Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Musical Nostalgia Reigns

Musical Nostalgia Reigns

Why are we always listening to old records and CD's? Is it because we are nostalgic and like to remember our association with a particular band or album? Or is it because these bands and albums and have stood the test of time and still sound great today?
Of course, it's a combination of both. These bands and albums still sound great. But they have a greater resonance for us. We are nostalgic for our youth and the associated events which relate to a particular band or album.

'Dragnet' - The Fall at Cavendish.
A remarkable band whose mercurial longevity is renowned.
Mark E Smith is hit by a bottle thrown from the crowd - in typical Smith style he leaves the stage and tries to assault the perpetrator. Only the actions of the rest of the band prevent a mini riot. The Fall go on to put in an incredible performance quite unlike anything I'd ever seen before.

'Give Em Enough Rope' - The Clash at the Apollo.
The Clash take the stage, the crowd surges forward the punks and pseudo punks leap forwards pogoing and jumping on each other. Half way through the first song the bouncers have had enough and randomly remove a few of the punters. Unfortunately our house mate Rob Miller is one of those removed and misses the rest of the gig. Despite the removals the pogoing continues undiminished. The Clash are the predominant band of the time. At the gig and maybe because of the hype I am somewhat reluctant to be over enthusiastic. In retrospect the performance is, of course, excellent and their music has definitely stood the test of time.

'Chairs Missing' - Wire at the Factory.
For some strange reason I was at that Mancunian institution 'Tommy Ducks' and was drinking with a disparate group, Mike Wales, Anne, Julian Bickerton, Andy? and maybe some others? We didn't have tickets for Wire, but we just thought we'd go along and see if we could get in.
This was our first time at the Factory, we walked through the urban wasteland that was Hulme and managed to find the Russell Club or the Factory as it was known on certain nights. This was possibly the coolest and probably the edgiest of venues and it was to be one the most memorable gigs ever. Wire produce a remarkable set, totally different from anything else I had seen and heard before. The band are almost statuesque on stage, lit in a half light and the performance is mesmeric. An event and an album that will live in the mind forever.

Ultimately I think we return to these albums not only because they still sound great today, but because they remind us of the events, the new experiences, the feelings, and the emotions. They were very exciting times indeed.


Neil Smith M.B.E. said...

One of my best night was seeing the Ramones at the Apollo and then hot footing it over to the university to see Echo and The Bunnymen.
Didnt have a Bunnymen ticket but blagged in saying i was beaten up on the way back from the Appollo and had my ticket nicked. Got in at the front and waved to my housemates at the back !

Ian Aspinall said...

Sounds like a lively night. Not sure if I was at the University that night, although I've seen the Bunnymen 10 or 11 times.