Basic Concept - Live in Salacious Sussex
Concrète Tapes. 20 copies.
I was going to review the latest Black Leather Jesus/Smell & Quim collaboration but the damned thing refuses to play in the computer. No CD player upstairs you see. The one downstairs is the dogs bollocks. You can hear it halfway down the street when the valves have warmed up and the neighbours aren’t in [I’m considerate to fault I’ll have you know] but not in here right now. I’ve played it a-plenty when in the comfort of the Poang, crosser to hand, Saturday afternoon drifting by as I flit in and out of sleep awaiting the results and cocktail hour. But not tonight. Defeated by a CD so its to cassettes I turn. The ever trusty cassette to which I was so unkind not so long back. I’ve had more cassettes sent since I slagged them off than anything else. That’ll teach me.
So I put my hand in the velvet review bag and pull out ‘Live in Salacious Sussex’ by the totally unknown to me Basic Concept and then I remembered that it came with the last Ceramic Hobs single and that I’d played it a few times before and that Basic Concept was in fact Simon Morris on vocals and some bloke called Carl Anderson who mucks about with electronics and goes by the name Nil By Nose. So Simon Morris, who is not only the mainstay of the long suffering Ceramic Hobs and the mighty Smell & Quim and is now also a published author [I saw him signing copies of his book at my list visit to the WC] is now a rapper. Yes, a fucking rapper.
Then I remembered that I’d watched a video made by Anderson which recounted two German dates they played in 2013 and I searched for it on youtube but to no avail. Its one of those ‘hey, we’re off on tour and here we are in the bar at Manchester airport having a drink before we get on the plane’ followed by wobbly footage of people wandering european cities slightly pissed. So I played the thing again, slightly remembering this time that I kind of liked its drug induced slowed down techno type vibe with Morris rapping/singing all over it. And I still like it.
Two live tracks, one recorded in Brighton and the other in Worthing, both of about twenty minutes or so in length and both containing the kind of music that I wouldn’t normally rush to take with me on my holibobs; i.e slow thudding beats with someone rapping over them. But it works dammit.
What lifts this from the mundane is Morris’s vocal delivery and his, yes, rapping. When Morris raps [I can’t believe I’m actually writing these words] he appears to be having a conversation with himself, a dark moan at times, a wounded soldier shouting for help in a muddy trench, a Fylde Coast 50 Cents. Just don’t ask me what he’s rapping about. I think I got references to tin foil and drugs and at one point he tries on ‘Warm Leatherette’ and ‘You Only Live Twice’ for size but for the most part I’m guessing its all stream of consciousness. It’s all a larvelry larf innit with Anderson’s ‘treatments’ [shall we call them], synth fucking about-ness then, morphing through different phases so that Morris’s delivery isn’t all thrown on to the same background. Daft thing is this, Morris and Anderson suit each other like a shitty seaside town and cheap alcohol. They were meant for each other. It bloody well works, which surprises nobody more than me.
Physical copies still exist and even if they don’t you can listen to it all via the wonders of broadband.