Archive for November, 2009

Nico – Island Records – 1974

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

It Has Not Taken Long / Secret Side / You Forgot To Answer / Innocent And Vain / Valley Of The Kings

We’ve Got The Gold / The End / Das Lied Der Deutschen

Nico’s uncompromising and absolutely vital fourth solo LP is uploaded today rather than the usual crash, bang, wallop…

This LP was recorded in 1973 at Sound Techniques in London, and was produced by John Cale who also performed most of the instruments alongside Brian Eno in the studio sessions. A couple of years later Brian Eno would produce and perform in the studio for the sessions that gave birth to the Thin White Duke’s best work, ‘Low’ and ‘Heroes’. Eno’s solo LP from 1975, ‘Another Green World’ is also a class vinyl outing. Seemingly this period in Eno’s life was most productive indeed. Another ex-Roxy Music member was also involved in the sessions that produced these tracks. Phil Manzanera performed all the guitar parts. Nico performs vocal parts on all the compositions with grace and maturity. She also performs all the harmonium parts.

Listening to this work is an unforgetable experience.

Text below ripped from allmusic.com.

It is one of the most entrenched visions in the rock critic’s vocabulary; Nico as doomed valkyrie, droning death-like through a harsh gothic monotone, a drained beauty pumping dirges from her harmonium while a voice as old as dirt hangs cobwebs round the chords. In fact she only made one album which remotely fits that bill, this one, and it’s a symbol of its significance that even the cliché emerges as a thing of stunning beauty.

Her first album following three years of rumor and speculation, “The End” was consciously designed to highlight the Nico of already pertinent myth. Stark, dark, bare, and frightening, the harmonium dominant even amid the splendor of Eno’s synthesized menace, John Cale’s childlike piano, and Phil Manzanera’s scratchy, effects-whipped guitar, it is the howling wind upon wuthering heights, deathless secrets in airless dungeons, ancient mysteries in the guise of modern icons. Live, Nico took to dedicating the final cut, a sparse but heartstoppingly beautiful interpretation of the former German national anthem, to terrorist Andreas Baader, even as the song itself conjured demons of its own from an impressionable Anglo-American audience. Nico later admitted she intended the performance in the same spirit as Jimi Hendrix rendered “Star Spangled Banner.” But “Das Lied Der Deutschen”. “Deutschland Uber Alles” has connotations which neither tribute nor parody could ever undermine. It is only in the ’90s that even Germany has reclaimed the anthem for its own. In 1974, it was positively leperous. Listen without prejudice, though, and you catch Nico’s meaning regardless, even as her voice tiptoes on the edge of childlike, all but duetting with the little girl she once was, on a song which she’d been singing since the cradle.

The ghosts pack in. Former lover Jim Morrison haunts the stately “You Forgot To Answer,” a song written about the last time Nico saw him, in a hired limousine on the day of his death; of course he reappears in the title track, an epic recounting of the Doors’ own “The End,” but blacker than even they envisioned it, an echoing maze of torchlit corridors and spectral children, and so intense that, by the time Nico reaches the “mother…father” passage, she is too weary even to scream. The cracked groan which emerges instead is all the more chilling for its understatement, and the musicians were as affected as the listener. The mutant funk coda with which the performance concludes is more than an incongruous bridge. It is the sound of the universe cracking under the pressure.

But to dwell on the fear is to overlook the beauty, “The End”, first and foremost, is an album of intimate simplicity and deceptive depths. Nico’s voice stuns, soaring and swooping into unimagined corners. No less than “Das Lied Der Deutschen,” both “Valley Of The Kings” and “It Has Not Taken Long” make a mockery of the lazy critical complaints that she simply grumbled along in a one-note wail, while the arrangements (most of which were Nico’s own; producer Cale admits he spent most of his time in the studio simply marveling) utterly rerout even the most generous interpretation of what rock music should sound like. “The End” doesn’t simply subvert categorization. It defies time itself.

This post is dedicated with respect to Sam, ex of The Heretics and Campbell Buildings squalor, whose birthday it is tomorrow. Many happy returns to you. I do not know if Nico is your bag, but give it a listen. It will, I promise, be worth it!

Television Personalities – Dreamworld Records – 1986

Saturday, November 21st, 2009

Three Wishes / David Hockneys Garden / In A Perfumed Garden / Flowers For Abigail / King And Country / Boy In The Paisley Shirt / Games For Boys

Painter Man / Psychedelic Holiday / 14th Floor / Sooty’s Disco Party / Makin Time / When Emily Cries / Glittering Prize / Anxiety Block / Mysterious Ways

This post is dedicated to Aaron Williamson who helped organise the TVP’s and Viv Albertine performance last night at the Stags Head in Hoxton, a gig which saw half a dozen Pet Puppies brave the cold winds and attend. A nice touch during the night was Dan Treacy having  a recollection of being interviewed by Tony D in 1977 for Ripped And Torn fanzine, an interview that took place right up on the 14th Floor of Dan Treacy’s council block.

