Friday 29 July 2022

Various Artists – "Voice Of The Wolf" (Gump – GUMP 7) 1975

As mentioned by fountain of all knowledge prog, Ian......sorry, no other form of identification is available or needed.,as if in a biblical tense therein.
It has been rightly pointed out,in the comments section that the Swedish groups that tagged along with the Rock In Opposition lot were actually part of their own scene.Manifesting itself around the time that ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest; called "The Movement" or the much more specific "Progg" ,with two gee's.
The "Progg" "Movement" encompassed many different musical genres from Sound Poetry to Avant Prog
The political progg movement,mainly self-righteous communism with music, culminated around the 1975 Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Stockholm after ABBAs victory in Brighton the year before. It was expressed that "music can't be a contest",everyone is equal kinds stuff, and an "alternative festival",rather like the Rock In opposition festival a couple of years later, was held in protest.
In theory 'Samla Mammas Manna' might well be the only group to have played both?.Due to this debate,and part 2 of the eurovision trivia trail, Sweden did not participate in the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest,rather surprisingly....leaving the door open for The Brotherhood of Man to claim the top prize with the dreadful "Save Your Kisses For Me",and that little dance they did while we screamed in unfathomable pain!
It was as if these awful townie torturers were dancing at the impending death throes of the Progg movement that they, and many others,including myself,never knew existed.But, by the time Abba were divorcing each other,Progg killed itself in a sea of pinko posturing and the Swedish predilection towards hard rock and punk rock,being one of the few places that the Pistols actually played in.
The book of Ian, also mentioned an impossibly rare Swedish human called Carsten Regild....who had an impossibly rare single released on Gump Records i am told;but, No i don't have it, but this funny fella Carsten Regilid appears a couple of times on this Progg compilation from the year of ABBA's arrival...there is no suggestion that any member of ABBA was in a Progg band,as far as I an aware.
Carsten's contributions err more on the side of Sound Poetry,with an ironic early Rock leaning.This guy is Kerrrazzzy!
Most of my knowledge of Sweden during this mixed up epoch is of the Tone Poem, Sound Poetry,tape collage scene which was, and still is firmly sellotaped to their cultural identity. The Great Sten Hansen is the sound engineer on this to the mysterious Carsten Regilid's role as well as being valuable contributors.
So don't expect any lost Gentle Giant copyist numbers on here...these guys are really nutz!...but that's how we like it innit?

(*wolfie Smith : much loved joke commie character on UK Tv in the 1970's)


1 Bengt Nordström– Natural Music 2:36
2 Pugh Rogefeldt– I En Annan Värld 2:26
3 Åke Hodell– Ur Mr. Smith In Rhodesia 3:29
4 Happy Cousins, Rolf Börjlind And Carsten Regild– Nya Tider - Nya Änglar 2:00
5 Sten Hanson– How Are You 1:59
6 Sergeant Honolulu Dubble Fucking Five, Hans Tiberg, Rolf Börjlind, Rolf Heyman, Lars Göran Reijner– Juanita 0:48
7 Leo Nilson– Päls 0:23
8 Carsten Regild– Home To My Baby 1:33
9 Joakim Skogsberg– Offer-Rota 1:26
10 Carsten Regild– Typografi 2:25
11 Sten Bergman– Sorti 2:27
12 J.O. Mallander– Extended Play 2:15
13.Hans Anton Knall– Merde 23:35

DOWNLOAD the voice of wolfie smith* HERE!

