Monday 03 September 2018 at 7pm - 11pm
The The. 03.09.18
UPON A TIME: It's a well-worn cliché to describe music made by passionate, maverick souls as “timeless” but on visiting the songs of THE THE, it's hard not to think of them as complete outsiders. These unique, prescient, fevered songs resonate with basic truths about the human condition and seem to exist beyond the perishable dictates of fashion and style.
Listen closer, however, and it becomes clear that THE THE songs are not so much time-less, as time-full; packed with an awareness of precious moments, vanishing hopes, urgent social pressures, fervent memories, so that they might better be thought of as melodic time- bombs, primed to go off in any century.
THE THE is, and always has been, Matt Johnson. Though his creative life was nurtured under the sodium glare of London's street lamps in the late 70's and early 80's, reacting to punk and fighting against the trite Thatcherite pop of the early MTV era, there's a vast scope within the material. His genre is all his own. It is music of long shadows, high hopes, channeled anger, feverish passions and sweetly disturbing poignancy. It is pop and rock, blues and folk, soul and polemic. It spans alienated electronics to twisted cinematic soundtracks, guitar tumbling swing to crimson ballads, rants and prayers to diaries and hymns.
The glaring, jarring wonder of Johnson's catalogue is the fundamental underlying assumption that songs matter, music matters, lyrics matter, and they should be firmly built upon urgent truth, with truth on top. Everything sounds like it HAD to be made, which may partly explain why there have been comparatively few THE THE records over the years. Indeed the absences in-between releases once prompted a journalist to remark that entire music and fashion movements come and go during Johnson's ?rest' periods.
Playing Newcastle University Students' Union on Monday 3rd September, tickets will fly out for this so get yours now so you don't miss out!
Tickets available here