Saturday, 20 September 2014

The Black Sheep ‎– "Alive In Beograd" (Nikad Robom ‎– 007) 1987

To end this long list of Recommended Records related acts, we have The Black sheep, featuring (surprise,surprise) Chris Cutler on the drum kit.Their chaotic act is caught in action Live in Beograd,Belgrade, in very acoustically raw lo-fi. Sounding a lot like a hybrid of a drunk Derek Bailey fronting The Shaggs and an even drunker Henry Cow, they churn out a set of songs that get demolished before our very ears. If this is Prog rock, its very deprogrammed Prog, almost No Wave in its disregard for conventional musical forms. DNA and Mars are closer comparisons than Barclay James Harvest . Tunes are either totally absent,or submerged beneath a cacophony of detuned strumming,and fractured rhythms. Not represented very much on record, I presume they concentrated on live work , hence this bootlegged concert from the Former Yugoslavian republic of Serbia, when it was still Yugoslavia, and Tito was either recently dead, or still alive. Either way, an interesting choice of venue, a couple of years before members of this audience,probably, started shooting each other in the civil war ; and “ethnic cleansing” was yet to enter the dictionary. Somehow this ensuing chaos is represented ,channelled, in the Black sheep sound, alive in Belgrade, 1987.

This reminds me of a funny story featuring Arkan, the murdering Serbian warlord and Football fan/Hooligan. My inherited Football team allegiance, is one Leicester City FC; and in 1998 we drew Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA cup. We sent our firm of Hooligans (The baby Squad) over there to meet notorious Red Star supporters and hardened paramilitary genocidal maniacs, Arkan's'Tigers'.When faced with various heavy military ordinance, like automatic weaponry and grenade launchers, the Squad turned and tactically retreated rather quickly.
"Come and 'ave a go if you think you're 'ard enuff!"

A charming quote from Marco,one of the 'Tigers' as reported in the Guardian will demonstrate what loveable chaps these pricks are:
"We organise the best choreography in the world. We're not just hooligans; we are ready for anything. For example, we showed those English homosexuals from Leicester how to fight a few years ago. We met them in the UEFA Cup and ran them in Leicester and again when we met up with them later in the year in Germany. We think that in England you don't realise how tough the Serbs are. We respect the English as the founders of hooliganism, but where are you now? Other nations have overtaken you.'.....(uh?)
Arkan, when interviewed by the BBC, was asked who his favourite English Premier League Team was? He broke into stifled laughter and answered, in his thick Serbian accent, “Lei-cester City!....their fans ran away like girls!”
Well, the cunt was murdered a year or so later just before his war crimes trial(not by a member of the 'Baby Squad' I may add)......who's laughing now, Huh?

(ps...after posting, I received the wonderful experience of Leicester humbling Manchester United by 5 goals to 3,oh rapture!)

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António Mora said...

A This Heat streak and now a Chris Cutler streak! Oh how I enjoy the work of all these "English homosexuals."

I think that even though RIO and prog rock have some formal similarities, they couldn't be further apart in spirit. No doubt the anti-capitalist politics of the former play a decisive role here: both genres are characterized by indulgence, yes, but while prog was indulgent for the sake of spectacle (witness Carl Palmer's stainless steel drum kit), Henry Cow and their lot were indulgent for the sake of, dare I say, freedom.

Klep Molen said...

I heard Henry Cow and Derek Baily were teetotalers, so 'even drunker' would be a contradiction in terms would it not, huh? Just something that popped into my head whilst the thunder wails on the mezzanine. I could be wrong, but I've never seen any of them take a drink of alcohol. They usually pour it into the plant pot when you go off to the bog for a piss. Hey also downloaded that Philip Johnson album on Year Zero (Minimarine) ... f***in great!

Jonny Zchivago said...

Hey Klep, read 'Drunk/Drunken' as a descriptive analogy of the music, rather than a statement of fact.
And, Yes, P.Johnson's comeback album is fuckin great. I may well provide hard copies for non profit making sale next year. year Zero plus One if you will?

Jonny Zchivago said...

Hi antonio,
English Homosexuals are afraid of racist homocidal loonies with lethal weapons shocker!
On prog....there were definitly at least two kinds of get the awful,awful, showbiz crap of ELP,Genesis, Yes,Wankman etc,
then we have the more serious indulgence of the darker soul probing prog like King Crimson, Van Der graaf Generator,Egg...then we get the political prog of the RIO groups.
Of course the Showbiz side of things was absolute shite, but the remainder was fantastic stuff...although I do quite like a couple of Genesis albums....but keep that quiet!

António Mora said...

Fair enough. I happen to love King Crimson and Egg, and also find some Peter Gabriel-era Genesis to be worth my time. Really, I actually like all prog - even ELP and Yes aren't completely useless (and it's probably worth remembering here that Derek Bailey interviewed Steve Howe for his book on improvisation). But even a band like King Crimson could be said to have had commercial ambitions, and thus, in some sense could be said to have made "pop" music. It probably just points up how different capitalist culture was back then - becoming a popular group didn't require complete stylistic submission to the Jimmy Iovines of the world. But the fact that prog was "pop" music in a sense that RIO wasn't can be seen from the fact that whereas John Wetton and Steve Howe decided to make arena-rock tripe (and keep their pop ambitions), Frith, Cutler, and their ilk descended ever-deeper into inaccessible free improv.

SonicA said...

This looks very intriguing. Mysteriously however, neither link is functioning.

Jonny Zchivago said...

oh,alright then i'll upload it to mediafire as well then!

SonicA said...

Cool. Thanks for the quick turnaround.

a-g said...

Arkan was cool and so was this tape. Ty.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Yeeeaaaahhhh! way to Go arkan baby!Yeah!
There's nothing cooler than a dead mass murderer and thug!Are there any Arkan t-shirts available in Serbia?
What does a-g stand for Arkan Gunboy?