Wednesday, July 26, 2006

we return once more to the mctells (kind of)

as has become painfully obvious over the short life of this blog that the mctells were huge to me in my teenage years.

here’s another reason why.

shortly after playing my birthday stuart mctell – he was the bass player by night and a gravedigger in hertford by day (as far as i know he still is) – sent me a cassette of some of his favourite songs.

i still have it – though i no longer have the cover he made.
here it is:
a lot of racket

boy oh boy there were some gems on there.
i learned about so much over that 90 minutes than i think i’ve ever learned.
there was stuff on there that i knew – television personalities, wire, swell maps, specials.
there was stuff that i’d heard of but never listened to – pere ubu, mighty caesars.
and there was stuff that i’d never heard of before – patrik fitzgerald, sexton ming, astronauts, cult figures (who, it turned out, were swell maps in disguise).

over the weeks that followed receiving the tape i went out and bought a ridiculous amount of records.

pere ubu | the modern dance

like pere ubu’s “the modern dance” which quickly became one of my favourite albums.
and it still is.
odd really when, many years later, I ended up as assistant manager to them and david thomas for a while.

i never did find a copy of the cult figures’ “zip Nolan” single though – I know it’s floating around the internet but I’m loathed to pay £25 for it.

patrik fitzgerald | the paranoid ward

but of all the things on that cassette I think the one song that really got me jumping around the room was “irrelevant battles” by patrik fitzgerald.
it took me over 10 years to eventually find a copy of the 12” that it was on – released by small wonder in the late 70’s it also includes the hauntingly beautiful “cruellest crime”.
brings a lump to my throat every time.


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