A busy night indeed, as this small traditional pub was packed with an apprieciative audience for the whole night witnessing not only the two headliners, but also Typical Girls, Hari Kari and the Feral Four. 

The stage lighting and twirly props were powered by various crowd members riding a bike fixed on the covered pool table!

Aaron was also hawking his fanzine on the night, which flicking through looks a very interesting read. Still a little hung over today so I have not read any of it properly! 

The details for his website at the foot of this post if anyone would like to browse that. If anyone is interested in seeing if any copies of this A5 sized fanzine are still available then contact eelzine@yahoo.co.uk . The fanzines are limited to 500 numbered copies, so will run out fairly soon I guess.

Please note: My copy of this LP  ‘They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles’ is the reissue released on Dreamworld Records  in 1986, not the original 1982 release on Whaam Records which has different sleeve artwork. There are several other Television Personalities downloads available on this site if you care to find them using the Search function. Ensure you enter the band name in full though!

Below text and Melody Maker review of this record when it was originally released courtesy of  the absolutely wonderful televisonpersonalities.co.uk site.

Chelsea, London, in the mid-70s. Schoolmates Dan Treacy, Ed Ball, Joe Foster, John Bennett and his brother Gerrard rehearsed together in their spare time, playing covers by the likes of The Who and Pink Floyd.

Inspired by the punk movement, Dan, Ed and the Bennetts went into a recording studio in August 1977 and emerged with ’14th Floor’ and ‘Oxford Street’. Lack of money meant that only a handful of white label singles were initially pressed. Dan originally thought of calling the band Teen 78; whilst writing out a label to send a copy to the DJ John Peel, for a joke he listed the members of the band as famous television stars of the day, and the name TV Personalities was born. Peel played the single a number of times, and eventually Dan scraped together enough money to press 867 copies.

Dan returned to the studio with Ed Ball in the Summer of 1978 to record a follow-up single, the ‘Where’s Bill Grundy Now?’ EP. This was an instant hit with John Peel, who played the track ‘Part Time Punks’ many times. The success of the EP led to a deal with Rough Trade, who reissued the single and a follow-up, ‘Smashing Time’ (recorded again by Dan and Ed). Throughout these early years, Ed Ball had his own projects, O Level and then the Teenage Filmstars. Although Dan and Ed helped out with each other’s groups, they were always separate bands.

In the middle of 1980, the TVPs made their live debut following the recruitment of Joe Foster on bass and Mark Sheppard (known as Empire) on drums. This line-up was short-lived, reportedly due to differences in opinion between Foster and Sheppard, resulting in Joe’s departure. Prior to this, Dan and Mark helped out with Joe’s solo project, the Missing Scientists, which also included Mute Records boss Daniel Miller. The group’s ‘Big City Bright Lights’ 7″ was released by Rough Trade in September 1980.

In October 1980, Dan and Ed Ball returned to the recording studio with Empire to create the TVP’s debut album. Issued in January 1981 by Rough Trade, ‘And Don’t The Kids Just Love It’ was a considerable improvement over the early ramshackle recordings. The influence of Sixties pop culture was apparent from the LP’s sleeve, which featured supermodel Twiggy and Patrick McNee from the Avengers. The songs included Kinks-like social commentary (‘Geoffrey Ingram’), domestic drama (‘This Angry Silence’, ‘A Family Affair’) and one of their most famous (but not typical) songs, the rather whimsical ‘I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives’. Simultaneously, Rough Trade issued the latter as a single, albeit a different version.

In early 1981, Dan and Ed launched their own record label, Whaam! (named after the Roy Litchenstein painting). The first release was the debut single by Ed Ball’s new outfit The Times, followed by the Gifted Children’s ‘Painting By Numbers’. This was recorded during winter sessions by Dan and Empire, with Bernie Cooper on bass. It seems as if Dan toyed with the idea of breaking up the TVPs (not for the first, or last time) and continuing under this name. However, this single, and a track on the Whaam! compilation LP ‘All For Art’ were the only Gifted Children releases. Bernie Cooper apparently then disappeared, leaving Ed Ball to fill in on bass, notably during a joint Times / TVP UK tour in the Spring of 1981. The TVPs second LP was released in January 1982. ‘Mummy Your Not Watching Me’ combined tracks recorded during the ‘Gifted Children’ sessions with later material recorded with Ed Ball. Both Dan and Ed were leading figures in the contemporary psychedelia revival, and the influence is evident, particularly on the lo-fi pop psyche of ‘A Day in Heaven’ and ‘David Hockney’s Diaries’. Elsewhere, songs with Pop Art references, such as ‘Painting By Numbers’ and ‘Litchenstein Painting’ sat alongside the enduringly popular ‘If I Could Write Poetry’ and ‘Magnificent Dreams’.

