Thursday, 27 December 2012

'The Early Nineties Were Easier' - Bands 1,2 & 3 : The Stuffies, The Poppies & The Joneses #TENWE‏

I know it's stating the bleeding obvious but every music fan has a particular era of music that they're fondest of. Even though I love the 1960s I wasn't around to live the experience. My favourite era for music therefore has to be the early 90s. I was definitely there for that one.

Why does it mean so much to me? Well, as you're asking - between 1990 and 1994 I went to my first live gig (The Macc Lads, who won't be featured in this series as I went along due to peer pressure more than anything else. I still had a good time mind, and it's not a bad first gig to go to, I just think they're a bit pants now), attended my first festival (Reading 1992 which was headlined by a band I'll be talking about in more detail in a bit) and started Uni (in Salford which meant I had easy access to the many crackin' Indie clubs in Manchester). It was a fucking great, and much easier, time (hence the title of the series).

This series will be covering bands that I, and others, loved in that era. I'll also be compiling a Spotify playlist to run alongside it featuring songs from each of the bands included.

To kick the series off, I thought I'd talk about 3 bands who I saw play live on the same bill at the Shepherd's Bush Empire only last Wednesday - The Wonder Stuff, Pop Will Itself and Jesus Jones. It was a crackin' gig which brought back some fond memories and here's why :

The Wonder Stuff

For a few years The Stuffies were my favourite band on the planet and from the recent gig I can see why. They just have so many good songs and I was surprised that I remembered the words to so many after 20 odd years. Even though they only have one original member left they still sound amazing and in Miles Hunt they still have a frontman who can work the crowd and charm the pants off them as well. In Erica Nockalls they have one amazing fiddle player as well.

I've lost count of how many times I've seen them live now, my first being Brixton Academy in 1991 followed by their headline slot at Reading a year later. I've seen Miles play solo and Erica and him also played Hertford a few years ago. They never have disappointed.

The song I'm adding to the playlist is 'Don't let me down gently' as it was the first song I heard of theirs (on the ITV Chart Show if you must know).  Here they are playing it on Top of the Pops if you want to have a butchers :

Pop Will Eat Itself

I'd never seen The Poppies live, prior to Wednesday, and even though only one original member remains they still entertained on the night and got the crowd going.

My fondest memory of P.W.E.I. in those days, however, was when some friends and I walked down our local high street when we were younger, topless in the pouring rain singing the line 'Is Everybody Happy?' from the song 'Bulletproof' out loud, over and over again. Okay, so maybe it was a bit of a twatty thing to do, and we all could've caught colds, but we were 17 (some were 18 so should've known better) and they were good times which I very much doubt will ever be repeated (I got away with it in Essex when I was younger but I think my family and the rest of Hertford would disown me if I tried it now).

The song I'm therefore adding to the playlist is that one.  If you want to watch the original line up play it live, here it is -

Jesus Jones

Last Wednesday a dream of mine came true, I saw Jesus Jones play live for the first time. I first got into them when, while watching The Wonder Stuff on the ITV Chart Show (as mentioned above) it popped up on screen that they had recently been seen 'freaking out at a Jesus Jones gig'. Endorsed by my favourite band at the time, I ended up rushing out to buy their album 'Liquidizer' on cassette at Our Price with my pocket money.

As soon as I heard the opening song 'Move Mountains' it blew me away. By that point the only band who had really nailed the Indie rock / dance crossover was The Shamen and Jesus Jones took it up a notch.

That album still sounds so fresh today and I really think if it was released now it would be huge. They were brilliant live as well and in Mike Edwards they have one of the nicest frontmen ever produced. He hasn't aged a bit either and my wife was definitely swooning while we were watching them. He is a very beautiful man.

I'll definitely be listening to 'Liquidizer' again soon and it's 'Move Mountains' that makes it onto the playlist. Here it is on You Tube if you want to have a listen :

So there you have it, if you're a fan of the above bands and you missed the tour, they'll be doing it all again next year so don't worry.  I highly recommend you go, you won't regret it.

If anyone reading this was also a fan of this era, and has a particular band they'd like to write about, then please comment below or tweet me @sessionbloggers and I'll publish your post on the blog.

As an added incentive, you even get to choose what song by that band goes on the playlist - how cool is that?! Well, it's quite cool anyway. If you want to have a listen to what's on it so far, the link is here - The Early Nineties Were Easier #TENWE

Thanks for reading and until next time, take care.

Thanks for having me.

Simon S.

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