Sunday, 5 February 2012

30 years on: Felt's Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty

 On New Year's Eve 1989, I was in a pub in Manchester, talking pop with a bunch of friends. We reflected on two English singers who had illuminated the previous decade with great originality but no commercial success. Obvious star quality and wild eccentricity, it seemed, were no match for fickle fate. Fame would elude them. One was Pulp's Jarvis Cocker, the other was Lawrence from Felt.

In a decade of fey make-up boys and the gated snare, Felt's approach to record making had seemed positively antique - sumptuous, sculptured guitar melodies housed in sleeves that owed more to Barnett Newman than Gary Numan. Their first album was called Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty, a statement of intent in itself.

Felt had a rare air of mystery. Gigs were infrequent, some were in virtual darkness. As the decade wore on, odd stories about Lawrence snuck out. Apparently he was obsessively clean. A friend once stayed in his Birmingham apartment and woke up at 3am to hear scratching noises under the bed. Expecting to see a mouse he was shocked to see Lawrence with a dustpan and brush. Pete Becker of fellow West Midlanders Eyeless In Gaza claimed that, when Lawrence took him to gigs, he always drove in second gear. He was deadpan, dead pale, and once claimed he would become the first person in the world to die of boredom. All my girlfriends were in love with him.

Lawrence spent his teens in the Birmingham overspill of Water Orton. In 1980 he made a cacophonic DIY single as Felt called Index, a solo performance of clanging chords that sounded like it was recorded on a cassette at home - "after that I decided to form the greatest band in England." In spite of his ambitions, he couldn't tune or re-string his guitar. "I used to wait until I met someone who could do it for me. Sometimes it took ages." He'd often seen Maurice Deebank walk through Water Orton with a classical guitar on his way to have lessons, "so one day I got him round and he tuned my guitar in three seconds. I was in shock. Then he played a song, it was Mr Tambourine Man. I said 'I don't believe it, you're a genius'. We were only 16 or 17 and at that time I'd never seen anyone play that fast. It still went clunky when I went from one chord to another."

Deebank became a part of Felt. "I thought, God, I could really go somewhere with this kid. Ride on his back to the top, that's how I saw it." Initially, there were constant arguments. "They were always about clothes and drinking. I told him he would have to change his entire wardrobe. Sometimes he'd get drunk and go off down motorways, disappear for two days. Or he'd go round this big mental hospital with this other kid, after they'd been in the pub. One of those dark Victorian things. When you were a kid you lived in fear that someone would escape and break into your bedroom. Deebank used to go there and walk around the wards at night for a dare. He'd come back from those trips and every time I'd say 'we're finished, you're not serious about this.'"

What Lawrence wanted to create was something brand new - Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty (released in January 1982) was both beautiful and very odd, with Lawrence's near-asthmatic, heavily reverbed voice and Deebank's crystal clear guitar lines underpinned by what sound like red Indian tribal drums. Lyrics were largely indecipherable. The songs - just the six - all clocked in around the five minute mark. "The music had to be something I'd never heard before. A new kind of music. Long guitar solos, like something that Hank Marvin would do but extended." The result was closer to Tyrannosaurus Rex playing Marquee Moon in a barn. Truly, it sounded - and still sounds - uniquely atmospheric. "I wanted the first album to be the best English album ever released, in the history of music. We wanted the kind of impact The Stone Roses had later - the way they were a group, the way they cared about what they wore."

A critical hit - Sounds' 5 star review was enough to get me to buy it without hearing a note - Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty instead created a small but dedicated core of Felt fans which would grow incrementally over the decade. In 1987, Lawrence found his image in a Smash Hits sticker collection.  Suicidally, he chose to capitalise on this good fortune with an album of instrumentals called Let The Snakes Crinkle Their Heads To Death. "I remember taking the album artwork to Creation, really confidently, and Bobby Gillespie (of Primal Scream) was there. He said 'You're not really going to call it that are you?' I said yeah, it's a great title. He said 'Crinkle? What the hell's crinkle?' I realised I'd made the worst mistake. It was the worst title in the world."

Now, as then, Lawrence is childlike in his enthusiasm, and meticulous in his planning, even if genuine stardom seems as far away as it did in 1982. "I thought we could invent a new form of music. I really believed we could. Now I know it's practically impossible, but that was the kind of ambition we had."

