Kieron Gillen's workblog




"Here she comes again
With vodka in her veins
Been playing with a spike
She couldn't get it right

Splendour in silver dress
Velocity possessed
The world was hers and then
It fell apart again

I don't need anyone to help me
No, not anyone at all
`Cause my so-called friends have left me
And I don't care at all

Leave me alone"

For the last three hours, I've been listening to the extended version of Primal Scream's C86 demiclassic Velocity Girl. On repeat. Even the extended version clocks in just shy of two minutes, which means I must be inching towards 100 straight replays.

Not bored yet.

C86 was, with the possible exception of its mid-nineties pseudo-revival C96, probably the worst pop movement of all time. It was a cassette with NME involvement in 1986 (hence "C86"), featuring an array of bands who became known as the shamblers. This is as incompetent, whimsical and anoraky as underground british pop got during the period - not that things weren't more underground, but abstractly, most of those involved were actually trying to do pop music. They just really couldn't, so grew an array of aneamic jangle which was mocked and bullied because it was distinctly mockable with a really punchable face.

Some pop movements are just asking to have their heads stuck down the cultural shitter.

As a general rule, however, every pop movement has artefacts worth salvaging. People buy into things for a reason. The reason for me to care about C86 is Velocity Girl.

On the tape was the original 1-minute version, by Primal Scream. Younger readers may be unaware of Glasgow's druggiest as anything other than determined genre-mixers, but their origins lie in more pointy-shoed directions. It is shambling C86 to the core. It's also a shockingly transcedent pop with a modernist edge - "Velocity Girl" sounds like a cross between a sharp-fringed girl and a forgotten 50s superhero - which is so thin as almost not to be nonexistant, which makes its audacity to try and make a pop song like this to be all the more moving.

Since most of you won't have heard it, for ease of reference realise that The Stone Roses pretty much based their first pop-life Byrds-jangle iteration on it. Made Of Stone (Note to Prod: Check this) is a note-for-note remake. Of course, the Roses expanded everything but, in a real way, Velocity Girl is the prototype.

You can hear it, of course. The Rev. Stuart Campbell has recently finished his current project, which was to find 100 worthwhile songs which would fit on one standard CD. He managed it. Everything - including the extended edition of Velocity Girl, which is the longest track on the album as a clear gag - is available to download in a single zip.

Go see.

Leave me alone.




Kieron Gillen's Workblog, foo'.