My Jealous God. Five Thirty, Joe Zawinul. Yo Yo Honey. Charley Pride.



the Jolly Boys and more.

HEE- l l

That ' green-eyed r monster

They‘re My Jealous God and they want everything. . . Fiona Shepherd spoke to lead deity Jim Melly.

‘Have you ever been to Lancaster‘.’ You know the village in An American Werewolf in London? That‘s what Lancaster‘s like. so it‘s a bit strange.‘

It‘s been said before. but Jim Melly. vocalist for MyJealous God. isavery good talker. Ilis , loquacious reputation precedes him. so it‘s not i surprising that even the br'efest ofconversations with him yields a plethora of anecdotes. In the space of five minutes. I learn of Lancaster‘s fetish for Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine. Jim‘s distant relation to Pat Bonner. why he thinks pub tours are the lowest form of rock‘n‘roll dues-paying. why Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam is a good manager (‘he‘s tall. he hasn‘t got very much hair and he‘s dead cheap‘) and how James accidentally came on stage in Paris recently to the infectn ius strains of My Jealous God‘s current single. Pray". ‘We was trying to sort it so The Charlatans came on to us as well. but they were a lot more on the case and had the [)J cut off about five minutes before they came on.‘

Jim is instantly likeable. which is why it‘s easy to forgive him his over-ambitious claims for My Jealous God‘s songs. ‘By the time “Everything About You“ came out it was a year old. and people said it was dead current when it came out. so the way I think is that it was a year ahead of its


Said debut single was a very immediate slab of blissed—out pop. The follow-up. ‘Pray‘. is Frazier Chorus with a boot up the rear end. more of a grower. a pulsing popsicle with some potentially classic one-liners. (liven the somewhat prolific use ofthe wah-wah on both releases. the discussion qurckly turns to all things Mancunian. ‘Manchester‘s l‘inished.‘ states Jim emphatically. ‘All ofthat is over. it has been for a year. and the journalists in London can‘t admit that because they‘ve staked their houses on it.‘

If he‘s bitter about the press. it‘s not surprising. My Jealous (iod‘s vinyl output has coincided fortuitously with the inevitable baggy ‘backlash‘. The writers who‘ve always hated the indie/dance marriage finally getting a word in edgeways to produce a multitude of accusatory remarks about opportunism and bandwagon-jumping. This is frustrating at the very least fora band who‘ve been doin‘ their own thing since before the so-called ‘second wave‘ ofcrossover groups was even a ripple.

‘Our first record was recorded in March 1989.

and we sat on that record for eight months because nobody would put it out. At that time. the major record companies didn‘t know what was going on and a lot of indie record companies weren‘t prepared to take the risk. It wasn‘t until a Manchester record label (Dave Has/am '3 Play Hard) picked up the record that people actually started to pay attention. It‘s not our fault ifthe music press aren‘t smart enough.‘

It‘s ridiculous that Jim should have to justify himselfin this way. but uninformed criticism rankles. and once his self-defence mechanism is kick-started. he finds it difficult to switch off. He picks up on anything that will mark his group out from the crowd. ‘Now there‘s a formula for making indie dance records. We‘re the only people who don‘t stick to it. because we‘re writing songs. and integral to their writing is the fact that they‘re dancey. We don‘t need to pay Terry Farley three thousand quid to make it a dance record we can do it ourselves.‘ Hence no more remixes. Haslam‘s tinkering with ‘Everything About You‘ was the first and last time a My Jealous (iod song will appear in anything other than definitive form.

Their ‘understanding‘ with producer Mike Westerguard appears to be the key to the My Jealous (iod sound. ‘What happens is that I know what I want the record to sound like. so if I go in to Mike and say “I want this record to sound like an orange“ he can do it because he‘ll know what I mean.‘ Or perhaps it isn‘t.

llis voracious desire for total control coupled with his unshakeable confidence in the band‘s brilliance has earned Jim the ‘arrogant frontman‘ image. but he throws that back at his old chums the NME. ‘A lot ofjournalists in the big music press have a tendency to paraphrase. which makes life a bit difficult.‘ lfanyone‘s ajudge of his character. it‘s himself. ‘I‘m not arrogant. I‘m really sweet.‘ And ofcourse. we believe him. don‘t we‘.’

My Jealous God play The Venue. Edinburgh on Thurs l4 and .S‘lralhclyde Uni versin Union on Fri 16.


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the root ott Pebbles Sunday Rock Show in Troon. It turns

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agency is still sending out : photocopies of Banger's , ‘altemative‘ chart placings from 1978. No surprise. then. that these were from

bouncing back to play some

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Tom Wolfe). and the Dish have “consciously tried to introduce a more natural

anyway). An exhibition of the singer's work visits the City Art Centre in Edinburgh

0765. But we don't want to

The List 9 22 November 109031