Thursday, 25 May 2017

Punishment Of Luxury- "Peel Session 22-08-1978"

I never started listening to the John Peel show until around the summer of '78 on our annual family 'holiday' in the bracing Skegness concentration camp(the same year that Skeg's famous pier and theatre was removed by a severe gale and storm surge;the place i saw my first pop group...Gerry and the Pacemakers....i jest not!?...and comedy legends like Norman Wisdom,Tommy Cooper, Ray Allen and Lord Charles)
The only record shop in 'Skeg' (not Skag) was a general electrical store called Herrick Watson. The summer before I had the pleasure of purchasing the first Clash Album which was displayed in the window; then the further pleasure of Uncle Ron returning from work and removing the Clash from his stereo and replacing it with some military Brass band playing the "Enigma Variations".An interesting and beautiful piece of music played on any other instrumentation than cornets, trumpets and tuba's by soldiers; driven along with military snare drums........even The Clash would have done a more sensitive interpretation.
That summer of '78 secured me a copy of "(Can't Stand) The Rezillo's", which got the same treatment. This time they did it to Holst's 'Planet Suite' !!!!!!
Uncle Ron was a miserable ex- air force ex-Navy arsehole who came from the same town as Punishment Of Luxury (Newcastle)......something dear to the clogged up arteries of Ronald's black heart, as he loved to punish anyone lower in rank to himself if they were caught enjoying any luxuries.
Television being banned, and having lost all my money in the amusement arcades, the only option was to disappear to bed to listen furtively to The John Peel Show, which, during that month of august featured the first session by Punilux. This sounded like outer-space to me, so used to the one chord shouty dirge's of '77 vintage punk. Were these mysterious musicians actually playing several chords in shifting time signatures with melodies, like the Progressive rock bands I grew up with.....but,without the messing about?....the answer was 'Yes', and opened my ears to the new intelligent bands that started to appear from that summer of 1978 onwards. There was at least four Geordies whom I liked that Geordie Nazi Uncle Ron couldn't censor.
(For those who are interested, Ron mellowed somewhat after his third heart attack, and even more after that as he died in about 2002-ish....not sure)


1 - Funk Me (6:20)
2 - Babalon (5:48)
3 - Let's Get Married/You're So Beautiful (6:54)

DOWNLOAD if you're a glutton for punishment HERE!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Punishment Of Luxury - "Live @ Reading Festival 24-08-1979"

"Do you like cold Chips David?", and "I'll facking 'ave ya!", are just two of the tasty morsels of dialogue captured from the restless crowd on this recording of Punishment Of Luxury's career peak at the Reading Festival in 1979.
There were an inordinate number of Greebo's waiting for Motorhead ,ready for a fight. Punilux's appearance apparently caused a vicious can fight between their punky fans and a larger number of long haired headbangers.Although Punilux tried to calm the audience , their remarks did not help cool things down one bit . Sporadic fights broke out throughout the evening as bored ( or perhaps intoxicated ) audience members took their frustrations out on other fans .
Inexplicably they were below Doll By Doll on the bill!?....whom the Motorhead fans hated even more than Punishment Of Luxury......but they liked The Cure!??....obviously they were too hammered to care by then. More understandably they loved Wilko Johnson's Solid Senders, so these Greebo's couldn't have been that pissed, or that stupid.
The Police and The (fucking awful) Tourists,featuring the reprehensible Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox had to follow Motorhead!??.....who decided on this running order???
Festivals are fucking awful anyway, but at least some of the bands weren't, like Punishment Of Luxury.


1 Puppet Life
2 The demon
3 Funk Me
4 All White Jack
5 Obsession
6 Radar Bug/Metropolis
7 British Baboon
8 Babalon
9 Jellyfish
10 Brain Bomb.

DOWNLOAD a charming festival experience HERE!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Punishment Of Luxury ‎– "Laughing Academy" (United Artists ‎– UAG 30258)

'Post-punk' was in fact Prog's triumphant return after a forced tactical withdrawal during Punk Rock's 'Khmer Rouge' approach to anything slightly intellectual or  musicianly.
Most of the intelligentsia of the punk movement were secret Prog fans, Like Devoto,Shelley, Lydon, Levine, and even the dumber end had its prog acolytes, like Captain Sensible and Rat Scabies.
As far as I was concerned, so-called 'Post-Punk' was Punk Rock, and never considered it all to be Post-anything; it was still happening wasn't it?
So suddenly in '78, filling the gaping hole left by Standard Punk's inability to move on from The Ramones template, we had This Heat, Magazine,Cardiacs and Punishment of Luxury. Alongside an increasingly active Fripp and Eno,a resurrected Van Der Graff Generator, and plenty of Peter Hamill albums. All suitably punkified of course.
Punishment Of Luxury (aka Punilux) were a bunch of actors from North East England, who made a type of funky performance rock, with shifting time signatures, fertile with ideas, and a spikey edge. All performed with a technical ability that was taboo in 1977/8.
Whereas Prog Rock before 1976 had largely turned into some kind of bad musical, the new revitalised Prog (aka Post-Punk) had learned the harsh lessons dealt out by the Punk's,stripped away the Lord of the rings and Mozart nonsense,and concentrated on actually being All packaged(with classic Prog art gatefold sleeve to boot!) in shorter song formats for those modern '78 kids with short attention spans;introducing heavier subject matter than chaos and boredom.
Punilux were outstandingly good, and it never fails to astound me that they virtually sank without trace. It wasn't until recently that i found out that they had a couple more albums released after this.....not on United Artists though, who dropped them like a hot potato as soon as they never went top ten with a bullet, and/or decided that they weren't 'New Wave enough.
Incredibly, as recently as 2012, they released a new album, and played gigs!?.... And why not?


