While in France a bit ago, I watched the Tour de France - except for the first time, it was in real life, as opposed to catching a glance of it whilst flicking through the obscure channels on satellite TV. Having found I was camping five minutes from the exact point of le Tour that is a cycling enthusiast’s wet dream, Mont Ventoux, and on the strength of many breathless descriptions of how INCREDIBLY AMAZING the experience would be, I dragged myself along.
Well, it was a fabulous experience after all. It was a bit like a theme park – maybe Middle Aged Obscure Sports Enthusiast World or something – where you could imagine what it was like to live a dull, mainly meaningless existence where waiting five hours – five hours, mind – for the infinitesimally short moment where a bunch of sweaty, grim-faced men whistle past at light speed, and then rushing for the car to beat the traffic, constitutes a Good Time.
I was grumpy. It was hot as hell, there was five hours of vainly applauding passing police cars for entertainment, and I spent most of the time desperately trying to remember the melody of Kraftwerk’s Tour de France, which was, and now, still is, the only interesting thing about the world’s premiere cycling event.
Not enough bands name songs after sporting events – in fact, if we necessarily exclude any World Cup tie-in songs that limp around every four years, there are none at all. Perhaps Today’s New Band can redress this balance. They’re Kong, a band I intended to write about when I lived in Manchester, before I jacked everything in to travel on a pittance around the continent.
Kong are these things:
Noisy to the point of awkwardness
Obtuse to the point of weirdness
Lovable in an entirely keep-at-arm’s-distance way
Musically creative in the way most bands aren’t, and wouldn’t dare to be
And these four reasons are enough to love them, or at least to devote plenty of time to their bewilderingly deformed rock. Their songs – take Leather Penny Snippet, or Sport, please – are the equivalent of a door repeatedly slamming in your face, such is the total absence of care about what you think coupled with the exhilarating fuck-you-ness of youthful noise-making.