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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


Video Nasties – On All Fours

When I was in Les Incompetents in London they were contemporaries of ours. There was a nightclub called Way Out West that gave forth to Late Of The Pier, Jamie T, Larrikin Love, and Laura Marling to a certain extent, what NME called Thamesbeat for a brief period. A lot of these artists went on to get signed, and a lot didn’t, myself and this band included, just because we were definitely less rehearsed, probably less good and less relevant. I don’t think there was any wrongdoing, historically looking back. There’s not many albums from that era I can go back to, but this is a band who probably, because they went nowhere, remains as a comfort listen. If I started a reissue label this is an album I would try and put out because it encapsulates the scene. I think anyone from any major city in the UK would tell you that the story of indie in our generation wasn’t told by the biggest albums that came out. I’m sure Franz Ferdinand wasn’t the whole story of Glasgow, and I know Kaiser Chiefs wasn’t the whole story of Leeds. It wouldn’t be a good use of somebody’s time, but you could do a really good Nuggets of 7 inches from that era. Video Nasties, I think were one of the best of a bunch but didn’t make it. The song ‘Teenage Celebration’ defines the time for me.

That wave of British indie music in the noughties, is much maligned, and I think rightly so for a lot of it, but it’s only recently that I think we’ve started to cast a critical eye or ear over it. Had there been 13 of those albums that I genuinely thought still stood up, those would be my 13, because that was, in terms of my life, the most impactful period. With The Strokes, the lack of production values matched the quality of the music in a way that makes it age quite well, but once so many major labels started signing indie bands – and I know this having been in an indie band without a label, as well as on major labels, the songs go through quite an extended process. There could be a version of history where The Kooks’ first album was a lost gem and Steve Albini produced it and we were hearing the song Naïve through a wall of distorted guitars. That’s why we’d probably rather listen to The Cribs. I don’t think in all instances their songs were better than their contemporaries, but it just sounded better.