Friday, 8 March 2013

Swell Maps - Friars, Aylesbury 10/11/1979

Swell Maps

I'm surprised the web isn't awash with Swell Maps live shows, even if they made precious few live appearances during their brief existance beyond their respective bedrooms. The only live set I have ever come across is up on youtube - the same set I'm posting here.

Although appearing to originate from the same source, unlike the youtube clip, my version is at the correct(ish) pitch - the group no longer sound like Pinky & Perky on the verge of puberty. Sound quality is a little rough, but the Maps energy and humour more than compensates.

On this particular night they were bottom of a bill that included Gang Of Four as headliners, and sandwiched inbeteen the two, none other than The Red Krayola . But judging by this performance they sure sound like they thought they were on top. And probably should have been.

1. intro
2. Let's Build A Car
 3. HS Art
4. New York
5. Read About Seymour
6. Another Song
 7. Helicopter Spies
8. Ammunition Train
9. Real Shocks
10. Secret Island/Midget Submarines
11. Full Moon In My Pocket/BLAM!!
12. Harmony In Your Bathroom
13. International Rescue

All three Peel sessions are now readily available on youtube, courtesy of Vibracobra23:





  1. Great, GREAT band - thanks for this - made me go and dig out my old Swell Maps records and play them.

    1. Wish I had more. And I wish someone would compile all singles in chronological order - Monologues and English Verse, the b sides to the UK version of Real Shocks, have still not been reissued on cd.

    2. I had an occasional correspondence with Jowe Head on Myspace a few years ago - plans were afoot to release the Peel sessions on cd. Dunno if it will happen. My fantasy Maps box set would consist of all the singles, Peel seshes, maybe a complete live concert and some more unrelesed bedroom recordings.

  2. Here's a great big kiss for this....X

    1. Which more than makes up for the lack of cards on Valentines Day :-)

  3. Belated thanks for this 'un - I've only just seen it.

    As you rightly point, there isn't nearly enough live Maps available online. I wrote to Nikki Sudden about live tapes, etc many years ago (I still have the letter somewhere) & he reckoned they were all unlistenable though, on relfection, I suspect he may just have been playing hard-to-get... :)

  4. I suspect Jowe Head may have been more obliging. I recall an interview he did for a New York radio station and mentioned he had hundreds of tapes stashed away at his secret hideout.

  5. p.s. I don't 'spose you have The Red Krayola's set from the Aylesbury show do you? (Just a thought... )

    1. Alas, no. But there is an interesting website about the venue with memorabilia from the show: