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Neil Scout

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The Low Wedges [Sep. 1st, 2004|10:07 am]
Neil Scout
As I lovingly fondle my collection of 7 inch singles from the mid-to-late nineties, from time to time I ruminate on the days when all it took to raise my spirits was a gang of four moptop misfits from the home counties, trying to take on the world with three chords and the Kinks' back catalogue. Of all these bands, surely the one most deserving of their current status at the bottom of history's dustcart are The Auteurs.
In fact, I'd wager that 90% of you have forgotten them entirely, or at least gone ten years without hearing the name. Amongst all the Symposiums and Livingstones that cluttered Lamacqland, a special shelf was reserved for these miscreants, like one of the eminent sinners in Dante's Hell. Their advocates claimed great things for The Auteurs, but they never managed the lustre of Echobelly, the sexiness of Puressence, the urgency of Fluffy, or the refined classicism of Northern Uproar. The misguided New Way was followed by the egregious Cowboy Blues and their one minor hit, 'Johnny Valentine'; after that, nothing. Music moved on, we discovered new, sophisticated and literate acts like Saint Etienne and Black Box Recorder, and The Auteurs were swept aside, left to flog Big Issues outside the derelict Good Mixer.
Bearing all this in mind, I was somewhat confused to hear that 'art.country' urchins the Low Wedges would be performing an Autuers tribute gig, featuring all their singles in chronolgoical order. Did they really believe that anyone still cared?
The result was, of course, lamentable. Luke Haines, the only person to whom this show could have meant anything, was not in attendance. Obviously the band had found no way of contacting him; the poor fool must have been persona non grata in every PR man and agent's office for the past decade.
The Low Wedges themselves delivered a competent, if moribund, performance, stuttering their way through dirge after dirge like 'Chinaman Chipshop'. They tried to add colour to this most colourless of palates through the wiry frontman's Johnny Cash drawl and the use of a toy whistle, but really it was like eating a plate of dry spaghetti and boiled potatoes. The appearance of that cretin from The Vichy Government, who encored with an improvised version of 'Future Generations', highlighted the insular, cliquey and generally irrelevant nature of this Angular coterie. Looking at the dozen or so in attendance, once could see members of The Vilets, Giftpig, Losers of Today and Art Brute. May their precious careers all go the same way as The Auteurs have- down a burning toilet cubicle on a Sunday evening at the Reading festival.
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Comments:
From: (Anonymous)
2004-09-01 11:02 am (UTC)
Excellent review Niall,
although I do declare at least 40 were there,
a head count was done at the door,
the first set was alright the second was shite,
and the singer was woefully poor.
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