It’s the middle of December and there’s a conflicting mood in the air. People are gearing up for Christmas so there’s a bustling feel to the city, yet at the same time, it’s the night after a General Election so any excitement is contrasted by the dread of another five years with a Conservative government increasing austerity measures and generally widening an already massive divide between rich and poor.
Taking his place at the mic stand on a sparsely decorated stage, the legendary Jim Bob seems aware of this mood. “I feel like I should say something…profound” he tells the audience, before even playing a note. Quite how profound a man could be while wearing a gold sparkly jacket and sunglasses on loan from The Banana Splits is anyone’s guess. “…Or we could have a sing-song”, he beams, before launching into a stripped down version of Carter’s ‘Is Wrestling Fixed?’, its opening lines greeted with a huge roar. It’s a great performance, but drawing more heavily from the whimsical than the energetic, its a less-than-obvious opener. Nevertheless, the front half of the audience is hugely receptive and even in the bar areas nearer to the back of the venue, bellowing voices are more than evident. Digging further into the Carter back catalogue, the fantastic Billy’s Smart Circus whips up the audience further into a shouting mass – this first dip into the fan favourite ’30 Something’ album boding well for the rest of the set.
Created with the idea of encouraging people back into independent record shops by issuing limited vinyl items by smaller cult bands, it wasn’t long before Record Store Day got utterly hijacked by major labels keen to milk a giant cash cow. Worse still, RSD stocks have actually been sold by dealers at inflated prices on ebay the day before the event. It’s hard not to see it as a giant sham.
Given the position Real Gone finds itself in at the end of our fifth year online, it might seemed clichéd to say it, but ever year seems to get better and better. It’s been another brilliant year for discovering new music – particularly releases from underground and DIY bands, but also for discs from a couple of old favourites. Culled from hundreds of albums to grace our stereo this year, presented below is a quick look at ten of our favourite releases, as well as a round-up of the more notable of the rest.
It is October 21st 1993. An ordinary autumnal evening for many, but for two lads from Kent this is a Thursday night like no other. For these two – at this point aged approximately 17 and 19 and only some six weeks into a friendship– this is to be a very momentous occasion. For both, it is a first gig experience and they are going to see Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, a band with somewhat of a cult following. By this point, Carter USM – still a duo with drum machine and a world of pre-programmed trickery – have scored a run of hit singles and have four hit albums under their belt – including a number one. They’ve rugby tacked Phillip Schofield on live TV (a man still young enough to care about dying his hair) and only within the last couple of weeks have appeared on the long running chart showcase Top of the Pops. Indeed, the very idea that this band would venture into the middle of Kent and play a show in a leisure centre seems like a visit from music royalty. Almost surreal– especially in the eyes of these two teenagers, keen to immerse themselves in a world of live music – but here they are, ready to promote their current full-length release, Post Historic Monsters.