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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Luke Haines - 9 1/2 Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s & early '80s

For people of a certain age* Saturday afternoon wrestling has nothing to do with the steroid heavy star spangled million dollar franchise that the world now considers to be the norm.
Instead wrestling is the key to the past. It's the ticket for the nostalgia train.
A single mention of Kendo Nagasaki, Big Daddy or Giant Haystacks is all that it takes for the rose tinted memories to come flooding back.
Saturday afternoons spent watching men - who wouldn't look out of place in your local pub - dramatically, and comically, throwing each other about dressed in what appeared to be swimming trunks was what it was all about.
Come Monday morning at school and the bouts of the weekend would be the talk of the playground.
Mick McManus was the anti hero who we loved to boo and hiss at. Oh what we would do to him given five minutes in an alley.
Catweazle was a bit of a joke, but we secretly loved him to, and what the hell was Gorgeous George all about?
Now in 2011 we have Luke Haines magically providing a concept album geared around those times, and when I slip it on it's like wrapping myself in childhood memories.
Every wrestler of note is lovingly woven into the story, and every single nuanced moment of this album appears to be designed to ease you into a time and place that no longer exists.
Through music time travel is indeed possible.
Forget the nostalgic compilations that proliferate supermarket shelves. Here is the real key to recapturing the past, and very cleverly it's also an album that's equally at home in the present to.
In writing this Luke Haines has created yet another work of genius and it's about time that the critical acclaim he garners is translated to public acclaim.
I would urge everyone to buy this and wallow in its working class grace.
Now where's my swimming trunks and dressing gown as I think I'm going to have to listen to it again.
* My age.

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