1 Puppet Life 3:03
2 Funk Me 4:00
3 The Message 3:55
4 All White Jack 3:57
5 Obsession 4:43
6 Radar Bug / Metropolis 5:43
7 British Baboon 4:03
8 Babalon 4:00
9 Excess Bleeding Heart 2:38
10 Laughing Academy 5:01


11 Secrets (single 1979)
12 Brain Bomb (Secrets B-side)
13 Baby Don't Jump (Laughing Academy 7" B-side, 1980)
14 Engine Of Excess (Single 1979)
15 Jellyfish (Engine of Excess B-Side)
16 Puppet life (Small Wonder 7" Version 1978)
17 The Demon (Puppet life B-Side)

Monday, 22 May 2017

Camberwell Now - "Live @ Tegan Tonen Frestival, Amsterdam 08/05/1986"

At last a high quality live recording of post This Heat avant-prog combo Camberwell Now. As captured by VPRO Radio at the Tegen Tonen Festival in Amsterdam in 1986.
This band never really did themselves justice on vinyl, and were better heard in a live situation. A slightly mellower and less abrasive offspring of This Heat. Most notable for ex-Heat sound engineer Stephen Rickard's mellotron inspired cassette-based 'sampler' invention.

Track Listing:

1- Working Nights
2- Daddy Needs A Throne
3- Sitcom
4- identity parade
5- Billboard and Beyond
6- Greenfingers
7- Green lantern

DOWNLOAD camberwell then in amsterdam NOW!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

This Is Not This Heat - "Live @u Cent Quatre, Paris- 15/03/2017"

I often complain about groups reforming to earn a bit of dough,and in the process tarnishing a legend that was best left unblemished.
This is not the case with 'This Is Not This Heat' however, who have respected their former groups legacy by recognising that certain members are no longer with us, and therefore this is something quite different. A kind of tribute,and reinvention of their past group rather than a nostalgia trip for cash.Hence the title of the project ensures that we know that this is definitely not 'This Heat'. A lot of other groups who reform around one or less members should use that epithet, like This is Not Dr Feelgood, or This is Not Bucks Fizz.
This Heat's legend has grown immeasurably in the 21st century, and inevitably the demand for some kind of product was bound to result in some kind of reincarnation by the remaining members,although the late Gareth Williams' replacement Trefor Goronwy is absent (i suppose this carries on the welsh connection still further?).
The two Charles's, Hayward and Bullen, are augmented by a number of 'guests' to plough through the This Heat back catalogue,including the traditional improvisation, and sound as if they had never left us.
All recorded in the highest quality you've ever heard these songs captured live in (The first time ever in the case of "24 Track loop"/Repeat!).Fantastic.
I love this group and I have no problem with them trying to get some meagre recompense for their monumental legacy. They can do anything they want to do, and more to the point they are more than capable of doing it, which is also rare in these delicate cases.

Track Listing:

1- Testcard (0:25)
2- Horizonatal Hold (7:19)
3- Not Waving (6:17)
4- Improvisation (1:08)
5- Twilight Furniture (4:49)
6- Music ike escaping gas (4:56)
7- The Fall Of Saigon (6:09)
8- Independence (5:14)
9- Cenotaph (7:44)
10- SPQR (3:28)
11- A New Kind Of Water (5:36)
12- Paper Hats (2:46)
13- Makeshift Swahili (part one)(5:17)
14- Makeshift Swahili (Part Two) (5:34)
15- Sleep (2:36)
16- Introduction of the Guests
17- 24 Track Loop (6:29)
18- Health and Efficiency (9:45)


Saturday, 20 May 2017

Young Marble Giants - "Live @ Les Bains Douches, Paris 17/06/1980"

To round up our brief sojourn through Welsh DIY/Post Punk, here's proof that you could actually escape from Wales.
No doubt hailed as 'les génie minimaliste anglais'(the French could never understand the concept of the United Kingdom and Ireland being anything other than English), YMG got about a bit on the road during their short existence, and here we find ourselves in the legendary 'Les Bains Douches' in Paris. 
You can see why the French liked Young Marble Giants despite the lack of the usual reasons, like having a song or album with a French Title; as did, for example, The Police who are never off French Radio or supermarché muzak systems; if you are liked in France you stay liked, no matter what you do).An achievement that YMG would be rather envious of, given their minor obsession with background music or muzak.
YMG could easily pass for french, except the Moxham's were about a foot too tall;but Alison Stratton looked and dressed like a Parisienne Art student.
Worth their place in the Louvre, YMG treat us to some muffled lo-fi recordings of tunes from their classic Rough Trade album,and accompanying EP's.
Voila!Les génie minimaliste Gallois.


