During their time, Meet Me In St Louis made many friends, a few of whom were more than happy to write a few words to mark the occasion...
Stu, This Town Needs Guns
I won't lie... like most people (I think) I wasn't totally convinced by MMiSL on first listen. They were clearly great musicians, but something didn't click for me for a very long time. We were lucky enough to play a bunch of shows with them and whilst they were all lovely guys (and I remain friends with many of them) I just couldn't get into it. In many ways, MMiSL are similar to another favourite of mine; Radiohead...bare with me here and I'll explain. With pretty much every Radiohead album I have ever heard I have the same reaction: "What the hell is this all about? The songs are all mixed up and weird. They've lost it. What a shame. Oh hang on...their is that one song I like though." The key is that both bands write/wrote incredibly interesting music. With every listen you discover something new. The song you liked on first listen makes you give the others more of a go. I love music that can do that. Repeated listens only help improve the music, until all you can do is listen over and over and over again. Once you'd 'learnt' the songs the live show took on a whole new life. I loved watching MMiSL and feel really grateful that I got to see them perform on so many occasions (not least in my own front room), due in part to their own bloody determination to be on tour pretty much constantly.
I remember when Toby told me he was leaving the band. I was so gutted. He is one of the best lyricists/vocalists I know of. Some of the lines he wrote on 'Variations' will stay with me forever. The fact that he was able to write such poetry, to such complex time signatures and melodies is astounding. When the band finally called time on things I wasn't overly surprised. Knowing the pressure that they placed themselves under (they were literally THE most hard working band I have ever known) it was bound to implode at some point. I just hope that there may one day be a reunion of sorts. It seems like such a shame that the last chapter of one of the greatest punk rock bands of a generation should be so inglorious. Whilst writing this I'm reminded of 'Refused are fucking dead' which documents the final months in the life of the equally hard working/genre def(ying/ining) band, Refused. There are many comparisons to be drawn between MMiSL and Refused (both regarding their music and work ethic), I just hope that unlike their luminaries this isn't the last we've heard of MMiSL. They deserve(d) much better.
"...as we get closer the room gets smaller. That's all she wants progress."
paper cut from the box into butterfly singes my hand digs deep for message but we all roll on continuously puzzled as teacher keeps questioning, bludgeoning the class with a thousand facts for the world external to this room, which room? the one you're in lover. we'll share in a twilight perplexed traces of dust sifting along vacuums of our breath and along from my loft a homogeneous childhood forever, until tomorrow has bled into my cranium and made me forget everything you said. just so you know...
i can still smell the plastic christmas gifts serenading pleasure at our feet.
Meet Me In St. Louis. Their EP is amazing* and their album is one of my favourites ever. Every single part has such value, nothing is too much and nothing is out of place. Such rhythms, lyrics, chords, riffs, melodies. And they were so friendly and encouraging to four 18 year olds who were making music together at Kingston college...
Shane, Function Records
Shit. Two years already and more than four years since Toby played his news bands demo to us through the PA after soundcheck at The Star. It was just him and Paul playing the first carnation of 'I am Champagne and You Are Shit' and it was amazing. About a year later they were kind enough to let us put out their first record- the EP with the longest title ever. By that time they were five: armed with genial shredder Olly; the world's energy source Louis and Benny- the spine of a second great band.. Then they released another brilliant album through Kev and a while later, it was done. Anyway, enough back slapping, they stacked and I miss them. xx
Happy MMISL Day!