Saturday, 31 December 2016

War Drum - My Heart is Broken OST (2001) C60


Here's another one which never came out as an actual tape, or as anything. The full story of the major motion picture that would have been My Heart is Broken has already been told here - starts on paragraph eight if you can't be arsed to read the bits which don't directly relate to south-east London's answer to Orson Welles. I recorded five tracks according to Paul's description of what he was after, and he said they were amazing, then next day he said they weren't amazing and could I make them a bit better? He lacked the vocabulary to describe what he considered would make them better, so I just remixed them and added a theme song. I don't even remember what happened after that, so probably nuffink innit.
 
I recorded this material on a four-track in February, 2001 and I'm still reasonably pleased with it. That said, it's a bit hissy, and for some reason I could never quite get the bass sounding right. It seemed to be in tune and yet somehow felt like it wasn't, but I could never identify the problem. The bass was purchased from Kingsley, star of My Heart is Broken, for thirty quid, so there was probably a reason why he sold it to me so cheap. Otherwise I still say Paul should have been kissing my ass for taking the trouble to record this stuff for a film which existed mostly in his head.
 
Yes, I am indeed a big fan of The Sweeney.



Tracks:
1 - Main Theme I
2 - Waiting I
3 - Losing Your Marbles I
4 - Main Theme II
5 - Acid Car Chase I
6 - Barry Car Chase I
7 - Sad Song (instrumental I)
8 - Sad Song (instrumental II)
9 - Main Theme III
10 - Waiting II
11 - Losing Your Marbles II
12 - Main Theme IV
13 - Acid Car Chase II
14 - Barry Car Chase II
15 - Sad Song

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Friday, 23 December 2016

Sat Next to the Radio, One Finger on the Pause Button (1980) C120



This was compiled in 2016, but all of the material dates from 1980, and it doesn't actually exist as a C120 but that's how long it would be if it did, so Merry Christmas.

I got my first mono portable tape recorder as a teenager, roughly coinciding with my developing an obsession with music. I bought a five-pin DIN lead and taped stuff from medium wave radio, particularly the interviews featured on Tommy Vance's Rock On Saturday show on Radio 1, usually conducted by David Hepworth, Phil Sutcliffe, and others whose names I can't remember; and being an obsessive type, of course I still have all of these tapes and this is the first six months or so converted to digital format on the grounds that it will probably be of interest to someone somewhere, and some of it is even still of interest to me.

You can probably work out who these people are or were if you retain any interest in their music, although some of this lot won't make a great deal of sense if you don't. The quality isn't amazing but it's listenable, and I've removed most of the songs played during the interviews. If you really need to hear Kings of the Wild Frontier, I'm sure you can find yourself something better than a crackly mono MP3 with someone talking over the introduction.

Points of potential interest: 1) Richard Jobson really was a bit of a Charlie, wasn't he? 2) Wouldn't have bothered including the Lennon thing given that he makes no actual appearance, but it makes for pretty weird listening considering how things turned out. 3) Interesting to note that Jello Biafra was mesmerisingly entertaining even back then, and also that 4) Bono was always like that, even when he was just a kitten. 5) Thrill as Malcolm McLaren courageously defends the sort of pictures Jimmy Savile liked to look at whilst trying not to sound like the sleazy failed art student he always was, the horrible auld tit-rifle. I particularly enjoy his amusing pronunciation of the word cassettes, delivered almost as though he's an old, old man trying hard to be down with the kids and getting it all wrong. What a fucking rotter. 6) That isn't a picture of the actual tape recorder on which all this stuff was taped, but it's the same model. I used to love that thing.

Enjoy.
Seasons Greetings.
Happy Hanukah.
Merry Christmas.
Etc. 


