Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Red Crayola ‎– "Soldier-Talk" (Radar Records RAD 18) 1979


Mayo Thompson's  revitalised avant-psyche outfit Red Crayola, or Krayola, featured the very fashionable Lora Logic on sax; among various Pere Ubu members, mustachioed session brass man Dick Cuthall (as seen on Top Of The Pops with the Special AKAetc), and Geoff Travis in the producers chair(?).
Mayo found many fellow travellers in post-punk Britain, so he came out of retirement to resurrect his sixties band to great effect.
An excellently Fractured and disjointed avant rock masterpiece, with all the syncopation of an emptying garbage truck.
In fact it sounds uncanilly like 'The Art Of Walking'LP onwards Pere Ubu.....which is funny, because Mayo Thompson was in Pere Ubu for those albums.....who influenced who? Who cares?

Tracklist:

A1 March No.12 1:58
A2 On The Brink 2:52
A3 Letter-Bomb 2:00
A4 Conspirators' Oath 2:41
A5 March No.14 1:19
A6 Soldier-Talk 7:00
B1 Discipline 3:23
B2 X 3:10
B3 An Opposition Spokesman 5:02
B4 Uh, Knowledge Dance 2:54
B5 Wonderland 2:58


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Lora Logic - "Pedigree Charm" (Rough Trade ROUGH 28) 1982


To all intents and purposes this is 'Essential Logic' after they lost direction, with some of 'Camberwell Now', going Disco.
To these ears it sounds like a contractual obligation record. Gone is the energy,invention and sharp edges of earlier times,and replaced with blacmange, but blancmange you can dance to at the indie disco.Its pleasant enough, but we want more than that don't we?......DON'T WE?

Tracklist:

A1 Brute Fury 4:00
A2 Horrible Party 3:50
A3 Stop Halt 5:00 they lost direction
A4 Wonderful Offer 4:30
A5 Martian Man 4:20
B1 Hiss And Shake 5:30
B2 Pedigree Charm 4:00
B3 Rat Allé 3:45
B4 Crystal Gazing 4:55


Monday, 29 May 2017

Essential Logic - "All The Singles 1978-81"

Aerosol Burns (1978) (Cells Records SELL ONE)
 1/ Aerosol Burns; 2/ World Friction(get this on the Beat Rhythm News Download)
Wake Up EP (1979) (Virgin VS261-120
 1/Wake Up; 2/Eaglebird; 3/Quality Crayon Wax OK; 4/Bod's Message
Popcorn Boy (1979) (Rough Trade RT029)
 1/ Popcorn Boy (get this on the Beat Rhythm News Download); 2/ Flora Force
Eugene (1980) (Rough Trade RT050)
 1/ Eugene; 2/ Tame the Nieghbours
Music Is A Better Noise (1980) (Rough Trade RT053)
 1/ Music Is A Better Noise; 2/ Moontown
Fanfare In the Garden (1981) (Rough Trade RT074)
1/ Fanfare In The Garden; 2/ The Captain (recorded in 1979)

As with most groups, their career starts off good then slowly goes down the shitter. Essential Logic is no different. Beginning with punky energy infused with van der graaf generator goes pop inventiveness; then decends into some gentle proto indie disco pointlessness.
Its all great stuff up to about "Music Is A Better Noise", then it just falls into that trap of attaining record sales, which never works artistically or commercially; one just loses both audiences.
Then comes the even more desperate front person goes 'Solo' as an epitaph with a danceable beat......see Lora Logic "Pedigree Charm" LP up after this post.

DOWNLOAD 'em all (waddle ya pay?.....nuthin') HERE!

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Essential Logic - "Peel Session 06-02-1979"


Early Essential Logic as recorded for posterity by the British propaganda broadcasting corporation;but this is the kind of propaganda that should be spread far and wide.
The BBC has outlived its usefulness,in terms of new culture,as it strives further towards populism and raising finance by producing programming for the lowest common denominator.
There was a portal for low appeal music and culture on the John Peel show between 10 and midnight for five, then four nights a week after Tommy Vance's 'Friday Rock Show' got the friday slot! 
Lora Logic's post X-Ray Spex outfit,Essential Logic, were classic 'low appeal' culture for outsiders.  This session has the sound of a band who had been up all night, a few missed queues and introductions by a husky voiced Logic seem to point to a gig having been played the previous evening, which only adds to the authenticity of this session.

Tracklisting:

1 - Wake Up (2:33)
2 - Shabby Abbott (3:49)
3 - Alkaline Loaf In The Area (4:38)
4 - Quality Crayon Wax OK (3:22)

DOWNLOAD this essential peel session HERE!

