Nobody Told Me...
Ah well, enough of the pleasantries, like Xmas, it's the same shit every year. But that would be rude, so Happy New Year to whoever still reads my crap these days :)
People moan about Farnborough, and I agree it's not the best place in the world, not since they shut down The Tumbledown Dick. There's no reason for this town to be the centre of the universe anymore :(
And Aldershot's certainly no better. OK, they do have the Westy to go see gigs at, but it's hardly a reasonable walking distance from my Fox Lane (Farnborough) home when I've had a skinful.
But today I went for a quick wander around the town I used to hang about in as a kid. (Well, sometimes) And what has become of The Home of The British Army? Well, for one, Aldershot still has some of it's Victorian buildings. Other classic buildings have been utterly destroyed for bland new constructions. Bummer. And the place was dead, so so deathly quiet and a cold cold Wednesday afternoon. I spoke with some locals and they blame it on the Ministry of Defence who started moving our soldiers to Colchester some years ago. Plus it's been -10°c here the last few nights and we have a global credit crunch incase you didn't notice ;)
However, if there's one glimmer of hope in Aldershot, it's Spinna Disc Records. They moved from Grosvenor Road to the top of Union Street some years back. I walked past the location and they were gone. However, a stroll further down Union Street and there was the shop sign... "Spinna Disc Records".
I couldn't help myself, I was compelled to enter the shop. Second-hand record shops are just addictive and they are so rare these days, especially outside big cities and with the advent of eBay shops and the like where I admit I've misspent a lot of my life buying used CDs.
My opinion on modern tunes is why should we buy new music when there's so much old stuff that we haven't caught up with. Have you got a copy of Argus by Wishbone Ash? Or how about Kings of Oblivion by The Pink Fairies? No? Then don't buy any new music until you've tracked these LPs down, purchased them, played them and then blogged about how much you love them. Don't thank me, thank Wishbone Ash, The Pink Fairies and the power of the Internet for allowing us to get stuck in a beautiful musical timewarp.
So in true hypocritical fashion I bought Chinese Democracy by Guns N' Roses. Oh, and Iron Maiden's Seventh Son. So I'm half a hypocrite... 2008 and 1988 respectively.
I admit to not really ever being a GN'R fan. A review of the controversial-covered Appetite for Destruction when it first came out, in NME back in 1987, harped on about how good the LP was, and I admit I was tempted to buy it but somehow missed out. I ended up being far more enamoured by Hawkwind and their awesome Live Chronicles LP and went more that direction in rock/metal rather than the more "glammy" GN'R route.
And then everyone started dressing like Axel Rose, drinking Jack Daniels, flipping Zippo lighters, wearing mirrored shades and trying to look (in a I'm so macho 'cos I look like a girl sense) cool... except Axel Rose danced like a twat. And his voice got on my tits. I saw them at Donnington '88 and wasn't that impressed, not when Helloween, Megadeth, Dave Lee Roth and Iron Maiden were on the same bill. (But you missed out Kiss, they were there too. No they weren't. One word - Crazy Nights. OK, that's two, but I had more fun draining my lizard than listening to that shite)
Where was I? Oh yeah, GN'R. That wasn't my scene, all that whiny November Rain bollocks. Sorry, but that was the most dire song ever, and video, especially to followers of bands like Kreator, Nuclear Assault and Overkill. Anyone who liked November Pain was just... I dunno, an emotional rock retard. But the point is that I heard a few tracks played from Chinese Democracy and really quite enjoyed them. I blame Planet Rock. So when I was chatting to the geezer in Spinnadisc he pointed it out. I thought yeah, why not - it's on my list so let's have it.
What's it like? Well OK, I'm listening to it right now, track 13... one more to go. Yeah, it's good. I like it. It's slightly overproduced I feel, it has a more digital, synthesised feel to it, and I feel that some of the tracks end abruptly, or am I just not concentrating?
Axl's voice is still the same but I think my tinnitus takes the edge of it, and at times he drops into these weird octaves that remind me of some Frank Zappa stuff around the time of Joe's Garage Act I (try finding that on CD for a reasonable price!) The drumming sounds like a machine at times and the guitar is Slash-like, although I don't know this line-up. Looking at the CD insert, is that a bloke with a bucket on his head? Oh how Mick Jones would laugh!
Excuse the vagueness of my music critique, I'm a bit weary, but if you're a GN'R fan then you've probably already brought Chinese Rocks (YES - I've been dying to write that) and you must already love it (But where's Slash, why DOES that guy have a KFC bargain bucket on his bonce?)
On the other hand, if you don't like GN'R you may still hate them. Or maybe not. I don't care too much 'cos I'm getting more tired as I write this and I have to switch to my Iron Maiden CD...
...OK, it's in.
[And Seventh Son would sound great if I weren't stuck on this stupid interactive CD autoboot... Come on, Winamp, read the bastard. OK. Sorted. Ooh, memories of '87/'88]
So if you don't live anywhere near Aldershot or even plan to visit within the next month, then go ahead and buy stuff off Amazon or, better still, go support your local 2nd-hand record shop. If you DO plan to be in North East Hampshire very soon, then I highly recommend a trip to Spinna Disc at 16 Union Street, Aldershot, Hampshire GU11 1EG. Not only are there loads of CDs, but he has TONS of LPs and is a really nice chap, so go and grab some old tunes from one of our locals.
Right, talking of Slash, I need the toilet...