Madchester: audio

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.

Pop lyrics: do they really matter?

Here’s an interesting post by Laurie Duggan on the wall of sound, where he makes the point that the vocal track on My Bloody Valentine’s song ‘Come In Alone’ works because of the wall of sound surrounding it. While I think this is true, a closer inspection of the lyrics to these kinds of songs reveals (as if we didn’t know it already) that when it comes to pop and rock music, it’s not what you say but how you go about saying it that matters.

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