There's an interesting thread over on Dissensus discussing the death of C86 Indie: was it killed by Acid, etc?
Truth be known, C86 probably never died; like the dinosaur, it just evolved into the musical equivalent of a bird. But if it is
dead, then its spectre certainly haunts the music of Jukes
, a Bristol-based band whose line-up features former Chesterfields
stalwart Mark Barber. Jukes are about as far away from C86 as it's possible to get without falling off The Flat Earth; Dazed and Confused
magazine described them as (I think, without checking) "Soft Psych". Hearing them play live I didn't quite get that, but they reminded me of French Pop, CineCitta soundtracks and the Late Sixties Canuck invasion of the West Coast. Sort of like Stereolab, but with the Neu!, moog and Free Jazz influences stripped out, and the vocals had a Sarah Cracknell-ish feel to them too; unfair comparisons, I know, but there's still a sense here of an Indie-Pop lineage that stretches back to the post-C86 stuff. West Country Indie always had an affinity for French Pop, I felt...certainly, in the early days, much of it was probably accidental, but later on it became much more 'knowing' and for a while it was almost compulsory to namecheck or reference Serge G, Francoise Hardy, etc round these parts. And those influences were almost certainly transported down to Brighton (and absorbed by it like an ink-blotter) during the last Great Dorset/Somerset Cultural Mass Migration of the early/mid-nineties. Jeez: and how many ex-pat Somerset bods are down in Fat Boy Slimland now making records, forming bands, running labels and websites? Don't ever underestimate the importance of the West Country Eighties Indie Scene, even though it's been effectively airbrushed out of the history books in preference for a Revisionist, more London/Brighton-centric Fake Memory Syndrome.
Coming back on the bus to Yeovil: a thin, pale, studious-looking Alt.Indie type got on and puked up over the driver's booth. And this wasn't any ordinary barf; it was a hyper-projectile liquid
spew which missed DJ Alan Flint
by inches and went on for hours and hours,
flowing down the steps like a ochre-coloured Niagara Falls: a veritable jet of it, powerful enough to strip layers of paint off a reclaimed Victorian fireplace. The pukee then collapsed in a heap on the front seat, playing possum so the driver couldn't chuck him off. We then drove back to Yeovil with the doors full open to help hide the stench, while a gang of drunken lads openly mocked the offender: "Oi, Minger! You got carrots on yer boots, mate!", "Ey, stinky boy, you won't be gettin' a snog tonight...!", "Only from 'is sister! Hurhur hruck!" etc, etc...
and this went on relentlessly, all the way back to Yeovil, until he suddenly lurched to his feet at the stop outside Matalans and staggered down the steps, wading through his own puke
, before stopping to face the lads and giving them the finger: "Yurrrr all a buncha fuckin' wankers," he slurred, staring crazily at his own middle finger, as if he couldn't quite believe it was his own. Then his manners got the better of him and he added: "Have a pleasant evening, everyone. And good night."
And this (quite rightly) earned him a round of applause from the entire bus.
Except for the puke-splattered driver, who muttered "Twat
" under his breath as put the bus in gear and crossed the county border back into Somerset.