Thursday, 29 April 2010

Moon Unit

Just spent a pleasant while listening to the new Moon Unit LP "New Sky Dragon" on the excellent Krayon Recordings label of Bournemouth. As Crispy Ambulance once said: Not what I expected. What was I expecting? Something more in the way of Troum or Origami Galaktika maybe? What I heard though was the sound of a prog rock LP from the mid 1970's.
Vivid colour sleeve that evokes a Love LP, psychedelic chunder and lettering. Two side long tracks (that I imagine came from the same "jam") of heavy keyboard, tonal/prepared guitar and drums. It is the drums, the jazz fusion drums, the (at times) Level 42-cum-pre "Einstein A-Go-Go" Landscape drums that put this in the "file under prog" category. (Or in my collection file between The Monochrome Set and Anthony Moore). The sound surprised me, made me lift my head from the book I was reading (Devo biog. by the way) and listen with a smile. Greenslade, The Doors, Gentle Giant (pre-'78), Section 25 (Key Of Dreams), King Crimson - I heard all of that in there. So retro it sounds fresh.
Moon Unit used to be called The Nackt Insekten Trio - I should have expected a jazz type tinge. I recommend this LP. Google Krayon Recordings and purchase, the LP will be a great summer soundtrack.

1: Moon Unit soundcheck (from Krayon Recordings website).
2: "New Sky Dragon" sleeve.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

As far back as I can remember I have always been fascinated by "music". By "sound". Early memories of seeing The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown on TOTP doing "Fire", and Queen on the same programme doing "Seven Seas Of Rye"....I have been fascinated by music. I remember the first record I ever bought. Geordie "All Because Of You" single (EMI Records), got it from Boots The Chemist on Lincoln High Street. (Now the Job Centre). The internet tells me that this was February 1973. I would have been 11 years old. I was led (probably by my sister) in to "Rock Music" as it was then known. Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Queen - yes I was a big pre-teen Queen fan - etc. All my cash went on vinyl, posters, sew on patches and the like.
My tastes changed in the summer of '77 - out with "Cat Scratch Fever" and in with "Damned Damned Damned" - but still all the spare cash (from odd jobbing, paper rounding and stealing from Mother's purse) went on vinyl and the music weeklies.
This acts as a back story to the day when my record/cassette collection was stolen. Christmas 1983. I was away from my flat in Manchester when the event occurred. 6 years of collecting gone. Not insured just gone. Words cannot describe the feeling. It was more than a feeling. (Bet you're singing that song now). The guy I was sharing the flat with also suffered the same fate (although he was insured). Strangely enough the only thing left in the flat was a tape of Aztec Camera and The Farmers Boys! It took me a while, maybe a couple of years before I seriously started buying records/cassettes again and then in 1990 whilst I was walking my (then) girlfriend to Victoria Station (still in Manchester) it happened again.
Moving to York and the home of Red Rhino Records I began what is now collection #3 and with the invention of the internet (not my idea, but a good one) re-purchasing some of my '77-'83/'85-'90 collection has been made easy...albeit costly! For three years most of my wages was filtered through E Bay. (I don't "do" E Bay anymore, now I rely on second hand vinyl shops and record fairs).

