Dick’s Picks: This week’s pick is a super-obscure (flexible) slice of NME C86 vintage indie-pop from the wonderfully named ‘Nine Steps To Ugly’
Nine Steps To Ugly – ‘Eddie Lopez Lives In Slough / Bobby Charlton’s Haircut’
Okay, apart from two of the greatest song titles like ever, ever, ever (it’s true) why has Dick plumped for this super-obscure indie missive from way back in the midst’s of time….well, 1987 actually?
Well firstly here’s a list of things the record isn’t: rockin’, a freakout, blistering, raucous…..no…none of that….However, what it is…is a none-more-accurate reflection of that post-Smiths jangle-tastic, floppy fringed, student-centric, NME C86 type indie thang that was big news in ’86/’87 (think Tallulah Gosh, The Pastels, 1000 Violins) – that sounds like a diss and it isn’t, the two tracks on this one-sided flexi-disc absolutely nail the C86 vibe, jangly, ever-so-slightly-shambolic guitar playing (definitely no cock-rock histrionics on display – check that one-string solo), gorgeous ‘cooing’ vocals from ‘Tracey’ and all over under three minutes – wham, bam and less, thank-you-mam, more would you like me to put the hoover round before I leave?
So Who Were They?
After a few line-up changes the band that recorded the above comprised of Tracey (Vocals), Nick (Bass), Cameron (Guitar) and Bevis (Drums), in true C86 style finding a complete list of surnames for the band has proved tricky!
However, a quick ‘goggle’ on the t’internet reveals the band were pretty busy during 1987-1989 supporting House Of Love, Spacemen 3, The Wallflowers amongst others.
Once again, a little bit clumsy and shambolic (love the Young Marble Giants style vocals) but what’s particularly great about this type of record is the lack of careerism – I realise I may be guilty of creating my own narrative here but did the band ever want a career and do the whole single, album, tour fame type thing or were they content with a flexi-disc given away with a fanzine, a few one-off appearances on indie comps like the tape-only ‘Corrupt Postman’ and ‘Final Teaze’ LP before they went off to University, jobs and the real world….perhaps we’ll never know?
For the football uninitiated, this is Bobby Charlton’s haircut….
….and Eddie Lopez did live in Slough, he was a Labour MP that had helped establish a recording studio in the town – the song title was their way of saying ‘thank you’!
***some of the info was taken from the Cloudberry Cake Proselytism V.3 blog site – thank you, details on the band are thin on the ground to say the least!!!***