lunedì 15 ottobre 2012

A teenage high

It all began with a stupid free cassette that came with issues of the NME in 1986 featuring a slew of up and coming indie and less established acts. Were C86 a cassette alone, it wouldn't merit much note now. But it became more than that. Although not all the bands featured on the compilation were stylistically similar, enough of them shared the same shambolic sound for C86 to quickly become identified as a particular genre, a movement, in independent rock. That sound is arguably twee, part Orange Juice, part The Smiths and definitly jangly as the Marychains could even be. Cristics discussed a lot to understand who were the best amongst those obscure bands often coming from John A. Rivers Leamington studios. I personally still have a doubt between the "soontobe" stars Primal Scream and a bunch of perpetual teenagers and perennial losers named The Pooh Sticks. According to their site, The Poohs were ..."Formed by Hue Williams (vocals) in late 1987, the line-up was completed by Trudi Tangerine (tambourine/piano), Paul (guitar), Alison (bass) and Stephanie (drums)...The early sound was a bizarre genre-hopping hybrid of two-minute jangle pop, 'enthusiastic' harmonizing, three-chord punk, girl-group cuteness and, beneath it all, a sharp wit aimed squarely at the po-faced indie scene of the time." Their first single is still a masterpiece, an opener in every twee playlist, the kind of song so simple that could be wrote by your son.. but you will never be tired to listen to the crudely not produced "On Tape"... oh yes, later they wrote a lot of other minor classics as "Indie Pop Ain't Noise Pollution" or "I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well". Notwithstanding, success in Europe and even in the States obviously eluded them, and with a UK scene in transit between Manchester and Seattle, things proved no better at home. Some great albums (Formula One generation, Great white wonder & Million Seller, a minor last one ironically called Optimistic fool) and then another inevitable falling to anonimate... No doubt they were genuine pop genius. They also recently played again the uk stages with twee star goddes Amelia and they still have that magic touch ... Thanks Hue, I'm going back to the girl who made me smile...

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