Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Oliver!: The Mad Scene - People to Talk To (13 March 1992)
New Zealand based musician moves to New York in order to make a go of new musical venture. No, not Flight of the Conchords, but Hamish Kilgour of Dunedin based band, The Clean. In the early 90s, Kilgour decamped to New York City and began work on his new project, The Mad Scene.
Based on the evidence of People To Talk To, Kilgour was not repudiating his previous band; the sound here being closer to the slick pop of The Clean's last pre-Mad Scene album, Vehicle (1990) rather than its more angular, garage-rock sound from their early years.
With the move from New Zealand to America, I had wondered whether People To Talk To might be a lament for the swapping of close community in the former to be replaced by a sense of isolation among the vast expanse of a city like New York, within the latter. What else would that opening clip of snarling dogs metamorphosing into sea lions at the zoo be for? Instead Kilgour pursues a schizophrenia support group narrative akin to the characters within My Name is Jack, but instead references iconic characters such as Sunshine Superman. They may be hard to find, but just like the residents of the Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Boys and Girls, you can guarantee they will stick together when they find each other. It reminds me of Lily Tomlin's joke that if all the schizophrenic people on the streets of New York were paired up it would at least look as though they were having a conversation.
Video courtesy of hairybreath.