Parlez-vous Inverness Street? An indie-wanker, moi?

Have you noticed how indie-wankers not only make really bad records, but in a failed attempt to compensate for the fact they can’t rock, have this tendency to ineptly reference classical mythology and so called French ‘intellectuals’? All too often indie-wankers puff up these cultural failings by utilising words and concepts they don’t fully understand. Since a phrase to describe such phenomena would be useful, I suggest the term Inverness Street English. This is the street in Camden which boasts one of the worst pubs in London, The Good Mixer, a magnet to indie-pop mockneys and related tossers.
In creating this new term I was, of course, inspired by the older coinage Wardour Street English, referring to the: “affected pseudo-archaic diction of historical novels.” This derives from the days when Wardour Street in Soho was a centre not of the British film industry (as it was for much of the 20th century), but of the antique and mock-antique furniture trade. Example: “This is not literary English of any date; this is Wardour-Street Early English — a perfectly modern article with a sham appearance of the real antique about it.” A. Ballantyne, “Wardour-Street English,” Longman’s Magazine, October, 1888. Or: “These song lyrics are not art of any known type, they are an example Inverness Street English, complete crap in the style of Pete Doherty, replete with a reference to a Greek god pointlessly thrown in to give the flat voiced whinger who wrote them a fake aura of gravitas…” Mister Trippy, Mister Trippy blog, March 2009.
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – – you know it makes (no) sense!


Comment by Joe Meek on 2009-03-06 11:07:51 +0000

Kids today don’t even know they’ve been born. Talentless ingrates. What I say is if they can’t sing don’t let them make records!

Comment by Phil Spector on 2009-03-06 12:25:49 +0000

I shot the wrong woman when I murdered Lana Clarkson. I should have been gunning for Edwyn Collins or Paul Haig or Steven Patrick Morrissey or Stephen McRobbie or David Keegan or one of any of the almost innumeralbe number of these indie-wanker cop outs. None of these losers have a fraction of the talent Lana demonstrated as an actress in Barbarian Queen!

Comment by Millie Small on 2009-03-06 14:05:10 +0000

White boys are so pretty/skin as smooth as milk/white boys are so pretty/hair like Chinese silk/white boys give me goose bumps/white boys give me the thrill/every times that they are near me I get a touch that kills….

Comment by The Nicolas Bourriaud Bot on 2009-03-06 14:37:31 +0000

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This guitar kills indie-wankers!

Comment by James Brown on 2009-03-06 17:34:09 +0000

Link, that famous D chord of yours wipes out entire armies of so called indie rockers… Now let’s get FUNKY!

Comment by John Lennon on 2009-03-06 18:02:29 +0000

Let’s get ready to “Rumble”

Comment by Kate Muir on 2009-03-06 19:07:17 +0000

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Comment by Nick The Prick on 2009-03-06 20:41:21 +0000

What is wrong with being an anorak? I may not understand the intellectual theories I spout but at least I’m trying. You are mean. There is nothing wrong with Greek gods, they are like Marvel and DC superheroes but from an earlier age. And another thing, Watchmen is a really great movie so I don’t see why you have to be snotty about it. It is not fair the way you behave. You are not fair to people like me.

Comment by Lia Gynoid on 2009-03-06 20:44:39 +0000

Hey, this Lia. Now I am looking for new friends. U can look my photo here: oopsie!!

Comment by Shit Indie Music Assassin on 2009-03-06 21:04:12 +0000

I flung the disc into my player and hit play, eager to hear exactly what the ‘best new band’ were capable of. An acoustic guitar plodded a meandering intro. The timing was a little skewiff. As a second acoustic guitar, playing an arpeggiated version the same chord sequence, only with what sounded like a completely different time signature, entered the mix, I cast my eye over the sleeve notes. Wow, a limited edition of 1, pressed especially for Janice and Louie of 5° Promotions… this, if the notes-cum-letter were to be believed, was their best work to date. Some drums and a swirly keyboard respectively rattled and swirled in the distance, again sounding as though they were playing different songs in different rooms. And then the vocals began… the voice was bad. A nasal twang topped a thin, weak voice, and the lyrics…. what? ‘Sitting in the moving waiting rum / I think in my head… take back what you didn’t say to her…’ (what????) ‘I kinda feel fine…’ ‘Feel’ was delivered to sound more like ‘feeeeyawlll’ than any real word in the English language. What was that affectation? ‘I kinda feeeyawll wise… today….’ Really, his bollocks beggared belief. Had they actually listened to themselves? Was their dad who was bankrolling these bozos fucking deaf???? I drank the rest of my drink while listening incredulously to the rest of the song and the disjointed, out-of-tempo track which followed. Recorded in a church, apparently. It sounded like it: one guitarist in the vestry, the drummer in the bog and the singer sacrificing a tone-deaf dog at the alter. Never mind being a 3rd generation leftfield indie band, these fuckers were simply third rate, if that.