75 comments:

  1. Saw Lawrence at Rough Trade East on Friday night, promoting the fantastic new Felt photo book. He said, "Novelty Rock is coming to a close, and there's going to be a new sound on the horizon."

    ReplyDelete
  2. I might be the only person who's sad about that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great Post - but I loved the title Let The Snakes Crinkle Their Heads To Death. And in a way they did create a new kind of music.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We saw Felt's final three performances - two in London and the last one in Burberries Birmingham, 1989. They were all within a few days of each other as I recall - I found the ticket for Burberries in the loft last year doing my annual nose up there. Pleased that Felt are being re-appraised, you can hear their influence on a fair few acts at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wait..you have a music blog? This should be good.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Lawrence = Genius. saw Felt 6 or 7 times in late 80s and they were never anything short of brilliant

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bobby Gillespie can shut the hell up. "Let The Snakes Crinkle Their Heads To Death" is almost on a par with "Big Toe In The Middle"

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think Lawrence was rite when he said once
    that Felt's music was for the 21st Century.
    They will be the Van Gogh's who outlive all
    the supernovas. Obscurity the essence of
    wondrous perfection.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Excellent information on your Article, thanks for taking the time to share with us such a pleasant article norton.com/setup
    www.norton.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very nice article, I found it very useful .Even I have this wonderful website, Good quality of windows and doors are very essential for any workplace mcafee.com/activate

    www.mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  12. I found this is an informative blog and also very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this blog www.avg.com/retail
    avg.com/retail

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks to author of post for such a great information.I like your blog post and subscribe your blog for all your future post.
    i have also some links which i think is useful for some users
    norton.com/setup
    www.norton.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great information ! I thankful to author of this blog who sharing such a useful information, I also subscribe your blog for all future post. I have also share some useful links here.
    Mcafee.com/activate
    www.Mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  15. Good Work, i like the way you describe this topic, keep going. i would like to share some useful security links here please go through.

    mcafee.com/activate
    www.mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is very good post, its feel good when you find content like this. i have also some thing to share here

    norton.com/setup
    www.norton.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  17. Iamcafee is an oriented antivirus software for pc or mobiles. McAfee items ensure that each need of the clients is satisfied. So IaMcAfee items are structured in light of keeping this. This is the reason there are such a large number of McAfee programming accessible on the web. Be it McAfee Total Protection,
    mcafee.com/activate | mcafee login | install mcafee with activation code

    ReplyDelete
  18. mcafee.com/activate as antivirus of virus furnishes you with the security shields to prevent malicious documents from entering in the Desktop, PC/cell phone by means of malware, spyware, rootkit, and Trojan ponies. As individuals all around the globe complete their regular work on their official and PCs, they require absolute protection from a wide range of dangers that these infection records can cause. These infections are produced abruptly from old PC-stuck records or dubious Trojan pony, spyware, and malware online sites.
    mcafee.com/activate | www.mcafee.com/activate | mcafee download | mcafee activate

    ReplyDelete
  19. Norton setup activation method is very easy. First off all you have to download the setup and take advantages. It resembles that an outsider gives proof that the items or applications work according to it is particulars.
    norton.com/setup || norton download | norton login | norton.com/setup | Norton setup | norton password generator

    ReplyDelete
  20. microsoft office setup is truly outstanding and the greatest of the profitability programming's accessible in the efficiency programming industry. The product business has grown a ton in the 21st century,official website is here for visiting: office.com/setup we have even observed a lot of programming that are presently incorporated with the product that can really give an extraordinary lift to the product business.

    ReplyDelete

  21. Dear Admin, you have shared very informative information with us through your article. this information is very useful for me and you are doing amazing work keep it up. I want also to share something with you. Thank you so much for sharing this and I wish you all the best for the upcoming article. norton.com/setup
    www.norton.com/setup, Norton product key

    ReplyDelete
  22. McAfee antivirus provides the best applications and tools that extend holistic and robust protection.McAfee's user-friendly feature-packed software guarantees an unmatchable user experience. Don't Worry, there is literally nothing to worry about while you try and figure out the McAfee login process. Visit trusted Mcafee Login Page to figure out the process & Solve all of your issues with live support.