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Essential Logic - "Beat Rhythm News (Waddle Ya Play?) (Rough Trade ROUGH 5) 1979



Oh look, its the album my brother bought me for xmas 1979!....what a classic, and one of the few albums i know all the words to. Very rarely have i had the opportunity for a sing-a-long with anyone using this material. I managed a Residents sing-a-long one time, with future members of Volcano The Bear, and a great acappela version of 'Frankie Teardrop' with some acquaintences in a pub; but no-one has ever been up for an Essential Logic medley!?
Someone has described this band as Van Der Graaf on heat in the comments section of the Punilux 'Laughing Academy' post, and that ain't far off. Maybe on Helium mixed with Nitrous Oxide and 'crack' is more appropriate?
William Bennett of Whitehouse (no links to whitehouse stuff,because he asked me to remove all the posts!...but if you ask.....?) was in this band,incredibly! And he is the uncredited bass player on seven of the nine tracks on this album...which, incidentally, he claims he co-wrote.....and i kinda believe him.After this album they definitely became very watered down.(I blame Laura Logic's Buddhism trip,that got even worse by the time of her 'solo' album a couple of years later).
Its another example of the prog influence in post punk, and a very welcome influence it is too. 

Tracklist:
Quality Crayon Wax OK
The Order Form
Shabby Abbott
World Friction
Wake Up
Albert
Alkaline Loaf In The Area
Collecting Dust
Popcorn Boy (Waddle Ya Do?)


Punishment Of Luxury - "Live at the Hope and Anchor 21/07/1978"


More bootlegged Punilux captured at the home of Pub rock, complete with those familiar 'small room' acoustic's.
Sounds like a loud high-octane performance that's too big for the room. They even do an encore before the tape runs out.....how non-punk is that?

Tracklisting:

1 - Puppet Life
2 - The Demon
3 - The Puff Song
4 - Lets get Married/You're So Beautiful
5 - Brainbomb
6 - Excess Bleeding Heart
7 - Babalon
8 - Funk Me (Lizard Love)
9 - Jellyfish
10- (Crowd) Speeding

DOWNLOAD punishment at the hope and anchor HERE!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Punishment Of Luxury - "Peel Session 22-05-1979"


The potential disaster of Actors forming bands and pop stars becoming actors,has thankfully met with only limited success. 
Alas, one has to say, the actors in bands direction of this flowchart was far more satisfying than David Bowie in 'The Man Who Fell To Earth', Madonna in anything she's ever done (including all her godawful tunes), and even Phil Collins in 'Miami Vice'!
Most members of groups are actors anyhow, so it makes sense that if you're a better actor, with experience of stage and screen, you're gonna make a better 'Pop Star'; as referenced by David Essex (Actor) in his number one smash hit "Gonna Make You A Star".; wot I bought as my first single in 1975, weirdly a year or so after i had started buying albums.....ok, my first album was Slade's "Old,New Borrowed and Blue"....from humble begginings etc....!?
Slade's acting in "Slade in Flame" was quite bad in a good film, but the biscuit has to be taken by The Clash in the toe-curling docu-drama that is "Rude Boy". They were trying to act as their pop-star persona's,which was an act anyway!Always a challenging role to act as someone one who's acting.Even Sir Larry Olivier struggled with such a role as Archie Rice in "The Entertainer".But Larry Olivier wasn't in the Clash was he? They only had Mick 'Hardman' Jones and it was the kind of stuff you could only watch through your fingers as you try and hide from its unbridled horror; back of the sofa stuff!....ugh...shudder!(ok...yeah, the concert footage is good but so what?)
Whereas, Actors in Bands have ,narrowly,a better record (pun intended).
We got 'Alberto y Los Trios Paranoias',The Monkees,That Bloke from Bauhaus,....er....Phil Collins in Peter Gabriels' Genesis......struggling here......and Punishment Of Luxury of course. If left-wing fringe theatre counts as acting?
Naturally, there are reams of actors dabbling in music that should stick to acting.....in most cases they shouldn't do either, like Bruce Willis and Steven Segal.
What i'm trying to say is that Punilux are better as actors in a group than The Russel Crowe Band.
Here's the proof, in their second, and last, John Peel session from 1979.

Tracklisting:

1 - Radar Bug/Metropolis (5:35).
2 - British Baboon (3:37)
3 - Secrets (3:57)

DOWNLOAD within the luxury of your own home HERE!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Punishment Of Luxury- "Peel Session 22-08-1978"


