A while ago, I wrote a bit about about a band I and a couple of mates put together in 1980 (here). For my sins, I was the singer in that band. It's probably the greatest regret of my life that I never learned to play a musical instrument, so to make up for my lack of talent, I surrounded myself with people who could actually play and nominated myself as the person who would stand at the front and make unpleasant noises into a microphone. In 1994, 14 years after the demise of my little band, from my vantage point behind the counter of a small record shop, I once again found myself in regular close contact with local musicians. I did anything I could to assist, encourage and promote their bands and solo endeavours at the time and it's a source of great joy to know that many of them are still making music today. Every now and then a local charity gig or private party would crop up and I'd ask a handful of those hugely talented young players if they'd mind backing up this old fool while he belted out a couple of good old good 'uns for old times sake. They invariably said yes, bless 'em. This explains why you'll be seeing a couple of shots of me clutching a mic over the next few days. Here I am bangin' out 'Like a Rolling Stone' at a friend's garden party in 1994. Note the dramatic return of facial hair!
I enjoyed a couple of tunes from Failure's debut album, 'Comfort', in 1992 and third LP, 'Fantastic Planet' in 1996, but, for me, 1994's 'Magnified' is by far their best effort. The band's sound on 'Magnified' packs a massive droney wallop, particularly impressive when you consider Failure were a three piece. I caught a memorably deafening performance at the tiny Borderline venue in London, a few days after the album's release.