Thursday, 24 July 2014

The McTells - Jesse Man Rae (Frank 7" 1988)

Seven 7" Singles In Seven Days #5
I previously wrote about The McTells in November 2012 when I posted their debut Bi-Joopiter flexi disc. After several cassette only releases under various guises, the group issued their first "conventional" disc in 1988 on the Frank label.  
The lead track was a radical re-write of Across The Sea from their debut eponymously-titled cassette only release, while the remaining three tracks had all appeared in earlier forms on the aforementioned debut and Expecting Joe cassettes.
The sleeve design was unmistakably Creation influenced with a fold out paper cover housed in a poly bag which included a colour 7 x 7 Bi-Joopiter mail order insert. As far as I'm aware none of the versions of these songs on this ep have ever been re-issued.
The McTells continued to release "proper" records into the 90s and the Bi-Joopiter label has been inspirational to many budding independent label bosses of subsequent generations.
Virginia MC was included as a bonus track on the deluxe edition C86 box set and the group reconvened to perform at the album launch at 229 in London last June.
A1 Jesse Man Rae
A2 If Only
B1 Rotten
B2 M.T.B.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Sinister Cleaners - The Gnomes Of Zurich (AAZ 7" 1985)

Seven 7" Singles In Seven Days #4
Hailing from Leeds bedsit land, The Sinister Cleaners were initially a trio of Len Liggins, John Parkes and Andrew Middleton, all sharing instrument and vocal duties, aided and abetted by trusty tinny drum machine. The Gnomes Of Zurich was their debut single, self-financed on their own label (as were all their subsequent releases) and released in early 1985. Astonishingly, it was Record Mirror that first gave them wider exposure with a small feature and interview (I think Gnomes may even have been single of the week). I say astonishing because at this stage the publication had shed its tabloid status rivalling the NME, Sounds and Melody Maker in favour of a colour magazine format almost exclusively dedicated to mainstream chart acts in direct competition with Smash Hits. (By the end of year the publication would do an about turn again and focus mainly on the independent scene).
It's fair to say that stylistically Gnomes doesn't stray too far from The Three John/Eton Crop pop stable, but B side The Architect seemed to demonstrate what was to come in future releases. Eighteen months would pass until they unleashed Lemon Meringue Bedsit, a bumper 6 track 12" ep in summer 1986. By this time they had acquired a "proper" drummer, Simon Smith, and built a bigger, individual sound with stronger vocal melodies and blues-tinged guitar runs suggesting The Magic Band playing Richard Lloyd's lead parts on Marque Moon.
The group toured the UK and Europe regularly and issued two more 12" eps in 1986-87, before calling it a day sometime in 1988. Len Liggins had become increasing involved with The Wedding Present, contributing violin and vocals on their Ukranian Peel sessions. This would develop into side project The Ukranians which later would turn in to a full time affair when Peter Solowka quit The Weddoes shortly after completing Sea Monsters in 1991. Simon Smith took over the drum seat from Shaun Charman in early '88.
In 2007 the group reactivated their AAZ label and released Shine, a 20 track cd collection compiling the latter three eps and five new recordings of previously unreleased songs. Strangely, both Gnomes and Architect were excluded from the set. All the more reason to post it here!
 A1 The Gnomes Of Zurich
B1 The Architect

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Third Eye - Pass Myself (Scarlet International 7" 1982)

Seven 7" Singles In Seven Days #3

Bit of a mystery (and obscurity) this one. The line up consisted of Brad Day (drums), Vulcan Webb (guitar/vocals) and Pete Farrugia (bass). They recorded this "neo-psychedelic|" classic in 1982 which was released in France on the drummers own label Scarlet International, backed with a version of Roky Erickson's May The Circle Remain Unbroken. The single received lots of airplay and sold reasonably well, but no other releases materialised. Apparently the group never played one gig!

Farrugia later went on to play in Danielle Dax's backing band. Other than a brief mention on Farrugia's website, there is no other information to be found on them. Unless of course you know different.
A1 Pass Myself
B1 May The Circle Remain Unbroken

Monday, 21 July 2014

3-Action! - ...On The Journey Of A Lifeline (Ediesta 7" 1986)

Seven 7 Inch Singles In Seven Days #2
Another great lost group from the C86 era where there is very little info about them on t'internet. Formed in Hull ca 1984 and initially operating as Reaction, the trio (Gary Action - bass/vocals; Graham Grasshopper - guitar; Artful Dodger - drums; with occasional poetic contributions from Swift Nick ,promoter and editor of the fanzine New Youth) emerged from the Grafton Street stomping ground which spawned The Housemartins vowing to entertain audiences "with a grin on our bottoms and a bogey on our nose".
Signed to  Ediesta Records - also home to Eton Crop and Buy Off The Bar - by the time this there debut was released in summer 1986 they adopted the snappier 3-Action moniker. The 12" counterpart contained two extra tracks. Around the time of this release the group embarked on a lengthy tour of the UK supporting The Housemartins, then experiencing their first taste of mainstream success with Happy Hour.
3-Action! released two more 12" only eps for Ediesta (Stealin' Feelin' and A Breath Of Fresh Air-Gency) in 1987 until their lifeline snapped before they had chance to release an album. A shame as an early demo tape that circulated among fanzines had a great anthemic politico-sing-a-long track entitled Mile Apartheid (From South Africa We're Not So) that was otherwise unreleased.
A1 What You Gonna Do When Your Lifeline Snaps
B1 Matter Batter


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Eton Crop - Don't You Want Me (Megadisc 7" 1989)

Seven 7" Singles In Seven Days #1.
First up in this hotly anticipated Maggot Caviar special series that has had readers around the globe on the edge of their seats tremulous with trepidation is Eton Crop's 1989 version of The Human League's 1981 mega-hit. Quite why The Crop's version didn't scale - or possibly exceed - the same commercial heights is beyond me. Poor distribution and record label apathy are usually the easy targets when blame needs to be apportioned, so let's keep pointing the finger. The striking thing about this version is that it sounds like it could be an EC original, and when Erwin Blom sings "I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar" he manages to sound convincing!
B-side The Modified Martingale would feature on third album And The Underwater Music Goes On. The song started life as Pavel Morozov The Bastard and was first recorded for their fifth and final Peel session from May 1988.
Eton Crop played their first gig in eons on their home turf back in January of this year and are coming over to the UK this October to perform at Peel Regenerated in Stockton-On-Tees.
A1 Don't You Want Me
B1 The Modified Martingale
More cosmic Crop sounds on Bandcamp.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Metal Urbain - Debut Peel Session 16/01/1978

Your eyes deceive you not! Here is the Parisian punks elusive debut John Peel session from January 1978. While the follow up - recorded just nine months later - is easy to find, I've searched high and low over many moons for this set without any success. Thankfully Marc Riley bradcast the session on his 6 Music show just this week, and yours truly was on hand to capture the moments.

Hysterie Collective
The second session from October 1978 is available @ Vibracobra.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Pere Ubu - Peel Session 27/6/1989

Here we have the only session Cleveland's most famous sons ever taped for Peel. Don't get too excited though - there are only two songs!

Not sure if this session is half or two thirds complete. The Keeping It Peel site lists three songs as having been recorded - the other (missing) track being We Have The Technology. KIP isn't always 100% accurate, but there is very little information on the web about the session, and I've never come across it on other Peel- related blogs. However, we've had success in the past in locating missing tracks through the generosity of readers and fellow bloggers alike, so maybe our luck will continue.

Miss You
Bus Called Happiness