The Wrong Kind Of Strange

A quick alert. This Saturday 20th I shall be Guest DJ at the club night How Does It Feel To Be Loved, which plays C86-type 80s indiepop (and compatible current bands like Cats On Fire and The Drums) alongside 1960s soul and girl group pop. Mr Watson who runs the club has asked me back there once a year or so for the last seven years, and I always enjoy myself thoroughly. Expect songs by McCarthy, Felt, early Prefab Sprout, The Pastels, and whatever takes my fancy at that moment.

Club Night: How Does It Feel To Be Loved?
When: Saturday March 20th, 9pm-3am. I’m DJ-ing at 10.30pm, finishing midnight.
Venue: Basement bar, The Phoenix, 37 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0PP. Behind John Lewis in Oxford Street. A short walk from Oxford Circus tube station.
Price: £4 members, £6 non members. Membership is free from


The NME has just published a list of 20 cult musical heroes, including Dan Treacy, Richard Hell, Alex Chilton (who’s just died, sadly) and Billy Childish. Their blog asks for readers’ own choices, and among the comments someone – presumably a foreign fan – says this:

…one who might deserve attention in NME, Mojo…et al is Dickon Edwards of Fosca! Its about time NME makes a huge special about Fosca, not even Pitchfork has found out what really could be a hype with enough deep to survive the attention.

By ‘enough deep’, I’m guessing they mean lyrical depth. Very kind of them, anyway.

Realistically – not an adverb that trots convincingly from my lips – I doubt very much that the UK music press will ever write about Fosca between now and the heat-death of the universe. I think Fosca are – were – just too wrong-sounding for many. If it wasn’t the lyrics, it was my wrong voice, or the wrong musical format, or the wrong production. But then, all I hoped for was to record those songs and release them into the wild. And I did that.

Seems hypocritical to write about being arch and strange and expect large amounts of perfectly well-adjusted people to connect with that. There’s a reason why Ronald Firbank is constantly out-of-print while Saki isn’t: uncompromising archness needs to be at just the right level of uncompromising. Saki’s characters were effete and haughty and dandyish, but he wasn’t at all like that in person: he ended up in command of troops in WW1. Firbank, meanwhile, was so arch he could barely stand up. It’s okay to be weird, as long as you’re capable and functional and productive with it. That’s the part I often struggle with.

That said, I have my more useful moments. I’m the dandy handyman, as Mr Ant never sang. The other day I unblocked the communal shower’s nozzles from a build-up of limescale, saving my landlady from calling in a plumber.

I used a long, jewelled cravat pin.

Tags: , ,