A third album followed shortly afterwards; ‘They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles’ compiled unreleased tracks, material recorded during the ‘Gifted Children’ sessions, alternate takes and another airing of ’14th Floor’. Despite this, the album was a surprisingly cohesive and entertaining collection of songs.

In early 1982, Ed Ball left the ranks to concentrate on his own band The Times. Mark Flunder was recruited to play bass and the trio of Treacy, Flunder and Sheppard gigged until the Spring of 1983, when Mark Sheppard departed. The TVPs expanded with the return of Joe Foster and the addition of Dave Musker (keyboards). This drummerless line-up recorded the TVPs next LP, ‘The Painted Word’, a dark masterpiece considered by many to be their best. The overall tone of the album was heavy, with some angry political songs such as ‘A Sense of Belonging’, ‘You’ll Have to Scream Louder’ and ‘Back to Vietnam’. In contrast to these were the melancholic beauty of ‘Stop and Smell the Roses’, which invited comparison with the Velvet Underground, and the touching ‘Someone to Share my Life With’.

With the album recorded, the band reunited with Rough Trade in 1983 for the acerbic protest single ‘A Sense of Belonging’. Controversy over the sleeve, which depicted a battered child, probably influenced the label’s decision not to release ‘The Painted Word’. A legal dispute with a pressing plant prohibited Dan from putting out the record on his own Whaam! label. Delayed by 18 months, the album was finally granted a limited release on Illuminated in mid-1984, a label that promptly folded. Further line-up changes occurred. Drummer Jeff Bloom joined the band and Mark Flunder was replaced by ex-Swell Maps bassist Jowe Head. After a tour of Europe in early 1984, the five-man TVP line-up came to an end with the departure of Joe Foster and Dave Musker.

Television Personalities then enjoyed their longest period with a settled line-up, comprising Dan Treacy, Jowe Head and Jeff Bloom. Although short of money and lacking a recording contract, the band concentrated on live work, especially in Europe where they enjoyed greater popularity than in the UK. Dan set up the Dreamworld label as the successor to Whaam!, initially to reissue the early TVP albums. He soon began releasing recordings by other bands, including the Mighty Lemon Drops and Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter. This label also issued a new TVP single, the psychedelic protest song ‘How I Learned To Love The Bomb’ in 1986. Aside from that, TVP output was limited to occasional tracks on compilation albums. During this period, Dan also promoted gigs at the Room at the Top club.

THEY COULD HAVE BEEN BIGGER THAN THE BEATLES

On his first LP, “. . . And Don’t The Kids Just Love It”, Dan Treacy sang one of the most moving songs I’ve ever heard. But the media and public alike chose to overlook the sweet, almost suicidal sadness of “Diary Of A Young Man” for the obvious and attractively twee “I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives” and the kitsch John Steed, Emma Peel cover.

On his second LP, tentatively titled “Mummy, You’re Not Watching Me”, Dan Tracey went mad in a way that I find as harrowing and exhilarating as any pop music I’ve ever experienced.

On his third LP, “They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles”, Dan Treacy’s finally thrown in the towel . . . or, to be absolutely precise, he’s packed the paisley back in mothballs. Confused, frustrated, maybe even defeated by the inability of the press to resist a snide broadside at anything remotely psychedelic, Dan has folded his TV Personalities and so “Beatles” is his final farewell to the genre he chose as his medium of communication.

And let’s get (this) straight: Dan Treacy’s psychedelics have always served as a canvas on which he splattered his neuroses and not as any naively idealistic attempt at revival.

Let’s get (this) straight too: “Beatles” is over 50 minutes of outtakes which span his whole career, straddling both previous albums and staggering wide-eyed, witty and weighed down with worry, towards some indefinite future. It’s nowhere near perfect – it doesn’t purport to be – but its scope is incredible, its ambition outstanding and its heart damn near broken.

“Boy In The Paisley Shirt” is a Jilted John wink at the Groovy Cellarites – satire born of sympathy – “Three Wishes” (“If I had three wishes I’d wish for three more”) is characteristic of Dan’s ability to expose nerves while tickling your fancy, “King And Country” takes on McGuinn’s solo from “Eight Miles High” and presents a strong case for the reinstatement of electric guitar as the expressive instrument and “Anxiety Block” sounds like Abba ill-coping with “Mother’s Little Helper”.

I should go on, but I can’t so I’d better just tell you that on his last album, “They Could Have Been Bigger Than The Beatles”, Dan Treacy sings a naked song called “Mysterious Ways” which floods me with adrenalin. Don’t allow any preconceived bias to prevent you from listening. In other words: stop being stupid and get tuned in.

Steve Sutherland August 1982

Possibly still available from the publishers contactable at eelzine@yahoo.co.uk

Aaron’s personal website HERE but do not contact him for getting the fanzine. Use the email address above.

The Danse Society – Pax Records – 1981

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

There Is No Shame In Death

Dolphins / These Frayed Edges

Excellent debut 12″ record by Danse Society, recorded in 1980 and released on Pax Records in 1981.

Nice and gloomy, the A side clocks in at over 12 minutes playing time. A seriously epic dark dirge. The B side, also recorded during the same sessions in Manchester are slightly more upbeat, but not much!

Text below from personal1.iddeo.es/blancinegre

The forerunners of The Danse Society can be found in 1979 when Steve Rawlings (voice), Paul Gilmartin (drums), Paul Hampshire (known as Bee) (keyboards), Dave Patrick (lead guitar) and Bubble (bass) formed a band simply called Y? which had the track ‘End Of Act One’ included in the compilation LP ‘Bouquet Of Steel’ released in early 1980. By 1979 Lyndon Scarfe and Paul Nash had a band called Lips-X, the mutual ideas with the people of Y? lead to the joining of both bands by June 1979 to form the real forerunner of The Danse Society, a band called Danse Crazy. This band played at the Futurama Two Festival (popular name for “The World’s Second Science Fiction Music Festival”) held at Queen’s Hall, Leeds in September 1979. Other groups playing at that festival were: Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire, A Certain Ratio, OMD, Public Image Limited, Soft Cell among others. The complete festival was filmed by the BBC and in November 1981 was aired. Danse Crazy were shown playing ‘Sink’, although they were listed as The Danse Society.

A few days before they played at Futurama, the band was in studio and recorded two tracks ‘There Is No Shame In Death’ and ‘Dolphins’, shelving them for a future release.

The nucleus of Danse Society was formed in January 1981 when Bee left Danse Crazy. Bee was later involved in other bands such as Panache, Getting The Fear and Into A Circle. Patrick also left. The four remaining members went on with the band but by March 1981 they changed the name to The Danse Society. The first line-up were Steve Rawlings (voice), Paul Nash (guitar), Lyndon Scarfe (keyboards), Tim Wright (bass) and Paul Gilmartin (drums).

In September 1980 they recorded their first 12″; it was called ‘There Is No Shame In Death’ although it was shelved, releasing ‘Clock’ instead, on their new own label SOCIETY RECORDS.

You can read on Paul Nash´s own words how the first record was released:

“Clock / Continent was originally released as a one off 7″ single with a pressing of just 1000 financed by the band. We each of us put in about £200 to paid for the recording, pressing etc. and I designed the sleeve which was a wrap around white card with lyrics printed by my girlfriend liz at the local college ( she later became my wife! ).This was then inserted into specially made plastic bags and had an interesting clock logo for the label of the 7″. The single was subsequently re-released, with a different sleeve and label and I believe the original is still hard to come by. It was never released as a 12″, although we did used to play longer versions of it live”.

With a contract with PAX RECORDS ‘There is No Shame In Death’ finally saw the light and the first 7″ record (‘Clock’) was re-released in March 1981. Soon after, and prior to breaking the contract with PAX RECORDS later on in 1981, the band released a 12″ ‘Womans Own’ , which contains four songs recorded originally as John Peel sessions, and a 7″ ‘We’re So Happy / Woman’s Own’ , edited both by PAX and SOCIETY RECORDS.

By that time they were respected by public and musical press mainly due to their great live shows. Their tunes, with Steve’s typical distance voice and painful atmospheres, excited a public who found them far more accessible than other gothic bands. Their popularity quickly grew up as their shows improved. One of the reasons of their quick success was the opening of several shows for major goth bands of the day, like UK Decay, Killing Joke or Theatre of Hate.

Their musical career reached mature in 1982, when a six-track album ‘Seduction’ was released by SOCIETY RECORDS. This record contained only six songs but with the initial copies it was given a free bonus 12″ with two remixes of a popular songs by the band: ‘Danse / Move’.

A rare tape of that musical moment was edited semi-officially by the fan club. You can read Paul Nash´s comment on that:

“As far as live stuff goes there was only one official / unofficial live tape – released entirely through the fan club, of a gig at The Hague in Holland containing mainly the seduction album stuff. Again not many copies were done so it’s pretty rare”

The success of this work was big enough to make the band a point of interest for some major labels. Soon after releasing their last independent single, the glorious ‘Somewhere / Hide’ (December 1982), the band signed to ARISTA in January 1983.

A compilation of all their first singles was also released with the homonymous title ‘The Danse Society’. It was edited in two different versions during 1983, one in Canada with a free bonus 12″ and a simple edition in France.

The first singles with the new major label didn’t deceive, they were even better than the past material. ‘Wake Up’ released in June 1983, and mainly the great ‘Heaven Is Waiting’ brought them to the top of their popularity.

