Almost two weeks without updates! Have I lost many readers? I hope not. As you know two weekends ago we had NYC Popfest though it feels it was yesterday. Especially as the gigs haven’t stopped since then. Even this week we have the Chickfactor 21 festival that I thought I was going in first place but now after the announcement that The Pastels are not coming I might just go to a night or two. In any case I won’t be missing the return of Atlanta’s Gold-Bears in NYC this Friday at Cake Shop and then on Saturday at Spike Hill along the always classic Jazz Butcher.
So that. Pretty busy. Also having hosted four great friends during these weeks. First Alex and Christina who did all the touristy things NYC offers. And then Andreas and Carl, the Alpaca Sports guys, who came, played, and conquered. And filmed a video for their next single.
This past week we also had the release party for the new Cloudberry release, the Secret History album. It was a great night were many friends showed up and supported my favourite NYC band at the moment. For those who suffer of nostalgia the band played two songs from their previous incarnation, My Favorite. Two of their best songs of their past repertoire, “Absolute Beginners Again” and “The Informers”. It was a blast. I’m very happy with the result of the album!
Sure, NYC Popfest deserves a true review, date by date, and I think I might be able to do that in the following weeks. There are so many stories I want to share and also so many fantastic bands I saw. I met old friends, made new friends, among them a very critical ‘enemy ‘. Of course this has made me very happy. I don’t have any doubts that this has been the best NYC Popfest edition.
By now all friends that were here for Popfest have left. It’s again all the same NYC folks who I will see. I like the international flavour that people bring from abroad. They bring a different sort of energy. They come in festival mood. Whereas I’m working the first couple of days of the festival. Then grab a fast bite and run to catch the subway to the venues. There it was beer after beer. Cheering. Buying lots at the merch table. Ah! Reminiscing about these past days only makes me want to speed up the days and hope it’s Indietracks already.
A couple of things before I move onto the obscure band of the week. And I know. I owe you two obscure bands for the past two weeks, don’t worry, there will be some interviews coming up to cover for that. The first thing, is a big thanks to Maz for organizing such an epic festival and booking a fabulous lineup. I know there were trouble at some point with the organization, namely Public Assembly, but everything worked out smoothly in the end and there was never a boring moment. And secondly, why did The Knitting Factory had PBRs at the back room (where the bands played) for $4 and on the front room for $2? A lot of people didn’t notice and were ripped off. Not cool.
Other great things that have happened during these weeks are the Peru victory against Ecuador last Friday (which I missed the live broadcast due to having a dinner date in K-town), the birthday gift Alpaca Sports gave me (a framed original poster of the first Starke Adolf club night in Goteborg) and finally buying an AC unit for home. So yes, now people can visit me in summer. Now, if only Peru can beat Colombia tomorrow Tuesday, we will be terribly close to the next world cup. A world cup I plan to go as me and my friend Daniel are already thinking of arriving there on the 13th or the 14th of June to enjoy at least some games during the first week of the competition!
But let’s move to what everyone is interested in, the Sugar Glyders!
Of course everyone is familiar with the Sugargliders from Australia. A classic band that recorded for Sarah. But years before their time there was a UK band called Sugar Glyders who released the one and only 7″ on Lost Moment Records (LM012). Two songs, “Revenge” and “Free Your Heart”. Released in 1984. A black and white illustration. The name of the band in red. It looks like a detective opening the door of a dark room. Who were the mysterious people behind this release?
I first heard about their existence through Uwe. He told me they sounded like The Tempest. The band was to be included in the next Leamington Spa release. How did he find about them? That’s the question. After some time I finally procured a copy through Musicstack. Not too cheap but not too pricey. Something around 20 bucks. And it’s worth it for the B side. “Free Your Heart” is such a beautiful song!
I did listen to the songs before buying it. And that was thanks to Bruce from the blog My Life’s a Jigsaw who kindly emailed me the MP3s he ripped from his own vinyl copy. After listening to them I bought it.
The band was based in Hemel Hampstead. A place I’m not familiar with at all.
Hemel Hempstead is a town in Hertfordshire in the East of England, 24 miles (38.6 km) to the north west of London and part of the Greater London Urban Area. The population at the 2001 Census was 81,143 (but now estimated at around 89,000 by Hertfordshire County Council).
Developed after World War II as a new town, it has existed as a settlement since the 8th century and was granted its town charter by King Henry VIII in 1539. It is part of the district (and borough since 1984) of Dacorum and the Hemel Hempstead constituency.The settlement was called by the name Henamsted or Hean-Hempsted, i.e. High Hempstead, in Anglo-Saxon times and in William the Conqueror’s time by the name of Hemel-Amstede. The name is referred to in the Domesday Book as “Hamelamesede”, but in later centuries it became Hamelhamsted. In Old English, “-stead” or “-stede” simply meant a place, such as the site of a building or pasture, as in clearing in the woods, and this suffix is used in the names of other English places such as Hamstead[disambiguation needed] and Berkhamsted.
The town is now known to residents as “Hemel” however before The Second World War locals called it “Hempstead”.
The town has given its name to the town of Hempstead, New York. Immigrants from Hemel Hempstead migrated to the area which is now Hempstead, New York, including the surrounding areas such as Roosevelt, in the late 17th century.
The band was a trio and they were:
Martin Brown on vocals and keyboard, Paul Thomson on bass and vocals, and Keith Chapman on drums.
From the same blog I learned that Martin and Keith used to be in a live band called Spoils before being in Sugar Glyders.
The only other Sugar Glyders appearance as a band was on the compilation LP “Colours of the Bastard Art!”. This was released on the same label, Lost Moment (LMLP005). The song they included was Jericho. I haven’t listened to this song yet sadly. The only other band I know included in this compilation is Jesus Couldn’t Drum (who would later become The Chrysanthemums).
From the back cover of the record we know that “Revenge” was solely written by Martin Brown and “Free Your Heart” was a joint work by Thomson and Brown. The record was engineered by Bob Morledge at Bob’s Studio in Watford. The cover was done by Bingchap (Uncle Bert).
There’s no much information about the Sugar Glyders online. However Martin Brown has a website. Seems he is still going strong with music and recording new material.
Did they only recorded these 3 songs? Why didn’t they record more records? Whatever happened to the Sugar Glyders after splitting up? Did anyone out there see them playing any gigs? What do you remember about them?