9.3.06

The Horror... The Horror...

It gets more painful each time I think about it. There's a time and a place for bands reforming, and Kula Shaker reforming in 2006 is neither the time nor the place. Remember Kula Shaker? Then you see my point.

I was about 14 or 15 at the height of Britpop, I remember Country House vs. Roll With It well. At the time I rooted for the more serious Roll With It, but nowadays I'm glad Country House won out - I'd much rather listen to Damon Albarn's jaunty little songs than Liam Gallagher's grating whine. Dogerel, I heard it described as once. I remember Sleeper: to my eternal shame I joined the fan club for some reason, without actually owning any of the albums. I remember Kenickie, and Dodgy, and Suede, and all the hangers on like Menswe@r, Gene, and all those others who made an appearance on my cassette version of The Greatest Album In The World Ever, 1996. I remember playing that album while having a go at Warhammer 40,000. I never really got my head around the game, but the tape stuck in my little Walkman for ages. Around that time I had an evening shift cleaning offices, and many was the night I was serenaded by Supergrass' 'If You Want To Go Out', or worse, the Levellers. If not that, then Steve Lamacq would be laying down some Bis on the Evening Session. Ah, good times then.

Emphasis on then. These bands have no place in the world of today. Music that earns it's keep these days is innovative, or at least a little new: as the years progress, fewer and fewer Britpop-retrospective seem to make it big: The Music flop second time around; Richard Ashcroft crawls back under the rock from whence he emerged; Rick Witter is booked in to be put down any day now.

So why on earth does Crispian Mills feel that this would be a good time to trade in his nostalgia quotient? As with most of these, it's for money, I would guess. The Pixies, who freely admit their mercenary tendencies but at the same time use the proceeds to fund their own personal Blonde On Blonde, are worthy of a reformation: a sleeper band, you could say, more respected after their day.

But there was a reason Kula Shaker were amusing even in 1997 - talk about pretentious. Not in a Sigur Ros, lets see how musically overblown we can be way, but in a look at me, I'm John Mills' grandson therefore I'm actually more important musically than you'll ever be way. This is a band that were slated by Ocean Colour Scene (for crying out loud) for having a stylist.

K was a record not of it's time, but of thirty years previous, chock full of Hammond organs, Deep Purple covers (this may have come a little later actually...), and Sanskrit lyrics. Do the words Tattva or Govinda or Hey Dude send a chill down your spine? Because they should. They were a joke band, more haircut than tone (a trend faithfully kept up by devotees of the NME to this day), you just didn't take Kula Shaker seriously, the thought just didn't occur.

And yet, here they are: they play Glasgow ABC on 7th April, Manchester Academy 3 on the 10th and Kings College London on the 12th.

4 comments:

~~ said...

They were never really loved by the NME. But their return this time will be bigger and better for sure.

Oh Simone said...

Well even the NME has the occasional lapse in it's poor taste.

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