Friday, 14 December 2018

Network 10 (1982) C60

No proper tape cover so er... that's my artist's impression of Phil Beesley, the man behind Network 10. I haven't been able to find anything on the internet either.

Back in May 1985 I was sharing a student rabbit hutch in Leeds village, near Maidstone in Kent with a poet called Steve. Steve was hard work at times, but we sort of got on, and he let me release his Lead Shoes tape on Do Easy, my tape label. Phil Beesley was his pal from back home, possibly from school, who came to visit and stayed over the weekend. Typically, everybody liked Phil a whole lot more than they liked Steve. He was a big bloke, like a Rugby player, but fairly quiet, almost to the point of seeming shy. It also turned out that he played a shitload of instruments and recorded his own music, and this is the tape he lent me.

Anyone who saw the name Network 10 and started pulling on their army boots and camouflage pants in fevered anticipation of a good old EBM stomp and a frown whilst thinking about how Mussolini had actually had some good ideas will probably have stopped reading by this point, saving me the effort of suggesting they fuck off. Network 10 actually sound like the Dead Hedgehog band that got away, and they even have a song about a hedgehog - influence of Cabaret Voltaire and Wire conspicuously absent, softly psychedelic pub rock with a touch of early Quo, and no apparent fear of novelty records. It was the sort of thing I shouldn't really have liked, but there was something infectious about it, and Phil clearly had an ear for a tune. I know some of it skates close to the edge, notably the chorus of oh no don't do it, Percy, but fuck it - rather listen to this than whatever boring shite the Wire is banging on about this week.

Not sure about the last three tracks. I get the impression they may have been from some other demo which I simply taped on the end. Phil had initially started off recording under the name Army Sergeant (which thankfully didn't last because it sounds like Frank Sidebottom's take on industrial techno), and I have a feeling the last three tracks may actually be an Army Sergeant demo.

There were a couple of years back there where Henrietta Blues I turned up on every single here, you have to listen to this tape I did for anyone.

Wherever you are, Mr. Beesley, thanks. This was some good stuff.

1 - Invitation
2 - Henrietta Blues I
3 - Percy
4 - Jigorama
5 - 25 Too Much
6 - A Day in the Life of the Suburban Hedgehog
7 - Mediterranean Holiday
8 - Come Tomorrow
9 - Henrietta Blues II
10 - Killing Me Softly
11 - Don't Talk About Fashion
12 - Delirious

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