Review

The Flatmates

I Could Be In Heaven

Optic Nerve • 1986

In the olden days, and even before that, music magazines could make a mixtape and people would buy it, listen to it and start their own bands. And yet the music journalists weren’t happy, because suddenly no one was interested in the evil system any more. Everybody was just going around making shiny songs about boyfriends or girlfriends, strumming three chords on a lollipop and then throwing the thing across the stage. Martin Whitehead, the only man in The Flatmates, which was actually made up of flatmates, said, »Women were finally promoting gigs, writing fanzines and running labels. They also played drums, bass and sang at mics, just like The Flatmates. And it was a lot more fun than that miserable male post-punk vibe where the leather jackets reeking of stale cigarette smoke didn’t know whether to go forwards, backwards or straight down the middle. By contrast, »I Could Be In Heaven« from 1986 is like a jangly afternoon To 40 chart show with a coked-up presenter introducing each band a little too enthusiastically. But it doesn’t matter, it’s all great fun!