mezcalhead wrote:there was an excellent Wire article on them quite a while back which was how I first heard about them, while they were both living in complete poverty in some obscure bit of Birmingham and making the most incredible music.
They actually moved away from Birmingham to save money, to Hungerford in Berkshire (local landmark Combe Gibbet is featured on some of the 'Witch Cults' sleeve imagery). They even reconfigured the band and the sound to reflect economic circumstances, though the resulting Tender Buttons is a gem. I've typed enough theories on the band on here for a lifetime but one of the things that drew me right into them way back when I bought those first few sevens, is that they seemed to exist on an alternative timeline, a timeline where all the rawkers yer uncle stuck his thumb in his belt loops for didn't break through and pop became more mysterious, more cerebral and had less socks stuffed down it's trousers, less lighters aloft, less 'Barbarian Spew'. They also proved that you can hold up a mirror to the past and see a modernist reflection and for me personally it was just great to see a group that seemed to have a similar life experience to me. For years I'd tried to engage anyone who was boring me about Star Wars* in chat about The Changes, or Sky, the Owl Service (look at the intro and see
what I am talking about regarding the influence on Broadcast, thematically and sonically and you'll know what Zener card I'm holding up if you spot the Jon Brooks reference too), or Children of the Stones and the sort of Sci-fi I enjoyed at the time, only to be met with blank stares and it was great to read interviews and later on get to know people who were into similar things.
Anyway, probably unfair on Jane to go into this here, Jane's great but she's a product of a different set of influences, some overlapping, some outside the Broadcast Magic Hour, she's certainly more rock with a small 'r' and she's IMO more along the lines of someone like Kate Bush. She doesn't sound like her at all but she's got that thing where she shifts styles between albums, while building on her past works and she's quite conceptual. IMO Jane's still developing, she made a huge jump with 'The Fallen By Watchbird',
another jump with The Silver Globe and I think she'll do the same again. She's been around for a long time but she's got kids and it's broken her career(s) up.
*yes and before jaguar018 says it, this isn't unlike how I handle someone talking about flipping Nevermind. I.E. I wonder if anyone preferred Love's Secret Domain.