Luke Haines returns with genius sounding concept album on wrestling

Luke Haines

‘Nine And A Half Psychedelic Meditations On British Wrestling Of The 1970s And Early ’80s’

Q) Has Luke Haines lost his mind?

A) Yes.

Q) Have you lost your own mind?

A) No, but you will when you hear this album.

Seconds out grapple fans.

Luke Haines has made this album so that you don’t have to. Whilst his ’90s contemporaries busy themselves traipsing round the reformation circuit, Luke Haines has recorded a psychedelic concept album about the golden age of British Wrestling.

‘Nine And A Half Psychedelic Meditations On British Wrestling Of The 1970s And Early ’80s’ takes place in a world tilted somewhat on its axis, a world where the ‘sacrament’ has been taken. A place where Dickie Davies hooked up with Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters en route to Timothy Leary’s Millbrook ‘space colony’ before finally rocking up to World Of Sport… Where Kendo Nagasaki studied the works of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky whilst writing Samurai rock operas. Conventional wrestling lore tells us that veteran grappler Les Kellett invested the earnings he made from the wrestling ring in a transport cafe in Bradford, ‘Nine And A Half Psychedelic Meditations…’ reluctantly accepts this truth, but prefers to see Les’ transport cafe more as a psychedelic shack, where old Les sits, Swami-like, with younger wrestlers at his feet – Catweazle and Marc ‘Rollerball’ Rocco perhaps, keen to imbibe the hard worn psychedelic knowledge of Kellett’s freaked out mind. The hard worn knowledge of the thousand trip bag, brothers and sisters. Tune in, turn on, seconds out.

Before he discovered rock and roll, the juvenile Luke Haines spent many happy Saturday afternoons in front of the lantern watching Grandstand, waiting for ‘Exotic’ Adrian Street, Bully Boy Muir, Mick McManus, (not a grey hair on his head) and ‘Cry Baby’ Jim Breaks (don’t touch his ears!) to smash each others faces in. Was it for real? Was it sport? Was it art? (Of course it wasn’t you idiot.) Whatever it was, Mr. Haines was there. Sometimes, on a dreary midweek early evening accompanied only by his daddy, the young Luke Haines would sit in the Gaumonts and Civic Halls of southern England mere feet away from some of the finest athletes that ever lived. To have seen Giant Haystacks and Kendo Nagasaki tag team against the always crap Big Daddy, in the flesh, is surely more rarefied than any rock n roll, people.

‘Nine And A Half Psychedelic Meditations…’ is an affectionate homage to the greats of the grapple ring. Mr Haines felt the best way to perpetrate this tribute was through the lysergic lens. So, in short a concept album about wrestling, where each song puts a different, and often beloved, wrestler in a ‘psychedelic’ ‘situation’.

The album will be released digitally on October 10th 2011 and will get a very limited physical release in November 2011 through Fantastic Plastic Records. The physical version will be lavishly and lovingly packaged with artwork reflecting the musical content of the album.

Luke Haines has made many albums. If you are a fan then you will know some of them. If not, then you won’t give a crap. ‘Nine And A Half Psychedelic Meditations On British Wrestling Of The 1970s And Early ’80s’ is the latest album from Luke Haines.

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Luke Haines is a genius. He is the best singer/song writer England has produced over the last 20 years. I’m sure “Nine and a Half Psychedelic Meditations on British Wrestling of the 1970s and early \’80s” will continue that trend.

  2. Album of the year. When all the worthless lists are published in the press over the next month or so, you probably won´t find this mentioned often. It is nevertheless the finest album i´ve listened to this year.
    Good review.


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