Those among you who are familiar with Peel lore will recognise the title as John’s retort when somebody said CDs were better then vinyl because they had no surface noise. Certainly, the ‘surface noise’ of life crackles from my two offerings today, the first two festive 50 offerings from Cornershop, who got their name from racist slurs implying that all Indians ran corner shops when they came to England.
They came from Leicester and from the start were vehemently anti-racist (good for them, I say). When Morrissey implied that he had racist leanings in the early 90s, they publicly burned pictures of him outside the EMI offices and his gigs. In fact, England’s Dreaming (FF 1993 #17) mockingly contains a line from Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now. The song’s title refers to Jon Savage’s book about punk and its aftermath (on the CD Elvis Sex-Change, quotes are printed from the book). It is noise pop starting with a reference to an ancient science-fiction movie and weaves in Indian tinges to make a fresh and vibrant sound that made Peely book them for three sessions.
More typical of their later style is 6 a.m. Jullander Shere (FF 1995 #36). Lyrics in Punjabi are backed by a throbbing beat reminiscent of tabla and sitar. It was the first single to be released after David Chambers had left the group. This frames the LP that was released in 1995, and was a definite precursor to something wonderful.
Life has surface noise