In Colour

There’s been a lot of internet used up today with opinions about Spike Island, from naysayers and fans alike. I just read a review of the forthcoming Jamie xx solo album, In Colour, and then scurried off to listen to something off it. Listening to Gosh Jamie has taken that line from She Bangs The Drums and run with it- ‘the past is your’s the future’s mine’. It’s exhilarating, inventive and absorbing stuff. The staccato rhythm (sounding like the blood pumping through your head when you’re exercising and at full pelt), the build up and then the drama of the last two minutes is something else.

Wherever it was that I read the review said that Jamie’s album is about memories of UK rave and dance music (or something along those lines). That dance music is always about creating something new from the recent past. That this album is in colour compared to the black and white palette of The Xx. I’m up for all of that. Now I’m off to listen to Gosh again.

Spiked

Twenty five years ago today I was one of thirty thousand people standing on an island in the river Mersey near Widnes, just next to a chemical plant. The idea a year or two previously that a British indie guitar band could draw that many people to watch them was absurd and that was one of the things The Stone Roses brought to the late 80s, the thinking big and being ambitious. The day itself involved a lot of sitting around, a few support acts that didn’t really connect at all and huge queues for the beer tents. This wasn’t really a beery crowd though, unlike Heaton Park in 2012 which was collectively about as drunk as it could be. The band came on at nine and played well, clearly partly blown away by the event and the crowd’s enthusiasm. The sound quality has been debated ever since, the wind whipping it about the island. Where we were, it sounded good. The final three songs were illuminated by the lights bouncing off the huge mirrorballs suspended above the stage just as it had gone dark- Made Of Stone, Elizabeth My Dear and I Am The Resurrection. We were driven there in Al’s Grandad’s chocolate brown Austin Allegro. I distinctly remember the compilation tape we played on the way. Killer by rave hero Adamski (and Seal)…

808 State’s Pacific, which was everywhere that summer (and the one before)…

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And this, Sympathy For the Devil. Woo woo.