Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Five bands you've probably never heard of

The Tragically Hip
Their album Fully Completely is one of my all-time favourites. Killer riffs, dark snarley vocals, heavy drum lines. And they're Canadian. But I would never have got into The Hip if they hadn't collaborated on a campaign record with several other bands and I hadn't been into...

Midnight Oil
...who joined the Hip on the single 'Land'. I can't remember exactly when I started listening to Diesel and Dust repeatedly, but it was round about the time homework started getting serious and I spent a lot more time in my room with a beat-up cassette deck. (I didn't do any work, I just listened to tapes, but as long as I stayed in my room no one asked me if I'd done all my homework. And people wonder how I flunked Economics A-Level.)

I wore my tape of Diesel and Dust out in the end. Even now I know the album word for word. Their other stuff is good too. They're Australian, which is close enough to New Zealand to justify my next choice of bands you've never heard of...

The Mutton Birds
Actually only on this list because I bought a single ridiculously cheap and heard their song Dominion Road. But, man, what a song. It's amazing how hearing one song by a band can get you into them. I guess that's why bands put tracks on free tapes on the front of magazines like Vox...

Thousand Yard Stare
...what do you mean you don't remeber Vox? OK, it folded a while ago, but I still have the Vox Box free cassette which included a track from TYS. That's the original TYS, not the American band now using the name. This lot were from some incredibly dull town like Staines or somewhere, and they all had un-rock-and-roll names like Giles.

After a string of singles, they only did two full studio albums, but they're cracking. Over the years I've managed to collect just about everything they ever did in one form or another...

Dr Hook
...which would be impossible to do with Dr Hook as they've released about 25 albums over the years.

True story: we went to a signing by former Dr Hook singer Dennis Locorriere a couple of years ago and took along an old Dr Hook vinyl greatest hits album for him to sign. We got chatting to him and he put us on the guest list for his show that evening, where he was his own support act, performing an entire solo acoustic show before taking a short break, then reappearing with a full electric backing band and rocking the place out. Of all the gigs I've been to, that was probably the one which impressed me the most.

1 comment:

  1. Walk right in, sit right down, Sylvia's mother and all that. I thought everyone had heard of Dr Hook but was too ashamed to admit it? I've heard of TYS too, but I couldn't tell you why. Ho hum.