I never started listening to the John Peel show until around the summer of '78 on our annual family 'holiday' in the bracing Skegness concentration camp(the same year that Skeg's famous pier and theatre was removed by a severe gale and storm surge;the place i saw my first pop group...Gerry and the Pacemakers....i jest not!?...and comedy legends like Norman Wisdom,Tommy Cooper, Ray Allen and Lord Charles)
The only record shop in 'Skeg' (not Skag) was a general electrical store called Herrick Watson. The summer before I had the pleasure of purchasing the first Clash Album which was displayed in the window; then the further pleasure of Uncle Ron returning from work and removing the Clash from his stereo and replacing it with some military Brass band playing the "Enigma Variations".An interesting and beautiful piece of music played on any other instrumentation than cornets, trumpets and tuba's by soldiers; driven along with military snare drums........even The Clash would have done a more sensitive interpretation.
That summer of '78 secured me a copy of "(Can't Stand) The Rezillo's", which got the same treatment. This time they did it to Holst's 'Planet Suite' !!!!!!
Uncle Ron was a miserable ex- air force ex-Navy arsehole who came from the same town as Punishment Of Luxury (Newcastle)......something dear to the clogged up arteries of Ronald's black heart, as he loved to punish anyone lower in rank to himself if they were caught enjoying any luxuries.
Television being banned, and having lost all my money in the amusement arcades, the only option was to disappear to bed to listen furtively to The John Peel Show, which, during that month of august featured the first session by Punilux. This sounded like outer-space to me, so used to the one chord shouty dirge's of '77 vintage punk. Were these mysterious musicians actually playing several chords in shifting time signatures with melodies, like the Progressive rock bands I grew up with.....but,without the messing about?....the answer was 'Yes', and opened my ears to the new intelligent bands that started to appear from that summer of 1978 onwards. There was at least four Geordies whom I liked that Geordie Nazi Uncle Ron couldn't censor.
(For those who are interested, Ron mellowed somewhat after his third heart attack, and even more after that as he died in about 2002-ish....not sure)

Tracklisting:

1 - Funk Me (6:20)
2 - Babalon (5:48)
3 - Let's Get Married/You're So Beautiful (6:54)

DOWNLOAD if you're a glutton for punishment HERE!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Punishment Of Luxury - "Live @ Reading Festival 24-08-1979"


"Do you like cold Chips David?", and "I'll facking 'ave ya!", are just two of the tasty morsels of dialogue captured from the restless crowd on this recording of Punishment Of Luxury's career peak at the Reading Festival in 1979.
There were an inordinate number of Greebo's waiting for Motorhead ,ready for a fight. Punilux's appearance apparently caused a vicious can fight between their punky fans and a larger number of long haired headbangers.Although Punilux tried to calm the audience , their remarks did not help cool things down one bit . Sporadic fights broke out throughout the evening as bored ( or perhaps intoxicated ) audience members took their frustrations out on other fans .
Inexplicably they were below Doll By Doll on the bill!?....whom the Motorhead fans hated even more than Punishment Of Luxury......but they liked The Cure!??....obviously they were too hammered to care by then. More understandably they loved Wilko Johnson's Solid Senders, so these Greebo's couldn't have been that pissed, or that stupid.
The Police and The (fucking awful) Tourists,featuring the reprehensible Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox had to follow Motorhead!??.....who decided on this running order???
Festivals are fucking awful anyway, but at least some of the bands weren't, like Punishment Of Luxury.

Tracklisting:

1 Puppet Life
2 The demon
3 Funk Me
4 All White Jack
5 Obsession
6 Radar Bug/Metropolis
7 British Baboon
8 Babalon
9 Jellyfish
10 Brain Bomb.

DOWNLOAD a charming festival experience HERE!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Punishment Of Luxury ‎– "Laughing Academy" (United Artists ‎– UAG 30258)



'Post-punk' was in fact Prog's triumphant return after a forced tactical withdrawal during Punk Rock's 'Khmer Rouge' approach to anything slightly intellectual or  musicianly.
Most of the intelligentsia of the punk movement were secret Prog fans, Like Devoto,Shelley, Lydon, Levine, and even the dumber end had its prog acolytes, like Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies.
As far as I was concerned, so-called 'Post-Punk' was Punk Rock, and never considered it all to be Post-anything; it was still happening wasn't it?
So suddenly in '78, filling the gaping hole left by Standard Punk's inability to move on from The Ramones template, we had This Heat, Magazine,Cardiacs and Punishment of Luxury. Alongside an increasingly active Fripp and Eno,a resurrected Van Der Graff Generator, and plenty of Peter Hamill albums. All suitably punkified of course.
Punishment Of Luxury (aka Punilux) were a bunch of actors from North East England, who made a type of funky performance rock, with shifting time signatures, fertile with ideas, and a spikey edge. All performed with a technical ability that was taboo in 1977/8.
Whereas Prog Rock before 1976 had largely turned into some kind of bad musical, the new revitalised Prog (aka Post-Punk) had learned the harsh lessons dealt out by the Punk's,stripped away the Lord of the rings and Mozart nonsense,and concentrated on actually being er...progressive. All packaged(with classic Prog art gatefold sleeve to boot!) in shorter song formats for those modern '78 kids with short attention spans;introducing heavier subject matter than chaos and boredom.
Punilux were outstandingly good, and it never fails to astound me that they virtually sank without trace. It wasn't until recently that i found out that they had a couple more albums released after this.....not on United Artists though, who dropped them like a hot potato as soon as they never went top ten with a bullet, and/or decided that they weren't 'New Wave enough.
Incredibly, as recently as 2012, they released a new album, and played gigs!?.... And why not?