I was in Exeter at the weekend and walked in to Martian Records, the shop round the corner from The Cavern. They used to sell new CD's but now have ventured in to second hand vinyl. I bought "Messages" 7" by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark for 50p. Mint copy too. bargain.
Now this bit is going to be difficult to explain, but..... When it comes to re-purchasing some of my old '77-'83 records I find I simply can't do it mainly because the band/singer/whatever has since proven themselves to be wank/twats/whatever. For example - Tubeway Army, Generation X, The Jam and New Order. It has taken me ages to get the first three Cure albums and "Reel To Real Cacophony" LP by Simple Minds. (discussed elsewhere). Some re-purchases are easy, like Adam & The Ants, The Human League and Psychedelic Furs because their 1980's incarnations are totally different bands and personnel etc. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark where a could I / should I buy again group. Until last Sunday that was.
I used to have the first three singles by Orchestral Manoeuvres, the first was on Factory Records and that was a label I collected. I remember when they first appeared in "Sounds" paper shortly after they had changed their name from The iD. The paper was doing a piece on new Liverpool music and there was Mr. McCluskey with long curly hair a la Robert Plant (and a la myself in 1976)! The name attracted me. Back in 1979 they were experimental electronics. I saw Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark live in 1979, supporting Gary Numan on his "The Pleasure Principle" tour. October 6th, 1979, Aylesbury Friars. I travelled all the way from Lincoln to Aylesbury to see Gary Numan get "blown off the stage" by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. Two guys and a Revox called Winston. Excellent stuff. I don't remember much about the gig other than standing in a long queue outside the venue and this rumour, this Chinese whisper, going down the line that they are checking ID for underage punters. Numan had since made it big with the "Are Friends Electric" single so there were a lot of "kids" wanting to get in and because Friars was a licenced venue no one under 18 was allowed in. I was 16. Luckily me and my friends (Mick Campion + Dave Risebrow) had been quaffing in the Green Man pub (their jukebox used to be a chart in Zig-Zag mag) and we stank so much of cheap lager we must have passed for adults! And that is really about all I remember - that and being an Orchestral fan.
"Messages" is a great single. A great synth-pop single. No cheesy '80's production just a great sing-a-long song. Could be Eyeless In Gaza! No hint of "Enola Gay" or "Sailing On The Seven Seas" etc. I feel I can buy the other two missing singles. Used to have "Red Frame/White Light" on 12" vinyl.
Now...what's my thoughts on Blancmange?

1: "Messages" sleeve.
2: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark 1979.
3: The iD.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010


2010 is an active year for Harbinger Sound. As the catalogue reaches its' one hundredth release Steve (Underwood) is clearing the path for the mighty Harbinger Sound 20xLP box set. He has put out half a dozen releases already this year...and it is not even the end of April.
A package came through yesterday including the S.P.I.T.E. 12" ep "Violence".
S.P.I.T.E. are a new one on me. This record is a re-release of the 1982 cassette originally released by Broken Flag Records. S.P.I.T.E. was the solo project from Ramleh member Gary Mundy. Simply packaged in a white cover with a rubber stamp the 12" comes with no information (except a free Ramleh poster advertising the new CD Box set "Awake"!). I imagine that the original cassette came with typical Broken Flag art work of WW2 atrocities, or the face of a serial killer or likewise and the title "Violence" would have seemed quite apt. Take away that and what we have is quite a mellow sound of a Korg Synth (and/or WASP) going through a variety of pitchshifting and phasing and the odd echoed vocal swimming around the back. No sound of "Violence". It is good stuff, and a worthy release cut direct to vinyl from the cassette - no remastering here. It does take me back to the early 1980's when a group of us discovered the likes of Ramleh, MB, Lustmord, Whitehouse etc and got excited by this "new" sound.

The record is limited to 200 copies and probably sold out by the time I've finished typing this!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

International Discography Of The New Wave (Volume 2)

Mentioned in a previous entry that I would "kill" for a copy of this book - no need, I found a copy going secondhand on the Internet. Westworld books of Streatham Hill - Thank You!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Godiva Rocked To A Backbeat

