Close Lobsters – The Mob Tribute?

The Mirror Breaks

I posted this track here even though it was broadcast in December 1987 as part of a Peel Session. I do not think many of the general public ever look at the post 86 section on this site, which is a bummer, so I stuck  the little bugger on this download section so it will recieve maximum interest. It is also correctly uploaded on the post 86 section though!

Hopefully you will enjoy this jangly version of the classic Mob tune from this C86 Glaswegian shoe-gazing indie pop band.

If not, feel free to comment. Not sure if they ever recorded it on vinyl at all…

Close Lobsters are a Scottish indie pop/rock band. They first came to wider prominence with the track “Firestation Towers” on the NME’s C86 compilation, they signed to Fire Records and released their debut single “Going To Heaven To See If It Rains” in October 1986. They released a second single “Never Seen Before” in April 1987 which furthered their reputation as one of the leading emerging indie bands.They went on to release two albums; Foxheads Stalk This Land was released in 1987 and Headache Rhetoric in 1989. Their popularity on United States college radio stations led to an invitation to the New York Music Seminar in 1989, which in turn led to an extensive American tour. They toured relentlessly in the UK, Germany and the United States of America and Canada. After that things became very hazy indeed.

The band eventually took an extended interlude/break to reflect on a combination of creative crossvergences about critical acclaim in America. Rolling Stone’s review of “Foxheads Stalk This Land” called it “first-rate guitar pop from a top-shelf band. Close Lobsters could have been just another jangle group, but they have a lot more going for them than just chiming Rickenbackers.”

“There once was a storm of sticks and stones and this barrage was to become a lodestar. If eternity is the sea mingled with the sun as a young French poet once intimated, then unrelenting group disorder defines the everyday and mundane. Close Lobsters shimmer like the sun mingling with the sea, their sound is a storm of stones and sticks and half bricks and the barrage comes in chains of flashing images. Close Lobsters epitomise the very imperfect nature of things – unrelenting group disorder. Close Lobsters sound radiates across star-crossed skies. Close Lobsters are alive”.

  1. Anok Jon
    Anok Jon
    February 13, 2008 at 4:46 am

    No way! I look at the Post 86 daily, yes daily! Some of my favorite bands were post 86, the main one being Chumba (Yes, they formed in 82 but had most releases after) and I am hoping you add more live chumba or some of the ep’s, or some other stuff of thiers from 86-89, there is a ton of cassettes and live stuff that i cant find anywhere, Yes, they had a few pre 86 releases but the majority was post. On another note, this cover is awesome and I have never heard of close lobsters before this was put up!

  2. Pavlik
    February 13, 2008 at 10:03 am

    I like it.

    but post ’86?
    I was at the rave mate 😉

  3. Nic
    February 13, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Nice one…I didnt know about this…
    It’s got quite a lot of the bands signature ‘jangly’ sound that somehow seems very ‘Scottish’… 🙂
    They recorded for Fire Records – home of the mighty Spacemen 3…

    I was also hoping that the ‘Post 86’ section would be populated a little more: some interesting, inspiring and energising music was made during that period…
    and it’s perhaps important to remember that nothing ‘stopped’ at that point – it just carried on…

    When I think of the period post 1986 up to 1990 purely on a musical level, I think of:
    Thrash (Japan, Scandinavia, USA, UK, etc)
    Grindcore (Cracass, Repulsion, etc)
    Death Metal (Slayer, Death, Massacre, Obituary, etc)
    On U Sound (African Headcharge, Mark Stewart, Dub Syndicate, etc)
    ‘C86’ / ‘Twee’ Indie (Big Flame, Shop Assistants, The Pastels, MBV, etc)
    Psychedelia (Spacemen 3, Loop, Telescopes, Butthole Surfers, etc)
    Hip Hop (Stetsasonic, Public Enemy, Ultramagnetics, Eazy E, etc)
    Techno (Belleville Three, Underground Resistance, Warp, etc)
    ‘Grunge’ (Mudhoney, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Tad, etc)
    Amphetamine Reptile records (Cows, God Bullies, Halo of Flies, etc)
    Sludge (Drunks with Guns, Skullflower, Eye Hate God etc)
    Doom Metal (Saint Vitus, Trouble, Pentagram, Winter etc)
    Ambient Electronica (PGR, Arcane Device, Robert Rich, etc)
    Breaks (Meatbeat Manifesto, Depthcharge, Andy Weatherall, etc)
    EBM (Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Revolting Cocks, etc)
    and much more…very fertile time…

  4. gerard
    February 13, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    My pal Robin Gibson is probably the link here – he worked at Fire Records (and Sounds) and was a big fan of the Mob.

