But Andy, there have been many, many bands who in their time have been totally unable to rock and roll. And as far as I'm concerned I'm not sure we would have wanted it any other way.
Besides all the glitzy New Romanticism and power pop around at the time, in the early 1980s a number of bands were quietly making names for themselves in a kind of off-shoot of the indie canon which was being established during these years. These were bands who had none of the testosterone-fuelled swagger and posturing of the leather clad metal rockers of the early seventies, none of the phlegmy vitriol of the punk rock explosion. Yes, they had guitars but none of the meaty riffs which had been rife in the previous decade. They played chords in the form of rhythmically percussive syncopations or delicately jangly arpeggios, sometimes in a gentle, almost Latin style.
These were bands usually made up of whey-faced (often Scottish) young men--occasionally women--wearing long tweedy coats with collars turned up against the wind and the rain. Regulation hairstyle (both sexes): long at the top--often quiffed--and short at the sides.
As if to celebrate the general wilful rejection of machismo, fans of this music, typically self-deprecating, proudly labelled it "twee".
And some of it was pretty good...
- Orange Juice - Falling and Laughing (1980)
- Everything But The Girl - Night and Day (1983)
- Aztec Camera - Walk Out to Winter (1983)
- Bluebells - I'm Falling (1984)
- Go-Betweens - Bachelor Kisses (1984)
- Lotus Eaters - First Picture of You (1984)
- Wedding Present - Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft (1987)
- My Bloody Valentine - Strawberry Wine (1987)
- Bradford - Skin Storm (1988)
- Blue Nile - Headlights On The Parade (1989)
- Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas (1990)
- Lush - Sweetness and Light (1990)
- Blueboy - Boys Don't Matter (1994)
- Bluetones - Slight Return (1995)
- Belle and Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister (1996)
- Trash Can Sinatras - How can I Apply? (1996)
- The Sundays - Summertime (1997)
- Spearmint - Scottish Pop (1999)
- Kings of Convenience - Toxic Girl (2001)
- Camera Obscura - Lloyd I'm Ready to be Heartbroken (2006)
- Postmarks - Goodbye (2009)
They used to say they were 'anti-rock'. In the early days, Glasgow audiences used to chant 'Poofs! Poofs! Poofs!' at them. They liked that just fine. There was a campness in their delivery, deliberately affected to annoy the manly men of rock.
Take it away Edwyn...
(Spotified--more or less--here, if you're wondering...)