Monday, 14 June 2010

"Lets Go Out Tonight..."

‘How Soon is Now?’ by @diaryofaledger

The One Where GC Writes About A Band Who I Would Probably Like If I Spent A Bit Of Time With

The Smiths were one of the first ‘indie’ bands to really grab my attention.  I came to them a bit late, i.e. after they’d ceased to be but I fell for the way their music resonated with me.  Time and time again Morrissey’s lyrics seemed to be about my life. 

 I wasn’t alone there obviously, there’s an honesty to the Smith’s albums that so few bands achieve and so many adoring fans heard that and saw their own lives reflected in the music.

They were a precursor to what came out of Manchester in the early and mid 90s, The Stone Roses, The Mondays and Oasis, but they out shone those bands and packed it up before they started trying to fix what wasn’t broken.  *Looks at Oasis and the Roses.*

Morrissey’s voice was like nothing I’d heard before.  It’s thick and soft, almost luxurious but with a twisted sneering complexity to it.  Coupled with Marr’s guitar it was the sound of two shy kids making beautiful music.  The jangley playing was new to me too, I was all about ‘ROCK’ before I discovered the Smiths. 

I think some stayed away because of Morrissey and a sense that this wasn’t music for them.  There’s a dark comedy to much of his writing (something it lost latterly) a real sense of self and his place in the world as a gangly, awkward man child, unsure of his sexuality, battling against the established elite with his intelligence.  What people miss is how good the tunes built around his words are.  Morrissey and Marr were the Lennon and McCartney of their generation.  The miserable side to their music kept me away for a while, music was a fun thing, something to be enjoyed.  It wasn’t until I moved to London that I started to appreciate that music could introspective, that you could sit in a room on your own and just listen to something like The Smiths and enjoy it because you felt such a connection to the words.

And you could dance to this stuff.  And not look a dick.  Which was kind of ironic.  There was no sitting on your own.  It was mass misery.  Shuffling about together, staring at our shoes, and occasionally belting out a chorus in unison.  It was a way of saying that your life was a bit of a mess, or had been, that you got Morrissey’s pain.  Most of all it just said that we were a tribe and from that connections were born and many of us found a way to come out of ourselves.  However slowly.

Everyone should have their Smiths moment.  That realisation that no matter how alone you are you’re not.  That there’s a million other people in a bedroom somewhere worrying about a party, crippled with self doubt and insecurity.  Morrissey, with his extraordinary words and Marr with his incredible guitar playing taught many of us that there was hope and above all else, humour in what we were; lonely, disenfranchised and hanging on for what we wanted.

I never bought into Morrissey as a solo artist although his debut is extraordinary but The Smiths made some of the best albums ever produced, there is not a dud amongst them.

Go to an indie disco.  I dare you.  Dance to The Smiths.  There’s nothing quite like it.

‘Sweetness, sweetness I only was joking when I said by rights you should be bludgeoned in your bed.’

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