The Fink drummer who can string a few sentences together
Tim Thornton was born over 40 years ago in Darlington, England. At the age of four he started drumming on things and, despite his parents bribing him with a guitar, has rarely stopped since. In 2005, after years farting about with pop groups of varying genre and gruesomeness, he began drumming for onetime DJ and producer Fink, who promptly added bass player Guy Whittaker and became a band. The trio have toured relentlessly and released six studio albums for Ninja Tune, including 2011’s Perfect Darkness, described by the BBC as "a writhing, surprisingly meaty addition to the over-crowded singer-songwriter genre". Along the way Tim did what most drummers have threatened to do but have rarely managed: write a novel about being an obsessive alcoholic superfan. The Alternative Hero was published by Jonathan Cape in 2009, described by The Guardian as "the indiest book of all time"; a second book, Death of an Unsigned Band, followed in 2010. Tim regularly writes for The Huffington Post.
It was the message we'd been waiting for. There'd been talk of Flood - one of the few contemporary producers for whom the word "legendary" isn't an exaggeration - taking on the new Fink album for some months, but it was a cold February afternoon when my phone finally beeped with the confirmation.
I don't know about you, but I've never been particularly horrid on the Internet, although I've had my moments. I think I've successfully steered clear of outright abusiveness, but many's the time I've looked back at a comment I've bashed out and wondered whether the recipient might have found me excessively sanctimonious, cutting, or just a little bit ranty.
The Five Wives And Lives Of Melvyn Pfferberg the 17-minute comic epic to which I have added my Britpop-meets-Klezmer noises, has been filmed, post-produced and, finally, unleashed upon an unsuspecting global gaggle of film festival curators...at times like this, I like to muse upon precisely which bits of our creation a hopefully-packed theater of LA hipsters will enjoy the most.
All this casts fascinating light on the few major pop acts who've never been overwhelmed by the desire to jump back onto the rock'n'roll roundabout. Why are they resisting the enormous big fat cheques (surely) being waved at them almost perpetually by the world's promoters? And who is the least likely to ever budge from their zero-tolerance standpoint?
Hearing a few decent tunes never fails to calm me down, keep me sane, reassure me that - in the words of The Killers - everything will be all right. So I made a playlist. Each tune on the playlist is from a different EU country.
In Simon Reynolds' splendidly comprehensive discussion of pop culture's obsession with its own backstory Retromania, he states that "every generation as it ages will want to see its musical youth mythologised and memorialised." Looking at the eras currently being eagerly painted with the nostalgia brush, one decides Reynolds can only be right.
2016 is beginning to look amazingly like 1980. Are we, then, about to embark on a new 80s? Survivors have wildly contrasting views of that decade, but if there's a generally accepted rule, it's this: if you had money, you had a whale of a time. If you didn't, you didn't.
Everyone has had their own gateway into alternative/indie music. The Cure, The Smiths, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, The Stone Roses - they've all provided a door through which to enter the alternative grotto of delights. For me, that door was The Wonder Stuff.
David Baddiel is a presumably urbane, intelligent, cultured and worldly fifty-something parent who works in the international entertainment industry. If HE hasn't got the Bruckingest clue about the Brexit question, then really - what hope do the rest of us have?
Oh, I've heard all the arguments. That I needed to discover them when I was a student; that it's all about the setting - I need to sit down, preferably on a bean bag in a dimly lit room with a lava lamp, and listen to a whole album in one go; that the Gilmour stuff is rubbish, I need to get into the Waters stuff; that the Waters and Gilmour stuff is rubbish, I need to get into the Barrett stuff...
Over the next five, ten, fifteen plus years, lots of rock stars are going to die. This is not a statement of murderous intent, it's just a scientific and mathematic certainty. Some of them will be very famous and universally loved. Some more "niche". But die they will.
2015 was a particularly efficient 12 months for me in the realm of listening to new music, probably because I was on tour for most of it and therefore had much bunk time... Consequently I feel qualified to narrow down my experiences to 10 long playing records that rocked my world this calendar year. So, in true hit-parade style reverse order, here we go...
10/12/2015 17:58 GMT
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