Saturday, January 30, 2010


Imho Kula Shaker stood somewhat apart from the whole Britpop phenomenon because of its weirdness, with singer/guitarist Crispian Mills singing top numbers such as Tattva in Sanskrit (!), and the band introducing traditional Indian instruments like a tamboura and sitar. What hits I know of them are highly kinetic, and for a while in the mid-nineties they were really cool. They split up in 99, only to reform again in 2004, but I haven't heard much pottenbrekerij [literally 'breaking pots', Flemish expression for leaving an impression - MFBB] from their reincarnation yet. Trivia fact: frontman Mills is the grandson of the famous actor Sir John Mills, best known for his role in the wartime drama In which we serve (1942, directed by Noel Coward) and the Captain Scott tribute Scott of the Antarctic (1948).

I could smash my head against a wall for ever lending The Sound's debut album, Jeopardy, to a fella whom I even suspected never to give it back to me. The Sound's probably the coolest eighties post punk band you have never heard of. Centered around singer and guitarist Adrian Borland, the original lineup for that essential album was further Graham Bailey on bass, Mike Dudley on drums and Bi Marshall on keyboards. Those were the eighties, in the middle of the Cold War, and it was cool to think in end of the world terms. Both the album's outlook (in austere black and white) and content (with songs like Missiles) reflect that. I suppose the consensus among band members to do other cool things like eschewing making big fat capitalistic profit was big enough to not follow the path of making commercial numbers. IIRC, their third album was even deliberately made to not sound commercial at all. Surprise surprise, The Sound petered away, signing up with insignificant label after even more insignificant label and ingloriously splitting up in 1988. Borland himself, who had been showing signs of depression since the mid-eighties, committed suicide by throwing himself under an express train in Wimbledon station in 1999. As for me... I am glad I knew them. Jeopardy was, and is, okay. Not top material, but... okay. Essential eighties album. RIP Adrian. I pray I will once get your debut LP back.

Nite ladies and gentlemen.


No comments: