Im straight, white and agnostic so in all honesty there aren't many times I find myself with my hands in the air going "Woo-OOO-OOO" (disclaimer: not to characterise all black gay christians as jumpin' hollerin' KFC-advert fodder- just some might be. and being as the entire audience at the gig were white and didn't look like they shook their drooping asses to Larry Levan or the Clark Sisters this observation seemed aposite.)

Tim Delaughter, A man I would follow on a bus to darkest Chechnia if he asked, was rather rounder than in pictures- he shamelessly whipped off his robe at the end to reveal some weird underwear/johdpurs affair and a noble paunch. The rest looked hairy or cute, or hairy and cute. But best of all none of them looked like hippies really. None of them had that dead-eyed gullibility that led you to believe that Tim Delaughter- undoubtably a man of subversive persuasion and rampant egomania, was leading them anywhere they wouldn't really be having a better time being anyway. I imagine that for the rest of their lives they all teach kids music, raise families, write on websites, do their parent's DIY, but assembled together- well its just something they're doing this year for a lark.

But at the end of the day. amidst all the glitter, balloons and waving, I can't help thinking that I was probably happier the week before with Sigur Ros at Glastonbury watching the icelandic melancholics e-bow their way through minor key masterpieces. The Spree's album joins the canon of Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips in creating music whose glorious joy is a hard-nosed survival tactic. The death of his Tripping Daisy compadre, bad acid, references to suicide, Hearing joy bludgon its way through such mortal matters is exhilirating. But tonight, with a load of new upbeat material and a glossing over of some of the more challenging aspects of their work, they came to give us a party, and it would be churlish of me not to be grateful. Miserable old sod. Which leads us to........


A gleeful truantee from the wonderful world of depression during my mid teenage years- I glossed over any music for navel gazers in favour of anything angry, poised or just plain obnoxious. In my camp was Hip Hop, Happy Hardcore and Henry Rollins, in the other was a load of bands with horrible clothes peoples older brothers listened to when they were students.

A very clever woman on the late review (perhaps Bonnie Greer) attributed the success of the Spanish ghost film "The Devil's Backbone" to the fact that while fear takes a short time to metabolise, sadness stays a lot longer. With that in mind I will shamelessly admit that the first Joy Division composition I really listened to was Therapy?'s cover of Isolation on the Troublegum album. I immediately rushed out to the shops and bought no Joy Division albums. for years after. Not a major social stigma, I bluffed conversations with enthusiasts mentioning Love will tear us apart and how much I liked Peter Saville.

In my final year of college I lived with a girl called Sophie who really did have the most fantastic CD collection. Songs:Ohia, Big Black, all of those I discovered through her. A few of life's bloody successes and failiures along the track, I found miraculously that I could listen to sad music without my back breaking, my bodily control failing and the floor shattering beneath me. Thus I rather embarrassingly discovered the wonderful Joy Division mope at the post adolescent age of 23. I saw transmissions on the Old Grey Whistle Test, took the Substance compilation on holiday and was hooked.

The one benefit of admitting that I am a recent convertee is that I can empirically state that British Sea Power, Interpol and the rest do not sound like Joy Division with the same fresh impartiality that helps me differentiate Erase Errata from Numbers. And so to my arguement, presented below in three easy stages

1. All this stuff about Interpol being chilly is bullshit. For fucks sake two of their tracks have peoples names in them. Daniel likes Roland, he loves Stella. Alright three but he seems fairl y impartial towards Lief Erikson, discoverer of Greenland (which is chilly) Poor old Ian Curtis, the fatalist/narcissist was probably too wrapped up in the pain of his amour to remember the names of its recipients. Joy Division's songs are about politics, theatre , literature, the sort things that dour working class Northerners concern themselves with when the library is a cheaper and safer hangout than the local Roxy. Interpol sound like they've just been going around a lot of parties in New York and are just a bit tired.

2. You can dance to Joy Division. This was laughed at when I mentioned this fact on a music website. I guess being a late convertee I hear Joy Division mixed with icy electro and jagged artpunk, as opposed to with Sisters of Mercy and Fields of the Nephilim at a late eighties student disco.

