Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Flip City - "Flip City Demo's and Live at The Hope and Anchor 1974-5" (Bootleg)

As Pub Rock Legends go, Declan MacManus is up there as one of thee most successful, alongside the extremely dire, Dire Straits, and AC/DC, as Elvis Costello.
Here we have him as Declan MacManus in his Pub Rock group Flip City, as captured in the Hope and Anchor and in the BBC studios.
Its pretty dire (Straits), laid back limp-wristed country tinged american soft rock.Quite similar to the stuff he plays now. Light years away from the majesty of "This Years Model", even though there are very early versions of "Radio Radio" ,"Miracle Man" and "Alison" (Radio Soul, Baseball Heroes, and Imagination). He sings like a fan of blando americana who's spent years singing along to Hank Williams and picked up the whiny intonations....something that blights his voice to this very day.
I received "My Aim is True" as a surprise gift for Xmas 1977, and mildly hated it....."this ain't Punk!" thought my 13 year old brain, it was 'punk' for that generation too old for punk rock and too young for Hippie;but i persevered and still didn't dig it, then heard "(I Don't Want To Go To)Chelsea", which was great.So I bought "This Years Model", which was from another universe, full of intensity and anger, backed up by an electrified band of superbly rocking musicians. This, and most of "Armed Forces", is the totality of Elvis Costello's career. All the rest of his back catalogue is basically Declan MacManus. He was just pretending to get on the tele it seems; but it worked, and now he's a global superstar churning out spades of crud like this, which back in the day would have more likely won favor with 'Whispering 'Bob Harris of the Old Grey Whistle Test (which in 74-75 was full of stuff like this), rather than impressing John Peel BR(Before the Ramones).
To his credit, Elvis, or Declan, had the open ears to pick up on the changing vibe and beefed up the image and the music, to catch the rising surf of the New Wave. I rather think Stiff Records had a lot to do with this also however?
Nevertheless, he made one of the greatest records in R'n'R history, and not many people can say that can they?


BBC's Maida Vale Studios, 1974:
1. Exile's Road
2. Baseball Heroes
3. Radio Soul

Hope and Anchor Pub,early 1975:
4. Imagination (is a powerful deceiver)
5. Pay it Back
6. Radio Soul (2)

Hope and Anchor Pub, 1975:
7. Third Rate Romance (Russell Smith)
8. Knockin' on Heaven's' Door (Bob Dylan)
9. Packin' Up (Chris Kenner)
10. Please Mister, Don't Stop the Band
11. Exile's Road
12. Wreck on the Slide
13. On the Road (Steve Hazlehurst)
14. You Win Again (Hank Williams)
15. Sweet Revival


loveisthedevil said...

Dear John- You are spot fucking on with the review of this dross, keep up the good work! This Year's Model was a peak in the career turned into dragged out crapfest. Very glad to see you have returned with a bit more frequency than earlier this summer.

Jonny Zchivago said...

Cheers mr loveisthedevil.....I was expecting fuming Costello fans spitting fire for pointing out the bleeding obvious, but I see I was wrong.I can't see how any fan of peak period Costello could like this sub Brinsly Schwarz boredom....if they say they do then they ain't listening.
Yeah, earlier this summer i sank into a downer,and lost interest in music.Just watched the tele and did fuck all for i'm on an up cycle!!??...but after listening to this i may be going back down again! wit for the early MacManus demo's....for completists only one may suggest?