Tracks:
1 - Max Splodge & Baby Greensleeves 16/8/80
2 - Spizz 16/8/80
3 - Kevin Rowland 26/7/80
4 - Annabella Lwin & Malcolm McLaren 2/8/80
5 - Ian Dury & Wilko Johnson 9/8/80
6 - Dave Wakeling 23/8/80
7 - Adam Ant 23/8/80
8 - Dave Ruffy & Paul Fox 23/8/80
9 - Lemmy 30/8/80
10 - Suggs & Chas Smash 27/9/80
11 - Richard Jobson 27/9/80
12 - David Hepworth on John Lennon's comeback 29/9/80
13 - Jello Biafra 27/9/80
14 - Sting 4/10/80
15 - Edward Tudor-Pole 4/10/80
16 - Rat Scabies 25/10/80
17 - Bono & the Edge 4/10/80
18 - Mel Smith & Pamela Stephenson 15/11/80
19 - Malcolm McLaren 15/11/80

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Do Easy - In the New Southern Territories (1986) C60


I was eighteen-nineteen and I'd just left home, moving from Warwickshire to Kent, so the title was intended to invoke the bold spirit of adventure 'n' shit, and particularly because this was the first Do Easy tape recorded entirely in a county other than the one in which I was born. It was also the first Do Easy tape for which I never got around to making a cover and flogging to strangers through the post. I recorded it, gave it a name, wrote on the inlay card, and stuck it in a box with the rest; which I suppose might be a shame given that it was arguably better than at least the previous five or six tapes I'd turded out under the assumption of quantity and quality being more or less the same thing - not saying it was a classic, but it definitely wasn't quite as shit as some of them.

At some point during the recording of this tape (May 1985 to January 1986), Thomas Docherty of Trilogy (whose tapes I also released on the Do Easy label) came to stay at the house in Leeds village for a couple of days. We spent a lot of time talking about recording and I picked up a lot from him, not least multitracking tapes so as to produce the echo effect heard on Wrist Job Alley. I think the title of Tom's Kitchen - which was recorded in the kitchen at Hollytree House in Otham - was some sort of acknowledgement of his influence. Also around this time I started to make use of the sound studio at Maidstone College of Art (at which I was taking a degree) which had a four track TEAC and a ton of relatively fancy equipment - not least being Brian Eno's old EMS suitcase synth. Let the Bayonets Speak!, had I ever finished it, would have been the first Do Easy 12" single - or so I had decided. Obviously the plan never came to anything because I was unable to generate money, or even to not spend it on records, which is probably for the best given that I was simply exploring controversial ideas and images in borrowing the title from one of Benito Mussolini's zingers.

The multi-talented Steve McGarrigle programmed the rhythm on Let the Bayonets Speak!, it being his Yamaha RX15, and also for the live set at the Good Intent in Rochester, for which he additionally played trumpet and possibly some keyboard too. The live set came about because Paul Mercer of Apricot Brigade was booked to play a solo set under the name of the Acrobatic Champions - himself with a backing tape, guitar, and a load of effects. He asked if I wanted to support and I said yes. I recruited Steve and Peter Jones and between us we worked out a rough framework around which to improvise on the night, which is what we did. It probably wasn't the most amazing night anyone ever had seeing a band at the Good Intent, but we enjoyed ourselves and that's the main thing. I think Steve later became some sort of jetsetting DJ producer type and he has a couple of releases listed on Discogs as Saturnalia.

The chorus of Bayonets was shouted by Steve McGarrigle, Melissa Darvall, Peter Avery, Mark Enright, Garreth Roberts, Jon Storey, and Nick Scullard. The rhythm on Something In Me Isn't Right was programmed by Paul Mex, and the rhythm you can hear intermittently on Tom's Kitchen is from a tape Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire made for Kevin Thorne of We Be Echo and which Kevin kindly copied for me. One of the loops used on Tom's Kitchen was recorded by Nicola Percy, I seem to recall.

So there you go - as with most of my stuff, the tape suffers from terrible teenagery lyrics inspired by my continued failure to have sex with girls, and a general approach to music production amounting to fuck it - that'll do, but for the most part I'm still able to listen to this one without too much wincing. 


