Sunday, 6 October 2013

The Great Warp and Weft of the Sonic Cycle: Monk Time!

I often find myself aimlessly kerb crawling the multi-coloured streets of YouTube in search of the old neighborhoods of my imagination, and being of a certain age, these old places tend to be located in the shabby monotone avenues of 60's and 70's TV land.

I know that I couldn't have actually physically witnessed most of the sixties TV shows when they were first broadcast as I was too young (or perhaps not yet born), but even in my teens, when confronted with an old 'Beat Club' clip on late night TV, I had a hankering to return to that other universe of psychedelia and Paisley print ephemera.

As I came out of childhood and came of age in Thatcher's Britain with mass unemployment and that all pervasive feeling of hopelessness that seemed to permeate everything (unless you were YUPPY or on drugs - possibly both), most contemporary music seemed lame and synthetic. I became a Neo-Punk as a kind of protest against that fake decadent/New romantic/Beachwear 'scene' that was being sold to everyone at that time. Maybe it was a working-class thing.

To be working class in the 80's wasn't as cool as it had been for the Beatles in the 60's - times had changed and the 'Underclass' was being socially engineered by government and commerce. For me personally, to feel a certain rootedness, to feel like you had an identity that wasn't ridiculously inauthentic, necessitated a return to the angry young men of the Punk explosion of a decade earlier. It's funny, but the older I get, the further I tend to yearn for some hazy, innocent 'elsewhere' of the imagination - whether its 50's Kerouacian Beat, 60's Psychedelia or 70's Glam and Punk. 'The past is another country' .. and they always seem to do things very differently and beautifully there.

I know it's the old 'Rose tinted spec's' thing to a degree, but I also KNOW that a lot of things were more innocent, adventurous and stylish there too.

I came across a 60's proto-Punk band called 'The Monks' a while ago who have reinforced my belief that nothing is new under the sun, and that if you're a bit disillusioned with your current zeitgeist, you have to scratch a bit deeper for the gems (like I need to do), or, just wait for the great universal cycle to roll around again. Find them on YouTube.

~ H-Allen