Welcome boys and girls to the theme week to end all theme weeks*. This time we’re spanning back to a decade only just behind us. This musical voyage does not have the long lens hindsight to make anything old enough look retro cool. This is the closer up rear-view mirror of pop. This week we will be pick the peanuts out of the poo that was LANDFILL INDIE™.
What was Landfill Indie? It was a boom in bland. Lots of skinny white dudes who don’t really have an image, or a sound all their own but they all wore skinny jeans and looked like they worked in IT when they weren’t wearing their guitars too high and enjoying one of their two moderate hit singles.
When was landfill indie? Well it sort of happened after the millennium but before Arctic Monkeys. It involved the bass player being awkwardly tall, the drummer to look like a Science teacher and the singer to dress like he wanted a spot on Big Bang Theory. It was painfully English even when the bands involved were actually Scottish and “it had always had a dance element to it’s sound” by the time it’s second or third album rolled around.
What wasn’t landfill Indie? None of the bands or their fans who will appear in this weeks song choices would admit to being landfill indie because it is a horrible catch all umbrella term for something which back in the days of XTC or Talking Heads would have just been considered Pop Music.
Not that I’m comparing these bands to XTC and Talking Heads… And Yet.
The Young Knives made a bonkers swing for the stands with The Decision. A quirky, bazerky angular indie jerk funk which featured verses like
‘I’m the Prince of Wales, I am the Prince of Wales and if all else fails I am the Prince of Wales, I’m your Monarch I am your Monarch, I’m your Monarch your supreme Monarch’
Before long wistful proggy backing vocals kick in with
‘The horses in the New Forest are running in their Sunday best”
It’s a deliciously odd record, it’s catchy as all hell and I was all over it at the time. And yet I couldn’t name another Young Knives song if I tried. They might all be this magnificent. Shut up. They might be.
*Not true there will be lots more Theme Weeks