Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Midnight Circus - " Richard, Roger, Rodney, Rastus, Raoul, Roderick, Randy, Rupert " (Hyped2Death cd-r 2003)

Classic cassette DIY from Leicester,UK.....your author's hometown, and a hot bed of DIY activity throughout the 80's.
Leicester has its fair share of showbiz legends; Englebert Humperdinck, the magisterial Showaddywaddy, Family, Gaye Bikers On Acid, Kasabian(Mmmmm?),the Attenboroughs,the Elephant Man....the list goes on.
(I lived near Ric Grech from Family/Blind Faith/Traffic, in the early eighties.He was broke wrecked on drugs and alcohol,and was pushed around in a wheelchair by a mate who wore a cowboy hat and an eye-patch; and had to live on my council estate in a flat.How the mighty fall eh? He tragically died not long after i last saw him and his mate slagging off the OAP's with some choice expletives at my bus stop for ogling him and his friend.)
Never mentioned is The Midnight Circus, who never played a gig to my knowledge, and made several impossibly obscure cassettes in the early 1980's.
It's classic sounding Cassette based DIY, upturned buckets and tin cans for drums, cheap fuzz guitar, drum machine and the obligatory short wave radio.
This is suburban folk at its finest, until they tried to make 'proper music' in the latter part of their career.
This happens to all the best bands when enticed from their natural environment. rather like how a teenager loses what made their drawings fantastic when they were pre-teen, as they try to emulate what they think a grown up draws like. This is a mistake that can take years to unlearn, the same tragically applies to music.
So ignore the poorly crafted tunes at the end of this compilation, with their synthesizers and their well recorded bass lines, and relish the innocence of the first 18 tracks in all their muffled brilliance.

Track Listing:

1 Leather & Lace 1:55
2 Song Of Experience & Imagination #2 4:22
3 Tube Train 6:13
4 Playthings 2:58
5 Survivors 5:38
6 Pop Song 2:36
7 Political Song 3:07
8 Pre-Natal Counselling 3:01
9 Which Was Wrong? 1:23
10 Silicone Baby 1:44
11 The Hedonist Jive 2:41
12 Talk To Me 3:19
13 Suburbia Nervosa 3:52
14 Recognise The Man 2:57
15 Wall-To-Wall Noise 3:19
16 Guernica 5:59
17 Obsession & Guilt 2:58
18 The New Age 2:11
19 Untitled 2:58
20 This Deception 5:38
21 Unreal 3:46

Tracks 1 to 4 from the cassette The Bland Craze
Tracks 5 to 9 from the cassette Pre-Natal Counselling
Tracks 10, 11 from the double EP Angst In My Pants
Tracks 12 to 14 from the cassette Do Modern Atoms Wear Fashionable Clothes?
Tracks 15, 16 from the cassette Galvanising The Dead
Tracks 17 to 21 previously unreleased

Sorry the files are M4a, i lost the mp3 files and i can't be bothered to convert 'em!

DOWNLOAD the midnight circus HERE!


Avant Garble said...

Thanks buddy. I love this band.

Jonny Zchivago said...

My Pleasure Mi Duck, as we say in the much fabled city of Leicester.

Anonymous said...

You put down succinctly what the problem with the evolution of most of the bands is :)

Mike said...


Mike from The Midnight Circus here. Thanks for the review and I'm glad you enjoyed the album. These days I've sort of gone back to my musical roots and I'm playing in a garage-rock/rockabilly influenced band Called Dick Venom & The Terrortones. We have our debut album coming out on our own Jailhouse Morgue record label in October and wonder if you would be interested in reviewing it.

You can listen to our most recent EP "The MonsterPussy Sessions" at:
If you like what you hear, let me know how to get in touch with you by emailing me at:

This isn't a comment to be published, but I couldn't find any other way of getting in touch…