Tracks:
1 - Something In Me Isn't Right
2 - Wrist Job Alley
3 - Let the Bayonets Speak!
4 - Tom's Kitchen
5 - The Good Intent, Rochester 8/11/85
6 - Push You Down the Stairs

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Monday, 19 December 2016

Total Big - Rehearsals 9 & 10 (1986) C90


There's not really much that I can say about Total Big which I haven't already said here, here, here, or here. If you liked the last four tapes, then you'll probably like this, and you'll probably like the other four of these things I still have left to digitise. If you didn't like any of the last four tapes, then this one is almost certainly unlikely to change your mind. It was all recorded in the kitchen of Hollytree House, Otham, Kent. The first sixteen tracks are from our ninth rehearsal which occured on Saturday the 22nd of March, 1986, concerning which my diary of the time records:

We had a Total Big rehearsal, and Charlie came around to watch a load of Doctor Who videos. We went to Ian Elliott's party after that. It was okay but there wasn't enough dancing.

Charlie was Charlie Adlard who draws the Walking Dead comic and is as such now rich and famous. If anyone gives a shit I think we probably watched Warriors of the Deep and subsequently spent most of the time laughing like drains.

The remainder of the tracks were recorded on Saturday the 29th of March, 1986. The day began at Chris's house in Sittingbourne. Apparently I had fallen asleep on the sofa watching Catch-22 while Carl bleached his hair.

This morning we watched some episodes of Blackadder II on Chris's video. Then we went to the flea market and I bought a pair of sunglasses with white plastic frames and saw Mandy who used to go out with Paul. Then we went to Carl's mum's house in Hoo where his two sisters provided the entertainment with a display of wrestling. After that we went to Craig's house, and then we visited Paul for a bit and came home and had another Total Big rehearsal. Garreth and Steve came round. Carl and Chris left, and so did Steve, but Garreth stayed the night.

Garreth really did spell his name with two Rs. He isn't famous so far as I am aware, and he still has my fucking drum machine. He ended up in the Spinning Pygmies with me and Carl. Frankenstein is a New York Dolls cover. I was briefly obsessed with the song and even adopted it as my showbiz name for a time, not that anyone noticed.

The still is from a video we made for Keep Your Dreams A'Burnin'.



Tracks:
1 - Sex From Behind
2 - He Writes the Songs
3 - Rock Sandwich
4 - Keep Your Dreams A'Burnin'
5 - Call It What You Want
6 - Are You My Mother?
7 - Cold Sore Herpes
8 - Louie Louie
9 - Sister Ray
10 - Falling in Love with My Voice
11 - Hail Fellow Well Met
12 - Ugly Baby
13 - Rock & Roll
14 - I Own the World  
15 - Why Did You Forget My Name?
16 - I'm Not Losing Sleep
17 - Cold Sore Herpes B
18 - Keep Your Dreams A'Burnin'
19 - He Writes the Songs
20 - Rock Sandwich
21 - Are You My Mother?
22 - Call It What You Want
23 - Hail Fellow Well Met
24 - Frankenstein
25 - Louie Louie
26 - Sister Ray
27 - Here We Come
28 - Keep Your Dreams A'Burnin'
29 - Total Big & the Nutty Rhythm


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Monday, 12 December 2016

We Be Echo - Radio Werkz II (1985) C30


This is the last of my three tapes of obscure We Be Echo material, the first two being Psychick Kontakt Specials and Various Obscure Recordings - so feel free to refer to the write-ups for those two so that I can avoid further repeating myself about who they were and how I came to have these cassettes. This cassette actually duplicates all but one track from Psychick Kontakt Specials, but they appear in this upload as individual cuts rather than being embedded within the radio broadcast of a man who clearly could have used a coffee. I haven't bothered scanning the cover as it's a generic inlay card filled in with my own handwriting, and I'm not even sure why this should be named Radio Werkz II (aside from the obvious detail of this stuff having been broadcast on and presumably recorded for New Zealand Radio). I have a vague memory of there being a Radio Werkz I put out by the Mystery Hearsay label, but it doesn't seem to be listed on Discogs, or anywhere else so far as I can see, so maybe I imagined that.

Anyway, it turns out that Kevin is still very much at it, so the answers ye may seek shalt perchance be foundeth yonder at webeecho.com.