1- The Man Amplifier
2- Choci Loni
3- Radio Silents
4- Wurlitzer Jukebox
5- Music For evenings
6- Colossal Youth
7- Salad days
8- Ode To Booker T.
9- Include Me Out
10-Final day

DOWNLOAD,listen in the bath or shower and imagine you're in Paris HERE!

Friday, 19 May 2017

Young Marble Giants ‎– "Colossal Youth" (Rough Trade ‎– ROUGH 8) 1980

If there is a chance nobody here has heard this classic record, then here it is for download.
The best thing to come out of Wales along with the aforementioned M4 motorway.
A lesson in originality, individuality, the power of subtlety, and the beauty of stepping sideways. A perfect career in modern music,a brief flash of brilliance, then disappear.
A silence that is louder than the noise.


A1 Searching For Mr Right
A2 Include Me Out
A3 The Taxi
A4 Eating Noddemix
A5 Constantly Changing
A6 N.I.T.A.
A7 Colossal Youth
B1 Music For Evenings
B2 The Man Amplifier
B3 Choci Loni
B4 Wurlitzer Jukebox !
B5 Salad Days
B6 Credit In The Straight World
B7 Brand - New - Life
B8 Wind In The Rigging

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Scritti Politti ‎– "4 'A Sides' " (Rough Trade ‎– RT 027, St. Pancras Records ‎– SCRIT 2) 1979

Is it me or were there two EP's with the same catalog number? SCRIT 2?
Here's the last post from Scritti politti's golden years.
The official story is that Green got ill, got on the M4 in the wrong direction, and ended up back in Cardiff ,then discovered his sisters record collection and decided to make 'proper' poop records.
He could plead Insanity one supposes?


A1 Bibbly-O-Tek
A2 Doubt Beat
B1 Confidence
B2 P.A.s

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Scritti Politti ‎– "Work In Progress 2nd Peel Session" (Rough Trade ‎– RT 034, St. Pancras Records ‎– SCRIT 2) 1979

So here's Scritti's excellent second peel session, released as an EP on Rough Trade, although I doubt the production costs printed on the back apply to Rough Trade's comparatively  unlimited edition of the record.
Notable for the use of the term "Messthetics" which was half-inched by Hyped2Death for their cd-r compilations of UK DIY singles, such as this.

A1 Messthetics 1:48
A2 Hegemony 2:10
B1 Scritlocks Door 1:35
B2 OPEC-Immac 3:20

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Scritti Politti - "First Peel Session 05/12/1978"

Here's the unreleased First Peel Session from when dey wuz gud (note clever Slade style phonetics ;-), and Green hadn't 'discovered' american black music and wanted it for himself.
No Green you didn't invent unlistenable slick soul boredom.
Even whilst laying down these exercises in Art damaged No Wave reggae, Mr Gartside was undoubtedly planning his future as a minor pop star. Swapping this very 'white' music for a very pale imitation of it's Black counterpart wot he carried on the proud white man tradition of by nicking it; like his mates Paul Young and Mick Hucknall.
Is there anything more despicable than 'Blue-eyed Soul'?.....put answers in a sealed envelope, burn it, and flush the ashes down the bog.

Track Listing:

1 - The Humours Of Spitalfields
2 - Know;edge and Interest
3 - Doubt Beat
4 - 05/12/78

DOWNLOAD scritti peelitti number one HERE!

Scritti Politti - "Skank Bloc Bologna" (St. Pancras Records ‎– SCRIT 1) 1978

As i mentioned before the best thing to come out of Wales is the M4, and a young Green Gartside used that portal to escape to London with his university(Leeds) pop group.
Never in the field of human conflict has a band fallen from grace more spectacularly than Scritti Politti.
The third single of the three big catalysers of the DIY vinyl boom of 78-80,after 'Spiral Scratch(Buzzcocks),and The Desperate Bicycles; this exercise in marxist anti-capitalism was intended to encourage others to follow the same DIY philosophy. Like The Desperate Bicycles they included instructions and the costings on how to record and release your own single. 
Egalitarian and anti-corporate as it was, the music was also inspiringly non-rock, verging on the anti-music.Classically loose and falling apart,there was a notably improvisational slant to Scritti's music;well,It's not disco music.
There is also a certain 'right-on-ness' about it all that makes one feel slightly nauseous however.
There was mention of a meeting in Scritti's Pub/office,of the London Musicians Collective,(as recounted fully in Bendle's excellent DIY biog "Permanent Transience",buy it here)  where Bendle (of The Door and the Window)is berated by a self-righteous Green Gartside for using the word 'Cunt' to refer to someone he didn't care for very much.

"During the course of our conversation when I derogatorily referred to someone as “a cunt”, Green stopped me and pointed out the sexist nature of my language. Prick – he said, why not use that epithet, and explained why." (Bendle)*

Yes, please explain it to us Green.

Prick, was an apt word to describe our favourite right-on marxist pop singer who would soon embrace capitalism to show us how good a socialist he really was.
All this correct behaviour was soon to be flushed down the nearest ladies toilet, when Gartside discovered something called 'Black Music' and went 'Pop'! Starting with the shockingly conventional "The 'Sweetest' Girl" single, and the terrible "Songs To Remember" album.Then it got far worse, with some sickly sweet blue-eyed soul crap.
What was that oft-used phrase again?...ah yes...'Like Punk Never Happened'.

