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Baker's Dozen

Stir My Teenage Soul: Karl 'Regis' O'Connor's Favourite LPs
Luke Turner , July 1st, 2020 08:47

Karl O'Connor guides Luke Turner through the 13 teenage hits that made him Regis, with tales of smelling like a badger on the mail train to Brum and what happens when you get a member of Einstürzende Neubauten the wrong gravel on the way


Nitzer Ebb - Belief
Frank's Wild Records in Birmingham. Electronic music was a dirty word after 1984, it went into complete decline apart from the stuff coming out of Detroit. Mute records were the only label still supporting the vanguard of it, still releasing things that I loved. Everything was right about this , the timing of it, the sound of it - I still think it's one of the best-produced electronic records ever. They looked fucking brilliant, they were one the greatest live bands I've ever seen, it was underground but had great hooks, and this is the record they got it all right. It was that grizzly, Essex funk, they looked like street urchins, they were clever Essex boys who understood art. But they weren't this European, stand against the Berlin wall and suck our cheeks in type of thing, they were out skating or probably stealing cars, they were the real deal. They could have been a boy band, actually, because Douglas looked - and looks still - absolutely fantastic, he's one of the greatest frontmen I've ever seen, like the electro Jerry Lee Lewis, he was on fire. The degree of his showmanship was startling, and I love that. I love how he shouts these one-word commands, it's genius, because it's the meeting of man and machine - Douglas just understands the funk, because ultimately he's an Essex boy who wants to blast it out of his XR3i. We followed them around, across Europe, it always started with 'TWA', and you felt it was absolutely going to kick off. It made you go mental, you wanted a tear-up, it was this euphoric experience and it was the first time I had that, where you're almost looking at yourself because you're losing it. I didn't really drink then and I was certainly too mean to buy any drugs, even though I liked the idea of them, so I was completely straight on all of this. I was also mean to put anything in the coat check so I'd always be sweating in a leather jacket, smelling like a badger on the mail train to Birmingham. It was great. They've never had their dues, but when I play Nitzer Ebb out now it still sounds modern and people go off their tits and I love it, because I know how they feel.