When Kurt Cobain first drawled on MTV Unplugged that he was going to play Jesus Don’t Want me for a Sunbeam ‘The Vaseline’s way’ I was intrigued to know more. Judging by their name alone I am fan and if an icon such as Kurt Cobain favours them then they must be good right?

Signed to Sub Pop the same label as Nirvana, this Glaswegian band were first together  in the 80’s but have reformed with a new album ‘Sex with an X’. This is their first album of new material since their album, Dum Dum released in 1990.

Although they essentially made most of their music in the 80’s they have a distinctly 90’s indie pop sound so you could say they were ahead of their time, influencing the grunge and indie bands that were to follow, most notably Nirvana, who did covers of Molly’s Lips and Jesus Don’t Want Me For A Sunbeam. Kurt Cobain even said the Eugene Kelly from the band was his favourite lyricist. So it’s clear to see they were a big influence on early Nirvana both lyrically and stylistically with their lazy, slung-back lyrics and simple chords.

There is no doubting that The Vaselines two and a half chord garage pop would have been a welcome antidote to 80’s overproduced pop but there is still the more pressing matter of what their music is like today and how it has updated itself for the newly assembled crowd of 2010. The answer is, I would say, not that much.  

There is no doubting the enthusiasm of the fans who, have come out to watch The Vaseline’s but the overriding feeling is that this is a trip down memory lane; a chance to nod your head, tap your toes and sing along to the lyrics that remind you of being a teenager, there is even a little three person mosh- pit for one of their more up tempo songs,  but for the main part the crowd is static happy to bask in nostalgia with a far away look in their eyes rather than get truly excited. The static feeling of the gig was galvanised by their two and a half chord pop which at times, felt monotone, and unchallenging considering the potential availability of other chords.

Their look as well is pretty stuck in the past, the bassist Kelly’s brother looked like the lead singer from the Dandy Warhol’s and Eugene Kelly had the black and red stripy jumper famously worn by Cobain in the Teen Spirit video.

In their day, I am sure The Vaselines offered something new and refreshing and the influence they had on Nirvana is impressive but an important pre- cursor for any re- formed band is how to move on from that and re- invent yourself.  From the performance at Sound Control I see little that can propel The Vaselines in to the future without riding on former glories. Never the less if Kurt Cobain likes them, who am I to argue?

At the end of the gig before the predictable encore we make our escape in to the night and go next door to a gig at the Dancehouse where my sister is watching Louis Barabas and The Bedlam Six. Never heard of them? Me neither. But we get let in for free and catch the last twenty minutes and experience more excitement then we had at Sound Control. So, I am endorsing them more than The Vaseline’s but I doubt it will hold quite as much kudos…..

When people ask me what music I am in to, I find it very hard to give a definitive answer because, throughout my life I have been in to all kinds of music from House to Heavy Metal. So I can safely say I am open to most things however, I would say that overall my allegiances lie with Electronic music because it covers so many genres and is constantly developing and changing. Having grown up in Manchester my musical tastes have been influenced by nights such as Electric Chair and Mr Scruff which encompasses the sounds of House, Detroit Techno, Disco, Soul, Funk and Hip Hop. As far as bands are concerned, I particularly like bands that are melodic and have a hook and a heart such as Wild Beasts. While living in London in the early noughties, I was also listening to music that didn’t really have a heart, more of a pacemaker. I was listening to Electroclash at nights such as Erol Alkan’s, Trash. I love writing about music and believe you can be honest about why you don’t like something without being disrespectful, a skill I am still learning in real life! But ultimately I understand that music needs to be experienced first, rather than intellectualised but why do one, when you can do both?