Tracklist:

1 Puppet Life 3:03
2 Funk Me 4:00
3 The Message 3:55
4 All White Jack 3:57
5 Obsession 4:43
6 Radar Bug / Metropolis 5:43
7 British Baboon 4:03
8 Babalon 4:00
9 Excess Bleeding Heart 2:38
10 Laughing Academy 5:01


BONUS TRACKS:

11 Secrets (single 1979)
12 Brain Bomb (Secrets B-side)
13 Baby Don't Jump (Laughing Academy 7" B-side, 1980)
14 Engine Of Excess (Single 1979)
15 Jellyfish (Engine of Excess B-Side)
16 Puppet life (Small Wonder 7" Version 1978)
17 The Demon (Puppet life B-Side)


Monday, 22 May 2017

Camberwell Now - "Live @ Tegan Tonen Frestival, Amsterdam 08/05/1986"


At last a high quality live recording of post This Heat avant-prog combo Camberwell Now. As captured by VPRO Radio at the Tegen Tonen Festival in Amsterdam in 1986.
This band never really did themselves justice on vinyl, and were better heard in a live situation. A slightly mellower and less abrasive offspring of This Heat. Most notable for ex-Heat sound engineer Stephen Rickard's mellotron inspired cassette-based 'sampler' invention.

Track Listing:

1- Working Nights
2- Daddy Needs A Throne
3- Sitcom
4- identity parade
5- Billboard and Beyond
6- Greenfingers
7- Green lantern

DOWNLOAD camberwell then in amsterdam NOW!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

This Is Not This Heat - "Live @u Cent Quatre, Paris- 15/03/2017"


I often complain about groups reforming to earn a bit of dough,and in the process tarnishing a legend that was best left unblemished.
This is not the case with 'This Is Not This Heat' however, who have respected their former groups legacy by recognising that certain members are no longer with us, and therefore this is something quite different. A kind of tribute,and reinvention of their past group rather than a nostalgia trip for cash.Hence the title of the project ensures that we know that this is definitely not 'This Heat'. A lot of other groups who reform around one or less members should use that epithet, like This is Not Dr Feelgood, or This is Not Bucks Fizz.
This Heat's legend has grown immeasurably in the 21st century, and inevitably the demand for some kind of product was bound to result in some kind of reincarnation by the remaining members,although the late Gareth Williams' replacement Trefor Goronwy is absent (i suppose this carries on the welsh connection still further?).
The two Charles's, Hayward and Bullen, are augmented by a number of 'guests' to plough through the This Heat back catalogue,including the traditional improvisation, and sound as if they had never left us.
All recorded in the highest quality you've ever heard these songs captured live in (The first time ever in the case of "24 Track loop"/Repeat!).Fantastic.
I love this group and I have no problem with them trying to get some meagre recompense for their monumental legacy. They can do anything they want to do, and more to the point they are more than capable of doing it, which is also rare in these delicate cases.

Track Listing:

1- Testcard (0:25)
2- Horizonatal Hold (7:19)
3- Not Waving (6:17)
4- Improvisation (1:08)
5- Twilight Furniture (4:49)
6- Music ike escaping gas (4:56)
7- The Fall Of Saigon (6:09)
8- Independence (5:14)
9- Cenotaph (7:44)
10- SPQR (3:28)
11- A New Kind Of Water (5:36)
12- Paper Hats (2:46)
13- Makeshift Swahili (part one)(5:17)
14- Makeshift Swahili (Part Two) (5:34)
15- Sleep (2:36)
16- Introduction of the Guests
17- 24 Track Loop (6:29)
18- Health and Efficiency (9:45)

This IS a DOWNLOAD HERE!

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Young Marble Giants - "Live @ Les Bains Douches, Paris 17/06/1980"


To round up our brief sojourn through Welsh DIY/Post Punk, here's proof that you could actually escape from Wales.
No doubt hailed as 'les génie minimaliste anglais'(the French could never understand the concept of the United Kingdom and Ireland being anything other than English), YMG got about a bit on the road during their short existence, and here we find ourselves in the legendary 'Les Bains Douches' in Paris. 
You can see why the French liked Young Marble Giants despite the lack of the usual reasons, like having a song or album with a French Title; as did, for example, The Police who are never off French Radio or supermarché muzak systems; if you are liked in France you stay liked, no matter what you do).An achievement that YMG would be rather envious of, given their minor obsession with background music or muzak.
YMG could easily pass for french, except the Moxham's were about a foot too tall;but Alison Stratton looked and dressed like a Parisienne Art student.
Worth their place in the Louvre, YMG treat us to some muffled lo-fi recordings of tunes from their classic Rough Trade album,and accompanying EP's.
Voila!Les génie minimaliste Gallois.

