Jason Weaver on the musical impact of rock’n’roll band make up
The Marxist project was about the conditions of work. Parasites grew fat on the labour of those who worked only to stay alive, an imbalance based on the arbitrary division of society. Marx phrased this situation as an equation, a mathematical formula, an argument. For him, the logic of the situation demanded that the imbalance could not be withstood, it was inevitable that the equation would be righted. This would happen when those oppressed recognised their similarities, realised their common cause and registered difference from those that oppressed them. The logic of the situation demanded, Marx said, that they must group and redress the situation. Revolution.
The Capitalists had other ideas, though. They altered the equation, inserting something called Mass Consumption. It promised other lives, attainable through spending. They created Leisure to help defuse resentment. And between these two creations lay something called the Mass Media, a consumed entertainment, an opiate as potent as religion.
To the new Marxists, Mass Media created false ideologies, illusory realities that masked the true conditions under which people still laboured. It was no longer inevitable that the revolution would happen, because workers found other things in common like football or game shows and forgot their oppression as soon as they left the workplace. The Mass Media has a soundtrack. We call it rock ‘n’ roll. Those three minute songs sound so sweet on the radio – nothing more natural – but there’s NO natural in culture. You might like it, but it’s never ONLY rock ‘n’ roll. It tells us stories and tells us lies because culture is something that we make up.
There’s a rock ‘n’ roll band over from Washington DC, the seat of government in the United States of America. They’re called, variously, mAKE UP, Make Up, Make-Up or The Make Up. They’re playing, appropriately, at Blow Up in London’s Wardour Street. This time around their matching suits are cut close and brown. Figure-hugging cropped jackets with minimum fuss. Looking at them as a music critic you’d say they were very Beatles, as Kitty Empire did in her NME review. Wrong! The influence is Mao. Topped off with little cravats, Chelsea boots and mile-high hairdos. Image is ideology and Make Up wear their’s on their sleeves. Smart in both senses: a look you’d want a piece of, with a pinch of savvy and a brain behind it.
The band are working around some lean grooves, Michelle Mae, fantastically cool, a bass-playing lynch-pin to James Canty’s guitar/keyboard and Steve Gamboa’s restless syncopation. Oh yeah, and there’s this intense guy at the front of it all, screaming and staring, confronting the front row with the soul of his boot and the menace in his eyes. He shudders, shakes, leaps. Live as in livid. On stage, Ian Svenonius is three-hundred-and-fifty degrees of dementia.
If this is rock ‘n’ roll, I love it.
The interview. I come as a friend – I think I have a handle on what they’re saying – but I also come as a representative of The Press. And, for starters, there’s this sleeve note to Make Up Afterdark: “A magazine is a compilation of paid advertisements masquerading as ‘unbiased critique’ via the idiotic paraphrasing of the official ‘press biography’ by paid writers who typically don’t care or know about their subject.” The band have been gunning for the press. They’ve also been railing against the fashion for sportswear – a walking ad for corporate identity. I’ve come to interview them and I’m wearing Fila trainers. They’re right, of course, my magazine interview will be slashed and restitched. A surgical make-over. I will be embarrassed to see it in print.
A face comes round the door, the palest guy with staring eyes and a thyroid disposition. He’s got a yellow shirt and a powder blue mohair sweater. His hair is on back-to-front in honour of Arthur Lee. He greets us softly, talking out of one side of his snaggle-toothed mouth. When he shakes hands, he grasps tightly and meets your eyes to prove you have his attention. Every inch the gentleman, but quite obviously Ian Svenonius. He’s got a dozen questions: who do I write for? what are the coolest bands? where are the best places to go? what about the politics? He seems to have an opinion about everything else, from the carcinogenic properties of coffee (“It’s a burnt bean, for Heaven’s sake!”) to the secret police who clear up any ‘accidents’ at Disneyland. There’s so much of this stuff, I wonder if I should be taping it.
Later, when the tape is really rolling, Svenonius clams up, of course, falling over his words trying to give a considered response. I begin talking about the music industry. The relationship between supply-and-demand has become increasingly streamlined. At worst, our beloved pop world is a culture of cynicism with lip-smacking, need-creating, record-plugging, chart-rigging, fan-profiling strike-forcers peddling interchangeable brands of seen-it-all-before baked bean music. Within such a climate, the parameters of creativity are severely curtailed. Make Up are ostensibly against these values. Surely, I ask, your records shouldn’t stand a chance? Yet, without major record company backing, the high street Megastores have been advertising your last LP and you’ve received serious store profile in terms of listening posts and display areas. What are your responses to this?
