Cocteau Twins : Classic or Dud

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I've never really engaged with the Cocteaus... I can see why people like them, but what I've heard by them has never made me go "WOW! THAT'S BRILLIANT". with the exception of 'Song To The Siren', which might be by This Mortal Coil rather than the Cocs themselves as such.

DV (dirtyvicar), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 14:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Mmm, they are rather like eating a whole treacle steam pudding to yourself: delightful at first but 3 1/4 the way through and it's - glckk! ... enough spongey sweetness!
But those first few mouthfuls - wow wow wow, heaven!

David Merryweather (DavidM), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 16:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

re-revive-orama !

some time last autumn i had a funny turn :

falling in love with the cocteaus again.

piscesboy, Wednesday, 27 August 2003 17:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

DV, for all intents and purposes, "Song to the Siren" is a Cocteaus song (Liz and... Simon(?)).

Leee (Leee), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 20:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
I'm seeing Robin Guthrie solo tonight in San Francisco. I will report back afterward.

kyle (akmonday), Friday, 12 November 2004 04:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Please do!

Seb (Seb), Friday, 12 November 2004 06:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It should be a very placid evening.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 12 November 2004 06:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yes tell us what happens, Kyle.

Bimble (bimble), Friday, 12 November 2004 08:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It was quite good! I fell asleep though (twice). He performed to a film he'd made which was kind of superfluous; pretty, but kind of sub-brakhage attempts at color and light with a few naked ladies thrown in for good measure. It was good to have something to look at occasionally though. Songs were from Imperial (a few of them) and some were new; they were definitely much more interesting live than the album, which, again, is pretty, but kind of inconsequential. It was great to see him generate those classic Guthrie reverb drenched tones though. He plays so effortlessly, everything looks so easy. I think the tour dates are on the bella union site, if you're a fan it's well worth going.

kyle (akmonday), Friday, 12 November 2004 08:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
So Hilburn/LA Times are claiming the Cocteaus are reuniting and playing Coachella, as will be announced tomorrow. Allegedly.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 31 January 2005 07:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I know, I just read that on the other thread and I'm afraid I'm just in shock. Surely it can't really be?

Bimble... (Bimble...), Monday, 31 January 2005 07:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Maximum classic. Aside from echoing the feeling of other pro-Twin-ists, I can only add that immersion in their stuff truly is a dependable visit--I shall now sound very earnest and lame--to a very safe, candy-cotton cocoony place.

iang, Monday, 31 January 2005 07:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

recorded, classic. live... dud.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Monday, 31 January 2005 07:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, well, she used to get pretty nervous live, that's true. But by the time of Milk & Kisses it seemed to me she might have conquered a lot of her fright.

Bimble... (Bimble...), Monday, 31 January 2005 08:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Can't find a damn thing on the "official web site" about a reunion other than rumours.

Bimble... (Bimble...), Monday, 31 January 2005 08:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Off to the desert!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 31 January 2005 14:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

maybe they'll tour later this year with Dead Can Dance and my head can FUCKING EXPLODE

kyle (akmonday), Monday, 31 January 2005 14:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

new order billed below nine inch nails?
bauhaus and cocteau twins billed below coldplay?

my heart just broke

rentboy (rentboy), Monday, 31 January 2005 15:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Milk & Kisses is really, really, really wonderful.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Monday, 31 January 2005 15:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

America gets Bauhaus and Cocteau Twins reunions, meanwhile I was informed via The Guardian Guide that London gets 30th Anniversary Tour visits from Styx and Kansas. Totally unfair !

DJ Martian (djmartian), Monday, 31 January 2005 15:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Junkie frigging XL? Puh-leez. I would say: Let's hope he breaks up in a million pieces but that'd just mean a reunion in ten years time. ;-)

I have only heard Heaven Or Las Vegas. Wouldn't say classic, because I have to be in the right mood for her *glossolalia*. But it sure is pretty music.

stevie nixed (stevie nixed), Monday, 31 January 2005 15:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

holy fuck...

Baaderonixxx le Jeune (Fabfunk), Monday, 31 January 2005 16:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It is official. Hell of a time to be not in California. This is shaping up to be the worst year of my life.

Leeeter van den Hoogenband (Leee), Monday, 31 January 2005 16:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink


There must be UK dates, surely.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Monday, 31 January 2005 16:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I hope so!

