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.

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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