Tracklisting:

1- The Man Amplifier
2- Choci Loni
3- Radio Silents
4- Wurlitzer Jukebox
5- Music For evenings
6- Colossal Youth
7- Salad days
8- Ode To Booker T.
9- Include Me Out
10-Final day
11-Cakewalking.

DOWNLOAD,listen in the bath or shower and imagine you're in Paris HERE!

Friday, 19 May 2017

Young Marble Giants ‎– "Colossal Youth" (Rough Trade ‎– ROUGH 8) 1980


If there is a chance nobody here has heard this classic record, then here it is for download.
The best thing to come out of Wales along with the aforementioned M4 motorway.
A lesson in originality, individuality, the power of subtlety, and the beauty of stepping sideways. A perfect career in modern music,a brief flash of brilliance, then disappear.
A silence that is louder than the noise.

Tracklist:

A1 Searching For Mr Right
A2 Include Me Out
A3 The Taxi
A4 Eating Noddemix
A5 Constantly Changing
A6 N.I.T.A.
A7 Colossal Youth
B1 Music For Evenings
B2 The Man Amplifier
B3 Choci Loni
B4 Wurlitzer Jukebox !
B5 Salad Days
B6 Credit In The Straight World
B7 Brand - New - Life
B8 Wind In The Rigging


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Scritti Politti ‎– "4 'A Sides' " (Rough Trade ‎– RT 027, St. Pancras Records ‎– SCRIT 2) 1979


Is it me or were there two EP's with the same catalog number? SCRIT 2?
Here's the last post from Scritti politti's golden years.
The official story is that Green got ill, got on the M4 in the wrong direction, and ended up back in Cardiff ,then discovered his sisters record collection and decided to make 'proper' poop records.
He could plead Insanity one supposes?

Tracklist:

A1 Bibbly-O-Tek
A2 Doubt Beat
B1 Confidence
B2 P.A.s


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Scritti Politti ‎– "Work In Progress 2nd Peel Session" (Rough Trade ‎– RT 034, St. Pancras Records ‎– SCRIT 2) 1979



So here's Scritti's excellent second peel session, released as an EP on Rough Trade, although I doubt the production costs printed on the back apply to Rough Trade's comparatively  unlimited edition of the record.
Notable for the use of the term "Messthetics" which was half-inched by Hyped2Death for their cd-r compilations of UK DIY singles, such as this.

Tracklist:
A1 Messthetics 1:48
A2 Hegemony 2:10
B1 Scritlocks Door 1:35
B2 OPEC-Immac 3:20


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Scritti Politti - "First Peel Session 05/12/1978"


Here's the unreleased First Peel Session from when dey wuz gud (note clever Slade style phonetics ;-), and Green hadn't 'discovered' american black music and wanted it for himself.
No Green you didn't invent unlistenable slick soul boredom.
Even whilst laying down these exercises in Art damaged No Wave reggae, Mr Gartside was undoubtedly planning his future as a minor pop star. Swapping this very 'white' music for a very pale imitation of it's Black counterpart wot he carried on the proud white man tradition of by nicking it; like his mates Paul Young and Mick Hucknall.
Is there anything more despicable than 'Blue-eyed Soul'?.....put answers in a sealed envelope, burn it, and flush the ashes down the bog.

Track Listing:

1 - The Humours Of Spitalfields
2 - Know;edge and Interest
3 - Doubt Beat
4 - 05/12/78

DOWNLOAD scritti peelitti number one HERE!

Scritti Politti - "Skank Bloc Bologna" (St. Pancras Records ‎– SCRIT 1) 1978




As i mentioned before the best thing to come out of Wales is the M4, and a young Green Gartside used that portal to escape to London with his university(Leeds) pop group.
Never in the field of human conflict has a band fallen from grace more spectacularly than Scritti Politti.
The third single of the three big catalysers of the DIY vinyl boom of 78-80,after 'Spiral Scratch(Buzzcocks),and The Desperate Bicycles; this exercise in marxist anti-capitalism was intended to encourage others to follow the same DIY philosophy. Like The Desperate Bicycles they included instructions and the costings on how to record and release your own single. 
Egalitarian and anti-corporate as it was, the music was also inspiringly non-rock, verging on the anti-music.Classically loose and falling apart,there was a notably improvisational slant to Scritti's music;well,It's not disco music.
There is also a certain 'right-on-ness' about it all that makes one feel slightly nauseous however.
There was mention of a meeting in Scritti's Pub/office,of the London Musicians Collective,(as recounted fully in Bendle's excellent DIY biog "Permanent Transience",buy it here)  where Bendle (of The Door and the Window)is berated by a self-righteous Green Gartside for using the word 'Cunt' to refer to someone he didn't care for very much.

