Monday, February 11, 2002

Tidal wave of hype

Saturday was cool. A leisurely lunch and window shopping in the Northern Quarter (Oldham Street to most).

For the evening's engagement, the Hives' gig at the Academy. But we didn't have to queue with the plebs, oh no! Following a gorgeous (if slow to arrive) dinner at Gaia, we whizzed through the guest list with five minutes to spare before their set. Forty-five minutes later, it was over and we retired to the Malmaison bar. Now that's what I call whistle-stop! But more on the Hives.

I wanted to love them, I really did. And it's not to say that they were bad, because in this day and age of dreary Starsailor and Toploader, they did put on a good show. But if you have ever seen the Make Up, there is no comparison in terms of entrancing the audience, original songs and actually having something to say. In fact everyone I spoke to after the show said exactly the same thing...

Taken from their homepage on Southern Records:

Due to the insidious CIA promulgation of Make-Up clone groups on an international scale which pervert and distort the message and trajectory of the 'Gospel Yeh-Yeh' form; the Make Up Organization, in conjunction with the Central Commitee of the Rock N Roll Comintern, has determined that a new phase of its operation must commence; a "total war" against the collective enemy. In the meantime, a tactical retreat into the underground. To our brothers and sisters and all who've supported us, keep up the struggle against bourgeouis mediocrity; and in the words of the murderer imperialist pig Douglas Macarthur: "We shall return".

Now that's them, through and through. And here is an interesting interview with Ian Svenonious from 1998.

So why are the Hives famous when there is better to be had? This kind of thing happens time and time again. It's not looks - there is no one more stylin' than the Make Up. It's not for a lack of touring, or decent press. God, I first heard of Ian at least 14 years ago when he won the "Sassiest Boy in America" contest (only North Americans will understand that one, sorry). And yet world domination eludes them. Maybe they don't want it?

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