Tracks:
1 - Never Mind
2 - Beat of the Drum
3 - Fly with the Wind
4 - Straighten Your Knees
5 - In the Beginning
6 - No No
7 - The Greatest Lover
8 - Hide and Seek


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Monday, 5 December 2016

Konstruktivists - Instrumentals (1992) C60


The first six tracks here would have been at least some of what emerged from the speakers had we played at the event listed on the above poster (as kindly provided by Simon Dell, archivist extraordinaire). As I said in an audio letter dated to the 2nd of November, 1991:

We had a gig at the Fridge in Brixton on the - it was going to be on the 24th of October which was just over a week ago, except it was cancelled because the thing about the Fridge is that they don't actually advertise themselves. All it is is that the people who organise it, they hire the place and it's down to them to do everything like printing the tickets, manning the door and so on. This Dutch woman who was organising it, this Hans Christa - there's an enormous problem with the language barrier. She didn't advertise it at all. There's a mention of the gig in letters about one millimetre high in the gig guide in Melody Maker, no mention of it in the NME, and so they cancelled it at last minute because it didn't sell enough tickets. It was a bit of a pain, although I was secretly relieved as it would have meant getting a taxi back from Brixton to Lewisham at God knows what time - like two in the morning or something - then having to be up for work at 5.30AM, which wouldn't have been much fun. It's a shame in a way because it would have been quite a good line-up. There would have been us, Konstruktivists, who would have been playing at eleven.  Joe got this set together the day before. I went up to Joe's place in Harlow and we went through it and it sounded brilliant, good dancey stuff. All I really had to do was doodle away on the guitar. Anyway, we were going to be on at eleven, and the main band was to be Nocturnal Emissions. They are one of my favourite groups so that was quite exciting, and also a group called Soviet France would have been supporting. I heard about them back in 1984 but never actually heard any of their stuff, but people always go on about how good they are; so that would have been interesting. There would have been two other groups playing, and one of them was Blue Anger which is the group of this Hans Christa woman. I can't work out why a woman would be called Hans. It must be something to do with being Dutch, I suppose. At least I'm fairly sure she's a woman. I hope she's a woman because she's quite attractive. Her group is called Blue Anger and I've heard a bit of them and they are quite good. Anyway, the whole thing has been rescheduled and it might be at Subterrania which should be better as they handle all the advertising so all we would need to do is turn up, so hopefully it will go ahead; and hopefully it will be on a Saturday. All this getting up early...

The other tracks on this tape were, I think, either rough versions of stuff proposed for Jihad e Sazendegi - the lost fifth Konstruktivists album, or just stuff from the same time. I wasn't really involved with any of it so I'm not sure, and I think it's mostly Joe and Glenn. Jihad e Sazendegi would have been the follow up to Glennascaul but it never happened for some reason. I suspect the hurried recording of Forbidden may actually have been a reaction to Jihad e Sazendegi having dragged on for so long.


Tracks:
1 - Konstruktivists
2 - Housewife's Choice
3 - Break Your Legs
4 - Hurts So Good
5 - Mansonik No. 1
6 - Tic Tac Toe
7 - Much Too Much
8 - Autumn Park
9 - Untitled (mix I)
10 - Untitled (mix II)
11 - Untitled (mix III)
12 - Dance Music
13 - حملة لبناء

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Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Dovers - 8-Ball 8-Ball Martin De Sey (1991) C90


There were three people in the Dovers for a couple of years - myself living in Chatham with Carl and Alan living in Bermondsey. Alan was the other (admittedly more accomplished) guitarist. I understand that Carl and Alan had fairly frequent rehearsals, and I vaguely remember one wherein they renamed themselves U3 with Alan rebranding himself as the Corner to record Where the Streets Have Rude Names, amongst others. Carl and I would rehearse when he came down to Chatham, but all three of us were so rarely in the same room that I wasn't even sure there were any recordings of the Dovers as a trio; but there is and here they are, accompanied by my favourite picture of Alan - taken at the Camberwell Grove Tavern, 15th of May, 1993, in case anyone's counting. He was playing the barbecue pit as a piano whilst channelling Jimmy Durante. If you've been following this shit I'm sure you've seen more than enough of Carl and myself, and it really was an exceptional rendering of the Schnozzola.