"During the course of our conversation when I derogatorily referred to someone as “a cunt”, Green stopped me and pointed out the sexist nature of my language. Prick – he said, why not use that epithet, and explained why." (Bendle)*

Yes, please explain it to us Green.

Prick, was an apt word to describe our favourite right-on marxist pop singer who would soon embrace capitalism to show us how good a socialist he really was.
All this correct behaviour was soon to be flushed down the nearest ladies toilet, when Gartside discovered something called 'Black Music' and went 'Pop'! Starting with the shockingly conventional "The 'Sweetest' Girl" single, and the terrible "Songs To Remember" album.Then it got far worse, with some sickly sweet blue-eyed soul crap.
What was that oft-used phrase again?...ah yes...'Like Punk Never Happened'.

*Bendle (2015-02-21). Permanent Transience (Kindle Locations 1085-1086).  . Kindle Edition.
  
Tracklist:

A Skank Bloc Bologna
B1 Is And Ought The Western World
B2 28 / 8 / 78


Monday, 15 May 2017

Reptile Ranch ‎– "Don’t Give The Lifeguard A Second Chance" (Z Block Records ‎– Z1) 1979



Spike of bland indie soft jazzers Weekend, was in Reptile Ranch. And as well as opening side two on Cardiff compilation “Is The War Over?”,they released the first single on Z-Block Records.
An individually numbered, handwritten and stamped ,classic DIY style seven incher, which bizarrely had the same two tracks on both sides;rather than have each different track on either side like everyone else!?
The music is unremarkable also-ran post-punk;the kind we all love.The A-side,or in this case, track 1 on both sides, has a cheapo organ and a recorder to add an interesting nuance to an already charming and melodic ditty.
Track 2, 'WTB', or 'White Tiger Burning', is less charming. Especially when the singer does an unnecessary impression of Larry The Lamb when singing the hook line.Quite an off-putting affliction.

They thank another Cardiff connected band ,and DIY catalysts,Scritti Polliti on the back cover.Which is a good excuse to do a series of Scritti Polliti posts up until they/he turned shit,i.e. up to “The 'Sweetest' Girl “ single......They/Green, wanted a 'Hit'apparently!??(note use of clever clever quotation marks around the word 'Hit',just like Green did with 'Sweetest')

Tracklist:

A1 WTB 5:15
A2 Lifeguard 3:45
B1 WTB 5:15
B2 Lifeguard 3:45


Saturday, 13 May 2017

Weekend ‎– "The '81 Demos" (Vinyl Japan ‎– TASKCD 47) 1995/1981

Cravats, Ray Bans, beige slacks, stools.....the sitting on variety, not the specimens one provides to a doctor.
Who do these Weekenders think they are?????.....The Style Council?
The Demo's that Weekend made were far less 'jazzy' than their debut LP, and as a result a lot more palatable.Dare one suggest that they sound like a more tuneful and dreamy Young Marble Giants?
These chaps could have easily been The Style Council if they had bothered.Instead they became 'Working Week',which is worse.

Tracklist:

1 Drumbeat 3:29
2 Red Planes 8:56
3 Nostalgia 5:26
4 Summerdays (Instrumental) 3:35


Friday, 12 May 2017

Weekend ‎– "La Varieté" (Rough Trade ‎– ROUGH 39) 1982


If Young Marble Giants flirted with Testcard music, then Alison Strattons' post-YMG group, Weekend, actually made Testcard music, disguised as parisienne café jazz......which is also Testcard Music I suppose?
Its some type of trendy indie spliced with the kind of limp jazz that plays in the background of pretentious restaurants.Its quite pleasant and inoffensive, but who wants to be that?
Again this is the kind of wet student music that Cherry Red specialised in at this time; the Pillows and Prayers crowd. Rough Trade should have swapped this lot for the Nightingales, who didn't really belong alongside Everything But The Girl and The Marine Girls.
Having said that, being an oficionado of Easy listening, I like it!
If this was a lost volume of Library music from some East-European TV station I would be praising it to the hilt; but as its some kind of attempt to be a retro-cool hybrid, it has to be treated as such. Recycling the past to an audience ignorant of what has gone before is basically a cop-out.If i wanted to listen to some mellow Café chic I'd dig out an old Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrid Gilberto album.Which is a fuck of a lot better than this pale imitation by some welsh post-punk refugees.To think Spike used to be in Reptile Ranch?
There were lots of sterile bands like this around 1982,Blue Rondo,Carmel,Matt Bianco, Working Week, EBTG.....terrible stuff. This carried on evolving and we ended up with the uber-trendy 90's Acid Jazz format, as an alternative to the endless intravenous feed of House music.Luckily this led onto more interesting area's like Loungecore, Jungle, and the Incredibly Strange Music phenomenon.
As a reaction to Punk and NWOBHM, Weekend scores quite highly. The high point being Alison Stratton's reinvention as the new wave Astrid Gilberto, by singing in exactly the same style as she did in the Young Marble Giants. 

