Madchester: audio

In honour of the Stone Roses reunion, I thought I’d post a track I wrote more than a decade ago about Madchester.

The Stone Roses
David Prater, ‘Madchester’, live at Babble (2002)

In the early 1990s, bands like the Roses, the Charlatans, The Farm and Happy Mondays were popular with a certain crowd of university students in Australia and elsewhere.

For proof of this, check out this screenshot from FB, where I recently asked friends to name-check UK indie bands from the 1990s, with extended results, although I should mention the criminal omission of Flowered Up.

I’ll admit to being a big Stone Roses fan. I can actually still remember where I was when I heard ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ for the first time, had the above poster on my wall and stared at it fanatically for hours on end, and once I even ventured out to a Manchester-themed club night, called ‘Madchester’ in Sydney in the early 1990s.

The Madchester ‘baggy’ sound could loosely be identified as being connected with the beginnings of rave culture in the UK, as well (perhaps more contentiously) as the hideous phenomenon that was the ‘indie-dance crossover’, an act on the part of some bands which was to seal their brief fate (hello Soup Dragons).

I don’t really regard the Roses as being indie-dance crossover or rave at all, unless one counts ‘Fools Gold’; I was always into the more stoned backwards-sounding tracks anyway, and only wished they’d continued the trend of ‘Something’s Burning’ (the b-side to their faux-dance single ‘One Love’) on The Second Coming instead of producing the cocaine-fuelled heavy rock with noodlings embarrassment album that they did.

Anyway, the track is a summary of my experiences at Madchester and beyond, and I don’t really have much more to add, except to say that this excruciating version was recorded live at Babble (Melbourne) in 2002. Feeling very old today.

4 Comments

Gaaaaah, The Second Coming … the only bit I liked was the atmospheric intro … which at the time I thought would lead into a really ambient album … how wrong was I! But I respect your right to like it :-))

Re Sonic Youth – I thought that TM and KG had broken up, but that there was no news about the band splitting yet? Looks like I’ll have to do another post and drag out my early Daydream Nation-inspired poems as well …

oh yes, it hurst to think that so many of these albums are 20 or more years old… always struggle to get my head around it. heard some not so good news about sonic youth… hope they hang in there though… be too sad to lose them.

1989 was a great year, though, wasn’t it? Pixies’s Doolittle, De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising, Pop Will Eat Itself’s Cure for Sanity … and on and on! But you’re right – we’re all old bastards now.

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