23
May

What a weekend. I’m so so tired. Where do I even start? Did you go to NYC Popfest? Some new people I met told me they like reading the blog, maybe that was one of you reading these lines. Thanks for that. It made me happy. If it didn’t show, I swear, I was tired. I was exhausted by the second day. And yesterday, on Sunday, I could hardly stand up! I’m getting old so soon!

In the end my expectations and my excitement to see the last four bands of the festival, Secret Shine, Even as We Speak, The Railway Children and The Chills, were more stronger than any pain on my feet. My girlfriend did take some breaks and went to sit to the front room of Littlefield. I tried to hold the fort, front row, trying to secure the setlists, my most precious souvenirs these year as it seems I owned almost all records that were on the merch tables!!

I would have loved to stay longer yesterday. Enjoy a longer evening, perhaps another beer, but most importantly a longer goodbye with friends that I won’t probably see in many years. That’s the beauty and the sadness of these festivals. So great to have your friends reunited but then you end up missing them a lot! Who to talk about indiepop and rare records now at gigs? No one almost! Indiepop friends are definitely an endangered species.

I should review Popfest in two weeks when I return on vacations. Heading to Mexico this Saturday for a week. So no, no new post next week. But the next one for sure. Maybe you can do your own investigation about some band. Or maybe you can recommend a band to cover. That’d be cool. It’s been a while since someone asked me about a particular band, obscure or not.

I just need to reorder my ideas, all my memories of Popfest are so fresh that I need some perspective before writing about them. I guess my only worry at the moment is that NYC Popfest may come to an end as this year it marks it’s 10th anniversary. That would make so many people unhappy! Me included. I hope it happens again next year of course, and I hope Maz keeps doing it. I don’t know if anyone could be as good as him at making this happen. All the acknowledgement he receives in social media is well deserved. This year again he put together a very strong lineup, with amazing headliners, and got all shows sold out. Even if the tickets were more expensive this year, it was definitely worth it. I also think it is the first Popfest I attend were all bands started at the time announced. Punctuality has never been an indiepop trait!

The venues also worked well. I think changing Spike Hill for Baby’s All Right for Saturday afternoon show was a good move. It’s a much better place. Only downside with Baby’s All Right is the prices for beer. The cheapest was $6 I believe. That’s not cool when one is used to $4 crap beer, but still, you save money.

Also Cake Shop was a good idea for an afternoon show and having the big Le Poisson Rouge for Thursday instead. The logistics in that sense worked well for Popfest. Chris Jigsaw as always ran the merch table with dedication and was even taking card payments. Modernity. All these things definitely helped Popfest be a hassle free festival.

My only concern this year were the Popfest T-shirts and totes. First day they were $15, second day they were $10 and at the last day they were $5. Sure I like supporting, I bought 2 t-shirts when they were $10, and my girlfriend a tote when it was $15, but seeing the prices go down, to be a third to the original price on the last day, well it was a bit annoying. I assume the reason for this was that too many totes and t-shirts were printed, but if I had known I’d waited until the end. As it’s common that things get sold out fast at the merch table, I didn’t wait. I guess that was the only “mistake” I saw in a flawless Popfest.

The bands? That I leave for my review when I return from vacations. There were many highlights definitely, but mine were Even As We Speak, The Chills, Secret Shine, Trashcan Sinatras, Alpaca Sports, Los Bonsáis, Cristina Quesada, Tiny Fireflies, The Chesterf!elds, Snow Fairies, The Railway Children and Silver Screen. What were yours?

I do think though that in general the Even as We Speak show was my favourite. Why? I think they made a very special gig, a gig of the sort that should happen at Popfests. They came dressed up on stage as marsupials (Australia represent!), they invited people from stage to dance with them twice (!) and even showed them some moves to do, they covered the Go-Betweens and at the end they asked the audience to choose between songs. I love that! For me Popfests are the perfect place and moment for band/fan interaction, and that’s what indiepop is all about! Gigs like this make me happy! And these are the ones that fans usually remember the most!

What do you think was the best moment and why? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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One of those records we all want to have. We indiepop lovers have heard about The English McCoy but unless we are a lucky few, we haven’t gotten their records How many copies were pressed? Will a secret stash will one day make its way to a record shop down in your neighborhood?

