At the start of 2011, I knew The Indelicates by name and reputation only. And my faint grasp of their reputation suggested a difficult, arty clique of headstrong provocateurs (Simon and Julia Indelicate did after all meet at a poetry slam). This was only reinforced upon hearing that their third album was to be a fifteen-song rock opera about the life and times of cult leader David Koresh from his early years in Houston to the fateful siege in 1993 in Waco, Texas with the Branch Davidian sect. Hmmm ‘difficult’, ‘arty’.
But “David Koresh Superstar” is a supremely imaginative, clever, downright catchy re-telling of modern history as musical cabaret sung by the tale’s key protagonists. It has the structure of a stage musical but trumps that – largely – shallow genre with songs that span outlaw country story-telling and art-rock polemic, that are sophisticated without being complex, that play with genre but never fall into pure pastiche and contain more humanity than most bleeding heart liberal bands could muster in a career let alone a single record. If this is difficult art, please please please give me more. Here Julia and Simon Indelicate reflect (provocatively?) on the last twelve months.
What we will remember most about 2011 is...
Julia: Touring America for the first time. It was brilliant :)
Simon: I'm not answering this on the grounds that Alzheimer's is a common condition, still uncured and I don't want to tempt fate.
What should be forgotten about 2011…
Simon: 98% of the output of opinion journalists.
The best gig we played was...
Julia: Probably the Super Special Edition performance we did for Grahm Eberhardt in Port Byron, Illinois.
Simon: Yeah, that was really good. Also, that one show where we managed to get almost everyone who appears on David Koresh Superstar onstage in a working men's club with Jools Holland's PA. That was stressful, but amazing.
The best gig we saw was...
Julia: Honestly really haven't been to any that weren't ours. So I shall give you something else. My favourite comics this year have been "1969" by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill and "The Undisputed King of Nothing" by Paul Stapleton.
Simon: We hate live music, it's like being a pornstar asked to talk dirty to her husband. My favourite sandwiches of the year have included the Roast Pork from DiNic's in Philadelphia, the Banh Mi from Baoguette in the East Village and the Reuben from the downtown deli in Seneca Falls.
A record from 2011 that will be still be played in 10 years time?
Julia: That's a tough one...
Simon: No records from now will be played in ten years time because pop music, as an artform has been concluded. None of it makes any sense except in reference to itself, it can't do anything weirder, more dangerous, more simple or more knowing than it already has so all we're left with is to rake the greying pieces into briefly diverting new patterns. It will follow poetry into oblivion, Pop will only be the preserve of bespectacled hobbyists for a while, then the mentally ill, then it will suffer for ever as the consolation of frumps. That said, there's probably some pre-teen girl out there who really likes One Direction and who will play their album again to herself ironically when she's twenty-two.
Overlooked in 2011?
Simon: The fact that 'One Direction' have been so named by a Neuro-Linguistic Programming savvy Marketing Professional because when you say it out loud it sounds like 'Wand Erection' and arouses pre-teen girls without them knowing why. Also us, as usual.
Brightest hope for 2012?
Simon: A Free Libya? Honestly, we all need to stop thinking about boys with guitars.
And what can we look forward to in 2012 from The Indelicates?
Simon: We are writing two musicals, a grotty cabaret album, two films, an audio story book about magpies and goblins and a children's novel. Julia will be making more necklaces.
I'll repeat what I said when writing about “David Koresh Superstar” back in May: “Less a review, more an instruction to buy forthwith”. Hurry join the sect.
Something Goin' Down In Waco - The Indelicates by FollyOfYouth
The Indelicates David Koresh Superstar [BUY]