Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Wall of Sound A-Z: Garbage :Garbage

Wall of Sound A-Z: Garbage :Garbage

Garbage represented my first getting caught up live in the massive hype of Melody Maker and the NME as in 1995 Garbage arrived, having Nirvana producer Butch Vig in the band and strong female vocalist Shirley Manson. I got caught up in all of this and bought tickets to see them at Wolverhampton Civic Hall (best local venue I the West Midlands at the time).

The album starts with Supervixen which I can take or leave,  but then Queer is a fantastic tune, a single receiving huge airplay, I liked it because it felt like the outsider element of Suede fronted by a woman, what's not to like. Just when you think the song iswinding up after 2 minutes it leaps on with some more grungy guitars, confirming the Queerest of the Queer, Strangest of the Strange. Definitely a 5 star tune, Duh duh duh der duh, you can touch me if you want.

Next my favourite song on the album, Shirley showing how stroppy she is with the excellent only happy when it rains. Great tune, shouts out at you, again massive airplay, catchy title and probably why I bought the tickets, odd chorus though 'Pour your misery down on me'

So at the Civic Hall we had balcony seats and I had never seen the hall so rammed, everyone clammering to see Shirley and co, and missing the support I didn't have long to wait, it was electric with the mosh pit seeming to stretch for most of the length of the venue, that's what stuck with me most from the gig, this mass of humanity totalling hyped for a brilliant experience and a band raring to give it them.

Back to the album, 'As heaven is wide' takes the grungy baseline and sticks it over a beating drum machine and Shirley speaking huskily over the top very effectively. We slow down a bit with the marching 'Not my idea' again great song, Shirley's Scottish accent breaking through, it's always nicer to hear singers singing in the own accent.

I was lucky to get to see Garbage, as I had bought tickets to 2 gigs on consecutive nights, Garbage and the Bluetones, but working in Swindon on an away job, not having tickets on me and Pre the Internet era I got confused, I came back to Brum to go to Wolverhampton and found the Bluetones was actually the first of the 2 gigs and had happened the day before. I was gutted and this put me off the Bluetones for life, especially as I had to pay for my mates ticket too. Lucky for me that Garbage was so good.

The biggest Britpop moment for the album comes with Stupid Girl, which was a decent sized hit too, lots of AirPlay again, backed no doubt by various lovely formats of records, I seem to recall that Garbages packaging was impressive, furry cover on one I think. Stupid Girl hit number 4 in the charts in the UKwhen that meant something to me and was all over the TV chart shows.

Milk ends the album, a quieter relaxing end, their final single off the album, reworked with Tricky, showing what a big deal they were at the time, this is a quite haunting track, with the vocals 'Im waiting, I'm waiting for you' staying with you long after the single finishes.

I stayed following Garbage, really enjoying lots of the singles off less successful later albums but was most surprised when Shirley turned up as the key baddy in the Terminator Spin off TV series, the Sarah OConner Chronicles where she played one of the liquid metal terminators and was pretty effective as a cyborg!

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