Wednesday, 10 June 2015

The Kettering Vampires – Nico & The Velvet Underground

alan jenkins

So the fabulous conceit driving this record is that The Velvet Underground & Nico was not a seminal and acclaimed work of the mid-60s, but actually a bloody good surf-rock instrumental record by some guys calling themselves The Otter Sandwich. It’s completely different of course, with the titular names reversed and the running order set back-to-front, and they’re no longer The Otter Sandwich, but are in fact The Kettering Vampires, but of course it’s a surf-rock LP. How else would The Jesus & Mary Chain have recorded ‘Cherry Came Too’ if it wasn’t?

‘European Sun’ becomes, then, a classic Californian or Hawaiian dream, angular guitar twangs and cascading drums but it can’t be that simple and ‘The Black Angel’s Death Song’ is sombre squelching keyboards with some suitably tongue-in-cheek squiggles over the top that segues into the L Ninja Snake (yes, honest) guitar-led ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’ and some more honest to country twanging of ‘There She Goes Again’. ‘Heroin’ is 15 minutes of stone-cold serious Krautrock played by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark circa Architecture & Morality during which I notice the iTunes banner says it’s ‘The Experimental Surf Music Tribute To The Velvet Underground & Nico’ whereas, this track aside, it’s just great surf’s up stuff. But then, I’ve been playing it in my car in what’s passing for the Cornish summer. Catch this wave, I’d be surfin’ on top of the world, man.

‘All Tomorrow’s Parties’? A Big Country-esque spaghetti soundtrack wherein Mr Ninja Snake plays the part of Hank Marvin, guitarist of this parish. Or the delightfully 50s sweet ‘Femme Fatale’. ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’, a Stranglers opening instrumental with the Men in Black in a good mood and it's ‘Sunday Morning’ having been played to the JAMC once and the brothers Reid asked to re-create it from the notes they’d made while listening. I'm Hanging Ten on my Big Wednesday because this is my summer's Pet Sounds, right?

Cordelia Records

1 comment:

Roger T said...

Marvellous stuff! :)