The last draft I wrote here was for a dead person.
Right now, I ain’t dead. I’m Everett True, bitch. And I’m watching Hinds.
It’s called getting away with it, and it’s a trick very few can pull consistently. My wife asks why I love Hinds and I mutter something about melodies and spontaneity and the laughter behind the tears (yes, that way round) and Buddy Holly. How many scars did you collect today? How many Pastels records have you lost? How many hearts have you broken in three? How many questions have been left unasked? I love the care and attention Hinds pay to the chords and notes and jangly bits between, even (especially) the ones they have just invented. I love the fact that half the men here tonight look like they could be the Childcatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang if you just stuck a false nose on them. Why do hipsters think seafaring child abusers is a good look?
In the 1990s, I wrote that Teenage Fanclub lost a little bit of their magic the day they stopped needing to start every song three times.
It’s the way Hinds still look surprised at the gorgeous sounds their voices and guitars make; it’s in the obvious, the humdrum, the psychedelic and the inanity. The greatest metal album in existence feels clunk-clicked together, all awkward silences and joins and breaks that so nearly do not happen. Yes, it’s the debut Black Sabbath album. Live, Hinds are like the debut Black Sabbath album if they had grown up on a diet of jangle and Bojangle and Jesse Garon And The Desperadoes. Um, and female too. Like that matters.
Like that matters? ‘Course that matters!
I moved to London because of the debut Slits album: all those squeals of mock-terror and laughter.
I would move to Madrid like… (clicks fingers)… that.
It’s called magic and it is the so-thin line that separates Hinds from their support act, an indie boy band in Brighton. We have heard and seen it all before, my wife comments. To which I rejoinder: we have heard and seen it all before, BUT. Let’s talk Warts. For all I know Hinds might still be playing Warts, bashful and knowing. For all I know Hinds might still be playing Warts, chests thumping and guitars jangling and the harmonies there not-there, delicious. So delicious, like three spoonfuls of that sauce I made of Damson Jam earlier, mixed in with just a slippage of chicken fat.
Do not misunderstand me. I enjoyed the indie boy band in Brighton. I liked 1978 too, and their set was what 28% of 1978 sounded like. Bands adventurous and in love with rock’n’roll (the Richman ref is deliberate) but not in love with rock’n’roll nor adventurous enough to play punk rock or be themselves. (Unless being themselves means being like someone else, which I guess it can.) That sounds nasty. NO! I like songs so predictable you can be chanting along wit’ them within a minute. With lyrical concerns so predictable you could name the remaining set list three songs in. California. USA. I’ve got nothing to say. I was ready to die. Ooo-wweee. Ooo-weee. Oo. I do not mean to be mean. Rock’n’roll is reassurance, remember? This indie boy band in Brighton, let’s call them Public Access TV for a lark, are such an archetypal NME band (I am guessing here) that even now they will probably be on the magazine’s final five covers as the magazine merges into What Horse – not because they’re great or anything but because they fit.
And fit so well, even a social media network manager can understand it.
As do Hinds… but.
And most of the magic contained within rock’n’roll lies in the buts.
Hinds treat all their songs and notes as special even (especially) when they are painful. They approach the stage like it’s the first ever show. You know how important that is, that feeling of the first ever show? That is Hinds. That is Hinds and Hinds appeal and Hinds magic. For all I know they’re playing there still. People dance, and dancing looks like the most special, most special, most specialist move in the world. All so secretive, and magic, and hurting, and alive.
I am Everett, true. I ain’t dead yet, bitch.
“I am flirting with this guy/Just to pretend I’m fine” – Chili Town (Hinds)
One day, possibly soon and possibly never, this will all turn to shit and the magic will dissipate and Hinds will disappear. But until then, I am here.
Just to pretend I’m fine.