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THE YEAR OF RIVER COTTAGE POP - My 2012 In British Pop Music

2012. The year of River Cottage British pop. Another beardy year like the last, but if anything our beardiest since the mid-1500s. Of course, modern British folkpopsters (who ironically could actually afford to have their faces depilated regularly by expensively-hired Harley Street bumfluff-skivvies)needtheir beards  to hide their bruised chins, the living livid testament to the abrasive scaliness of Satan’s scrotum (mumfmumfmumf) and even I’ll admit it’s impossible, maybe even undesirable, to keep such poshos out of pop. Pop’s always relied on its MIX of people, classes, ages, genders, sexualities, races. But right now, there’s no mix, just an endlessly marching onward army of grinning braying dishabille pricks-with-acoustics & gap-year-tans, bullying the life and non-punchability out of British pop music. A rewritten map of modern Britain to the scale of pop-dominance would see the South East grotesquely inflated, the rest of the country shrivelled to the point of non-existence,…

T.REX, SLIDER REISSUE REVIEW, FULL VERSION

(Actually not that different from the version run by those lovely people at the Quietus but enuf T.Rex completists whined about their fave track 'Ballrooms Of Mars' not getting a mention so here's the full version.  Non-Marc obsessives may well not notice any difference) 


T.REX THE SLIDER 40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION BOX SET (EDSEL) I should declare an infatuation – this album is exactly as old as me and for 25 of its 40 years I have loved it unreservedly. This can't be a review of the album because if you need to be told whether 'The Slider' is any good or not you've clearly never had your Marc moment, the moment when your soul just opens up another antechamber where only his warmth and powers can reside, just here next to your heart tucked in with a grin. Surprising how many people haven't, how so many are still in hock to the press' worst habits about Marc, see him as punch line or pale imitator of more dependable innovators like Bowie. My first TRUE M…

Various Artists - The Roots Of Rockabilly 1940-1953: Rompin’ And Stompin’ album review(originally from the Plan B Magazine website)

Various Artists - The Roots Of Rockabilly 1940-1953: Rompin’ And Stompin’  (Indigo) (originally from the Plan B Magazine website)


 This 3-CD set of country, blues, gospel and bluegrass from the years that formed the musical mindset of most of those who’d create rock’n’roll has swallowed up a month in my life. Not just because, from a musicologist angle, it provides a fascinating link between the impoverishment of the war years through the explosion in indie labels and electronic instrumentation post-war through to the genesis of rock’n’roll. Not just because you find that country blues actually already explored all kinds of later musical trends in the Forties (including, unbelievably dub as on the mindblowing echoplexed madness of the Davis Sisters’ ‘Rock A Bye Boogie’). No, The Roots Of Rockabilly slays still because I got a woman. And she done broke my heart. And these songs are pitiless. The human heart’s history is ancient and always the same and these motherfuckers, mainly skint, bar…

"Prove you ALL wrong, fuckers!" - The RZA, interviewed by me, for Bang Magazine, 2003

Royal Trux, Two Features

SEX PISTOLS, Never Mind The Bollocks / Spunk/ Filthy Lucre Live, Album reissue reviews, 1996, Melody Maker

(Melody Maker. 27th July 1996)
First, the reissue of the one great album, complete with demos, then the arrival of a live record of Finsburv Park. Now much do you need to hear of THE SEX PISTOLS? Never Mind The Bollocks / Spunk (Virgin)Filthy Lucre Live (Virgin)And so they’re slotted in, the punk chapter in every Big Book Of Rock. Flick through the index and they’ll be there between Santana and Del Shannon in bold type; the next time they do one of those 100 Best Albums Of All Time radio votes they’ll be nestling neatly at about number twenty-six, betwixt Blonde On Blonde and Dark Side Of The Moon, processed, placed, understood. McLaren, born smirking and uncaring, will recline with a cigar and a smug sense of vindication and wait for his cheques. The band will stand another round in the local. Lydon, who you hope is past caring, will fly home and feed his plants and die. The Sex Pistols are history, meaningful figures, boring, everything they resisted, everything it was inevitable they…