Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Much Against Everyone's advice

Sometimes bands and artistes do things they really shouldn't. Sometimes it might seem like a good idea, but in practice, it isn't so. An example (that would allow Abstractboy to show off) would be Madonna at Wembley Arena when she slaughtered covered John Lennon's untouchable "Imagine". How could it ever come across as sincere when Madonna sings "Imagine no posessions" as the 12000 punters paying £150 a head to witness this sing along with their arms in there (Abstractboy and yorkpete paid £50, it should be noted). Some songs should just not be covered. Madonna's problem is finding songs that are more anthemic than her own, but really, it'd be much less embarressing to cover Rachel Stevens' "Some Girls", or something.

But now to the point. Soulwax were once a very great indie band. Back in the distant days of 2001, when the Strokes and the Moldy Peaches were still playing oversized public toilets together in Camden and Fischerspooner were puting on £1million shows in New York and a bootleg was a cut of jeans or a crappy recording of a gig (also found in Camden), Soulwax released a corker of an indie-dance hybrid album, by the name of Much Against Everyone's Advice. It was edgy, dancey, punky and suitably Euroenglish. Abstractboy even had his first underage drink in a pub (Camden Barfly) with Soulwax on the jukebox. Then they disappeared for a bit and came back in the guise of 2manyDJs - creating exciting, eclectic, and arguably groundbreaking mixes and DJ sets. Soon the name Soulwax was only associated with the popular DJ sets and DJing took priority over any Soulwax duties. Fast forward to 2004: 2manyDJs are more popular than ever, but Soulwax have re-banded and recorded a new album by the name of Any Minute Now. They are even playing live as a band again.

In fact, Abstractboy saw them at their showcase at the Scala. He was very excited, having not seen them in 2001. The set was undeniably cool - a black and white striped piece of fabric covered the stage and acted as a backdrop. It was awfully mesmerising. But the set was a pitiful 45 minutes. They played three songs from MAEA and the new material just isn't as interesting. All of the music press had given it 5/10, 2/5 type reviews, suggesting that they stuck to the DJ job, but Abstractboy wanted to see them live before he made up his mind. And sadly, they disappointed. Any Minute Now just seems to lack any personality. There is a lot of potential with some garage-rock tracks and some tracks that have heavy synth and a dancey vibe, but there is no spark to carry it all off. Their performance was generally sparkless. They looked like people who would rather be somewhere else, probably DJ decks. And the new songs sound like they were written by people who would rather have been doing something else. It's all a bit sad really, but 2001 will always be a magical place in Abstractboy's heart. And 2manyDJs are still fun. So it isn't the end of the world. Just a little disappointing when you look forward to something for so long and by the time it actually arrives, it no longer seems relevant.

posted by Robbie de Santos at 8/25/2004 01:12:00 am


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