It was 1988 when the band released their record the label Nowyertalkin’ Records. It came out on a 7″ and on a 12″. Which is rarer? I don’t know. The 7″ had the catalog number of 7TALK 2 while the 12″ was 12 TALK 12. This label had also released other records by bands like Commando, Connie Kaldor, The Self-Destructers and David Hemingway. To be honest, I’ve never heard of these bands before.

Both editions had “Give Me Something to Believe In” as the A side and for the name of the EP as it appears prominently on the sleeve. On the B side both had “Breaking Down” and the 12″ also included the song “Buffalo Dream” on the flipside. Writing credits always for Miles Salisbury but “Breaking Down” co-written with Paul Barlow.

The record was produced and mixed by the band and Ronnie Stone. It was recorded at Studio One in Chester. It was mastered at Abbey Road Studios. From the back sleeve of the record it seems the band was formed by 4 chaps. I know at least the name of three of them: Miles Salisbury, Darren Baldwin and Paul Barlow. How come?

There’s a Bandcamp for the 80s band Things in General. These three lads were part of this band after The English McCoy was no more. They were based in Preston, so I think it’s safe to assume the McCoys were too. It’s kind of a shame that I only discover this Bandcamp today as years ago they were selling a 15 track CD called “Best of the Generals”. You can stream it of course, but for me it’s not the same! I hope I could get a hold of it. It’s really good!

Also the English McCoy had  a Twitter where I think they were announcing mostly eBay listings for their record. Not much there as info but some cool tidbits like that Miles Salisbury’s pink Tokai Stratocaster was dubbed “Pink Flamingo” by their fans or that they signed contracts with the label Nowyertalkin’ Records before a gig at Hebden Bridge Trades Club.

The last piece in the puzzle is a ReverbNation page with two songs by Miles Salisbury. There are two songs there, “Minnow” and “Old Kilcunty”. Not sure when were these recorded.

Not much more on the web about The English McCoy. Hopefully there is a chance for an interview at some point. Would really love to know more about this obscure band that recorded such a hit like “Give Me Something to Believe In”. Wonder if they recorded more songs other than the three on the record. Where did they play gigs? Who did they share stage with? And more…

Do any of you remember them?

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Listen
The English McCoy – Give Me Something to Believe In

16
May

Popfest week has started. Some friends are already in town and more will be arriving in the next hours, days. This should be one of the best weekends this year for sure. Can’t wait to see Even as We Speak, The Trash Can Sinatras, The Chesterf!elds and more. Who are you looking forward to see?

Indietracks announced some more bands last week. Aside from Haiku Salut, Bearsuit and Frankie Machine I wasn’t familiar with them so I had a listen. Sadly none of them I liked. I don’t want to be overly critical with the festival but bands like Gavin Osborn, Alimony Hustle, Sonic the Comic, Honey Joy, Robyn Johnson, DIRTYGIRL or Robberie, have nothing to do in an indiepop festival. The band Deerful surprised me with a fantastic tune on their bandcamp called “Moon Maps”, but I didn’t fall for the rest of their discography.

I know how many people get annoyed when one points a band and says: “That’s not indiepop”. They call you the indiepop police and other nonsense. But seriously, who could argue for a garage or a folk band being indiepop? I can understand when people call for example Red Shoe Diaries indiepop. I’m not fan of this band whatsoever, but I can understand why people think they are part of the scene. But come on, Sonic the Comic?

In a way I’m glad I’m skipping this year though it hurts a lot to miss PO!, one of my top ten bands ever. With rumours saying that NYC Popfest may fold after this year, I wonder if I’ll ever see Ruth Miller’s band. I guess that would be my biggest Indietracks regret (as well as missing the first three editions that were really catered to indiepop fans). I will try to go again next year though, book a hotel and wait to see if the bands are amazing once again. I love that festival, the atmosphere, the place, the town, the friends, and I even miss the warm beer. It’s just now the word Indietracks gives me so many mixed feelings, I’m not so happy about their direction the past 3 years. But who knows, maybe indiepop becomes a bit more fashionable next year and we can expect more indiepop bands being booked? Crossing fingers.

