“Bring Your Own Poison The Rhythm Factory Sessions”
Various Artists (Snapper Records)
Those of you who refuse to read the NME (Enemy? Enema?) can probably stop reading this now. You won’t care that the live collection in question has been mooted within its pages as having a similar cultural value to that of another infamous live LP: “Live At The Roxy”. You won’t care that yet another ‘most exciting scene since 1976’ is being hyped up as ‘the most exciting scene since 1977’. All you care about is the music held within the lazer-guided disc. Right?
Good call. So, what do we get here? Well, as with most ‘fledgling’ scenes, there’s a smattering of old (The Lams), new (The Paddingtons), borrowed (Selfish Cunt) & blue (Pete Doherty) plus a guest appearance by Peter Perrett (The Only Ones).
Tracks 4 thru 10 are the real meat here:
4. The Paddingtons build on the foundations of their excellent debut 45 with “Tommy’s Disease”. I can understand the shouts of ‘Northside’ from the back of the hall but that kind of judgement could well be a bit previous. This lot are more than Pete’s mates, more than apologists - more than mere pawns in their (who?) game.
5. Art Brut further their own particular cause with aplomb. “Moving To LA” has all the hallmarks of the classic Brut sound. Abstract expressionism in the house? Pollock is a pillock. Splatter don’t matter. I like Art Brut very much indeed. You may well like them too!!
6. The Rocks appear to have been transferred from artROCKER FC for this testimonial appearance. “Celeste” is full of promise. Tight lines, appropriate shapes, poised angst everything, in fact, that a fan of the modern rock n roll combo should instinctively appreciate.
7. Tigermoth stumble all over pop’s parquet flooring like a teenager drunk on alcho-pops before spewing out the barely formed “Give Me Something” in an arc of projectile vomit that will give the Morningsides are run for their money in the 50/60’s garage rock handicap hurdle.
8. Baby Shambles amble through an under-whelming take on forthcoming sophomore 45, “Killamangiro”. It’s good but it could be better. Someone seems to have convinced Pete he can get away with anything. That’s where you lot come in.
9. Thee Unstrung pinch an E from Thee Mighty Caesars & a lick or two from The Clash for their stab at “You”. Now signed to a major, their debut 45 should arrive just as the last chicken in the shop is putting the shutters up for the night.
10. Electricity Comes From Other Planets could well be the sixpence at the centre of the pudding, however. Gutsy, angry, shouty & forthright, ECFOP (as they’re probably never referred to) are even better because I’ve never heard of them - & that must be good. “You Stole My Brain” sounds like early Soft Boys in a can. There is no higher recommendation.
So, what else do we get for our money? We get The Libertines offering - a perfunctory “Up The Bracket”. We get a blue for you run through “Back From The Dead” from Pete Doherty. We get a couple of refuges from the 80’s transit van scene in a bad name accident. We get Peter Perrett proving voices actually rise with age if you embalm them in opiates. We get a compare with a worrying vocal resemblance to Ben Elton (neat poetry gag though, eh Pete?). We get the words ‘sexed up’ & ‘love’ scrawled across the sleeve - & - most fun of all the lipstick traces of the common or garden greeting ‘fuck you’ are embossed on the actual disc.
Conclusion? Someone has tried very hard to make this construct work. Whether they’ve pulled it off or not depends entirely upon yr age. If you were looking for a new copy of “Live At The Roxy” y’re gonna be way disappointed. If, on the other hand, y’re looking for an exciting & challenging compilation LP that attempts to round up the best of our capital’s humbly strung street urchins, “Bring Your Own Poison” could well be the one for you.
Jean Encoule tMx 17 10/04