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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I predict a music post

There’s been a predictable flurry of people tweeting jokey I Predict A Riot-type stuff for days now and … I’ve had to rush back from my holiday to put a stop to it.

Stop THAT right now! It’s criminally over-obvious and there’s absolutely no justification for it whatsoever. If this descends into widespread use of references to White Riot, London’s Burning or I Fought The Law then I’ll have to call in the army …

Actually, though, after the somewhat jaw-dropping adoption of The Clash’s London Calling as the official Olympics tune, it does seem horribly inevitable that the alternative, riot-strewn answer to “brand London” could well be London’s Burning (Clash song, not mediocre TV series).

For my money London’s Burning is a typically over-rated Clash effort, marred by Strummer’s horrible garbled vocals and made boring by Jones’ stabs of guitar (plus yucky guitar solo) and the MOR chorus carousing. It has an OK sudden ending though: a final “London’s burning!”, with accompanying drum roll.

A few years ago I was at a Selfish Cunt gig when an unannounced woman appeared on stage: an apparition with creepy make-up, a strange hair/hat configuration and an odd flowing dress. In icily exact actor’s tones she recited a sort of poem that consisted of her saying “London’s burning … London’s burning … It’s fucking burning, I tell you ...” for around two minutes. In the backgound a trumpet played something mournful and despondent. Then silence.

It was about 100 times more alarming and disorientating than Strummer’s duff effort or Ricky Wilson’s sub-Blur bore. To me it was far more evocative of how it feels to be in close proximity to a riot. 

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