When I first heard that Paul Muldoon (poet, role model, old enough to be my dad) had started playing guitar and writing lyrics for a band called Rackett, I was horrified. For some reason, it really got to me. If I gave my brains a good rack, I could probably remember when exactly I found out - a couple of years ago, I think. I'm over it now, though I've not become a fan of his 'three-car garage rock' outfit. (For one thing, I don't like the lazy boast of wealth that fuels the 'three-car garage rock' gag.) I met someone this summer who had been to one of Rackett's few gigs. What did she make of it? Well, she thought the lyrics were good.
Just this afternoon I've been reading about the rock'n'roll adventures of Simon Armitage (poet, role model, almost old enough to be my dad). And my reaction to his band, The Scaremongers, is pretty much the polar opposite of the way I felt about Rackett. The new sounds from New Jersey, and the very concept of Muldoon's combo, made my stomach turn; The Scaremongers, and their story-so-far, make my heart beat faster. Not that their record is so wonderful, although it's certainly worth a listen, and I am quite taken by Armitage's northern croon.
I have a few ideas as to why I feel so differently about these two middle-aged poets dabbling in indie-rock, and enacting a teenage dream or two to the accompaniment of some measure of self-deprecation. But I shan't bore you with them right now, partly because they have so much to do with my own teenage dreams, and so could quickly get embarrassing. I just hope that my enthusiasm for The Scaremongers holds up: with Rackett, the journey from distress to indifference was a short one. Indifference is a miserable place to end up. In the meantime, I'm looking forward enormously to the debut LP from Huddersfield's finest!
(Having said all that, I do really enjoy Muldoon's delivery of the lyrics - and the lyrics themsleves - to Rackett's song 'The Sideman' .)