Thursday, 8 August 2013

Jasmine Minks - Living Room, London 8/6/1984


The Jasmine Minks were perhaps the great white hopes on the early roster of the fledgling Creation label. Legend (i.e. bullshit) has it that Alan McGee discovered the group after hearing sweet sounds emanating from a damp 'n fusty garage in the bad part of town and signed them on the spot.

Debut single Think! was released in spring 1984, the fourth Creation 7" and the first that wasn't a shambling vanity project of McGee's mates. Despite the giro-budget quality of the recording which didn't do the song justice, it seems the Minks were ahead of the pack when it came to songcraft and musicianship, and with the unique and distinctive soulful voice of Jim Shepherd, a singer who could REALLY sing.

However, on the night of this gig, McGee would prioritise his passions towards a young, undernourished bunch of social misfits from East Kilbride: The Jesus and Mary Chain.

By the end of 1984, The Minks would have the distinction of having the first non-various artists album released on Creation, albeit in the form of the ubiquitous mini-lp, which contained just six song, including both sides of second single Where The Traffic Goes.

A proposed Spiral Scratch-inspired 4 track ep was recorded and then left languishing in the vaults for several months, eventully surfacing in summer 1985 as What's Happening with just two tracks. Towards the end of the year they began recording their debut lp, originally titled Everybody's Got To Grow Up Sometime. However, McGee was unhappy with some of the songs, and the eponymously-titled album which emerged in spring 1986 was re-sequenced with two songs (Cold Heart, Forces Network) that had been recorded over a year prior to the album's release.

Adam Sanderson quit the group soonafter, but the group remained loyal to Creation and released another two albums by the end of the decade before going on an extended hiatus throughout the nineties. In 2012, the original line up reformed playing a handful of gigs, and recently have been recording new songs at home, some of which are available on Soundcloud via their Facebook page.

I've not previously stumbled upon any Jasmine Minks live recordings on t'net, and while this audience recording is decent enough, there is a distinct lack of bass. Highlights of the tape include two unreleased Minks originals, Cold Logic and Don't Wait Too Long, plus a cover of We The People's In The Past. You can almost count the number of people in attendance by the sparsity of applause. In addition to JAMC, The Loft were also on the bill - presumably recordings of these sets must exist in someone's stair cupboard somewhere.

The Thirty Second Set Up
What's Gone Wrong
Work For Nothing
In The Past
Somers Town
Mr. Magic
Cold Heart
Cold Logic
Think!
Don't Wait Too Long
Where The Traffic Goes

2 comments:

  1. Hello, thanks for this, I'll give it a listen.
    I was not at the Living Room that night (probably gave it a pass in favour of a game of bridge or of basket-ball), so I only caught JAMC's second gig the next day, opening for Khartomb and 1000 Mexicans, with probably not many more people in attendance.
    "Don't wait too long" is not unreleased : it was recorded later on "Another age".
    The picture shown was not taken at the Living Room. It's from 1984 alright, but later in the year in Reims, on Nov. 3rd, right at the end of Creation's first European tour package with Biff, Bang, Pow ! and The Jasmine Minks.

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  2. Thanks for the info. I must admit I've never heard Another Age or Scratch The Surface.

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