medway - The I-94 Bar
This re-issue of a 1994 album by Medway’s finest sounds as brattish and vital as anything else around now, the perfect blend of punk rock and beat pop. Fashions come and go but Billy Childish remains a constant.
You think you work hard? By the time Thee Headcoats released this they had eight albums under their belts and fuck knows how many singles. Formed after Thee Mighty Caesars ground to a halt, they were an influence on everyone from Jack White to the Black Lips, Thee Oh-Sees and Jon Spencer.
Medway beat band god Billy Childish must have sore armpits with the number of bands said to have been taken under his wing. The Beatpack are another, active in their first life from 1987-91 and assisted with recording of an EP and an LP (on the esteemed Screaming Apple) back in the day by none other than Mr Childish.
This single is great and odds are that the album from which this comes, "False Memory Lane", would be even better. Let’s get the antecedents out of the way first.
The Galileo7 is the latest vehicle for ex-Prisoners bassist Alan Crockford, whose band was at the vanguard of the Medway garage rock wave in the UK. The Prisoners bit the dust in 1986 but Rockford has been dutifully playing this garage rock-pop stuff since then and this is a new line-up of his current band.
Billy Childish is one of those artists who lives in a special and hallowed musical place. Loved or at least admired by mainstream music taste arbiters and demographic setters, these people sit firmly on the fringes and don’t give a flying fuck. They do things their own way and that’s why the rest of us love ‘em.
Billy’s been courted by the music aristocracy and has shrugged his shoulders. He lays it all out in the surging organ-tinged opener “A Song For Kylie Minogue”, right down to a request from Beck to collaborate musically. “As long as I get to sing it, boy, and you just play,” isn’t arrogance; it’s downright genius. Who doesn’t want to co-write with that Loser and make a million bucks? Billy Childish! You want to use me poetry, Kylie? "Go ahead, girl, it’s all for free".