Pleasant Surprise

I can’t stand the Foo Fighters. No, that’s not exactly right. It’s more correct to say that I like everything about the Foo Fighters except their music, which I find to be boringly ordinary emo. Fake anthems.

By all accounts, though, Dave Grohl is a great guy that’s nice to everyone. My friend’s daughter saw him at the mall and told him she was a drummer and he grabbed her phone and took a selfie with her. He organized and performed at a tribute to Bob Mould of Husker Du. He plays benefits all the time. Yeah, he’s a good guy and a monster drummer, I just never liked his kind of music.

So anyway, I’m at the gym where there’s a kid called Chris I’m friendly with who really knows his music. No matter what comes on the radio he knows it. We quiz each other about songs in a good natured way. When I told him I was going on tour in England last year (where I met JC!) and would be traveling around in a van, he laughed and said, “Have fun. I know what that’s like.”


Chris looks like he’s about 20 years old but, come to think of it, he’s pretty heavily tattooed.

“Dude, you tour around in vans?”

“Well, not that much anymore. Sometimes if I’m doing solo stuff.”

Not anymore? Solo stuff? Who was this guy? Turns out he’s Chris Sheflett, Foo Fighters’ lead guitarist. I’m still not crazy about the band’s music but I like when internationally successful musicians, selling out stadiums of 80,000 people, turn about to be regular folks that are fun to talk to.

Congregation – from the band’s 2014 LP Sonic Highways




With thanks to S-WC for being so patient………he sent this up to me weeks ago but has had to stand on the sidelines as I did the Friends Electric series:-

The Return of the Box (5)

Rock Special!!

Foo Fighters – For All The Cows

Lizard Music – Fashionably Lame – ‘Jacko’s Book’

Skyscraper – Never Again

I’m really not going to bang about the Foo Fighters, I think you all know who they are and know what records they have done and who is in them. What I will say is that at Reading 1995 I was at the first Foo Fighters Gig in the UK when about 50000 people tried to cram inside a tent that held 15000 to see Dave Grohl march around a stage singing songs about winnebagos. It was an incredible gig, one of the best I have ever seen, weird then that I never really got into the Foo Fighters after that, I own three of their singles (it was four, but I saw that the 7” of ‘This Is A Call’ was selling for daft money on Ebay so I flogged it), and this is one of them.

mp3 : Foo Fighters – For All The Cows

For All The Cows was the third release off their eponymous debut album and includes as a B Side a live version at that very show at Reading, which is probably why I bought it. It reached the lower regions of the Top 30 back in 1995. As a Foo Fighters song its not one of their best, but you know it’s the Foo Fighters, so its better than most of the rock that was on offer in 1995.

So let’s move on to Lizard Music, a band who will probably appear on my own blog When You Can’t Remember Anything soon as they have an animal in their name (this week is animal musician is Panda Bear – don’t miss that – shameless plug, sorry). I distinctly remember receiving this in the post as it came with two promotional presents, firstly a bottle of tequila, which was labelled ‘Lizard’s Breath’ and I drunk it with two Indian chaps I know outside a brothel in Dalston – I stress the outside bit on that sentence. Secondly it came with a lollipop and frozen or gelled inside that lollipop was a real dead lizard. Which I thought was gross at the time. In fact I still do. I remember very little about the album itself, so I’ve played it again and found my old notes – I said this back in 1995, listen to this album three times to fully get it – six out of ten. Stand out track ‘jacko’s Book’because of the funkier sound. Listening to it now it is exactly as I remember it, thireteen tracks of punky power pop with a rocky edge, not that bad, not that good either. One for the charity bin at the end of the road.

mp3 : Lizard Music – Jacko’s Book

Finally Skyscraper, back in 1993 a mate of mine Martin started a club night in Gillingham, Kent. He was 18 and wanted to break into the industry. The first night he booked a band, that band were Elastica and using a contact he had through his postman (seriously) he got the NME down to review it. The headline next week read ‘This Charmless Twang’ and history was made. The next club night was the most anticipated thing to happen in Gillingham since Barry from the Butchers Arms said he was having a Bingo Night. Martin booked Skyscraper. He booked them solely on the basis that they contained an ex member of Swervedriver and an ex member of long forgotten Camdenites Milk. They were also favourites of the NME and they promised to come down again to review the band. Musically they were basically a grunge band with what the press would have called an inventive edge. The night came and it was packed, I mean rammed beyond capacity. Martin stood there grinning. The owners of the bar, despite taking record profits that night banned the club night, and that was that. Gillingham reverted back to being a town full of knuckle dragging racists instead of a cool hip happening kind of place. Martin, well he works in the industry, of course he does.

mp3 : Skyscraper – Never Again