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Broken Record #39
To celebrate the sixth birthday of one of our favourite labels, Audio Antihero, we've decided to open up our Broken Record series to the man behind that enterprise, Jamie Halliday. The label started when Halliday decided to issue Nosferatu D2's "lost" LP (they'd already split up by the the time of its release - a recurring theme for this label it would seem), which gained instant rave notices from around the web and beyond. In between they've released a whole load of other underground classics from the likes of Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love, Cloud,Benjamin Shaw and Frog. But, to mark their birthday they've gone back to the beginning, by re-issuing Nosferatu D2’s debut album on a snazzy limited cassette. Below you can find a tasty nugget from that release, but before that, have a read about Jamie's record collection, which might hold some clues as to why he's got such a good ear for talent.
Okay, it went platinum twice in the US, so I’m not saying it’s THE underrated record...but, man, those motherfuckers who skip over it with some wave of their “oh he wanted to be Dylan” hand or some nonsense about an “interesting debut”...well, those people make me sick and they are not your friends. It’s so full of life, it’s so full of fun and there’s so much hope, it’s the beginning of the greatest story ever told. It’s Bruce Springsteen and he’s singing really fucking fast. Second choice is “Face Value” by Phil Collins, 5 x platinum US.
Probably, right? What was up with their fans? So mean.
I like to push the somewhat trite philosophy that nothing should be a “guilty pleasure” as long as you like it. Same goes for ironic listening, fuck those guys. But this record is probably “sinful” in terms of “credibility”. But for this, I am just going with literal “sin” as this is a big ol’ pantomime of evil, a glorious “Bat Out of Hell”-esque Satanic dress-up party. Plus, the choir vocals bits are AWESOME. And Doug Bradley is on it!
There probably aren’t a whole lot of genuinely happy or joyful Johnny Foreigner songs but I honestly believe that as long as JoFo keep playing, then the dream still lives. And that brings me a lot of joy. Forever grateful that there’s good people out there, making urgent and unique guitar music, the kind that stings to listen to. I just want to feel and JoFo make me feel.
Who are you? Why is this so good? Oh my god. I clicked a link on The Grey Estates and I started feeling things and by default one of them was surprise!
So, I can’t drive at all. Grandson to a used cars salesman from Scotland, it’s a great source of family shame. But my soon-to-be-wife can. And she is gonna drive me all around the USA at night listening to this album that I’m not sure she’s going to like very much. And I’m going to tell her to be quiet because she’s “missing a good bit”. And we aren’t going to acknowledge that “The Big Game is Every Night” is a non-album bonus track because it’s perfect.
Nirvana were “my” band and “Nevermind” was absolutely effortless listening for my young ears but “Bleach” and “In Utero” were a lot more difficult for me and it was really frustrating at the time. But I think “getting” “In Utero” helped me to “get” a lot of things and the more I could believe in a three-piece garage band, however massively popular, the less I needed slick stadium sounds or a guest verse from Xzibit. Your musical life should be what you want it to be, no one is wrong, least of all the young and nobody should listen to crusty old man bands because crusty old men tell you to - but I’m glad I stuck with something early on that didn’t necessarily feel especially “musical” at first. It opened my mind, just a little.
I vaguely knew one of these guys from college and that doesn’t matter beyond the fact that it blew my mind to see stuff “happening” for real life people. My bands were languishing, trying to get our Myspace numbers up, begging people to come to awful pay-to-play style “LONDON SHOWS” and spending all our money on studio time where we’d come out sounding crappy and that was probably what we deserved. But these guys were “on a label” and it wasn’t a CDR and they were touring and doing interviews for blogs which meant they had to be famous and they had another album coming soon on ANOTHER label, then they had a 7-inch and it was all amazing. I had no idea how you did all that. This EP isn’t quite as good as the “Variations on Swing” that came the following year on Big Scary Monsters, which is SO good but that doesn’t really matter. For me, music is the feelings you had when it mattered most. It sounded good, it sounded real and it was something to aspire to. Vocalist Toby Hayes was influential too. Post-MMISL he went on to do lots of good things under different names and in other bands and it was nice to know that you can keep creating after that initial buzz has gone, Toby has left a legacy for the people who want to follow the trail and for most of us, that’s a dream to chase.