Tracklist:

1 The End Of The Affair 3:05
2 Weekend Stroll 3:23
3 Summer Days 2:53
4 Carnival Headache 2:51
5 Drum Beat For Baby 2:57
6 Life In The Day Of Part 1 3:49
7 Life In The Day Of Part 2 2:23
8 Sleepy Theory 2:52
9 Woman's Eyes 2:49
10 Weekend Off 3:20
11 Red Planes 4:46
12 Nostalgia 3:50

Bonus Tracks:

13 A View From Her Room (12 Inch Version) 8:11
14 Leaves Of Spring 2:40
15 Past Meets Present 3:38
16 Midnight Slows 2:03
27 Drum Beat For Baby (12 Inch Version) 4:17


DOWNLOAD the weak end of post-punk HERE!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Gist ‎– "Embrace The Herd" (Rough Trade ‎– ROUGH 25) 1982


Stuart Moxham's first post 'Young Marble Giants' album is a mixed experience.
First up we have an instrumental that sounds like the theme tune to an upbeat Schools programme, followed by the classic mellow anthem, and Moxham's most successful song, "Love at First Sight", which luckily escaped being covered by one of those terrible Grunge stars who lauded his previous group. It was however featured in some shit american film, and was a hit on the continent after it was covered by an identikit french chanteuse.
The record struggles to create its own identity ,and sounds like its just a bunch of different songs bunged together,that doesn't work as a cohesive album; but it does have more high spots than low points.
A star studded guest list which included a Swell Map, a member of This Heat, and Alison Stratton late of...er.....Young Marble Giants; helped jolly it all along, and water down the records self-identity. Listen to this and you wouldn't immediately think, 'Aha!...thats The Gist'.
This is the Cherry Red CD reissue by the way, which is appropriate because it  sounds like it should have been on that label rather than Rough Trade back in '82.

Tracklist:

1 Far Concern 2:51
2 Love At First Sight 3:44
3 Fretting Away 2:19
4 Public Girls 3:28
5 Clean Bridges 3:09
6 Simian 2:55
7 Embrace The Herd 2:41
8 Iambic Pentameter 2:53
9 Carnival Headache 3:52
10 Concrete Slopes 2:22
11 The Long Run
12 Dark Shots 3:05
13 Problem Attics 3:20 (previously unreleased)
14 Light Aircraft 3:05 (previously unreleased)

15 Love At First Sight [Demo Version] 3:40
16 Four Minute Warning 3:56 (B-side of Love at first sight)


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Gist ‎– "This Is Love" (Rough Trade ‎– RT 058) 1980


To be in The Gist, it seems you had to have a sir name that begins with 'M'.
Stuart Moxham's post Young Marble Giants almost 'solo' project, was a warmer affair than his previous band. The minimalism is still there, but the stark emotional austerity isn't.
This stuff could easily have appeared on Cherry Red records alongside Tracy Thorn and that lot.
The A-side sounds more like YMG, mainly because the bass player was Phil Moxham; fronted by a mellow voiced Stuart.
The better tune has to be 'Yanks', which could have been an Everything But The Girl number, but thankfully wasn't.

Tracklist:

A - This Is Love.
B - Yanks

DOWNLOAD the gists of love HERE!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Young Marble Giants ‎– "Testcard E.P." (Rough Trade ‎– RT 059) 1980



It says, on the sleeve :"Six instrumentals in praise and celebration of mid-morning television made and played by: Stuart Moxham and Philip Moxham".
Which accurately sums up the music.
Nowadays, mid-morning Television consists of cookery programmes, and Insipid grinning presenters talking about Irrital Bowel Syndrome and vaginal discharges.
Back in the seventies and early eighties, there was no television before mid-day, and only three channels.
There were some 'programmes for Schools' on ITV, including the excellent 'Picture Box'(complete with creepy theme tune) presented by some creepy bloke.
But, on BBC1 and 2, except for 'Playschool' at about 11am, we were treated to 'The Testcard' which looked pretty much like the front of this record sleeve;most of the time with a weird picture of a little girl playing noughts and crosses(tik-tak-toe for our very silly american viewers) with a toy clown.(Re-live this experience, including music by clicking HERE!)
Accompanying this were endless streams of inoffensive background music which became weirder the more one listened to it on those days when we kids skipped school or were 'ill'.
In the mid-nineties i don't think I listened to anything else except library music, easy listening, and exotica(there were clubs where this stuff was danced to!).....it seemed a subversive antidote to the music of the hive mind that poisoned the planet, and is STILL here today!!!!????
Good to see that YMG were there in 1980,revolting against the post-punk mainstream with the power of 'Easy'.Nothing would get an Exploited fan more irate.
Alison Stratton had left to form Weekend, so this was the fitting vocal-less swansong for YMG.

