IN this week's fun filled, adjective spewing column we examine the influence of Luke Kelly on one of today's hip young gunslingers, talk to James Dean Bradfield about the relative merits of Tom Jones and The Clash, manage to get Kristin Hersh from Throwing Muses to reply "No, I don't think so" to every [single question we ask her, mop up all the fringe In The City happenings and a few other things besides.
A T one level it's all about enormodomes, trillion selling albums, debilitating drug habits and super turbo charged egos but at the other level it's about being squashed into a tiny room at the back of a pub in Camden, London on the hottest night imaginable. That was a few weeks back and we were there to have a gawk at The Hormones, a new electric charge of a band fronted by Dubliner Marc Carroll, who - in a very short space of time - have pushed all the right buttons with all the right people. Managed by the Rough Trade group (Pulp etc;) and with Richard Branson and industry heavyweight Jeremy Pearce making them all sorts of offers to get them on their new V2 label, it seems quite appropriate to ask Marc, a punk rocker at heart, all about Luke Kelly.
"It's funny, even though The Hormones are a rock band and we've a big guitar sound and all of that, the reason I got into singing was because I grew up hearing Luke Kelly's voice all around me. It was just the big, strong nature of it, and also what he sang about - working class issues and real people in real lives - that inspired and influenced nie, but then it should inspire everybody. Try telling me that Luke Kelly's isn't the best voice to come out of Ireland."
Although Marc heads up three British musicians, all of them with very impressive rock pedigrees, he says his love of Luke Kelly and general folk music brings a different dimension to the band's sound. "Being a slave to punk rock should not exclude us from putting little folky bits into our songs - in fact, we've just been in the studio doing new songs and we decided to put Uileann pipes and a tin whistle on one of the tracks," he says. As part of In The City, The Hormones play Slattery's of Capel Street tomorrow night (9 p.m.).
ON the subject of influences, James Dean Bradfield of the Jawesome Manic Street Preachers says that Tom Jones almost ended up being more than an influence on his work. Tell your sorry story to the people, James Dean: "It's just that my mother was a big fan of his and knew him quite well because he only lived two valleys away from us in Wales. Apart from all the other usual reference points, The Clash and the whole punk movement, I also quite liked, and many people don't believe this, The Nolans - I particularly remember a song of theirs called Don't Make Waves. There was also ELO and you know the way people go on about The Jam's Start being a copy of The Beatles's Taxman, well you should hear how Paul Weller's Changing Man owes more than a little to ELO's 5015 overture"
For further listening, refer to The Manics' sublime version of Burt Bacharach's Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head on the Help album. Oh yes.
IF Kristin Hersh from Throwing Muses had patented her "kooky American female" image a few years back, she could have franchised it out, at a cost, to any number of the present shrieking "I've got angst, I have" types cluttering up the charts these days. Back from an acclaimed solo jaunt after the commercial success of her individual outing, we were just wondering, Kristin, if when you wrote a good song, did you keep it from the band and use it on your solo album instead? "No". So it's not too difficult to decide which is a Throwing Muses song and which is a Kristin Hersh solo song? "No". OK. Throwing Muses play The Olympia, Dublin on September 14th.
QUICK, here's some more In The City stuff: There's a Lakota showcase at Whelan's tomorrow afternoon (2 p.m., free in) with The Ultra Montanes and Jubile Allstarts (who have a great new single out) taking to the stage while the Dead Elvis heads go on the rampage in The Attic, tomorrow and Sunday (from 4 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. each day) with Wormhole, Rumble, The Floors, Bambi and Joseph (among many others) kicking out the jams.