Coventry. I spent a long weekend in Coventry in the summer of 2005. Tamsin and I were in the area for a wedding and we decided to stay an extra couple of days to experience the city of Coventry. Mistake. Coventry can be experienced in a few hours. Nice cathedral, stained glass work is stunning and a walk around the old cathedral ruins was pleasant, but that was all Coventry had to offer. No independent record shops or secondhand vinyl sellers....It was a long weekend. Somewhere on the outskirts of the city there was a field that hosted a "free festival" whilst we were there. One of those days run by the local council. Local bands, local beer and food, Police motorcycle display team etc. There was a comedy tent where Adam Bloom headlined and Michael McIntyre was bottom of the bill - that was entertaining...but not why I am writing here.
Whilst going around the city centre we chanced upon a book shop that sold graphic novels (the sort that Tamsin likes) and I saw the book "Godiva Rocks", a history of Coventry music from the 1960's through to the mid 1980's. It looked interesting, but for some reason I didn't buy and regretted. Until. I found "Godiva Rocked To A Backbeat" the second edition of "Godiva Rocks" by Pete Chambers the other week.
Peter used to write a music column called "Backbeat" in the local Coventry paper "Coventry Telelgraph". The book is a page-by-page directory of all the bands he featured in his column. Fascinating stuff. The 60's is all beat groups and rock n' roll bands, a lot of them cutting the one single for Pye Records or Decca before sinking in to WMC + oblivion. The 70's and Coventry was alive with prog rockers like The Rainbows (big in Germany) and Fagin Quill, also chart toppers Lieutenant Pigeon and Peter Waterman! Lieutenant Pigeon were an offshoot from the fantastically named Stavely Makepeace - a serious rock band. I didn't know that, and as information I find it fascinating. Then we go in to the 80's with The Flys, Eyeless In Gaza (OK they're Nuneaton but the "Telegraph" had a wide readership), Squad, Criminal Class and (of course) The Specials. For two days this book was unputdownable and made me smile and titter on many an occasion. Recommended.

I like local papers - rather like local news bulletins - I find the perochiality highly fascinating and amusing. I think it is just me......When (in 1997) I returned to Lincoln I wanted Dieter Muh in the local paper; "Lincolnshire Echo", and succeeded when I went in to the offices and demanded to see the Editor of the "music page". I was advertising the recently released "Black Square" CD + our show at Grafton House. There was some young lass sat at a desk making feverish noted whilst i rattled on about Muh history, name dropping and giving here some sort of picture as to how huge we were! Poor lass, probably only took the job for free CD's and tickets to the gigs at Rock me it was mission accomplished when there was a column on the page about Dieter Muh. (A better feeling than being in "The Wire" I can tell you). Same when I moved down to Devon. I got in touch with David Lowe of "The Lowdown" column in the Torbay local "Herald Express"...I wish I had the clipping as he called me a genius!

1: Cover to "Godiva Rocked To A Backbeat"
2: Clipping from the "Lincolnshire Echo". 1998.

Monday, 19 April 2010


Acting as a guide to Devon....if ever in this neck of the woods I do recommend a day trip to Torcross. Situated in the South Hams, just down the coast from Dartmouth and East of Plymouth. The scenery is breath taking, and is a noted area of outstanding beauty in Devon. Head for Strete and there is a winding road down the cliff to Slapton Ley where the thin road has a huge lake on the right and a shingle beach on the left, and at the end is the small hamlet of Torcross. (3 pubs, 1 post office, a church and a few holiday homes). The beach itself is about 3 miles long...stunning. The view is the open sea with Start Point lighthouse to the right and Blackpool sands to the left.
We arrived early and ordered our lunch at the Start Bay. Excellent veggie menu and quite reasonable.
The beach is "famous" for the WW2 catastrophe that was Exercise Tiger where a thousand American marines died in a D-Day training exercise. The beach is similar to that of UTAH beach in Normandy, so the locals where shipped out and the US Army were shipped in, but during the training German E Boats spotted the US boats and torpedoed them and at the same time the British Army where firing live ammunition at the marines (on orders) so they knew what "real warfare" would be like. Crazy but true. Most marines died of hypothermia in the sea awaiting rescue and a lot died because of ill fitting life jackets that turned the soldier on his stomach so he automatically drowned. I am not making this up!
There was a UK + USA cover up for years, until local man Ken Small surfaced a USA Sherman Tank and built a memorial for the dead.....Fascinating stuff.
On the opposite side is the expansive Marshland called Slapton Ley. Lots of ducks and geese and swans etc. Also lots of midges, so we kept clear.

Like I mentioned, if down this way and need a place to chill with a reasonably priced pint - visit Torcross.

