MY EARS first pricked up to the more than middling talents of Medium Medium with 'So Hungry So Angry', a shamefully neglected Cherry Red single (preceded by the even more universally missed 'Them or Me' on Apt Records which can also be found as a contribution to the ‘Hicks From The Sticks’ regional compilation album of a couple of years ago) revealing a tight, punchy rock and funk fusion, a body-moving backbone garnished with growling sax and gut-wrenching lyrics.

Then came 'The Glitterhouse' lp. Gone was the guitar drenched mid-range of the seven inch as the whole texture became sparser and less immediately likeable. I spun the swine repeatedly, determined to extract the same measure of pleasure the single had given me. Slowly it came. In the same manner to which, in eons past, I gradually grew accustomed to the tricky labyrinths of Joy Division’s 'Unknown Pleasures' , 'Glitterhouse' took time to offer up its concealed thrills (and the JD comparisons stops here, gloom seekers!).

Despite the predominance in the media of anything vaguely funking, Medium Medium have hardly been front page (or any page) regulars. Maybe this is because their brand of the dreaded four-letter musical category is no white-boys-on-funk, easy-to-pin-down watery imitation of the true stuff from over the Atlantic. They’re unafraid to steal the genre as a starting point but always emerge with their own stylised and individual interpretation. Also, they reside in Nottingham, hardly the most fashionable of the mill-towns.

Medium Medium’s last UK live engagement was in way back in April. I’d never seen them. Their records bore no names or mug-shots but then they did a tour of Holland and sent me an invitation...

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 


© mick sinclair

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