*Bendle (2015-02-21). Permanent Transience (Kindle Locations 1085-1086).  . Kindle Edition.

A Skank Bloc Bologna
B1 Is And Ought The Western World
B2 28 / 8 / 78

Monday, 15 May 2017

Reptile Ranch ‎– "Don’t Give The Lifeguard A Second Chance" (Z Block Records ‎– Z1) 1979

Spike of bland indie soft jazzers Weekend, was in Reptile Ranch. And as well as opening side two on Cardiff compilation “Is The War Over?”,they released the first single on Z-Block Records.
An individually numbered, handwritten and stamped ,classic DIY style seven incher, which bizarrely had the same two tracks on both sides;rather than have each different track on either side like everyone else!?
The music is unremarkable also-ran post-punk;the kind we all love.The A-side,or in this case, track 1 on both sides, has a cheapo organ and a recorder to add an interesting nuance to an already charming and melodic ditty.
Track 2, 'WTB', or 'White Tiger Burning', is less charming. Especially when the singer does an unnecessary impression of Larry The Lamb when singing the hook line.Quite an off-putting affliction.

They thank another Cardiff connected band ,and DIY catalysts,Scritti Polliti on the back cover.Which is a good excuse to do a series of Scritti Polliti posts up until they/he turned shit,i.e. up to “The 'Sweetest' Girl “ single......They/Green, wanted a 'Hit'apparently!??(note use of clever clever quotation marks around the word 'Hit',just like Green did with 'Sweetest')


A1 WTB 5:15
A2 Lifeguard 3:45
B1 WTB 5:15
B2 Lifeguard 3:45

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Weekend ‎– "The '81 Demos" (Vinyl Japan ‎– TASKCD 47) 1995/1981

Cravats, Ray Bans, beige slacks, stools.....the sitting on variety, not the specimens one provides to a doctor.
Who do these Weekenders think they are?????.....The Style Council?
The Demo's that Weekend made were far less 'jazzy' than their debut LP, and as a result a lot more palatable.Dare one suggest that they sound like a more tuneful and dreamy Young Marble Giants?
These chaps could have easily been The Style Council if they had bothered.Instead they became 'Working Week',which is worse.


1 Drumbeat 3:29
2 Red Planes 8:56
3 Nostalgia 5:26
4 Summerdays (Instrumental) 3:35

Friday, 12 May 2017

Weekend ‎– "La Varieté" (Rough Trade ‎– ROUGH 39) 1982

If Young Marble Giants flirted with Testcard music, then Alison Strattons' post-YMG group, Weekend, actually made Testcard music, disguised as parisienne café jazz......which is also Testcard Music I suppose?
Its some type of trendy indie spliced with the kind of limp jazz that plays in the background of pretentious restaurants.Its quite pleasant and inoffensive, but who wants to be that?
Again this is the kind of wet student music that Cherry Red specialised in at this time; the Pillows and Prayers crowd. Rough Trade should have swapped this lot for the Nightingales, who didn't really belong alongside Everything But The Girl and The Marine Girls.
Having said that, being an oficionado of Easy listening, I like it!
If this was a lost volume of Library music from some East-European TV station I would be praising it to the hilt; but as its some kind of attempt to be a retro-cool hybrid, it has to be treated as such. Recycling the past to an audience ignorant of what has gone before is basically a cop-out.If i wanted to listen to some mellow Café chic I'd dig out an old Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrid Gilberto album.Which is a fuck of a lot better than this pale imitation by some welsh post-punk refugees.To think Spike used to be in Reptile Ranch?
There were lots of sterile bands like this around 1982,Blue Rondo,Carmel,Matt Bianco, Working Week, EBTG.....terrible stuff. This carried on evolving and we ended up with the uber-trendy 90's Acid Jazz format, as an alternative to the endless intravenous feed of House music.Luckily this led onto more interesting area's like Loungecore, Jungle, and the Incredibly Strange Music phenomenon.
As a reaction to Punk and NWOBHM, Weekend scores quite highly. The high point being Alison Stratton's reinvention as the new wave Astrid Gilberto, by singing in exactly the same style as she did in the Young Marble Giants. 


1 The End Of The Affair 3:05
2 Weekend Stroll 3:23
3 Summer Days 2:53
4 Carnival Headache 2:51
5 Drum Beat For Baby 2:57
6 Life In The Day Of Part 1 3:49
7 Life In The Day Of Part 2 2:23
8 Sleepy Theory 2:52
9 Woman's Eyes 2:49
10 Weekend Off 3:20
11 Red Planes 4:46
12 Nostalgia 3:50

Bonus Tracks:

13 A View From Her Room (12 Inch Version) 8:11
14 Leaves Of Spring 2:40
15 Past Meets Present 3:38
16 Midnight Slows 2:03
27 Drum Beat For Baby (12 Inch Version) 4:17

DOWNLOAD the weak end of post-punk HERE!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Gist ‎– "Embrace The Herd" (Rough Trade ‎– ROUGH 25) 1982

Stuart Moxham's first post 'Young Marble Giants' album is a mixed experience.
First up we have an instrumental that sounds like the theme tune to an upbeat Schools programme, followed by the classic mellow anthem, and Moxham's most successful song, "Love at First Sight", which luckily escaped being covered by one of those terrible Grunge stars who lauded his previous group. It was however featured in some shit american film, and was a hit on the continent after it was covered by an identikit french chanteuse.
The record struggles to create its own identity ,and sounds like its just a bunch of different songs bunged together,that doesn't work as a cohesive album; but it does have more high spots than low points.
A star studded guest list which included a Swell Map, a member of This Heat, and Alison Stratton late Marble Giants; helped jolly it all along, and water down the records self-identity. Listen to this and you wouldn't immediately think, 'Aha!...thats The Gist'.
This is the Cherry Red CD reissue by the way, which is appropriate because it  sounds like it should have been on that label rather than Rough Trade back in '82.


