One thing you might want to know about Chumbawamba: they’ve got a new album out. It isn't very good. wrapping up their admirable ‘up-the— working-class' sentiments in a wafer- thin film of smug. coffee-table. folk-tinged electronica of which Seal would be proud. The Kate Busby- sampling ‘After Shelley' does deserve a mention, though. because it sounds like they roped in Eddie Van Halen to play guitar.
The best thing about Cnumbawamba: they'll split up one of these days. It has to happen. (David Pollock)
POLAK Rubbernecking (One Little Indian) 0..
British angst is an odd little chap. a genteel fellow-me—Iad compared to its brash. whiny American cousin. I blame the Smiths. The latest in this gently chest-beating tradition is Polak. the newish band of Pete Fijalkowski (ex- frontman with mouthy Creation misfits Adorable. fact fans). and a reasonable addition to the sub-genre they are too.
Rubberneck/‘ng takes itself a tad too seriously, but there are moments of effective. poignant avant garde pop here. While the more melancholic tracks tend to induce tedium, 'Joyrider‘ is a decent piece of jagged heartbreak. demonstrating that Polak can strike a chord when they hit their stride. (Doug Johnstone)
My Medicine (Mushroom) 0..
Some journo wag once referred to Wilt as 'the Irish ldlewild'. and that about sums up Cormac Battle's band. The influences and career parallels are apparent.
with early blistering angry promise being rapidly replaced by airbrushed melody and tedious musical maturity. My Medicine isn't a bad record. it's just very familiar in a world brimming over with
. intelligent. angsty. but
cripplineg average bands. 'Understand' is pure REM, “DistOrtion' is
Sugar but less edgy and
any number of the tunes here could actually be off the boring new ldlewild long player, so
similar in style and . attitude are the two
bands. (Doug Johnstone)
Space came out of the Liverpool indie scene that saw itself playing second fiddle to those
t dirty Mancs in the early
1990s Bands like Top. the Stairs and Smaller floundered in these years. all great bands but the tide of opportunity was simply not flowing their way.
Space bided their time until 1995. when they released the low key single ‘Money/Kill Me'
but it was the sight and
sound of the very handsome if diminutive lead singer Tommy Scott on the videos of
; “Neigthurhood' and
the subsequent hit single ‘Female of the Species' that propelled them to success.
Their sound was
poppy. cartoony and
easy to like. equal parts Tricky and Bacharrach. When they were good they were great ('Ballad of Tom Jones‘, ‘Diary of a Wimp'). This is a valuable mid-term report. their best is still to come. (Paul Dale)
Live and Liberated
(Canned Heat) 0000
Any thoughts of
Damage being a boy band should have been wiped away with their
firing club hit “Ghetto
Romance' and now that they have parted company with their record label they are free to make the music they want to. funk.
: Comprising six tracks.
five live and one studio based. the EP acts as
an introduction to their new sound and the first recording with the boys playing instruments.
. Only available on-line
onlinecom, it's the only way you are going to
enjoy the funk of
‘Boogie Woogie' and ‘Scum' (a dis on the ‘ music industry) and
more. Funkier than your BO! (Stewart Dalley)
; ACOUSTIC POP BOY GEORGE
U Can Never 8 2
Given that Culture Club never really achieved the
: of. say. ABC. or the
: priceless ‘we‘re-
laughing-at-you—not- with-you‘ kitsch value of Duran Duran, it should
be all too easy to reject Boy George's latest as
an irrelevance. But it isn’t. Fair
enough, he won't ' exactly be barging the
Hives offstage anytime soon. but — barring the Cabaret-style kraut-goth of ‘lch Bin Kunst'. from
his stage musical Taboo
— Mr O’Dowd's done a quite credible job of re-
, inventing himself as a versatile acoustic
troubadour. Just check the Latin stylings of ‘She
was Never He' or the - gospel-inflected ‘Wrong'
Of course. there‘s something a bit cheeky about recycling a few
7 old tunes to fill up
space; otherwise. definite proof that there's life in the old queen yet. (David Pollock)
DOCUMENTARY REGGAE: THE STORY OF
MUSIC 8802, Sun 4 Aug, 8pm 0000.
From the opening shots
of this excellent
documentary. featuring such Jamaican luminaries as Millie Small and Shaggy. it's obvious the makers mean
business. Giving the é sound that swept Britain
in the 60s space to breathe over three programmes means it‘s not just five minutes of history and then Bob
Instead you are given the natural progression of the sound of the island. from the B&B
sounds of American
dancehalls. through ska. rocksteady and onto
reggae. Over a
SOundtrack. featuring fantastic footage of Desmond Dekker and Bob and Marcia among others. the social
influence of the music
on the class divided island comes through. Homage is paid by many contemporary onlookers. including Jazzy Jeff and John Peel but the real picture is given by the peOple who were there. from Lee Perry and Rita Marley to Sister Ignatus who ran a music school for abandoned children. Unmissable. (Aly Burt)
Lee Perry scratches the surface of reggae’s past
DOCUMENTARY OBSESSIONS 8801, Wed 7 Aug, 9pm 000
It is thought that Obsessive Compulsive Disorder affects one in 50 people but very little is known about its causes. with both social and genetic factors having been cited as possibilities.
This documentary investigation follows several sufferers. including Bob. a ‘hoarder‘ living on top of a mountain of debris and Liz. whose ‘trichotilomania' compels her to pull her hair and eat the roots. The most moving case is that of Stephanie. a yOung mother with a horror of contamination whose protective instinct has gone into overdrive Since the birth of her son.
This film is by turns
morbidly fascinating, horrifying and sad. but the examples featured are so extreme that it frequently has the feel of a titillating freak show, complete with close-ups of raw scalps and burnt hands to accentuate the horror of the condition. Still more alienating is the fact that most of the sufferers featured are American which, rightly or wrongly, simply serves to exaggerate the bizarre nature of this destructive disorder. (Allan Radcliffe)
Channel 4, Thu 8 Aug, 10pm 0000
“I'm nothing without my club.‘ cries wheelchair bound Brian Potter. With his beloved Phoenix up in flames and stripped of his licence due to fire and safety violations. Potter is at rock-bottom. And worse still. his friends have all moved on: the club's compere Jerry St Clair is singing about black bin bags and corned beef in Asda; bOuncers Max and Paddy are the transpon service for the Asian Elders and Ray Von has got a job at the local fairground. Brian Potter may be down. but he's not out. Not just yet.
The second series of Phoenix Nights — directed for the first time by creator Peter Kay - won't disappoint fans of the first. The performances remain sharp, the characters comical and a cameo from Bu/lseye's Jim Bowen (owner of Blackpool's La Ponrlerosal is spot on. Kay succeeds in bringing just the right amount of authentiCIty and familiarity. making this one of the funniest programmes on right now. (Helen Monaghan)
Peter Kay is on the rise
l~8 Aug) 2002 THE LIST 47