In my purview:
* Kode 9 in lengthy, often frivolous interview on muzik zine Spannered
(old but interesting)
* Ex-Smith Marr number one in the US with Modest Mouse
, not Mozzer
* Last white men in Hammersmith Palais fail to satisfy on the closing night of quite-crap actually historic venue
Truth was out on Friday, deliberately attending venues with music as the focus rather than venues with piped music barely affecting inebriation. Luckily, with New Cross being so cool these days
I could nip down the road for a commentariat-approved night of hedonia, and nip back before the twins had barely screeched.
Or so I thought, our first stop, at the White Noise/Spinning Jenny
freakout night at the Montague Arms, failed to get anywhere close to the promise of its flyer/Me Space page; Mancunian singer/songwriter Jane Weaver delivered a stunningly vapid set of contemplative strumming, schooled obviously in the trendy hangouts of the northern quarter and chorlton in her hometown. Any meaning-through-emptiness could not be conveyed. The dj music stopped and started and hit no discernible groove by the time we decided to try somewhere else shortly before my time was up.
Up the road to pub-turned-club Goldsmiths Tavern, for their Headfunk
night, which if you wanted, was on til 5am mongtime. This night contrasted starkly with the guitar-based gig nights over the road at the New Cross Inn or the Amersham, and attracted a mixed local-original stay-up-for-ever crowd, the blokes ready to sway under the influence of booze, gak or pills.
People’s will to medicate and the at-times stultifyingly monothud house stomp made for an edgy atmosphere, the lads with the now de rigueur ho0oped sweatshirts ruling the roost. That said, it was filling out nicely, including students, as the early hours clicked on.
Only two tunes stood out, and they were both old skool. The first, Bambaata’s Planet Rock, is always going to be welcome. The other, Rebel MC’s Wickedest Sound, is a ghost of hardcore that keeps turning up, be it on pirate, riddim versions for the break genre of the time or Rebel/Tenor Fly’s voice resampled. With a perfect combination of propulsive breakbeat, those reggae/hardcore riffs, a bleepy siren and vocal motifs that don’t dominate, it’s a tune that’s never gone away from those hardcore days in my head, the internal doppel only growing because I never did get hold of a copy of it on 12.
Not surprisingly, it got the best reaction on the floor too, which had made me pontificating about breakbeat as-was being the true London urban blues music, something not quite true given the decade of garage mutations.