Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Maybe it’s my hormones, I seem to be going through something of a dewy-eyed, sentimental phase at the moment. First it’s Christmas (incidentally, following the first fall of snow, the inscrutable God of Czech Weather has now turned the heating up to a balmy 16°), then it’s cheese (cheese? Sentimental about cheese?), then the Impostume mercilessly prods at my sentiment bone (oo-er) by posting videos by such favourites from our university days as Nice Strong Arm, Cop Shoot Cop and Thin White Rope. Memories come flooding back of a coach journey down from Leeds to London, which back then seemed like a mammoth adventure and audacious raid into the big smoke, to see the then supremely hip Cop Shoot Cop’s only UK gig, filled with a sense that we were the elect.

Even more than that though, Thin White Rope have always held a special place in my heart. I think I can still say, and naturally this is inevitably all muddied by nostalgia, that their gig at the Duchess of York in Leeds back in summer 1991 was the best gig I’ve ever seen in my life. I remember that this was an otherwise pretty dispiriting time – it was the summer vacation, and instead of sunning ourselves in the Med, meeting interesting new people and improving ourselves culturally whilst inter-railing round Europe, out of abject desperation for cash both the Impostume and myself were working on the evisceration line in a turkey factory in Thirsk – a time definitely better contemplated from a distance, not your usual nostalgia fodder. Without doubt the worst job I ever had (cue Peter Cook impression). Perhaps it was out of gratitude then that it seemed such a monumental occasion when culture came to us in the form of the magnificent Thin White Rope. Such a huge, brooding sound, refreshingly free of the usual crummy macho affectation of most grunge bands, instead expertly employing feedback to convey frailty, genuine pain. There is not an ounce of fat on their music, it goes straight for the jugular. How many bands can you think of that are capable of reducing grown men to tears by simply repeatedly shouting the word “fish”? (Oh yes all right, maybe it was those early mornings at the turkey factory that made me tired and emotional. Damn, I’m meant to be the frothing spleen, you’re not supposed to see this side of me).

The next night saw Mercury Rev play at the same venue. Bunch of tedious, smelly old hippies.


Blogger George Almosthole said...

Beautiful description of Thin White Rope.I saw them on Reading festival that same changed the way
i think of rock music forever.

11:29 AM  
Blogger TWR Fan said...

Unfortunately I've never seen TWR live...

I gotta quote George...they changed my attitude towards music, both listening and playing it.


3:56 PM  

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