Did you know what level of interest Sound Verite has been generating over here? On a high street level?
“No, I didn’t.”
I reframe the question. The U2 LP is everywhere you look because Island has used its muscle. The Make Up disc is there without that muscle. “Maybe they’re afraid of retribution, you know.” I nod, Ian laughs. I’m not sure how to take this.
“I must say… y’know, unless they (laughs again) y’know… No, no, I think, uh, yeah… I dunno… let’s get back to that question… Let me think about it.” This is typical. On We Can’t Be Contained (from Make Up Afterdark), Svenonius asks: “What’s this moment worth, baby? Some evil people think something’s only worth doing if there’s a tape recorder rolling.” An interview is an abstract situation and to reify it is to prefer it to the hour we spent before, talking in the cafe. Our earlier conversation was spontaneous, organic – a dialogue, rather than this one-way exchange of attack-and-defence. If anything, it was the more valuable transaction. Make Up value live performance over the studio recording for exactly these reasons.
I try it a different way: It seems as if British music has given in to the idea of marketing. Every band has a little mail order card for you, so they can build a profile of their audience. Our tastes are being manipulated to an ever-more specific degree. Any sense of integrity is forced to square up with those of the market. And this is just part of a consumer conspiracy that has infiltrated our lives from the availability of high street credit to politics by opinion poll.
“You’re right, on every level people think in those terms. It seems to me even the idea of putting something on tape is an abstraction of what a band is,” Svenonius reiterates. “Or what an experience is. Is the focus the product? What does the product mean to people? Is it a mirror, some idea of their identity, the thing that they consume is what they are? The idea of owning a shred of this experience, the idea of marketing this event is a really odd thing. Everyone has definitely given up on every level to the idea of marketing yourself. As if you owe it to yourself, you want a fair shot of what other people have and since so many people are talentless or unimaginative or millionaires that you deserve to be a millionaire too.”
Svenonius takes the commonplace apart. Even the very idea of making a record is seen as suspect, and the very processes of music are re-evaluated. The novelty of the record has worn off, leaving us numb to its artificiality, but when you come to think of it, the rules we draw around pop ARE odd. Make Up have a version of music that looks beyond the confines of the song and asks what role music plays in our society, what uses it can have, what assumptions we carry that blind us to its possibilities? This is why people can find their shows so revolutionary. “When Make Up came out we wanted to reinvent the idea of playing a show or what a show represents to the people who go to it.
We all grew up going to these shows that were really life-changing. In DC there were bands like the Bad Brains and stuff that was so revelatory, so transcendent and we had incredible expectations of what music could achieve in a room and a lot of that seems to have disappeared in the last several years because, at least in America, a lot of the people involved have grown up and decided they had to get serious about what they were doing and sort of batten down the hatches, get in the trenches and approach it in a really pragmatic way.”
A career rather than a calling?
“Yeah, exactly. Less based on inspiration and more based on a…”
A business plan?
“Yeah, a business plan, but not even to use such a dirty word. An artistic pursuit, even, instead of something that’s ephemeral, incidental, that just speaks of the moment that it was made or whatever. And because of that, all these business concerns have triumphed and it’s like a grind or a rigmarole. Everyone’s records are planned to come out on schedule. People put out their records every year and a half in September, October and it’s on every level, independents ape major labels. And a lot of bands have a very particular market group and as long as they stay true to that market group they won’t do badly for themselves. So, the point is, we didn’t want to do any of that. The thing we were originally were designed around was playing these shows and our records have reflected that real flippancy, disdain for that kind of self-conscious marketing strategy by putting out two live records in a row and putting out records on disparate and far-flung labels.”
These words evoke French post-Marxist Henri Lefebvre. “In the aftermath of the Second World War,” writes Greil Marcus in Lipstick Traces, “Lefebvre was the chief theorist of the French Communist Party, which many thought was on the verge of taking power.” Lefebvre, however, struck up a partnership with the Situationists and began to argue that instead “of examining institutions and classes, structures of economic production and social control, one had to think about “moments” – moments of love, hate, poetry, frustration, action, surrender, delight, humiliation, justice, cruelty, resignation, surprise, disgust, resentment, self-loathing, pity, fury, peace of mind – those tiny epiphanies, Lefebvre said, in which the absolute possibilities and temporal limits of anyone’s existence were revealed. The richness or poverty of any one’s social formation could be judged only on the terms of these evanescences.”
