Monday, 24 September 2012

MORPHINE - Riviera Theatre, Chicago 11/04/1997

Today would have been Mark Sandman's 60th birthday, so I thought I'd post this concert that I found on the Symphony Of Ghosts blog a couple of years back. As the file has since been deleted by (presumably) the blogger, I felt now was a good opportunity to share it with you.

Thanks to the original uploader and thanks also to Mr. Sandman for the great music he left for us.

Set list
1. intro  2. Potion  3. I'm Free Now  4. Do Not Go Quietly Unto Your Grave  5. Mona's Sister  6. Sharks  7. Empty Box  8. Wishing Well  9. Eleven O'Clock  10. Lilah  11. Candy  12. Sheila  13. Honey White  14. Mary Won't You Call My Name  15. Cure For Pain  16. Infomercial  17. French Fries w/Pepper  18. Early To Bed  19. Whisper  20. Swing It Low  21. Murder For The Money  22. Buena  23. In Spite Of Me.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

YEAH YEAH NOH - Marc Riley Session 10/09/2012

I could write slobbering, sycophantic superlatives about Yeah Yeah Noh until I became blue in the balls, and may even still do so as this post progresses.....

Anyway, as the 6 Music listen again feature is due to expire, here be 21st Century YYN performing in front of their former label boss and a larger than life-sized portrait of Stuart Maconie.

The beatier than ever combo performed invigorative new arrangements of two old songs - Prick Up Your Ears and Another Side To Mrs. Quill - and fended off the onset of autumn by showcasing their summer pop chops with Up On The Downs and the sarcastic smut of Shooting From The Hip.

Bias Binding (jingle)
Prick Up Your Ears
Another Side To Mrs. Quill
Up On The Downs
Shooting From The Hip

YYN now have their own Youtube channel. Only a matter of time before they have their own tv station.

BOGSHED - The Warehouse, Leeds 14/05/1987

Last Bogshed post for a while - don't want to overindulge now, even if it is perfectly logical to overindulge in Bogshed.

Sound quality is a bit on the distorted side, but I present it here as it is the only gig of theirs I have from 1987. Apparently this was one of the last shows they performed before financial difficulties brought on by poor sales of Excellent Girl forced them to shut up shed.

Supporting That Petrol Emotion, the set list is completely different to previous posts, old(ish) songs performed regularly just a few months before were dropped in favour of showcasing tracks from the fortcoming Brutal album.

Despite the poor sound, it's still nice to hear a live airing of the single that never was, Stop Revolving, aswell as The Gourmet Is A Baby, a song they recorded for their fourth Peel session (around this time) that never made it onto vinyl.

Much thanks to Mr. Wazzer for kindly supplying this and the other sets from previous posts.

Set list:

1. Raise the Girl  2. Stop Revolving  3. Uncle Death Grip  4. I Said No To Lemon Mash  5. The Gourmet Is a Baby  6. Tried and Tested Public Speaker  7. Loaf  8. Old Dog New Dance  9. C'mon Everybody  10. I'm the Instrument  11. People Equal Greedy  12. Sing a Little Tune  13. Excellent Girl 14. Spring

Friday, 14 September 2012

KATE GOES - Happy Dancing (CD EP 2008)

In order to prove that I'm not a sad forty-something wallowing nostalgically and woefully in the forgotten music of yesteryear, here's a post to prove I'm a sad forty-something trying to get hip with the kids of the 21st century.

Formed in the Swell Maps old stomping ground (Solihull) in 2005, the quintet entertained the discerning few in the Birmingham area with their specially-themed gigs, with suitably eccentric attire to match, and usually composing a one-off theme song for the occasion.

If you don't know Kate Goes, imagine a more wayward Famous Five if they'd spent puberty raiding granny's medicine cabinet, or Rod, Jane & Freddy fronting the Sensational Alex Harvey Band on a low alcohol diet and you're halfway there.

