Introducing... Tim Burgess
The Independent Music Magazine's new guest columnist
Wednesday 04 June 2008
I have been asked to write a column for the Independent on line. About me, I am Tim Burgess (and all that that entails). I have been in a band called The Charlatans for 18 years and wanted to start off my column with a bang, or at least something really interesting. I originally thought I was going to write about Coachella, the Californian music festival featuring Portishead, Prince and Kraftwerk - who I all love but, when it came time to write about it, I just didn't feel excited enough about typing out the words/reliving the experience, so I decided instead I would try to write about my favourite new band in London.
Electricity In Our Homes is that band & is one of the most inspiring bands in London making original music at the moment. I first encountered them at The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch with Spider from The Horrors, after he told me to come and check them out.
The first time I met Paul, the drummer from Electricity In Our Homes he offered to cut my hair like his, a post punk wedge, and he told me that his dad would like my autograph. Then he gave me 2 copies of 'The Shareholders EP' that the band had just put together with a limited donation from their friends. The concept was that 200 friends would pay upfront (donate) for the recording printing and pressing and in return would get a shareholders certificate (and a pink and white striped badge). I think it cost them about 60 quid and they pressed up 200, so it sold out before it was even released!
Their music turned out to be everything Paul and the quiet, stoic guitarist Charlie promised me it would be. Cheeky, angular and unapologetic, basically one of the rawest sounds I had ever heard. Recorded at the Chestnut studio, owned by Paul's brother John Linger from the band Neil's Children (another name worthy London band). The EP is insane minimal, but a notable continuation of the avant guard musical world of Arto Lindsay and his New York post punk band DNA. Owning a copy of the shareholders EP feels as though it could be as important as owning an original copy of 'An Ideal For Living' EP by Joy Division. It is such a serious debut with guitarist Charlie, coming across in real life like the ultimate outsider, but in music setting a stylistic tone with the song 'More Minimal' and giving it's answer, then response in between.
Their new single 'We Thought It Was but it Wasn't' is extremely intense. The sleeve is made out of sugar paper to ensure you treat it with utmost respect, if you spill anything on it will dissolve. Their sounds are more heartless, harsher, and noisier than any specific recording that has been made in this decade. A musical aesthetic kinda reminiscence of early Adam and the Ants/Mars/P.I.L. I heard they put tin foil covers on the microphones to make the vocals sound more dreadful.
Their live set consist of songs containing lyrics such as, 'I can't hear what you're saying.' and I think the line 'I must kill you' sums up a lot, and the enthralling song 'We Don't Need Your Honesty' with the chorus shouting the word repetition over and over, then coupled with television. The beauty is in the aggression you will possibly never hear in any other song that begins with 'It doesn't matter what happens we just want to feel good'. 'Are they doing Something Nasty', is a rollercoaster ride of a song set up in a circus, causing belly-churning thrills and spills. The last song they played was a cover of 'Louie Louie' by The Kingsmen, it was done in such a start stop, break go/inharmonious fashion that it was barely recognizable and could only be described as wonderfully discordant. The look of the band is as abstract as the music. You will see, and be influenced by a curly topped 'giant' - Thomas Childish for a singer, an 'eccentric tiny girl' on bass - Bonnie K, a 'charming schoolboy' on guitar - Charles (Charlie) Moderate, and a 'baby face punk' on the drums – Paul Partial.
After the show, I get the feeling they are praying, and playing for something new.
They are opening for The Charlatans in Southampton. I am excited about the contrast/conflict of the two bands. In fact, they will probably blow us off the stage! Charlie is also my dj partner and we love to treat the crowd to the tunes of Lil' Louis and Josef K. Maybe we'll spin after the show to even it all out.
Charlie, Paul and their mate Dan live in a squat they call 'The Factory'. The last thing Paul always says to me is, "when are you going to come to the squat in Leyton"? He thinks everyone should bear witness to everything regarding/relating to the muscle that is E.I.O.H. I obviously do too! Electricity In Our Homes new record comes out in May on Too Pure.
They are fast learners, and even better leaders. They get it right. Guess Electricity In Our Homes truly are vintage classic in the finest sense. They are the new Post Punk renaissance.
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