Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Carter USM

"Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine" was a band who were to have quite a big musical influence on a number of levels. For someone who really loved live indie guitar music this band should have caused me problems. A drum machine for starters... My view was drum machines were ok for bands to use for song writing and demos, but proper bands should have real drummers! However I first got to see "Carter" live at Reading University in 1990, and the show blew me away. A dislike of drum machines were irrelevant as Jim Bob and Fruit Bat belted out a set that was awesome, full of raw energy and cracking songs with the drum machine playing a full part! I can remember Dave "Horace" Hicks stage diving, and the crowd parting letting him crash to the floor as it would take a brave man to catch Dave in full flight being the size he is! Also their use of sampling is something I previously was very much against back at that time. But their clever use of sampling made me appreciate how clever an art form it can be... Of course it's very much common place these days...

My favourite songs are from the earlier part of their career. "Sherrif Fatman" "Bloodsport For All" and "After The Watershed" are classics! They are definitely a band whose clever lyrics sat comfortably on great melodies. The "30 Something" album remains a favourite of mine and the "30 Something" logo remains one of my favourite pieces of musical artwork for it's powerful yet simplistic make up.

The 2nd time I saw "Carter" was at the Reading Rivermead, and by that time they riding high in the charts and able to fill much bigger, but less personal venues and for me part of the magic had gone, although it was still a great show and the band continued to release great indie anthems and "The Impossible Dream" is a gorgeous cover version. The band occasionally reform for the odd show and this year after around about 20 years I finally caught them live again on November 19th 2011 at the Birxton Academy, London! It was a blinding show!

Finally mention has to be made of the classic audience chant of "You Fat Bastard", which needs no explaining to those who know and love the band, and for those who don't have a watch...

1 comment:

  1. I went to both the Reading Uni gig and the Rivermead one and am off to see them tonight at Brixton in the same Dr Marten shoes I wore 21 years ago! More of a 40 something now than the 20 year old lad I was back then but I'm pretty certain once Sheriff Fatman kicks in during the encore I'll be pogoing again like all those years ago. @rusticlad