I make no apologies (again) for going into the archives over at the old blog for today’s piece.  It was one I stumbled across when searching for Dick Van Dyke’s adventures that were recounted just the other week.  This is from another of my old Sunday Correspondents gang who goes by the name of Cullen Skink.  He didn’t half select some banging tunes……….

If there’s a city outside Scotland whose impact is recurrently felt on The Vinyl Villain, it must be Manchester with its Magazine, Morrissey, New Order

I lived there as a student in the late 80s and early 90s, a period when Manchester gained its reputation for being the centre of the music world.

I was certainly enthralled by the musical heritage. My all-time favourite bands were Buzzcocks and The Fall. Joy Division/New Order too – though I eschewed The Smiths. And I was intoxicated by the contemporary scene: a huge Happy Mondays fan, I followed the Inspiral Carpets for a while, though wasn’t arsed about the Stone Roses

But you can hear all those bands any time, so here are some others that I loved around that time – bands that deserve to be glorified not forgotten. As behoves a VV Sunday Correspondent, let me turn once more to ye olde vinyl…

The Bodines made glorious, glimmering pop music, the pinnacle of 80s indie before syncopated funky-drummer beats took over. There’s a good case to be made for Therese (1987) as the greatest single ever. Certainly it should be on heavy rotation on all music radio.

mp3 : The Bodines – Therese

Laugh‘s funky swagger jumps out of this fantastic single from 1988. It drags you onto the dancefloor and shouts in your ear. They missed the Madchester bus, until they regrouped in time for the second wave as Intastella.

mp3 : Laugh – Time To Lose It

A forgotten music of the time is that loose agglomeration of ugly noiseniks that pointed sharpened sticks at earnest ears. I thought Dub Sex were Manchester’s best, though I wonder if anybody else did…

mp3 : Dub Sex – Swerve

As the Madchester phenomenon peaked, bands were chewed up and spat out as the media trendsetters moved on – to grunge or whatever the next big thing was. But of these second-wave bands, the New Fast Automatic Daffodils meant the world to me, and Big might be my most loved record of the time. As far as I was concerned it was indie-dance crossover on a par with Loaded or Fools Gold.

mp3 : New Fast Automatic Daffodils – Big

To my eternal chagrin I never saw The World Of Twist, though their concerts have become the stuff of legend. I just never imagined it’d be over so quickly – a couple of miraculous singles, a disappointing album, then nothing (and their frontman Tony Ogden died far too young in 2006).

mp3 : World Of Twist – Sons Of The Stage

Oh and while I’m in this mood, we’d better have some Mondays after all…

mp3 : Happy Mondays – Freaky Dancin’ (live)

Don’t sit down……

Cullen Skink, Sunday 25th April 2010


  1. Therese is a cracking single , always thought it as a kind of sister song for felicity. Just as good but a slower love gone wrong song is their song heard it all

  2. One of the reasons I was so pleased to find the old post is Cullen Skink’s enthusiasm and love for ‘Therese’ which is one of the finest moments in indie-pop history.

  3. oh and on the way into work I made a point of listening to that Dub Sex single. It’s also one that sounds good after all the years….

  4. Funny you should mention Dub Sex. I bought the “Swerve” 12″ in 2011 because I mis-remembered it as the band Dubset! I was thrilled when I saw the 12″ and crowed to my wife that I had been searching for a record by that band for nearly 27 years. True… for the band Dubset. Not true at all for Dub Sex… and I still don’t have the first Dubset record!

  5. I also loved the New FADs, that debut album in particular was immense, and still sounds good all these years later. Never quite got World of Twist. I didn’t dislike them, just couldn’t see what the fuss was all about.

  6. Ditto on the New FADs. I never quite got why they were so routinely ignored. I loved that first record and thought they continually grew and developed, but apparently in a vacuum. Pulling the record out (to listen as I type!) I’m reminded they were on Play It Again Sam, which if memory serves tended to promote bands with a harder sound. Wrong time, wrong label, great band. Maybe we should be thankful for the records we got out of them!

  7. I loved WOT, okay there are some less than perfect song on the album, but lumping them and many others on with the Madchester/baggy tag was just lazy and heaped too much expectation of a quick buck onto bands, after all many stronger more established bands imploded – new order, mondays, roses all took a beating. I think The Storm remains a great tune, turn up the volume an i’m back there.

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