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Showing posts from January, 2016


Basically, I miss them LOADS, so here's everything I've written about them. Only 'conventional' guitar band to spin my propellor in nearly 20 years.

Johanna Kustannus Records
*review first appeared on The Quietus, June 29th, 2009*

(Edith fucking Bowman, how shit is guitar music right now? No wonder those off-the-peg indie-duds H&M and Topman are making such a killing with are in such infant-sizes - indie-fans must be fucking starving, malnourished, Biafran on these rations, these crumbs in the dust. 14 years ago I wrote this about indie-rock nearly-rans Sleeper- "Indie is four people getting together wanting to create something sublime and immortal having had their lives swallowed by pop and needing to do the same, surveying the infinite possibilities and deciding three guitars some drums and some good songs will just about do". I wrote it whilst frowning and not getting any, but in 1995 it seemed like a fair response t…


As ever, I don’t remember the important stuff, the van, the packing, the boxes, the miracle of a garden. I just remember knowing I was somewhere tougher than before. Move to Ernesford Grange, a new estate in Coventry in 78. Make friends finally, now I’m not up in the flats in an old-folks home and living in a house on a street. Catch bus to and from school with sister, latchkey kids. House down the road, ‘the punk house’, occasionally skinheads snarling & spitting my way, fear of fascist attack locked inside forever, chip on shoulder budding already. One close close white friend, play everywhere with him, like all my intense childhood friendships it ends in desertion and/or horror. Late 1980 he asks me out to play post-cherryade Sunday afternoon. Make it down the corner, his other friends waiting with a water bomb and a few well-placed punches and a few new words they’ve learned like paki and nignog and wog and blackie, words I’d heard at school behind my back but that had not ye…

WHITE POWER: BLACK POP - 1Xtra's Power List

(Originally from this blog, then hosted over at The Quietus)

JULY 16th 2014

Suckered in the morning, wise by teatime but still at sundown an old graze stings again, a dormant papercut refreshed. Initially I was tickled by the fact that 1Xtra had published a list of their most 'Important Artists In Music' of which three of the top four were white, nodded at Wiley's amusement, growled a little at those who thought something could be remedied or set right by the names on that list being more preponderantly black. Never gonna happen. You're in England, remember. We don't progress in our racial politics, we just get more self-congratulatory and blind.

Hence the immediate dismissal of criticism, the semantic pirouettes, the insistence that all keepers of the racial order always insist on - 'it's not about race'. We'd all expect a list that foregrounds overwhelmingly white male pop names to be defended thus, but what did tweak my nips about the screens I lo…


When the love & emergency credit runs out, if you lie face-down long enough you can arrange the duvet, your coat, the pillow, the floor and yourself until all light is extinguished in your world, until you live in a post-stellar universe. There is no difference between opening and closing your eyes. A panorama of pitch resolute blackness. After a while the eye adjusts, the mind ticks over, you can start picking out details. The hairs on your arm, the crook of your elbow, the bony straits and ridges of your clenched hands. A little longer, a few hours, and you start existing in this dark miniature cavern, this shrouded netherworld beneath the bedding. You, foot to head, are as tall as your eyeball, in a murky expanse where your lacklustre limbs become cliff-faces, mountain ranges viewed from the salt-lake plateau of the mattress, you start to wonder what lies beyond the wrist’s horizon, who sails down your muddy veins through the valley of the clasped sheet. I saw you, traveller, e…