1 Far Concern 2:51
2 Love At First Sight 3:44
3 Fretting Away 2:19
4 Public Girls 3:28
5 Clean Bridges 3:09
6 Simian 2:55
7 Embrace The Herd 2:41
8 Iambic Pentameter 2:53
9 Carnival Headache 3:52
10 Concrete Slopes 2:22
11 The Long Run
12 Dark Shots 3:05
13 Problem Attics 3:20 (previously unreleased)
14 Light Aircraft 3:05 (previously unreleased)

15 Love At First Sight [Demo Version] 3:40
16 Four Minute Warning 3:56 (B-side of Love at first sight)

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Gist ‎– "This Is Love" (Rough Trade ‎– RT 058) 1980

To be in The Gist, it seems you had to have a sir name that begins with 'M'.
Stuart Moxham's post Young Marble Giants almost 'solo' project, was a warmer affair than his previous band. The minimalism is still there, but the stark emotional austerity isn't.
This stuff could easily have appeared on Cherry Red records alongside Tracy Thorn and that lot.
The A-side sounds more like YMG, mainly because the bass player was Phil Moxham; fronted by a mellow voiced Stuart.
The better tune has to be 'Yanks', which could have been an Everything But The Girl number, but thankfully wasn't.


A - This Is Love.
B - Yanks

DOWNLOAD the gists of love HERE!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Young Marble Giants ‎– "Testcard E.P." (Rough Trade ‎– RT 059) 1980

It says, on the sleeve :"Six instrumentals in praise and celebration of mid-morning television made and played by: Stuart Moxham and Philip Moxham".
Which accurately sums up the music.
Nowadays, mid-morning Television consists of cookery programmes, and Insipid grinning presenters talking about Irrital Bowel Syndrome and vaginal discharges.
Back in the seventies and early eighties, there was no television before mid-day, and only three channels.
There were some 'programmes for Schools' on ITV, including the excellent 'Picture Box'(complete with creepy theme tune) presented by some creepy bloke.
But, on BBC1 and 2, except for 'Playschool' at about 11am, we were treated to 'The Testcard' which looked pretty much like the front of this record sleeve;most of the time with a weird picture of a little girl playing noughts and crosses(tik-tak-toe for our very silly american viewers) with a toy clown.(Re-live this experience, including music by clicking HERE!)
Accompanying this were endless streams of inoffensive background music which became weirder the more one listened to it on those days when we kids skipped school or were 'ill'.
In the mid-nineties i don't think I listened to anything else except library music, easy listening, and exotica(there were clubs where this stuff was danced to!) seemed a subversive antidote to the music of the hive mind that poisoned the planet, and is STILL here today!!!!????
Good to see that YMG were there in 1980,revolting against the post-punk mainstream with the power of 'Easy'.Nothing would get an Exploited fan more irate.
Alison Stratton had left to form Weekend, so this was the fitting vocal-less swansong for YMG.


A1 Clicktalk 2:40
A2 Zebra Trucks 1:27
A3 Sporting Life 1:10
B1 This Way 1:37
B2 Posed By Models 2:17
B3 The Clock 1:35

Monday, 8 May 2017

Young Marble Giants ‎– "The Peel Session 18/08/1980"

Well worth it for another version of 'Final Day'.


Searching For Mr Right 2:35
Brand – New – Life 2:46
Final Day 1:56
N.I.T.A. 3:43
Posed By Models 1:31

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Young Marble Giants ‎– "Colossal Youth Demos" (Self-Released) 1979

Meanwhile,back in South Wales, we present some super-claustrophobic demos from Cardiff's own introspective minimalists, Young Marble Giants. A lesson in how to stand out from the crowd by doing the opposite of the rest of the hive.
The rest of the country were either reinventing Heavy Metal,playing funky post-punk,or slipping into hardcore sameness.
YMG were flirting with testcard music,clean sounds and space.
Alison Statton's plain, natural voice is a perfect focus for the music,and reminds one of the clean austere singing of folk legend Shirley Collins.
The sound of these demos suits the Giants probably a tad more than the hi-fidelity recording of the official Rough Trade album.Like we're shut inside a cupboard listening to them through the closed door.
Real greatness.


