Some belated reviews… on Tuesday I went to see one of the ““saint etienne present: popfiction” sessions at the Barbican with the fabulous Miss Jo. We saw “Three Minute Heroes” and “Ladies and Gentlemen…The Fabulous Stains“.
“Three Minute Heroes” was interesting for its glimpse into life in the Midlands in the early 1980s, particularly how boring it was for teenagers. I always forget that most English people in London have also come from somewhere else, and I can see why they’d want to escape down to London. The scene set at what looked like an underage gig was almost like a social anthropology documentary – I’d forgotten how tribal it used to be. Compared to teenagers now, they seemed incredibly colourful and diverse. I’m not sure how it worked if you didn’t have a group of your own, or if you were gay.
They say that anyone who saw “…The Fabulous Stains” the first time around formed a band, and I have been thinking about bass guitars lately so maybe it still works. Its tale of sudden, gimmick-led rise to fame, exploitation and even more sudden fall from grace should be shown to everyone who auditions for Pop Idol. It should probably also be shown to teenage girls, in the spirit of the Riot Grrls.
Last night I saw Beautiful Thing at the Sound Theatre. Written around the time Section 28 was introduced, it’s already a period piece in some ways, but I bet there are still kids in council estates around the UK going through the same thing.