Another week, another episode of Hugs and Kisses from Mr. Everett True, Plan B editor at large, Friend of Kurt, cantankerous chap who’s recently relocated to Brisbane. David Feck can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org — Not David Feck
This week: Comet Gain
In another life, maybe I could have been David Feck.
I would have understood that Dexys Midnight Runners―”Plan B,” “Until I Believe In My Soul,” “This Is What She’s Like”―are special beyond reason. I would have grown up tormented by a diet of early Orange Juice albums and Marine Girls outtakes. I would’ve known that the debut Orange Juice album (You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever) was so special, special beyond reason, I would have named one of my band’s songs after it. I would’ve been able to parade my broken soul, my insouciant pride with my south London band Comet Gain over years of turbulent concert after turbulent concert, impassioned album after impassioned album.
I’d have grown up feting TV Personalities and the raw-as charm of Sixties garage bands, and realising that though I’d never achieve the fame of all those sucker DJs and made-for-TV straight-tied indie bands, I’d eternally be cooler than them. I’d be best friends with Ian Svenonius and Huggy Bear’s Jon Slade and rest content in the knowledge that Riot Grrrls argued over my merits in darkened corners, wherever TVs are turned down low. I’d be whining soulfully like Swell Maps. I would never rest content.
Round about a decade on from my band’s formation, I’d be looking to release a collection of the forgotten music (B-sides, outtakes, half-realised ideas) and call it something like Broken Record Prayers because I always did love the imagery of early Wah!, the self-deprecating, arrogant swagger of Kevin Rowland. I’d know I was better than everyone else, because I’d been to Scandinavia and Internet bloggers were always dropping my name.
I wouldn’t be content–but at least I’d be David Feck.
I’ve only started up two record labels.
The first (Calculus) was with my friend and band-mate Jamie, in the Eighties. We wanted to release an EP (“Bored, Angry And Jealous”) by Australian band The Cannanes in the UK―but got distracted momentarily by the sheer vigour and brilliance of nascent Scots band Dog-Faced Hermans. Then some mates of our mates Shop Assistants―The Fizzbombs―announced they wanted to release a beach party 12-inch with us. How could we resist? Then our distributors went bust―owing us a ton of money, because the records had all sold just fine―and we were unable to release The Cannanes.
About three years ago I recorded a version of one of those songs from the Cannanes EP―”Untitled”―with my bandmate Danya and former housemate Jon Slade, for a Cannanes tribute album. It never came out.
The second label (Mei Mei) was with my friends Darren and Alison, in the mid-nineties (shortly after I was laid off from IPC Magazines). We formed after we saw a particularly inspirational show from London band Comet Gain―the centerpiece of which was a semi-spoken song/declaration of intent, “Jack Nance Hair.” I burned with desire to let other people hear it. We released it as a seven-inch, and put out a CD or so from Mogwai’s Scots friends, the fiery Motor Life Co. The records didn’t sell too well, I moved to Seattle briefly, and the label ceased.
“Jack Nance Hair” is the opening song on Broken Record Prayers. It still sends shivers down my spine.
Hugs And Kisses Top 5
This is what is (randomly) happening on my iTunes today
1. “I Feel Like The Mother Of The World,” Smog (from Rock Bottom Riser). Ah, Mr Callahan. We meet once more.
2. “Noêlle A Hawai,” Naf Nat (from Fantasia De Navidad: A Siesta Christmas Collection). I honestly have no idea what over half of my iTunes collection is―this, on the other hand, is from a totally suave Continental label’s collection of holiday exotica and lounge music.
3. “You Turned My Bitter Into Sweet,” Mary Love (from For Dancers Forever). Absolutely storming slice of Sixties Northern Soul, lifted from one of those immaculate Eighties Kent compilations of same and rendered only marginally unlistenable by iTunes’ insistence upon turning everything into MP3s.
4. “Song For William S Harvey,” Felt (from Absolute Classic Masterpieces Vol. 2). Felt singer Lawrence was the John Darnielle, the Momus of his day―sadly for him, a fraction too early to achieve the worldwide cult-hood the Internet would’ve bestowed upon his consummately crafted Sixties-style Eighties English pop. He is long overdue a revival. Incidentally, this is an instrumental.
5a. “Mary Long,” Deep Purple (from The Platinum Collection). Every now and then, I like to add what I fondly think of as ‘shit’ music to my collection just to remind myself what I’m missing.
5b. “UR Grace UR,” Slow Down Tallahassee (from The Beautiful Light). My Sheffield sweethearts appear, with a heartrending slice of shambling country-pop, to remind me of why I so love fucking music in the first place.