Written on 08/02/2013 by Chester Whelks • 21 Comments

Maria Minerva: Live Review

Kraak, Wednesday 6th February, 2013
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Recycling Night. Highlight of the wheelie bins’ fortnight. I get a garbage guard of honour. The hot ticket tonight is unarguably Thurston Moore and Michael Chapman at Band On The Wall, but my interest was piqued by this hot shit, Pitchfork-adored, up-and-coming Estonian songstress whose alliterational name with its connotations of legendary greatness is never far from superlative descriptions like ‘sensual’, ‘dreamy’, ‘narcotic’, ‘hazy’ or even “libidinous swirl”. This being the week in which Kevin Shields refrigerated Hades, she’s going to have her work cut-out for her with this particular critic, whose two-day attempt at trying to review the solid gold soma of ‘m b v’ resulted in only 17 words squeezed out on Twitter:

There has never been a good enough word for love. Which is why My Bloody Valentine exist.

I’m propelled toward this particular gig on the pumping-blood chugging undercurrent and tremolo of tumultuous stomach butterflies born of pubic pupae. I feel like dropping to my knees, sobbing penitentially, and reciprocating this total blow job of my soul.


Oh, the guilt of cum drying on one’s opposable thumbs. Surely we mean so much more than that? I’d forgotten there was music that could make my heart stop and hair stand-on-end, like damp lips exhaling hot minuscule droplets across my ear, and I can’t stop listening. Maria, this evening’s entertainment is going to have to be immaculately conceived. I’m not sure which way the waxed moustaches that are scattered around The Castle, are going to go – whether they’ve got their thirst-on for Moore, or Minerva.



Kraak is in the thrall of Ruf Dug. For me, DJs have always looked like a man on amphetamine washing the pots with a phone nestled between shoulder and head, and require a similar amount of talent. Doug seems to be repackaging someone else’s efforts and sending the odd shout of “Yeah!” reverberating around the place aided by a heavy smattering of Dub Reggae-echo.



Maria owns the stage with all the black-assed panache of a menopausal drama tutor, flailing the arm that isn’t operating her console around for emphasis. She soon becomes engulfed in a miasma of dry ice, and my attempts at picking her out with my sporadically flashing camera result mainly in some Lynchian shots of her killer-tits lazing mid ribcage, bound-up in black American Apparel spandex leotard.



Sonically it’s akin the kind of music a vague acquaintance accompanied by three other student dullards with feminist pretensions would hijack the stereo of a shared house-with while you’re watching ‘Punch Drunk Love’ before cajoling everyone into smoking experimental-grade skunk and making you watch his Tesco DVD-R of ‘Zeitgeist’ with the sound turned-down.

One among their number has whiteyed-out on the only available bed.

Another of them, holding-out on a marginal amount of Ketamine until he has run himself a bath is cack-handedly trying to squeeze then suck-up the constituents of a smashed, desiccated insect out of the water into the butt hole of a rubber duck.

Mercifully, Maria’s set isn’t as long as such a scenario. I get on the bus and snuggle-up to ‘m b v’ sighing into my ear holes.

I’m jabbed in the arm by a girl in a ‘Don’t Look Now’ duffel coat, who scuttles off an empty bus, yanking me out of a concrete sleep two miles from where I need to be, an hour after I boarded. I skip my iPod back to the tracks that I’ve missed and saunter invincibly through the park the scallies like to frequent after dark.


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21 Responses to Maria Minerva: Live Review

  1. maria minerva

    awesome review thanks, always felt insecure bout my breasts so glad you like em:)
    one thing tho – the leotard is donna karan not american apparel

  2. ChesterWhelks


    Never listen to what anybody else thinks.

    About your tits, or otherwise.

    I’d almost have felt bad for you, knowing you’d read me trashing you (I wasn’t so much trashing you, as you coming into my life at a funny time, what with ‘m b v’ and all. It’s not you, its me, etc…) if you hadn’t also revealed that you were so shallow as to claim to be insecure about assets you flaunt, and the couture you adorn yourself with.

