Some are born to greatness. Others have it thrust upon them. Whilst others, well… they just are. When the Death Star comes, (as it must) to destroy all that is rank and fetid in the world of music, there will be those whose stories will survive long after the last chord has rung out… Not the preening, self absorbed bastard offspring of reality TV and the tyranny that is the ”X Chromosome (sic) Factor”…, but those that had the foresight and inclination to drink deeply from the wellspring of rock history.
This is the brief story of “Pointless Fish”- legendary (in their own minds at least), Kathmandu based band…famed for their inability to be in the same room at the same time.
In an article entitled “James Taylor Marked For Death” written by Lester Bangs sometime in the 1970′s for “Who Put the Bomp” he bemoaned the fact that ‘ …the Rock ‘n’ Roll Party (became) the soundtrack for our personal and collective narcissistic psychodramas”. Bang’s words were incredibly prescient, and could well have applied to the Fish as they experienced meltdown at the beginning of March 2012.
Very little remains of their recorded output during their brief creative flowering between May 2011, and March 2012. A video of their cover of “Friday I’m in Love”, by the Cure and a somewhat muddy recording of “Beast of Burden”, written by the alter ego’s of prolific songwriters Nanker & Phelge, seemingly all that is ‘out there’.
One of the songs which never made the light of day was “Less Feedback Please”, a direct response to the MC5 “Kick Out the Jams”. Underpinned by Karel’s searing yet understated ‘conceptual guitar’ and the rock solid drumming of Martin, it was, despite the title, an assault of the senses which left the listener paralysed. The “bass player problem” had been momentarily resolved, as the mysterious Jonny summoned up frequencies that even Hawkwind’s “Sonic Attack” could not have dreamed of. The ‘difficult third guitarist syndrome’, so often the achilles heel of bands, was well and truly nailed by Willem, whilst Johnny C’s talents of “gnomic utterances” and “Obligue Pstrategies”, (later developed by Brian Eno in his post Roxy Music phase as the more concrete “Oblique Strategies“) had attempted to give the band its political edge. Finding a recording of this might shed a little light on the choppy waters that “The Fish” were seeking to navigate. But until then we can only dream…
And the less said the better about the ill-fated Pokhara based project called “Mosaic Volga Ladies” by Karel & Johnny C…
Thanks guys…it’s been a blast
Footnote: no photographs appear to exist of the enigmatic Jonny…
Update 6 April 2012.
Demo of “Kathmandu” by Pointless Fish Redux, (Johnny C & ‘Bean’) available here.
Go on…you know you want to…..