And crossing fingers that this won’t be the last NYC Popfest. If any festival has consistently booked great indiepop bands around the world that is NYC Popfest. I know this weekend is going to be fantastic. Of course you know I don’t agree with the Fortuna Pop night kind of thing, but if that’s the way I will get to see Chorusgirl for the first time, I will be ok with that.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand that repeating bands is something that can’t be avoided. There are so many bands that can actually cross the ocean and come play. And there are many new fans coming to Popfest who have never seen many of these bands before. So that’s understandable. It’s just that for “me” it’s a bit different, for me as the indiepop fan that I am, and not thinking as a festival organizer or a label person or a band person, I wish I’d see new bands all the time! New sounds, new songs!

Anyhow, I’ll see you at Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday, for the Popfest opening! And if you are in town a day early, at Cake Shop to see Alpaca Sports’ return to New York!

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A couple of weeks ago a friend on Facebook asked me if knew about Greenfield Leisure. I was honest, at that moment it didn’t ring a bell at all, and said no. Who were they? I heard this one song on Youtube called “Leisure” and thought, this sounds really good actually. It sounded familiar though. How come?

At night at home, after returning from work, I searched my computer for this band. I found the “Leisure” mp3 in a folder that I had named Shelflife blog. Of course, Ed had already written a bit about them back in November 2008! I always come late to the party. Always impressed by the discoveries people like Ed, Jessel, Joel or Uwe make!

Ed says that he kept the compilation “East of Croydon” in his collection just because of the strength of the song “Leisure”. I don’t know much about this compilation, the bands on it (The Flips, Calling Hearts, A Circle Charmed, and more) are totally unknown to me. This compilation came out in the early days of the 80s, in 1981. Released by a label called Nothing Shaking Records (SHAK 1) it included a booklet with 16 pages dedicated to the bands, though it’s said not much information appears about them. This same label would also release 7″s by two bands that appeared on the comp, for The Heartbeats and The Big Combo.

Croydon is a large town in south London, England, the principal settlement of the London Borough of Croydon. It is located 9.5 miles (15.3 km) south of Charing Cross. It is one of the largest commercial districts outside of Central London, bearing one of the largest shopping districts and a developed night-time economy. It is identified in the London Plan as one of 11 metropolitan centres in Greater London. It has a population of 52,104 in the 2011 census, comprising the Addiscombe, Broad Green and Fairfield wards.

East of Croydon, there’s Beckenham, Bromley and Chislehurst among others. But where were these bands from? Croydon or one of the many towns east of it?

We do know that Greenfield Leisure came east of Croydon, they hailed from Orpington, Kent.

Orpington is a suburban town and electoral ward in the London Borough of Bromley in Greater London and lies at the south-eastern edge of London’s urban sprawl. It is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. Before the creation of Greater London in 1965 Orpington was in the county of Kent. Kent also remained the postal county for Orpington after this time.

They were around from 1981 to 1983 and were formed by:
Cliff Dowton – vocals
Simon Pritchard – vocals, cello
Rory Manchee – guitar
Simon Marchant – guitar
David Evans – bass
Cliff McLenehan – bass
Steve Goulding – drums
Nick Kenway – keyboards
Matthew Smith – vocals, violin, keyboards and bicycle frame

The Wiki page created by Kent Bands describe them as a post-punk collective who produced experimental DIY music, with songs formed out of improvised recordings.

They list one gig from 1981 at the Old Queens Head in Brixton and also list some related bands:
– Normil Hawaiians – who also appear on the East of Croydon compilation had Simon Pritchard, Simon Merchant and Cliff Dowton in it
– Jacob’s Ladder – had Simon Merchant
– Mumbling Maracas – had Rory Manchee and Nick Kenway

On the Shelflife post, David Evans commented. From it we know that he wasn’t a fan of the song “Leisure” but that he remembers recording it at the Mousehole Studio in Orpington.

Aside from this appearance they released two records. First a 7″ in their own Strange Orchestra Records (CAMP 1) with the songs “L’ Orange”, “Sally” and “Orange Cut”. This came out in 1981 and was produced by Pete Leggert.

