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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Rock Section

Julian Cope's 'gnostic hooligan road novel' One Three One is utterly brilliant and somewhat crackers. As you might expect.

Told through the eyes of Rock Section, lead singer with post-punk band Low Countries and reinvigorated as the late 80s dj and dance act Dayglo Maradona, and set in three different times- June 2006, June 1990 and 10, 000 years ago- Rock returns to Sardinia sixteen years after he and three friends were kidnapped following an England game at Italia 90. The kidnapping has led eventually to the recent suicide of one of his fellow kidnappees. During the England game in 1990 posh rapper Full English Breakfast (of the band Kit Kat Rappers) fell to his death from a TV tower. After shitting himself, literally, on the airplane (and the opening sentences of the book) Rock is rescued by his Sardinian driver Anna. Their first stop is the prison holding Judge Barry Hertzog, a Dutch hooligan, dj and promoter of the club Slag van Blowdriver- the man suspected to be responsible for the death of Full English and the kidnapping.. Rock is aghast at what Hertzog tells him and spends his brief time on Sardinia seeking closure and justice for his dead friends, all the while receiving phone calls from the sole remaining kidnappee Mick Goodby, a Shaun Ryder-esque rave poet and former lead singer of Brits Abroad.

Constantly tuned in to Sardinia's brilliant FM radio station Rock and Anna discover several stone doorways on Sardinia. Through these doorways Rock travels back in time 10, 000 years to prehistoric Europe where he gets mashed up on the golden substance ephedra and finds himself a tribal King.

There's plenty more but you should read it for yourself. It is very funny, irreverent, compelling, frequently baffling (but you just have to keep reading and enjoy the ride) and also totally convincing (despite the time travel). Cope also takes time to aim his words at various targets- religion (Christianity and Islam), the British authorities following the Hillsborough disaster, Thatcher, and a little bafflingly Half Man Half Biscuit. Highly recommended reading.

In June I posted Cope's original mix of Dayglo Maradona's 1989 indie-dance song Rock Section. You can still get it for free through Bandcamp. At the time I mistakenly called this the Andrew Weatherall remix. It isn't. The Weatherall remix is only available on limited white vinyl.

Rock Section (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

The rest of the bands, artists and records in Cope's vividly imagined rave world of 1990 are also on Bandcamp through the One Three One Doorway. Hours of fun.


drew said...

Thanks SA, I'm now 19 quid poorer!

Swiss Adam said...

My pleasure Drew.

Anonymous said...


Paul.C. said...

cheers for this.good to see your blog still going strong.