1: Tamsin & Oscar at the Sherman Tank memorial.
2: Oscar at the Start Bay Inn.
3: Isabel, Tamsin and a partial Oscar on the beach.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Don't Dance....Collide

Just finished reading "Independence Days (The Story Of UK Independent Record labels)" by Alex Ogg. My second Ogg book after "No More Heroes". Excellent book that for the last two months has been unputdownable. Excellently written, researched and set out in a chronological way that it all makes sense, this has been my favourite read for quite some time. Alex covers the history of the independent label from the birth of vinyl through the 1940's - Joe Meek in the 1960's and the birth of Virgin and Island Records all in a couple of chapters before he begins the "real" story.
The story begins with Chiswick Records, home of two of the finest; Johnny Moped and The Stukas....well there was also The Damned but they never released ought decent after the "Music For Pleasure" LP on Stiff. (Mmmmmm...discuss). Then comes Stiff Records - which is where I come in to the story really because I got "New Rose" 7" on release. Stiff did have other fine releases like Wreckless Eric's "Whole Wide World" and "Stateless" LP by Lene Lovich - which I bought in Toronto a couple of years ago and still love - and Ian Dury (of course), but they were never a label to collect unlike Rough Trade, Small Wonder, Mute Records, Factory Records, Crass label and Fast Product. the stories of which are all covered + in-depth. Back in 1978 when all I had to rely on was John Peel and the weekly inkies like "Sounds" and "N.M.E." collecting the output of labels was a necessity. The early (or mid '70's) independents didn't have much of an identity, not until the likes of Mute, Factory, Rough Trade etc came along. It was a case of - if it is on Rough Trade I'll buy it. There was obviously the dip (Silicon Teens with Mute springs to mind) but I did use to buy label releases. What I love about this book is that it also covers the really minor labels like Heartbeat, Fried Egg, Industrial Records, The Label etc. All fascinating stories.
So where did it all go wrong? It seems to be when the "major" independents tried to act like major labels and create their own distro and cut out the majors. Try and get their goods in Woolworths and WH Smiths. My thought ... If you want the type of person who buys their vinyl at Woolworths, WH Smiths then you're obviously making the wrong record! Still. Also the set up of The Cartel is where business men came involved, Folk who did not like the product they were doing business with - music - just folk who wanted to make money, and basically they ruined the scheme of things. There is one label that comes out of the story with shiny boots and a big smile on their face and that is Cherry Red Records. (Just go and put the kettle on whilst I check who published this book....ahhhhh, Cherry Red).
The book also mentions the like of Deleted Records, Fuck Off and Mole Embalming and kind of dips a small toe in to the cassette "scene" that sprang up in the late 1970's.
It really is comprehensive and a necessity!
With the recent death of Malcom McLaren and the obituaries that say he invented "punk" etc - nice story, but "punk" was not the story of Sex Pistols and The Clash etc. They both signed for thousands of £'s to major record companies. If anything - the people we have to thank are the likes of The Desperate Bicycles, Daniel Miller and Buzzcocks. (OK - they signed to a major but not until after "Spiral Scratch").
There are no pictures in this book - just filled with information. At the start of the year I got the "Last Shop Standing" book - the story of the independent record shop, I had to give up on this book as it just didn't do what it said on the jacket! If you want to read about independent labels, shops and the people/bands involved then get this book.