Comment by Jay Joplin Inc on 2009-03-06 22:32:33 +0000

Indie pop is a complete waste of time, there is really very little money in it. And the trouble with Bourriaud is that he promotes himself ahead of the artists. These idiots working in public galleries really don’t understand art is about profit. Nonetheless they do help my profits by holding shows of my artists and promoting them at the taxpayers expense – daddy of course would not approve if they weren’t doing it for me! Plus public institutions pay through the nose for the crap I flog them. Bosh, bosh, bosh! What was the rest of that chappie’s catch phrase? Lots of lolly? Oh, I remember. Bosh, bosh, bosh, loadsa money|

Comment by Sex Dwarf on 2009-03-06 23:23:34 +0000

Anoraks give me the horn! They are so sexy, so much better than rubber or leather!

Comment by Miss Whiplash on 2009-03-06 23:38:13 +0000

You can’t discipline an indie-wanker, they are just a dead loss. What I say is kick them in the head and then they be dead coz I’m dreader than dreader.
BTW: In the New World, as early as 1512, black slaves had escaped from Spanish and Portuguese owners and either joined indigenous peoples or eked out a living on their own. Sir Francis Drake enlisted several ‘cimaroons’ during his raids on the Spanish. As early as 1655, runaway slaves had formed their own communities in inland Jamaica, and by the eighteenth century, Nanny Town and other villages began to fight for independent recognition.
When runaway slaves banded together and subsisted independently they were called Maroons. On the Caribbean islands, runaway slaves formed bands and on some islands formed armed camps. Maroon communities faced great odds to survive against white attackers, obtain food for subsistence living, and to reproduce and increase their numbers. As the planters took over more land for crops, the Maroons began to vanish on the small islands. Only on some of the larger islands were organized Maroon communities able to thrive by growing crops and hunting. Here they grew in number as more slaves escaped from plantations and joined their bands. Seeking to separate themselves from whites, the Maroons gained in power and amid increasing hostilities, they raided and pillaged plantations and harassed planters until the planters began to fear a mass slave revolt.
The early Maroon communities were usually displaced. By 1700, Maroons had disappeared from the smaller islands. Survival was always difficult as the Maroons had to fight off attackers as well as attempt to grow food. One of the most influential Maroons was François Mackandal, a houngan, or voodoo priest, who led a six year rebellion against the white plantation owners in Haiti that preceded the Haitian Revolution.
In Cuba, there were maroon communities in the mountains, where escaped slaves had joined refugee Taínos. Before roads were built into the mountains of Puerto Rico, heavy brush kept many escaped maroons hidden in the southwestern hills where many also intermarried with the Natives. Escaped Africans sought refuge away from the coastal plantations of Ponce. Remnants of these communities remain to this day (2006) for example in Viñales, Cuba and Adjuntas, Puerto Rico.
Maroon communities emerged in many places in the Caribbean (St Vincent and Dominica for example), but none were seen as such a great threat to the British as the Jamaican Maroons. A British governor signed a treaty promising the Maroons 2500 acres (10 km²) in two locations, because they presented a threat to the British.
Beginning in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Jamaican Maroons fought British colonists to a draw and eventually signed treaties in the 18th century that effectively freed them over 50 years before the abolition of the slave trade in 1807. To this day, the Jamaican Maroons are to a significant extent autonomous and separate from Jamaican society. The physical isolation used to their advantage by their ancestors has today led to their communities remaining amongst the most inaccessible on the island. In their largest town, Accompong, in the parish of St. Elizabeth, the Leeward Maroons still possess a vibrant community of about 600. Tours of the village are offered to foreigners and a large festival is put on every January 6 to commemorate the signing of the peace treaty with the British after the First Maroon War.