Sunday 24 July 2022

The Astronauts – "Soon" (All The Madmen Records – MAD 11) 1986

"Who d'you fink you are?.....Lol Coxhill?" once did say Johnny Moped as Xerxes whipped out a saxophone. One of the many great quotes from the as yet unwritten Bible of Rock'n'roll.
"Who do you think you are?....Lol Coxhill??" (note the better spoken style text).....once did Mark Astronaut sayeth,not!
"Er...Yes",spake Lol Coxhill,who actually did appear on the first half of an Astronauts album. 
The 21st century version of his name, a contraction of Lawrence, now translates as "Laugh Out Loud',but nobodies laughing anymore. What this versatile master of the UK improvisation scene,and erstwhile member of the London Musicians Collective is doing on an album by semi-legendary anarcho hippy folk punk UK DIY band from Welwyn Garden City, otherwise known as The Astronauts, is anybodies guess;but check the record,check the guys track record;he put himself about a bit.....he is most definitely NOT appreciated.(Note the clever Fall references) is not Mark Astronaut himself.
Personally, i'd remove most of the sax wailing from the mix if I had the chance.
This is one of those records that you'd like to remix.....this'll be fun.......such as......I'd turn up the phasing on "Strictly Personal",remove the string sections from Bryter Layter, re-record the drums on "Loveless" and replace those sampler tone wheel guitar things with the real thing. I'd also erase "Bat Out Of Hell completely,and that sodding Gun'n'Roses LP too,no lips shall speak its name.....not so much a remix in those cases, more like retribution for past evil unleashed....not yer proper Evil either,a special shit kind of Evil.Erase them from history please Satan for devaluing your kind legacy,or give us the power O lord and master,and we shall skip joyfully into the flames.
In fact, if ever there were two albums that Lol Coxhill could have guested on it should have been those two atrocities.
Only when something's gone does one truly appreciate it's previous existence. And i'm not talking about Bat Out of Hell and that other one...oh yeah Bat Out Of Hell 2 ...I'm talking about The Astronauts ain't I? Since the noble DIY hippy-punk himself Mark Astronaut bought a one way ticket into infinity a couple of weeks ago.
So forgive me if you wanted more Rock In Opposition obscurities ,this is a much delayed tribute to the Bard of Welwyn garden City.
I do have the enviable quality of being a fickle and shallow hypocrite,son't you wish you were like me?
Said with no pretense of pride,I admit to being a bit hard on The Astronauts in the past,in fact most of the Anarcho-Punk scene.Over the past 13 years of this blog,I have slowly shifted my attitude to that trustafarian's all grown on me hasn't it!? The Mob and Rudimentary Peni,were always a subject of my fickle admiration. Don't misunderstand me, the soapboxey nature of the sickening self-righteousness still makes me wanna vomit,but I have projected it all in a pissy yellowlight of charm for oneself. I now find myself thinking "Awww bless 'em" whenever Flux Of Pink Indians tells me of the horrors of a nuclear death....again!Even Crass...."AWWWWW Bless their little black cotton socks".
The Astronauts have been elevated over the years into the Mob/Rudimentary Peni division,having won on penalties in the play-offs......The Subhumans lost again,joining Zounds pressing for promotion from the 2nd tier again next year.
Now I listen joyfully to The Astronauts as a great lost Pop Band,in the same way as i was slowly converted to thoroughly enjoy REM.(!Guilt wot Guilt?) Funnily enough both groups have a certain Folky quality that i find rather appealing.
The Astronauts have gigs booked until October I notice.....sadly these will have to be fulfilled on the Astral Plain,as Mark succumbed to his own debated mortality......yet Bono lives!

This album consisted of some new material (A1-B1) and re-release of old tracks (B2-B5) taken from the original singles (literally, as the masters had gone missing).
New material recorded Dec. '85.
Old tracks 1979 - 1980.


A1 Friends 5:53
A2 Books 3:12
A3 Blues For A Sceptic 7:13
A4 The Birds 9:04
B1 Following Orders 5:05
B2 Survivors 5:45
B3 All Night Party 2:40
B4 Young Man's World 4:19
B5 We Were Talking 4:28

