Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Pre-Tour Drudion 2006CE

February 2006ce

Hey Drudion,

Blair’s just scuppered his own Religious Hatred bill by not turning up to vote. Fuck the Pope, that feels me good! Meanwhile, the build-up to this month’s tour has really reinforced just how much better rock’n’roll appears to be getting as the 21st century progresses. Sorting out supports for the shows has been driving me close to insanity at the outrages being successfully perpetrated by rock morons all across this planet. Never has it been a leaner time for those disparagers of the present who claim all the best stuff has already been done; motherfuckers, we ain’t seen NUTHIN’ yet! Check out Orthodox’s debut on Alone Records and tell me metal ain’t taking seven league bootstrides deeper into the heath every month. Check out S.S.T.M.’s WHAT WE CAN KEEP on Spirit of Orr and try telling me that what Comets on Fire took from Monoshock’s Chrome-informed Von LMO obsession and handed to Residual Echoes ain’t the most useful shit since the bronze arrowhead. Check out the February Album of the Month for my protracted tale of where metal is headed, but – most of all – let me say it’s all so inspiring that the forthcoming Brain Donor LP WASTED FUZZ EXCESSIVE has been cancelled because it’s just not… E N O U G H!!! Maybe it was after repeated listens to “Show Me A Woman” by those genial fuckwits Tight Bro’s From Way Back When that I realized the Donor shines brightest when screaming out from under a dungheap of Van Halen’s “You Really Got Me” – hell, brothers & sisters, and Tight Bro’s feisty and unceasingly raging take on the Five, DC and Slade didn’t break the surface of the pond when they was first released. Maybe it was feeling the fabric of my exo-moron flake away like the dusty residue on the inside of a Dyson vacuum cleaner whilst experiencing the post-DOPESMOKER (post-Om, post-Khanate) brilliance of Orthodox’s outstanding debut album, that I knew we’re truly headed into some severe experimental human territory. Unlike all the PC Plod that currently serves the rock establishment’s demands (and none of the demands of its audience), there is a growing uprising of cackling anarchic defiance raging in the heart of all truly underground rock’n’rollers. Take a listen to the vile strangled whinny emanating from Avatars of the Bad Man, whom I’ve booked for a 12-minute support set at the London show. Their five-track EP is no more than eight and a half minutes long, yet shoots an amphetamine pessary up the arsehole of orthodox everything – DAF plays ‘Love Missile F1-11’ on Chrome’s recording set-up, or watt! Get there early and take a listen to the surging outrageous psychedelic guitar overload and motorik Neu/Can of New York’s White Hills on their debut THEY’VE GOT BLOOD LIKE WE’VE GOT BLOOD, and wonder Why Why Why is the fertile US underground not taking their lead and commenting on the Iraqi outrages being committed on their behalf. And more… it’s not nearly enough to sit back and feel strangely satisfied at our anti-Bush stance. Fuck that, brothers & Sisters, I’m anti-EVERYTHING! I’m at war with EVERYTHING! Fuck religions that hate women, fuck religions that hate gays, and fuck the state and fuck any caste system that says YOU CAN’T. Well, I CAN Motherfuckers! I ain’t even parking they way they want me to. As Venom once sung, I’m even at war with Satan! I’m through with it all. Caste systems? I’m Overcaste, I’m the coming storm, a comingstormbringing out new rules. Damn Foxhunters, damn royalty, damn Nazis, damn Invisible Sky Gods, Damn corporations… Rock’n’roll will prevail.

Hey, and get this – advised to watch Richard Dawkins’ TV show about the evils of religion, I was shocked that this Oxford professor, however excellent his grasp of reason, understood less than fuck-all about belief. Confronted by a fascinatingly hate-able fundamentalist cleric in the markets of Jerusalem’s Muslim quarter, the genial professor was left mouth agape when Allah’s errand boy accused Western women of dressing like whores and then demanded of Western males:

“You must fix your women.”

You could see Dawkins shooting this clerical knobshiner the inner-Vs, but really the professor had the ideal opportunity then and there to explain to him that here in the West, we’ve had enough Mathew Hopkins-style witch burnings, and Cromwellian Puritan style leaders to last us each a hundred lifetimes, and rather than ‘fix our women’ as he so pragmatically puts it, we Men Of The West are happy for ladies to do what they wish, which is most likely (in light of Global Warming) to be wearing even less in the future than at present, so wake up you bastard son of St Paul; Dawkins could even have commented slightly more directly: “Motherfucker, we spent the past 2000 years helping our women get out of your daft restricted get-up, now YOU get with the programme, you arrogant Fender-less eunuch!”

