Monday, 11 November 2013

Why You Should See Luke Haines

In November, a band called Foreigners Journey will play Wakefield. Like a discount double DVD from Tesco's featuring the joint highlights of Cheaper By The Dozen 2 and something with Vin Diesel in it, it's a confusingly un-ambitious and fleetingly pleasurable prospect. Why two bands that singularly do not have enough hits to attract passive cover band audiences, were prized together in such a convoluted fashion is a bizarre conundrum. Two turds for the price of one? How polished are they?

But - it is that passive audience who count. Who are Foreigner? "I Wanna Know What Love Is" Oh yeah! Who are Journey? "Don’t Stop Believin" Oh, those guys! In one three note blast of nothing, we have a hook, a whole career explained. We've got you. There has to be something better. There has to be. 

So the paradox of promotion is that the more interesting an artist is, and the more complex, diverse and indefinable their career has been, the harder it is, in this world of 'you've got ten seconds to convince me' faux-impossibly busy lifestyles, to make that sale.

But, given that you are the kind of individual that has made it to the fourth paragraph of a blog entry, I am going to presume that alongside your curiosity and tenacity, you also have fine taste. And, that being the case, Rhubarb Bomb has something very special lined up for you.

If Luke Haines had ever stayed still, at any point in his career, he would be hard to define. But some all encompassing, career covering explanation? I shall avoid bullet points. We're not revising.

But by way of written montage, let me give you the 'previously...' prologue, to whet your appetite.

Luke Haines appeared on the legendary C86 cassette as a member of The Servants. His first album as The Autuers saw him face off against Suede for the second Mercury Music Prize. The entity christened 'Britpop' emerged from the fallout. Instead of building on this success he ended up recording a gobsmackingly brilliant concept album about Baader Meinhof, a bunch of German Terrorists from the 70's. The press release included directions for making a nail-bomb. He called a National Pop Strike, asking all pop star to down tools for a week. He received little support, though he managed to scupper his own record, released that same week. He created the genuine pop group Black Box Recorder. He released a Christmas song called 'Unsolved Child Murder'. Since going solo, he has released albums about wrestling and Rock N Roll Animals. He is dynamite for people who like to create not quite true, but fuck it, let's go with the myth, type stories.

He's also written two excellent memoirs and is a decent painter too.

So, y'know, it's kinda hard for me to say "Hey, look at this video man!" because how can I choose one thing to define all that? His 'Best-Of' is a great start, but it is three discs long, mostly previously unreleased. 

But there is the fun of it. He's a great artist, and that makes him a great person to be a fan of. That's a defining thing for me. Because you don't know what he is going to do next, yet his track record suggests he has a knack of getting it right, so the returns are worth treading the thin ice for.

Always interesting, never obvious. That's what I like about Luke Haines, that's why I booked him for Wakefield, and that's why you should come and have a listen on November 27th at The Calder, The Hepworth, Wakefield. Tickets are available HERE

*despite what I’ve just said, here are five videos, if you have the time*

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