How much do I love The Lodger? I love them a whole lot. I have all their singles and have played them to death. I have their Grown Ups album and for a time there it was easily the most played record of the year. It has been superseded by several others in the past months of course, but that’s just the way of Pop. Doesn’t mean I love it any less than I ever did. Doesn’t mean I have forgotten all about them.
I was really excited about seeing them play a show too. Shame it never happened. Or at least, I’m sure it did happen, and I’m sure that they were every bit as thrilling as they sound like they would be, it’s just that I couldn’t face hanging around to see if the reality meshed with my dream.
Blame it on my infamous grumpiness. Blame it on the weariness of another hard week in school. Blame it on old age and changed priorities. Hell, blame it on Arctic Circle and My Sad Captains if you like.
I don’t know anything about Arctic Circle except that they made me go back to my hotel and set my Facebook status to ‘Alistair is wanting to kill twee indiepop bands’. I couldn’t believe how people were lapping it all up. It sounded to me like a horrible mess of incompetent dullness. Not there is anything wrong with incompetence, it’s just that if you are going to be a bit, you know, ‘shambolic’ then you need to bring something special to the party. And I’m sorry to play to up that increasingly infamous grumpiness, but honestly, after even just a handful of songs I wanted to commit either suicide or genocide.
To make matters worse of course, on these multiple band bills, all the second and third division groups insist on outstaying their welcome. And spend ages setting up their tambourines and fixing their bangs in the mirror. There should be a law against it. Someone should fix a timer switch to the power and set it for fifteen minutes. Twenty at most. If you can’t play a great set in that time, then why are you bothering? Forget those volume limiter things, it’s time limiters that we need.
To be as fair as I feel like being (which isn’t very) My Sad Captains didn’t spend too much time setting up. But I’ve seen them play before and had not been excited on that occasion so wasn’t really expecting much. They didn’t fail to live down to my expectations. They reminded me a little of Velvet Crush, but without the fizz and fuzzy Pop confectionary. In fact, without the velvet. Or the crush.
I think I lasted four songs before growling to myself and wondering what the hell I was doing there. Life’s too short and all that. An earnest young chap near the stage was furiously scribbling into a notebook, and I wonder if he was thinking the same? Probably not. He was probably writing something about a new Indie Pop renaissance or something. And no, I’m not feeling particularly charitable these days. Why should I be? It seems to me that people are setting their sights so low and are too delighted when they hit the targets that are nestling in the grime.
Not that I think The Lodger are guilty of this. I still love them and their records dearly. It’s just, well, you know, one has to be careful of who one hangs around with. Which probably goes a hell of a long way to explaining why I was the lonely fucker standing on his own all night, but since when has the world of Pop been a popularity contest? Oh yeah, it’s always been one. My mistake.
Anyway, I no longer care if being wayward and cynical leaves a lasting impression on anyone’s heart or not.
And actually, as a postscript, here’s a neat story. My Facebook inbox this morning had a nice email from Sarandon, who are currently recording a new album for the legendary (and recently resuscitated) Slumberland label. They sent me a trio of MP3s from the sessions, including what will be the title track of the album, a startling little number called ‘Kill Twee Pop!’. It sounds like Big Flame at the indiepop disco of your dreams. Which means it sounds fucking great. Oh yeah, and Slumberland were responsible for the vinyl release of the Lodger album. So thankfully it’s not just me. Some people do get it. It all fits.
Right, I’m off to make some ‘Kill Twee Pop’ badges. Who wants one?