Anyway, I left Chatham in 1989 and moved to Coventry, then moved back down south to Lewisham in 1990, having decided the move north had been a bit of a mistake. The Dovers hadn't really been a thing during that time, at least not with me as a member, so once Carl and I were back in the same part of the country we kind of picked up where we'd left off. Well, maybe not quite - gigs were harder to come by in London and Carl had bought a four-track portastudio, allowing us to record material of slightly more tuneful composition, or at least less like someone dropping concrete blocks on your foot. I think this was the first full tape of this material, mostly improvised live onto a couple of the four tracks, then tarted up with additional instrumentation.

A couple of these made it onto The World of the Dovers, which would have been the "album" had I got my arse into gear, although these are earlier mixes. 8-Ball 8-Ball Martin De Sey came about when Carl nicked the tiny notebook I always used to carry around in which I wrote addresses and telephone numbers, so what you hear is him working his way through from A to Z insulting everyone; so if you and I had any significant form of contact with each other during the eighties, Carl has probably insulted you by name in this song, but it probably wasn't anything personal unless you're Steve Coots. All of this stuff was recorded at Carl's flat in Maydew House, Bermondsey. The first ten tracks were just Carl and myself and date from early 1991, it says here. The remainder I have down as being from 1989-ish and all feature Alan on guitar with me playing keyboard, specifically a Casio SK1 novelty sampler. All of this stuff could probably have been mixed with a little more going on in the bass department, but I don't seem to be able to do anything with my editing software which you'd call an improvement, so please adjust your listening equipment accordingly.

Normally at this juncture I would apologise for the quality of the material, but not this time because it still sounds fucking great to me.

You're welcome.


Tracks:
1 - If You Wanna Get On
2 - Fuck Off Pigs
3 - Charles Manson
4 - Armchair Maniac
5 - 8-Ball 8-Ball Martin De Sey (A to D)
6 - 8-Ball 8-Ball Martin De Sey (D to W)
7 - Chas 'n' Dave's Authentic Cockney Disco (second version)
8 - Chief (original mix)
9 - Disney!
10 - Chas 'n' Dave's Authentic Cockney Disco (first version)
11 - Be My Valentine (prelude)
12 - Be My Valentine
13 - Rochester Bridge
14 - Born on the Street
15 - Punishment
16 - Consider the Bat
17 - Enjoy
18 - Semtex

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Monday, 21 November 2016

War Drum - La Quinta Trecena (2000) C90


This was the last War Drum tape which got finished and was sold to people. There were a couple of other tapes after this - half a new album plus a film soundtrack - but nothing complete. I think by this point I'd more or less stopped listening to anything which wasn't rap, and it shows - for better or worse. With hindsight my efforts vaguely resembled those of enterprising 1980s rural English schools making a "rap video" to raise funds for their new swimming pool, as seen on local news programmes and usually featuring lines like Mr. Jones is taking class / He shouts, 'Hey Johnson - get off the grass!'. Still, I like to think I got better after this tape (recording as LDB) and fuck it - at least I was trying something rather than just sticking some Gregorian chant through a reverb and naming it after Aleister Crowley's dog.

The preoccupations here were mostly orientated towards the general direction of Nahuatl-speaking Mexico, excepting the occasional nod at Max Ernst, the first Godzilla film, and Psi-Force comic; and First Steps is another Severed Heads cover, obviously. Colhuacan was indeed recycled from the very first Do Easy tape, in the unlikely event of anyone noticing. As for anything else, explaining it would spoil the fun and I can't be arsed, or in some cases can't remember.

It's no Physical Grafitti, but nevertheless I was quite pleased with this one, and I  think it still sounds mostly decent.


