A decent job

Talking of NME, I have a single review from it of my band the Rhine River 3, in 1981. The reviewer (Paul Tickell, later a filmmaker) said of the compilation album The Fruit Of The Original Sin (Les Disques Du Crepuscule, 1981): ‘It’s amazing how many of the lesser known artists on the album come over like they’re laying down Joy Division demos, though at least Rhine River 3 and Paul Haig (from Josef K) make a decent job of theirs.’

I was 17 at the time, and went to Oxford in September 1981. And, even though my record was in the shops (that good one upstairs in the Cornmarket – I checked), I never told anyone because it would lead to the inevitable question: can I hear it? Which of course was a complete non-starter as even then I knew our singer couldn’t sing (though he looked all right) and we’d recorded an alternative for the record company to release. But still they’d gone with the original. Why, for god’s sake? They were Belgian. (Annick is played by Alexandra Maria Lara in Control.) Maybe they couldn’t tell the difference?

The whole episode left a funny taste in the mouth which strangely enough is exactly the same as my filmmaking one: simultaneous pride in the fact and embarrassment at the finished article…


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I had a stroke on July 26th, 2013. I was a screenwriter. Don’t do that anymore. But have found another way to write.

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