English Subtitles – 10 Seconds Too Late / Glass Records – 1981


Cars On Fire

A decent 7″ single by English Subtitles, a West London band sounding a little like North London’s Lack Of Knowledge., which is no bad thing…

The text below is from downwithtractors.blogspot.com

English Subtitles released one single on Small Wonder Records “Time Tunnel”, then this single, a flexidisc which came out on Crepuscule and finally a compilation album which contained one side of their studio recordings, and a live set on the other side.
This single is just WONDERFUL, a doomy slice of malevolent goth-rock, full of foreboding and self-loathing; Karl Burns from The Fall plays drums on the track, but not many other details survive….

“They’re calling my name, over the Tannoy, they’re paging me…what do they want? What do they want?”

Hey, who knows. One thing is for sure, the singer, Roy Gordon wasn’t just putting on this display of paranoia for show: he genuinely had some severe “issues”. The single comes with a facsimile of a N.M.E. cutting, detailing an “episode” he had whilst on a tube train – this culminated in a radical act of conceptual art as his friend Pete Davis drove a six inch nail right through the palm of Gordon’s hand in front of horrified commuters, whilst Gordon calmly collected the resultant flow of blood on a sheet of plastic. This pool of blood was used for the sleeve of the single (see above). Classy.

1974’s Coum Transmissions would have been proud!

  1. tonyb
    December 21, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    Dont get me wrong guys, I wasnt just looking for Lack Of Knowledge!!
    I clicked because I thought it might be a English Subtitles 45 that I didnt have. I got the four records that they put out. I saw them live a load of times. Another Small Wonder act.
    LOK getting positive mentions all over the place!

    What went wrong!!! hahahaha…

  2. tonyb
    December 21, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    Do you have the Dutch flexi disc of the track ‘Water’? I think thats even better than this one…

  3. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    December 21, 2008 at 10:04 pm

    Tonyb – LOK getting positive mentions all over the place!

    Tony, your band generally always will from my where my heads at…

    Tonyb – Do you have the Dutch flexi disc of the track ‘Water’? I think thats even better than this one…

    No Tony, this is the only one single I have, if you get to open up all those boxes in your lock up (in that secret location somewhere in or around Enfield) I will add it to my long list of possible lended material from you!!! We can use Mr Wafford as a go between if you want…aint seen him for ages, hope he is cool, may ring him up this week.

    Tonyb – Dont get me wrong guys, I wasnt just looking for Lack Of Knowledge!!

    Reckon you google LOK every night Tony to see what comes up 😉

  4. tonyb
    December 24, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Mr Peng…

    Actually the Last Lok look comes from the ongoing Crass Acklam hall photo saga..which had the link to the Sirens Rough mixes…then I had a look at the front page and saw the E.S. 45 here…

    Too kind with the LOK ‘props’ if im allowed to say that as a 46 year old codger!

    The Other Subtitles apart from the 45 here was the ‘Time Tunnel’ 45 on the worlds greatest record shop / label Small Wonder, the above mentioned flexi with The Marine Girls on the other side and the Album which I cant remember the name of…hold on…thats what the internets for….well I never ‘Original Dialogue’ it was .. http://433rpm.blogspot.com/2007/07/english-subtitles-original-dialogue-lp.html
    I think maybe Time Tunnel has the edge….

    Aint seen Jimbo (or Boy Band Jim as Bazil calls him) for ages..i’ll have to give him a call (or Winston Smith as Steve Ignorant called him once..funny story).

    I’m knocked out by your reggae posts btw… i’m an above average listener (Dr Alimantado, J Clarke etc) but not by any stretch an expert. You seem like you know your shit.
    I was in Ja last month I had a great time…spent all my time jamming with a bunch of guys in the only place in the village with gear…I spent a few days with my soldering iron repairing stuff.
    It was a small village in Treasure Beach with a bar that had a full on gig venue out the back which looked like the last gig was there in the 70s…all the gear still onstage covered in dust, etc.
    We got a full band together, proper ramshackle line up..60 year old bar owner on drums, me on bass, his son on keys and an african-american bloke who my missus was working for on guitar and one of the 21 year old raggamufin kids on toasting…I mean vocals.
    I never thought i’d ever hear myself say “I played reggae in Jamaica and I was the only bloke in the town that could play the bass”
    The missus was out there working for Perry Henzall (i dont need to explain to you).
    I had a fking great time against what I was expecting.
    Made loads of friends,unbeleivable friendly people, so fkin nice.
    Makes you ashamed to moan about stuff over here etc..

    As the mayor of Calif sez “i’ll be back”!

  5. Lou Librium
    Lou Librium
    May 2, 2010 at 10:00 am

    Sorry to disappoint you guys, but that “nail file” thang was a publicity scam. We even had Cynthia Rose fooled. After the Subtitles split up (i.e., after I left) the rest of the band went through several phases of reincarnation – one of these being a band called Kill Ugly Pop.
    Lou Librium (2nd from the left).

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