For Joseph Beuys, aspects of the French almost-revolution of 1968 began the reinvestigation of Romanticism within a specific political agenda. Beuys thought we had to introduce a new economy based around spiritual capital rather than economics, and Lefebvre’s living ‘moments’ might create a crack in the prevailing ideology, offering alternative social relations and political structures. The Make Up shows upset the normal experience of a rock concert and create a dialogue between performer and audience, the boundaries threaten to dissolve, upsetting the power structure between observer and participant. Moments of near-hysteria are generated, of chaos, of something other than the streamlined professionalism of the average concert. Make Up attempt to exploit what only the live show is capable of – a communal situation, the space and moment of the transcendental, where ideas and experiences can be exchanged as a group. The concert, Make Up imply, is one of the few potentially revolutionary gatherings we have.
In the early ’90s, Ian, James and Steve were three-fifths of The Nation Of Ulysses, a legendary DC underground band who influenced a generation of ideologically-motivated music (see Liz Evan’s chapter on Riot Grrl in Girls Will Be Boys). The music was itself polemic, rigged out in mind-boggling manifesto. Art-music. Svenonius seems to feel that the whole scene was inaccessible and, thus, counter-productive. Instead, the splinter group swapped instruments, recruited Michelle Mae in February ’95 and, set about creating these live ‘moments’. They have also released five singles and three albums.
You’ve got three singles coming out? One remixed by Tortoise? “Remixed by Tortoise’s soundman, Casey Rice. The Dub Narcotic record is called Free Arthur Lee. You know Arthur Lee’s incarcerated? He’s supposed to spend ten or 15 years in gaol because he shot at his neighbours through the ceiling, but he didn’t hit anybody.” Lee was the motivating force behind ’60s cult band Love, currently a focus of critical reevaluation. The cover of Sound Verite is a take-off of Love’s classic Forever Changes, isn’t it?
“A tribute. The new record is coming out this Summer. We really wanna move to a more overtly protest music, a political music. The record’s interesting for us because it’s just percussion and chanting. It’s a sort of John Lennon/Free Angela Davis type. It’s very much a chant for the terraces. That’s the one on K. We just feel that Arthur Lee was expressing himself in the way we all want to. He was speaking for all fantasists, y’know. There’s one coming out on Soul Static Sound that we recorded with Royal Trux. We’re real Royal Trux fans. And another one’s Wade In The Water, which is an old spiritual and that’s coming out on All City. So that’s our idea of scattershot or whatever. We’re just doing what we can.”
On the current tour, Make Up have been performing both Free Arthur Lee and Wade In The Water, making them central to the call-and-response that they’ve inherited from gospel. Ian pulls the audience into the experience by calling on them to join the performance. The communal vibe is concentrated through his regular imperative of “Can I hear you say ‘Yeh’?” Sometimes the microphone is passed around, sometimes forced onto a member of the audience to ensure a response and, whilst Svenonius is a show-stopper, he always throws the performance back onto the spectator. Boundaries start to collapse. Carrying this feeling away from the show, one begins to wonder what other barriers can come down, what other parts of life we are spectating rather than participating and what other elements we are taking for granted?
Ideology blinds us through its relentlessness. In a sense, the success of Make Up is to defamiliarise the world and make it strange again. To that extent, they inspire a consciousness which realises how arbitrary power relations actually are. The band is unique in that it is a thinking band. The current climate shuns the notion, is a culture that states categorically rock ‘n’ roll is only and must only ever be rock ‘n’ roll. This becomes apparent when journalists try to talk about the group, or popular music in general. The language is impoverished. Epistemologically speaking it limits the boundaries of possibility. How can music be a force for transition when we are denied the appropriate terminology to articulate that change?