Rob M (Rob M), Monday, 31 January 2005 16:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...



terry lennox. (gareth), Thursday, 5 January 2006 23:27 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Drug fiend.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 6 January 2006 03:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Cocteau Twins, along with King Crimson and David Sylvian (japan/Rain Tree Crow/Nine Horses), rates among my absolute favorite musical acts. My only issue is that I find Liz Fraser's post-Cocteau output a bit underwhelming. "This Love" with Craig Armstrong and her Massive Attack collaborations are notable exceptions. "At Last I am Free" (taken from the 'Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before Compilation), on the other hand, sounds unfocused. Liz posesses, in my opinion, probably the most beautiful voice in music and I think it would be interesting to see here work with some composers/producers that could do her singing justice.

As for possible artistic directions, I could imagine a piece driven by Fripp Soundscape and Frisell Loops with electro-acoustic drum work By Pat Mastelloto, some electronically treated harmonized trumept lines by Nils Petter Molvaer, some excentric fretless bass work by Mick Karn and, beautiful piano/synth treatments courtesy of Ryuichi Sakamoto. I could think of may other possible directions, but this is just off the top of my head. All in all I still think she has the potential to surpass even the greatest cocteau twins moments, given the right environment.

Cliftonb, Friday, 6 January 2006 05:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

she doesn't seem to be interested in doing much of anything though, oddly enough.

kyle (akmonday), Friday, 6 January 2006 20:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

two years pass...


Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You, Saturday, 31 May 2008 08:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

underrated album, that

stephen, Saturday, 31 May 2008 08:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

The last one I bought was Four Calendar Cafe, but I think I heard Milk & Kisses once. Perhaps I should seek it out again.

Johnny Fever, Saturday, 31 May 2008 08:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Violaine" is one of my favorite late-period Cocteau songs -- it stands up to the best of Heaven or Las Vegas, easily

stephen, Saturday, 31 May 2008 09:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

This is the one Cocteau Twins album I actually had sex to.

Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You, Saturday, 31 May 2008 10:29 (nine years ago) Permalink


stephen, Saturday, 31 May 2008 14:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

Oh my god if Cocteaus could ever forgive you


Tell the X Mal Deutschland fans to go fuck it all.

Cocteaus happiness.

I'm gonna sic the vinyl on your ass. I'm trying to peaceful, but...



Oh shit

With Oatmeal Sauce (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Sunday, 4 January 2009 08:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

In a certain celebrity mailout this appeared...

'The reason the Cocteau Twins' comeback last year didn't happen is because even though Robin Guthrie and Liz Fraser had put their differences to the side (clue - £££££) Liz insisted that her partner be the drummer on the tour. Fine.

All was going well until Robin got pissed, looked through the tour expenses and saw that Liz's partner was getting paid a bit more than the other hired hands. He went batshit mental, rang up Liz and told her that this was outrageous and that he shouldn't even be getting paid AT ALL as Liz was making money and so her partner "didn't need to be paid".

Liz basically said (in indecipherable made-up language no doubt) she couldn't take this and if Robin was kicking off even before the tour started, it could only get worse. So she walked and that was it - reunion over. She apparently walked away from "millions".

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate (aldo), Friday, 24 July 2009 13:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

Good for her.

Masonic Boom, Friday, 24 July 2009 13:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

I can understand being annoyed that he's making MORE than others but not getting paid AT ALL? Fuck that.

Lisa Simpson = a fictional bitch (HI DERE), Friday, 24 July 2009 13:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

Not getting paid at all, says an anonymous secondhand source.

Joerg Hi Dere (NickB), Friday, 24 July 2009 14:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

Yeah there's an obvious grain of salt there but still.

Lisa Simpson = a fictional bitch (HI DERE), Friday, 24 July 2009 14:02 (eight years ago) Permalink

Give 'em a couple more years when they need to pay their mortgages, they'll come around.

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Friday, 24 July 2009 14:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

I wouldn't be surprised if that was actually Guthrie's reaction. He always came across as socially retarded.

Turangalila, Friday, 24 July 2009 14:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

A story on Ms. Fraser in the Guardian the other day:

And we do all grow older:

Looks v. elegant!

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 28 November 2009 18:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

She's been offered sums "beyond your wildest dreams" to collaborate with other artists – "the weirdest one was Linkin Park"

The hell.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 28 November 2009 18:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

The new song sadly sounds too much like Gotan Project but her voice is still awesome.

Salvador Dali Parton (Turangalila), Saturday, 28 November 2009 18:45 (seven years ago) Permalink

Which is all you need, really. (Well, maybe.)