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad. on 2009-03-07 00:38:01 +0000

“affected pseudo-archaic diction of historical novels,” 1888, from street in London lined with shops selling imitation-antique furniture.
“This is not literary English of any date; this is Wardour-Street Early English — a perfectly modern article with a sham appearance of the real antique about it.” [A. Ballantyne, “Wardour-Street English,” Longman’s Magazine, October, 1888]
Wardour Street English
Definition: The pseudo-archaic diction sometimes used by historical novelists.
Example: Cedric tushed and pshawed more than once at the message.
(Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, xl[i]v)
Etymology: The term was coined when London’s Wardour Street was the centre of the antique and mock-antique furniture trade.
Oxford English Dictionary: Its first citation is from 1888: (title) “Wardour-Street English”

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad. on 2009-03-07 00:43:01 +0000

I will bet that Wardour Street English was a lot more interesting and endearing than mockney, that irritating phoniness indulged in by Oxbridge and St Andrews graduates everywhere from Camden Town, to LCC to the offices of the Guardian, Independent, and of course, the BBC.
I have known a few people who have tried at times ( for psychological reasons unknown ) , to affect a Miltonesque or Spenceresque style when writing emails, or when drunk –and it is fairly interesting in its own way.
Mockney is NEVER interesting or amusing.

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad. on 2009-03-07 00:44:53 +0000

i meant spenseresque

Comment by ObserveNow on 2009-03-07 00:51:08 +0000

What I notice about these indie bands is how similar they look to many of the worst “new wave” ( orrible term! ) bands of the early 80’s — many of the new wave bands of the late 70’s got the wrong end of the stick regarding the true nature of punk rock, and went in for the worst look of the NY Dolls, mixed it with a little Kieith Richards circa 1974, added a little 1950’s style, and a little of the hippy culture they came out of, eg long scarves, too much dope — and they ended up looking like the Boomtown Rats. Skinny ties, skinny jeans, pointy boots, waistcoats, fag in mouth, sometimes batttered trilby, spiky hair,a little longer at the back, touching the collar — in other words, just like the indie bands of nowadays!
And the music was just as rubbish too.

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-03-07 06:27:21 +0000

Mr. Home — I recently read an outraged article on Iain Sincliar — The hack journalist was expressing horror, that in some quarters, it was conjectured that Sinclair understood and “decontstructed” London’s occult past and psychogeographical complexity as insightfully as Peter Ackroyd does — what’s your view? Which do you prefer?

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-03-07 06:28:39 +0000

Do you like Simon Reynold’s work ? Apparently he likes your work on punk and links to it on his website.

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-03-07 12:05:14 +0000

Oh I think Sinclair is much better than Ackroyd, and I though it was widely acknowledge that Ackroyd had taken much of his inspiration from Sinclair…..
Simon Reynolds is covering a lot of interestesting musc. I like what he does, he’s also a nice guy. There is an abridged version of an interview he did with me for Meolody Maker back in the 1980s on this site:
Back then he was still sharing a flat in Brixton with another mutual friend Adrian Maddox, whose book “Classic Cafes” features the odd memory by me – and whose website is here:
And yeah, indie bands look bad as well as sound bad… so let’s blame it on the Boomtown Rats!

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-03-07 12:18:10 +0000

Yeah, the Boomtown Rats ! It’s all their fault! Those bastards! And don’t forget Elvis bloody Costello! I still can’t understand why anyone bought his bloody records…..
Right, must rush…c’mon shrieking toad — hearken ! Oh, the spirit of evening lowers it’s rays of light and shadow ‘pon our hurtling globe, nature urging us to hurry toward our home…..nay, tis a metaphysical waxing, that…..
Oi, stop that Wardour St English Howling Wizard, and stir the gruel for dinner! Hurry! There’s a poncy indie kid trying to scrounge a woodbine off us! Sod off! Go and listen to the Boomtown Rats….

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-03-07 12:27:33 +0000

Mr Home, have you read Ackroyd’s novel about John Dee? What do you think? I like it quite a lot but some of the narrative/prose style is clumsy.
I am undecided about Ackroyd — There is no doubting the man’s deep historical knowledge and enthusiasm — but is much of his style/psychogeographical prism derivative?
I find reading Ackroyd a curious experience — I approach his books with great enthusiasm, read chapter after chapter, enjoying his style and content — but then when I close the book….I remember…..nothing….
An odd experience….

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-03-07 12:36:02 +0000

What are the best Sinclair books to read?

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-03-07 12:42:08 +0000

Blimey, it REALLY is all their fault….oh dear….
The other annoying band the Indie bands all “namecheck” ( lol ) is the bloody Gang of Four — uptight middle cass funk….constipated geography masters : see the singer’s dance @ 52 secs. Is it a young conservatives Xmas Ball Dance? A St. Andrews/Oxbridge face off?

