- 20 Mar 01
Beck in the High-Life Again by Stuart Clarke
2000 WAS SHAPING up to be a humdinger of a year until the phone rang last month and the person on the other end told me that Uaneen Fitzsimons had been killed in a car crash.
Shocked? Upset? No, I was fucking furious that we ve been robbed of her warmth, her wit and her integrity. In a business that s so often blighted by cynicism, she stood out as somebody who was totally in love with what she was doing.
The last time our paths crossed professionally was during the summer at Witnness. We d both managed to blag an interview with Beck and Uaneen, being a huge fan, was worried that she d be too starstruck to talk. I said that this was highly unlikely given her ability to talk the hind-leg off any animal you care to name, and sure enough they got on like a house on fire. So much so that the boy Hansen s first words to me were, Do you know that girl? She s totally cool!
Yes, I knew her, and yes, she was totally cool.
Apart from being the best festival that s ever been staged on this island admit it, Semple Stadium was a hole Witnness signalled the rebirth of Irish rock n roll. Sticking Wilt, Snow Patrol and JJ72 on after each other was a masterstroke, with all three of them demonstrating why they re going to be stupidly rich by next Christmas. The JJs, in particular, looked like they were born to play big stages, and in Mark Greaney possess a frontman with the wherewithal to give Thom Yorke and Michael Stipe a run for their millions. While a little overwrought in places you re going to give yourself a hernia if you keep singing like that, young man! their debut album was the perfect riposte to Louis Walsh s guitar bands are dead tirade.
While Louis and myself have very different ideas about what constitutes good pop, I have to say that he s backed a winner in Samantha Mumba. Not only does Ms. Mumba possess a fine set of pipes, but as she demonstrated in her recent hotpress interview, the girl has serious street smarts.
Along with stunning albums from Belle & Sebastian, Looper, David Holmes, Primal Scream and Blackbox Recorder, my main reason for being cheerful in 2000 was The Yo-Yo s. Fronted by ex-Wildhearts man Danny McCormack, their Uppers And Downers elpee reminded me of why I fell in love with music in the first place. A glorious amalgam of Motorhead, The Ramones and the Beach Boys, its brilliance is at times breathtaking.
As, indeed, was Everton s recent annihilation of Arsenal. This may sound a little odd coming from a 37-year-old heterosexual male, but I really want to have Kevin Campbell s babies!