Spinning (spun out)
Bands reform every week these days. They reform before they’ve even split up. It’s become the norm…why? I’ve got my theories and so have you – everyone is at it so why not us?, I need a few quid because kids are really expensive, all bands today are rubbish…blah blah blah. We’ve all bought into it – we punks. We rock n rollers…we watch re-runs of TOTP. We watch Friday night is music night on BBC4, we buy MOJO and we spend most of our spare money on re-issues of albums we’ve owned for years and years and years.
How about seeing a band you were once in. A band you joined as an expectant, excited 21 year old. A band you joined in 1986, left in 1988 and who split up in 1990.
That’s what happened to me…and it was weird.
I joined LOOP in late 1986. I couldn’t play guitar but they needed a guitar player. I knew about the 13th Floor Elevators, I knew about Big Star but most importantly I knew that it was all about an attitude and a beating heart. I was in. In less than a week from meeting the band I was playing a gig and I loved it. For the next 18 months we played shows with Primal Scream. Butthole Surfers, Pussy Galore, Spacemen 3 and more….I was living the dream. We had no manager, no lawyer, no money and no clean clothes. What we did have was a innocence and a zest for all things naughty. We made an album called Heavens End and recorded a couple of John Peel sessions for radio 1. These were some of the best years of my life.
By the start of 1988 the band decided to play more than 3 chords…I couldn’t be bothered to learn so I left /was kicked out. I didn’t mind one jot to be honest – I’d just discovered Acid House. Out went the leather trousers, black polo necks and cheap speed. In came British Knight trainers, trips around the M25 in the KLF’s police car and expensive ecstasy.
I loved my time in Loop and I am very proud of the album we made (I’m sure you can get it on Spotify). They went on to make 2 more albums and become bigger than anyone involved ever imagined. That I guess was it.
Fast forward to 2013 and I’m an overweight father of 3 who’s enjoyed a modicum of success in the world of music. Doing a&r at rough trade records I worked with The Strokes and signed The Libertines…many stories to tell the kids and their kids. One day out of the blue I am bombarded with email after email – Loop are reforming. Am I involved? When is it happening? Can I get on the guest list…?
For the last couple of months I have spoken more about Loop than I probably did when I was in them. Last night I went to see them. I went to see them for the first time. I was a Loop virgin. What would it be like? Would it be loud? Would I get it? What was I doing there?
It was weird to be fair but not as weird as I had imagined. I felt very detached from the whole event. I got talking to fans who were not even born when I was in the band, I got talking to people I’d not seen for 25 years. I had a great time. Were they good? I guess so. I’m not one to judge. It was loud and there was loads of dry ice and lots of flashing lights. I recognised the songs I had originally played on but got a little lost when they played tunes from the other 2 albums.
I left just before they finished because I didn’t want to take ages getting out and there’s nothing more annoying as a 48 year old man running for the last train and not getting there because he’s fat.
I’m glad I went. It wasn’t some dramatic closure or anything like that but I’m glad I saw the band I was in for 2 years. Two years that meant so much to me, two years that I will never forget…sometimes it’s good to remember…to remember a time long ago…its good to know that I’ve not changed that much. Maybe I have. I don’t really care to be honest. What I do know is that I still believe. I still believe in that much maligned thing that is Rock n Roll…
Too Real To Feel indeed…