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Baker's Dozen

I Don't Belong Here: Cathi Unsworth's Weirdo In 13 Albums
The Quietus , July 25th, 2012 07:17

Author and journalist Cathi Unsworth talks us through the albums that inspired her new novel Weirdo. This feature will bring dark joy to the hearts of those whose clothes are black, whose lips are purple and whose witches are red

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Bauhaus In The Flat Field

Strangely, I never liked Bauhaus all that much at the time, I thought they were really pretentious compared to The Sisters and lacked a sense of humour. But when I listen to them now I don’t know what I can have been thinking of. They sound absolutely brilliant – much harder sonically than I remember and with so many creepy little horror movie foley effects. Maybe it has more to do with the people who were really into them then, who did tend to be rather dour and pretentious – ‘elitists’, we used to call them. Whatever, the imagery contained in the Bauhaus oeuvre works particularly well for the Norfolk setting of Weirdo and the historical layers of what has gone on in those low-lying acres in the past. I also filched the title of their third LP, The Sky’s Gone Out, although there isn’t actually a song called that, the negative image on the front of that album says it all about the corresponding chapter in the book. Bauhaus came from Northampton, so I guess they were looking at a similarly low, flat landscape around them with this huge, often oppressive sky above. This kind of landscape can really impress upon you how small and fragile we all really are despite all our schemes and dreams: the sky and the sea, the dawn and the dusk – the cycle that will go on and on long after we are all dust.

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Jul 25, 2012 1:27pm

Great stuff! Maybe it's because I spent my youth in a seaside town during the 80's but most of these (very very unfashionable) albums are all very familiar. And I've come back to them and still find most of them to be a great listen, on whatever level. Not sure where Madonna and Jacko fit in tho... Gonna buy the book right now.

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Jul 25, 2012 2:01pm

yeah,great list.I like most of the stuff here,Bunnymen,Sisters,early Cult,Bauhaus of course... recently discovered Spear of Destiny through Paradise Lost cover of Never take me alive.awesome band,great find!!

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Jul 26, 2012 12:49am

Some fine choices here, the Echo, Bauhaus, and Smiths albums were worn out by this kid as well, right around the same time. Morrissey takes many cues from his favorite writers, so it's a cool kind of circle that this writer should take some cues from him.

Was sad to see the Cult move away from their post-punk beginnings but I've been a fan of all their material nonetheless. She mentions the Chameleons, was surprised to find none of their albums were on here. No worries tho, they're still overlooked by most.

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Jul 26, 2012 2:46pm

I am thrilled to find somenone whose love of 'Smalltown England' is equal to my own.

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art damij
Aug 14, 2012 2:09pm

cool list,great to see crass,bauhaus,killing joke,sisters in well as nods to theatre of hate..good call cathi!

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