mission of burma

More by accident than by design, I briefly found myself in Mission Of Burma’s dressing room this evening, and was introduced to the band. While this might not mean much to well, virtually everyone, it meant a lot to me. Mission Of Burma invented 1980s American alternative music, picking up bits and pieces from bands like Pere Ubu and The Gang Of Four and paving the way for pretty much everyone who followed. No Mission Of Burma? No Pixies. No Pixies? No Nirvana. It’s as simple as that.

So anyhow, they’re still brilliant. Roger Miller wears ear-protectors and places a sheet of perspex between himself and the drum-kit (he has tinnitus, caused by playing too loud). Clint Colney looks like Al Pacino’s camp younger brother and fronts three of the best alternative tracks ever – ‘That’s When I Reach For My Revolver’ (covered elsewhere by Graham Coxon and Moby), ‘Academy Fight Song’ (covered by REM) and ‘That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate’, while Peter Prescott is still the best singing drummer in rock ‘n roll (with the possible exception of Levon Helm). They finish with a version of The Wipers‘ ‘Youth Of America’, which is like the great lost American band covering a song by the other great lost American band. Magnificent.

11 Comments

  1. i missed them in nottingham on wednesday…
    i hate that i was working.
    i’m dealing with it.
    but its hard.
    i’m glad it was a good gig.
    i agree, they were [are] a truly special band.

  2. “Peter Prescott is still the best singing drummer in rock ‘n roll….”

    er…hello? Don Henley anyone?!

  3. Wow. I have some research to do.

  4. Nottingham, eh, Courtenay? MOB were supported by a rather dandy outfit from Nottingham last night – Seachange. Are you aware of their ouvre?

  5. Just like in ATM a few years ago mate…I still wear my Burma T-Shirt proudly…and a Wipers’ cover, wish I had been there too.

  6. yeah i caught the little rascals in a local pub last year..how were they?
    when i saw them they were having a few technical problems…
    good noise though.

  7. I don’t even know of the band, but I love reliving 80′s alternative music. :)

  8. Thanks Sheri. The weird thing is that MOB don’t mean much over here, and the Wipers less so, so all the way through ‘Youth Of America’ I was thinking “no one gets this! only me!”, when in fact it’s nice to know I wasn’t alone. Good photos too.

  9. I saw them in Glasgow. Apparently, they decided to give it another crack after seeing a Wire gig and realising it IS possible to reconvene without it becoming cabaret.

    All I need now is Pere Ubu to get off their arses and do some gigs and I’ll be happy.

  10. Wow…two great tastes that go great together. I’d like to hear them play wipers. Wish they’d come over to Japan. I moved to Boston a few years back because I loved Burma, Modern Lovers, Lyres and Uzi so much. Then, Burma decided to wait til after I left Boston to reform. I was at that Wire show in Boston when Burma first played together for a few songs. Only the slightest taste….

  11. I caught MoB in Los Angeles a few months back. They played a really awesome set. 2 sets in fact for about 2 hours. You guys should check out Icebird if you ever get a chance. They’ve been know to cover both MoB and the Wipers during live shows.