Monday, 14 December 2015

My Catholic Enemy (1996) C90+

It was Jim MacDougall's idea. Every other week he came over to stay on my sofa for the weekend. He was good company and very funny. He was also mad, and mad not in the sense of wearing keraaaazy t-shirts and opening up a cafe selling kid's breakfast cereal in fucking Hoxton, but mad meaning he'd made a lifetime commitment to a course of prescription drugs on the grounds that when he didn't take them, he thought he could fly and would head for the nearest tower block, usually ending up sectioned under the mental health act. We both liked noisy, offensive music, and someone had offered Jim a slot at a Mad Pride related live event to be held at Chat's Palace in Hackney, so we formed a band. I programmed all of my boxes and worked out something which could be performed live and not sound too pitiful, Jim would sing, and Smike of Earth Creature - a friend of Jim - would turn up to augment our sound with his weird abrasive guitar stylings. Jim had been recording stuff at the CORE Arts Studio - possibly something to do with Homerton Hospital - and he'd been recording using the name Aural Guerilla. I guessed he decided our thing was to be something separate, and he told me we were to be known as My Catholic Enemy. I had no strong objection. It was Jim's deal, and he was the vocalist. I recorded a live instrumental run-through of what I had, everything plugged into my stereo, then made a copy of the tape for Jim so he could work out some lyrics, or at least vocal material. Then we had another run-through in my living room with Jim doing his thing for what it was worth, some of which certain listeners will find offensive, which was presumably Jim's intention. The day of the gig came - Friday the 3rd of May, 1996 - and so I went along to the venue and met Smike who told me that Jim had been sectioned only that morning. We performed an instrumental set, just Smike and myself. It seemed to go down fairly well from what I can recall, and I'm sure I taped it, although I have no idea where the tape is.

...and that was that. We never discussed it again. There didn't seem much point.

This cassette features two versions of the same proposed live set, one instrumental, the other featuring Jim making shocking and offensive observations; plus some Casiotone crap filling up the tape, just me screwing about. Jihad was originally a song - and a great song - by All Flags Burn, here reduced to something you might hear over the closing credits of an episode of Crackerjack. Additionally, I've found a second take of the instrumental set on another tape, one using a compression pedal to beef up the TR606 a bit. It sounds better to me so I've included it here, hence the plus in the title, because it wasn't on the original cassette and this is one long-ass download. Just delete the one you enjoy less.

1 - MCE No. 1 instrumental demo
2 - MCE No. 1 vocal

3 - Jihad
4 - Noise
5 - MCE No. 1 inst. compression

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