Thursday, 29 November 2012

The McTells - Flexi Disc Ep 1986

If the DIY dream ended when Creation ceased releasing records in wraparound sleeves of the tinted zerox kind, and the bat wing sweater-attired Byrdsian chancers of the Sarah stable, whose psycholological stability largely depended on the state of the weather, made you happy to get scared, then Bi-Joopiter was the label of choice for you.

Initially operating as a cassette only label from their Hertford hideout, this was the first tentative foray into the vinyl medium, housed in packaging supplied by their local greengrocers, and including no less than four inserts.

Please have your original ten pence pieces at the ready for a bumpy ride across bygone microgrooves bursting with scratchy-stringed, nasally-blocked pop!

Track list:
1. Sometimes - The McTells
2. Virginia MC - The McTells
3. Creep - Rig Veda & The Twins

Detailed Bi-Joopiter discography here.

The McTells live summer 2012 on youtube!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

First Church Of Napoleon Solo - Debbydid (7" 1985)

Lentil-friendly psychedelia on a giro budget. From Essex.

Quite possibly the most strange and obscure curio to emerge from mid-eighties indiedom. In terms of oddity, one to rival Oshun's "Rattle Of Life" from the sixties garage compilation Pebbles Trash Box.

Strictly limited to a few hundred copies, each with hand-painted paper sleeves, the single was only available via mail order to the lucky few who chanced upon the "zine scene", which in my case was through the reviews section in the long defunct Zig Zag magazine.

It's tempting to romanticise the people behind this artefact as bedsit mystics, who'd genetically inherited the acid casualty ethos of their hippie parents, on a mission to expand the consciousness of a culturally undernourished eighties youth disillusioned with the saccharine pap of Stock, Aitken & Waterman and the flatulent synthetics of the ZTT roster. Reality is, they were probably a bunch of skint students attempting to relieve themselves of summer holiday listlessness, and no doubt garner kudos among fellow female classmates along the way.


Friday, 23 November 2012

The Dragsters - Albino (7" 1986)

Incredible as it may seem, but the post I present to you today features no involvement whatsoever from past, present - and quite possibly future - members of The Nightingales.

There were several bands trading as The Dragsters in the mid-late eighties, but these particular Dragsters hailed from Greenock, Scotland. Depending on your politics (as Leonard Cohen would say) they either had the most coolest/ridiculous nom de plumes - Vince Van Yak is arguably the greatest household name we never had.

Produced by David Keegan (Shop Assistants) and released on the Union City label (Snick 1), this was the first of three singles the band recorded before obscurity beckoned. The combined running time of the three songs just about clocks in at five minutes - less time than some a sides alone.

Beneath the humourous lyrics and quick-fire melodic rush, the song structures (most notably on the b sides) suggest these C86sters were no late jumpers to the Creation copyist wagon, and possibly liked their lemonade laced with bourbon shots and wore anoraks made from rattlesnake hyde.

Side 1: Albino

Thursday, 15 November 2012

The Nightingales - Thames Poly, London 25/1/1985

Summat for the weekend.

1. Part Time Moral England  2. Surplus and Scarcity  3. How To Age  4. Here We Go Now  5. Batchelor Land  6. Not Man Enough  7. Coincidence  8. unknown  9. It's A Cracker  10. CF intro  11. Crafty Fag  12. What A Carry On  13. Square Circle  14. Heroin  15. Urban Ospreys  16. encore break  17. First My Job  18. The Crunch

Saturday, 10 November 2012

The Nightingales - Glastonbury 1986

Sounds indeed!

This morning I received a nice bumper package of assorted sonic goodness (including no less than TEN Nightingales live sets) courtesy of Salop's geatest living man, Mr. Wazzer.

Here we find Rob Lloyd and band getting deep down dirty in the heart of the good old country way and shaking, rattling and rolling the chakras of many a longhair present in the process.

Critics and pundits may lay claim that the untelevised Pilton festival of the eighties was largely the domain of has been rockers and ageing folkie troubadours with restricted mobility wheeled out annually to top up their pensions in lieu of diminishing royalty cheques (bit like today then), but someone in the Family Eavis were down with the kids in the so-called indie summer of love.

Before Glastonbury became a civilised weekend break "worthy" (see what I did there) of respectable readers of The Independent, these were the days when weekend hippies would harvest the entire contents of their greenhouses to profit from the gullibility of thrill-seeking students; washing facilities had yet to be invented, and bottled water was strictly a luxury affordable only by the nouveau riche. If carrying a shovel seemed too arduous a task to tunnel under the woefully and laughably inadequate fence, a rope ladder would suffice. Not that I would know about these things: my first Glastonbury wasn't until 2000,  my last being 2002.

No doubt this recording has been knocking about on Dime for eons, but, as is my bent, I've tinkered about with the files, editing out any gaps inbetween tracks, dropping the pitch a notch, and generally compressing the fuck out of the original WAV files into mp3s, possibly at the expense of the enjoyment of those who may have heard the original files.

Not sure if this is the complete set; the tape starts going wonky midway through How To Age and abruptly fades out during No Can Do. Can't identify track 6: is it an unreleased song or an obscure early one that I've forgotten about? Nice to hear a version of Of Course You Can't, a song that would eventually appear on Lloyd's solo album in 1990.

1. Square Circle  2. The Bending End  3. Let's Surf  4. At The End Of The Day  5. Part Time Moral England  6. unknown  7. Of Course You Can't  8. How To Age  9. No Can Do

And if that wasn't enough, Mr. W. has also kindly sent me the complete second Peel session from 1981 with the correct version of Inside Out (turns out the one I had was the b side to Use Your Loaf). I've added these tracks to the relevant folder, but to save you scrolling down to the original post you can find them 'ere.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Nightingales - BBC Sessions Galore 1980-2012

A couple of sessions I obtained from Cliff Richards Neck. I've replaced some of the audio files with better quality versions. Several session tracks were commercially available on long out of print eps or tucked away on b sides. A handful of tracks may appear on current cd reissues. Any copyright jobsworths out there please contact me and I shall remove the offending files.


Start From Scratch, Butter Bricks, 12 Years, Torn

Return Journey, Inside Out, One Mistake, Bush Beat

Which Hi-Fi?, Give Em Time, My Brilliant Career, The Son Of Gods Mate

It Lives Again, Joking Apart, OK Chorale/The Crunch, Blood For Dirt

The Whys Of Acknowledgement, Yeah It's OK, The Bending End, Only My Opnion, Urban Ospreys

Look Satisfied, All Talk, Not Man Enough, This

Which Hi-Fi?, Not Man Enough, Surplus And Scarcity, Crafty Fag

How To Age, Part Time Moral England, Heroin, First My Job

Down In The Dumps, At The End Of The Day, Coincidence, Rockin' With Rita

The Best Of British Luck, Don't Harsh My Buzz, True Greatness*
*lead vocals (in German) by Ted Chippington.

We Turn Up, Born Yesterday, Real Gone Daddy, Grown So Ugly