Intro from JC

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m really enjoying the weekly contributions from SWC with much of the material being new to my ears.  I’m also loving that his writing is hugely entertaining and often laugh-out-loud funny….and this week’s is an absolute cracker.  I think it is worth mentioning that in his covering e-mail he said he wrote it in a state of delirium after a long day and a visit to the dentist…..


The music press has in its time spouted a lot of bollocks, I think it’s fair to say. For instance they love to hype a band and then when they turn out to be the musical equivalent of a double hernia, deny any knowledge of ever mentioning them (remember Terris ?- £1.99 I’ll never get back, you utter bastards at the NME ). But occasionally they got it right (see The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys and most very recently Childhood) so we forgive them and move on to the Next Big Thing.

What really, really annoys me is when the press decides that its time for a New Scene. Here is a list of some (but not all) I can remember…

Britpop (shouty blokes with guitars, mostly bland white boys who look, sound, and act, like Oasis)

Shoegaze (basically Ride for the girls and Slowdive for the boys, but posh middle class, home counties residing, university educated scensters, now making a comeback with the likes of Forest and Younghusband – who (whisper it) are actually very good)

New Wave of New Wave (a scene created so that These Animal Men could exist. White pretend working class lads taking far too much speed for their own sanity)

Lion Pop (created so that Cud could become more famous than they deserved to be – dissolved when Cud released ‘Rich and Strange’ and no one bought it)

And…getting to the point….RoMo (Bands from the mid 90s who thought it was still 1985. Championed by the Melody Maker, ignored by, well everyone else, and the single reason why Melody Maker folded). Hands Up if you can remember a RoMo band?

Orlando were the darlings of the scene, set apart from the rest by actually being quite good. The rest of them had passed me by, until this popped out of the box today.

In Aura had the idea of merging Prog Rock with New Romantic stylings and their first single was this – a sprawling eight minute, erm, epic that swoops and ooohs and aahs and rocks and then wibbles and then settles down for a little sleep before waking up again at the end. Its, frankly, ridiculous, but utterly wonderful at the same time, an eight minute debut single is a very brave thing to do. It reminds me a lot of Duran Duran, which if it was 1984 would be a terrific thing. Sadly its nearly 2014 and I’m knocking on the door of 40 and I don’t want to be reminded of Duran Duran.

A website which mentions them called them “A fine weave of dark wave electro pop and epic rock (read prog there) a mix of Nine Inch Nails (nope, not really) Suede (in terms of sheer pomposity, yes), Primal Scream (in your fecking dreams sunshine) Pink Floyd (ditto) and Porcupine Tree (who?). It also mentioned that EMI signed them and gave them ONE MILLION POUNDS to record their debut album. I say that again ONE MILLION POUNDS. So there we have it. In Aura the musical equivalent of Andy Carroll* – good for eight minutes or so, vastly expensive, and then forgotten.

mp3 : In Aura – This Month’s Epic

*For those wondering who the hell Andy Carroll is… here