Album: Luke Haines, 9 Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s & Early '80s (Fantastic Plastic)


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The Independent Culture

Haines writes songs that somehow touch a raw nerve of emotional response – even when, as here, he's imagining the podgy heroes beloved of UK grapple-fans, projected into absurdist situations beyond their public image.

Big Daddy plonks cack-handedly on a Casio VL-Tone keyboard; Rollerball Rocco regrets visiting Les Kellett's greasy spoon; and most memorably, Kendo Nagasaki broods darkly as he writes a "Rock Opera in the Key of Existential Misery", murmuring the menacing apology "I'm not Leonard Cohen, and I'm certainly not Nick Drake". It's all as ludicrous, graceless and unlovely as the "sport" it hymns, yet there's an anachronistic boot-boy charm to Haines's depiction of the milieu that's genuinely affecting, as well as amusing.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Rock Opera in ihe Key of Existential Misery; Big Daddy Got a Casio VL-Tone; I Am Catweazle