Comment by Cook(ing) on Gas on 2009-03-09 19:38:43 +0000

Shit indie wank… gives me the fackin horn…

Comment by Christopher Nosnibor on 2009-03-09 19:41:06 +0000

Oh Gang of 4’s first album is a cracker… but then its being ripped of by every third toss band that wants to be the next Franz Ferdinand (when the last, and the first ones were more than enough) has kinda tainted it a bit…

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-03-10 00:02:53 +0000

Sorry Chris, your taste is great most of the time but…. I remember seeing the Gang of 4 back in the 1970s (more than once, due to multi-bills) and thinking they were really shit. Don’t like the records either… I did this panel with John King from Gang of 4 and Tony Wilson and Mark E. Smith back in about 1997, then three or so years ago I did this panel talk to go along with a screening of Dan Graham’s “Rock My Religion” at the Royal Festival Hall and John King was on it too, so he tells me this long story about how he’d done that panel talk with Smith and Wilson and they’d kept him out of the conversation. I let him tell the story and at the end observed, yes but you’ve left me out of the story coz I was on that panel too! He’d completely forgotten, and I wasn’t left entirely out of the conversation like he was and managed to wind up Tony Wilson by going into this long spiel about the defeat of Bolshevism marking the destruction of antiquated political positions. Wilson got really excited and obviously thought I was coming out with some pro-anarchist and anti-communist position, and when towards the end I started talking about how what distinguished Bolshevism from other Marxist currents was its notions of organisation and that these it took directly from the nineteenth-century anarchist Bakunin, so the fall of the Eastern bloc marked the defeat of anarchism, he was really pissed off. The look on Wilson’s face was priceless.
Smith didn’t interest me, he just seemed like a standard issue drunk. I ran into him next at the Stockholm Spoken Word Festival in about 2002, and there in the green room he was left standing alone coz no one wanted to socialise with such a sad pisshead. I went to see the Fall at The Marquee in 1978 and they were completely shit – I liked “Repetition” on the “Bingo Masters Break Out” EP which was out around about that time, but live in a small club with a fan audience they sucked worse than an infant that’s missed a feed. I saw them supporting Stiff Little Fingers again in London in 1979 and they were actually great, not as music, but just at winding up the dull punker audience. But give Smith an audience who like him, and he’s had one for far far too long, and he just goes into boring self-indulgent mode. However he remains capable of the odd mordant spasm…. in other words, he sucks slightly less than his moronic fan base.

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-03-10 00:09:01 +0000

PS For Mister Howling Wizard… the best Iain Sinclair texts are the fusion of poetry and prose in “Lud Heat” (1975) amd “Suicide Bridge” (1979); and his first ‘proper’ novel “White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings” (1987).

Comment by Corona Smith on 2009-03-11 14:46:17 +0000

You’re just jealous, and a tad Londonm25swirlingvoidcentric. But I like you.

Comment by Corona Smith on 2009-03-11 16:57:11 +0000

I was so excited that you deigned to comment on the all new ethically sourced Z&LT that I deleted the whole post! Its back now, and comments will be appreciated, I’m easily pleased.

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-03-12 11:58:31 +0000

The Gang of For were awful — they were middle class student angst-ers making music of indeterminate politics posturing as “hard left”, for other ( upper) middle class students who also wanted to wear long grey macs, and russian army badges, and go on in fake mockney tones about Lenin and Marx and Kafka, but not really know what the f***k they were on about.
I will grant you that the splintered guitar doesn’t sound at all bad at times — but Wilko Johnson did it far far better, without the cod “situationism for beginers” bollocks that GO4 went in for.
Greil Marcus thought they were one of the most important bands of the era — need I say more?
I was amazed when they were held up as iconic by the new indie bands — but then again, why should I be amazed? For a start, the indie bands that lionise them are iredeemable crap , and as we all know, record companies always have to find new ways to hype their back catalogue to flog a dead horse.
Just look at the video — and that singer is not doing that silly constipated geography master dance as a kind of post modern tongue in cheek self mockery dig at their own neurosis/pretentions, as the ( often risible) Talking Heads went in for — he’s for real.

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-03-12 13:33:06 +0000

Mr Home, thanks very much for the Sinclair tip, and yes, I agree totally re the Fall/Mark E Smith, though I always had a soft spot for “Totally Wired” and “Psycho Mafia” which I still think stand up well in their own right.

Comment by howling wizard, shrieking toad on 2009-03-12 15:05:56 +0000

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