Tracklist

A1 Clicktalk 2:40
A2 Zebra Trucks 1:27
A3 Sporting Life 1:10
B1 This Way 1:37
B2 Posed By Models 2:17
B3 The Clock 1:35


Monday, 8 May 2017

Young Marble Giants ‎– "The Peel Session 18/08/1980"


Well worth it for another version of 'Final Day'.

Tracklist:

Searching For Mr Right 2:35
Brand – New – Life 2:46
Final Day 1:56
N.I.T.A. 3:43
Posed By Models 1:31

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Young Marble Giants ‎– "Colossal Youth Demos" (Self-Released) 1979


Meanwhile,back in South Wales, we present some super-claustrophobic demos from Cardiff's own introspective minimalists, Young Marble Giants. A lesson in how to stand out from the crowd by doing the opposite of the rest of the hive.
The rest of the country were either reinventing Heavy Metal,playing funky post-punk,or slipping into hardcore sameness.
YMG were flirting with testcard music,clean sounds and space.
Alison Statton's plain, natural voice is a perfect focus for the music,and reminds one of the clean austere singing of folk legend Shirley Collins.
The sound of these demos suits the Giants probably a tad more than the hi-fidelity recording of the official Rough Trade album.Like we're shut inside a cupboard listening to them through the closed door.
Real greatness.

Tracklist:

1 Have Your Toupée Ready 1:09
2 N.I.T.A. 4:28
3 Brand-New Life 2:54
4 Zebra Trucks 1:33
5 Choci Loni 2:14
6 Wind In The Rigging 2:38
7 The Man Shares His Meal With His Beast 4:24
8 The Taxi 2:04
9 Constantly Changing 2:06
10 Music For Evenings 2:57
11 Credit In The Straight World 2:12
12 Eating Noddemix 2:02
13 Radio Silents 2:53
14 Hayman 1:28
15 Loop The Loop 3:04


Friday, 5 May 2017

Chorchazade – "Death Is Eeklo" (Unreleased) 1988



We have a short break in our stay in South Wales, and briefly return back across the Severn Bridge to Bristol via Penzance, as some kind person has provided us with the missing Unreleased Chorcazade album from the famed mass group extinction year of 1988. The strangely titled "Death Is Eeklo".
Here,they sound like a intriguing mix between early Felt and a Josef K 45 played at 33rpm, although the Slint parallel remains.
Production values are up on the "Made To Be Devoured" album.As are the number of unfathomable words like 'Eeklo' and the unpronounceable group moniker,which is apparently pronounced thus: Cork-ah-zayde!?

Tracklisting:

01) Night Ferry
02) Laughing Gasman
03) Amorous Gasman
04) Wheel
05) Treacletime
06) Checkered Soul
07) Smiling Wessex Ghost
08) Neat Around Nought


DOWNLOAD is eeklo HERE!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Young Marble Giants ‎– "Final Day EP" (Rough Trade ‎– RT 043)



The best thing to come out of Wales is normally the M4 motorway right?.......but, whats the best record ever to come out of Wales?
Tom Jones's "Delilah"?......no.......that Manic Street Preachers tune?.......definitely fucking NOT!.....Catatonia's "Road Rage", which is a strong contender as thee WORST song ever written....so it isn't that?!
I think you've already guessed, as this post is about The Young Marble Giants' colossal apocalypso ode to the creeping shadow of the nuclear holocaust.
If there was ever a video made for this, it should show devasting explosions vaporising children in slow motion. The contrast with the peace and tranquility of this darkly beautiful tune, would ram home the message better than any of the recent slew of post-apocalypse movies that seem to be de rigueur these days.
My favourite nuclear attack scene (everyone has one don't they?) happens to be from a BBC production called "Threads"from 1984 (click here to watch it),an epoch when total annihilation could have happened at any second. The moment when it goes silent as ET burns in the intense heat is just one part that would fit nicely in any video for "Final Day".
Thankfully, YMG came from an era when we didn't have any video's for songs by outsiders such as they. They could maintain that long lost aire of mystery that absolutely nobody has anymore. I was shocked to find out that the YMG's were real people, so alien was their sound,and they looked ever-so slightly android-like on the dim half-light cover of their lone album.
Such stealthy power in so short a song,and such a short lived group.

DOWNLOAD finally HERE!