1 Have Your Toupée Ready 1:09
2 N.I.T.A. 4:28
3 Brand-New Life 2:54
4 Zebra Trucks 1:33
5 Choci Loni 2:14
6 Wind In The Rigging 2:38
7 The Man Shares His Meal With His Beast 4:24
8 The Taxi 2:04
9 Constantly Changing 2:06
10 Music For Evenings 2:57
11 Credit In The Straight World 2:12
12 Eating Noddemix 2:02
13 Radio Silents 2:53
14 Hayman 1:28
15 Loop The Loop 3:04

Friday, 5 May 2017

Chorchazade – "Death Is Eeklo" (Unreleased) 1988

We have a short break in our stay in South Wales, and briefly return back across the Severn Bridge to Bristol via Penzance, as some kind person has provided us with the missing Unreleased Chorcazade album from the famed mass group extinction year of 1988. The strangely titled "Death Is Eeklo".
Here,they sound like a intriguing mix between early Felt and a Josef K 45 played at 33rpm, although the Slint parallel remains.
Production values are up on the "Made To Be Devoured" album.As are the number of unfathomable words like 'Eeklo' and the unpronounceable group moniker,which is apparently pronounced thus: Cork-ah-zayde!?


01) Night Ferry
02) Laughing Gasman
03) Amorous Gasman
04) Wheel
05) Treacletime
06) Checkered Soul
07) Smiling Wessex Ghost
08) Neat Around Nought


Thursday, 4 May 2017

Young Marble Giants ‎– "Final Day EP" (Rough Trade ‎– RT 043)

The best thing to come out of Wales is normally the M4 motorway right?.......but, whats the best record ever to come out of Wales?
Tom Jones's "Delilah"? Manic Street Preachers tune?.......definitely fucking NOT!.....Catatonia's "Road Rage", which is a strong contender as thee WORST song ever it isn't that?!
I think you've already guessed, as this post is about The Young Marble Giants' colossal apocalypso ode to the creeping shadow of the nuclear holocaust.
If there was ever a video made for this, it should show devasting explosions vaporising children in slow motion. The contrast with the peace and tranquility of this darkly beautiful tune, would ram home the message better than any of the recent slew of post-apocalypse movies that seem to be de rigueur these days.
My favourite nuclear attack scene (everyone has one don't they?) happens to be from a BBC production called "Threads"from 1984 (click here to watch it),an epoch when total annihilation could have happened at any second. The moment when it goes silent as ET burns in the intense heat is just one part that would fit nicely in any video for "Final Day".
Thankfully, YMG came from an era when we didn't have any video's for songs by outsiders such as they. They could maintain that long lost aire of mystery that absolutely nobody has anymore. I was shocked to find out that the YMG's were real people, so alien was their sound,and they looked ever-so slightly android-like on the dim half-light cover of their lone album.
Such stealthy power in so short a song,and such a short lived group.


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Various Artists - "Messthetics #104: South Wales D.I.Y.'77-81" (Hyped2Death) 2008

Well if you liked "Is The War Over?(a Cardiff Compilation)", you're gonna like this.
A kind of  'Best of...' South Wales DIY compilation on that Hyped2Death cd-r label that did such a great job at reintroducing the British to their own forgotten culture. Rather like what the Brits have always been doing to the Americans since 1963.
Now we all wish that these same Americans would erase their culture from the last twenty years,that introduced such heinous crimes as Nu-Metal,Rap Metal,modern R&B,99% of all Rap nonsense, Dubya,Trump,Jay Zee,that other twat who i forgot the name of,Kanye West......OMFG...the list would go on but my brain is shutting down to protect my cerebral cortex from permanent damage.
This cd-r,however, has some absolute classics on it.......Notably The Czechs 'Suffocation', which seemed to have a drum kit comprising only of a Snare drum; and The Crash Action Winners' wonderfully incompetent  version of The Red Krayola's 'Hurricane Fighter Plane'......were they the welsh 'Prats'?...I say, yes.....yes, they were the Welsh Prats. I know Wales is full of prats, but in this instance I am referring to the group of Scottish pre-teens who made a classic session for the John Peel Show, and, from before that, appeared on Fast products 'Earcom 1' compilation.
There is another appearance by future Young Marble Giants as 'Table Table', and many other,ambitionless proto-indie castaways.
Them were,unequivocally, THE DAYS


1 –The Czechs - Suffocation + 44 Seconds
2 –Current Obsessions -Fish
3 –What To Wear-The Robbery
4 –Tax Exiles - (I Don't Believe In) Miracles
5 –The Flying Brix- Uniform (I Don't Wanna Be Different)
6 –Immortal Invisibles - No Zip
7 –Spitfire Boys -Funtime
8 –Decadent Few- There's A Place
9 –The Sane - Arnold Palmer
10 –Discount Chiefs- In A Different Light
11 –Table Table- Magic Moments
12 –Crash Action Winners - Hurricane Fighter Plane
13 –Reptile Ranch- (Don't Give The) Lifeguard (A Second Chance)
14 –Addiction - Violence
15 –The Boy wonders- He Man
16 –Hugh Volk- Talk Of Town
17 –Decadent Few - Burning Caroline
18 –Ralph & The Ponytails - James Bond
19 –Janet & Johns - I Was A Young Man
20 –What To Wear - We're The Martians Now
21 –Ralph & The Ponytails - Splendid Stories
22 –Discount Chiefs- Smell Of Fossils
23 –Puritan Guitars- Making It
24 –Tax Exiles- Rough In The Valley

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Various Artists ‎– "Is The War Over? (a Cardiff compilation)" (Z Block Records ‎– ZA1) 1979