Their new major album appeared in December 1983. The record was called ‘Heaven Is Waiting’. A different edition of this record by Great Expectations Records can be found. This edition and adds four songs to the common edition by ARISTA, although it seems to be from the early 1990’s. The album contained great tunes like ‘Red Light’, ‘Where Are You Now’, ‘Come Inside’, and the two previous singles ‘Heaven Is Waiting’ and ‘Wake Up’. It also contained a song which, according to musical press opinion, didn’t fit with their style: the epic version of the Rolling Stones ‘2000 Light Years From Home’, also edited in 1984 as 12″ and as a limited edition double single.

During 1984 they toured extensively to promote their record, even playing in Madrid and Barcelona. A highlight performance during this tour took place on April 7th 1984 at the Hammersmith Palais, London, sharing the night with the German band from the stable of artists on 4AD records, X-Mal Deutschland.

Naked – Bluurg Records – 1983

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

One Step Forward / Alienn

Frightened / Smile / Evil Faces

Naked formed in Sheerness, Kent in early 1979, inspired by the first wave of punk bands. After a few months rehearsing their first gig in June ’79 was bizarrely in Holland. Over the next few years by many more gigs in Holland followed which became something of a home-from-home for the band.

Their first demo recorded in 1979 had a definite 70s DIY punk feel, however their sound developed with time and in 1981 they recorded 10 songs that were released as a mail-order cassette titled ‘1981’. Things really started to take off once Crass asked for one of the tracks ‘Mid-1930s Pre-War Germany’ to be included on the compilation album ‘Bullshit Detector II’. The track was easily the album’s standout and a Sounds review said of it “smacks of self-motivated sincerity as opposed to the usual predictable conformity”.

Gradually the band were becoming more politicised and soon became a part of the burgeoning ‘anarcho-punk’ scene. During 1983 they developed a friendship with The Subhumans and played numerous gigs with them. So in November 1983 Bluurg released the ‘One Step Forward’ 7″ which was a top 20 indie hit and stayed in the chart for 5 weeks. Another single was planned for Bluurg but for reasons now forgotten never happened.

The band continued writing and gigging until early 1987 when long standing vocalist Tony left and was replaced by Paula. However, post-Tony it was never the same and the band finally stopped in September 1987.

After 18 months of bravely fighting an aggressive brain tumour Chris Counsell, original guitarist of Naked that performed on this EP, passed away on 8th September 2009 leaving a wife and two young sons.

Thanks to Jonni M for the photograph of Chris Counsell performing with Naked, text from Naked’s myspace site.

Danielle Dax – The Initial Recording Company – 1983

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

Bed Caves / Everyone Squeaks Gently / The Wheeled Wagon / The Stone Guest / Here Come The Harvest Buns

The Shamemen / Kernow / Numb Companions / Tower Of Lies / Cutting The Last Sheaf

An almost perfect debut LP release from the ex Lemon Kitten, released by the tiny Initial Recording Company record label. Danielle performed all the instrumentaion on this LP as well as creating the artwork for the sleeve, which was quickly changed for subsequent pressings due to stores not wanting to stock the LP with sections of Danielle’s ‘Meat Harvest’ art project on the outer sleeve!

Text ripped without permission ‘bandit style’ from allmusic.com.

A performer whose enigmatic and experimental work reflected the strong influence of Biblical mysticism and Middle Eastern musical textures, Danielle Dax was born in Southend, England. After a short modelling career – she won the “Miss Evening Echo” competition in 1976 she made her musical debut in 1979 as the keyboardist in the seven-piece Amy Turtle and the Crossroads; the group disbanded after only one performance, but it brought Dax — who took to the stage clad in nothing more than a knit cap and lab coat — to the attention of Karl Blake, who asked her to design the cover for an EP by his Surrey University-based band the Lemon Kittens. Within a week, Dax was a full member of the group; neither she nor Blake actually played music, but they managed to release two highly experimental LPs, 1980’s We Buy a Hammer for Daddy and 1982’s The Big Dentist, while also establishing a reputation for their notorious live sets, in which they frequently performed sans clothes.

Upon the Lemon Kittens’s 1982 split, Blake formed the Shock-Headed Peters, while Dax mounted a solo career. She debuted a year later with Pop-Eyes, a true solo effort for which she wrote and performed every song alone, even handling mixing and production duties and distributing the record through her own Awesome label. While her heavy makeup and colossal hair aligned her with the thriving “Batcave” scene, she steadfastly avoided easy pigeonholing, even making the leap into film with appearance’s in Neil Jordan’s adult fable The Company of Wolves; she also appeared in Chimera, a film by Holly Woodlawn, the photographer whose work adorned many of Dax’s record covers. After reuniting with Karl Blake, Dax returned in 1984 with the Jesus Egg That Wept EP, which also featured the first appearance of guitarist/keyboardist David Knight, who subsequently became a frequent collaborator.

Lemon Kittens debut LP uploaded on this site may be listened to HERE

Viv of the Slits, TV Personalities and Desperate Bicycles gig

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Friday November 20th at the Stags Head, 55 Orsman Street,off Kingsland Road, N15 RA.