Tracks:
1 - At the First Clear Word
2 - Shadow of Love
3 - Last Exit
4 - Staying Alive
5 - Colhuacan
6 - Chalchiuhxochitl
7 - Biding My Time
8 - Pодство

9 - Ryde or Die
10 - Endless Night
11 - Bride of the Ixcuiname
12 - Chicoce Cuauhtli
13 - Tattered Birdman
14 - Oxygen Destroyer
15 - First Steps
16 - Cueva de Villa Luz
17 - Connect Gang


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Friday, 11 November 2016

Soul Providers - Last Tape (1999) C90


That isn't actually us in the picture, but a different group also known as the Soul Providers, seen here providing something which I expect may be more immediately recognisable as soul. The image came up in a Google image search whilst looking for something with which to illustrate this post in lieu of a sleeve, or even a picture of Ed, Steve and myself rocking out in my front room. I never thought to take photos and the cassette never had a sleeve, beyond a blank inlay card with dates written on it, because this was our last tape - as suggested by the canny title. We never actually filled the tape up, so it was never formally completed and I never made copies or did anything with it.

This final installment of the arbitrarily titled Shoulder Lion was recorded on the same day as Calli Yei as the final leg of the same session - 31st October, 1998. The Last Song was recorded on Thursday the 3rd of July, 1999, again in my front room in Dulwich. I have a vague feeling this recording may have been just Steve and myself due to Ed not showing up, which would possibly explain our improvising just the one twenty-minute track rather than the usual several hours worth of material. I seem to recall Ed having become a bit fed up with our efforts for reasons I didn't really follow, but then again it was two decades ago so who knows? Maybe this last track was all three of us jamming with Wink Martindale and Micky Most making tea in the kitchen. It was a long time ago.

Anyway, it still sounds decent to me.

As a word of warning, if you've been Googling those other Soul Providers (as pictured above) and somehow ended up here, there's a chance this might not quite be your sort of thing. Just saying.


Tracks:
1 - Shoulder Lion part three
2 - Last Song

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Friday, 4 November 2016

Spinning Pygmies - Spinning Pygmies IV (1987) C60


Spinning Mbilikimo walikuwa Carl na mimi mwenyewe kujaribu kuweka kwamba Jumla ya Big uchawi kwenda kufuatia kuondoka kwa Chris, and for youse thick fuckers who never made the effort to familiarise yourselves with Swahili, most of the relevant details may be gleaned by perusing previous postings of Spinning Pygmies material, as can be found by referring to the index, as linked at the foot of this blog entry.

The first five tracks represent a rehearsal at Hollytree House in Otham, some time during the summer of 1987 it says here - presumably the rehearsal which convinced us it wasn't working and would probably forever remain an unlistenable racket and therefore the final Spinning Pygmies rehearsal. Saxophone was played by Mark Smith, Carl sang, and I think Garreth and myself alternated on guitar and Casio SK1 keyboard. I probably haven't bothered listening to this thing since we recorded it, although three decades later it sounds a bit like Faust to me, or one of those bands. If it doesn't sound like Faust to you then that's your problem.

The rest was just me filling up the tape. The story behind the sixth track can probably be deduced by referring to this excerpt from my memoirs. It's not a great recording but if you wack the volume up and listen close you can probably just about hear some sounds of excitement and the phrase as my producer said to me... Tracks eleven and twelve were Carl and myself at my flat in Chatham during autumn 1987, which is where the rest of the tape was recorded, or at least filled up (and we had probably taken to calling ourselves the Dovers by that point). The last three tracks are myself and Martin de Sey, whom I knew from college but who had moved into the bedsit directly below mine. I can't even remember if he'd formally joined the band or just fancied a kick about, but anyway he'd been drafted in to play bass for us at a gig at the Sunset Strip, so this was presumably just the two of us working things out in advance. I know the singing sounds incongruously mild for the material, but neither Martin nor myself were gunna be on the mic on the night innit.


