Wednesday 5 May 2010

I Know It's Only Rock n' Roll - (But I Like it!)

I can't quite recall how it happened but I found myself briefly watching a bit of the Jools Holland show the other night. I used to watch the Jools Holland Show a lot in the early nineties, but now I try and avoid the thing and yet I spend much of my day listening to the devil's music at volumes sufficient for my children to remark that they could hear the din before they got to the last lampost on our street some way up the road from the corner of our garden.

Which is probably why the leather clad cherubs left home early to do their particular thing in New York and Brighton, but both have obviously succumbed to the endless brainwashing as doing their thing involves them twanging guitars or in the case of our youngest attacking various bits of furniture on stage with a chain in venues the length and breadth of the U.K. with his band Dark Horses (who amongst other things provided the soundtrack for the recent BBC ads for Radio 4's a History of Everyday Objects).

Anyway I'm digressing, back to Jools we must go as I really need to try and explain why it is that I avoid Jools Holland's otherwise excellent TV show. It's quite simply that having grown up in the post war world of 1950's and 1960's Great Britain, I still rather quaintly regard Rock music as youth culture at it's rawest and most visceral. And that for me means bands that exude just a bit of "divviness" as in REAL divviness as best epitomized by say the Rolling Stones throughout the 1960's (never been bettered imo) or Iggy and the Stooges until Iggy had to book himself into a sanotorium to get his mind back into a state where he could at least achieve a semblance of dysfunctional functionality, or The Only Ones before Peter Perret's overlong dalliance with the source of inspiration for "Another Girl Another Planet" and a disastrous tour of the U.S. spelt finis to their career, or The Clash before the drugs and paranoia got too much and they imploded, or The New York Dolls before Malcolm McClaren started managing them, or The Stone Roses before the second album.

These represent the ideal to me of artist first, careerists second, in stark contrast to many of my particular bete noirs which it would be invidious for me to list at length but I'd have to say that U2 and Coldplay would be pretty near the top of any list, where this criteria is neatly reversed (imo).

For me enjoying rock music at it's best involves seeking out up and coming bands on the cusp and seeing them playing squalid venues to packed or not so packed audiences, worlds where the glitz and pretty colors of Jool's studio lighting is totally in absentia, world's of sweat, alchohol, stinking toilets and dodgy dealings in the shadows. The difference between music you can pick up at your filling station and the kind of music you have to seek out.

Which brings me to the work of Siausiau Suzuki, an artist of remarkable fortitude and dedication.The kind of girl that seeks out the best of this kind of music, while it's still raw and vital, free from the cellophane wrap which Sony BMG will want to apply to it should they ever take a punt and sign it up.

The subject of Siausiau's photography in these examples is the mesmerically addictive Widower (check out their MySpace). Seriously hot singer, reminiscent of Debbie Harry but not as flawlessly beautiful, which weirdly makes her even hotter.

Siausiau's current blogs (she has two of them) can be found here and here.

Widower are next on stage at the Bungalow 8 Club, 45 St. Martin's Lane,  Covent Garden on Friday  night 8.00pm, which gives you Rock n Roll heathens just about enough time to wash your t-shirts, polish up the brogues and sort out your accessories.

Be there or be square.


  1. Aw, I don't get much chance to watch Jools these days but I must confess to still having a soft spot for his 'Rockin' Baby Boomers' view of the world. Even so, I have to admit that Siausiau Suzuki's photographs have a visceral excitement that late night shows on BBC2 are unlikely to capture.

    Oddly enough they reminded me of nothing so much as when I shared a desk with the legendary Linder Sterling at Manchester Polytechnic in the 1970s as she pinned up countless images of the High Summer of Punk, while a stream of dangerous-looking visitors like Howard Devoto and Morrissey paid court to her.

  2. Linda Sterling Phil, heady stuff indeed!!!

    Didn't realize you were at Manchester Poly in the 1970's a blog of your reminiscences would a fun thing to run methinks.

    That's assuming you can remember much of those days.

  3. Haha, hahahaha, hahahahahhahha ;-)