Saturday, 26 January 2008



Occasionally you will annoyingly miss a song upon released when really you should be savvy enough to know of its existence due, if nothing else, to a knowledge and familiarity of the author in question.  It slays me to concede that I have only just discovered this record.  Even more worrying is that I once saw the Buff Medways supporting Mudhoney and it is quite possible that they may have performed this song that evening.

The song in question “Fire” is indeed a cover of the Hendrix classic and as to be expected with any group that Billy Childish leads the version is very raw and in a classic garage style.

For those that might consider Childish’s playing to be basic and one dimensional here is a prime example of just how that perception is so flawed.  In taking on “Fire” the band choose to take their sound from the garage to the wilds and an outdoor plane.  This is a big song that demands a big sound and displays a whirlwind of fury whenever anyone attempts.  At the risk of sounding a fool, in many ways this version improves on the Hendrix original bringing a punk edge to proceedings and a new meaning with it.

On the reverse is another Hendrix cover in the form of “Manic Depression”.  The first time I ever heard this song was watching David Addison in Moonlighting smash up his company car.  As a result for me it has always been a song of high temper and emotion.  And the version here is no less extraordinary as Childish appropriates voice to suitable frustration as the band lurches through a highly energised version of the song executing more treble than feedback.  It’s a no brainer that Childish selected this song.

The Buff Medways be a band more versatile outfit than mass reputation allow.

Thesaurus moment: experienced.

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