Tracks:
1 - Slip Inside Me
2 - Where Have All the Good Times Gone?
3 - Something New Around
4 - Less of the Gun
5 - Good & Gothic
6 - Amanda B******* Being Shagged by Man Resembling Ronnie Corbett
7 - Daughters of Darkness
8 - Carry On at Your Convenience
9 - Twelve Bar
10 - Silence Network 7
11 - Less is More
12 - Never Be Without Your Hand-Truck
13 - Misery List
14 - You Bastard
15 - I Wanna Be (a Punk)
16 - I Wanna Be Your Dog
17 - Precinct
18 - No Lip


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Monday, 31 October 2016

Asepisis - The Glory of Punishment (1984) C60


Asepisis was Jez, actually my oldest friend on the grounds of my being told to sit next to him on my first day in Mrs. Daglish's infants class. We both ended up at the same comprehensive school and discovered Throbbing Gristle and related weirdy music artistes around the same time. Once I'd worked out how to layer sound on the twin tape deck of the family music center, it made sense to invite Jez over to see what he could come up with. We had already collaborated to some extent when he played guitar at a Do Easy performance which ended up on Death in a Milan Square, but this was to be his own thing seeing as he already seemed to have plenty of ideas. He came over to my place a few times and vanished into the spare room at the top of the house where we kept the music center, and I left him to it. At one point he had me shout Mishima into the drum of an old washing machine he'd brought over, but that was otherwise the full extent of my involvement.

Annoyingly, given that I actually knew how to play an instrument and everything, The Glory of Punishment sounded significantly better than anything I had myself recorded on the same equipment, and listening to the thing now, I'm still not sure how he achieved some of those sounds given our limited resources. When I recently got back in touch with Jez to ask him about this tape, he described it with typical humility as low rent, fourth grade power electronics, but I think he's doing himself a disservice. The tape is certainly of its time, as they say, but let he among us who hasn't contrasted a tape of Charles Manson talking with a wall of screeching noise cast the first stone. I've heard a lot of power electronics over the years, and quite frankly this tape still sounds better than the great majority - at least to me. It's inventive and demonstrates some sort of understanding of composition, of what works, when to turn it up full, when to cut back, and so on.

Anyway, it would have been a tape on my Do Easy label, but first I got a bit freaked out by the artwork which Jez came up with - which neither of us seem to have a copy of any longer - and then we fell out due to my being a massive arsehole, or at least carrying off a convincing impersonation of one, for shameful reasons I won't go into here. We're back in touch again, after all this time, and on good terms at last, although we still need to properly thrash it all out over a few beers. Anyway, the upshot was that the tape was released on the label run by Trev Ward of the Grey Wolves, whatever it was called that year.

It makes me very happy to be able to share this tape, and to once again be on good terms with its creator. Enjoy! I'd add play loud but I think that's probably a given. 


Tracks:
1 - Highland Park
2 - The Glory of Punishment
3 - The Presence
4 - Mishima
5 - Firezone
6 - Before the Temptation
7 - We Swallow Our Pride
8 - Atomage III
9 - Theatre of Violence
10 - New Patriotism


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Monday, 24 October 2016

F*** F******* - For Our Real Fans Only! (1992) C60+


The story so far is to be found here and here, should it be necessary. This album was produced in a limited edition of two copies, which is perhaps why you've never heard of it. It was a compilation mostly of stuff I had laying around and which hadn't been recorded with any particular destination in mind (with a few exceptions), and it was compiled for my friend Carl's birthday seeing as he seemed to get something out of this shit. Hence I recorded a special birthday song (see if you can tell which one it is), and a song which could be transferred to Carl's telephone answering machine, should he feel inclined to do so (and I seem to remember that he did) as a sort of additional birthday present.

Tribute to factor X was originally sent to the sound-artist-bloke-project-entity of the same name for possible inclusion on one of his Radio Dada tapes, although I don't know if he ever used it; probably not, the miserable cunt. My droning DJ impersonation was based heavily on the bloke you may have heard on We Be Echo's Psychick Kontakt Specials a couple of months ago; and (in case anyone really cares) the Green Men actually existed and featured my friend Jez's dad along with other members of the village bowling team. They had the song pressed as a 7" single and I expect they sold it in the local pub or something. The test tone you hear at the beginning of Tribute to factor X was on the other side for some reason.

