The first thing to understand is that BJM is, has been, and always will be Anton Newcombe. In fact, Valencia even borrows a quote from one of Anton’s blog posts that clearly states “I am the band”. [Emphasis in original] Toss in a few friends and assorted hangers-on and you get the Massacre, but this is Anton’s band, and he is the only constant among a revolving door of bandmates over the past 25 years that is so extensive, they get their own Wikipedia entry!
You know the old saying: sex, drugs and….Britpop? Probably not what you were expecting, but that is exactly what you will be reading about in “Lunch With The Wild Frontiers” by Phill Savidge. The book gives an insiders view of the phenomenon that was Britpop in the 1990s and early 2000s and chronicles how a London PR firm unexpectedly brought forth a musical genre and era that was as noteworthy for its music as it was for its excesses.
On April 5, 2019, it will be 25 years since one of the most iconic artists of the 90s rock scene died. I was too young to understand what had happened when the news broke, but my youth (just like that of most people of my generation) was dominated by Nirvana. We all knew the words to songs like “Come as you are”, “Polly”, “Heart Shaped Box”, and obviously “Smells like teen spirit”, and they’d play at every party and little gathering.
If you follow indie music, it’s hard to miss the term ‘Post Punk’ getting casually thrown around by record labels and reviewers. It’s evoked whenever a new release has a passing similarity to Post Punk era cornerstone acts such as Joy Division, The Fall, or PiL. To be sure, a growing crop of new artists takes direct inspiration from Post Punk era music, but for the most part, the term itself, remains enigmatic, defying simple explanation.
Rock bios can be a dodgy prospect. Many are horribly written. Others are based more on gossip than fact. Sometimes the biographer is little more than an embittered soul with an axe to grind. There are, of course, many notable exceptions. Paul Trynka’s bios on David Bowie and Iggy Pop are exemplary. Sylvie Simmons’ I’m Your Man: The Life Of Leonard Cohen is not only definitive but one of the finest and most well-written bios I’ve ever read, period.
- Kevin Orton