But Dawkins said nothing because he ain’t roll’n’roll, and because he don’t know fuck-all about belief. Earlier on in the show, our ‘hero’ had been all but arrested in the Bible-bashing American Midwest for being rude enough to Christian evangelical preacher Ted Haggard to accuse him of holding sermons reminiscent in atmosphere of a Nuremberg Rally. That Dawkins said this with a smile on his face seemed to make this okay in his Book of Reason – me, I’d have twatted the smarmy sneer of his goyisch fizogg. But instead, Haggard – a dead ringer for the neo-Nazi Neidermeyer character in ANIMAL HOUSE – just told him not to be so arrogant and shot him a smile that could have lasered off Pete Burns’ piles at 10,000 paces. In his own way, surely, Professor Dawkins’ steadfast adherence to ‘the facts’ is no less a product of belief in his own cloistered secular worldview than the stupid tunnel vision which he accuses believers of. And while, of the three, I hated the preacher most of all purely because of my unabating hatred of all short-haired white male authority figures, the mad professor was (to my mind) only slightly less dodgy than the Muslim cleric, and only then because Dawkins’ World of Reason could be achieved without the death of non-believers and a million agonizing clitoridectomies…

But I digress. Come to the shows, brothers & sisters, and behold some sonic ultrakack, not to mention some one-off merch – rare KAK indeed (JoAnne will be updating the Head Guide with more info). Besides London, there’re all kinds of fine mists of sonic CFCs just waiting to be inhaled. The first night at Cambridge Junction (Monday 13th February) will feature the strangely orthodox electronic No Wave of Khe Sanh Approach, a Metal Urbain-style robo-quartet of shamateurs with great dodgy pseudonyms (Matt Abysmal, Kelly Smegma, etc.), ultragoth John McGeoch-ramalama fuzzsaw guitars and facile chanted Half-Man Half-Biscuit vocals. Nice. At The Zodiac in Oxford (Tuesday 14th February), Nought will weave their free-formed everythings into your system, whilst Bournemouth Opera House (Wednesday 15th February) will showcase the unbelievably heavy doom of Ramesses, that power trio which formed out of the ashes of legends Electric Wizard. Check out February’s Album of the Month for the real lowdown on these mung worshippers. But be sure to bring your ear-plugs if 1000-watt SVT bass stacks ain’t your cuppa meat. Nottingham Rescue Rooms (Saturday 18th February) will see the wailing debut of death chanteuse Lucy Brownhills, the Joan Jett of the post-Jeff Buckley-acolyte generation (though she is more informed by Jeff's dad). Support at Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun Hall (Sunday 19th February) will be provided by Oxford’s excellent Suitable Case For Treatment, a fabulous hybrid of metal, Pere Ubu and early Captain Beefheart, whom I saw and got to jam with at the Zodiac, when they supported the MC5-DKT. Cookie monster vocals combined with dysfunctional discoid rhythms, brothers and sisters – you NEED! Those of you at the Bristol Academy (Monday 20th February) will get to see local stars Gonga play their first show in the area for 18 months. I was alerted to their monolithic take on very early Sabbath (Cobain sings ‘Sleeping Village’ anyone?) by me old mucker Mitch Razor, who bought me a copy of Gonga’s self-titled debut (Invada 002) a couple of years back. The Newcastle University show (Wednesday 22nd February) will showcase Marzuraan, the Tyneside proto-doom band whose first album SOLID STATE (Traqueto Records 007) featured a fabulous cross-shaped package designed by Sunn0)))’s Stephen O’Malley. Although that debut was excellent, look out for their brand new (and even more highly-achieving) new LP SOLID WOOD on the Finnish label Kult of Nihilow (Kult 12), which descends into then occupies a sort of rural Khanate territory, more outdoor than Dubin & Co.; and features a truly delightful centre-opening LP sleeve like that of Ash Ra Tempel’s 1971 debut. Former Spiritualized sax player Ray Moonshake Dickaty is bringing his electrifying free-form Solar Fire Trio to Leeds Cockpit (Thursday 23rd February) to unleash some superb sax-drums-sax twin Adolph attack (Ray and I are already discussing an imminent Fuck Off & Di release), and from what I’ve heard thus far, you gots to be there… nay, you gots to be OUT there. Manchester (Friday 24th February) should be a delight with Head Heritage favourites Earthling Society, an otherworldy power trio in the Krautrock tradition (see August 2005 Album of the Month for my review of their brilliant Nasoni Records debut ALBION). Last but certainly not least will be Glasgow University’s (Saturday 25th February) first visit from political poetry sludge trudge duo Industrial Accident. As singing drummers go, this guy wipes the floor with the low standard served up on Chad valley kits at most Early Learning Centres, whilst the poetry is Blakean and mournfully beautiful.

And – finally – remember, in this world of death, mayhem and shit, we all got millennia to be dead and in the soil, and barely three-score-years-and-ten with which to whoop it up down here on the Mothership. You all know I’ve always performed shows with George Clinton’s classic quote in mind: “A great concert begins in the dressing room and works its way SLOWLY to the stage”. Well, I do believe that life in the West is similar – we work our way SLOWLY towards death, because the journey is everything. Hail, motherfuckers, we might as well start living even if it’s just to buck those dreary defeatists waiting for Armageddon (Jehovah’s Witnesses 1975, Christians 2000, New Agers 2012, Environmentalists 2050, etc). Rock’n’roll used to say Live Fast, Die Young, Leave A Beautiful Corpse. Islam suicide bombers say take Everyone With You, Leave No Corpse At All. But, as a Pragmatic Motherfucker, I gravitate towards a place somewhere in between, like the Iranian comedian Omid Djalili, who commented:

“If you die for a noble cause it is the highest spiritual attainment. I can’t help thinking if I bring about world peace but someone blows my brains out on stage that’d be really punk rock.”

See you in Hell, Motherfuckers,

JULIAN (Lord Yatesbury)