I’ve always liked a good three piece band (and also always liked The Fauves’ Three Piece too, even if they were taking the piss out of them). There’s just something about the symmetry of them: everyone has a job, and the whole thing demands they all work together or it collapses, and the Violent Femmes were such a great example of that. Their songs are seemingly so simple, but every component is essential: the acoustic guitar, the acoustic bass, the whiny vocals, the skiffle beat snare, the combination of which is pure alchemy.
The Femmes are a band that cross over so many groups and timeframes for me: dancing around at The Farm (“why can’t I get just one kiss”), seeing them busking in front of the Opera House and then more raucously at Selina’s (I didn’t realise I went there so many times until I started writing these pieces), in New York/Italy/Bristol with Stinky, and they never sound anything but great, even though they’re properly old now. And who’d have thought a bunk of punks from Milwaukee would still be going strong after all these years.
I should probably mention that Grosse Point Blank is one of my favourite albums, with one of the greatest soundtracks of all time: if you haven’t seen it, go do it now. Off you go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rswiq4Hi-tc