Monday, 13 December 2010

We are not hippies: Kill all hippies

So Friday and Saturday came and went. The heavy excess of the Primal beat recapturing, remodelling and representing those ‘delia’ moments.

I was not there. I tend not to be there much these days. Echo and the Bunnymen, The Primitives, Teenage Fanclub, Pixies, The Zombies – the list goes on and on la did da dee da.

And now I wish I had been there.

There’s something sad in recreating the past – about nostalgia for the now. But there’s also something in the Scream Team that is very hard to capture without feeling that you want to be part of it. And in a way I had been – those teenagers moments spent with Innes, Gillespie and Young. Those hours in the company of older, wiser, rocking and rolling men with their rammalamalamma ways and musical prowess that far outshone my own.

I own half my record collection from Innes little chats – little recommendations – the passing on of pop knowledge. I think to some extent that sits with me today. I want to stop caring about the sounds [of the underground] but I just keep thinking about The Pastels or Euros Childs or Weatherall and then that bounces me off down a new avenue – a new way of experiencing sounds and I’m hooked again. I want to write again.

Sometimes I need to write a list of those tunes, moments , experiences and highs down for my children to read, hear and groove to. Because sometimes I am far too harsh with them – my moaning, my wanting a quiet moment – sometimes I need to remember they are the kids – and once I wanted record companies to do it for the kids. The kids are revolting and that’s a fact – and I want my kids to be revolting – always.

So let’s get back to the scream – this pure independent rock n roll band. We had travelled south and still playing our brand of 4AD/ Blast First and Creation rock had bored audiences to tears as they waited for the glamour and soul of that old rock n roll from the glasgae boys. And boy did they get it – dripping in that MC5 swagger and open spirit [mainly vodka] the scream were able to command an audience’s respect – as we punched the air to their she[er] power. And rolling to our final destination and final ‘gig’ of our respective mini tour – friendships had cemented and minds had been expanded. Loaded was being recorded and before you know it – the scream where rocking the clubs [the dance ones not the working men’s] and those heady screamadelic months would follow.

It was ‘Come Together’ that did for me – the Terry Farley mix – white label in a shop on Loampit Vale in Lewisham – obviously not there now – but you could buy records then in small shops – actually you could buy records in Lewisham shopping centre – not a shop just a stall in the shopping centre – I remember Lee [another old friend lost to the mercies of not talking] buying Chime there – before Orbital signed to FRRR.

I think the reason Come Together resonates is that it is still a scream record – one that has the essence of the past merged firmly with the future. That jangle riddled with soul and swagger – real dance music – or as i said in an early post – I just call it music. That trumpet blast – and a call to come together [because we know when we come together we have power] Gillespie provides that languid feeling – that hope that together we can not only party – we can change things. I’m not one for hands aloft moments in rock n roll – i don’t like stadium filling shit – but at the Marcus Garvey Centre in Nottingham in 1990 – we all just came together – holding hands – it was beautiful [really beautiful] – mind you were already feeling europhic. I think Ian [former band member and genuine top rogue] had already secreted himself in a bass bin as Dr Alex had supplied the dub madness. But in that one moment of pure ecstasy we came together – en masse – to music I know but it was a moment filled with possibility as the guitar descends and Gillespie asks – ‘kiss me – won’t you, won’t you kiss me?’ Come Together is an honest and open call to arms – something the Scream have always dealt in. We are not here for the hippies.

And the night turned wilder and weirder, Douglas Hart with his video camera – I often wonder what happened to all that footage – it never made the Screamadelica tape that’s for sure, Nightingale ‘organising’ proceedings and the music just flowing. Somehow we made it to Claire’s house.

Because when we come together – we have power – we are unified – we are together.

For some reason I can't find an audio copy of the Terry Farley mix - Sony have locked down the video onthe Screan channel. So here is the original speech which Weatherall lifted for the epic dub version.