I’ve been trying to decide whether it’s worth planning a gig into our journey. don’t think they’d be that fun live, though. that said, Mannequin Pussy are supporting, which is more tempting.
Just gave this ^ a spin and it certainly is much weirder than YFOC and definitely a highlight from their later period. Some really catchy garage rocky numbers (Loved Eleni’s lead vocals on I’ve Been Duped) along with lots of musically jarring moments (parts that were almost jazzy / lounge-y or Broadcast / Stereolab esque (?!) plus that odd little banjo breakdown in the middle of the delightful 50 Year Old Man which reminded me a bit of Lemon Jelly) - really great stuff! Will give Middle Class Revolt a listen in a bit.
good song but i always got a bit nervous when they did it live cos MES would often walk off and first time i saw them he never came back!
Haha brilliant! How far were they into the set by that point? Did you see them many times?
from checking the setlist that was the 8th song, he joined in the backing vocals for a bit and then fucked off, they did a 9th song without him and he never reappeared. then there was a bit of a gap and they eventually came out with him in tow for a one song encore of Sparta FC, at the end of which he threw the mic on the floor and fucked off again. whole thing was less than an hour! bit frustrating as i’d come sort of prepared for the possibility of them being terrible live and ended up really enjoying it, and then it was just over too soon. ah well. though a picture of the written setlist is on the website and only has like one extra song on it so maybe he just couldn’t be arsed that night.
only saw them 3 times, that was 2012 and then twice in 2013. saw them in Belfast the week Re-Mit came out, did a longer set and he was in better form, the crowd were really lively, lots of YFOC material and passed the mic to my friend at the end of Blindness (he only fucked off very briefly in I’ve Been Duped this time). great fun. then met Adam Buxton in the pub after! (the gig had annoyingly clashed with both Buxton and British Sea Power all the same night). that was a good night though.
and then later that year in Dublin, which was sort of chaotic as the bassist was on holiday so they brought the previous bassist back (the beardy one from Reformation era) and did a completely different set including songs he didn’t seem to know properly but was loads of fun and Mark seemed to be enjoying himself. No Spill Blood supported who are a great band as well. this gig was touch and go as i wasn’t gonna be able to get off work for it but ended up pulling a sickie and now very glad i did.
they never did any more Irish dates after that, annoyingly. shame as i would have really liked to have heard some of the Sub-Lingual Tablet stuff live. i was really close to flying over to that all-dayer in London last January with the amazing lineup of them, FOTL, Girl Band and Hookworms but didn’t do it in the end. proper kicking myself now, would have been just before he got ill, or visibly at least.
i did get to see Brix & The Extricated last year too though, was great hearing loads of old songs. need to listen to their album a bit more.
did you ever make it to any Fall gigs?
Sadly I never got round to seeing them at all! Likewise I almost went to that London all dayer last Jan but can’t recall why I didn’t end up buying tickets. Still kicking myself to be honest - that line up is ridiculous! I think I was always somewhat put off by the possibility that they would be a disappointment live.The sets you saw sound pretty ace and varied / unpredictable (in a good way obviously) which is exactly what you’d want from a Fall experience I’d guess. Quite jealous that you met Adam Buxton too!
Not heard any of Brix’s solo stuff - is it on Spotify?
I did get round to listening to Middle Class Revolt though and whilst I liked it; I can see why it doesn’t rate too highly amongst fans. There’s nothing particularly bad about it, there just doesn’t seem to be many tracks that really grabbed me in the same way as others albums (even from that period) do. 15 Ways and Hey! Student are both bloody brilliant though!
they could be a bit frustrating live, or rather MES could depending on how pissed he was. the band were generally pretty solid, particularly at later stuff. (think the recent lineup did a decent job of old songs when they attempted them as well though, whereas there’s a video on youtube of an early 2000s gig that’s a rare greatest hits set, but the band makes most of the old stuff sound really shit despite being the same lads who made The Real New Fall LP). i was disappointed that they were playing Psykick Dancehall a lot a couple of years ago but didn’t do it when i saw them, but i’ve seen a few videos of it on youtube where MES is constantly singing the chorus completely out of time with the band so maybe no great loss…whereas i did see him reel out a pretty bang on Muzorewi’s Daughter, and there’s a solid version of Wings on one of the last live albums (whereas he mangles some newer songs like Jetplane on the same album - i remember Aidan Moffat tweeting a complaint after a gig that “MES doesn’t seem to know any of his own songs, even the new ones.”) have also seen videos of both great and awful takes on Wolf Kidult Man.
plus there’s the famous amp fiddling - at one gig he did crank the bass right up which actually sounded pretty good, but i TWICE saw him manage to turn off Pete Greenway’s guitar amp mid-song. it was quite funny how Greenway would just keep playing the rest of the song despite knowing no one can hear him, and would never adjust anything until the song was over, as if he’s been thoroughly drilled not to do anything. also noticed a bit watching the Glastonbury 2015 set where he’s just shouting his backing vocals into the ether as Mark has nicked his mic, until Mark comes and plops one back in front of him again (for some reason MES would constantly be throwing his mic on the ground and nicking another member’s, or start singing through 2 or 3 mics at a time, there’d always be a mess of tangled up mics and collapsed mic stands all over the stage after a while)
actually reckon they would have been the weak link on that lineup to some extent, the others all being great live bands at the peak of their powers, and maybe the contrast to the other bands might have been unfavourable, but i did always have fun seeing them. first time i went it felt a bit like going to see Dylan now or something, not expecting it to be great (and initially not being really won over with much of the later stuff until i discovered YFOC a week before the gig and got a bit more excited) but one to cross off the list for (and for a lot less money than a Dylan gig), but it ended up being largely pretty fun when you’re there, which i’ve noticed doesn’t always translate that well to videos or recordings, i think there was an element of just taking it for what it is and not trying to compare it to those incredible 80s live sets. i found that Glastonbury set quite fun to watch on TV though. i noticed Mark Steel tweeting this after he died:
also i posted it in the other thread but this version of Blindness is superb: