Monday, 28 May 2018

Swell Maps - "Wastrels And Whippersnappers" - (Overground Records ‎– OVER108VPCD) 2006

What did young men do in their bedrooms in the pre-punk seventies?
No X-Box back then, no free internet porn, and there was only one TV in the house, in the lounge, with three channels only.
The answer lies right here, on this posthumous scraping of the seemingly bottomless barrel of archive Swell Maps recordings.
I can't hear enough versions of "Harmony In Your Bathroom" can you?
But where the hell is Dorridge?.....just googled it....I knew they were posh!It's virtually in the Cotswolds. Was always suspicious of their lack of a Brummie accent, and easy access to recording equipment, drum kits,amps and electric guitars.They were even heard referring to the 'Barth-room' rather than 'bathroom' like us normal midlanders did.There was one kid in my school who ecspectorated  the rounded vowel sounds of 'Grahss' for 'Grass', and 'Barth' for 'bath', and he went on to become a Tory candidate for the House of Fools (commons);which I'm almost certain Swell Maps never stooped to.

"All tracks recorded at various garages, bedrooms and lounges in Solihull and Dorridge, West Midlands, between 1974-1977." 


Intro / Sweet And Sour Part 2 0:12
Dresden Style 2:18
Pets' Corner 2:20
Shubunkin 1:07
Sahara 2:09
Full Moon-Blam-Full Moon 4:16
Instronaut 2:00
Televisions 2:52
Wireless 4:00
Harmony In Your Bathroom 4:21
Camoflage Attack 2:17
Gramofonica 1:40
Harvist 1:28
Johnny Seven 1:27
Sweet And Sour (Parts 2, 3 & 4) 3:24
Sheep Police / Septipede 3:34
Improv Number One 1:53
Platinum Blind 1:00
God Save The Queen 0:30
Ratbag And Goblin ('Batman' Theme) 1:28
Vertical Slumber (Prototype Take 1) 1:42
Below Number One 3:37
Organism 1:25


crotchety rev.b said...

So without the devices and the free unlimited porn, young men tended to resort to creativity. Sorry to sound like yer grand dad, but I think in some ways we were in a better place then.

Jonny Zchivago said...

I was referring specifically to bedrooms.....but yes, i often resort to the grandadisms too.....i'm stuck in about 1979, happens to all of us. Never knew my grandads, but my Father was stuck in 1942. Me,back in 1979,all i did in my bedroom was play records, make improvised recordings,write film scripts....and still find the time to masturbate,all this with fuck all money...nothings changed i suppose lol!..I don't envy modern Kids plight.Poor little sods.

Henk Madrotter said...

Like I'm stuck in say '81 till about '85 :) Living with my parents again after a pretty disastrous year in a squad house where all my fellow punks got heavily into heroin... Working, books & records, records & books, playing drums in loads of bands, great concerts, nothing to worry about, hash, weed, mushrooms and books & records.....

Jonny Zchivago said...

Ahhh, them were the days......these wastrels and whippersnappers of today don't know what they completely missed out on....however my dad used to say that about World war Two.??!...

Henk Madrotter said...

Aaaahhh World War two.... On my dad's side they went through it alright, they were farmers but on my mother's side.... Phooh!

My grand-dad was a elite mariner, did his tour of duty in Indonesia from '36 till '40, came back to Holland and was bombed on his ship (the Van Galen) one of his best mates was standing next to him and had his whole chest blown away by shrapnel... He then went to the Rotterdam and fought on the Maas bridges, the fighting was fierce, often hand to hand combat with knives, they held the nazi's off for days, only a handful of them survived and from then on they called that small group of mariners the "Black Devils of Rotterdam".... He never talked about it much, he would always say that killing people is a horrible thing... One story he told not long before he passed away, they were getting shot at in the back, turned out to be Dutch Nazi collaborators, so he crawled to the house where they were shooting from, threw in a bunch of hand grenades and then those collaborators were "red paint on the walls and ceiling"... Being an elite soldier he spend the whole war in prison camps in Germany, escaped three times.... My grand mother was alone, with a couple of kids (my mom among them) and had HARD times during the so-called hunger winter... Sometimes, at birthdays and such, when she had a glass of wine too much she would talk about it... How she went out with those two babies, from farm to farm, looking for food and how in the end she just fell unconscious in the snow, she and her two daughters lived through it because of a farmer who took pity on them and went out looking for them after they left.....

