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Baker's Dozen

Ultimate Sad Boys: Fred Macpherson's Baker's Dozen
Patrick Clarke , January 19th, 2022 09:42

Spector's Fred Macpherson takes Patrick Clarke on a rollercoaster Baker's Dozen, taking in the similarities between Frank Sinatra and Drake, a love-hate relationship with Nick Cave, his friendship with David Tibet and more


Coil – Horse Rotorvator

I got into this around a similar time to Current 93, again it was thanks to my brother. My brother saw Coil live twice which, at the time I thought nothing of. Maybe I wouldn’t have appreciated it because I was more interested in seeing The Strokes at Alexandra Palace. Again, it was a band that I got into through CDs. There was very little of their music going around, it still is hard. I think Horse Rotovator again is not their greatest album, but one that I could embrace with both arms on first hearing it. It’s in the same kind of canon as something like Murder Ballads, but even more abrasive and sexually charged and maybe with a better sense of humour.

They definitely made albums later that aren’t as ridiculous, I almost chose The Ape Of Naples or Music To Play In The Dark, but their first couple of albums, at a push could be a fake band from The Mighty Boosh. There’s just so much panache, it’s so total. I love humour in music, and I love it when humour meets absolute darkness. Often when the humour’s lost, that’s where an artist like Nick Cave suffers. Or These New Puritans who I love, I would love for there to be 5 per cent more humour and it would make it even better. If I had to be on a desert island with only one artsit’s discography it would be Coil’s. There’s music for all seasons. Tony Beard, who managed La Roux and The Klaxons used to be their PR at one point. He told these stories about when they used to do a ‘window pane’, where they’d take a tab of acid and put it on their eyeball until it melted in.

I think it was either David Keenan or he quoted it, that Coil was the sound of Ketamine in the 90s. I think because it’s a drug that deals with time, and Coil were very interested in time. This is going to sound really pretentious, but a bit like déjà vu, if your brain experiences something after it’s happened, just because you’re creating a disconnect in your brain, psychologically or mentally speaking that’s no different from time travel. You’re arriving at something that’s already happened. I think, clearly, that’s something that Coil were interested in. Most muscians I know, myself included, will still be watching Netflix four nights a week, whereas they put their brains on the line.