IN FIVE DATES WHICH SADLY I COULDN'T REMEMBER...
sadly though (well actually happily) was the sort of person that would
ruminate for hours about Peel sessions, what songs would be played at
concerts and inundate record labels with phone calls enquiring about 'release
dates', apologies to anyone who had to 'deal with my enthusiasm' while
working at Rough Trade or Virgin. How do you describe the group you have
loved? As I have said already, the way some songs affect someone is an
entirely personal thing and in some cases can be shared as a common experience,
again I cite Wonderwall and the Final Countdown as examples of this. Microdisney
however cannot be really shared as such- perhaps because they meant so
many things to so many people. My elder sister was swept along by my enthusiasm
and loved their addictive melodies and thankfully she was not also a music
'saddict', one per family I guess is the limit. So to answer my question
I think describing the five key dates in my relationship with Microdisney
should just about sum up what Microdisney meant for me. It will never
truly detail the hours spent repeatedly listening to songs or the optimism
and enthusiasm it engendered in me but it'll have to do.
clock comes down the stairs was out and this concert for a Glasgow Tech
Xmas Ball (ie in front of people who largely didn't care about the bands
playing) was another fine example of what Microdisney were capable of.
3 London Demos, pre-Crooked Mile Summer 86
sketches are better than long thought over masterpieces. The optimism
continued when I obtained a copy of their first demos for the Crooked
Mile album. Five songs showing maturity, and a fresh melodic dynamic,
thanks to the introduction of the brilliant James Compton. Mixing the
optimism of signing with Virgin, melancholy and the typical ascerbic lyrics,
they created songs the like of which I had never heard before. This combined
with the last Peel session would surely produce an album that would easily
surpass its predecessor. Well I guess that was the plan and certainly
live they were at their peak when you think of songs like Rack they could
never fail. Sadly however Crooked Mile wasn't half as good as it should
have been. In fact I must have listened to it as an album a maximum of
about four times preferring the demos and Peel sessions and poor quality
bootlegs that I had recorded. And each time I listened to it the worse
it got. Lenny Kaye massacred those songs and I'm not one to bear grudges
but he destroyed them and I think Microdisney with it. A clock comes down
the stairs style production would have suited the songs better, the demos
released themselves would have been more fitting.
5 La Grand Place in Mons, Belgium, July 1988 I know it's over
Sitting in a café on la Grand Place in Mons, I wasn't really surprised when I read in the NME that it was over and by that time I had become disillusioned and so had they by all accounts. Musical differences, dwindling crowds ('Microdisney are playing to smaller and smaller crowds' Sean told me with a foreboding air of resignation the last time I saw them in Dundee), a record company unable to 'market' them. As is often the case with the end of a relationship, I was bitter. Towards the record company, to Lenny Kaye the devil incarnate, now apparently selling popcorn in a suburb of Nowheresville, Wisconsin, well if he isn't he should be), the record buying public, (how could they all not recognise this band's merits, its a free country I would tell myself), to myself, I could have been more fervent in my selling of the band to interested parties (that said, I did convert a large number to the Church of Microdisney) and I guess I was bitter to them to an extent for not coming up with the goods. But more than feelings of bitterness I guess I was just sad for them. Apart from the things I have already mentioned, music is about times and places and experiences and moments. Their moment for me was between 84 and 86. At that time no other group created music that meant so much to me and made me happy or sad. I was very glad to have had such a pleasurable first musical relationship with such a group.