Article's a little wrong at points when it comes to her musical silence -- for instance, she appeared (briefly) on the first two Lord of the Rings film scores, as apparently both Howard Shore and Fran Welsh were major Cocteaus fans, and she's specifically namechecked by both of them in the DVD documentaries, etc. etc.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 28 November 2009 18:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

And of course this was beautiful

Salvador Dali Parton (Turangalila), Saturday, 28 November 2009 23:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

I'll take any excuse to repost this:

sleeve, Saturday, 28 November 2009 23:12 (seven years ago) Permalink

She's been offered sums "beyond your wildest dreams" to collaborate with other artists – "the weirdest one was Linkin Park"

LOL just saw this.

I just wish he hadn't adopted the "ilxor" moniker (ilxor), Tuesday, 1 December 2009 21:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

Glad you all had such a good time. Maybe just the sound in Bath was that bad, Liz' nerves affected her performance, etc etc.

passive-aggressive display name (aldo), Wednesday, 8 August 2012 05:09 (five years ago) Permalink

Somebody on DiS saying that the sound was better last night than on Monday, so maybe Bath was just the first step on an evolving route. Wish I'd gone to one of the London shows now.

passive-aggressive display name (aldo), Wednesday, 8 August 2012 09:39 (five years ago) Permalink

I feel oddly conflicted watching that "siren" youtube clip. She loooks like someone's granny in that outfit, but I remind myself she's always dressed in an endearingly oldfashioned way so I cant o_0 about it now.

I see aldo's point now though; she really isnt making any attempt at all to belt a note, going purely off that clip (not that this song was ever one where that was the case). It isnt disappointing: the frippertronic guitar was gorgeous, and it was an arrangement I really liked! But she really wasn't a powerhouse like she used to be. I will be fair though, its been a very very long time since she last performed and cut her a break, people get older etc.

Even for her recent milder singing that was very subduded. Curious.

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Wednesday, 8 August 2012 10:21 (five years ago) Permalink

Watching that other guy's clips, the new songs are way better for her new singing. Its like David Sylvians recenter stuff. I always said those two should work together.

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Wednesday, 8 August 2012 10:35 (five years ago) Permalink

ugh the Athol Brose one tho. Backing singers! Pipe down!

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Wednesday, 8 August 2012 10:42 (five years ago) Permalink

The mix from my seat was just right wrt the backing singers; they were barely noticeable and were only shading and echoing and augmenting. I did think at the time, if Kate Bush hasn't toured for 30 years because (amongst many other reasons) her studio vocal arrangements were too complex to reproduce live, then here's a solution. I was pretty alarmed at the idea of backing vocalists (when we've all come to hear The Voice) but it totally made sense.

Yeah, one or two Cocteaus songs were pretty pedestrian, but it was all about the new stuff, which is so much richer that anything she's put her name to since about 1988 and, at the same, really not Cocteau-like at all.

Michael Jones, Wednesday, 8 August 2012 11:09 (five years ago) Permalink

I think the issue might be what you touched on, with her its about The Voice - regardless of the music vehicle - and that shouldnt remain the case, really. I did really like those new arrangements! I was reminded of Sylvian and Dolphin Bros and even Porcupine Tree, a bit.

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Wednesday, 8 August 2012 11:13 (five years ago) Permalink

I am now pondering her workign with King Crimson, and that way madness probably lies.

Pureed Moods (Trayce), Wednesday, 8 August 2012 11:18 (five years ago) Permalink

that song to the siren is amazing. performance was very david sylvian, band-wise. I think I would have died at this gig.

akm, Wednesday, 8 August 2012 22:03 (five years ago) Permalink

That performance was like watching Dame Judi Dench Goes Ambient. Cathartic Liz Fraser always thrills me. Precious Liz Fraser? Sort of bores me.

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 9 August 2012 04:12 (five years ago) Permalink

I don't know - it was both precious and cathartic at the same time? I've seen Lost Highway too many times so a certain Lynchian trippiness came into it for me as well, more or less uninvited :) Also think youtube doesn't quite do it justice...

lynshrooom, Thursday, 9 August 2012 09:50 (five years ago) Permalink

Dame Judi Dench Goes Ambient

i would buy ten copies of this record

half-worm inchworm tapeworm (donna rouge), Thursday, 9 August 2012 17:49 (five years ago) Permalink

dame can dance

Author ~ Coach ~ Goddess (s1ocki), Thursday, 9 August 2012 19:26 (five years ago) Permalink

Ain't that a smack in the calfskin.

Andy K, Thursday, 9 August 2012 19:28 (five years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

i wonder why she never played live since; i wonder if she read this thread.

piscesx, Sunday, 31 May 2015 02:54 (two years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Haha, welcome back, Hitler reacts meme! This is a good one:

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 12 September 2015 16:00 (two years ago) Permalink

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