  5. Mark M
    Mark M
    February 13, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    I’d never heard this before and i like it.But then i always love this song. I’m also strangely fond of the version on the new cd. On another subject I remember Steve Rudall phoning me many years ago to say Witch Hunt was on Radio one. But a house music version. By the time i found a radio it was finished…I’ve searched in vain. Anyone got any ideas?

  6. Pavlik
    February 13, 2008 at 5:06 pm


  7. Tony Puppy
    Tony Puppy
    February 13, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Robin Gibson was introduced to me by the legendary Johnny Waller. Robin used to do the fanzine from Scotland,’It Ticked and Exploded’. He kept in regular letter-writing communication with me for several years. From the loins of ITAE came one Jon Wilde, who moved to London as an aspiring writer – to help the wee guy out I said at one Mob gig we were at that he could write the live review for NME that I was intending to do.

    Jon’s review was duly printed, a short piece. And I was told off in the NME office afterwards, with the admonishment if I’d written it it would have been one of the lead reviews.

    Later this Jon Wilde went on to become editor of Loaded.

    Who had the last laugh?

    Meanwhile Johnny died in a bicycle accident in Islington.

  8. Tony Puppy
    Tony Puppy
    February 13, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    I’m not able to get this to play. Click on ‘Mirror Breaks’ and all I get is ‘website not available’.

    Honey Bane works, and is playing right now.

    Anyone else having this trouble?

    At ease, it’s now working.

    Fabulous version.

  9. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    February 13, 2008 at 10:51 pm


  10. Tony Puppy
    Tony Puppy
    February 13, 2008 at 11:18 pm

    At ease Pengs.

  11. TimD
    February 14, 2008 at 1:23 am

    Witch Hunt? I think Zion Train did something with that. Might be the one. Have it somewhere ….

  12. J-G-Lover
    June 10, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Zion Train did No Doves Fly Here, not sure about Witch Hunt.
    Close Lobsters was released on a single, my brother has it.

  13. Ian
    August 15, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    the brother of tom donnelly from the close lobsters ran a fanzine called pure popcorn with sushil dade, later bass player with the soup dragons (who sounded like a cross between the fire engines and the buzzcocks when they started, i have their second ever rehearsal on tape!). anyway, cant remember tom’s brothers name but he onced drummed along to my punk rock cabaret band set when we did punk rock style versions of 70’s disco classics. must have been around 84 or 85. we decided on the songs and rehearsed the songs the night before. we asked him to drum about half an hour before we went onstage, even though he’d never drummed before. great stuff. we got kicked off stage.

  14. Pete
    August 20, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    “J-G-Lover Says:

    June 10th, 2008 at 7:51 pm
    Zion Train did No Doves Fly Here, not sure about Witch Hunt.
    Close Lobsters was released on a single, my brother has it.”

    I played Babylons Burning by The Ruts whilst DJing a couple of months back only to be told by an indignant local that it was the worst cover of a Zion Train song he’d ever heard………..

  15. Jon Wilde
    Jon Wilde
    July 11, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Tony D.
    Hope you’re well, old son.
    I remember that Mob review. It was the first thing I had published in the music press. It’s indicative of what a gent you are that you never let on that you were down to review it – you simply encouraged me to do so.
    Belated thanks, squire.
    For the record, I never edited Loaded. I did write regularly for it though.
    If anyone has contact details for Robin Gibson, I’d be hugely grateful if they could pass them on.
    Meanwhile, just want to say that I’m loving the Puppy site.
    All good things, Jon Wilde (Hove, UK)

  16. gerard
    July 12, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    hi jon

    i can put you in touch with robin, but the email address you provided here wasn’t working


  17. undeleted
    July 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Nice cover. I’d not heard of that or the Zion Train thing.

    So was there a house version of Witch Hunt or not? I’d really like to hear it if so ..

  18. dan i
    dan i
    July 14, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Didnt know Zion Train recorded No Doves – saw them play it live and was pretty shocked/impressed once i realised what Molara was singing. Was a big fan of both The Mob and Zion Train, so was delighted. Any recordings of it anywhere?

  19. Andy
    July 12, 2010 at 4:43 am

    This is great…sounds like Thatcher On Acid.

  20. JD TWITCH of OPTIMO – Ten Inches Of Fear « "BANG THE PARTY!"
    November 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    […] doing No Doves and Penguin’s got a track on KillYour Pet Puppy of someone [Close Lobsters] doing The Mirror Breaks. I downloaded the J Church track years ago. It’s nice to hear someone else singing your song. You […]

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