Back in 1979 I began my own independent label. "Don't Dance....Collide". It lasted for one promotions night and one compilation cassette release.
Back then I used to follow my Brother-In-Law's power punk band Collide all over the dives and crypts of Lincolnshire. Sunday Night residencies at Nottingham's Hearty Goodfellow supporting Medium Medium, Tuesday Night residencies at Lincoln's Cornhill Vaults with The Void to (even) supporting The Fall on their "Dragnet" tour at Retford Porterhouse. I went from uberfan to live sound engineer, even went to Playground Studio in Wragby to watch them record a "professional" demo. Still got the tape! What Chuck Warner would give for that now, eh? Any way. The Collide demo got rejections, so i decided to put it out as a cassette release and created the label Don't Dance....Collide, the phrase coming from how John (Head Collider and said Brother-In-Law) used to introduce the band. 1980 saw a huge home tape label boom in the UK. I became part of it. As a label introduction I compiled the first release also featuring North Hykeham punk band The Exitz and my project ESP Diskord.
The Exitz featured Mark Collins (an old school friend) on guitar and future BBC Radio Lincolnshire DJ Shaun Peel on vocals...although he doesn't like you mentioning that.
ESP Diskord was myself and Dave Uden. There was a third person involved; Rosemary Ingleton but I don't think she made it on to the cassette release, but I could be wrong.
So the label was set and cassette was ready to go on sale. To celebrate I hired a venue to put on a release party - the sports hall of NKS School in North Hykeham. Not quite the glamour of Retford Porterhouse or even Lincoln's leading venue "A.J's" - but cheap! Problem being now was that Collide and The Exitz suddenly split. Ceased to be!! And we couldn't play because Rosemary was on holiday with her Mum & Dad. (Greece I think). So Dave and I held a promotion "party" with non of the "acts" that were on "Don't Dance.....Collide". We had Sinking Ships and The Cigarettes from Dead Good Records, The Void and Shaun Peel's latest group Vox Populi, all going through Collide's P.A. A good night out. So next was the cassette release.
Taking complete inspiration from the Fast Product "The Quality Of Life No. 2" the cassette came in a clear A4 plastic bag with lots of pieces of paper, lyrics, artwork, and even a badge. (homemade). All for £1 including P+P. I only advertised in "Sounds" but as a stroke of luck John Peel mentioned the cassette on his show. I never heard it myself but the drummer from The Exitz (whose name I have forgotten) phoned Mark Collins who phoned me to tell me! I remember getting a letter from a punter saying that they had heard the tape mentioned on "Peel" and that "John Peel had said that he thought ESP Diskord sounded like Buzzcocks". High praise indeed - if a little off the mark. The cassette sold about 15 or 16 copies. I had a bank account with the TSB at the time and some Norwegian guy had mailed cash in an envelope, so I went to get the money transferred to £ sterling and it cost me more than the note was worth to get it exchanged....Then came a couple of letters of disappointment from folk, strangely enough liking ESP Diskord but not The Exitz or Collide.
The next Don't Dance Collide release was to be a 10xC60 cassette box. My mother worked for an opticians at the time and the boxes that compact lenses came in were ideal for a 10xC60 release and to me they were free - but t'was never to be..both Dave and I lost interest in the admin - then...we split up!! (for a few months).
The label got a mention in one of the greatest books ever published. "The International Discography Of The New Wave" by B. George. The cassette was also mentioned in the "ZigZag Small Labels Catalogue" - I think Mr. George got his info from there but I did get an invite to the book launch party at Heaven Ultradisco in London (late 1982) - S.P.K. + Virgin Prunes live!! Didn't go........ About 10 years ago I gave the book to Steve Underwood - would kill for a copy now of course.

I don't have a copy of the "Don't Dance.....Collide" cassette. It is on my "desperate wants list" along with the cassette "ND7" (with I.B.F.). If googled the cassette turns up on other folks "wants lists" too.....There must be copies (or A COPY) out there.

1: "Independence Days" cover.
2: E.S.P. Diskord artwork. (1980). (Steve Cammack).
3: E.S.P. Diskord artwork. (1980). (Steve Cammack).

