The Vaselines were one of Kurt Cobain’s favourite bands…yeah, we know.
But it’d be nice to think that this fab scots indie band, whose music sounds so endearlingly shambolic that they make that other Cobain favourite, The Raincoats, sound almost shiny by comparison, would still be loved today even if Cobain hadn’t been a fan.
Though they were shortlived, their songs are just great, very scots, very sleazy and about sex. In the immortal words of Eugene Kelly:
‘The Vaselines were born out of the bored and very sick minds of Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee. They were later joined by Eugene’s brother Charles on drums and James Seenan on bass. We only wanted to have some fun. We were friends of Stephan from “The Pastels” and he introduced us to Sandy McClean with whom he had set up a label “53rd & 3rd.” Stephan took us under his wing and produced our first two singles as we had no studio experience whatsoever. The first single was the first time we had ever been in a studio. We were camp and pretended to be sleazy and we were very drunk. Vaselines rehearsals involved meeting in the pub and talking about. James would often turn up and realise his bass was locked in a bar we used to drink in. Charlie turned up once without drum sticks and then constructed some from bamboo sticks, two nails and lots of tape. We soldiered on until 53rd & 3rd went bust. The band split the week the album was eventually released with help from Rough Trade. We were bored, had no money and sick of it. We hoped someone would get the joke. They did and we live on.’
Oh to have been young and living in Scotland in the eighties. Oh well, you eventually get to meet most of the great and the good if you hand around the central belt long enough…
My reader ‘La Squadra Italiana’ had requested some Vaselines, so why not? And maybe I’ll someday do a post on Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee’s post-vaselines music…
Vaselines -‘Dying For It.’ mp3
Vaselines -‘Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam.’ mp3
Vaselines -‘Son Of A Gun.’ mp3
Vaselines -‘Rory Rides Me Raw.’ mp3