Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Notes from the Underground #1

So where do we start? Something about being sick, angry and unattractive if my memory serves me correctly. I’m hoping at least two of those are incorrect, but as I’m going to nick a title from Dostyevski, it’s only fair that I give him his due by bothering to re-read the first paragraph.

Perhaps I am sick. I’m sick of trawling round scabby indie-dives on my own. I’m sick of searching for a scene that isn’t financed by major labels. That isn’t staffed by coke-addled media-whores sucking on ketamine and Smirnoff ice, who grace a gig with their presence purely because the band has had a bit of press recently and, for this week at least, can be considered cool and trendy, man. Perhaps this is the time to say I remember when no one had heard of Bobby Conn, back in the days before he was playing venues as (s)wank and salubrious as Trash. But then, what does my opinion count? This is only what I’m trying to do as a living. That’s right, I’m sick, sick of it all.

I may well be angry. Anger can be good. Anger keeps you searching for a reason not to be angry. Anger keeps you hungry. I’m angry that this hasn’t worked out as planned. I was moving to this wondrous city, and this wondrous city would welcome me with outstretched arms. But my anger has been stirred by the sea of whores I that swim before me. Am I going to play their games? Am I fuck? I’m trying to find a solution to all this negativity. I’m chasing after ghosts of promises of bands that can change my life. I know that there’s an underground out there, and it’s waiting for me to come knocking. Problem is, at the moment I’m buggered if I can find the door. I’ve seen glimpses of this hallowed turf. I’m beginning to recognise faces. I’m beginning to recognise faces that aren’t trying desperately hard to be Faces. This can only be a good thing. The signs that I have found are hopeful, I just having difficulty in following their directions. I found San Quentin. Then they split up. What is a boy to do? But at least they gave me hope. San Quentin showed that my search might not all be in vain.

What’s that you say? What is this search I talk of? I’m searching for no more than anyone else is. This isn’t some mystical holy grail I’m looking for, just a place that I can feel at home; a place where the music can take hold of me; a place where maybe, just maybe, everyone knows my name.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Sickness. Anger. There was more than that under consideration. The final ignominy. Sick, angry and unattractive. I believe that was the deal. Sickness and anger I can comment on, these are concepts within my understanding. Attractive or unattractive? That’s not for me to say. Perhaps it is for you to decide, to guess, to find out. My ramblings will take me far and wide, across the breadth of this city, and occasionally further afield. I’ve been there before; I shall go there again. I am afraid of nothing. I am scared of nothing, other than the possibility that I may fail in my search.

So that’s why I’m here. Why are you here? Why are you still reading? Are you laughing at my plight or are you crying with me? I’ve seen how these things work in Bristol and Birmingham (and don’t work in Cardiff). A city like London must have more to offer me. I’m just going to have to try harder to find it. Are you going to help me? Or are you going to sit there and watch as this city falls to its knees, and throws itself in the gutter in desperation.

I’m willing to search for the bands that could save London’s music scene from the evils of the multinational industry. I’m looking for a music scene that places the emphasis on music rather than the scene. Are you going to accompany me on this search, or have you already stopped giving a shit?