After Cornwalls' king of obscurity, Chorcazade,its only right to stay firmly in the south-west of the uk, and cross the Bristol Channel with another one of those local scene compilations that were definitely 'a la mode' in 1979 on that '...Isle full of Noises'...('The Tempest ActIII, scene II).
'...Be not afeared..."(The Tempest again!....i'm so well read ain't I???)This one is from Cardiff,which is in Wales just over the Severn Bridge from Bristol(where one of the best local comps came from,"Avon Calling").
As with all of these compilations, it is full of plodding student post-punk bands,'missed the bus' punk groups, and various spotty bedroom dwellers.
The lyrics are, naturally,full of sixth form philosophy, and art foundation course politics.The prize goes to The Riotous Brothers with this charming couplet: 
"Let's Blow up the Coloureds, let's blow up the Whites,lets blow up the politicians,just like Airey Neave"....I assume it was some crass attempt at being Ironic? The use of the word 'Coloureds' especially,places this firmly in a past where racism was accepted as part of normal life. At least we knew who the racists were back in them days.
Its not all like the Riotous Brothers on this record however.
Reptile Ranch at least show some competence, with an early Fall/Spherical Objects sound;mainly thanks to the cheapo organ which is always a winner.Its mainly the work of 'Spike', future leader of Welsh Indie-café Jazz crossover muzak legends, 'Weekend';with Young Marble Giants'chanteuse Alison Stratton churning out her classically passionless vocals.
But....of course, the main attraction of this collection are 'The Young Marble Giants' themselves. Post-punk deities, and inventors of 'Slo-Core', a decade before 'Low' were even married to each other.
The two YMG tracks are different,rawer, versions to those included on their Rough Trade album, "Colossal Youth".One of the truly great post-punk groups.....enjoy the silence.


Black & White Side:

1 –Addiction-Violence
2 –Addiction-Stampede
3 –Addiction-Seek & Search
4 –Mad Dog-Killer
5 –Mad Dog-Someone Here Must Like Me
6 –Test To Destruction-Passive
7 –Riotous Brothers-Airey Neave
8 –Riotous Brothers-No Justice

Colour Side:

1 –Reptile Ranch-Waterhole
2 –The New Form - On The Edge
3 –The New Form - Boy
4 –The New Form - Blockhead
5 –Beaver-Mac The Knife
6 –Beaver-Kleptomania
7 –Young Marble Giants-Ode To Booker T
8 –Young Marble Giants-Searching For Mr. Right

DOWNLOAD some wails from wales HERE!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Chorchazade ‎– "Made To Be Devoured" (Get Ahead Records ‎– GET#1) 1987

Proto-Post Rock is the made-up genre for this deeply buried and deeply good lost album from another lost British group. Pre-dating the very american Slint to the claims of inventing Post-Rock by a couple of years at least.
This is one of Slint producer, Steve Albini's, favourite albums,which suggests an undue influence on those tiny giants of post-rock , by the giant of american alternative rock himself. He was always whipping out his copy of "Made To Be devoured" in the control room apparently; explaining the undeniable parallels with that "Spiderland" album.
But you won't find Chorchazade doing sell-out(in both senses of the word)tours performing "made To Be Devoured" in its entirety to packed audiences of middle-aged bankers, oh no. I doubt the individuals involved even remember,or care, they were in such a bizarre group as this at least I hope not.


A1 Pie Maker
A2 Half A Crown
A3 Beak (Concise Version)
A4 Felix Rex
B1 It Aint Because
B2 Twain
B3 Tom Dander
B4 Out Of This World

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Chorchazade ‎– "Crackle And Corkette EP" (Crackle And Corkette ‎– Crack One) 1985

"Indie" was supposed to be music for misfits,but even within these ranks there were outsiders.None more so than this Cornish bunch of outcasts with an unpronounceable name....Chorchazade??? WTF!? 

Impossibly obscure and from Penzance,on the most isolated tip of England.This is a weird kind of Aspergers Syndrome Rock, that doesn't seem to care if anyone ever listens to it;the last thing they seemed to want to get is attention or love.With a name like Chorchazade they were destined to get what they wanted,and they certainly got it..... total obscurity!
The music they somehow managed to write,is a bizarre form of Outsider-post-indie,or an even more autistic form of proto-post-rock,making Slint look like Metallica in the process.
They did however manage to perform sporadic concerts in Britain and Europe from 1977 to 1988, often supporting such luminaries as the terrible James, Marc Riley and the Creepers, A Certain Ratio, The Blue Aeroplanes and The Brilliant Corners.
They eventually released this 12 inch EP which John Peel played a track off;but said that he 'wished the group had a simpler name, like the Moody Blues’' and never played another of the group's recordings.They also played at the Glastonbury festival in 1988, but only on the 'warm-up' Thursday. It rained heavily and the only sound between songs was the buzz of scrambling motorbikes in an adjacent field. The group’s manager(they had a manager???) and one of their girlfriends(They had Girlfriends?????) stood alone, watching from under a large golf umbrella.
Chief Chorchazader Chris said:"At the end though, the last few songs, when the sun came out and all these people wrapped in bin liners appeared from nowhere, nodding their heads and shaking the rain out of their hair. We had back stage passes for the whole festival but we went home as soon as we'd finished playing. We played the Ashton Court festival a few times of course, when it was free, before it turned into the total shit that it is now. We even played second to last on the main stage Saturday night once. The review in the paper said we 'went down like a fart in a spacesuit.' It was true too, all those people expecting a dance and a good time and everything. Hmmmm."
In 1989 the band apparently, recorded an album called 'Death Is Eeklo' and went on a short tour of Belgium to promote it. The group’s minibus was found, empty, in a lay-by a mile or so outside of Waterloo like an Indie Marie Celeste. Half eaten baguettes, a cigarette still smoking in the ashtray. The tour was not completed and the album was never officially released.In 1995 a benevolent caretaker rescued hundreds ( estimated to be 75% of the total number originally pressed ) of the group's vinyl records from a skip outside a Bristol music distribution factory. A lot of them have warped and look like shallow black bowls now. If you own a Chorchazade record, you have a very rare thing.


