Wednesday, 15 April 2020

I brake for modern nature

I was having a cigarette in the smoking area outside a gig a bit back* and was drawn into a conversation with my fellow smokers, the gist of which was that the band were rockin’ that night and that weren’t there a lot of good gigs at the moment. One guy, who was quite pissed, slurred that, yes, there were a lot of great bands around, but none of them were English – there are no good English bands he declared, with a dismissive wave of his arm. We stood around and you could almost hear our collective minds whirring, but after about 20 seconds we all just sort of nodded, no one had been able to come up with anything. I had thought immediately to mention Ultimate Painting, but unfortunately they’d split up a short time beforehand.

I’d first seen Ultimate Painting supporting White Fence at the 100 Club, quite often I miss support bands as the friend I go along to most gigs with has a bee in his bonnet about the price of pints in venues. In my opinion it doesn’t really make that much difference in London, but there we are. But yes, anyway, very glad we caught Ultimate Painting on this occasion - they had wisely opened up with their eponymous track and within seconds the whole crowd was bopping along. I saw them a few more times and was due to see them again when news of their split broke. They were on the verge of releasing an album which was subsequently mothballed - no doubt it will emerge at some point in the future and be hailed as a lost classic and the murkiness of the split pored over.

I got a copy of Jack Cooper’s solo album but didn’t listen to it for a few months and then only because I’d got a new car that had a functioning CD player. It’s pretty good - he did a good lagniappe session on Aquarium Drunkard too.

But anyway, that album has been, in my opinion, exceeded by his latest thing Modern Nature. The track above is probably their best so far and, in a move that quite tickles me, they’ve started both the gigs I’ve been to with it. I mention all this as I realised that they were actually the last gig I went to, before all this lock down business, on 4 March.

They also do dead good tee shirts.

*Possibly King Tuff back in August 2018.


  1. Two posts in two days Artog, good stuff. I hope you are staying well and safe.

  2. Thanks Drew, all well here. Life has settled into a different routine - it's a bit dull but, thankfully, hard to equate with what I see when I switch on the news.

  3. Hello, stranger.

    Yes, my current favourite group are French: Les Grys Grys. I think you'd like them

  4. John! Yes - I've done a bit of blogging, strange times indeed. They've certainly nailed that sound. I went to see the Allah Las a while back and most of the crowd looked like Les Grys Grys.

  5. Cheers SA - the lockdown might see a mini-comeback.