Thursday 21 July 2022

Henry Cow – "A Cow Cabinet Of Curiosities" (ReR Megacorp – HC1000) 2009

All you lot already have all the Henry Cow albums right?...bit of a shit band name really innit?
Never liked portrayals of socks either.
Just the name 'enry cow invokes within me the whiff of patchouli oil joss sticks and ethnic art objects;not because 'Enry were a bunch of smelly hippies,quite the opposite...almost.....the basement shop that i first encountered album sleeves with unpleasant reimaginings of socks aboard was situated underneath the most unashamedly Hippie apothecary in post-punk Leicester....the "Very Bazaar"...geddit?....Underneath the whiffy smokey atmosphere of street level Very Bazaar,lay the only place in Leicester you could buy Whitehouse records,Recommended Records, Half Japanese, reggae Dub 10 inchers,The Residents  ,and Henry Cow!?.... When i got my first Dole Giro, to the value of 32 quid...I cashed it in, got on my Bike and went to the subterranean Very Bazaar record shop,with its matt black painted brick decor and homemade record racks.(the upstairs bit still exists!?)A bit as i imagine a gift shop run by Crass would have looked. The record bit was ran by an amiable mustachioed chap called Steve,and Lydon's mate ,Jock MacDonald's brother Martin,who loved Lynard Skynard previously, before he encountered johnny Rotten in the Pub next door to the shop (the Globe),then suddenly he became a Punk Rocker overnight.The record shop also became a one room Bollock Brothers tribute ,as brother Jock was a member.Last i heard of Martin he was wanted in Greece for drug offences,and was running away to hideout in Ireland.
Anyway, I digress;on giro(my benefits cheque) day,I came away with, the Cravats In Toytown, This Heat's Deceit, Metabolist "Hansten Klork","Whitehouse's Dedicated to Peter Kurten in yellow vinyl, and Henry Cow's "In Praise Of Learning". I think there may have been a Pink Military 12inch in there too.....ah blood and lipstick.And i still had two quid left for a lemon split bun and an ice cream soda,how punk rock is that(?) from Brucciani's....RIP!
So,as you lot have already got everything by 'Enry, here's that limited edition bonus disc from the 50th anniversary box set thingy, which you've already got of course. If you haven't i might upload the box set with an iTunes style bit rate of 192k,'cus it's massive and i'm running out of storage space.

Here's a 1972 style review of the album to finish:
"Track one sounds like Soft Machine,but the rest doesn't."


Tracks 1 & 2: recorded in our rehearsal place probably in 1972
Tracks 3, 4, 5 & 6: extracted from a forgotten tape I gave to Steve Feigenbaum in 1978. The original recordings were presumably made on cassettes run from the mixing desk.
Track 7: out-take from "In Praise Of Learning" mixed by Tim Hodgkinson at Cold Storage in 1984.
Tracks 8, 9 & 10: recorded at a public concert for NDR Jazz Workshop, Hamburg on 26th March, 1976
Track 11: recorded at a public concert at the Sendesaal, Studio F, Radio Bremen, on 22nd of March, 1978, for New Jazz Live.
Track 12: extract from an Unrest out-take mixed by Tim Hodgkinson at Cold Storage in 1984.


1 Pre Virgin Demo 1 3:55
2 Pre Virgin Demo 2 1:02
3 Unidentified Improvisation 1 1:30
4 Unidentified Improvisation 2 5:37
5 Unidentified Late Composition 2:04
6 Exploded Amygdala / Teen Introduction 3:37
7 Lovers Of Gold 6:29
8 Hamburg 6 5:33
9 Ruins Extract 8:24
10 Hamburg 7 9:44
11 Half The Sky 5:03
12 Extract From The Glove 2:19

