Saturday, August 27, 2022

Paul Morley - Kirk Brandon's Ears aka Theatre of Hate live review - NME - February 27 1982

Part of Morley's 1982 quintology of anti-rockist live reviews -  this is a warm-up for the more infamous outrage that was his Bauhaus live review a.k.a paean to the lips of Peter Murphy the following week (March 6 1982)


  1. It is somewhat hilarious that he has gone from this (fantastic) stuff to "I only listen to Classical music" these days. "He who f***s nuns..." etc

  2. I got the big classical music book but feels a bit strained. Both the general wholesale shift to high culture / I'm a grown up now thing, but also the approach. He has transferred the same way he wrote about Simple Minds, Joy Division etc - shimmering weave of intangibles and abstract nouns - to classical music, string quartets and so forth. On the face of it, that would seem to be even more apt for instrumental, abstract music that rarely has words or persona or charisma or other fixtures of pop music attached to it. But I don't think it quite works. Somehow you need more concrete-ness when writing about classical or jazz (Geoff Dyer's But Beautiful does that brilliantly, through fictive evocations of the personality and life of the music makers). The best bits in the Morley classical book are when he's doing the observational stuff, reporting on classical music as a culture and a scene. It's funny and beautifully observed.