Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Julian Cope’s Album of the Month

The Heads - Tilburg

The Heads
Tilburg


AOTM #106, March 2009ce
Released 2009 on Rooster Records
  1. Bedlam (13.55)
  2. Cardinal Fuzz (4.16)
  3. Could Be, Doesn’t Matter (4.44)
  4. Creating in the Internal Now is Always Heavy (14.29)
  5. Long Gone (5.36)
  6. Spliff Riff (15.33)
  7. Widow Maker (3.33)


Rare TILBURG original c.2009CE (Moscow State Library Collection)

Metsamor (between the Nuclear Power Station & the Neolithic City), Armenia; July 2053 Handbill magazine review from the Rock Armenia Fest, by Septimus Tent

“The MC5 lived, endured and died not in vain, but that we of the Future might Live, Endure & Die N E V E R!!!!!!!!!” his voice caterwauling across the dry-pottery-ridden sand dunes of this hilltop citadel, the triumphant lead singer of the Boskawen-Ûn Heads smiled as the final (capitalized) word emerged from his gleeful garrulous gob, thereafter he crouched down on all fours and perched out across the audience, a Cheshire Cat without a Cream record (sweet relief) in his entire collection. Close to the Azerbaijan border (ceded 2002CE), his Armenian hosts here brought together the Highest Orders of Mid-21st Century Rock’n’roll; from Japan the Blue Cheer-copyists Diet Arsehole, representing Finland once again the Nirvana/Melvins tribute power trio Splartii Bäät Väärt (Fucked Flying Backwards), never forgetting the black-haired and be-lippied existentialist quartet Fucking Hell, a mighty Breton homage to Japan’s Red Army Hijackers Les Rallizes Denudés. But the ensemble that’s commanded the greatest respect of all among the gathered performers, audience and organisers at this mighty Armenian bash was the Cornish quartet The Boskawen-Ûn Heads, a quartet of Land’s End surf bikers who have, these past 24 years, inhabited a house visible from all points of the compass, its walls highly Rave painted with Charlie Manson quotes (oops!) and anti-Feeder graffiti (nice). I was curious to know what was in the record collection of Chutney Morgan, this legendary lead singer of the Boskawen-Ûn Heads, so I asked him straight out:

“What is it that most informs you as a Shaman Waymaker in these wild times?”

Morgan stated, indisputably, that one band only reigned supreme all across the South-West of Great Britain, where was this lead singer’s great Cornish neck-of-the-woods (with occasional musical gatherings & tributes being paid in South Devonia and even upon Dartmoor): And that band that most informed was Bristol’s early 21st Century Vehicle of All Purpose Cuntedness, ladies’n’gennelmen… The Heads, mighty across the northern hemisphere, mighty across the southern hemisphere, and all into South East Asia, where Speed, Glue & Shinki (natch) hold Eternal Sway (nabbing that award for the accepted five times in a row, back in 2026). But Chutney Morgan told me there were at least thirty-seven Heads tribute bands in his area, and his was the best by far because of the band’s peerless lead guitarist Dissonaut. Later on that evening, I watched spellbound from stage left as Chutney scrunched his chin up in his familiar manner and peered over at the truly mesmerising antics of Dissonaut, as this petulant longhair coaxed classic Heads riff after Heads riff from his hoary ’97 Gibson Les Paul Junior. The theme of this 2053 Armenian rock festival is a ritual re-enactment by each of the aforementioned bands of their Musical Mentors’ finest albums. After the tragic suicide of their bass player Mycrodot, many expected Fucking Hell to win from a combination of sympathy voting and the band’s overly cautious decision to perform the far-too-obvious crowd pleaser BLIND BABY HAS ITS MOTHER’S EYES (yawn!). Which is why the Boskawen-Ûn Heads bravery in performing the whole of TILBURG was what truly won them the contest. There’s a measure and balance to the Heads’ original that no tribute band has thus far even approached. Remember back in ’28, when Musicsound wrote “TILBURG is Impossible to Recreate so stop trying, you Cunts!” I have to say I was totally wrong, but back then and throughout the ‘30s, I really was almost despairing that modern bands were going to have to go back to writing their own material. But this performance of the Heads’ hoary classic ‘double-live’ proves that rock’n’roll here in 2053 is right on track. When I interviewed young members of the audience, all – having grown up with the Heads’ music in the parents’ homes – were shocked to discover that the Bristol band had been virtually ignored when at their artistic height a half century ago. Two of the fans were beside themselves with excitement, having located tickets for the Moscow State Rock’n’roll Library, which is travelling through Armenia next year, and which contains an original copy of the TILBURG album, including the highly scarce inner bag of HO Morgan’s journal. Anyway gals and guys, leaving you all with thoughts of that moving experience, this is your Middle Eastern Correspondent signing off. Durable, robust as a RSJ, fearless as a baby in a snake pit, ever enduring, conjured from the ether in great swathes of mung and muscle, twatted as the Orkney Mainland township of Twatt, all of these things were the Heads. How I wish I coulda been there when these Titans bestrode the Earth.