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An interview with Old Time Relijun

April 2000

I arrived at this gig a little late and in much overdone panic. First of all we were in South London, and more importantly, I had forgotten to pick up a blank tape to record this interview on. As soon as I located Arrington de Dionyso, which took about twenty seconds in the dimly lit and tiny venue, he sweetly agreed to loan me a cassette and we got under way. Because The Vauxhall Tavern was no more than a small one room pub (with some truly , um, kitsch decor), we took our leave and went out to Old Time Relijun‘s van with the rest of the band – Aaron Hartman (string bass) and Phil Elvrum (drums) to find a little quiet to work in.

FREQ: OK, so the brief biography first-who are you?

Old Time Relijun: Arrington,

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Tarwater – Animals, Suns & Atoms

Label: Kitty-Yo (Europe)/Mute (USA) Format: CD,LP

Animals, Suns & Atoms - sleeve detailThere’s something extraordinarily contradictory about Tarwater‘s music. At least, that’s what their promo material says. And who am I to argue? Animals, Suns & Atoms opens with a mish-mash of spacey electronics blending seamlessly into the surreal and sinister “All Of The Ants Left Paris” on which Ronald Lippok‘s sanguine vocals sound strangely like an absinthe-soaked Lou Reed left to mutter ominously on a Paris side-street (and yes, that’s Ronald Lippok of To Rococo Rot). There’s something almost Brechtian about the atmosphere of this album, and yet at the same time it’s difficult to deny the Dub-pop sound of the music which lilts breezily along in a frenzy of “catchiness”. See what I mean…? Contradictory as hell.

The music here is rich and dense, but is prevented from being in any way

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Primal Scream/Death In Vegas/Invasian (live)

Brixton Academy, London 22nd April 2000

I had a T-shirt ready for Death In Vegas. It had the cross-sectioned brain from the cover of The Contino Sessions on the front, with a Levi’s logo stamped across it. Underneath was the quote from Bill Hicks about every word from the mouths of artists who advertise being like a turd falling into his drink. In the end, for better or worse, I couldn’t be arsed to take it and throw it to them onstage. I was there for Primal Scream and just wanted to enjoy.

Still, I just couldn’t summon any enthusiasm for Death In Vegas’ set. I loved The Contino Sessions – that was exactly why I was so offended that they saw fit to sell “Dirge” to fucking Levi’s. Do they have a legitimate excuse? Did one of their mothers need the cash for a brain operation? I suspect not.

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Primal Scream (live)

T & C, Leeds 17th April 2000

So this is what gigs look like these days. It’s been awhile. Last time I was here I got thrown out for pogoing atop the right-hand side speaker stacks on, if I remember rightly, a combination of mushrooms and speed. This time I sit quietly on the stairs overlooking the audience and crowdwatch. Well, I’ve not been well. Girls with those colourful children’s hairclip things that I’ve never really fully understood the point of mill about below. One solitary chemically empowered casual dances wild-eyed to the pre-gig choonz on the PA, and is given an appropriately wide berth by those around him, but other than that there are no real characters for me to report. The boys drink much beer and look strikingly ordinary, most all of them having that Oasis-casual thing going on so unfortunately prevalent today. Younger people than I sit

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Cornucopea – Two South Bank Evenings With Julian Cope

Anal; Ash Ra Tempel; Brain Donor; Coil; Julian Cope; Groundhogs; Kid Strange; Queen Elizabeth The South Bank Centre, London 1st-2nd April 2000

Since this two-day festival in the South Bank Centre is essentially Julian Cope‘s entry in the venue’s largely excellent series of Mini-Meltdowns, it probably comes as no surprise that he is seemingly omnipresent, playing solo twice, and collaboratively in the guise of both Brain Donor and Queen Elizabeth. This could easily have been something of an ordeal for those not of the fanlike persuasion for this most eccentric and Rock of eccentric Rock stars, but thankfully there was much to be admired and enjoyed at Cornucopea – the brightly psychedelic esoteric symbolism on dispay in the foyer of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the first night (all too appropriately run on All Fool’s Day); the marvellously Tardis-sized starry-print, fake-fur Disco booth of the Miniscule Of Sound, a superb

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