Friday, 25 April 2014

Fantasy setlist 1990-1994

Warning: This article comes with a Geek Factor of 10. Most people will read this and laugh uproariously before deciding that I was (am?) really, really sad! 

To paraphrase Johnny Rotten: “But I don’t caaaaaaaaaaaaaaare!”

Confession time again. OK, so what music-mad adolescent lad hasn’t jumped around his/her room, stereo blaring, air-guitar being heroically played as if s/he was headlining the last ever live concert on Earth? I had real guitars rather than the air variety but I still imagined I was right there! I had a ‘setlist’ of records that I would play whilst standing on the imaginary stage in my bedroom, with an imaginary band in front of thousands of adoring imaginary fans.

For the record, I could neither sing nor play guitar to any real standard, which is why my only stint in a proper band didn’t last long or end terribly well (more on that to come). But in my bedroom – I was a rock GOD! The setlist varied over time, but I remember all these were in there at some time:

Buffalo Tom – Velvet Roof
I have always wanted to be in a band that played this song and could really do it justice. Whether I could jump around to it now like I did 20-odd years ago is another matter, but it would be difficult to resist. Read more here.

Cud – Through The Roof*
The Wedding Present – My Favourite Dress*
The Weddoes were always going to feature, and Cud were very much on my radar at the time.

Kim or Tanya?
Belly – Slow Dog
The Heart Throbs – Blood From A Stone*
Veruca Salt – Seether
The Breeders – Cannonball (read more here)
Drugstore – Speaker 12
Of course, my fantasy band had a female member who sang lead vocals on these. I imagined her as either a Kim Deal or a Tanya Donelly, depending on my mood. Or even a cross between the two - now that would be one serious rock chick!

Sugar – Fortune Teller
‘Copper Blue’ is an album I could listen to for the rest of my life and still get off on its monstrous riffs and melodies. I think I probably went for this track for its energy and power, although there are probably heavier songs on the album.

R.E.M. – West Of The Fields
Not an obvious choice, admittedly. No idea why I chose this one over anything else they did, although I may have at some point had Disturbance at the Heron House (from ‘Document’) in there as well.

Kerosene – Worthless
I’d actually completely forgotten about this record until I was writing this article. For some unknown reason, the 12” sleeve just popped into my head and I suddenly remembered what a good record it was.

Pale Saints – Sight Of You
Smashing Pumpkins – Rhinocerous
Cardiacs – Is This The Life
These alternated as the set closers or encores. Great songs to finish on.

Twenty-plus years on, there isn’t a single song here that I don’t still love. 

So imagine you were in my fantasy arena-filling rock band… oh to hell with it – stadium-filling rock band. What song (pre-1994) would you insist was in the set? And would you prefer Kim or Tanya? (I realise this might seem a rather gratuitous way of inviting comments, but it's been so bloody quiet around here lately, I need to find out if anyone is actually still reading this stuff!)


* I actually could play (and, to some extent, sing) these!


  1. Well, Robster, I am reading your stuff. And I'm enjoying it. A great deal, in fact! The landlord of the club I DJ'd in when I was younger always used to say to me: "Oh Dirk, can't you at least SOMETIMES play something with recognition value?!" And of course she was right, so I suggest to add Radiohead's "Creep" to your stage list .... it'll blow the crowd away, that's for sure!

    And, of course, it's Tanya: no question about that!

  2. yep, i'm reading this too - ye be doing an awesome job. i've been away for awhile (without internet) so have had some catching up to do.
    i'll put in 'the wagon' by dinosaur jr as a must-have inclusion (which i could sort of strum along to)

    ...i was always a kim or kim (gordon) type myself