The second release by the band was a 12″ on the same label in 1982. The EP was called “Those Far Off Summers” (CAMP 2), included two songs by side. On the A side “Ever Ready (Mind)” and “Bat Baby” and on the B side “First Time” and “Too Fat to Frug”. This record was recorded at Ariwa Sound Studio in Thorton Heath.

It’s said that the lyrics for “Too Fat to Frug” were inspired by the novel “The Crying of Lot 49” by Thomas Pynchon. The record was mixed by Neil Frazer.

David Evans mentions on the Shelflife blog that they had started demoing for a third EP but their distributor went bankrupt before they could record in the studio. He says they were sounding a bit like pre-Madchester. I was able to track three songs from that studio rehearsal thanks to a blog called Die or DIY. The songs are “The Man with the Prehensile Nose”, “The Old Man Cried” and “Yellow Socks”. It seems this EP was going to be called “Candies EP”.

This same blog has an extensive post about the band. From there you can download all their studio recordings as well as the live gig that was listed in the Kent bands Wiki. Also they link to a clip of John Peel introducing the song “Too Fat to Frug”.

It seems Rory Manchee was in touch with this blog. He recalls the music they were listening at the time an influencing their sound, how they ended up on Illuminated Records, and a bit about Kevin Armstrong (who appears on the East of Croydon comp) becoming a celebrity of sorts in Orpington as he ended up playing on records by Prefab Sprout and playing with Bowie and Iggy Pop. But I guess the important bit on this blog post is why the Candies EP wasn’t released. It’s said that the band split, that there were some musical differences already and they all started either to study or to work or even to start families.

As mentioned earlier, some of the band members joined the Normil Hawaiians. Simon Pritchard self-released some cassette albums with the names “Handle Had a Candle” and “Dog-Like Jeans”. Nick and Rory played in various bands along Richard Fromby (who had played with the Jazz Butcher) and Alaric Neville (from the Bridewell Taxis and the Ukrainians).

These days Rory makes music under the name Wharf99, it’s electronic music though, very different to Greenfield Leisure, and it seems he is living in Australia.

What else do any of you remember by them? Are the other members making music too (I found some info for Simon Marchant, based now in Faversham, and seems that he is still making music under the name Zinta and the Zoots)? What other gigs did they play? Difficult to pinpoint this post-punk band, but at their finest moments they were making amazing proto-indiepop music!

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Listen
Greenfield Leisure – Leisure

09
May

10 days away from Popfest and things seem to be quiet once again in indiepop world. I guess the only noteworthy thing that happened last week was Papa Topo’s new video “Ópalo Negro“. This is the promo single for the same titled album that will be released the 17th of June. It’s a fantastic song that sounds a lot like one of Spain’s heroes, Carlos Berlanga. Can’t wait for the whole album.

Now on secret or kind of secret news, I had the chance to hear the new EP by fellow New Yorkers Pale Lights. It’s called “Seánce for Something” and it’s coming out on May 23rd. I’m not a hundred percent what format it will be released, I’m guessing as a 7″. I hope so at least. The band is still working on their 2nd LP, and if it’s anything like the beauty I hear on this EP, well, it might be a contender for best album for the year, whatever year it is going to be released. There are four songs in this EP, “Mother Cries”, “Girl in the Park”, “Alone in this Room” and “Sweetheart”. It feels like the sound of the band has gotten more and more layers. And I really enjoy the girl backing vocals in the songs. I think the band is growing better and better!!

In a way it’s kind of good that there are not that many news. I’m thinking of raiding the merch tables at Popfest. Not that I’m missing many things from the bands playing, but you never know. Also Chris Jigsaw is coming and he always brings a lot of goodies.

Also if anyone wants any particular Cloudberry releases please let me know and I’ll bring them to the festival for you. Can save you some postage. The same goes for anyone in Mexico City as I’ll be visiting in around 3 weeks. Just drop me a note through here, to the email or Facebook. It all works.

Anyhow, am I forgetting anything else? Is there any cool new releases that deserve my attention? I know the C87 box set has announced a release date for June 10th. That is an important release to get even though one knows almost EVERY song, but it’s always nice to read the booklet.

And whatever happened to the Twee.net poll for this year? It seems open still! What a shame.