Monday 18 July 2022

Univers Zero – "Univers Zéro" (Eric Faes – EF 1313) 1977

Another tenuous Rock In Opposition moment beckons:
Never one to stoop to revealing the bleeding obvious, my hand has been forced to introduce everyone to the band they've always known about....yep...It's Univers Zero....but have you listened to them all the way to the end of side B? If you have then you're either pretentious or narcissistic loner...luckily i'm both,and i've listened to this and the 2nd album all the way through,and felt like an emptied bowel afterwards. 
They're kinda an Electric Light Orchestra for failed music students who wish they were in a Doom Metal band....which apart from Black Sabbath,didn't exist until the late 80's.
When a bunch of angry young doom-mongers find each other in the Conservatoire during lunch hour, and one, if not more, toys with the idea of merging Stravinsky with Czechoslovakian folk and.....the PROG word.Some unaccredited wag you wouldn't want to be in the same town as said this...."Like Sorabji's symphonies gone wrong"(I bet he's a barrel of Laughs)....for fucks sake, does anyone know who Sorabji was/is...please don't answer that, I can google too,but prefer not.
Don't you just love it when some bright spark thinks a progressive idea is to merge lots of different genres and hopefully come up with something 'new'? So unadmirably eclectic isn't it? 
Genre-wise they managed it, and no mention of Peter Gabriel or David Byrne in earshot..."Chamber Rock" some idiot called it.....not much rocking here though, it's all a bit Jive Bunny plays Bartok with Bill Bruford on drums instead of a TR909. When someone whips out an Oboe or a Basson, you know you're in trouble, they're either showing off or desperate.
Of course I'm being willfully facetious here ,that's the role of this character i have reinvented myself as innit?
This record festers on your turntable like a portal into the dark European soul that us anglo-saxons are so distrustful of...the sound of Putin's mind. It's almost that frightening.
This was Chamber Rock's "Smell The Glove" moment, a black cover that you could see yourself reflected in both sides. Human kind's black heart as released in the Punk Rock breakthrough year of 1977.....only in Belgium would....could, this happen. They would have been arrested in most Iron Curtain countries for spreading fake news about the human soul, or lack thereof on planet Earth in 1977. And the anglo-american rock fraternity just pointed and laughed.
Like that other Oboe brandishing 'rock' group , Roxy Music, they inadvisedly reformed after splitting up for a decade.Losing the magic as did Roxy,slideing down the alippery slope in Armani suits and white tuxedo's as if in a Glam Rock "Jeux Sans Frontiers"*....Somehow I'd quite like to see Univers Zero performing in White Tuxedo's on "It's a Knockout".(Only on this blog can you see references to 'Its a Knockout*,Stravinsky and Sorabji on the same page).Now, that's Irony?In some ways British TV could effortlessly churn out endless amounts of surreal TV art in the 1970's,that was probably even weirder than Univers Zero could ever hope for.....who needs Salvador Dali when you have convicted Pedophile Stuart Hall ably assisted by Eddie "it's an Up and Under" Waring in Ely 1973? (in Syd Barratt Country)
There was an equally sour listening experience awaiting in the second music this ain't,unless you're a contemporary dancer?...Which is the only form of Prog Comedy that i can really laugh at! Who says these crazy Belgians take themselves too seriously?...everyone.

PS..this was later called "1313",which was the catalog number, to avoid any confusion.....but didn't Lydia Lunch have an album called that too?......oooh i dunno, everything's been done innit? At least twice in these over-exposed days has it not?

* kind of an early version of the European Union...if it stayed like this there would have been no Brexit.


1.Ronde 14:45
2.Carabosse 3:40
3.Docteur Petiot 7:25
4.Malaise 7:42
5.Complainte 3:18

Saturday 16 July 2022

Samla Mammas Manna - "Måltid" (Silence – SRS 4621) 1973

In a glaring attempt to pick something not Obvious from the groups who performed at the genre defining original Rock In Opposition Featival back in yee olde days of 1978. I give you a Swedish band who ,(A), aren't Abba, (B) contain no future ABBA collaborators or Members, and thirdly, (C), are certainly NOT Swedish Punk,or on a Killed by death compilation. All this blatant non-alignment with Swedish musical cliché,without even mentioning IKEA or Volvo, suggests a record of great promise.
As it turns out ,they are basically Canterbury Prog emulators with some rather annoying vocal bits that suggest intake of breath!.....sense of humour!? Prog Humour is never something to boast about,and is even more frown defining than even Psychedelic Humour. Comedy music is seldom recommended,99% of which ends in disaster and polite embarrassed applause. Especially if you're making serious music,and add a spot of  funny stuff to show that you don't take yourselves seriously,when you most obviously do.
I spotted this cover from afar,and thought it was a unhalfbricking style photograph of a pair of elderly types having a Gravelax sandwich....disappointingly it turns out to be a semi-photorealist painting,that, again may suggest prog humour!?
I'll tell you what definitely is NOT funny about this record,is that god-awful high-pitched, falsetto i think they call it, vocalizing.
You know that feeling you get when you trip over a crack in the paving,or are passed by an over revving Moped in first gear; that you momentarily wanna kill some fucker!?....that's how i feel when these Swedes from Canterbury make their silly hi-pitched noises.
Other than that it's okay.
It would be five years before the inauguration of Rock In Opppostion,so maybe they sacked off the vocals by 1978?
I've never been brave enough to try and find out.
I understand that the Turkish objections to Sweden joining NATO were based around having heard this record. Now NATO are considering using it to counteract all that state approved prog on the old Soviet official record label that Putin has been secretly hoarding alongside the Novichok;.. Melodija(its spelt several different ways smartarses!).