A1 Aah,You Are,As Light As A Feather 5:03
A2 Where There's Brera 3:05
B This Is His 8:13

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Various Artists ‎– "C-86" (New Musical Express ‎– NME 022) 1986

Amazingly,five of the Ron Johnson stable appeared on the Iconic 'Indie' compilation "C-86", as released/compiled by the NME.
Indeed we also find Bogshed nestled in amongst such pale floppy fringe wearers as The Wolfhounds, the Bodines and other jangly foppish nonsense.
I'm surprised to discover that the tape that defined an Indie Era of jingly jangly tweedom, did in fact have some very non-jangly groups included.
Primal Scream open up the proceedings sounding, for all the world exactly like the very shit Stone Roses, three years in advance of all that 'Madchester' crap.
Of course Primal Scream would become one of those very same ,terrible bandwagon jumping combo's of 1989. Of the rest only The Soup Dragons would join them in making dance/indie crossover awfulness; which is a shame because I quite liked early Soup Dragons......I'll fact i quite enjoyed a lot of this tape!?....which is strange, as I regarded this stuff (Ron Johnson acts excepted), as the enemy,rather than the NME.
30 years removed,one now finds this jangly indie pop refreshing,and charmingly youthful.Unlike me.


1–Primal Scream Velocity Girl 1:22
2–The Mighty Lemon Drops Happy Head 2:42
3–The Soup Dragons Pleasantly Surprised 2:05
4–The Wolfhounds-Feeling So Strange Again 1:41
5–The Bodines-Therese 3:09
6–Mighty Mighty-Law 3:40
7–Stump-Buffalo 4:30
8–Bogshed-Run To The Temple 3:28
9–A Witness-Sharpened Sticks 2:30
10–The Pastels-Breaking Lines 2:59
11–The Age Of Chance-From Now On,This Will Be Your God 3:12
12–Shop Assistants-It's Up To You 2:38
13–The Close Lobsters - Firestation Towers 1:48
14–Miaow-Sport Most Royal 2:54
15–Half Man Half Biscuit-I Hate Nerys Hughes (From The Heart) 3:46
16–The Servants-Transparent 2:36
17–MacKenzies-Big Jim (There's No Pubs In Heaven) 2:34
18–Big Flame-New Way(Quick Wash & Brush Up With Liberation Theology)1:37
19–We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It-Console Me 1:24
20–McCarthy-Celestial City 2:59
21–The Shrubs-Bullfighter's Bones 3:48
22–The Wedding Present-This Boy Can Wait 4:00

Friday, 28 April 2017

The Membranes ‎– "The Gift Of Life" (Creation Records ‎– CRELP 006) 1985

The ironically titled "The Gift Of Life", was, funnily enough, an early release on Alan McGee's  nascent Creation Records.....Yes, the label responsible for such crimes against culture as Primal Scream, The Boo Radleys,and the despicable Oasis, yet also responsible for such Modern Pop wonders of the world like the early JAMC singles and MBV's "Loveless".
What The Membranes were doing on a label such as that I can but guess; part of McGee's 'throw enough shit at the wall then something will stick' philosophy.....then when it sticks(Oasis), he could sell out his independent spirit to some awful conglomerate.
I Once met McGee doing an embarrassing DJ set in Manhatten, and I managed to pass myself off as that bloke from the Boo Radleys to ponce free drinks......sucessfully I may add.Also embarrassingly, my cohort in Scouts Of Uzbekistan slipped him an early Scouts demo cd, which he promised to listen to......needless to say we weren't signed up to his new 'Poptones' label.....thank fuck. 
Also on that night were Poptones' new signing 'Outrageous Cherry', who played a set with the lady bass player obliviously unplugged for the first four of the evenings highlights.
As for The Membranes, they still sound like they are trying to turn some very ordinary post-punk tunes into some deliberately detuned shambles, and call it noise; the Florence Foster Jenkins's of Post-Punk Britain.
As for "The Gift Of Life",both the album and the state of the human existence; it's the kind of gift you'd want to come with the receipt included so you can get your money back.
Luckily, the download is free, unlike actual Life itself.


Shot By My Own Gun 4:49
I Am Fish Eye 3:19
Dreadful Sound Engine 4:19
Green And Ghostly Land 8:27
More Skin And Bone 5:30
Mr. Charisma Brain 3:49
Barbed Snake Fish Thing 5:17
Chewing The Fat 3:05
Typical Male Penis 2:44
Fireface 1:30
Gift Of Life 6:39