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote this on the Ferocious Apaches post:
The last bit of information I found is a poll from 1987 where the band gets the 10th place on the”What’s Your Favourite Local Band?” question. On the first place is Dance Stance who I don’t know who they are. Fetch Eddie (also covered in the blog) appear on 8th place.

Well, a little digging doesn’t hurt, right? I had to check who the Dance Stance were. Maybe they were good!

I find that they released one 7″ single in 1986 n What Records (WR 73). The A side was “The Other Side of Paradise” while the B side was “The Sweetest Pain”. I find the A side song on Youtube and I think to myself, this is a very fine tune!!

Beautiful guitars and then some trumpets! And the melodies remind me a lot of many Australian bands of the 80s like The Hummingbirds or The Falling Joys. Sure, Dance Stance are English, but what can I do? They just remind me of them! And it’s a good thing! I love all these bands.

Haven’t had the chance to hear the B side “The Sweetest Pain”, but did find on Youtube a video for “Gather the People“. Not very sure where this song comes from. Perhaps a demo tape. The video is said to have been shot in the late 80s by film students the band knew. It’s said that the audio is the result of a recording session at the Basement studios in London. The project was not completed as the band were ejected for excessive partying, Something at which the band excelled.

This song is a bit different to the one on the single. Maybe they were getting some Madchester influence by the late 80s.

And then we end on a website I’ve visited often, Tamworth Bands. Here we find out that the band started in 1984 and it seems at the beginning they were more of a soul band. The band was formed by:
Paul Hanlon – lead vocals
Neil Sheasby – bass guitar
Nick Thomas – lead guitar
Phil Ford – drums
Jim Stretton – trumpet

We do know though that on the record the band was formed by:
Paul Hanlon – vocals
Neil Sheasby – bass
Nick Read – lead guitar
Dik Delaney – keyboards
Phil Ford – drums & percussion

And they had the help of their “brass crew”, Guy Greenway on trumpet, Paul Tunnicliffe on tenor saxophone and Andy Codling on alto saxophone. So I wonder from what period of time is the band lineup listed on Tamworth Bands, before the single, or after the single?

Other credits on the single are the production by Paul Speare, the design by David Delaney and that the record was recorded at Ritch Bitch in Birmingham.

Sadly I don’t own this record, so if anyone has a spare copy please let me know. Would especially love to hear the B side!

Anyhow, what else can we find on the web? Well, they played a lot of gigs all the way up until 1990 at venues like Aston University or The Rathole among others. We find too that the band was originally from Atherstone.
Atherstone  is a town and civil parish in the English county of Warwickshire. Located in the far north of the county, Atherstone forms part of the border with Leicestershire along the A5 national route, and is only 4.5 miles from Staffordshire. It lies midway between the larger towns of Tamworth and Nuneaton and contains the administrative offices of North Warwickshire Borough Council.
Atherstone has a long history dating back to Roman times. An important defended Roman settlement named Manduessedum existed at Mancetter near the site of modern day Atherstone, and the Roman road, the Watling Street (now known as the A5) ran through the town. It is believed by some historians that the rebel Queen of the Britons, Boudica was defeated at the Battle of Watling Street by the Romans in her final battle near Manduessedum. The Domesday Book of 1086, records that Atherstone was held by Countess Godiva.

On a clipping from 1989, from the Tamworth Herald, a gig of theirs at the legendary Mean Fiddler venue in London we learn the name of a bunch of other songs by the band like “Certain Feeling”, “Like Brother”, “Mighty Mighty”, “Push Comes to Show”, “Grandma’s Philosophy” and Reward”. Did they record any of these? On the same clipping it’s said that the band was signing a major management contract with Goodyer Associates. That’s cool, but it seems this didn’t help them much as one would have hoped for them to release more records. What a pity.

Also in 1989 the band appeared on TV on the tv programme “Opportunity Knocks”. This appearance is not on Youtube sadly. Wonder what song they played.

