This Heat

57 posts it’s taken me! What was I thinking?

When I was 14 it was Roxy Music, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator and Soft Machine. When I was 18 it was PiL, Television, Pere Ubu and The Residents. This was always a source of discomfort. The year zero mentality of punk rock bothered me. Where was the connection? Was it just me? Was I wrong somehow? I needn’t have worried.

When I first heard about This Heat I was interested. When I then heard that their drummer was Charles Hayward I felt a huge wave of vindication sweep over me. He’d been the drummer in Quiet Sun, Manzanera’s pre-Roxy group (which also featured Bill McCormack out of Matching Mole). Their posthumous ‘Mainstream’ LP had been a jolt of enormous proportions to me; all the wibble of Canterbury allied to the savagery of early Roxy. And here was the link. I loved the ominous, blurry photos and guarded interviews in the music press and thirsted after recorded sound. Finally I got my chance when their eponymous debut appeared on Piano Records. I loved the now iconic blue and yellow sleeve and the label name but nothing could have prepared me for the music.

It made Quiet Sun sound like one of Rick Wakeman’s Henry VIII on ice jobbies.

Truly astounding musicianship (not technically, rather in terms of ‘what the fuck are they doing there & how are they getting that sound’) coupled with an approach that gave no immediate clues to these ears as to what was improvised and what was composed blew my head off. And Hayward’s singing on ‘Not waving’ was as moving as any I’d ever heard. I couldn’t wait to see them live and eventually made it to the Scala cinema, London on 20 December 1979 where they supported media darlings and 100% no-marks Throbbing “paedophilia and Charles Manson are cool as long as you use them in an ironic way, maaaaaaaan” Gristle. Never was the gulf between the real deal and people ‘playing at it’ more clinically illustrated.

Don’t imagine for a second this ends here. More banging on about This Heat on these pages real soonish. In the meantime, go here for evidence of same which cannot be found here

http://www.eggcityradio.com/?p=75

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Published in: on July 15, 2008 at 9:11 am  Leave a Comment  

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