I saw the band live half a dozen times around 2007-09. One time in July 07 the theme was Kate Goes...Up The Duff, an afternoon fundraising gig held at the Custard Factory to save the Moseley swimming baths from closure. Midway through the set Kate urgently requested a paramedic, whereupon someone from the audience took to the stage and promptly delivered a baby by the guitarist Joe.

After putting out a couple of self-financed cds (Hi, How Am I ep and the Theme Tunes compilation), this was the quintet's first single proper, released as part the PRS Foundation's unsigned award for new music, in association with FOPP. I'm sure it's entirely coincidental, but soon after this release FOPP went into administration. (As an aside, I've still never seen - let alone been inside - a FOPP shop to this day!).

Later in 2008 they signed to SL Records, the next single All We Wanna Do Is Oh b/w On Safari planned for release in February 2009. While the tracks were available to download from SL's website, I'm not sure if there was an actual physical release. Plans to record an album were shelved when drummer Bird sustained a shoulder injury.

Since then the band have played sporadic acoustic gigs as a trio, still threatening to release that elusive long player one day.

Here's hoping!

Little bonus offering:  Kate Goes....Hawaiian @ Demo 20/4/2008
Find out where Kate Goes on Facebook.

FREIGHT TRAIN - Man's Laughter (Bam Caruso 7" 1985)

Having already written a post about a band from my place of birth, Lichfield, here's one from my current place of residence, Tamworth.

Yet another great band who may have passed the majority of you by, but one or two of you will probably be familiar with the names of some of the band members.

Fronted by Donald Ross Skinner with Barry Douce (bass), Joss Cope (keyboards) and augented by drummer Gavin Skinner, the  band received ripples of press interest following the release of their debut single on Bam Caruso - a label perhaps best known for reissuing obscure British sixties psychedelia via it's Rubbles compilation series.

Despite an apparent habit of not turning up for gigs and last minute cancellations, they did manage to embark on a nationwide tour or two and appeared in session on Richard Skinner's Saturday Live show on Radio 1 around Jan/Feb 1986, performing three numbers, including the single and a song called Hairpin Bend.

A follow up single, Hill, was recorded, but I'm not sure if it was actually released. With DRS fulfilling duties as Julian Cope's 'mainman' and the Arch Drude about to enter his most commercially successful solo period with the Saint Julian album, Freight Train became an increasingly off/on affair, inevitably leading the individulal members to go their separate ways. Gavin Skinner spent several months touring with Sonic Flower Groove-era Primal Scream, while Joss Cope formed Something Pretty Beautiful who later signed to Creation.

More info on Freight Train @ the excellent Tamworth Bands website.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

THE SEEDS - Hollywood Bowl 29/4/1967

Back in the days when Myspace was a social networking facility to be reckoned with, a virtual friend from across the pond sent me a download link to this scarce set in the wake of Sky Saxon's passing.

Unlike the fraudulent Merlin's Music Box album, this is a genuine live recording, complete with real screaming female fans, made apparent - despite appearing to increase in both number and volume - by becoming progressively hoarse over the course of this short 25 minute set.

Originally a muffled 64kbps single file, I tinkered about with it on Nero 7 to create split mp3 files @ 128kbps without improving the sound that much, just a tad louder! It would be nice if a better quality version - or possibly other live shows - will feature in the forthcoming Ace/Big Beat reissue campaign.

While The Seeds back catalogue has been regularly recycled worldwide to feed the need of successive generations of music lovers, the group have largely been ill-served by these reissues - even the at-first-enticing Flower Punk box set merely rehashed the five original albums, plus the later Fallin' Off The Edge b sides comp, offering neither previously unreleased material or audio improvement.

Lapses in quality control seem to be a tradition stemming from their heyday - later albums would be padded out with out-takes from the first album (eg Out Of The Question on Future); a career-killing spoof blues album as their commercial success was in (ahem!) full bloom; and the aforementioned fake live set which contained a truncated 900 Million People Daily (All Makin' Love) - an incomprehensible editorial decision in the light of the full length (and screamless) version that eventually surfaced on the Travel With Your Mind cd - one of the few posthumous releases that dared to delve deeper into the archives - in the early nineties.