But I guess the most important news I could find on the site was that the band also released a CD single in 1987. Those days this was seen as very prestigious and rare. Not many bands were doing CD singles then. In it 4 songs were included, “The Other Side of Paradise”, “Heaven Help Me”, “Love Parade” and “Falling Down”. The latter three songs were recorded at Paul Spear’s Expresso Bong studios. 1000 copies were pressed. I haven’t see this CD single on Discogs. Would love to track it down and listen to the other three songs!

Then the sad news. Paul Hanlon, the vocalist passed away in 2001. I found out through the Tamworth Herald, that has some news for a memorial football match taking place September 22 in 2013.

Does anyone else remember them? Would be nice to know more about them, and hopefully listen to those other songs they recorded and even watch their tv appearance!

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Listen
Dance Stance – The Other Side of Paradise

02
May

It’s already May. The month of NYC Popfest. And what’s new in the P!O!P! world?

Well, Silver Screen is going to be playing Popfest. This has been a late announcement and I’m very happy about it. I love Cris Miller’s project and was lucky to work with him on a 3″ Cloudberry single back in the day and later on his second album on Plastilina Records. That album is truly a masterpiece and it was no surprise that Fastcut Records has reissued it on vinyl. Can’t be missed.

On other news Linda Guilala, Vigo, Spain’s favourites, has just released a new video for “Cosas Nuevas“. This song is their latest single and will also appear on their new album “Pisconáutica” to be released on Elefant on June 10th. I suggest turning up the volume as it’s the best way to enjoy all the layers of sounds and Eva’s vocals.

Firestation have 6 new releases coming out May 13th. That’s quite a lot! So we have:
– Start – Heute Nacht LP
– Big Gun – Heard About Love EP (this is not a 7″ like the original issue but a 12″ that includes 3 demos too)
– Yeah Jazz – 30 Years LP (maybe the most exciting release from them all. 19 song compilation!)
– Peppermint Parlour – Whatever Happend to Pop Songs (this is a 12″ reissue, same songs as the original. Now, “Pep Sounds” should be released some day!)
– Me and Dean Martin – Let’s Romantisice Our Youth (I was talking earlier on with Me and Dean Martin about doing this release in the Cloudberry Kitchen, but they found another home it seems. Always a bit disappointed when things like this happen of course, but in the end what matters is that the songs get released anyways! 13 songs and I can’t wait for this! So many favourite songs in here!)
– Endless Bob Brown – S/T (17 songs!! Wow. Not to be missed, classic jangle pop!)

Shelflife had some news too, the single “Mi Amor” by Red Sleeping Beauty will be released on March 25th! Such a fantastic song, it is becoming hard to wait and wait for the new album Red Sleeping Beauty will be releasing later this year.

Djustin is the collaboration by Johan Angergård from Acid House Kings, Club 8, etc etc, and our friend Rose Suau from the amazing Shoestrings and Invisible Twin. They’ve been unveiling songs every couple of weeks on Soundcloud and I’m really enjoying them. It’s not exactly indiepop, but synthpop with indiepop spirit if that makes any sense! Their EP is to be released this month too!

Maybe I’m missing something? What else is coming out that deserves our attention?

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Such a long time since I visited Cardiff in Wales, but it wasn’t that long ago on the blog that I wrote about Bomb and Dagger, a Cardiff band, and I said:
The other listing Discogs has is that from them appearing on the compilation “0222 A Compilation of Cardiff Bands” that was released by Popdy (catalog Popdy 101). In this compilation also appears the band Papas New Faith that I should definitely cover as they are truly great! Anyhow, the song that Bomb and Dagger contributed in this LP was “Strike”. I like that Discogs mentions on the notes that 2 of the bands on it went to form Super Furry Animals and Catatonia. Funny, I guess some care about those bands!

So today I thought covering Papas New Faith. Back when I wrote that I only knew that one song that appears on that compilation. That song was “This House” and it’s a brilliant one. It’s pure jangle pop from the mid 80s, but the rest of the songs I’ve been listening online are quite different. Much rockier!

They had two proper releases, both in 1988.  The compilation with “This House” dates from 1989. Maybe they were becoming poppier in their later years?

The same titled 12″, released on Garage Records (GAR 001) included three songs, on the A side the song “Shine“, and o the B side we find “All the Same To Me” and “Parallel View“.

