frequent mutilation


an early icon of mine passed away yesterday.
ari up, from the slits, a strong smart woman with a free spirit.
she was like a lot of the people i've known in my life.
the slits were one of the bands who informed my teenage years, hearing them for the first time on the evening radio, going out the very next day and grabbing "cut", a seminal turning point in my life which i still remember to this day.

coming home from a midnight london train journey, to find one of their singles delivered in the mail, and playing it at 6:30 am before going to bed... my parents blissfully asleep upstairs.

dj'ing their music in a darkened indie venue, and hearing the bass shake the floor(so much better than on my old hi-fi at home), and having those cool alternative people come up to me afterwards, wanting to know what the hell this great music was.
"Y3" instructing me in the ways of aural chaos, building home-made drumkits, and banging out tunes on pianos, breaking down the structures of songs into some sort of wild freeform.
"the return of the giant" album - my "kind of blue" moment, dub miles davies with great neville brody artwork - again more influence on me and everything i did after hearing/seeing it.
i got back into the slits after a hiatus of a few years, and found their music was still as essential as it always was.
they were of course connected with the clash, PiL and the banshees.

a few old sessions got re-released, and they were back, as important as ever.

i saw them play a small venue, on their last tour, and got to stand a few feet away from ari up before the gig... she looked at me like a ghost from the past(i was rocking a clash t-shirt that night!).
another memory to stay with me for life.
punky reggae!

1 comment:

bitter69uk said...

Beautifully put -- a fitting tribute. Ari Up will be missed -- how tragic she died at only 48. But the great thing is her music and her influence will last forever.

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