Live at Cockpit on Friday, 22nd October 2004
It hardly needs stating that Selfish Cunt won't be troubling the top ten. A commendable refusal to join the ranks of commercialism which may make listeners feel SC are sincere. Others may suggest there name is just another gimmick, one that would help them sell more albums than the majority of more radio-friendly pop acts. Whatever, it soon becomes clear that vocalist Martin Tomlinson takes himself and his band's message completely seriously.
Industrial drum beats thrash away while the guitar only rarely attempts a discernible riff, preferring instead tremolo picking, pick scrapes and random harmonics. Lyrically, Tomlinson seems to have taken to heart Easton Ellis's nightmare vision of consumerism. He obviously feels Britain is also due for criticism but instead of describing it he shouts at it. Song titles like 'Britain is Shit' and 'Fuck the Poor' leave little to the imagination and hint at a structural approach to swearing that you just have to admire. I'm sure I heard him shout 'Your shirt and tie are full of shit' at one point. Polemic and vague criticisms of our capitalist world are SC's thing.
Tomlinson is a strange one to watch. When he's not shouting he's striking odd, arty poses. Nobody quite knows why. He has a reputation for joining the crowd and he does tonight. Scuttling around in an ecstasy he grabs someone by the lapels. People tense up. Is there going to be a fight? There isn't. Impassioned he wants us to understand something. He jumps on the bar and runs the length of it then gets back on the stage.
The scepticism of the Leeds crowd eventually reveals itself. As SC reappear for an encore someone shouts 'Get off you selfish cunt!'
Obvious and inevitable. Tomlinson fails to see the funny side (hey, it wasn't funny the first time). He runs through the crowd again. Only this time he leaves through a side door and doesn't come back.