Monday, 26 February 2018

Oliver!: The Boo Radleys - I Feel Nothing (10 April 1992)

As I listen back to these Peel shows from the early 90s, I increasingly feel that the answer to that perennial 90s British pop riddle: “Blur or Oasis? Pulp.” should be amended to include, “...if raining, The Boo Radleys.”  As we’ve picked our way through the early months of 1992 approaching the Oliver! production week, more and more examples of music from their Everything’s Alright Forever album keep standing out.  And while the lyrics may be pointless and the vocals annoyingly weedy, the ideas tumble out and won’t leave the listener alone.
I Feel Nothing sees The Boos indulge their Krautrock tendencies to wonderful effect.  Sometime before this programme, Peel had played a track from their Adrenalin EP called Vegas which I passed on, but only just as its mix of acoustics, shimmering dulcimer-like feedback and modulated distortions made for an arresting listen, even though I couldn’t articulate why.  Needless to say, I regret the omission now.  But I Feel Nothing brooks no equivocation.  Plunging the listener into the opening hailstorm of angry, distorted guitar noise before pulling us out into the classical Euro-acoustica of the opening verse.  It feels like My Bloody Valentine duelling with John Williams.  Like The Misunderstood’s I Can Take You To The Sun, this is one of those tracks which shows the fascinating directions that 2 guitars/bass/drums can go in.  I’m impatient to get onto 1993 and see what they did on Giant Steps.

Video courtesy of Arne Nilsen.

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