    https://mcafeepro.com/

    ReplyDelete
  23. Protect your digital devices with McAfee LiveSafe Internet security. It provides users with protection for an unlimited number of devices at a reasonable price. With Mcafee Livesafe login you can get ultimate antivirus, identity, and privacy protection for all your PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets.
    https://mcafeepro.com/

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you recommend any other Beauty Write For Us blogs that go over the same topics? Thanks a ton!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow, What an incredible blog you have shared with us, The content quality and the way you have describe it is amazing all information is very useful for me. Thank you so much for such an amazing blog and wish you the best of luck for the next comment and I also want to share some useful links here. www.office.com/setup, Office product key, office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  26. I simply want to say I am just very new to weblog and honestly enjoyed you’re web page. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your website. You absolutely have impressive well written blog. Thanks for sharing! Know about Allegiant Airlines Reservations

    ReplyDelete
  27. Grab some seasonal deals for your Allegiant Airlines Number and save more on your flight tickets. contact the booking team to enquire about the sale.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I really happy found this website eventually. Really informative and inoperative, Thanks for the post and effort! Please keep sharing more such blog.


    office.com/setup
    www.office.com/setup
    office setup
    mcafee.com/activate
    www.mcafee.com/activate
    bitcoin login

    ReplyDelete
  29. Lawrence first album was called Crumbling The Antiseptic Beauty, a statement of intent in itself. ALl his girlfriends were in love with him.

    Thanks

    office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  30. If you have been looking for cheap flight tickets booking, then visit Frontier Airlines Reservations and book your flight tickets.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Impressive blog writing, you are good blogger and i want some more content from you. please follow below links

    토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  32. Saw Lawrence at Rough Trade East on Friday night, promoting the fantastic new Felt photo book. I found the ticket for Burberries in the loft last year doing my annual nose up there. Pleased that Felt are being re-appraised, you can hear their influence on a fair few acts at the moment.visit
    office.com/setup

    ReplyDelete
  33. NICE BLOG
    That's Great & Giving so much information after reading your blog.For RentaPC : Laptop on Rent | PC | Tablets | Macbooks
    Great thanks to you
    Laptop on Rent

    ReplyDelete
  34. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work. I have been meaning to write something like this on my website and you have given me an idea. 토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  35. There are numerous approaches to watch Netflix on your TV – all you require is a gadget with the Netflix application! The Netflix application is accessible on many Smart TVs, game consoles, streaming media players, set-top boxes, and Blu-beam players. You can discover more data about viable gadgets and brands at netflix.com/activate, and to enroll visit www.netflix.com/activate or read on to check whether your TV is now Netflix-prepared.

    www.netflix.com register
    www.netflix.com/redeem
    netflix activation code
    netflix.com.au/redeem
    netflix.com/tv8

    ReplyDelete
  36. When I visit at your blog page I found So many Useful information from here that help me a lot to gain my knowledge. Dear admin you are doing an amazing work keep it up I get so many informative information from your article. Thank you so much for all the information and all the best for the next comment. mcafee.com/activate, www.mcafee.com/activate, mcafee activation code, mcafee.com/activate

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi, I am Van Diese, I am working as a tech expert at email support. I have 3 years of experience in this field. If you have any problems related to Bellsouth customer service, etc, then please contact for instant help related to email problems.

    Bellsouth customer service number

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thank you. I'll be back every time. Cool. I'll be back every day.꽁머니

    ReplyDelete
  39. The registered guarantor at reliable. Always fighting! I can grow up with. Please continue to do well and always do well. 안전사이트

    ReplyDelete
  40. Better than average information, gainful and sensational framework, as offer well finished with shrewd contemplations and thoughts, clusters of exceptional information and inspiration, both of which 먹튀검증 require, by virtue of offer such an obliging information here.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I am a new user of this site so here i saw multiple articles and posts posted by this site,I curious more interest in some of them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles about 안전놀이터.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Very good points you wrote here..Great stuff…I think you’ve made some truly interesting points.Bloghopping is really my forte and i like to visit blogs,먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  43. you have got a excellent weblog here! do you need to develop invite posts on my own weblog?
    먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  44. Nice Blog, you can also check some other related post
    bhanwar borana classes