Sunday, 11 April 2010


This year I have been getting "back into" the sound of Cloama. I have been attracted by two 7" releases I spotted on the Internet.
I used to follow the releases of Cloama up until about 3 / 4 years ago when I got the Grunt/Cloama CD and the "Revisionist Knowledge" CD, both Freak Animal Records releases. These two were (exciting as they sound) quite disappointing and standard fayre, and as the world is full of "standard fayre" ... and I can listen to only so much in what is a very shortening lifetime, I decided to leave Cloama alone. It was in the Unrest Productions catalogue that I spotted the "Death Certificate" 7"EP and both the title " Rat With A Human Face" and the description "Cloama Unplugged" grabbed me. I liked the idea of Cloama "Unplugged". The 7" is excellent. "Rat With A Human Face" is acoustic. Scraped and beaten percussion over the vocal. The B-Side (2 tracks) contains "Death Certificate" - a return to Cloama of old, guitar driven and very powerful. Old school Power Electronics - if there is such a thing? The 7" is limited to 250 copies and well worth the money.
The latest acquisition is the split 7"/CDr with UK based Mutant Ape, and on the Turgid Animal label. Last year I was talking to someone (physically chatting as in face to face not Internet chatting or e-mithering) and I can't remember who but we got on to the subject of Turgid Animal and this person said it was a shit label releasing shit. I didn't cut in and mention I've a couple of Dilloway 7"'s and a Culver 7" on the label that I think are fine releases, just let the person carry on and nodding politely. I wish I could remember who it was as it is bugging me now! Anyway. Turgid Animal, a label ran by George Proctor AKA Mutant Ape. I met George once in London when he was co-promoting the Dieter Muh / Skullflower gig at St. Giles In The Field church. Big lad with a lovely Yorkshire brogue. True, Turgid Animal has put out some things that (on paper) look poor, but what I have on the label I'm very happy with.
The Cloama track "Procedure Dementia" is a lovely piece of old Industrialia. It does sound like early SPK. Excellent pointy guitar loop/riff with garbled voices and a bank of distorto noise. It is like Cloama of old. The excellent LP on Blade Records or the 7" on Cipher Prod. Lovely stuff. The Mutant Ape track is OK, and the accompanying CDr is pretty disposable. The CDr "Dementia" is a 27 minute remix of both tracks which takes me back to the Cloama of "Revisionist Knowledge" etc. I think the 7" is limited (again) to 250 copies and if seen cheap (mine was a fiver) then buy it for the Cloama track alone. There is a full CD on Turgid Animal to follow.

I was introduced (literally) to Cloama in 2000. We played on the same billing at "Kaos Ex-Machina 1" in Mantsala, Finland. Cloama is the side project of STROM e.c. member Jasse Tuuku. Previously I had been listening to a lot of what is now known as Power Electronics. Stuff like Genocide Organ, Soldnergeist, Drape Excrement, Einleitungszeit, Putrefier, Con-Dom etc. After spending a long time not listening to music at all, then hearing a lot of stuff that was catagorized as "Jap Noise" - which (with me) did not always hit the nail on the head - then hearing the likes of the aforementioned it was like a natural progression (in sound) of late 1970's "industrial" music. STROM e.c. where in that group too. On that night in Mantsala Cloama did a set with Mikko Aspa on balaclava, oil drum and vocals, and STROM e.c. were blinding. I was a convert to live power electronics.
I saw Cloama live again in Leeds 2004 where Jasse made mincemeat of The Bongerleros (could be miss spelt) and US comedy act Slogun. Grunt were also on the same night making the same kind of mincemeat.

I shall keep an ear out for the Cloama album on Turgid Animal, I suggest all to do the same.

1: "Death Certificate" 7" Sleeve, Freak Animal Records. 2009.
2: "Dementia" CDr artwork.
3: "Dementia" 7" Sleeve, Turgid Animal Records. 2010.