The launch of Aaron Desperate’s book, ‘Splitting The Atom’, available for £2.50 on the night.

See other Desperate Bicycles download thread for more details.

An anarcho-punk Ph.D thesis

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

I have just found this 264 page PhD thesis on anarcho-punk – written by Michael Dines in 2004, but only now online. [Warning Note - I had some problems downloading text on Firefox, but worked ok on Internet Explorer]

http://usir.salford.ac.uk/2040/1/419301.pdf

I have just speed-read it – it is a good overview, but doesn’t get beyond (a few of) the groups.
Examples – gives a very detailed ,chord by chord, phrase by phrase analysis of Bloody Revolutions, which leads in to a brief discussion of the French Revolution and a mention of the Wapping Anarchy (Autonomy) Centre…but nothing on Centro Iberico and later A centres…
Nothing on fanzines- major lack.
No Mob/Zounds.
Mentions Stop the City – but only as a quote from Andy Martin – and although discuss McLibel Trial, does not connect Dave Morris with STC.

Bit of a neutron bomb – the groups (buildings) – Crass, Discharge, Subhumans remain but the people, yer actual anarcho-punks, have been textually vapourised.

So it goes.

AL

Here is the index.

CHAPTER ONE
THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE SUBVERSIVE: ANARCHIST THEORY
AND THE BRITISH PUNK ROCK SCENE OF THE 1970S 1
CHAPTER TWO
FROM WAR TO RECESSION: DETERMINING FACTORS IN THE
EMERGENCE OF BRITISH PUNK IN THE LATE 1970s 46
1. Punk and The Consensus: The Move Towards the Anarchic 48
1.1.1940-1955: The Building Blocks of the Consensus 50
1.2. A Force to be Reckoned With: Sustaining Britain’s `World Role’ 50
1.3. Looking After the Nation: The Establishment of the Welfare State 54
1.4. Fixing the `Balance of Payments': The Development of the `Mixed
Economy’ 56
1.5.1955-1979: The Breakdown of the Consensus 57
1.6. `Rivers of Blood': Another Blow to the Consensus 63
1.7. Final Thoughts: The Beginning of the End 71
2. Pop vs. Progressive Rock: Starting Out on the Punk Rock Road to Nowhere 72
2.1. Musical Whiplash: K-Tel and the Politics of Boredom 73
2.2. From New York to Sex: Sonic Reducing in the Big Apple 83
3. The Sex Pistols and Anarchic Rhetoric: `Cos They Meant it Man 93
CHAPTER THREE
THE POLITICS OF POST-PUNK: CRASS AND THE MOVE TOWARDS THE
`ANARCHO’ 109
1. New Beginnings: The Transformation of the Punk Rock `Ethos’ 114
1.2. From Protest to Parody: The Building Blocks of the `Anarcho’ 120
iii
2. Breaking the Sound Barrier: The Parallel Emergence of Discharge 129
3. `Bloody Revolutions': Crass and the Forging of a New Direction 144
4. Parliamentary Questions: Crass and the Politics of War 166
5. Instantaneous Spontaneity Drive: The Final Path of the `Anarcho’ 183
5.1. Us Fish Must Swim Together: Anarcho-Punk and Lyrical Reflection 188
5.3. Onwards and Upwards: `Culture Shock’ and the Hindrance of Stereotype 202
5.4 A Revolt Against the Rational: The End of the Road for the `Anarcho’ 208
CONCLUSION 214
1. Unfinished Business: The Thread of Dissent into the’80s and Beyond 215
2. From Conflict to Sore Throat: Musical Heterogeneity of the Anarcho-
Movement 229
3. The Relationship Between Punk and the `Anarcho': Final Thoughts 243

 

Under Two Flags – Situation Two Records – 1983/1984

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

False History

Lest We Forget / Drown Inside

The Day After Dub

Masks / Early Sunday Morning / Land Of The Rising Guns

As it is Armistice day I thought I would upload a record with ‘Lest We Forget’ in the chorus!

Under Two Flags are one of those band’s that were far better being witnessed live on stage as opposed to sitting around at home listening to them on the stereo.

The band’s debut 10″ record ‘False History’ is the pick of the bunch uploaded tonight, the second 10″ record is a little weaker but I uploaded it anyway as I believe this was the entire output released from the band.

Under Two Flags had a great image, brothel creeper shoes, imported U.S. clothing, semi acoustic guitars and a sound similar to early U2, Theatre Of Hate or Death Cult. The band’s biggest gig in London was supporting The Clash (non Mick Jones or Topper Headon) at Brixton Academy in 1984. Under Two Flags made going to that gig worthwhile!

Did Under Two Flags have a connection with Waxwork Dummies at all and if so has anyone got any tapes to lend?

Photographs and flyers from the collection of Martin Campbell.

