It’s like it was there in the garage waiting for us…

A glance at my bank balance at the end of a month reveals an unexpected bonus from these dull, monochrome times. There’s such a lack of anything we’re still allowed to do (apart from work – and I keep telling myself I should be grateful for this as least). From what I can tell there seem to be different numbers in different columns, and my accountant tells me this is a Good Thing. Who am I to argue about such things?

I’m thinking of splashing out on this:

Writhing Squares

Fans of Beak or those gripping Here Lies Man records will love the work of Philadelphia duo Kevin Nickles and Daniel Provenzano, who list a number of other bands and credits, the only one of which I’d heard of was Provenzano playing with Purling Hiss. I have a record by The Hiss and although it’s … kind of OK, it doesn’t really hint at the exhilaratingly rough spaciness of this, their third album.


The samples sound great to me – mesmerising, five-dimensional synths that cough and fizz from one ear to the next; horns that bay and honk blindly; pedals that split, distort and provide all manner of come-to-bed ear-fucking diversions. Saxes, harmonicas, and even flutes combine to make this a crackling, noisy old listen, and it’ll sound absolutely fine in the car tomorrow morning.

And if I hadn’t already been completely sold on it, their self-penned description as “inner-city Kosmische skronk” pretty much charmed the knickers off my credit card.

There’s quite a nice little interview with the pair, here, if you like this sort of thing (I can see the Hawkwind comparisons, but I’m profoundly uncomfortable about the mention of Yes – fortunately, I can’t see many Yes fans sticking with it for long…), (There’s also a better but older interview here which contains the cracking quote I’ve used above…) but to be honest, watch them “live” in proper 2021 style – it’ll speak volumes – there are quite a bunch of whole shows on YouTube.

Pull up a tea chest… (“A Whole New Jupiter” comes in at around 14:00):

Been around for a long, long year

I was going to do a few lines about garage punk, but somehow this forced itself upon me…

(I should probably point out I’m more than aware of what a ridiculous figure Jagger strikes here, but c’mon it’s another Lockdown Sunday, what else have got to do? Drink the kool-aid…)

I’m disappointed to learn that the Stones themselves were regarded to be below par here, and upstaged by a number of other performers over the 24 hours. I care not. I love this performance, particularly.

Things I’m fascinated by in the video:

  • Charlie Watts. Characteristically rock steady, despite the nincompoopery around him. I love the repeated rimshot. Never overwhelmed by Kwazi Dzidzornu’s powerful congas, a rye dynamo behind the band. Possibly the greatest ever…
  • An impotent and humiliated Brian Jones, once leader of the band, long-since over taken by Jagger and Richards, reduced to a non-singing Davey Jones role on maracas. His final appearance on stage with the band; he was gone seven months later.
  • An enthusiastically be-caped audience, John & Yoko, Pete Townsend visible here amongst them, kicking back the rugs, gurning like idiots and having a bit of a time.
  • Nicky Hopkins’ piano work. Rarely in shot (and when he is, studious, vaguely uncomfortable and incongruously free of the air of debauchery the Stones liked to court – it’s little wonder he never got a full members pass). And yet, as funky and down as any Memphis player – it’s tribute to his playing, I think, that I barely missed the woo-woo choruses…
  • Jagger. A wondrous, uncomfortable mixture of foolishness, foppishness and, well, fornication. He manages to look ridiculous, dangerous and sensuous all at the same time. The whole Miltonian premise of the song somehow gets a whole new cartoonish life in that sinewy, clownishly tattooed body and those child-bearing lips (© Joan Rivers). His is also The Rock Voice.

Lie back, take it easy, surrender to these days.