1 Dundrets Fröjder 10:43
2 Oförutsedd Förlossning 3:10
3 Den Återupplivade Låten 5:53
4 Folkvisa I Morse 2:07
5 Syster System 2:27
6 Tärningen 3:33
7 Svackorpoängen 3:11
8 Minareten 8:21
9 Værelseds Tilbud 2:26
10 Minareten II 4:40
11 Circus Apparatha 6:02
12 Probably The Probably 3:54

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Etron Fou Leloublan – "Les Poumons Gonflés" (Turbo Music S.A. – TMSA 3301) 1982

Okay, it had to happen,the french drummer bloke who was in Les Batteries,Guigou Chenevier, gained his fame from playing les batteries in the Rock In Opposition monsters, Etron Fou Leloublan......rolls off the tongue doesn't it?
Rock In opposition,or RIO, is really a more marketable title for Prog Rock of the more Avant variety,which became yet another category after Henry Cow's original RIO festival during those crazy punky rock years of 1978 upwards.So an obvious Punky influence was absorbed into these Avant-proggers repertoire.Shorter,opinionated and angrier versions of the progressive type. Quite a few of those post-punk chaps would have fitted in quite well methinks,but the clothes were bad,so they kept away.
Weird time signatures, played by a drummer sight reading music from a lectern positioned visibly by the Hi-Hat to show the dangerously hippified audience that 'we ain't just making this up y'know!'
Etron Fou Leloublan do all this stuff,ticking all the RIO boxes,but bare in mind that these groovy garcons are indeed French, so you should expect some of that 'orrible screechy shouting that their pallets tend to enunciate from time to time through no fault of their own.I blame the parents....who were probably Artists and as a consequence of this delusion,also bastards.
Anyway I chose this album, because it has a song called Nicolas on it, which is my real world given name,and having spent a week in a French hospital once with a collapsed lung,"Les Poumons Gonflés"(the inflated lungs) has a special ring to it.


1.Nicolas 4:06
2.Mimi 2:58
Exposition Universelle 1:41
4.Nicole 5:42
5.La Musique 3:05
6.Christine 6:46
7.Those Distant Waters 3:24
8.Upsalla 2:05
9.Io Prefero 4:29
10.Pas L'sou 3:11

