Spectre vs Rector (Live in London: The Legendary Chaos Tapes, 1980)
MES combines M.R. James and H.P. Lovecraft into one big supernatural dirge, with spectre-acular results!
There are tons of different versions kicking around, including one played on a bicycle powered turntable. I think this fantastically creepy one from a Glasgow gig is the only one with a digression about the Inspector’s Volvo, but I could be wrong.
All of them sound like they were recorded (and subsequently stored for ~800 years) in a dustbin, making the spider-crawl guitar riff all the more eerie as it scuttles across the top. The Chaos Tape version above is the longest and has the best blood-curdling screams (and a spooky laugh at the start), but the Dragnet version is cracking too: its first half has MES ‘narrating’ over a ghostly echo of the same song — but 2 minutes into the future! The two worlds eventually meet and the evil is set free — both Rector and Inspector will be lucky to escape with their marbles intact…
It’s like I drunk myself sober
I get better as I get older
So many Fall lyrics have entered into the everyday vocabulary of myself and my Grumpy Other Half. “Spectre vs Rector” is currently top of the leaderboard:
- Laundry still overly soggy after a 40° wash? The spin cycle was ineffectual.
- Moaning about work? Serves me right for choosing such a crap career.
- Can you get the yoghurt out of the fridge? Yog-sogoth moar like.
- Walking up the stairs slightly slower than normal? EURGGH! MLURRGH! WURRRGH! ODDLE-IDDLE-ERRGH! MURGH! VURGH!
My favourite is yelling “UNCLEAAAAAN!!" at Grumpy Other Half if he has forgotten to take a shower (n.b. it is usually me who has forgotten to take a shower) or if the bedsheets need changing AGAIN. We caved in last week and just bought new sheets (because the old ones didn’t fit properly, definitely not because they were HAUNTED). It took a great deal of restraint on my part to not cut holes in the old sheet, drape it over myself and haunt Grumpy Other Half for five hilarious minutes. “Wooo! My hate is crisp! Are you listening? I said CRISSP-AH!"
For more evil dust in the air: try the FreakyTrigger MR James Hauntography series. We’ll finish it eventually!