Category Archives: music

1983: The Last Great Year of Pop

In 1983, the year that McDonald’s intro­duced the Chicken McNugget and the second Cold War was at its height, the world very nearly ended when large NATO exer­cises were mis­taken by an extremely jit­tery USSR for pre­par­a­tions for a new Barbarossa. More omin­ously, com­pact discs went on sale in the United States and Europe, the […]

Swedish Meatballs

De Vet Du, Sweden’s com­edy answer to Blue - and in fact all boy­bands every­where - dis­cover they can only get erec­tions around one another. Can’t say I blame them. Their next and most recent video seems like the nat­ural sequel; my Swedish is rather poor, but maybe the words would only con­fuse the mes­sage which seems to […]

Dear Hero in Prison — Quotes From Morrissey’s Autobiography

Well, I’ve read that book. You know, the fastest-selling music bio­graphy ever. And while it would be hideously indec­or­ous of me to review it – espe­cially since Morrissey was kind enough not to men­tion my bio­graphy of him – I will say this: It cer­tainly didn’t dis­ap­point. In lieu of a review, here are some espe­cially cherished […]

Will Morrissey Have The Last Laugh — Again?

 ‘Has any book in recent memory not actu­ally about wiz­ards pro­voked so much interest?’ Mark Simpson on the most eagerly-anticipated music bio­graphy ever. C4 News, 14 October, 2013 MORRISSEY HAS ALWAYS enjoyed the last laugh. His entire career has been based on it. Back in the 1980s, when he was in his pomp as the pompadoured […]

Polymorphous Perversity & One Direction Fandom

Fame, fame, fatal fame. It can play hideous tricks on the brain. Last week C4 aired Crazy About One Direction a doc­u­ment­ary about ‘Directioners’, feb­rile fans of the glob­ally – some would say crim­in­ally – suc­cess­ful real­ity TV assembled UK boy band One Direction, or ‘1D’ if you’re typ­ing with your thumbs. They were all […]

Stretch Jeans and Synthpop: The Human League’s ‘Dare’

There’s a simple, time­less test of whether pop music is any good or not: can it be played really loudly while you’re being spun around by a tat­tooed lad on the Waltzers?’ Mark Simpson on The Human League’s ‘Dare’ at Culture Kicks.

The Dame Edna Experience Goes West

The intox­ic­at­ingly tal­en­ted DEE, alias Jonathan Paul Hellyer, is per­form­ing his last ever Sunday show at London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern this Easter week­end. Fame has finally found him, pos­sums, and he’s mov­ing to America. To salute him, his new life and the end of an era for London’s gay scene, I thought I’d post this […]

The Anti-Christ Has All The Best Tunes

The P2P revolu­tion is like Gutenberg plus Protestantism plus Punk all rolled into one highly com­pressed file, by Mark Simpson  (Independent on Sunday, August 2001) Perhaps the best thing about digital music is that it doesn’t only make listen­ing to music more con­veni­ent and less irk­some: it actu­ally does part of the tire­some job of […]

Little Richard’s Big, Glam Legacy

Next month, on December 5th, Richard Wayne Penniman, bet­ter known as Little Richard, The King of Rockin’ ‘n’ Rollin’ Rhythm & Blues Soulin’, turns 80. Whether or not Mr Penniman inven­ted rock ‘n’ roll as he has often loudly and boldly claimed – and, to be sure, he’s got a bet­ter, pret­tier claim than most – […]

Sporno Pop Promo — ‘Don’t Deny Your Heart’

We’ve waited years for this!” A kind of soc­cer ver­sion of this fam­ously spor­no­graphic ad cam­paign for rug­ger bug­gery from a few years back: Tip: Tim