Scotland Week: The Vaselines' Eugene Kelly on "Under the Skin" | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Scotland Week: The Vaselines’ Eugene Kelly on “Under the Skin”

V For Vaselines Due Out via Rosary Music on October 7

Sep 02, 2014 By Eugene Kelly Web Exclusive
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We have a special theme on Under the Radar's website this week which we're simply calling Scotland Week. All throughout the week we will be posting interviews, reviews, lists, and blog posts relating to Scotland and in particular Scottish music. In this guest blog post Eugene Kelly of the iconic Glasgow-based band The Vaselines writes about Under the Skin. The Jonathan Glazer-directed film, which was released earlier this year and is now on DVD, takes place in Scotland and features Scarlett Johansson as an alien who preys on men. (Spoiler alert: you may want to watch the movie before reading Kelly's post.)

The Vaselines formed in 1986 and the indie pop duo also features Frances McKee. They not only influenced countless Scottish indie bands, but Kurt Cobain was a big fan and covered some of their songs. The Vaselines' new album, V For Vaselines, is due out on Rosary Music October 7.

A woman with thick, bushy black hair and wearing a fur coat drives around Glasgow. She is a stranger in this town.

She stops and chats to men. Occasionally a man gets in and sits with her as she drives. She asks him questions trying to find out all about him.

She drives one of the men to a cottage and when they enter the inside is not what you would expect but is an expanse of black liquid. She walks on the top of it and beckons the man to follow. He does but sinks into it. He is not shocked or distressed. He sinks below, floats and is then separated from his skin.

The woman continues to drive around Glasgow. She drives past the primary school I went a when a boy. She turns a corner drives along a street I cycle down every week.

The screen is black. The woman then opens a door, she is framed in the doorframe. In the background is the church where I was an altar boy for many years.

She walks the streets of Glasgow. At Glasgow Cross she trips and falls. People rush to help her to her feet.

She continues along the streets of Sauchiehall St. Loud and drunk people pass by close to her. She watches them. Analyzes them.

A man on a motorcycle wearing a blacked out crash helmet drives the roads and streets of Glasgow following the woman, keeping a watch over her.

She's out of the city now. Lost and confused. A man takes pity on her and shows her kindness. She is alone again. She's in a forest being chased by a man. He attacks her. Her skin splits open to reveal that beneath is she is not human, she is an alien visitor to Earth. The man douses her in petrol and sets her alight.

The lights come up. I walk from the cinema. I'm on the sixth floor of Glasgow's Cineworld. I walk to the window and look out to the hills to the North of Glasgow. I look down to the street. People walk the pavements. They seem very small to me, like I'm viewing them down a microscope. I wonder where they are going, what they are thinking.

As I take the escalator down I watch men and woman as the ride the escalator upwards. I stare at them. I turn and watch them until they are out of view. I find the exit. I wait and watch people walking by. A woman passes me. I follow her along the street to Sauchiehall St. She meets a friend. I stand and watch as they walk away.

I'm in a doorway watching as people walk by. The street is busy. I look at someone and watch until they are out of view.

I feel sick, my stomach begins to hurt. I'm confused.

I try to imagine where the people are going and what they're going to do. Are they happy? Would they be missed?

I feel ill. I'm watching people as a predator. I want something from them. I want to get close to them, talk to them, ask them questions. "I like your dog. What breed is it? Where are you going today? Home? Do you live alone? Can I come with you?"

I'm on the street from the movie. I walk like the woman in the movie. I stop and stare just like her. My eyes see everything. I can see through the people, into them. I can hear the blood pumping through their veins. I can see into their brains. I begin to know what they are thinking, what their lives are like. I can feel they are lonely. I feel their sadness.

I see a man carrying a small tank of petrol. I hurry away in the opposite direction.

The sickly feeling in my stomach makes me dizzy and light headed. I need to escape, get somewhere safe and be alone.

I run along the street. At the corner a man on a motorcycle stops in my path. He turns to toward me. I walk slowly to him. In his blacked out visor I can see my reflection. I have thick, bushy black hair and am wearing a fur coat. He communicates to me to get on the motorcycle but I hear no words. His words are in my head. We drive out to the country.

I don't belong here. I am the stranger. I am the alien.

www.thevaselines.co.uk

 

 

 



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