Wednesday, 30 March 2011

heads down no nonsense mindless boogie

I am waiting with my mounting impatience for Phil's Free-style reclamation of these fine fellows...



if not the true sound of the British Seventies then certainly a true sound of the British Seventies







so massive they were even parodied



the latter, Martin Hannett-connected, rock lampoon outfit were briefly considered part of punk for their Snuff Rock concept






Albertos were something like the U.K.'s equivalent to The Tubes, but with less props



and while we're on the interface between rock, theatre, and satire, i think this, from Rock Follies, is meant to be a parody of punk



although it might have been inspired by these guys



Rock Follies deserves its own post

9 comments:

Phil Knight said...

Jesus Christ Simon, you must have been reading my mind - I was just about to start a post on the Quo - my favourite band when I was 8 years old (and I still love 'em).

"Paper Plane" is the ultimate Quo number - the hidden antecedent to Husker Du. "Down Down" is magnificent - the Sistine Chapel of three-chord riffing, the Taj Mahal of denim-clad boogie rock...

W. Kasper said...

The Quo and the Du are both spawns of Satan! And not in a groovy mojo way, either...

carl said...

y'know I used to be very meh! on the DU but i've gotta admit that i do really like Zen Arcade...in general there's just something about Bob Mould's voice i can't quite get round tho...

The Quo are however, awesome. The thing that strikes me most about them is the anonymity. there's something really functional, factory like and impersonal about them, but not in some stark modernist sense...there's a kind of modesty in performance, in the fairly characterless low key vocals, in the no-real-frontman approach..a kind of democratic, utilitarian commitment to a good time...

this is why i think the band they remind me of most is The Ventures.. an extension of the idea of the musician as a tradesman, skilled working class/lower mddle class... unpretentious grafters more intersted in providing a service than grandstanding...entertainers without being showmen...egoless

so i think this offends the Romantic sensibilty, dunnit? Neither the Artist as outsider/visionary nor the Worker/prole as revolutionary agent but a focus on refining your niche, on craftmanship....a different model...

so if Quo were the Seventies then i think that's because they tap into that less flamboyant, less individulaistic, unpretentious element of 70's culture...i mean there is something rather self-effacing about Rossi...so i don't think they're they're an overt reaction to Glam or Punk's theatrics but as the public's favourites i do think there's a certain attachment to that normal-lads modesty...

yet they are exiting, sexy even...it's the momentum, the rollercoater round and round again tight circling and cycling of the riffs as they rise and fall...i wonder if that doesn't tap into something quite primal, the strange kind of combination of exitement and comfort you get as a kid repeating the same action again and again....that wierd thing children have where no amount of repetition produces familiarity and boredom... pick me up again, make the funny face again.. the laughter and the pleasure don't diminish.. it's seemingly infinite (and so is the demand)....

so Quo (and anything based on the cyclical and pulsing) seem to generate a kind of generalised, whole body exitement a polymorphous response that does feel very early-childlike...so they're not a form of cultural nostalgia.. but offer the comforts
of (and hence the apparently indefinite popularity, the length of the carrer etc..)a kind of physiological nostagia, summoning up the aesexual, diffused pleasures of childhood...slightly abashed, non-phallic... maybe this is why they were also such a hit with kids...they are like older brothers, favourite uncles...

kid's "conservatism", the wanting to fit in, to be a part of the group, the gang is also well served by Quo's democratic approach to sound/songwriting/performing...

did they do any pure instrumentals..


yeah...it's all a bit pretentious
that, innit, in discussing the lack of pretension in others? But if I can't say it here, where can i say it?!

W. Kasper said...

The thing about the Du (apart from Mould and the bloke who sounds like Bob Geldof) was their awful GCSE lyrics. They remind me of being trapped with some guitar bore at an exam party: "Yeah this one's about a runaway. The last one was about some girl I know who got murdered. Got loads of tunes about drugs. I've just wrote this one - ABOUT NUCLEAR WAR." Time to nick his cider and find a cab...

Anyway, I'm snobbish about one-riff bands (Ramones? Slayer? Ecch). Quo: dinka-dink-dink for 40+ years, with anaemic flat vocals lurking behind. In the same jeans. Thank god Husker Du were only dugga-dugga-dugga-ding-DING for five years (with added feedback for the nuclear war bits). Worst band that happened to US post-punk.

samuel moginie said...

I wonder if you've seen this refashioning of the Quo's 'Down', from a supermarket chain down under ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvaevUxtcO8&feature=related

Phil Knight said...

Riffing off Carl here, but what I've noticed is that kids aside, adult Quo fans tended to be tradesmen - car mechanics (as cannily referenced in the "Something Bout You" vid), bricklayers, painters and decorators etc.

That section of the working class who are self-reliant, and not dependent on the factory machine; who don't need to perform an act for anybody. The kind of blokes whose hobbies are also manual and skilled - angling, darts etc.

When I was an engineering student in Sheffield, a lot of the local mature students were Quo fans - they were the kind of men who were married, already had a trade, and were just there to take another step up in life. They would take their wives to Quo gigs, and it seemed to be a couples thing as well.

Yeah, people who had nothing to prove, no hang ups, they just wanted solid entertainment after a hard day's work. I'm certainly not against pretention etc., but I think the Quo-fan world view is perfectly valid.

Phil Knight said...

Oh yeah, Quo instrumentals are rare, but they do exist:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYytoWaqrMw

W. Kasper said...

Point taken about the 'manual' appeal. Seems a lot of mechanics, carpenters, electricians etc. prefer(ed) more straight ahead boogie and riffage. Teachers prefer Dido.

Phil Knight said...

Also, Alan Coghlan went to the same school of affectedly nonchalant drumming as Charlie Watts and Jet Black.

There's something compulsive about drummers who look bored while really holding down a groove.