Monday, 5 April 2010

The Sound Of Lithuania #2

Received my second package from Lithuania last week. A trade off with the magazine "Terror". As the world waits for the magazine "As Loud As Possible", two magazines dealing within the similar area/topic/genre (whatever) have come out. Mikko's "Special Interests" and "Terror" from Lithuania. Both magazines are A5. Packed full of interviews and reviews and has such small print that I have to strain my eyes to read even wearing my glasses! "Terror" features interviews with projects with silly names such as The Hum Of The Druid, Clew Of Thesus and Molester. I also note that most of the projects featured perform or have their pictures taken wearing masks and/or hoods. One chap even poses with a pair of black tights on his head. That made me smile... I've been dipping in and out of the magazine over the past few days and although none of the interviews have made me think I must hear them I have enjoyed the read. Extensive reviews and I have learnt that there is a Survival Unit double CD called "Fentanyl Martyrs" that I want. I will buy issue #2.
Also in the package was the latest cassette release by Lithuanian noise/power electronic project Pogrom whose split release with Oorchach I really enjoy. "Liberal Cunt" on Suomi label Filth And Violence. This full release is a little disappointing. Two long untitled pieces a side, side 1 starts in the USA PE vein. It sounds like Slogun. And Slogun, to me, sound like a poor man's Con-Dom. It ends on a high note of "old school" industrial style metal percussion and noise. Side two is the sound of violent sex and child birth with synth noodling and the odd cries of a baby. Yeah, that's what I thought.....Throbbing Gristle managed it to perfection with "Oltre La Morte/Birth And Death" on the album "Journey Through A Body". (1982).
Also in the package was a promo CD of Girnu Giesmes called "Sau Krastas" (roughly translated means "Yourself Crust"). Girnu Giesmes is a project from Lithuanian artist Laurynas Jukonis who began making sound in 1996. (This CD was released last year). Only 40 minutes long. Five pieces of deep ambient electronic drones. Very bleak, cold feeling sounds. Very spacial. I played it loud and enjoyed - a good discovery. I think it is on sale via Discogs for 4 Euros or something as daft.
There was also a Budrus CD in with the package, all in all good stuff - I await another package soon!

1: Cover of "Terror" magazine.
2: Cover of Pogrom cassette "Liberal Cunt". (Filth & Violence).
3: Laurynas Jukonis.
4: Cover of "Sau Krastas" CD.

Not Now...Norman...

As a sad addendum to the previous post. I bought the Helm LP from the mail order service - Norman Records. (I think they are in Leeds). I was going to get the LP from Unrest Prod. but was swayed towards Norman Records as they were also selling the CD by Neil Campbell & Campbell Kneale. The 2003 New Zealand release which I thought I may never see again (classic release by the way and if you see it - buy it)! Anyway - the LP was £12.79 + P+P and arrived damaged. The sleeve has a tear along the top with a crushed spine, wear on the bottom of the sleeve and a creased aperture. I took pictures and E Mailed to Norman Records, who have replied implying it was damaged in transit - which I find hard to believe as it was in a sturdy mailer. They want me to post the sleeve back (at my cost) for a replacement sleeve. The pictures taken prove it was damaged and I think they should offer me credit or post me a replacement sleeve. Shoddy service and a shame. The Helm LP now sits in my collection (between Jowe Head + The Homosexuals) like an old secondhand record bought in a charity shop rather than the brand spanking new LP it is.
I shall never use Norman Records again (a shame as their Dilloway/Astral Social Club stock is rather good), instead I'll stick with Second Layer and Unrest Prod. 2 of the finest distro outlets in the UK.
Take note.

(It's my blog + I'll whinge if I want to - to paraphrase Barbara Gaskin).

Sunday, 4 April 2010


I must say that I had heard of Luke Younger but had not heard any Luke Younger, the same as I have heard of Birds Of Delay but not heard any Birds Of Delay. I even have a sneaking feeling that I have met Luke at a gig in London, maybe TG in Heaven or Con-Dom in Stockwell? Either way when buying this LP I had no idea it was the work of Luke. What attracted me was the cover. It just simply jumped out at me. It has the look of an LP sleeve of the mid 1980's. One of those albums I would see in Fon Records or Eastern Bloc (when it opened on the top floor of Affleck's Palace) one day, scrape the pennies to buy and it would be gone on returning. Looks like an album by Pornosect or Tibetan Red or Seven Horns Da Ho or MB. You get the gist.
I do sometimes buy on the way a record/release looks. Discovered BBBlood and Pogrom recently that way.
The vinyl does not let the sleeve down. "To An End" on Alter/Peasant Magik is one of the best albums I have heard in a while - certainly this year. A very satisfying feeling, like when I heard Aaron Dilloway's "Infinite Lucifer" last year - a hidden gem. "To An End" is two long (untitled) pieces. Side One starts with a cough. A clearing of the throat. I've not got many records with coughs on - Derek + Clive and The Hysterics spring to mind, but this is the best record I have with a cough on it. For the next twenty odd minutes the cough is transformed and modulated through a manner of effects whilst scraped strings and other "magical sounds" weave in and out. Whilst sitting listening I was reminded of the Psychic TV "Themes" series, as well as Organum and early Column One work. When the piece finished I was left with that feeling: How the hell did that journey begin? I love it when that happens. Side Two is a more of a meaty drone piece that would not be a miss on a Soviet France LP (think "Eostre" or "Shouting At The Ground"). It sounds live, at some points on the point of disappearing in to a wall of feedback, sometimes like it is going to collapse - it ends in some mechanical breakdown. Once again, the needle hit the record for a second trip. Excellent stuff.
Now I want to hear more Luke Younger stuff. I've ordered the split Birds Of Delay / Family Battle Snake 7" from Tome Records...