You Don't Have to Say Please was my improvement on an inferior Whitehouse song recorded for Still Going Strong - Impulse fanzine's collection of sarcastic Whitehouse covers, presently available from [aufnahme + wiedergabe].

...and the rest were mostly just me pissing about, except I Know What I Like which featured the late, great Andrew Cox on guitar, and Let the Bad Times Roll on which harmonica is played by my fellow Catford postman, the multi-talented Billy Playle. He carried a harmonica with him most of the time and would whip it out and give us a few mournful bars during tough mornings in the sorting office to underscore that plantation vibe. The last three tracks are covers of songs by the Leather Nun, Death in June, and Led Zeppelin. Behind the Rose and In My Time of Dying weren't actually on the original tape, but I've added them here for the sake of tidiness. I recorded the Leather Nun song partially because that's where the band's name came from, and the Death in June song is recorded in the club style because why the fuck not, and In My Time of Dying happened because someone had to bring together the majesty of Led Zeppelin and the mighty force of the Casio VL Tone, and it turned out that this person was me.


Tracks:
1 - Happy Birthday to Carl
2 - Please Leave a Message
3 - Tribute to factor X (WKXK radio session)
4 - This Old Man
5 - When We've Had a Couple of Beers
6 - Invokation
7 - You Don't Have to Say Please
8 - Stupid (instrumental)
9 - I Know What I Like
10 - Bad Time Blues (live)
11 - Sniff Your Ass
12 - You Don't Have to Say Please (live)
13 - Let the Bad Times Roll
14 - F*** F****** of America
15 - Behind the Rose (Fields of Rape)
16 - In My Time of Dying


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Monday, 17 October 2016

Dovers - Hammersmith and Chatham (1988) C90


The Blue Lagoon was a popular Chatham venue in the basement of an American style diner owned by Mr and Mrs. Amin and run by their son Prez, bassist for the Martini Slutz and a later incarnation of Envy, and all around great guy. The above photo, taken by Andy Fraser of the Martini Slutz and - more recently - Unlucky Fried Kitten, clearly shows Prez undertaking some guest vocals with the Dovers, who were Carl Glover and myself. This gig was at the Blue Lagoon, although I don't think it's the one on this tape which was in March, and those look suspiciously like Christmas decorations up on the wall behind Carl. Someone other than Carl performs guest yelping on the final track of the Blue Lagoon set on this tape, but I've a feeling it may have been me. The above photograph might not have anything to do with this tape beyond it showing the same venue and people. I have no idea. Regarding the bands and venue, this is still more information than you'll find in this history of music in the Medway towns which somehow manages to mention Tim Webster just once, despite being over five-hundred pages in length.

Anyway, both of these gigs were supporting Envy and the Uninvited Guests, so I suppose you could call it a tour if you really felt like it. Collectively, we (not necessarily including the Dovers) had enough of a following to van a load of fans up to London in a minibus, so this tape comprises the mid-week warm up and then our collective attempt to crack the capital. It's probably not the greatest live recording ever, but it's not like I'm expecting payment for it, so whatever. Carl attempted to liven up the Blue Lagoon gig by staging a competition with whoever managed to cheer the loudest winning an album autographed by not only the Dovers but also Prez. The album was Tiffany's debut featuring the hits Danny and I Think We're Alone Now. I recall Sarah Cook winning the album, but it doesn't sound like she did on the tape, so I've no idea.

You can also hear Eleanor Ronchi talking to Prez at the beginning of the Hammersmith gig, which is nice, at least for me. I fancied Eleanor something rotten, but it just wasn't to be. Oh well.

I should write a book about this shit. 


Tracks:

Blue Lagoon, Chatham 20/3/88
1 - He Believes
2 - A.I.D.X.
3 - The Insect
4 - Louie Louie
5 - Beat Me Black & Blue
6 - Misery List

The Clarendon, Hammersmith 24/3/88
7 - He Believes
8 - A.I.D.X.
9 - The Insect
10 - Louie Louie
11 - B.L.A.C.Clowns
12 - Are You My Mother?
13 - Beat Me Black & Blue
14 - Hail Fellow Well Met

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