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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


Einstürzende Neubauten – Haus Der Lüge
I bought this off the merch stand at the Astoria in 1989 before I saw them on the Haus Der Lüge tour. At that point I had a bit of money so I used to put things in the cloakroom. It's their greatest album, it's pop but not pop at all. I used to have that poster up on the wall, and nobody would come into my room. The way that Blixa sings in German is so different from the way that Gabi [of DAF] sings in German - when Gabi sings it's flowing, a beautiful language that flows with the music. Blixa is also poetic, but it's the coarseness and brutality of the personality at that particular time was so perfect. It was the first time I ever saw Neubauten and the last-but-one gig I saw in the 80s. Every Wednesday we'd go to WH Smiths in Birmingham and look through Sounds and Melody Maker or if you were really desperate NME, and we saw this advert for Neubauten playing. So we went down to London and when they came on it altered everything that I thought was possible in music and made me realise my own shortcomings. It was not only one of the greatest things I'd ever seen but it was so brave to come to speak to an English audience in German and look down at them and them two inches tall. Blixa is the only person I've seen on a stage who could do that to you. They laid waste to that stage, every time they hit those springs it was like your soul being cut in two. I remember coming out of it and thinking 'Christ almighty, I don't think I'll ever see anything that good again'. And I was right. I lived in Berlin for a long time and it was a bit like Panini Sticker cards - Neubauten are the only band where I've collected every member by seeing them on the street. I'm happy I've done that. We wanted to book FM Einheit for a Downwards night at Berghain and were told we could only speak to him between two and three o'clock because he'd be out feeding the pigs in Bavaria. Obviously he had a tech rider and when he turned up the venue had got him the wrong grade of gravel and he went apeshit and made them go and get the right kind of gravel. And that is exactly what it is with that whole generation, what ties everybody I've chosen together, that's what it's all about - it's the assurance of who they are and that what they're doing is unique.