Being Beta

Exercises in the higher banter with One of 26. Elsewhere called 'poet of adland'. By a whipple-squeezer. Find out why being beta is the new alpha: betarish at googlemail dot com

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

On My Bloody Valentine, Hammersmith Apollo, 12 March 2013




It was in ‘Honey Power’ that I realised that there was something unspecial going on. Not that there were intimations of mortality about the idea of them as a band – we’ve always known that, been grateful for any shard, any fragment that might emerge, however long it takes.

No, what struck me was that: I came expecting rapture, but my God, they’re like an ordinary band now, doing ordinary things like playing new songs off their new album. Who would have predicted that? It might have taken them 21 years to learn, but still…

Of course, they are still unique. Only Kevin can play an acoustic guitar and make it sound like Saturn V taking off. But you know, what with Belinda looking like a prom queen in a parallel universe, Colm being a thrillingly good drummer and Debbie being a rock, they’re almost conventional rock stars now. Kevin even played something that looked like a solo.

Whisper it, but you might not even need the earplugs that we’re available everywhere. ‘You Made Me Realise’s ‘Holocaust’ section was a punter-friendly nine minutes. Nine minutes! That’s nowhere near enough time for your kidneys to be turned inside out.

They’ve stopped being a myth, and while I do have a theory that Kevin is actually Pynchon’s Tyler Slothrop in disguise, a long gestating experiment in how sensation and feeling can be generated and paradoxical reverse stimuli, suffice to say that until I can prove that, it’s enough to say something heretical: they’re almost normal now. And that fact is thrilling.

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