The Guardian ran a review of Make Up Afterdark which saw the band as a masterpiece of irony, a spoof rock ‘n’ roll band, something they claim to be working against. Even the NME’s Steven Wells saw them as dazzling salesmen. The flipside is almost unthinkable. Rock journalism pits the intellectual against the authentic. Real music is ‘natural’, it doesn’t have to think, it just IS. If it is only rock ‘n’ roll, then we like it. This is what Make Up are up against, their raison d’etre. They experiment with belief – the collective imagination as a will-to-power. If they were calling for obedience, its analogy would be Nazism, but this is more a case of demythologising a cynicism which has stifled change and become so habitual that it is confused with the natural. The British press are afraid of not getting the joke. It seems that belief and faith are fragile things, aren’t they?
“I think it’s interesting that you say this thing about the British. In America and in England there’s different problems that we have in disseminating our ideas. In America people are so hung-up on this idea of truth and reality – like how something pertains to the truth – that there’s a prevailing idea in America that you can’t make blues inspired music or that the music of black-origin should only be for black people and there’s this kind of hung-up idea that you’re appropriating culture. That’s been levied especially at Jon Spencer and at us to a lesser degree. But to me it’s absurd because it’s like, number one, we don’t sound like any black or gospel group. Neither does Jon Spencer. I guess we’re all supposed to make Irish folk music, you know.
It’s just kind of like shame, you know, or this kind of resentful shame that all the liberal college students have. You know what I mean, as if rhythm is the domain of a certain group or whatever. But in England you have this kind of prevailing in-joke idea.”
You’re not allowed to take anything absolutely seriously.
“Music’s taken more seriously here than in America and because of that there’s less inundations. People are more aware of the the ephemeral nature and they’re more . . . flirtatious.”
There’s a theory here that rock is dead. That dance music has usurped it. The line ‘Can I hear you say “Yeh?”‘ sounds like a line from a house record. Make Up seems to have all the same kind of positivity vibes, but are on an otherwise different trajectory.
“The thing about dance music is that, number one, house music is a gay music and has been massively appropriated, if you will, but that same kind of original energy is there and it’s expression for everybody and it’s not deific. The attraction is that everyone gets to express themselves and that’s what our impetus is, too, and that’s why we’re inspired by the congregational form because we want to include everybody and create a dialogue and create those moments in a room that I think rock ‘n’ roll used to provide but it doesn’t anymore and that’s because of a conspiracy of technology. And a conspiracy of shame, like we were saying, as far as I’m concerned, for white people in America there’s this idea that anything with personality… it’s weird… people in America are so willing to submerge their identity, man, to become like faceless drones. If you go to an American college campus everyone’s wearing these duck-billed baseball hats and these sweatshirts. Not that I’m into this idea of the individual as the end-all. I’m not a cowboy. But, on the other hand, it’s bizarre because people are so willing to become insects. There’s this idea that if you have identity then it’s somehow really presumptuous or pretentious, you know what I mean? And that’s why indie-rock erased the identity and that’s why all these indie bands dress like they’re playing frisbee.”
But with the dance/rock split it’s created a dichotomy, artificial or not, which makes a four-piece band with a classic rock line-up of guitar and rhythm section seem retro.
“The thing about dance music is that it’s really seductive. The whole thing is Dionysian, freaking out. The original Dionysians didn’t drink wine, they danced themselves into trances and there’s always been that strain of transcendent, seeking behaviour throughout history. But we also really like the idea of performance, of somebody leading that induction or whatever. And that to me is what rock ‘n’ roll is and also it just articulates things so much better. We love dance music. That’s why we’re doing these remixes, not ’cause it’s trendy, and we like the technology. We’re definitely not reactionarily against it, but it’s definitely not an end-all as far as I’m concerned.”
Is rock ‘n’ roll just more tactile?
“Well, rock ‘n’ roll is a non-term. It encompasses everything. So basically anyone who wants to express themselves whether it be theatrically, poetically, artistically, it’s all done under the umbrella of rock ‘n’ roll now, right? For example, rock ‘n’ roll is a blues-based form and we’re inspired by gospel music, the one-two beat and the kind of almost raga crescendo thing and catharsis, all these things are in white and black gospel music. The sad thing is that rock ‘n’ roll is so obsessed with being classical in most of its forms. It’s like The Beatles are the alpha group, everything’s defined by The Beatles and most people define themselves within the parameters of The Beatles and The Beatles were a pop group, so everyone thinks in those terms. Not everyone, obviously. That’s what’s created the demarcation because in dance, music’s allowed to go on forever. It’s more functional.”
