Andreas Heuer photo
You heard about the body of a murdered man being found in Goodwood, South Australia?
After the gig, me, Ocky and Robert Stafford (of Meatbeaters fame) were perched at the back of the tram as it lurched and whined its way homeward. This is Adelaide, not Melbourne, and we can only afford one tram. So it whines.
Anyway, we’d got through the city and were on the last stop before the parklands when suddenly there were cop cars everywhere, zig-zagging before parking on the tram tracks. A crim ute appeared, and a rather scary-looking Alsatian as one cop ran up to the driver while others peered in at us with a worrying hopefulness.
The St Morris Sinners must have had a lot of fun recording this. They’re one of those bands who, like the Butthole Surfers on their first 12”, have released a disc so uniquely different you could be fooled into thinking you’re listening to several bands. That’s a good thing, of course, because it implies that there’s a broader palette just waiting to be applied.
It’s rated five bottles, although depending on your taste, you’ll likely be putting this one into the obsolete technology in 20 years. ‘Songs about Insects’ is a big restless, itchy slab of mucky stuff and St Morris Sinners have a narky, deceptive approach all their own.
"White Light/ White Heat" and "The Velvet Underground", the band’s second and third LPs, were always the kind which you experience in the fullest sense of the meaning. When you’d finally recovered after playing the bastard to death, you’d inevitably create a mix tape, if not two.
From one perspective, then, the Velvets’ LPs are all seriously flawed; from another perspective (mine) any flaws they may have are simply the representation of the kind of genius several individuals can create, where the creation reaches far, far above anything we do individually. But like I say, approach with caution. And have your mixtape equipment handy.
At this point I must also mention two 1980s compilations of Velvets recordings. These tracks turn up on the deluxe boxes, and on "Peel Slowly"; the records were "VU", and "Another View". Many people prefer the first to the second; as lost Velvets albums, however, they’re a damn sight more balanced than "White Light/ White Heat" and "The Velvet Underground".