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The Ultraconformist - Live Whilst Out of Fashion

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Album Review

According to Richmond Records, this live recording was discovered in their archives and it "comprises Momus songs that were made in front of a cabaret audience in London" in or around December 1910. With a grain of salt and a little patient, it's soon revealed that this is actually Momus' 1992 release, The Ultraconformist, subtitled "Life Whilst Out of Fashion". The gloomy, rainy streets of Westminster set the tone for this record and provide the perfect scenery for this witty foray into Vaudeville foolery. Fiendish and vile, Momus, aka Nick Currie, indulges once again in character portrayals of the most ghastly type. Recorded with added handclaps in an attempt to achieve a live recording effect, he delves into usual territory — kings and queens and their sinister servants, the underbelly of 19th Century London, and how Alex and the rowdy bunch of A Clockwork Orange might have behaved had they been a bunch of Lillie Langtry fans around the turn of the century. The Ultraconformist employs a great deal of cheap electronics but they never overpower the brilliant songwriting. His use of electro, far before it became de rigeur, is a testament to his experimental nature, testing strange instruments behind his brand of misanthropic chamber pop. His signature detached and distant one-man rhythm section delivers as usual as his voice wavers back and forth from sinister to sincere, examining the past and present with precise memory.


Born: 11 February 1960 in Paisley, Scotland

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Momus was the alias of Nick Currie, a Scottish-born singer, songwriter, and provocateur whose music careened from acoustic ballads to electro-pop to acid house and back again. Born in 1960, Currie spent time living in Greece and Canada before returning to Scotland to attend university; in 1981, he dropped out of school to form the Happy Family, a band additionally comprising three prior members of Josef K. After signing to the 4AD label, the group recorded only one LP, 1982's The Man on Your Street,...
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The Ultraconformist - Live Whilst Out of Fashion, Momus
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