  3. Sunshine Anderson

    Is this a review or a live blog of a mushroom trip? Either way I can’t make head nor tail of it

  4. Woody

    Your life will be devoid of casual sex if you write like this and listen to My Bloody Valentine.

    Contact me for advice. No problem about payment. Its on me ar kid

  5. dave

    don’t worry, I’m sure some positive comments will come along and affirm you as a raw gonzo journalist in the vice mag style. Until then you’ll just have to cop another bad one – ill informed cheap shots do not a satirist make. Scenewipe needs to be ashamed of running something like this. Editorial comment please? This “journalism” is sexist, misogynist, puerile and straight up incorrect. It has no place in a sixth form newspaper let alone an edited publication.

    1. Manchester Scenewipe

      Dave, Chester is a valued member of the writing team. We feel it would be a boring place without him. Sorry he has annoyed you. His views are his own, we are not ashamed.


  6. Joe E Joe

    come on whelks – get back involved! purleeeese! i’ll take you tut’ band ont wall if you’d like? i’ll take photos of you jizzin’ under the tables and we’d have a right laugh :) i think we’d get on. you can adorn yourself with me. couture joe by joe.

  7. Gary Megadick

    LOL! I love these cool articles, even though the writer doesn’t know what he’s on about its still like, well gonzo and funny cos of that. SKUNK!? KETAMINE!? CUM!!!!!?! Well funny LOL. (Good mention of American Apparel too, you get to score a few extra loyalty points for that?)

  8. maria

    haha its not that much about flaunting, it just gets very hot on the stage so i need to wear sports apparel basically. anyway, all good.
    i really like the review, i think it’s hilarious and makes me miss england, the boys in east london, the vice magazine vibes (indeed) and etc. keep up the good work, feed me with your kiss;)

  9. Enid Summers

    The kindest truths are spoke but never heard – remember that Chet.

  10. ChesterWhelks

    Okay, enough is enough.

    I’d like to apologise.

    As Manchester’s pre-eminent music writer, I feel an overwhelming responsibility to address such serious concerns and accusations as have been levelled by some of you, in your own (so I’m told), inimitably gorked and adorable manner. Be that as it may, I think it only fair that I should handicap myself by refraining from reading your comments in order to level the intellectual playing field.

    Also, since I don’t use Facebook, and have a Google Chrome extension that renders everything anyone says on that impacted cack-ball-of-a-site as a series of “herp derp’s – I can’t read the ones posted via there anyway, and so in the spirit of fairness have chosen to keep this matter from my expansive fanbase over there in Zuckerberg-World, to prevent from disproportionate attacks on any singular, insignificant author whose subjective tastes were not sympatico with what was on offer.

    Now, the owners of Manchester Scenewipe no longer moderate the comments on this site, (though they appreciate your page views) so I’m free to blow the lid. For now at least (who knows how long this will stay up, so please screencap or copy & paste this text for posterity).

    There have been seven Whelks’ thus far.

    ‘Chester’ is the Brainchild of MMU’s Art Professor Pavel Büchler in collusion with Barrel-chested (Nature God ‘Pan’-alike) English lecturer Bill Robb after an ill- advised collaboration one Friday night at a ‘Lock-In’ in The Salutation.

    (Man + Chester = MANCHESTER. Whelk – hides his spineless, slimy, amorphous form within a shell/disguise)

    Bill’s son John, (yes, THAT John Robb) was the inaugural Whelk, but abandoned the mantle after being told that liking the Stone Roses was strictly in infringement with protocol.

    The second Chester was semi-professional contrarian Mof Gimmers (at-whom your Vice, Hunter Thompson, Nathan Barley accusations are NOT misguided, I’ll give you that.)

    His successor ‘Atrocity Boy’, Chief Propagandist for SWAYS RECORDS, found the dual roles (not to mention the invective inherent in both) just too poisonous to his personal life and has taken an indefinite hiatus from writing.

