Saturday, 22 August 2009

Birdland - Live

Anyone remember this lot? They were the 'next big thing' for about a nanosecond in 1989 - four bleached mop-haired guys who briefly got the inky music press creaming their pants before the "build them up then knock 'em down" mantra kicked in to full effect. Then they dyed their hair and promptly vanished.

They were notorious for on/offstage antics, including the drummer getting a broken nose courtesy of an unhappy bouncer at one gig, and getting thrown off a Janes Addiction tour for their behaviour (which must have taken some doing). They first played a club in Glasgow (Fury Murrays) the same night as the Stone Roses played another club (Rooftops) up the road, and I know people who chose Birdland over the Roses. Me? I had the choice of both but opted for a school-related party much to my shame (I was a teenager and girls were involved - go figure).

The first time I ended up seeing them was at Glasgow QMU, where everyone got given this freebie one-sided live album (limited to 10,000 - as if that many punters would flock to see them on a tour of the nation's toilets). Half of them ended up being used as frisbees if I remember correctly. This ruse was paid for by the various McLaren-esque antics of their manager touting them round various majors if I remember correctly.

At a later gig I remember getting kicked in the chest by the guitarist after grabbing his mic to sing on their Television cover, See No Evil (there was no stage at the Gourock Bay Hotel). Think I ended up seeing them an unhealthy number of times before realising they were shite.

Anyways, stumbled across this record in a recent flick-thru and gave it a listen. It's actually pretty fuckin good - catching a band in its pre-notoriety infancy and they fly through their set in 25 mins. Definitely worth a listen - my introduction to Television and Patti Smith came after chasing up the originals of the two covers on this...

Birdland - Live
A1 - Paradise
A2 - White
A3 - See No Evil
A4 - Hollow Heart
A5 - Crystal Injection
A6 - Gotta Gettaway
A7 - Sugar Blood
A8 - Rock'n'Roll Nigger

Buy it here


donny said...

Yeah, how could i forget, i walked past rooftops in sauchiehall street where the stone roses were playing to go watch birdland in fury murrays.

Also saw them at the gourock bay hotel a couple of weeks after my bloody valentine played ther, the wallpaper was still continuing its slow decent off the walls that began with you made me realise.

and tourists truing to sleep up the stairs as well, haha, good luck with that one, they must have put jellies in the water there to avoid complaints.

Anonymous said...

ah! - Birdland - my only memory was that (as recounted by Steve Lamacq) that when Richey Edwards carved '4real' into his arms that he was in part trying to convince the interviewer that the Manics were not the next Birdland

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing them in Edinburgh, getting hit by a guitar while bouncing at the front and not realizing my head was split open. I didn't notice till on the way to a friends flat that the sweat was blood. Still got the scar!!

Ctelblog said...

I remember them. Silly hair. Hyped to hell. Happily got nowhere.