3.British sea power sound more like U2 fronted by David Bowie with J-Mascis' guitar


I await yr re-evaluation of Echo & the Bunnymen all expectorantly- I'd say start with Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here....when I were a lad it were all raincoats and karate slippers and frantic backcombing- and noone smiled. And some folk reckon 80's was all Spandau Ballet and Wham, it were Manc miserabilism, Sheffield steel ringing guitars nicked from Scotland passed back, repeated; Scouse bile and Yorkshire bitter- Hit the north!

T'Fall revival that's what we need followed by some Ron Johnson twang! and skeen! 'Fat lad exam failiure' by Bogshed or 'mechanical nun' by same or indeed, 'panties please!' and Jackdaw with crowbar; The Shrubs; The Mckenzies; A Witness...Get the Big Flame comp on Drag City- Peng!. Them were the days... it's not even nostalgia, cos nostalgias a warm remembrance, 80's indie before baggy, before McGee were horrible, but compelling and strangely suited to the time and equally as suited now- it's the vitality of it, it's the fact that Dad's of Dadrock won't get it; will be repelled by it; will fuck off out of it rather than be subjected to the squalling, clanging, atonal funk and drang of it- where are the Beatles references? The nods to Dylan and The Stones? Why does it sound like 'jobless youngsters' (another Bogshed classic) attempting to wield Beefheart with Nile Rogers but at a furious, breakneck speed with occasional spastic, burbling breaks for band to remember which way round they should be facing- to the audience! to the audience!

No, to the floor, to the floor! Arch yr backs, arch yr backs! Which is why the proper popkids circa '86 thought Primal Scream were an embarassment with their leather trousers- even more so when one photoshoot got canned cos Throbs thighs looked too flabby. I didn't know what I was into then, still don't now, make it up most of the time, bollocks... Andy)



1. Giving really plain ( I'm enough a gentleman not to say downright ugly) American girls 10 on hot or not. Go on it makes karmic sense.

2. Being Followed by Rocket Science. They're from down under and this sounds like the Australian Doors doing the Cure doing Suicide doing teenage kicks which is to say its very derivative but really rather irresistable.

3. Minor Threat demo Ep released on Purple 7 inch by Dischord for a scant 4 dollars.

4. Getting the soundtrack to Irreversible on Vinyl. Yes the fact that it soundtracks a horrific rape scene is kind of horrible. But on its own, Thomas Bangalter's Vitalic-esque merging of John Carpenter's edgy keyboards and Micronauts style french whooooooshing noises makes a bit of a club banger. As I believe they say.

5. Careless Talk Costs Lives. The editorial in this issue sounds a bit death or Glory. Which is worrying. Support it. Its like The Wire meets Smash Hits.

6. Esperanto. In true dilletante fashion read about it in Saturday Guardian and now i'm hooked. Its the new Ebonics- fo' shizzay. Ha lo dolca kuko: Hello sweetcakes.


1. Parachute trousers. On girls. On boys. On goths. On tourists.

2. Being told to cut down your salt and sugar intake by a doctor who says your blood pressure is to high when your a ten stone 24 year old; and who goes "Ah" when you detail your job as graphic designer and writes "Computer Operator."

3. The air in London: When telling the same doctor that I was a non-smoker- she wrote "passive" in the box. Although maybe my eyes and urine sample that morning gave me away as an occasional barfly.

4. That bar under the Centrepoint where "Computer Operators" (-see above) go to pick up Japanese girls and vice versa. I mean isn't anyone bored of this game? It's all a bit Tony Parsons mens magazine article. It would be nice to see more Anglo-Japanese couples that looked like they were in healthy adult relationships instead of some weird oriental/occidental geisha fantasy.

5. Muzik Magazine going tits up. I stopped buying it a few issues back when the cover Cd's started being called things like THEBESTDFA-EROLALKAN-ELECTROCLASH-LARRYTEECLUSTERFUCKDOWNTHECOCK/NAGNAGNAGALBUM.....EVER! But for the last issue they seem to have daringly put some interesting (and slightly loopy) design in it. And it features a big interview with V/VM. I'd love to see other Magazines doing balls-to-the-wall final issues- every issue. That would be great.