    ReplyDelete
  45. Go through the canon.com/ijsetup webpage, click Set Up and start the Canon ij printer setup process. If you have a Canon inkjet printer (wireless or wired), setting up the complete printer is easy. To download canon printer drivers and install them on your pc, visit canon.con/ijsetup and follow instructions.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Going through 123.hp.com/laserjet provides wired and wireless, both Hp printer software download options, hence if you have hp wireless printer, connect it with below steps;
    Turn on the hp printer and connect to home WiFi also, see the available WiFi networks on display.
    Choose one network to manage Wireless LAN Settings, then locate the SSID from the router.
    Enter the password, open printer settings, and add your printer from the window setting.
    Once done, visit 123.hp.com/laserjet to download and install the HP printer drivers.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Canon printers are worthy as these models offer multiple connectivity options, including WiFi, USB, Bluetooth, and application for wireless printing. Therefore, you have the choice to start a canon printer from an official website like ij.start.cannon | ij.start.cannon
    In modern times, there is hardly anybody who is unaware of the benefits that Amazon Prime comes with. But still, if you are completely new to Amazon Prime or Amazon TV, then you have landed at the right place. After activating your subscription via Amazon.com/redeem | Amazon.com/redeem
    you are entitled to get many benefits that come along with it.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Canon manufacturer site ij.start.canon is the platform to get the Canon printer software where you can download the latest printer drivers to start your Canon model for printing, scanning, faxing, copying documents, and more
    canon.com/ijsetup | ij.start canon | ij.start.canon | http://ij.start.canon | https://ij.start.canon

    ReplyDelete
  49. Office provides all-purpose application bundle. Microsoft allowing users to make documents, presentations, calculations, and reports.
    Office.com/setup Home & Student 2019 | Office.com/setup Home Student 2019 | norton.com/setup | Cox webmail Login | Office.com/setup Home & Student 2019

    ReplyDelete
  50. Go through the canon.com/ijsetup webpage,e, click Set Up and start the Canon ij printer setup process. If you have a Canon inkjet printer (wireless or wired), setting up the complete printer is easy. To download canon printer drivers and install them on your pc, visit canon.con/ijsetup and follow instructions.

    ReplyDelete
  51. microsoft365.com/setup is an official portal to activate and start your Microsoft 365 product including office apps, cloud services and other collaboration services. You’ll need to Sign In and enter Microsoft 365 product key.

    ReplyDelete
  52. market cap. AI stock has a fairly low market capitalization of just $6 billion and So despite the company’s huge trailing price-sales ratio of 35x and this name does have the potential to increase by 10x or more over the next three or four years. ford market cap and netflix market cap

    ReplyDelete
  53. All in all 2021 is seen as a -Transition Year- which is still delivering some positive results which particularly from subscription-led businesses and The stars of the show are the digital products and services where the company is planning multiple expansions and investments. what to put in a goodie bag for adults and dance icebreakers

    ReplyDelete
  54. The sea of information is so wide.메이저토토 I'm glad I'm here.

    ReplyDelete
  55. This is the truth of life.메이저토토사이트 You're so cool. I'll fall for you.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Go through the canon.com/ijsetup webpage,e, click Set Up and start the Canon ij printer setup process. If you have a Canon inkjet printer (wireless or wired), setting up the complete printer is easy.
    microsoft365.com/setup allows you to download and activate the Microsoft Office setup. Microsoft 365 plans for personal and home provides robust Office desktop apps including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and OneNote.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Go through the 123.hp.com/laserjet provides wired and wireless, both Hp printer software download options, hence if you have hp wireless printer, connect it with below steps;
    Turn on the hp printer and connect to home WiFi also, see the available WiFi networks on display.
    Go to norton.com/setup and download Norton setup. With over 64+ Million Users, Norton is already on the list of best antivirus security that helps you manage your digital life anywhere. If you have a Norton product key.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I needed several examples to write an article on this subject, and your article was of great help to me.바카라사이트

    ReplyDelete
  59. Microsoft 365 plans for personal and home provides robust Office desktop apps including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and OneNote.
    microsoft365.com/setup allows you to download and activate the Microsoft Office setup. Go through the canon.com/ijsetup webpage,e, click Set Up and start the Canon ij printer setup process. If you have a Canon inkjet printer (wireless or wired), setting up the complete printer is easy.

    ReplyDelete

 
Site Meter