Being attacked by insects preview no.1 (the main drags)

Watch out, Stretch gonna eat you up.

Feile 1992: losing my friends, my voice, sleeping in a ditch, bumming cigarettes off people like a mute and then....her

So you are going to your 400th festival of the summer. Congratulations, you are now a hobo. One left and Stretch has loosened his morals and will attend as a sociological experiment. The nausea I feel is usually strong when I, like 1000s of revellers, get branded at the gates and am told to act like an individual. The national newspaper of record will hand me a bag full of pretension, containing items bound to get me beaten up or arrested if the tinned condom is anything to go by. I will eat food which is fantastic for the price, but they will run out of toilet roll on the Sunday and I will be forced to return to my roots, in fact I will use my roots for that thing, y’know. However, I will have discovered new music, met new people and exorcised the demons of Feile 1992…oh jesus, the weirdness…

Roxy Music

Imagine you are a 20 year old girl and you’ve just heard Roxy Music for the first time, coz they’re playing “the Picnic” and as you scour the shops for suitably cool wellies, you tell yer girlfriend that you can’t wait for “the picnic” and you are just lovin the Roxy Music stuff and then you get to “the picnic” and the silky smooth voice you imagine to belong to a sexy white suited man, is belching out of your grandad and you gasp as you never knew people could get so old. It makes you sick all over yourself.

Leftfield

You remember when the Prodigy and the Chemical bros were the new big things. Underworld’s “Born Slippy” had become an anthem for a generation wishing they had the balls to try heroin. Those who did experienced the weird RodStewartesque side-effect of injecting skag into their arm, developing a Scottish accent, morphing eventually into a posh London accent and becoming a luvvie, never off the TV and always riding your motorbike up to poor children even though no one actually asked you to.

LCD Soundsystem

Stretch here is unsure who invented the word overrated. Maybe it’s just me. Although, I do like this.

The Frames

You know that friend in school who was nice enough but would never stop writing poetry, wearing waistcoats, stroking his beard and being really serious even when you were joking around. Well that fucker got a record contract and an ability to take life’s knock in his stride, and despite an almost Polanskiesque disregard for age, won an Oscar and will never ever shut up. Complete with a collection of fans that would make fans of U2 or White Supremacy irritable. All in all, if you are going to watch the Hansard, you’ll be glad to know that I won’t be anywhere fucking near you.

Anyway, here’s their song.

The National

Like Vic Reeves singing in classic club stylee. I made the mistake of hearing my first National song “Mistaken for Strangers” on the radio one day. I was so impressed that I went out and bought the album Boxer. Within minutes of the opening track, I had pulled my cardigan around me and gone all Winona. The cast of Dawson’s Creek arrived and told me to pull myself together, except for Katie who wrestled me to the ground and demanded her cardi back. We both sulked together later, it was nice, until her husband arrived later and raped me, thinking I was her, I think.

Imelda May

She’s from Dubalin and she sings rockabilly, wild. Can’t find fault. It’s weird. Rockabilly gone mainstream, kinda, but still feels like your listening to better produced versions of the Cramps or the Sonics. Kudos, I think. And if you say anything bad about her, she’ll knock lumps out of you, says my accountant, Simon Swan, 0859897773.

more to come… including, How fat is John Lydon and is it true Seasick Steve has a degree in Actuary?

Get to the Front 242

When bono goes bald

When bono goes bald

In ten days time, I will be standing in a club in ol Dubalin watching Belgian men create havoc with my mind. Not those men you read about in the papers, but Front 242, one of the most influential industrial-electro groups mid-Europa has to offer. They got together in 1981 and released album after album of odd deconstructed industrial sounds, then full-on electronic mayhem over which these very strange voices provide a kinda melody and a weird urgency. I know the place will be packed, but their fans aren’t generally seen in polite society. Where do they hide? Is there one beside you now? They try to look like you.

Stretch got into industrial type stuff as a teenager after listening to Nine Inch Nails’ first few albums, Pretty Hate Machine, Broken and the remix of that album Fixed. While listening to Fixed especially, I realised that listening to this music would be a solitary pastime.  I bought albums by Front Line Assembly, Pigface, Foetus, Ministry, RevCo, Lard and Lab Report. Addicted to strange sounds, I sought out Skinny Puppy, Cubanate and basically bought the entire rack from the old Comet Records shop in Temple Bar. Ogre and En Esch were my heroes then. Still, nobody I knew was listening to this stuff, so in my head I was surrounded by this music and living life with a nihilistic outlook. I may as well have been smoking gitanes, reading Kant, shredding my knuckles with cheesegraters while shooting up.

The first album of Front 242 I bought was Mutage:Mixage in 1995 and it included remixes of their songs by The Orb, Underworld and the Prodigy, but the album was ordered by the band and involved some of their own remixes. I fucking loved it. Freaky, beautiful, cold, layered, dancy. It had everything, so I bought up as much of the group’s output as I could. Each album was completely different and well mad.

I used to go to the 13th Floor club in O’Connell Street which doesn’t exist anymore. The DJs would play great industrial and trance music in an intimate setting. Great club. Three floors: first floor was bang-bang skanger fest, the second floor was a Salsa club and the top was the 13th Floor (I know). So, you could be standing at the urinals with a seven-foot punk, a man with a puke-stained tracksuit and a fucking Mariachi. I was usually taking acid while there so the fun I had, I tell ya!  The cops would raid the place occasionally, not for drugs, but to make sure the various groups stayed on their floors…not for the faint hearted.

Anyway, Front 242 (you gotta love them) are playing at the Button Factory on Saturday 28th. Bring some Nachos, just in case.