martedì 13 aprile 2010

Niagara Falls on a tightrope

Artery was one of the bands that sprung up in 1978 and they developed a large following in Sheffield. The quartet was originally called "The" but they opted very soon for a change. Mark Gouldthorpe, the singer, was their leader. Very expressive in his perfomance as Jarvis Cocker of Pulp used to follow them around in those Sheffield lost nights. He describes their gigs as "electric and generating mild hysteria". Their first single was the acerb 'Mother Moon' in 1979. The following one was surely more fascinating and it was a double ep called "Unbalanced" on the Aardvark indie label. That time, the band released a double-pack single and I guess it was on May of 1980. I remember that "skin heads alike" cover and the package, featuring two studio songs and a second 7" consisting of four others poorly recorded at the Rotherham Arts Centre. Years later, they will re-record the title track from this ep in a new brand wonderful version: a masterpiece, a fantastic song with a killer bassline, and lovely spooky nocturnal vibe to the tune.. It will reamain, in my personal opinion, one of the best track ever from the post punk years! They released also 3 studio albums, including the mini-album, 'Oceans', in 1982 but they never saw a bit of success. Their final studio album, 'The Second Coming', was released in 1985 but the sound was even heavier than before, nihilistic, and pretty hard for most people to take. John Peel was very keen on Artery and had them in his studio twice for interesting sessions. The band had UK press features (NME, Melody Maker, Sounds) and had a following in Japan and Europe - notably Italy (me!!!), where they toured in 1984 to a fanatical (?!) response. Artery split in 1985 between the general indifference. Simon Hinkler was also involved with early Pulp and later became a member of the Mission UK. Now they recently reformed and they obviously look like pensioneers more than angry young men...“I happened to say to a friend of mine that if I was the man who walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope, I would have fallen off halfway across just to prove I could fall off. So with a sardonic smile, he said I was unbalanced.”

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