The One Word Countdown – #40

A Rhumba Involving Three Girls….

Connection – Elastica (1995, Deceptive Records, Taken from ‘Elastica’)

Points 103

By and large the decision as to which song to include in the countdown was mostly easy.  It wasn’t quite so for Elastica.

Breaking with convention, I’m going to start with the one word title that got away as it was ‘Stutter’ that got me into Elastica.  I adore its punky brilliance and it was almost impossible to choose between them. 

Stutter – Elastica (1995, Deceptive Records, Taken from ‘Elastica’)

I loved the fact that Elastica were clearly ripping off 80s post punk bands like Wire and the Stranglers, yet still managed to sound fresh and exciting.  Of course, both Wire and The Stranglers, perhaps, seeing pound signs, quickly issued legal papers (which the band settled out of court).

Despite the obviously influences, musically, at least, Elastica didn’t really sound like any of the other bands that they were being lumped in with by the press (according to the Melody Maker, they sounded like Oasis, who Justine Frischmann described famously as making ‘plodding classic rock power ballads’, something which wasn’t that far from the truth.  The response to that was a less than favourable review in the Melody Maker – which used the title ‘This Charmless Twang’).

For all the brilliance of ‘Stutter’ and ‘Line Up’, ‘Connection’ is archetypal Elastica.  It has that usual ferociousness that Elastica had come to rely on, a thrashy guitar riff, a frantic bass (stolen this time from Wire’s  ‘Three Girl Rhumba’), but this has added guttural grunting and a whole lot of very suggestive thrusting going on, add that to taunting lyrics, it’s a sweaty two minutes of excellence.

There was one other track by Elastica that I did consider, but in reality it was never going to get the nod above ‘Stutter’ or ‘Connection’ but Blue by Elastica is also a fine track.

Blue – Elastica (1995, Deceptive Records, taken from ‘Elastica’)

We may as well see and hear why Wire got so annoyed with Elastica.

Three Girl Rhumba – Wire (1977, Harvest Records, Taken from ‘Pink Flag’)

I Am the Fly – Wire (1978, Harvest Records, Taken from ‘Chairs Missing’)

Its fairly obvious really, especially on ‘Three Girl Rhumba’.  I always expect that grunting noise to kick in every time I hear it. It really raises the question as to what on Earth Elastica thought they were doing.

The Ramshackle Brilliance of the Chart Show Indie Chart #1

The indie chart rundown on Saturday Lunchtime Music Programme ‘The Chart Show’ was brilliantly ramshackle and had a real cobbled together feel to it, bands names were often spelt wrong, the wrong videos were played for the wrong songs, the snippets that appeared on the screen would seem to be made up – for example

When he is not performing on stage, singer Robert Smith likes hot air ballooning over Cheshire, walking his poodle Trevor and challenging his wife to a jaffa cake eating contest”.

But it was for about five minutes every three Saturdays, indie music heaven and some genius has plopped a load of these on You Tube, if I had a hat, I would tip in your direction Sir.

What I thought would be fun is to select a random Chart Show Indie Top Ten, obviously I can’t show the videos – but I can talk about the music that features within the You Tube Clips if that makes sense ….I’ve started with the chart from March 11th 1995. 

So cue the weird fairground horse carousel montage that they used to introduce the chart……

The first three records are all going down the chart and we are treated to about ten seconds of each before a big FFWD button speeds them off.  They are all by acts who start with an E.  Eat Static are at ten, and looking by them, they have probably ingested a fair few E’s of the own, they are replaced by Edwyn Collins who is replaced by this

Waking Up – Elastica (1995, Deceptive Records)

After Elastica is another band who start with an E.  Eight Story Window.  Now in 1995, I was all over the music scene, I was at the time probably arranging gigs and I was definitely receiving around thirty different records a week to review for the student rag.  I have never heard of Eight Story Window, not then and not now.  Why the Chart Show played this I have no idea.  Songwhip appear to have nothing by Eight Story Window so I can’t post anything by them –  but I can guarantee you wouldn’t have liked it anyway.  

After about two minutes ‘I Will’ by Eight Story Window is booted (that by the way is the most press that Eight Story Window have had in 26 years) and they are replaced briefly by ‘No More Affairs’ by Tindersticks, which is going up the chart, it doesn’t stop it getting the boot after about eight seconds where it is replaced by

Rattled By The Rush – Pavement (1995, Matador Records)

Which is also going up the chart but we only get to hear ten seconds or so before that too is booted for another climber.  I mean they could have played that or indeed the track at four instead of Eight Story bloody Window.  The song at number four is

Kung Fu – Ash (1995, Infectious Records)

As you will see as this series progresses, Ash and Pavement would appear to be indie’s Poison because they seem to be on every single indie chart run down that I’ve watched.  Even when they have stopped releasing records.

After nine seconds, ‘Kung Fu’ gets the heave ho and is replaced with number 3 which is

Solitary Party Groover – Drugstore (1995, Roadrunner Records)

Which again is going up but is not played.  Drugstore were very much underrated and are much missed around these parts. 

When I watched this video for the first time, I was genuinely excited by what could be in the top two – this is March 1995, the height of the all conquering Britpop, surely we are getting Oasis or Pulp or Blur (or the ones signed to an indie at least)….Nope we are getting Salad.   And not good Salad either – and I’m fairly sure by the time this was released Salad were signed to a major.  

Drink the Elixir – Salad (1995, Island Records)

Which thankfully leaves the screen quickly and ushers in the Number 1 indie record and again its massively disappointing.  Britpop Boo Radleys were not a great thing.  I think even they would agree with me.

Wake Up Boo – Boo Radleys (1995, Creation)

They get the full video treatment the snippets tell us that Sice from the band likes being thrown over the edge of Niagara Falls in a barrel and that Martin Carr is a Morris Dancer at the weekend and then it too is fast forwarded and something by The Corrs come on.