Thursday, 4 August 2011

Leaders of Men part 8 Dave from My Bloody Valentine

Dave Conway was the original singer for My Bloody Valentine appearing on their first four records before calling it quits in 87 to pursue a fab prolific career in science fiction writing. The first record ' This is Your Bloody Valentine' was a blatantly Birthday Party / Cramps/ Scientists inspired affair which sadly suffered from a clinical 80s production leaving the overall sound thin and lacking any real power. Shame
as most of the tracks are pretty cool.

 However. Upon relocating to London in 85 they produced three brilliant eps Geek, New Record by and Sunny Sundae Smile which are undoubtedly absolute gems of damaging noise sixties inspired indie pop. Dave's sometimes gothy yet fay { an unlikely mix of Lux Interior \ pete shelley\ Nick Cave and Colin Blunstone perhaps ?} vocals rule the attack on the senses transcending all contemporaries feeble efforts.
Leaving the crimpers in berlin the new dishevelled beat group image with matching black moptop/ page boy barnets , chelsea boots etc completed the overall revamp and was perfect timing for indie style circa 85 which seemed to be veering in a very mid 60s direction creating a brief odd overlap within the militant garage, mod scene and the less fashion savvy student indie kid types who until then lived in two very different worlds. And were soon separated again in 88 with [ yawn }the arrival of acid house and indie dance crossover.
 I was lucky enough to have seem them then in a small pub in Southend in front of about thirty or so people most of them there to local teen c86 contenders The Bright young Things{ criminally obscure and underated twee noise featuring a kick ass drummer called Pete i think }  The tinny fuzzed out racket was truly life affirming stuff. Fast forward about five years to a giant venue in downtown San Francisco where my flatmate who worked at the Rough Trade on Haight street at the time picks up free tickets for the show. We wander in amongst the hordes of floppy haired shoegazers  and stand as close as we can to the front . The set starts with a barely recognizable Lovelee sweet darlene sounding more like mammoth 70s stadium Space Rock than the glorious scuzz of the Dave era track . Things get drearier and drearier with the group moping about the stage drifting into long sections sounding at times like a wale dying with the guitarist complacently choosing from his vast array of effects pedals 'mmm maybe i'll give this one a go now 'much to the delight of the gormless crowd who happily lap the sludge up.The 90s had arrived. Clearly the band have lost all personality and style since Daves departure . Is this Prog? Maybe i'm a philistine? We soon split about halfway through the set yelling ' What happened to you ? You're not the same'  from Minor Threat's anthemic Filler  to a bar round the corner { no shoegazers/ hippies allowed! the sign clearly states on the door} to catch a shit hot effect free set by ' The Loved Ones'  Berkeley mod/ r & b movers  with serious Yardbird / Paul Butterfield circa 65 leanings . Singer Bart Davenport looking like a youthful deadringer for the latter. Lineup also contained a youthful Nick Rossi. The mod militia safe at last.

Where was i ?
Dave Conway. Indie icon . Undisputed leader of My Bloody Valentine. Leader of Men.

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