I had a bit of a Shellac awakening at ATP vs. The Fans. I am genuinely quite ashamed to say I was never a fan before but now, having seen two blisteringly good shows I am resolutely converted. Ever since then I've been eager to soak up as much of them as humanly possibly without actually resorting to a terrifyingly psychotic concept in my head involving transfusing my blood for that of Steve Albini, Todd Trainer and Bob Weston.
That weekend in Minehead I learned a lot about Shellac. In terms of interest they varied; the majority were mere tit-bits of gossip. Let me throw this one out now as an example: did you know that Todd Trainer runs his own shipping company? For some reason the image of him conducting a board meeting dressed in a suit and tie appears both incomprehensible and utterly unfathomable.
'Excellent Italian Greyhound' is supreme. It's probably a good thing I don't have in-depth knowledge of their previous outings to use as a yardstick. Live favourite The End Of Radio kicks off proceedings with the requisite amount of gusto. I love Albini's ironic call-out "This goes out to a special girl... There is no special girl!" From there the momentum snowballs as the album ticks by. There's even a track called Steady As She Goes which mercifully isn't a cover of that better-known Raconteurs single but is an altogether more pleasingly raucous affair.
Shellac - The End Of Radio
Buy 'Excellent Italian Greyhound'. You'd be crazy not to....