Friday, 12 June 2009

Songs that saved your life, part 6

A post was partly inspired by a thread on anorak, this latest dull excursion into the furthest reaches of my tiny mind concerns a band I cherish nearly more than any other - Stump.

The first Stump song I heard was 'Buffalo', a crazy, off-kilter pop song about... well, fish and chips possibly. But probably not.

I heard this on John Peel's show one night, and the next morning rushed into school to see if my fellow Peel-listener, James, had caught it. He had. We enthused about the song to the endless tedium of our school friends, and that weekend I went into Andy's Records in Grimsby and bought Stump's mini-album, Quirk Out, on tape.

Stump were an ansty bunch. They made the C86 tape and, somehow, got signed to major Ensign, who had Sinead O'Connor to worry about at the time. Centred around Kev Hopper's ridiculously intricate bass playing, they made a sort of awkward pop sound that had the 13 year old me thinking that they'd come from another planet. Well, they certainly weren't from Irby-upon-Humber...

My favourite song of theirs, however, is perhaps one of the only times they played it straight. 'Our Fathers' has resonated with me during my teenage years, into my angsty twenties, and onwards into my resigned thirties. It's a song about the father-son relationship, and how, gradually, although you vow never to at a young age, you often display your Dad's traits as you get older - for better or for worse. It has my own fractious relationship with my Dad down to a tee, and it really should've been a single.

Some kindly soul has set up a Stump myspace site, and if you want some more information on a truly unique, thrilling band, have a look at Kev Hopper's wonderful history of Stump.

I once had my hair cut like Mick Lynch. I looked a right twat.


a fog of ideas said...

I remember seeing Stump for the last time (that I saw them) at the Town & COuntry club in Kentish Town (later The Forum... probably now The T-Mobile FOrum... I wouldn't know)

It was a grim sunday night, raining out (if memory serves), support came from The Jack Rubies, if your remember them

Stump were great that night, I don't think I saw them anything else, the dancing that went on in the audience was elastic and 'conemporary'... except for one lad who insisted on trying to mosh: crashing into folk and doing rabbit punching... he was done up like a greaser, leather jacket and long hair... most incongruous... also pissing everyone off... between songs the band pointed him out and asked him to clam down, he may or may not have shouted out 'death to false metal' or something... everyone shouted at him to get his hair cut and suitably crushed and sheepish he stumbled off

Little did the youth of Britain now that not long (a year? two?) later we'd all be doing our hairs long and dressing like lumberjacks

I never grew my hair (couldn't it was too thin and would break)

a fog of ideas said...

clam = calm
conemporary = contemporary