Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Rediscovering the 90s

I decided to go through my CDs and get rid of the ones I never listen to anymore which seemed a little like sacrilege except for the benefits in terms of storage purposes. Already my CD tower is filled to the brim and the rest of the collection must languish in a box on top of the wardrobe so they do not ever stand a chance of getting played. They might as well be taken to the charity shop to be picked up by someone who might love them more than I. Most of the CDs hidden away are from the 90s when I got into the CD buying habit thanks to Record Collector and Fopp in Sheffield. Record Collector had a massive selection of second hand CDs, perfect for skint students and those obscure records impossible to find anywhere else. Fopp too was outrageously cheap compared to the HMVs and Virgins and also specialised in the harder-to-find albums, e.g. anything that is not mainstream. Looking through the box I was reminded of my one-time consuming interest in drum and bass - like Roni Size, Spring Heel Jack and Goldie - and those strange, lolloping, descended-from-baggy bands like Campag Velocet (which appealed to me for the obvious Clockwork Orange influence but who played one of the most poorly attended gigs I have ever seen) and Regular Fries, who I saw live a couple of times and massively enjoyed because they were completely bonkers, one of their instruments being a bird cage festooned with objects. Then there were the romantic dreamers Suede and the Verve, whose fortunes, and ability, fluctuated quite wildly depending on the mental stability of their frontmen, and, of course Pulp, the first 'proper' band I saw live, being introduced to the craziness that is going to gigs (the second, Suede, was even more carnage) and stood 2 inches away from Jarvis Cocker and got very excited, as well as my sister and I queuing outside HMV in Bristol for hours to get their autographs (whatever happened to Sound City?) It's interesting that a few of these bands seem to be absent from iTunes - for instance Dark Star whose song Gracedelica is a tantilising reference on a cassette tape I cannot play, and an unknown band with a song called 'New Brunswick' - so perhaps I will have to wait until the 90s revival proper before I can listen to the 2nd and 3rd albums by the Regular Fries (I only ever thought there was one!). And bis (!) purveyors of beyond-tweeness with their secret vampire soundtrack and eurodiscos, whatever happened to them?

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