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September 10, 1991 - Image 5

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-10

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ARTS

OThe Michigan Daily:

Tuesday, September 10, 1991

Page 5

The La's hit with 'There She Goes'
Liverpudlian lads could, like, be the next Fab Four, you know what I mean?

by Annette Petruso
second of five parts
"If you want, I'll sell you the life
story! about a man who's at
loggerheads with his past all the
timel he's alive and living in purga-
tory! all he's doing is rooming in
hotels! and he's scooping up lots of
wine"
- "Son of a Gun," The La's
t16 Whether or not this song is au-
tobiographical for the La's (song-
writer, lead vocalist, guitarist and
chief La' Lee Mavers in particular)
i arguable, but Liverpool's latest
export to America has a reputation
im
and an attitude that perfectly fits
this quote.
Allegedly, the La's are "diffi-
colt" to interview. Speaking to
bassist John Power on the telephone
finom his hotel room in Dallas,
however, was actually enjoyable.
Speaking with a thick Liverpudlian
ascent, he was amiable, mellow and
pleasant. "That's because I just got
up and I'm dying for breakfast," he
explained. "I'm lying in my hotel
'room and I'm going to have a
shaower because I smell. But apart
frpm that, all the lads, it's what you
soe is what you get, like. If they're
1 a bad mood, they let you know
about it."
In many other articles in both
the British and American press, the
Lh's complained about their self-ti-
tbd debut album not capturing
their real sound ("Basically, I'm
bored with talking about it," Power
said) because of an impossible pro-

now and then you put a tune on, and
if you're feeling low or if you're
feeling high, it does have exactly
what you needed to do, like.
"Anything that means some-
thing to you, you're going to get
emotional and you're going to get
moody and you're going to get
happy and all that, because it means
something to you. So, yeah, we are, I
suppose, moody."
This attitude, one of self-confi-
dence and directed drive, flows
when Power discusses the La's' own
music. "To be honest with you, yeah
(we expected to make it this far in
the USA)," he said. "It's not big
headedly, like, but, you know, confi-
dence in what we were doing. And
when you've got something good,
you know what it is, you know what
I'm saying? You don't deny it, never
deny what you've got." Including,
Power said, their hit single, "There
She Goes": "Well, I thought it de-
served to be a hit, like, actually..."
In concert, this honest attitude
affects how the La's perform. "We
can do bad shows or we can do great
shows. If the sounds go right and
the audience is right and we're right,
we can be amazing, like," said
Power. "The audience get off on it,
anyway. We're a lot more critical
than other people, of ourselves, so,
like, what we'd see as good or bad is
something totally different from
the audience or the critics.
"We're not the average band. I'm
not going to say we're not the aver-
age person, like. But as bands go to-
day, you know what I mean, we
know what we want, and we want
to get it. We strive for that."
The La's' songs, however, come
from a very common place.
"Politics of the heart and soul, hu-
man like. Morals and conscience es-
pecially, I mean. Not deep or noth-
ing, like," Power explained. "It can
only be about (life), can't it? What
happens is, you grow up ,.nd life
See LA'S, Page 8

Box o' La's
John Power, on the.
music the La's make:
"Music, real music.
Hard, soft - soul, a soul
ring, if we could."
Power, on weird
American gigs: "Last
night was a bit weird.
Loads of girls got on the
stage and started
jumping on us. For the
first time in my life. It was
like, what the hell is
going on here? It was
quite good."
Power, on the
Beatles' cartoon: "I
remember them when 1
was kid, like, but the
accents were completely
fuckin' wrong. They were
all Birmingham. They
were stupid. Whoever it
was done them accents
for that cartoon deserves
a good kick in the head.y
Power, on selling out
"Anyone who doesn't
want to be successful in
what they do, what the'
hell are they doing it for?
All this shit about
copping out and selling,
out, that's a load of shit,,
'cause if you've got good
songs and good things,
you 're not selling out."
Power, on success:
"The thing is, we're not
raking in money yet or
anything like that, you
know what I mean? But
we're doing what we
want to do."
-An nette Petruso

The La's (l-r: Cammy, Lee Mavers, Niel Mavers and John Power) may be new kids on the block right now, but
when they record their White Album, you'll regret mocking them and their fans.

ducer, Steve Lillywhite, and an anti-
La's British record label.
Power, however, eagerly re-
sponded to all of the charges about
the band's reputation, in particular
the rumor that their first American
tour earlier this sumnmer was spent
fucked up. "Oh, well, it's probably,
like, I can't remember," he said. "Do
you want me to sign a statement?
You know, we have a laugh, like.
You've got to do something to get
you through." That's where the mu-
sic comes in.
The La's wistfully captures an
essence of post-early-Beatles. Lee
Mavers' sweet-sounding voice and
the utter simplicity of the La's' gui-
tar-based tunes bely their harsh rep-
utation. But the La's (which also in-

cludes drummer Neil Mavers, Lee's
brother, and guitarist Cammy)
shouldn't be compared directly to
the Beatles. Though both bands have
similar musical roots ("Rhythm 'n'
blues, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry...
James Brown," said Power), the
La's also stretch their influences
into the present ("Marley... the
Who, Captain Beefheart and a lot
more, a lot more," he continued),
maintaining an uncompromising
passion and self-criticism, a focused
honesty that the Beatles lost early
on, if they ever had it all.
The band's press release tries to
sum the La's up succinctly, as
"contagious working class melan-
choly." Though this description
may be true, it isn't a whole. "Well,

it's accurate a bit, like, I can see
what he meant, like. But as I say, you
can't sum it up in three words, you
just can't sum anything up, because
the minute you do, you bracket it
off, limit it," said Power. "There's
thousands of people out there, all
with different feelings, all who
think that the song is personal to
them. But that's a fair assumption."
Just hearing Power explain his
attraction to music describes part of
the La's musical disposition. As
Power explained, "It's love, reli-
gion, lust. Music to me and anyone
else, I reckon, you know, it hits the
right notes, you know, it's a reli-
gion, you know what I mean, and if
the right song's there, and if there
was a tune, you. must have had it,



7 1

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