Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Sonic Youth and Vashti Bunyan

Saw Sonic Youth last week (or was it the week before?) at their residency at the Roundhouse playing their "classic album" Daydream Nation.
They were good, I enjoyed it. I dabbled with grunge as a teenager, although strictly speaking Sonic Youth only dabbled with grunge themselves.... I would describe them more as Art Noise. Quite melodic, almost poppy but capable of roaring white noise which makes my heart leap,my eyebrows furrow and my smile gently twitch. I do look like a psycho when this happens to my face I hasten to add.
So on two scores I was happy.
1) I'd never been to the iconic venue the Roundhouse before, and I have to say I was impressed.
2) I've now seen Sonic Youth, one to stick on my gig CV.
Back in the day, whenever it was, maybe 1990, I had a chance to see Nirvana, all my mates from the comic shop in Tottenham were going to go and queue up and buy tickets. I was going to as well. But I was such a loser I slept in. One of the biggest regrets of my (gig) life. I heard afterwards people were knocking shit out of each other in the queue, but I'd have snuck in under the radar and I'm sure I would have got a ticket had I bothered to get up. Turns up not many of my other loser unemployed mates got a ticket either and decided to stay up late and watch open university or Kojak or some other bollocks of the era thus rendering them incapable of an early start!
Ah, those days. Never mind.
As for the Sonic Youth gig, as I said, I enjoyed it. I didn't enjoy the young buck trying to dry hump me from behind because he couldn't get through the crowd and get to the front. He was like one of those dogs ready for their nadgers to be cut off, all frisky and annoying. I swung round and gave him a Ray Winstone cockney volley and he backed off. I was so angry. During my favourite song as well!
Anyway, on to Vashti Bunyan, Ongey came round the other night and we had a very civilised evening (only punctuated occasionally by childish references to bumming) with Debbie and we stuck on the original Vashti Bunyan album from 1970. What a beautiful, sentimental and gorgeous piece of music. Her poetry is lush too and it recounts the songs she wrote on her long journey by horse and gypsy cart to the outer hebrides..... It could be described as twee folk, but knowing the backstory generates an enourmous warmth and nostalgia. Then, I unwrapped her second album (from 2005!) as I bought it and hadn't played it and we listened to that too. It followed the same vibe, but I felt it was overproduced, too clinical. Spoilt it for me somewhat, but again, worth a purchase for her poetry alone. Her song "Brother", the lyrics made me want to cry. But I didn't, cos I'm a hard bastard.

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