Indeed. Particularly if the four Japanese schoolgirls in question were listening to compilation tapes comprising the primest pop moments of The Fall. The Pixies, Pavement and Sonic Youth, very loudly on their walkmen while a disco started up across the street. All things considered, though, there’s not much to get annoyed about here. Of late, Urusei Yatsura have survived near death—by- collapsing—lighting-rig in Spain, grumpy Maftoso muttet‘ings in Italy (about their show being promoted by Communists), grumpier Yakuza grumbles in Japan (about their name), and even a frightening photo-bonding opportunity in Cannes with Culture Secretary, Whistling Chris Smith (whatever that was about).
‘Yeah,’ Kemp considers, slightly bemused by the memory. ‘But. if someone asks if you want to go and meet a Government Minister, you say, yeah. fuckin’ hell, that’d be really nice. Someone who’s actually holding some of the reigns of power. How many times do you get the chance to do that‘."
‘You could always go along and meet your local MP at his surgery,’ Graham points out.
‘Yeah, but isn’t he in jail or something‘?’ the guitarist counters.
“Not mine, he’s just at the dentist. He’s got really bad teeth.‘ Drummer eats chip.
All in all, though. the future seems orthodontically in order. The only thing that’s slightly pissing Urusei Yatsura off at the moment, it would seem, is lazy music journalism — probably exactly the sort that invokes Sonic Youth and Pavement whenever the band are mentioned, in fact. In particular, though, the school of thought responsible for vibing up packages such as The Glasgow Scene and causing the bands within to suffocate in the cellophane shrink-wrapping. The group are still trying shake off the notion that all they are about is plastic toys and sweeties, and promise a definite absence of rayguns onstage in the future.
By cracking the, like, proper charts, Urusei Yatsura - who have long considered themselves a, like, proper band — now find themselves being cast in the press as lo-fi underachievers come good, perversely because they were enthusiastic enough about music to make it and write about it (in the Kitten Frenzy ’zine) before they were in the business of unit shifting.
As Kemp says: ‘The point has always been to enjoy the whole crack of it, write good songs, play them to people, and it doesn’t have to be selling 10,000 copies. Most people, you say that and they think, “Oh right, you wanna be a wee fanzine-whiny band and sell 500 records“. But that’s not the point. You want to do as well as you can, but you don’t want to play the game. If you‘ve the choice whether to go on This Morning and kiss some guy’s bum and then play a show supporting Kula Shaker, you say “No, we’re not doing that”. I think that’s a totally valid way to do things. You shouldn’t be in too much of a rush to make it big.’
Ian Graham nods some. Later he will say, ‘For some reason, I was thinking of Brian Cant.’ To which there can be no argument.
Urusei Yatsura play the Arches, Glasgow on Mon 16 Mar. Slain By Urusei Yatsura, is available on Ché now.
Hard to handle
If you thought Urusei Yatsura was a stupid name, check out these moronic monickers. Waits: Peter Ross
The Teardrop Explodes
Like Urusei Yatsura. Julian (‘ope‘s early 80s psychedelic popsters took their name from a comic — Daredevil Number 77 to be precise. The name was relatively normal in a Met'seyside scene featuring Echo And The Bunnymen. Walt! Heat and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark.
Archetypally unpronouncahle band fronted by sometime Bad Seed Blixa Bargeld. The name translates as ‘new buildings collapsing. a pretty fair description of the sound of these proto- industrial noiseniks. Fellow German punkers Die Toten Hosen — The Dead Trousers -- is pretty stupid too.
The Jesus And Mary Chain
What better tag for your feedback-drenclted Beach Boys thang than a tasteless religious necklace lifted from a (‘atholic tat catalogue? Jim and William Reid obviottsly couldn‘t think of one.
Ned's Atomic Dustbin
Emerging from the same awfully-monickered stable as Pop Will liat Itself. Jesus Jones, EMF and The Wonder Stuff. the Neds — who had big shorts. funny hair and two bass guitars — were rather inevitably named after a (Inn)! Show sketch.
Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu
Also known as The Jams, The Jamms. KLF (Kopyright Liberation Front). The Timelords and The K Foundation, Bill Drummond and Jimmy (‘auty are regarded as art terrorists and master scamsters, but are really just codgers with silly names and money to burn.
Mogwai Mogwai take their name from sassy 80s creature-feature Gremlins. But what Stuart Braithwaite‘s post-rock Slint-aping guitar odysseys have to do with little furry creatures who you shouldn't get wet or feed after midnight is anyone‘s guess.
Supposedly named after the drummer who had his cherry popped in a garden but at the tender age of seven. A truly horrible theory which is hopefully false.
Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
A literal translation is ‘an embryonic monkey belonging to the Russian novelist Maxim Gorky’. What the name actually means in the acid-fried minds of the Welsh psychedelic folk-poppers is a mystery.
Bonzo Dog (Doo-Dah) Band
In the late 605, when every hand was called Electric Banana Bucket or something similar, this lot had the stupidest name of all. The brainchild of English eccentric Vivian Stanshall. BDDDB were inspired by Dada and featured a bassist calleed Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell.
The Butthole Surfers
An unpleasantly comic name which fits nicely with the Texan band‘s surrealist psychedelic punk schtick. They were originally called Nine Foot Worm Makes Own Food but that was judged not catchy enough. Their albums also boast such bizarre titles as Independent Worm Saloon and Rembrant Pussy/tome.
6—19 Mar 1998 I'll! [18121