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23 skidoo

Discussion in 'music' started by HansW, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. HansW

    HansW pfm Member

    I liked an album called Seven Songs by 23 Skidoo that I purchased when it was released in the early eighties. The band then seemed to have disappeared. Recently I found out that they changed their name to Current and have released several albums under that name.

    Does anyone know anything about thes albums?

    Are they worth buying?

    Thanks in advance for any insight.
  2. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob Champagne fascia aficionado

    One of my claims to fame was booking 23 Skidoo and the early (circa "Skank Bloc Bologna") Scritti Politti for an Anti-Apartheid Group benefit in North London.

    As well as Seven Songs, Skidoo released an album called The Culling is Coming, which is pretty poor, and Urban Gamelan, which isn't, off of which they released an extremely good 12-inch mix of the track "Coup".

    Haven't heard any of their recent material, although I know they were recording for a while under the name Ronin, and ran a label called Ronin Records. Pharoah Sanders guests on their most recent record, I hear. Seven Songs was reissued on CD a while back, adding material from their very good 12-inch "The Gospel Comes to New Guinea".

    -- Ian
  3. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    Hello again Hans

    I am also a follow of the Skidoo releases - I think I have most or all of them.

    Seven Songs and New Guinea are favourites.

    The new LP ' 23 Skidoo' and the associated single did not reach the standards set in the earlier releases IMHO.

    I was hoping for a return to the metallic sparse funk, like the Pop Group, Slits, Gang of Four, but it wasn't like that.

    What's your theory on where thier name came from?


    ITC - Rockers Revenge - Walking on Sunshine
  4. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob Champagne fascia aficionado

    Pure guess about the "23" bit would be Aleister Crowley, the occultist much namechecked by Throbbing Gristle/Psychic TV (who used the number 23 a lot) and the rest of the industrial scene:

    No idea about why Skidoo, however.

    -- Ian
  5. kasperhauser

    kasperhauser pfm Member

    23 skidoo is a classic puzzle in etymology. It was turn-of-the-century slang for "Let's get outta here!", and gained popularity up through the 1920s. "Skidoo" is likely a shortened version of "skedaddle", itself probably adapted from "scatter" and/or "scuttle". The 23 part is harder to trace; "23" was a popular Morse code sign-off, used by telegraphers to say "you can go now, message over".

    There are many other theories.
  6. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    Very enigmatic Kasper!

    23 is reputed to have mystical properties, as reported by WS Burroughs, Crowley, and picked up by the Industrial Culture groups and movement.

    There are several explanations, as you point out.

  7. HansW

    HansW pfm Member

    Thank you for your input.

    dss, I have no idea about where the name comes from though kasperhausers theory sounds plausible.

    What about the group Current? Is there a connection or am I misinformed?

  8. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob Champagne fascia aficionado

    I don't know a group Current. Are you thinking of Current 93? If so, David Tibet had been in both groups, Current 93 are also an industrial group formed in the same period and still making records.

    -- Ian
  9. HansW

    HansW pfm Member

    Yes I do think I mean Current 93. Are they any good?

  10. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob Champagne fascia aficionado

    I'm not that keen, but lots of people are.

    -- Ian
  11. space cadet

    space cadet dronefed and floating

    I really used to like C93, but ended up flogging the cds after I had copied the ones I like. David Tibet's voice is very distinctive and tbh not very good and I think wether you'll like C93 depends a lot on how you get on with his voice.
    Early C93 is inustrial/noise and later he does a more folky thing, always laced in religious imagery and nursery rhymes (he seems to have a fascination with Noddy for some reason)
    A good place to start would be a double cd-set called Emblems which is a sort of compilation featuring new and old C93 songs. Thunder Perfect Mind and Earth Covers Earth I seem to remember were pretty good too. Probably 'cause they feature Rose McDowell (of Strawberry Switchblade fame) whose voice I really like.
    Have you considered trying some Coil? Love's Secret Domain and Horse Rotorvator are both v. good.
  12. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    Hans & Others,

    I am also keen on Current 93, and thier first LP 'Nature Unveiled' is one of my all time favourites. I have dozens of releases by them, but not all. The release a LOT of material, sometimes in absurdly limited editions.

    I am not aware of any commonality between them and 23 Skiddoo, other than as mentioned before, there shared a similar scene.

    Perhaps the only connection I can see is that 23S were on Fetish records, who also released some Throbbing Gristle LPs, who split and Genesis P. Orriidge and Peter Christopherson formed Psychic TV, who included David Tibet, who left to form Current 93. Christopherson formed and still runs Coil (see above)

    David Tibet and Stephen Stapleton (Nurse with Wound) seem to be the core of the group, but they have been joined by many others through the years.

    Now, will you like them? Hmm, they have had a least two or three phases, from very scary industrial gothic chanting to loopy looping soundscapes to apocalytic folk music, sometimes just with Tibets singing and a guitar.

    Think of a crucified Noddy singing to a crew of cats, thats the idea.

    The Emblems CD mentioned rightly above is a good starting point to dip your toe, as it covers a wide expanse of thier career.


    OTD - Acrid Abeyance - Exposure ep
  13. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob Champagne fascia aficionado

    David, Tibet was a member of 23 Skidoo for a while. (He's on The Culling is Coming IIRC.)

    -- Ian
  14. dss

    dss Musical Bons


    I bow to your knowledge!

    I dug out The Culling, and there he is!

    So there is a specific connection.

    I don't see him listed on any of the others?


    ITC - Tuxedomoon - Time to Lose
  15. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob Champagne fascia aficionado

    Nowadays I only have Seven Songs, Gospel Comes to New Guinea and Tearing Up the Plans and AFAICT he's not on any of those.

    -- Ian
  16. rexel

    rexel pfm Member

    As I understand 23 Skidoo was the follow up book to Catch 22 by the same author, I'mafraid I can't tell you anymore than that.
  17. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob Champagne fascia aficionado

    Afraid not rexel, Joseph Heller never wrote a book called 23 Skidoo.

    -- Ian
  18. Michael L

    Michael L pfm Member

    Just found this thread; saw 23 Skidoo in the early 80s, one of the worst bands I've ever seen.

    Sorry and all that.
  19. dss

    dss Musical Bons

    Ha, I think they are highly underrated.

    OK I admit their return with Pharoah Sanders was weak and inessential, but what about 'Tearing Up the Plans' and all those early goodies.

    I thought 23 Skiddoo was a WS Burroughs reference - I remember it from one of his books.

  20. sideshowbob

    sideshowbob Champagne fascia aficionado

    Blimey, a thread that's > 4 years old.

    David Tibet is now one of my neighbours, trivia fans.

    -- Ian

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