Sunday, January 28, 2024

Neil, continued

Tributes keep coming... 

Here's one you should really read - a loving portrait from his close friend Simon Price, full of details and stories I never knew. For The Quietus.

Update February 1st: lovely extended meditation by Cam Scott on Neil and specifically his book Eastern Spring: a 2nd Gen Memoir . Here's a mix Neil made to go along with Eastern Spring

David Stubbs directs Kulkarni fans to a classic installment of the Chart Music podcast, in which Neil rails against the turn-to-shite of Melody Maker in the final years of the '90s, late period Britpop, the infamous "Craig David" cover, etc. From about 35 mins in...  

David's Gofundme for Neil's daughters has just topped 40K - an amazing testament to the love and respect he inspired. Contribute if you can.

Neil's colleagues at The Wire have assembled a medley of his pieces for the magazine across 20 years of being a contributor.  They have also published what may well one of Neil's last bits of writing - they invited him to pick - and comment on - his own favorite pieces written by other people from The Wire's vast archives.

Apparently there are plans afoot for a Neil Kulkarni anthology. Below are a few links to classic pieces that are already online - some of them rant-mode and some just passionately perceptive about music he loved. 

Neil lays into the Ten Most Overrated Albums in Pop History - guaranteed to be something here that'll get your hackles rising. 

Neil in dialogue with Rudy Tambala of  A.R. Kane around the time of the One Little Indian singles anthology (which reminds me that I've still not read his sleevenotes to last year's Kane box A.R.Kive - can anybody help me out here?)

Neil's series  A New Nineties, about the groups that have come to be known as The Lost Generation - i.e. first-wave UK post-rock. For The Quietus:

introduction / Main

Disco Inferno



epilogue / other unmissable albums / rant about bands making music that is "unforgivably British"

He also did a follow-up Quietus series about the US end of the "New Nineties", worth looking for although some of the groups, the appeal always eluded me I must say. 

Here's a couple of pieces Neil did on Marc Bolan and T.Rex 

A piece around a Pulp reunion tour, celebrating the band and what it represented

Neil with Sleeper (and all indie) and Kula Shaker in his sights. And damning Ride with faint abuse.

Via Nick S in comments, a clip of Neil blasting Oasis on the Chart Music podcast

Neil as Coventry native remembering local boy Terry Hall.

Neil on Auto-Tune-glitzed 'n' spritzed dancehall

Finally, a bit of Kulkarni meta-talk... Neil was fierily eloquent about music journalism as a vocation, the point and purpose of criticism, how to do it right.... often this would come out by implication, a sort of photographic negative, in his tirades about the shite that the latterday NME was trying to foist on the world, famous feats of fight-picking that riled up the guilty parties no end. But here at Drowned In Sound, is one of his positive articulations of How to Do It and Why To Do It


  1. Thank you for sharing these treasures. I've become an instant fan of Neil's work. I donated, subscribed to his Substack, and will be buying every bit of printed matter I can find.

    As a small tribute to the power of his writing, although I didn't recognize his name at first, almost immediately upon clicking on the Ride record review I was saying to myself, "Oooooooh, yeah, I remember. He's *that* guy." His incendiary, fearless, hugely funny voice is unmistakable and unforgettable. I guess I never caught on to his byline because I pretty much stopped reading the music press as he was hitting his stride.

    I particularly remember the Ride review because I'd liked their first two LPs and "Tarantula" was exactly the naked emperor moment Neil described so hilariously. Richly deserved demolition.

    Someone uploaded a short clip of Neil going nuclear on Oasis:

  2. The other day I was enjoying the zip of a review in The Wire of some Microstoria re-releases and my eye wandered down to the byline. It was written by Neil. I felt quite sad about that.


Comment away