Thursday 7 July 2022

Les Batteries – "Noisy Champs" (AYAA – DT 0486) 1986

This Heat's influence,or,connections with the French underground seems to be somewhat larger then expected,as here we find The Heats erstwhile drummer and singer, Mr Charles Hayward, hooking up with another couple of  other drummer boys,....namely French 'rock in opposition' bloke Guigou Chenevier, and some geezer called Rick Brown.....yes THEE Rick Brown.......nah! I haven't heard of him either! But Rick probably hasn't heard of us too so we're quits!?
Three Drummers Drumming,as it doesn't say in the famed Christmas carol, but three,yes,THREE,drummers does indeed apply here! Can you imagine the creative arguments in a band with three drummers? As Gary Glitter and Adam Ant can testify, two drummers max in a band, or there's gonna be trouble. In fact it was Drummer trouble that ended Adam and The Ants and burdened the world with Adam's much maligned Solo career. With Glitter, the obvious problem was,funnily enough, actually Glitter himself(a fine example of a singer that hangs out with musicians).
Drummers are famously the guys who do hang around with musicians.The guys who die mysteriously,choke 'ON' vomit,aren't needed outside of touring, and are forever trying to impose their daft ideas on the rest of the group; like John Bonham's 'Moby Dick', or Rat Scabies' "Stab yor Back", as if trying,accidentally of course, to move that hilarious joke well into the realms of observational comedy.
Y'see, Drummers actually do think they are musicians,and like the stupid son of the family, are always trying to make the audience look at them and see what they're doing.This usually involves hitting the drums as loud as possible,and taking copious amounts of in, more than you....look maw I'm Dancin' !
However much the average drummer harbors sparkling  thoughts of their own genius within their considerable ego's ;one has to concede that all this drummer hate certainly does NOT apply to the great Charles Haywood, or his vocal sound-a-like Bobby Wyatt,who are indeed the granddaddies of the Rock In Opposition fad of the late seventies, otherwise known as Prog Rock under any other name.
So, what we expect are three drummers busting their balls trying to Out-paradiddle each other,and to impress each other with their rudimentary talents on 'other' instruments.
It's kinda Punk without the Punk, and This Heat without the Heat, which leaves us with.... 'This'?
Haywoods vocals are as vulnerable and Wyatt-esque as This Heat and Camberwell Now, which adds much needed identity to the dreary Drum-Off. So when Haywood didn't turn up for the follow up albums,they just ended up sounding like Camberwell Now but without the tunes.
An obvious, but bold Idea, balancing precariously on the round shoulders of the limited tonal range of a well tuned drum kit.


1.Noisy Champs
2.Sunday And Dimanche
3.Identity Parade
6.Dernier Solo Avant L'Autoroute
7.White Elegance
8.The Letter
9.Dernier Rendez-Vous Au Gord
12.3 Hommes Et Un Mouchoir

Tuesday 5 July 2022

Fall Of Saigon – "Fall Of Saigon 1981-1984" (Gazul Records – GA8851) 2011

No its not a North Vietnamese Fall tribute band!
It's frenchy Minimalist composer Pascal Comelade,moonlighting with his minimalist pop trio named after a This Heat tune. 
Harboring a knowing glance in the direction of Young Marble Giants,and maybe even..... Weekend
Pascal is not shy of wearing his influences on his sleeve....that's him on the right there,with influenced sleeves rolled up,trendily, to the elbows.I remember when the Style Council used to do self-consciously french things like that,such as wearing,(or rather NOT wearing) a cardigan tossed stylishly over the shoulders and tying the sleeves into a loose knot atop a Breton inspired polo shirt.You can take the boy out of Woking,but you can't take the Woking out of the boy.....but you do have to leave Woking if you wanna wear a Breton top....fact!
There also a version of my funeral theme tune on here, The TV Personalities' classic "Part-Time Punks",further emphasizing Pascal's fondness for "les Rostbif pop",especially it seems Kevin Ayers too....which i think stems largely from the fact that posh Boy Kevin had a handy grasp of French thanks to the British Public school system. And as we all know,if you slot anything French or in French into an English pop tune you have a career for life..... in France!...just ask Sting.
However, similarly, the Brit's love to hear a French bird singing in Engleesh, which surprisingly didn't lead to Indie success in grey old foggy Albion.They could have stuck to it a bit longer, but i think Pascal had other things in mind for himself,embarking on a prolific solo career that continues to this day.
The other French musical commandment that has been observed here on this compilation,is the obligatory Doors homage.Every household in France has a Doors Album, or Zer Doorsss as they call them.They all think Morrison was a fact Morrison thought he was a poet too,maybe even a great poet?So as he died and was buried in Paris,this means that their hero is now French,so Zer Doorsss are forever enshrined in marble and stone among the elect of French art and culture......Would i be out of order to suggest that they can flaming well have him...slash...them? Plenty more where he came from.
Nonetheless, this version of "The End" is actually rather good?
The End!

Track Listing:

1.Visions 2:21
2.Blue Eyes 2:08
3.She Leaves Me All Alone 4:22
4.So Long 2:28
5.On The Beach At Fontana 3:22
6.The Swimmer 2:15
7.The Model 3:21
8.Part Time Punks3:12
9.The End 9:43
10.Andalucia 2:02
11.I'll Never Be Back 4:54
12.Sha La La La 2:58
13.Let It Go 2:41