Very different from when I was a very young teenager and a drunk creepy old guy started talking to us about how great the war years where, when "you could get all these Jewish girls and hide them in your house and you could do anything you wanted to them"....

Very different from old Sonja, an old woman who would always get drunk in the pubs where we were going and show everybody her pussy, shouting to all the punk girls "this pussy saw more Nazi cocks in the war than you will see in your whole life!!!"

Yes... those war stories!!!

Jonny Zchivago said...

Great stuff.
Nazi cocks????
Can't top that one!
My dad did have to clean out the 'Twenty Holer' latrine in his prison camp in Poland.....thats the worst I can relay for his war experience.
He was in it from 39-45, in the air force,bombed loads of germans cities, then as a prisoner of war from 1943-45. Got shot down and parachuted out and landed on an island in the atlantic.Got captured,interrogated and sent to Poland. He weighed 40kgs when the Russians found them after a forced /death march back into the reich.....he never stopped talking about it.....I have his memoirs that i am uploading to the net,and donating to the Stalagluft 8b camp near krakow. I often have great fun telling certain germans that my dad was in a camp in southern Poland(hinting at Auschwitz)....sometimes they apologise to me...its hilarious.
Ahhhh WW2.....them were the days?

Henk Madrotter said...

Well, that's a pretty good story too :) Yeah, young kids and us...their parents, and our war stories like the time when Johnny overdosed and the time we saw Einsturzende Neubauten live...

When I was 18 you still had to go into the Army, so I went to that dreaded day where they test you and all that. In the city of Delft.... A guy I know who worked in a mental institute had given me some pills, can't remember what they were, saying "take these and you won't be drafted"...

So I took 'em, took 'em all, woke up in the train on the other side of Holland, made it to Delft, stumbled in an hour and a half late, guy opened the door and I fell flat on my face.....

Inside all these guys discussing how they were going to join the commandos, a few guys who didn't want to join, acting like crazy but those army guys didn't fall for that, saw right through them....

At half past eleven they angrily told me to go away and to never ever return. Asked them, so I can't have lunch here? NO!!! JUST GET THE HELL OUT!!!!

At least I've got one army story :)

Jowe Head said...

Hi Jowe Head here! I compiled this record. We were certainly suburban, but never posh! OK we didnt have Brummie accents, but so what? As for "easy access to recording equipment, drum kits,amps and electric guitars" - everything was cheap and second-hand, bought from junk-shops, etc. We weren't privileged; we had to save up for our shoddy equipment from our crummy part-time jobs!

Jonny Zchivago said...

Hello Jowe Head,
Awww com'on don't ruin it for me!
The thing is what you just explained away is exactly what posh persons can't win.
I always wondered why Duran Duran and Kevin Rowland never had Brummy accents too. Rowland has to be posh.....that cockney drawl he had in the Killjoys was priceless. Didn't Nikki Sudden know Duran Duran?
ELO,Slade and Black Sabbath all had those brummy rounded consonants,they must have been from the wrong side of Villa Park them lot.
After all i'm the product of suburban Leicester,albeit a council estate(posh kids say that too!?), and in that "Prick Up Your Ears" movie we leicester kids had brummy accents,except for Joe Orton. Julie walters fault,who obviously couldn't be fucking arsed to do any research.
Thanks for commenting,your band was a major part of my yoof,posh or not.
Anyway I believe you....were The Shapes Posh? They came from Leamington Spa after all?
I was only writing in a jocular vein,or jugular vein, which i'm sure you're aware.
Thanks for the music mate.