The Twinkle Brothers – Virgin Frontline – 1978/1979

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Free Africa / Solid As A Rock / Watch The Hypocrites

Love / I Love You So / South Africa

Praise Jah / King Pharoah / Africa / Dread In The Ghetto / Jahoviah

Keep On Trying / Shu Be Dup / In This Time / Gone Already / Come Home 

Officially the nicest guy in the reggae industry, it is with great respect that I upload Norman Grant’s entire output for Virgin Frontline released between 1978 and 1979. Two excellent showcase LP’s showing the wonderful harmony’s that this reggae outfit produced. The third in the trilogy of Twinkle Brothers late 1970’s recorded UK released LP’s became available in 1980 and was entitled ‘Countryman’. Indeed a fine LP but that LP was released on the plain Virgin label, so I left it off this post!

Norman Grant is still a fine man, polite and kind to this Penguin at all times, and he still continues to perform to this day! Good on him.

This post dedicated to Jock, not the ‘Dub Massacre’ series released in the 1990’s but vintage Twinkle never the less. 

Text below courtesy of reggaelicious.pbworks.com and reggaenews.co.uk

The Twinkle Brothers were formed in the early 60’s in Falmouth, Trelawney, Jamaica. Their first success was when they won the Trelawney Mento Festival in 1962. For six consecutive years they won at their parish level. In 1968 they won two gold medals in the all island competition; Norman Grant for best solo and the Twinkle Brothers for best group. Norman said about these years;

“We won at our parish level from ’62 right up on to ’68 we won two gold medals. In the all island. I won as a solo artist and also as a group, as Twinkle Brothers. So there was two gold medals in yunno the whole Island. In ’69 we won again and in 1970 we took part in the festival song contest. It was like Toots & Maytals ‘Wat a Bam Bam’. Desmond Dekker and the Aces. We came third that year. ‘Boom Shacka Lacka’ won. Hopeton Lewis. But yunno, as I say. Within the whole things was also like election. With the festival song It was politics. Where you from? From when we did the shows everybody love us. But when we came to the voting it was political. But it was still good for us because we made our name now. Proving that we where in a different style and category of our own. “

In 1970 the Twinkle Brothers started recording for Bunny Lee and released a couple of acclaimed singles, the first being the festival song ‘You Can Do It Too’. They did approximately 14 tracks for Bunny Lee with songs such as ‘Not Who You Know’, ‘Miss Labba Labba’, ‘Sweet Young Thing Like You’, ‘Best Is Yet To Come’ and Normans solo effort ‘Miss World’. Bunny Lee also helped the Twinkle Brothers in getting a session with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry for whom they did a couple of tracks of which only one got released, ‘Reggae For Days’.

During the years 1973 and 1974 they worked with Phil Pratt doing the songs ‘Friends’, ‘No Big Thing’ and ‘Do You Own Thing’. In 1975 their debut album, ‘Rasta Pon Top’, was released and shortly after in ’75 Norman Grant joined the Sonny Bradshaw Band (with Dean Fraser) in a tour to Guatemala, Mexico.

It was also in the mid 70’s that Norman Grant opened up his record store in Falmouth.

By 1976 their second album, ‘Do Your Own Thing’ (also got released in 1977 as ‘Miss Labba Labba’) was released. It further showed the roots Norman Grants vocals had in soul music. The following year in 1978 they got signed to Virgin Frontline and released the album ‘Love’. The odd choice of releasing it as a 10″ LP raised quite a few peoples eye brows in the record stores but it soon got released as a 12″ release with a couple of more songs added to the playlist, but now on Normans own Twinkle imprint. The second album on Virgin Frontline was ‘Praise Jah’ (1979). Shortly after this the Twinkle Brothers, the Gladiators and U-Roy got transfered to Virgin Records as Frontline got terminated. They released the album ‘Countrymen’ in 1980. It was their last release with Virgin.

After the Twinkle Brothers got dropped by Virgin Frontline (that had by now decimated their reggae output tremendously) Norman Grant focused mainly releasing music on his own Twinkle label that now had moved its headquarters to the UK.

In 1980 when Jacob Miller passed away Norman Grant joined Inner Circle upon arriving from an American tour. He toured with Inner Circle for a short while but no recordings where done with Norman on the vocals. He was soon back with the Twinkle Brothers.

The late 70’s also saw Norman Grant working together with Jah Shaka, cutting dubplates for him and soon also releasing proper records. They released two albums with Jah Shaka the first one being ‘The Right Way’ (1984) and the second one being ‘Rasta Surface’ (1991). The album ‘Underground’ (1982) also featured productions by Jah Shaka. It was the Twinkle Riddim Section that backed Shaka on his recording ‘Revelation 18’.

