erasing clouds

The Nectarine No.9, Received, Transgressed & Transmitted (Beggars Banquet)

reviewed by Anna Battista

The world is coming to an end, a mass of red invades the blue sky and tinges it with the colour of blood, buildings crumble and everything is destroyed in the lapse of two seconds. This is the Apocalypse. And in the middle of this mess stands a band, their singer in broken shoes and with a shattered soul, just doing their job, singing, playing and never giving a bloody fuck about what's going on around them. That's what The Nectarine No.9 always make me think of: the world might suddenly come to an end, but, in the unfortunate event, Davey Henderson would shrug his shoulders, say, "It's just the way things are", and go on munching on his lyrics and playing his guitar, because that's what a genius would do.

Former member of Postcard band Fire Engines and later Win, Davey Henderson has managed to build with his pals a dub, pop, bluey, punky album which features Henderson's usual distorted vocals and guitars and a parallel universe of sounds as epic as Sun Ra's and as compelling as only The Nectarine No.9 can be. "Pong Fat" is the avalanche of guitars comparable only to "Stacey Keach Dada Mesage Bag" and "Burnt Nylon Carseat Cover Flavour" on the previous album Fried For Blue Material; the first single taken from this album, "Constellations of a Vanity", is a star exploding high in the sky; "Bongo Kong" is just some bongos played while Edinburgh's poet Jock Scot reads one of his deranged poems on the phone; "Susan Identifier" is a love song, and yes, you don't need to marvel since Henderson can write them as well as he can also write something as incredibly sensual as "Foundthings".

"Bacon looks under the skin at our twisted loneliness and capacity for pain," Alasdair Gray once wrote about the twisted artists Francis Bacon. The Nectarine No.9 have the power to look under your skin and get into your soul because they are the most brilliant band on this planet and the most beautiful secret of the world: those who know them have found a treasure which will never rust.

Issue 6, July 2001 | next article

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