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.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
London Rhythm Factory

A support band. Like Mclusky degraded 100 times. Imitation doesn’t guarantee anything, continued xeroxing will always result in lesser quality. An old man in a stinking and fetid leather jacket twitches away as if he likes them. Maybe he does. Each to his own.

Let’s not linger. It’s for the best.

Step back.

Step back, and feel yourself. Feel the cold beer in your mouth, washing around your fillings. Feel the sweat of 200 people settle on your skin. Feel your sphincter muscle tighten, feel your buttocks clench.

Step forward again. Against all odds, for a mere twenty seconds they sound like Chuck Berry playing the Pixies’s ‘Bone Machine’. Twenty seconds of greatness, gone in an instant.

Fade out.

Cast your mind back six hours. Starring blankly at a monitor. Spacing out, a combination of a glucose-induced hypermania and sleep deprivation. Eyes unable to focus, skittering across the empty screen, not latching on to anything, not functioning properly.

They say that everything you do, everything that you say is a self-portrait of yourself. So what does that say about me? What does this say about me? That I’m empty? That I’m waiting for information, awaiting input?

Fade back in.

Plato said that we don’t ever learn anything. All we do is recognise things that we know from our time in the ether, our time between incarnations, our time between times. I know this to be true. At least, I know that Socrates said that Plato said this. Can we ever really know what Plato said, when it was all written down and reported by Socrates?

But that’s not important right now. What’s important is that you recognise the Birthday Party, Bauhaus, the Cramps. See all these things in the band that strutted out and started playing what Stevie Wonder may well have dubbed ‘Songs In The Key Of Death’.

"I've got my limbs tied up and a blindfold across my eyes,
Got the feeling I know that I'm gonna have to tell a lie."

The band look like degenerates. They look like the cast of a 50s B movie. A guitarist that lurches back and forth like an extra in ‘Dawn of the Dead’ hamming it up for his one moment of on-screen glory. A singer that looks like all he ever wanted to be when he grew up was a Ramone. But, damn, the boy sure can scream and howl.

Dark rumbling bass lines that cut you to the bone, cut you to the quick, cut you to the sphincter. Internal body temperature averages around 37°. Theoretically, the closer the temperature in here gets to 37°, the less likely it is that you will notice if you shit yourself.

Every song sounds the same. But every song sounds great. ‘Breaking The Law’ played voodoo-swamp blues style. ‘I Could Be An Angle’ sounds like a circus carny guarding the gates of Brighton Pier. And against this backdrop, amidst this turbulence, ‘Celebrate Your Mother’ sounds like a work of genius. Psychobilly genius, but genius all the same.

If everything that you sing is a self-portrait, then what does ‘Celebrate Your Mother’ say about Guy McKnight?