Being a teenager in the mid-nineties felt like being marooned on an island built out of Adidas Sambas and those crap mod-style t-shirts with a target on the front. Luckily, one day a glittery pirate ship arrived to sweep us all away from the laddy indie dross. A pirate ship full of slightly rubbish, slightly camp and completely pop guitar-pirates, wearing Che Records t-shirts. These are the bands that made me realise that I could start my own band, and that I could prance around in faux fur and sparkles while I was doing it.Vodpod videos no longer available.
1. Llama Farmers-Jessica Early contender for the band-name-so-terrible-it’s-great AND song-so-obvious-it-can-only-be-genius award. Lots of other bands tried to do the lo-fi pure pop song thing – Gel and Symposium spring to mind – but these guys did it the best. Busted could only follow in these massive footprints.
2. Radish-Little Pink Stars Bit of a cheat because they’re an American band and they came a little bit later, but the sound is identical and I loved this song. I wonder if they knew how much they had in common with the Scottish-boy-in-eyeliner brigade -THUMP- sorry I just swooned.
3. Idlewild-Chandelier When this 7″ came out I loved it so much that I used to play it for hours despite having no speakers for my record player. I used to put my ear next to the turntable and listen to it coming right out of the needle instead. Shame they went crap and boring after Captain.
4. Seafood – Rot Of The Stars This band were my obsession. I owned everything by them. When I finally saw them live at the Victoria Inn in Derby and got them to sign my copy of the Psychic Rainy Nights 7”, they signed it “sorry” because they’d played so badly. I didn’t care, they could do no wrong in my eyes. So many scene bands are doing that grungey lo-fi sound again now. Fuck Pavement, they need to go and buy Messenger In The Camp.
5. Bennett – Mum’s Gone To Iceland Worm for your ear, Sir? This song makes me think of nights watching TFI Friday and listening to Chris Evans doing the Radio 1 Breakfast Show.
6. Urusei Yatsura – Siamese A band that inspired legions of slightly deranged fans. I always raise my opinion of a person when I find out they like Urusei Yatsura. One for anybody who ever stood on the front row of a gig screaming “FERGUS!” (I still would).
7. Cake – The Distance Again, a bit of a cheat, but bears including thanks to being so completely awesome, and sounding different to everything else on offer at the time. Also for reminding me of Thursday nights at Rock City, drinking Apple Source and being sick in the loo (every week). I loved this song, and it still sounds fresh.
8. Kenickie – Come Out 2Nite Another band that changed my life. There were so few girls in bands you could actually go and see play at that time, and most of them just sounded like the boys (see: Sleeper, Echobelly). Not only did Kenickie sound and dress like actual girls who weren‘t from the South, they sang songs about getting drunk in the park and getting lifts off older boys with nice cars and basically all the stuff that we did too. My best friend and I hero-worshipped them. You could be in an amazing band and play pop songs and wear high heels too! At the time, this was revolutionary stuff.
9. Tiger – Shining In The Wood Tiger got some shit, and I got some shit off my mates for liking Tiger. They were one of those bands (as many of this ilk were – sadly) that the music press fawned over for five minutes and then absolutely annihilated. Their album was pretty terrible, but the singles bear scrutiny. I actually think I like this song even more now than I did then. I stand by my Tiger-love. Race was a great song too.
10. Doofergrass – Feel Like Shite I listened to a lot of Radio 1 as a teenager – Collins & Maconie, the Evening Session, John Peel (only for his voice – I found 90% of the music baffling) and the aforementioned specky ginge…. Mark and Lard were always the coolest though. If you remember the Shirehorses, this will make you smile. This song gives the middle finger to all that gimmicky chart-friendly indie cavorting, and listening to it now I realise I am one of the old guffers in the song, and can sing along with pretty much no irony at all.