Wednesday, October 11, 2006

ICA announce C86 festival

I'm sure you've all heard about this event at the ICA. Here are the official details:

Still Doing It For Fun
Friday 27 and Saturday 28 October, 2006
ICA, The Mall, London SW1Friday
27 October: The Magic Numbers, Gokart Mozart, Vic Godard & theSubway Sect + DJs St Etienne and Jeff Barrett (Heavenly Recordings)
Saturday 28 October: Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera), Phil Wilson(Junebrides), The Wolfhounds + DJs The Pastels

Some people have demanded "what the fuck have these bands got to do with C86?" In the case of The Magic Numers, nothing. Go-Kart Mozart, well, Felt were much loved around that time and shared a label, tours and fans with many archetypal C86 bands. Subway Sect - trickier one this, but seeing as musical chameleon Vic Godard is revered as Saint Victor by the grandfathers, founding fathers and fathers of C86/early Creation/Postcard then that booking's explained.

Roddy Frame, ex-Postcard recording artiste, a man about whom there can be no quibbles. Er, except he's got no links to C86. I'd be interested to see Phil Wilson solo, if only because that means he might play Better Days. Um, the line-up's pretty patchy in its C86 connection, really; just as well I didn't "leak" the line-up I heard about in the summer, because it contained the Young Marble Giants, who aren't playing, and The Pastels, who are DJing, rather than playing.

The real reason for this line-up is not the acts' relationship with C86 - and the only act we can really complain about and for my money shouldn't be on the bill is the Magic Numbers - but their relationship with the record labels that are backing the fandango. Rough Trade would seem an obvious choice, but Heavenly less so.

Heavenly, started in 1990, is only linked to C86 through its founder, Jeff Barrett, known to those who worked in the music press in the mid-80s, I am told by a veteran of those years, as "indie Jeff", who - and wikipedia may have a comprehensive biography of the fellow, but this is my knowledge and it's enough for these purposes - after being a Creation Records PR ran the short-lived but estimable Sub Aqua label before launching Heavenly.

But the real reason these labels - Domino are on board, too - are involved is not which C86 or related bands they released in 1986, but their ongoing commitment to the indie ethics founded by the C86 scene. You are aware of Rough Trade, Domino and Heavenly, I'm sure, so I will leave it to you to draw your own conclusions about whether they are appropriate labels for this weekend.

One other possibility: the press release bumf states proudly:

"Without it, groups like Franz Ferdinand and The Arctic Monkeys would not exist."

Well, get Franz Ferdinand and The Arctic Monkeys to play the gigs, then. Bring on more fans to the C86 cause, catch a broader and deeper section of ver youth of today to the history and the vital present of today by having these headline-grabbing bands (no, the fucking Magic Numbers are not good or popular enough) and have some great bands from 2006 supporting them - if you're stuck for ideas, I'm sure Fugu (France), Sambassadeur (Sweden), Anthony Atkinson (Australia) and Voxtrot (USA), for example, could manage it brilliantly and represent C86's worldwide influence.

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