    A series of others fell by the wayside after just a couple of reviews each, for one reason or another, more-often-than-not for relying a little too much on the whole ‘scum-buzzardry, and slimy rhyming’. One was, honest-to-God, that Lenny Kravitz-looking madman who used to shout & play guitar in front of Boots on Market Street in the early 2000s. After getting his doctorate in philosophy from Cliff Clavin Community College, he irrevocably locked himself in a box and hasn’t been heard from since, while another coaches under-14′s rugby in Wilmslow.

    The other occupies a position of utmost privilege within a beloved digital Hipster institution of great import on the Manchester music scene, and I fear reprisals as a result of revealing his/her involvement in ‘Project Whelk’.

    Which leaves me.

    The now lanced-canker on the fetlock of this despicable lineage.

    I felt that for sure the ridiculous analogy of musical true love vanquishing the advances of some sassy little upstart were not lost on my audience.

    Maria, I owe you an apology. I can relate. I’ve always felt self-conscious about my diminutive trouser-mouse, and, as such, have avoided wearing tight-fitting knacker hammocks manufactured by pornographer-run companies of infuriatingly dichotomous advertising/worker ethics . Except for when I am baring my soul to an audience, of course.

    Something baggy, natural, light and airy (which doesn’t bear the name of an illustrious millionaire sexagenarian) over a garment of modest dick-imprisonment just isn’t sufficient to allow my testicles to expirate.

  11. ChesterWhelks
  12. Enid Summers

    Man, don’t bother. Minds are set in coast. There’s no manual drive. Who would drive a stick when automatic is like like autopilot?
    Yet still, learn to take it up a notch.
    When the cat’s away, the mouse will play.
    A mama-camera endures.
    Like a dead artist, revel in the fact that the hatered you garner is an inexplicable reflection of that which you wished to convey foremost.
    They don’t realise they have become part of your art,

  13. Elsie Mouse

    Oh I get it… It was ironic misogyny. Don’t I feel the fool?

  14. Ruf Dug

    hey chester

    I’ll just repeat here what I posted on facebook:

    “Hi there, thanks for assuming that I was repackaging somebody else’s efforts – I can cheerfully attest that all the music you heard me playing that night was composed and performed by myself. I wasn’t DJing either!”

    I’m all for pushing boundaries but

    a: it’s possible to do that without taking cheap shots and you took a bunch of them (and in my case they weren’t even any where near on target)

    b: you’re not a very good writer. hone your craft before indulging your art pal.


  15. ChesterWhelks

    Elsie. Seeing breasts is not mysoginistic, (I’d even go so far as to say appreciating them isnt either; ask Maria, she’s liked enough of them to feel insecure about her own) being unable to photograph any close-ups other than breasts, is even less so.

    Doug. Apologies for not better scrutinising your fumblings on the dimly lit stage. I didn’t find your music interesting enough to coax me too far away from the bar, but if you can honestly attest to having actually composed your entire oeuvre from scratch, I’d be gracious, and willing to give it another listen, and maybe even review. Perhaps you might afford me the courtesy of a similar, yet lesser ‘benefit of the doubt’ as regards my own means of expression.

    But I doubt it.

    Go ahead, I’ve written quite a few reviews that don’t mention you.

  16. Atrocity Boy

    I can’t believe I’m related to fuxking John Robb. It’s like finding out that Ian Brady was your Dad.

    I enjoyed the piece and the inferno that followed but I have one minor observation. When the virtual Maria Minerva writes, “always felt insecure bout my breasts”, is she not being deliberately ironic?

    From the evidence of the leotard photo, they do look nice. She knows they’re nice. We know they’re nice. We’re all happy.

    Now maybe she’ll sleep with me.

  17. Elsie Mouse

    Seeing breasts isn’t misogyny, I will grant you that. Judging a musician, who happens to be a woman, and commenting on it in an review, is.

  18. Elsie Mouse

    A review, not an review.

  19. Em Whetham

    Just, whoa…

  20. Ian

    What you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this site is now dumber for having read it.

    I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.

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