tue 20/08/2019

CD: Luke Haines - 9 1/2 Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s & Early '80s | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Luke Haines - 9 1/2 Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s & Early '80s

CD: Luke Haines - 9 1/2 Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s & Early '80s

Another dose of wistful weirdness from the magnificently odd Luke Haines

Luke Haines: a Proustian journey into the nothing-days of Saturday-afternoon telly

Who needs songs, when you have song titles that are as good as those written by Luke Haines? The man who, we’re told, could have been a Britpop contender (though I’m not convinced myself; he’s far too clever, and much too odd) has previously, under his own name or in bands such as The Auteurs and Black Box Recorder, penned tunes with titles such as “Unsolved Child Murder”, “Girl Singing in the Wreckage”, “The English Motorway System”, and of course “Luke Haines is Dead”, now brings us this cornucopia of magnificently titled tat. Gems here include “Inside the Restless Mind of Rollerball Rocco” and “Rock Opera – in the Key of Existential Misery”. These are not just song titles; they are short stories.

It all brings to mind those denizens of the daytime-TV demi-monde Half Man Half Biscuit who, as well as penning songs such as "The Trumpton Riots", share Haines’s taste for Saturday-afternoon TV wrestling bouts (who could forget the line from their song “Everything’s AOR”: “But I can put a tennis racket up against my face/ And pretend that I am Kendo Nagasaki”?).

Anyhow, what we have here is Haines embarking on a Proustian journey back into those bleary, dreary, nothing-days of Saturday-afternoon telly, in that existential vacuum before the football results, when commentator Kent Walton would chunter on while no one listened, toothless grannies would gurn and shriek from the front row of Wolverhampton Civic Hall, and wrestling stars such as Giant Haystacks, Big Daddy and the aforementioned masked maverick Kendo Nagasaki would whup and slap each other onto the canvas with a resounding (and heavily staged) thwack. Who else would write songs about all this, and also about having a liver-sausage sandwich (and cheese!) for his tea? Who else would do it with such affection and frailty, and in such a deliriously odd musical idiom? Only Luke Haines can do this. God bless him.

This album, incidentally, is available only as a download until next month, when a “real” version will be released, apparently with all manner of accompanying paraphernalia.

Who else would write songs about all this, and also about having a liver-sausage sandwich (and cheese!) for his tea?

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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Comments

Luke Haines has the most talent:recognition ratio of any musician. He's an thorny genius

Thanks for this review. I am a long-time fan, and also someone who regularly watched the Wrestling on World of Sport during the 1970s, and my excitement and anticipation about his release are running pretty high. Amazon.co.uk are currently advertising the download at £5.99 which seems to me to be a bargain prices for more of Luke's genius. To my ears he's getting better with each solo album. Roll on Monday.

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