I wonder if he plays live?

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Loose end Saturday. We were to try and get to Plymouth but indecision and a grotty weather forecast changed our minds. For the past seven weeks we have become a car owning family, and on loose end Saturdays Devon + Cornwall has become our oyster. Today we decided to play it close and head for Kingswear, neither of us (Tamsin (the wife) and I) having ever been there before and it being 30 or so minutes drive from Hartop Towers.
Kingswear is in a district of Devon known as the South Hams and lies across the river from Dartmouth. Apart from a couple of shops; the Post Office and the Kingswear Teddy Bear Centre and two pubs - one of which allows dogs but not children there is nothing to Kingswear. I have done longer farts than the time it took to walk around Kingswear.
There is however the ferry across the River Dart to Dartmouth. (£1.10 single - no return tickets). We went to Dartmouth once in 2008 and I vowed then "never again". There is nothing to Dartmouth, but with an afternoon to "kill" we found ourselves on the ferry across the Dart. There is nought of interest in Dartmouth. No second hand vinyl shops. just the one charity shop that is so ridiculously expensive (Cancer Research) it might as well cut the crap..... All other shops are designer clothes, designer jewellery or little "art" galleries selling over priced pictures of boats by "local artists". Vegetarians can not eat out in Dartmouth. We have tried it twice now. The arts centre/indie cinema (Showing "Nanny McPhee + The Big Bang") cafe is Ham and Fish orientated - we made for The Royal Castle Inn (wish it was the Roy Castle Inn but never mind) for a meal that was delicious but cost a weeks beer ration! There is a meat market and a castle to visit - the castle is way down the river and requires a car....The streets are too narrow and Dartmouth is full of old folk pushing other old folk around in wheelchairs dressed in nautical gear (Blue&White hooped shirts, white slacks etc) and stopping without warning. Infuriating - and did I mention they have no second hand vinyl shops?

If ever visiting Devon, please avoid Kingswear + Dartmouth your time will be better spent elsewhere I promise you......

1: Kingswear.
2: Tamsin and Isabel on the Ferry (Dartmouth in the background).
3: Myself in a ruin. (And probably a puddle of dog piss).

Thursday, 1 April 2010


Eight AM, Kitchen, Hartop Towers. The whole family has gathered;

Me: "Today Is somebody's birthday."
Oscar: "Who"?
Trin + Me: "Happy Birthday To You, Happy Birthday To You, Happy Birthday Dear Bodges, Happy Birthday To You"
Oscar: "Does he get any cake"?
Me: "No".
Oscar: "What does he get"?
Trin: "Fed before you"!

Our beloved cat Bodges is one today. He came to us last December from a cats home in Maidencombe. He's fitted in quite well. Certainly not a lap cat, very independent and hardly seen between meal times. He hardly shits in his litter tray and never on the back lawn so he must be doing it elsewhere on someone else's patch. Result.
Why Bodges?

"Bodges? Bodges? You Can Keep Your Steenkin' Bodges" - "Blazing Saddles" (I think taken from Eli Wallach in "Treasure Of The Sierra Madre" but I could be wrong).


Bodges this morning with Oscar.