Features / Retrospective

Retrospective | The Vaselines

I’ve recently just got into 80’s twee band The Vaselines. The Vaselines are Frances McKee, Eugene Kelly, Charlie Kelly and James Seenam. They hailed from Scotland, a haven for many twee and C86 bands in the 80’s. They were one of Kurt Cobain’s, a man who had good taste in music, favourite bands. He showed his love for the vaselines when he covered their best known hits ‘Molly’s Gun’ and ‘Son of a Gun’. It is also claimed that Cobain named his daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, after McKee.

A lot of people don’t like twee and for good reason. The late music journalist Steven Wells certainly didn’t. It can be annoying for example los campesinos. I loved them at first but then you started to realise that the bright colours would never fade, the exuberant girl/boy choruses would never end and the up his own arse lead singer would stay and remain up his own arse.

The Vaselines are admirable because they stuck to what was best about twee music, good pop music with dreamy boy/girl vocals. they also were not to pretentious to take the piss out of themselves too. Just listen to the child’s horn on ‘Molly’s Gun’ and the obvious metaphor for sex in ‘Rory Ride me Raw’.

One of my favourite songs though is their cover of 80’s drag queen Divine’s ‘You Think You’re a Man’. Frances’s soft vocals are completely to highly dramatic original version and that’s what makes it so good.

The good news is that they have recently reformed as a band released a new collection of old hits and are now sparsely touring.

Download: The Vaselines- All The Stuff and More…

For more information: www.myspace.com/thevaselinesband

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