Ian Svenonius is a big one for opening up these choices. In the Marxist model, history was inevitable. The irony is that a similar model of history has killed widespread confidence in Marxist principles. The new inevitability reads: a revolution failed, therefore all revolutions will fail. For Marx, history would end with the revolution. For us, history has ended with the failure of revolution and the paradigms of change that died with it. So: God is dead and we have killed him? Doesn’t the story continue to say that on the third day he rose again? The Bible playfully anticipates Nietzsche’s death sentence.
History is full of such ironic two-way traffic. Later, Svenonius will say: “As far as I’m concerned it’s arbitrary which technology was devised first. It’s all just technology.”
The statement upsets the linearity of time. The usual cause-and-effect of history is undone to open up new possibilities. As such, Svenonius seems to deny the contemporary cul-de-sac of cynicism. Turning Marx on his head, he says: “There is NOTHING inevitable about history”, or, by extension, about the present we find ourselves in. Svenonius seems to be about opening up choice where we feel we have none, a liberation of options.
In his book England Is Mine, Michael Bracewell has this to say: “The Fall had always made use of a Luddite tendency to reverse the slick professionalism of pop as product – hence their artistic opposition to the luxurious minimalism of Wilson’s Factory artefacts.”
You’re artwork also seems deliberately anti-professional, a snub to a world which prizes packaging?
“There’s a lot of people involved in the making of a record and we’re always trying to cut down the number as much as possible. We try to do a lot of things ourselves, so our sleeves end up looking a little hand-made but it’s actually not purposeful. I wish I was better at cut-and-paste. But we love all those reggae sleeves and that haphazard stuff. Actually, we go to our printer, an old metal-press printer which in America, at least, is really hard to find and we always get our typeset done by hand. We’re very self-conscious about that. I think computer stuff looks really flat and horrible just like I think digital music usually sounds like muzak. That could be seen as retrogressive but as far as I’m concerned it’s arbitrary which technology was devised first. It’s all just technology. I just prefer analogue tape. I think digital sound, DAT, just sounds so flat. I think music’s going to mean a different kind of thing to people in the future, I think it’s going to define people less than it has for the past 50 years because with CDs, records aren’t going to have the same capacity to offend people.”
Industry research shows a resistance to new technologies within music. People don’t want to hear their stuff down an ISDN line, they want the physical activity of going to a record shop and all the other culture that surrounds it.
“Look at the ascendant music forms. It’s not symphonic and it’s not polyphonic, it’s usually the things that are kind of dirty to begin with. Why do people like the electric guitar? Because it’s strings on a pick-up which goes through a cord into an amp, it’s not digital, it’s not laser-read digital sound. It’s actually filtered through this primitive equipment and that’s why it sounds the way it does, that’s why people think it sounds expressive. Similarly that’s what a record needle’s like, a pick-up on a guitar. Recording digitally you can’t max out in the same way. All those old recordings like Motown, as an example, always maxed out every level and that’s why everything sounds like it’s on the brink of exploding. But on a digital tape you can’t do that, you’ll just get digital noise. If you max it out, it just goes ‘ka-ka-ka-ka-ka’, you know. Phil Spector’s whole motto was “the more noise, the more truth” and he just maxed out every track, what you weren’t hearing was all-important.
Look at the ascendancy of grunge-rock, this non-melodic, noisy, bad music on the airwaves and that coincides with CDs, and it’s because with CDs you can listen to anything, ’cause it’s all muzak, there’s not really the highs and lows. When I was a kid I couldn’t listen to I Am The Walrus if I was going to sleep because it just scared me. I don’t think any digital record could scare you because it sounds like…”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Coming back to the sleeve of Sound Verite, the image is a potent one, four faces merge into one, a group-mind. It seems to symbolise the communal vibe in your music, the relationship with your audience, your whole ethos. It’s even there in your love songs which proclaim a fierce loyalty.
“You’re right. The sleeve was also inspired by the People Records’ graphic and things like that, a real communal idea. We’ve always talked about how we’re against the bourgeois notion of the individual and rock ‘n’ roll as an individual expression. Our new anthem is Live At The Rhythm Hive and it’s about hive-life, drone-life. The only expression people are allowed all over the world now is to buy things. The one thing about music that makes that different is that after you buy it, it’s like an avenue, it’s labyrinthian.”