Finally, after several years of research and entangled legal wrangles, an expanded and definitive reissue series begins later this month with the eponymous debut receiving the deluxe edition treatment/suffix. Restored to its original mono mix form and bolstered by ten bonus tracks, seven of which are previously unreleased.  An unedited 14 minute Evil Hoodoo which first appeared on a 10" ep produced exclusively for Record Store Day in 2011, will also feature. Copies are available to preorder from the Ace Records website.

1. (rambling) Introduction  2. Tripmaker  3. Pushin' Too Hard  4. Mr. Farmer  5. Up In Her Room  6. Can't Seem To Make You Mine.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART - Loughborough University 15/11/1980

Since the release of the Grow Fins boxset - the first officially sanctioned overhaul of the much bootlegged Beefheart archive - in the late 90s, all manner of semi-legit cd reissues, cash-in biogs, and cheapo merchandise have surfaced in the declining music retail market - even more so in the first few weeks of 2011 following the good Captain's passing the previous December.

With few exceptions, these products of dubious authenticity and questionable quality are best avoided. Despite several concerts from Beefheart's final 1980/81 tour being usurped by amateur labels for the hard earned cash of the ardent fan, here's one concert I would snap up should it ever appear in physical format.

Live albums can be a mixed affair, often sourced direct from the soundboard or professionally sweetened in the studio to a commercially viable standard, usually emaciating the warts 'n all sound as experienced by a member of the audience. But this audience recording is of such exceptional fidelity, listening to the show on headphones it genuinely feels like you were actually there on the night! When the audience cheers ecstatically to the dying tremeloes of Big Eyed Beans From Venus it courses through your veins like a strong coffee on the morning after a heavy night on the real ale.

It's hard to conceive that this was recorded on a bog standard radio-cassette player of the time, so I can only assume that a student enrolled on a sound engineering course must have had access to the uni's state of the art recording equipment. Or maybe it was simply the acoustics in the venue were so good and the taper just happened to be in the right spot to authentically capture a truly great Magic Band performance on the night.

Whatever the source origination, any Beefheart fan hearing this show for the first time will not be disappointed.

Set list
1. Bass intro-Nowadays A Woman's Gotta Hit A Man  2. Abba Zaba  3. Hot Head  4. Ashtray Heart  5. Dirty Blue Gene  6. Best Batch Yet  7. Trust Us  8. Flavour Bud Living  9. Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles  10. One Red Rose That I Mean  11. Untitled poem  12. Doctor Dark  13. Bat Chain Puller  14. Old Fart At Play  15. My Human Gets Me Blues  16. Sugar 'n Spikes  17. Sheriff Of Hong Kong  18. Suction Prints  19. Big Eyed Beans From Venus.

Technical (!?) note: Box player doesn't support wma format, but as the sound quality was so great (even at a low bit rate),  I left the files as they are. Besides, this blogger never even owned a Walkman - let alone an ipod - so mp3s are kinda wasted on me.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

BOGSHED - Stow Hill Labour Club, Newport 23/12/1985

While we're on a Bogshed kick, here's some nice Sunday morning music for you, despite the fact that it displays Saturday at the top of the post.

Precious live recording of the Bogsters - no doubt reveling (even if the audience weren't) in their new found fame following the release of their debut ep, Let Them Eat Bogshed, and recording their first session for Peel a few weeks earlier - bringing some of their inimitable festive cheer on a cold winters eve to the good (and not so good) townsfolk of Newport.

Features three rare and unreleased tracks - including the infamous Amazing Roy North Penis Band -plus broken bass strings aswell as a member of the audience persitantly letting his feelings be known towards our heroes.

Set list:
1. Slave Girls  2. Panties Please 3. Hell Bent On Death  4. Hardly Manky  5. Thunderballs  6. Packed Lunch To School  7. Wally Walla  8. Hand Me Down Father  9. Can't Be Beat  10. The Amazing Roy North Penis Band.