Monday, 8 January 2018

Do Easy - Gravesend (1987) C90

I'd pretty much lost interest in Do Easy by 1987, and finished art college that summer meaning I no longer had access to any decent recording equipment, besides which I was playing guitar for Total Big by then so if I had energies, I expect that's where they were going. Gravesend was a tape which had been laying around unfinished for a while, never really considered for release, and which I suppose took form as part of a ferric spring clean during which (I assume) I added the two versions of Saxon Chief and gave titles to tracks which had been without one up until that point. Typically, considering it's basically here's some shit I had left over if anyone cares, it's probably a better tape than any of the earlier ones into which I put a bit of effort.

Rubbish Like You was a postal collaboration with Trev Ward, then recording as Nails ov Christ. He sent me a tape and I added to the noise. I assume it may have appeared in some form on his Fear Eats the Soul, but I'm not certain because I never actually had a copy. He probably didn't know where I lived by the time it came out; or he thought I was a bit of a knob or something.

We Can Build You was similarly a postal collaboration with Thomas Docherty of Trilogy. I'm not sure if this was me roping him into the whole Death Pact International tape thing, or something in its own right. I think
the percussion track you can hear eleven minutes in was from a live improvised thing by Steve McGarrigle, Garreth Roberts and myself which I'll post here at some point, if I haven't already.

Arnold Layne was recorded with this guy, and I have no idea why. I don't even like Pink Floyd, and I don't remember ever particularly liking them.

Life is a Domestic Bliss cover. I have a vague feeling I was collaborating more and more, or trying out cover songs (which I'd never done before) in an effort to reignite my enthusiasm. Anyway, Domestic Bliss were probably what you'd call local heroes when I was growing up. They released a single called Child Battery, of which Life was the b-side, and Simon Morgan worked in Discovery Records, my local independent store, and was as such the man who sold me my copy of Never Mind the Bollocks. Simon is a great guy and his more recent works can be found on his Bandcamp page. I might ask him if I can digitise Child Battery for this blog. It's still one of my favourite punk singles, and the original of Life somewhat pisses all over my slightly whinier version.

Saxon Chief, arbitrarily named after the pub in which I spent most lunchtimes while at art college, was the very last thing I ever recorded on my beloved Sharp double tape deck before it gave up the ghost back in 1985. I never really worked out what to do with the track as it steered a bit too close to Depeche Mode even for me, so it remained instrumental and ended up on this tape because I realised I was never going to get around to finishing it off. The drum machine was programmed by Mex, by the way.

Sound Levels in Arabia is here remixed from the original in an attempt to make it less shit, which didn't really succeed.

Music for Carol happened because someone called Carol asked me to do some music for her. I think she was going to write songs and sing over whatever I came up with, but I don't think she liked what I came up with, so never mind.

All That's Left apparently also features Steve McGarrigle and Paul Mercer playing in some capacity, but I accidentally taped over it and this was all that was left of the track, hence the title.

I've a feeling the track I've called Gravesend was actually something I recorded and sent to Trev for finishing off under the Death Pact International banner. Who knows?

The title of both the tape and the track of the same name was added much later for the sake of completism, probably early 1988 when I went for a job interview in Gravesend and found the place depressing beyond belief. The similarly arbitrary photo chosen to illustrate this blog post (taken in Leamington Spa in 1984) because this one doesn't really have a cover, just an inlay card which isn't really worth scanning... ahem... the similarly arbitrary photo was chosen because it looks how I felt when I caught the bus to Gravesend on that not particularly fateful day.

Anyway, this one is probably better than you might expect from my Eeyore-esque hard sell, and despite the moment where I shout I'm surrounded by fools! Honest.

1 - Rubbish Like You
2 - We Can Build You
3 - Arnold Layne
4 - Life
5 - Saxon Chief I
6 - Sound Levels in Arabia (remix)
7 - Music for Carol
8 - All That's Left
9 - Love is Dead
10 - Time Killer
11 - Gravesend
12 - Saxon Chief II

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