Scritti Pollitti were in some ways, one of the most successful of all of the post-punk bands; commercially, internationally and in terms of both mainstream success and highbrow critical acclaim. They’re now about to head off out on a low key tour & here Ged Babey tell’s you why you should go.
Personally I was always baffled by Scritti Politti, and what I saw as the betrayal of their DIY punk roots. Their song Messthetics did after all become shorthand for a whole genre of bedroom experimentalism (and the name of a whole series of albums compiling such recordings)
They started out as Marxist art-punks deconstructivists touring with Joy Division and the Gang of Four and ending up as slick soul band with an intellectual core working with Chaka Khan and Miles Davis. As it says on the Allmusic biography their most critically acclaimed album “Cupid & Psyche 85 , released in June of 1985, was a landmark album in many respects. No prior pop album had integrated the techniques of sampling and sequencing to such a great degree, Gartside’s typically high-flown verbiage was as evident here as anywhere, but you didn’t need to understand what he sang in order to enjoy the music.
In the same way as the Fall has only Mark E Smith as a constant member, Green Gartside plus whatever musicians he surrounds himself with, is Scritti Pollitti. He is big in academia, lecturing on the art of songwriting, but a low key four date tour precedes support slots with St Ettienne. Old songs and new are promised and the band now include a former Hot Chip drummer. There will be more laptops than guitars onstage and they will be utterly unmissable.
17th October ÃÂ»ÃÂ Oxford ÃÂ¦ O2 AcademyÃÂ [tickets]”Â¨
18th October ÃÂ»ÃÂ Holmfirth ÃÂ¦ The PicturedromeÃÂ [tickets]”Â¨”Â¨
20th October ÃÂ»ÃÂ Cardiff ÃÂ¦ Chapter Arts Centre (SWN Festival)ÃÂ [tickets]
”Â¨”Â¨21st October ÃÂ»ÃÂ Winchester ÃÂ¦ RailwayÃÂ [tickets]”Â¨”Â¨
Opening for St Etienne:”Â¨”Â¨
10th December ÃÂ»ÃÂ York ÃÂ¦ FibbersÃÂ [tickets]”Â¨”Â¨
11th December ÃÂ»ÃÂ Edinburgh ÃÂ¦ Liquid RoomsÃÂ [tickets]
”Â¨”Â¨12th December ÃÂ»ÃÂ Manchester ÃÂ¦ RitzÃÂ [tickets]”Â¨”Â¨
13th December ÃÂ»ÃÂ Brighton ÃÂ¦ Concorde 2ÃÂ [tickets]
”Â¨”Â¨14th December ÃÂ»ÃÂ London ÃÂ¦ Shepherds Bush EmpireÃÂ [tickets]
All words by Ged Babey. You can read more from Ged on LTW here.