I listen to the album "Comforter" by Compulsion a couple of times a week, to the extent that I know most of the words to most of the songs without ever having sat down and read the lyrics. I've been thinking for the past couple of months that I really should get some other stuff by them. Today, I finally got round to googling for a discography. Bizarrely, I now remember the album "The Future Is Medium" coming out, because I was still buying NME at the time. I'm sure I owned Comforter then, so I've no idea why I didn't buy it. Insanity? Complete brokeness? Having one of my phases when I only listened to one type of music?
Anyway, having established that they had 3 albums plus 7 EPs, each of which had otherwise-unreleased tracks on it, I went to eBay. And promptly bought 4 of them. Hooray! I've set up one of those "email me" things, so eBay will tell me when it finds new Compulsion stuff listed... if it doesn't break without warning, again. Stupid thing.
I feel old, though. I'm looking at that site, The Forgotten Band Planet, and I remember almost all the bands listed. The Family Cat, Thousand Yard Stare, Midway Still and Collapsed Lung... I even had The Family Cat's album, but the only song on it that was any good at all was Steamroller (which has featured on several of my home-made compilations), so I eventually sold the album & just kept the single. There's a list of bands that people have suggested they should cover, but Mega City Four isn't one of them. God. Since Phil W's MC4 page disappeared, they've had no net presence at all. I really should remedy that.
My website still opens with a quote by Wiz of MC4. It still explains why I like music that means the most to me. I own all but one of the Mega City Four albums, a t-shirt - with the date of their homecoming gig at Farnborough Recreation Centre, and the book "Tall Stories and Creepy Crawlies". I have three of Mega City Four's albums permanently archived in my head - if I never heard them again I'd never forget the lyrics. Somewhere, I have a handwritten letter that Wiz of MC4 sent me when I was 16. Obsessive fan? Not really. They grew up in the next town to me. I walked down Sebastopol Road in Aldershot a few weeks after the Sebastopol Road album came out. I saw Chris from MC4 at Farnborough railway station one day when I was going to London. I bumped into Wiz from MC4 in Camberley High Street - literally. Gerry from MC4 did the sound for my friends Trousershock BC - when I lost my copy of Who Cares Wins, he taped his copy for me.
This is what MC4 mean to me: Violet / Clown / Props / Peripheral / President / Underdog / Speck. The day of the London bombings, I had Violet going through my head so strongly I almost posted the lyrics here without explanation:
I am not afraid
Violence won't hurt me
Violence is dead
Broken bones will heal
And broken glass won't alter
The words I put inside your head
When I was younger, it was important for me to give a name to the type of music I liked, and call myself by that. Rock fan. Metaller. Goth. When I was a goth, I tried only listening to goth and industrial music (plus the Wildhearts), and I couldn't understand grahamb managing to call himself goth while listening to Simple Minds, Runrig and Big Country. I don't know how old I was before I finally stopped caring about genres, and liking what the hell I like without having to justify myself to anyone. But I'm glad I eventually managed to do it.