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Monday 17 September 2007

The Pooh Sticks

More jingly jangly Welsh indie pop today with The Pooh Sticks. Although they keep cropping up on blogs lumped in with twee and shoe-gazing music, we all know they were far more pop than that, and if there'd been any spirit of humour and irony in music in 1991 they'd have been far more successful than they were.

Let's face it, if Blur can drive the country wild by knocking out shit like Country House, then such pop-comedy-classics "Indie-pop ain't Noise Pollution" and "I Know Someone who Knows Someone who knows Alan McGee Quite Well" deserved more than a brief mention in the NME's indie charts.

If you want a good biography, visit The Pooh Sticks fan page (it's on Tripod, so get it while it's hot!) For the meantime, take this from the same site:

Perpetual teenagers and perennial losers, The Pooh Sticks are the best-kept secret of the British indie scene. This is a band that swears eternal allegiance to the unholy trinity of the MC5 ("Back in the USA" era), 60s bubblegum music and mid-70s big pop. Girls are 'groovy' and, for the men, slouching and smoking in the boys' room are compulsory, as the sweet dreams of sussed but cute adolescence burn long and deep.

Formed by Hue Williams (vocals) in late 1987, the line-up was completed by Trudi Tangerine (tambourine/piano), Paul (guitar), Alison (bass) and Stephanie (drums) - they are loath to reveal their surnames. The early sound was a bizarre genre-hopping hybrid of two-minute jangle pop, 'enthusiastic' harmonizing, three-chord punk, girl-group cuteness and, beneath it all, a sharp wit aimed squarely at the po-faced indie scene of the time.

In the best spirit of marketing disasters ... early Pooh Sticks singles were released in a boxed set, prior to being transferred on to the debut album, Pooh Sticks (1988). Japery occasionally lapsed into tweeness ('Goody goody gumdrops, my heart is doing flip flops'), but generally The Pooh Sticks sidestepped smugness in favour of genuine charm and enthusiasm.
So here you go, some cracking early 90s Monkees-style indie pop to listen to: The Pooh Sticks - The World Is Turning On in all it's 'less than two minutes long' glory. Bloody lovely stuff it is too.

Oh yeah, and this particular mp3 is copied from a really fantastically warped blue vinyl 7" single. Don't let anyone tell you that digital downloads are the best way of listening to music. Oh, don't get me wrong, you can use the above to capture the overall essence, but I've got a wobbly 7" that you need to put a weight on so it plays; and even then it's 50:50 whether you'll get the whole thing. That's music. The kids of today just don't understand. Wankers.

Oh, and you can have the video too if you like:


  1. With this you are spoiling us.

    Big, big fan of the Pooh Sticks. They define my idea of what indie was all about.

    I'm sure I've read somewhere that none of the people that were credited as being in the band were, and that it was all pretty much Hue. But I prefer to believe that there was a Trudi.

  2. Hue Pooh (Huw Williams) is still working and living in Cardiff, DJing and whatnot.

  3. If it wasn't for Huw Williams, we would never have heard 60ft Dolls. He da man!

  4. I saw The Pooh Sticks play Sloanes in Liverpool. Probably in 1993. Belly headlined, The Pooh Sticks were 2nd on the bill and The Cranberries kicked off proceedings!

    They opened with a version of "Million Seller" - it sounded way cooler player on a guitar then the version on record which was piano-led. It's a nice album, despite the flat production and the god-awful artwork.