Two days after In The City has ended, and almost all traces of its existence have dissipated. The buzz has moved elsewhere, and a only few limp posters remain. Shame. The feeling of being in the sticky armpit of the UK’s new music world was nice while it lasted.
So here’s an affectionate* faux-award-ceremony look back at ITC:
The Sudden Flash Of Common Sense award: When an unnamed BBC Radio One DJ left Mark Ronson’s keynote speech after 5 minutes, because he suddenly realised that he hated Mark Ronson ‘with a passion’
When Hair Reigned Supreme: The giant, all encompassing fringes of Egyptian Hip Hop; the bleached Princess Diana hairdo of the singer from Ou Est Le Swimming Pool; even Mark Ronson’s slicked quiff: The Conference When Hair Got Bigger Than Rock
Sack The Proofreader Award: The slogan “ITC: Everything Else Is Just Noise” is quite zippy, but only if you remember to include the ‘Y’ in ‘Everything’ before you plaster it all over all thousands of posters, T-Shirts and all merchandise
The Man With The Best Anecdote award: Peter Hook, for his story about Bernard Sumner displaying his displeasure at Spandau Ballet by urinating onto them from a balcony as they played a gig in Paris
The Award For The Most Reverb-Drenched Microphones: 19 year-old Swedish twins Taxi! Taxi!, for their unusually echoing warble.
(Male readers – admit it: a very specific mental image was dredged up when you read the words ‘19 year-old Swedish twins’, wasn’t it? Bleach your mind and be reasonable, please.)
Taxi! Taxi! were elfin, brunette, clad in denim dungarees, and grasping spookily at guitars and accordions. Their songs, punctuated by pleas for more reverb directed at the sound technician, were so alien they felt beamed-in from another planet.
If NASA discovered life in a far away solar system and responded by blasting a space ship filled with Patti Smith and Kings Of Convenience records at them, songs like More Childish Than In A Long Time would be beamed back, and songs like All I Think Of would be made after their first confusing visit to Earth.
Taxi! Taxi!‘s songs are barely there – emotions first, noise second, understanding third. Lovely, wispy, dissolving.
Photography by Martina Hoogland Ivanow