I Want a Riot, A Riot of My Own
I've just been reading a book about The Sex Pistols infamous gig at The Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall in June 1976, a gig that probably changed rock music for ever and certainly for the better. It's an amusing book, almost able to cheer me up on the way back from the Swans defeat at the millennium stadium.
It also set me thinking a bit about the things R*E*P*E*A*T organises. It's all too easy in a desire to help kids looking for gigs, to put on bands that just need somewhere to play. It's all too tempting to be seen as part of the cosy furniture of the 'Cambridge music scene' (although that's a concept I despise, who gives a fuck where music comes from, all we should care about is if it's any good) in an attempt to feel accepted and somehow worthy. It's nice to have people think you're providing a useful service and to bask in that glow.
Apart from being nice is never what R*E*P*E*A*T has been about.
Isn't it time we got back to basics?
I'm not expecting to discover the new Manics or put on the next Pistols at The Lesser Free Trade Hall or even The Man on the Moon, but where are the bands that want to shake things up a bit? I don't believe in this climate of distrust of Blair and indeed all politicians, disgust at his war and alienation from mind dulling work and brainless education, that there aren't kids in bands who want to express this anger.
Surely not everyone in bands in Cambridge wants to get stoned, sing about their girlfriends and their ganga and end the set with their mates dancing on stage with them?
Surely someone has something they want to say?
That's why I love Johnny Panic. That's why I love Bomb Factory and The Hope. And that's why I love The Resistance, surely the most 'punk' band in Cambridge right now?
It's probably no secret that since R*E*P*E*A*T's Junction gig, our new bands nights at The Moon have been very poor especially in terms of attendance but also, to be honest, also in terms of the quality of some of the bands playing.
With venues charging more and more for hiring them, I think I need to rethink what we're doing. If I'm gonna lose a shed load of money at our nights, then I want this to be for bands that I like. Bands that have some common cause with us. Bands that have something to say.
A few years ago we split the music scene in half with a band of snotty kids called The Virgin Suicides. They cost me thousands of pounds, their unsold CDs take up half the R*E*P*E*AT office but God they were fuckin' good. Not just musically but in terms of the way they pissed on the scenesters and paid no respect to the way things were meant to be done.
They also made R*E*P*E*A*T rediscover itself as an agitational, oppositional, akward bugger. Something we maybe slipping away from again.
So, bands wanted. Not bothered about the form, nor even if you can play, it's an attitude I want.
Something to put the riot back into rock'n'roll.
Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T, April 2006
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