For a band who formed around playing live you’ve made the transition pretty easily to the studio. There’s a feeling with a group like Gold Blade, that they need the audience to work with. Is it a radically different process in the studio?
“Not at all. We recorded with Calvin [Johnson, of Dub Narcotic Sound System] and it was very lively. It’s actually all spontaneously written. That’s why the songs don’t sound so tight, because they’re just grooves we’re working on. It was all ad-libbed lyrically which is how we play a lot of our shows. We’re very against jamming but into improvisation in the name of less rigidity. One of the things that we reject about rock ‘n’ roll, it’s a really abstract approach, you’re playing these shows and you’re playing these songs, it seems kind of weird, all these three minute songs all in a row with chatter in between, it’s really bizarre.” There he goes again, pulling the world to pieces, making you look at it again and realising that it really is bizarre.
The term ‘Sound Verite’ is borrowed from French cinema in the ’60s. ‘Cinema Verite’ (literally ‘true cinema’) was associated with Marxist attempts to frustrate rhetorically persuasive devices, such as soundtrack and narrative, as a means of upsetting audience assumptions, the passive reception of more ‘invisible’ ideology. I can see the logic of this in the band’s approach and in the idea of presenting raw sound ‘exactly as it is’ – without the disguise of digital production, for example – but the band seem so unashamedly Romantic in many aspects it seems to jar with a Marxist aesthetic of pure reason.
“In Cuba in 1958 there was a revolution almost without ideology, just based on need or whatever. I don’t know if you could strictly call it Marxist. I think Marxists are really passionate. I think Communists have always been passionate and Romantic. I think it’s a really Romantic thing, the idea of overturning the status quo, killing people for an idea (laughs), I think that’s really Romantic. Because Marx was living in the Age of Reason, philosophers had to wrap all their ideas in the most scientific sensibility to be taken seriously, there’s a language constructed around philosophy to make it impenetrable to critics but when it comes down to it, it’s very Romantic. Yeah, I think… I don’t know…”
“It’s because rock ‘n’ roll too often refers to other music. I think that’s a real problem because that’s what makes it so redundant and boring: ‘We’re like The Stooges or we’re like The Beatles’ – those are really boring ideas because how can you transcend, how can you overcome the mentor? If that’s the end-all, then there’s no place to go. You have to refer to things outside, that’s what all bands should be doing, referring to anything except rock ‘n’ roll. It’s just this sick circle. That’s what’s interesting about dance music, the rules haven’t been totally written yet.
The problem is that dance music doesn’t serve the same function. Dance music and rock ‘n’ roll just have to reconcile their differences, it’s like The Beatles and The Stones, you can like both, you know what I mean? People are always asking me to make these idiotic choices, that’s just divide and conquer. You’re allowed to like two things, it’s cool. At home we do a club every week at this coffee house and we try to fuse dance and rock. I know that’s an age old pursuit which has always led to tears. We’ll have some DC band and then we’ll play all kinds of dance music, everything – because it’s a spiritual freak-out. It’s music. I mean, what can you do in the face of music? It’s overwhelming!”
Which is the other thing about Make Up. They are exciting. They rip up the stage, can seem unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The band is totally aware of the value of entertainment, it’s what they are as well as what they’re up against. Their mighty predecessors Public Enemy saw how history had collapsed into a present day battle over media space. They set out to claim their territory, reworking ‘official’ history into a black history. For Public Enemy, the sample was not just a snatch of music to flesh out the sound, but a recontextualisation of a moment in black culture. Make Up are living on the same block with a revolutionary polemic and a thorough critique of culture.
It strikes me that the excitement both bands are capable of generating comes from the way their intellect is channelled into their entertainment. They have a firm grasp on why they are doing what they do, content is consistent with form, producing something that satisfies on levels beyond the music. It most definitely isn’t only rock ‘n’ roll. And revolution? You can’t expect me to believe…? But that’s just it. Make Up dare you to believe, make you realise how you want to believe, but how much your scrawny heart has shrivelled to deny that desire. In that gap lies your alienation, the difference between utopia and false ideology. And what are you going to do, just give up? Make Up highlight just how cynical we have become, because the thought of revolution has become unthinkable to us. Of course I don’t believe that a Make Up gig will kick start an uprising, but the tangible success of the band lies in its ability to upturn the everyday, to make me see the world as strange and arbitrary and constructed. That is truly revolutionary. From that I can never recover.