Saturday, 17 May 2008



Without realising it at the time Babes In Toyland provided a couple of genuinely key moments during my post school transition into supposed adulthood (which these days would probably be referred to as my kidulthood).

Babes In Toyland were the first band that I ever saw live.  The band was supported by Trumans Water and Maniac Squat when they played the number one nightclub in Colchester called The Hippodrome.  And to a lost soul stuck in rural Essex it was a revelation.  I still remember vividly how afterwards outside the venue I was handed a flyer for a DIY mail order t-shirt of Kat Bjelland kicking Axl Rose in the balls.  This was a different world.  And probably explained why there was a lad wearing a yellow dress in the men’s toilet and how with my bad eyesight I almost tried it one with a blonde long hair in a Rollins Band t-shirt that I thought was a girl.

The other key moment was the day a lost/absent school friend came to visit me out of the blue.  Both our school careers had ended in a flounder and we had long since drifted apart.  We were former best friends but now had little in common.  I had no idea what I was doing with my life while after being talked out of joining the army; my friend was now stepping into becoming an apprentice mechanic.  We had nothing in common.  I did however have a snooker table in my bedroom and therein lay the visit’s appeal.  In the end he switched tapes for my dad’s Elton John Best Of.  Later he wound up becoming a financial advisor and me an accountant.  Such is life.

“Bruise Violet” is a very aggressive song.  Arriving on classy violet vinyl barely thirty seconds pass on the seven inch before Bjelland is singing/screaming “fucking bitch well I hope your insides rot”.  This is the sound of two women fighting outside a pub and being that Kat can be heard laughing while Lori’s echo backing sounds like her conscious, you can guess who is winning the fight (if not the war).  I guess that was always the point of Babes In Toyland: empowerment by any means necessary.

The beef was with Courtney Love who Bjelland appeared to believe was stealing her shtick with the whole Kinderwhore look.  And certainly it looked that way in the video as the Bjelland clones blur with the Courtney lookalikes.

Flipping over we get two tracks from Fontanelle in the shape of “Magick Flute” and “Gone”.  The former features Lori taking lead vocals on a drunken and explicit escapade while the latter features the sound of smashing glass and screaming as the band runs riot in the process of passing out.

This is the kind of record that speeds up existence and lends excitement to the day.  I was right and my army loving buddy was wrong.

Thesaurus moment: muliebrity.

Southern Records

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