Interview with Norman Grant – Twinkle Brothers

As I travel my path of life I truly feel blessed to do the works I do. Meeting up with Twinkle Brothers again after nearly ten years was just another blessing. We last meet up at Milliondollar Club in Wolverhampton. Grant said “Me never know it’s been so long”. He firstly told me that Ralston was back home in California USA, they had just finished touring South America, but he would be singing Jehovah for him. This track can be found on the album ‘All The Hits’. It’s a must-have album if you’re a real reggae buff. Previously the brothers had been together doing the normal festival circuit. Twinkle have been performing on the international circuit of festivals for the past ten years, the festivals seem to be evolving into bigger events every year.

Grant said “it is nice to do an event like this evening at the Drum it’s more personal so we can get closer to the people”. Grant was looking forward to doing other stuff apart from the hits. He said “I know de musics been playing cos like there’s lots of sound systems round these parts that’s heavy weight that play roots cos twinkle brothers plays roots reggae. We are still underground in comparison to other major players in the industry”. “The way I put music out I put the message out weather the thing sell or not because in the long run it will sell, some songs take longer to sell than others. I’m not in it for the quick fix”.

So you’re really in it for the love of the music. “Really that’s how we started out. I haven’t done any other job all my life so it is also my business you know. I’ve been paid to sing since I was ten. We started out singing in competitions in 1962, when Jamaica got its independence. These competitions were called Pop and Mento festival and we represented our parish. We won gold as solo artist and as a group we won gold medals from 1962 to 69” .That puts you on 4 decades in the industry. “I think I was doing it before that in the hotels with different bands. I think all these things help me with my melodies and to write my own songs, because a lot of people use other people’s melodies without even knowing it.”

Your style of music is Shaka style – that heavy rootsy style. “Well Shaka style of music was around before Shaka” is what Grant was trying to tell me without taking back anything from Jah Shaka sound system. ” I made my first record for Beverly’s in 1964 – you know Lesley Kong”. Now there’s a man I’d like to meet.

Grant went on and listed some of the artists that worked with Kong. He also says that once you find your own style of music you will stick with it. Sometimes you got to create a style but mostly you just go with it. I asked if Ralston brings the American influence in to the songs and Grant said “no not really because I do most of the writing. Once you have that style you want be influenced by other things. Once you create a market your fans expect you to do it. If you switch you’ll lose your fans.

Talking about albums Grant filled me in with more datails of his career. What’s your label called now because I’m thinking Rasta Pon Top? “Its Twinkle. The first album out was, ‘Rasta Pon Top’ it was put out on the Grounation label in 1974 that’s when I first came to England. We were working with Bunny Lee in 1971 even Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. We did some songs for Dynamics. We were doing it even without thinking about the money. We had to rehearse because even if it was only one track we had to do it in one take. You do what you have to do”.

We talked about music and the youth of today and I said how some of the youths of today’s easy come easy go world think they don’t have to work and everything will be dropped in there laps. ”if you check out the biographies of these stars you will see just how hard they do work.” Grant went on to say that he worked with all the new reggae artists coming out of Jamaica and where ever else they come from to do the reggae festivals, but one artist he calls by name is Fantom Mojah. This was the very same artist that Gramps from Morgan Heritage came up with when I asked what artist you rate that is coming out right now. I know a lot of DJ’s that rate Mojah as a good up and coming artist. Grant also named artists like Aisha who has a new album out on Ariwa music on Mad Professor’s Ariwa label. “The album is the best I’ve ever heard from Aisha, I love it – she has defiantly grown.

Rebecca, Alison, KD Levi & Steve Santana are some of the artist that Twinkle brothers have out all over the world. Grant said, “I often drop in the local record shop to listen to what is out. With my music as soon as I got 14 tracks mastered I put it out but I also put out 7” and 12” There’s always stuff out there for the crowd that support Twinkle.”

We talked about what is out there and Grant said “the DJ thing has run its cause. Back in the old days we used tell the artist that couldn’t sing, You cant sing that’s why them become DJ’s or sing jay’s” That’s the good thing about reggae it takes you so many ways because all over the world there are reggae communities. All I try to do is do my thing I don’t see myself as changing but every day I grow”.

Twinkles advice for you is “remember there is not just one type of people in this world, it’s a melting pot so people have to learn to live with one another, with your neighbours and brothers and sisters. I’m into peace and love in my lyrics. Even when I sing reality I have to remember that lots of people are listening to the music. I sing about how I feel and you must remember that you can get three different meanings from one lyric. Music can influence people so I always try to remember that because as a singer you got to be diplomatic, not like a politician or a preacher, but you still have to know how to get your message across, yah know’ them say Soft answer turneth away wrath’ it’s just how you deliver it. Right now we are living in an aggressive time even the leaders when they give a speech they are aggressive in there speech and the preacher is rar rar in his sermon.” Grant roared like a lion. He’s telling us we are here on borrowed times. “Well really we need more love and love haffi share. Yes and really only the rasta man preach peace and love all dis time”. What is your next project after this? “I’m off to Jamaica to recharge my batteries but I will be back to do some dates in Italy then ill be back in England for Christmas.”

Earth Culture – Desire

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

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