Thursday, 3 July 2014

Controls - "Late Night Love Songs" -(Stupid Rabbit Tapes 003) 1980

The next exciting episode in the Controls soap opera continues with their fourth cassette release, "Late Night Love Songs". This finds our heroes in a somewhat more tuneful mood, with a guitarist who has obviously been secretly reading a book on chord structure and guitar techniques! Yes, the evil spectre of 'Melody' had entered their world, trying desperately to crush the charm that made Controls mk.1 But don't worry trash fans, there's still plenty of that youthful innocence pervading these mozart-like pop songs to be worth the price of admission. Including some bonus tracks recorded at that seething Alamo of  punk rock: Church Crookham OAP Home?! Tim, the John Boy Walton of Punk Rock, Naylor, fills us in on what was going on behind the Controls. Take it away Tim Boy......
The Controls (Mark 2) Story:"By summer 1980 Controls had built up a loyal local following and had some good live bookings looming including a showcase gig at the Wooden Bridge in Guildford, a well-known venue that had fostered The Jam and The Vapors.  However, relations were increasingly strained between the band members.Through some contacts on the local Rushmoor council, Controls were booked to play on the roof of the cafeteria at Aldershot Lido as several thousand people attended the 50th Anniversary of the building on the August Bank Holiday 1980.  It turned out to be the original line-ups final gig, and following a massive row post-set, the rhythm section of Tim and Kerry went in one direction and guitarist and singer Melvyn going in the other (via the pool courtesy of Kerry).Bassist Tim said “After a brief brush with punk showbiz the thought of not being in a band was too horrible to contemplate… rather like ending a long relationship.  I needed a rebound band and luckily for me there was a bloke playing his guitar – very loudly – in his garage opposite the Lido.  I marched across the road and recruited him there and then….”Mick Pendleton was ‘the bloke playing the guitar’ and remembers it slightly differently.  “I was pissed off that this rubbish punk group were making so much noise on a Bank Holiday so I went down to my parents’ garage and cranked the old amp up to 11 and knocked out a few Hendrix solos.”“The band finished and five minutes later this harassed looking tall lad walked unannounced into the garage and said “Oi do you wanna be in my band?”.  I replied “Who are you?  Fuckin’ Malcolm McClaren?”.Despite this inauspicious start Mick agreed to come over and jam with Kerry and Tim the following weekend and things clicked pretty much immediately.  Pendleton brought a new dynamic to the band albeit via a traditional rock guitar approach.  Anything but punk, his happy-go-lucky riffing half inched from a grab-bag of Hendrix, Bolan and Bowie cast-offs, with the odd blistering guitar solo thrown in.Now short a singer, the band auditioned a number of hopefuls with Jim Rump – a friend of Pendleton’s and former choir boy – eventually joining on vocals.  A new set was written mainly by Tim with Mick throwing in a few tunes, and several Controls ‘classics’ were reworked… So Soon I forget, Mars Baby, Late Night Love in a Launderette, Caffeinated Housewifes and Videosville.  The fall-out between Melvyn and Tim got more vitriolic when the former heard that the latter was keeping the Controls name and reached Defcon 5 when Melvyn burst in on an early low-key gig for friends of the band (upstairs at Farnborough Recreation Centre) and heard the band playing songs that he had written with the original line-up.  Despite legal letters being sent things eventually calmed down.The new band made its public debut in the unlikely venue of an old people’s home in Church Crookham (a stone’s throw from the band’s Basingbourne Pavilion rehearsal space).  This was recorded live to cassette, but unfortunately someone made the schoolboy error of putting the tape recorder on the bar, leading to some brilliant background chatter inbetween and during songs.  Even so, some demo copies were issued as ‘The Happy Sound of Eating’ and a couple of tracks surfaced on ‘Dance’ (X-Cassettes X-005).In September 1980 the band played a three week Friday residency at a famous folk club (!), the Fox and Hounds in Fleet.  One of these gigs was recorded by Stupid Rabbit’s resident engineer Jon Monks and released in edited form as ‘Late Night Love Songs’ (SRT 003, November 1980).  This release was picked up by Chris Green of X-Cassettes (based in nearby Reading) who contacted the band with a view to releasing material.  Controls became one of X-Cassettes house bands, appearing on the ‘Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour’ (X-002) and ‘Bits’ (X-005) compilations and the 20-track Controls compilation ‘Dance’ (X-003).  This line-up played a number of gigs in 1980 including the Wooden Bridge in Guildford on 8th October, attracting the biggest crowd since the Vapors had played the previous year (according to the venue manager).  Support came from Prisoners of War, with a reverse headline gig taking place in Aldershot later in the month.  
Controls were also due to play the now infamous Drayton Labour Hall gig with Dig Dig Dig, Quality Drivel and the Poles but had split up by the time the gig happened in March '81 (although the band appeared on the posters for the gig).
By this time, Tim and Jon were putting their heads together for a new band, the synth driven Beating Hearts…"Controls Mark 2 – Late Night Love Songs:Apprehension:  song written for the new band by Tim.  Re-released on ‘Anything could happen in the next half hour’ (X-Cassettes X002) and ‘Dance’ (X-Cassettes X005)Funky Childhood: Guitarist Mick’s contribution, a glam era influenced guitar pop song.  Only appearance was on Late Night Love Songs.Over Now:  Another original by Tim that also featured on ‘Anything could happen in the next half hour’ (X-Cassettes X002) and the Controls compilation ‘Dance’ (X-Cassettes X005)Shadows & Echoes:  sombre Joy Division influenced number, music by Tim and Mick, lyrics by Jim.Apology to David – Mk 1 song with music by Tim and lyrics by Melvyn – this live recorded Mk 2 version notable for the fluffed ending.  Original version on Don’t Adjust the Controls, this also appeared on ‘Dance’ (X-Cassettes X003)Late Night Love (in a launderette) – original Mk 1 song written by Tim and slated for inclusion on ‘Don’t adjust the Controls’.  Re-released on the Reading-area compilation ‘Bits’ (X-Cassettes X003) and ‘Dance’ (X-Cassettes X003)So soon I forget – faithful cover version appears for the third time on a Stupid Rabbit release.  Original version on Sock it to ‘em Dave, re-recorded for Don’t Adjust the Controls.  Original version also appears on the Controls compilation ‘Dance’ (X-Cassettes X003)Videosville – faithful retread of the Controls original that first appeared on Don’t Adjust the Controls.Secrets – pacier than the Controls original, driven by a bass chord pattern from Tim and Jim’s soaring vocals. (Original version on Sock it to ‘em Dave)Mars Baby – a jerky post-punk Mk 1 Controls love song became a fire-breathing rock monster thanks to Mick’s riffing and Jim’s Ian-Curtis-on-helium vocals.  Original version on Don’t Adjust the Controls, this also appeared on ‘Dance’ (X-Cassettes X003)Bonus Live Tracks recorded at Church Crookham OAP Home:Caffeinated Housewives/Secrets/So Soon I forget/Mars Baby  

Track Listing:

1 Apprehension
2 Childhood
3 Over Now
4 Shadows And Echoes
5 Late Night Love (In A Launderette)
6 So Soon I Forget
7 Videosville
8 Secrets
9 Mars Baby

DOWNLOAD some late night lovin' HERE!

No comments: