Dream Baby Dream
The Worry Dolls / The Legend! / The Playwrights. Exeter Cavern. 12.8.03

Sometimes I dream of music that sounds like being caressed by scalpel blades.

Local acoustic duo The Worry Dolls do a Sugababes cover that almost sounds like it wants to throw itself in the river Exe and drown. Beguiling and brimful of promise, if they trim the excess from their own songs and add more of those Kristin Hersch just-off-kilter notes then they could really cut to the quick.

Sometimes I dream of music that sounds like being caressed by scalpel blades.

The Playwrights are stunning. Very young and ultra dynamic, oscillating around the stage like spinning tops, they are even more like the Wolfhounds in a live context then they are on record, and whilst I know that comparison is almost totally useless because no-one under thirty something really knows what the Wolfhounds sound like, I'm going to keep making the reference because, fuck it, ignorance is not always my fault, and maybe people will go and check on the hidden histories. So yeah, the Playwrights are earnest and Uptight, whirlpooling out their songs of 21st century suburban relapse with an urgency that is full of all the different kinds of tension that makes great Pop great: art, politics and social inequalities clashing with the thoughts that really all we want is sex.

Sometimes I dream of music that sounds like being caressed by scalpel blades.

Then there is The Legend! Or then there are The Legend!... currently Everett True and Danya Panya making profoundly magical madness from a guitar, a taped piano, an upturned drum and tremulous voices that ache like angels so brimful of love and hate it overflows weeping on the weary world below, and we in turn are carried away on the torrents of raw emotion. At the peak of their set, which a friend later describes as ´Philip Larkin meets Jonathan Richman', in a sequence of elements called aptly ´The Void', Everett hurls a tirade about wanting to fuck Vincent Gallo and waking beside a love who suddenly transfigures into the form of Courtney Love and ´the personification of pure evil', and in so many respects it's all about context, and I don't know whether to laugh or cry so do both. Then Danya sings softly about what I can only imagine and I'm standing transfixed, recalling the brittle bones of Spinanes' gorgeous ´Entire', and how that doesn't even begin to come close to this purity of vision.

Pure... this must be... it has to be...

It is.

Sometimes I dream of music that sounds like being caressed by scalpel blades.

© 2003Alistair Fitchett


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