Their second release was another 12” with 3 songs. Again on Garage Records (GAR 002) this one had “Through the Roof” on the A side and “Mystery Train” and “Every Trip” on the B side.

As I’ve found the songs on Youtube I’ve linked them for you. They are all on the same account, from one comment I read I deducted he was a friend and a fan of the band.

What’s even greater on this account is that they have uploaded demo tracks from the band. We can find: “Dirty Earth“, “Shine” and “Burn the Boat“, the three coming from their first demo tape titled “Shake Your Head Until You’re Tired!”. Other songs included in this demo were “One Way Out” and “Flawless”.

There are also two recordings from the Janice Long show on Radio One. There’s “Bring You” and “Gather Up“.

But those are not all the goodies in this account. Two live TV appearances are available: the band performing “One Way Out” on the Juice programme in 1987, and “Dirty Earth” at the same show.

Luckily the band members are also listed on these youtube clips:
Martyn Jensen – vocals
Kevin Jensen – keyboards, guitars
Alex Silva – guitars, sax
Mike Ormsby – bass
Kris Ayre – drums

Mike Ormsby, 5 years ago, commented on one of the videos saying he was living long term in Transylvania in Romania, but at the moment he was in Azerbaijan, by way of Chad in Africa. Wonder what he does for a living!

I keep digging and I found an interview to Dave Owens on We Are Cardiff. Dave Owens seems to be a true Cardiff music connoisseur, as the intro to this interview says, he is at every decent Cardiff gig wearing his coat and holding a pint. When asked about the bands he remembers from his youth he mentions Papas New Faith. He recalls the Chapter Arts Center who promoted live music most nights of the week in the original Chapter Bar. He says of Papas New Faith the following: …fantastic should-have-beens such as Papa’s New Faith (featuring Alex Silva – now in house engineer at Hansa Studios in Berlin, but better known as the producer of The Manics’ Futurology and The Holy Bible).

This same Alex Silva seems to have been working on a bunch of big movies and all. This is his website it seems. Got there through an All Wales forum. A chap called Simon says: “yeah he was with papas new faith with Jamie from the hope they were the last ever band to play on the old grey whistle test. knew him well and his brother Naz, his mum Suzanna owned the chippy we all hung out in caerphilly but lost touch nearly 30 years ago. looking at his website and the people his producing i should imagine he is a multi millionaire by now”.

From there I learn that Alex Silva was in another band called Street 66 “Alex Silva was the lead singer/ guitarist with Street 66, saw them many times supporting Steve Marriott at the new Ocean club and the Colours and other bands at a few places as well. He’s gone on to be quite successful in the music business, producing and stuff.”

What about the other members? What happened to them? Were they involved with other bands? And was this all their recorded output? The compilation song, plus the two singles plus the demo tape? I wonder if they had more songs sounding like “This House”, that song is such a gem!!

Anyone remember them?

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Listen
Papas New Faith – This House

29
Apr

I wrote some months ago about The Man Upstairs on the blog. I love this band and I was terribly happy when Nigel got in touch with me! Immediately I asked if I could interview him and learn more about the band as there isn’t that much written about them online. He agreed and here we are! Looking forward definitely to that retrospective album that The Man Upstairs are working on!

++ Hello Nigel! Thanks a lot for getting in touch and for the interview! It’s so cool that The Man Upstairs have a website with so many goodies, especially all those songs available for listening. Thanks so much for that! Since when has it been up and who maintains it?

It is a fabulous site but I have no idea who put it together or who maintains it. It must be a secret!!! I would love to be involved.

++ There are so many questions about The Man Upstairs, but first I want to ask you about a 7″ single that Discogs lists as yours with the songs “Summa” and “Gospel According to Mark”. This record doesn’t appear on your website. What is this about?

This 7 inch single appeared on the now defunct Clockhouse Records in 1982 and was recorded at Keele, Staffordshire. Side one featured a Cure inspired track written by Rodney Blake: he named the song after his girlfriend ‘Summa’. It was Rod who originally formed the band with bass player Graham Sharp. Side two is a song written by myself and Rod about a local guy, Mark, who was obsessed with fashion and posing!! We screen printed the covers ourselves and sold out in a few weeks. This led to a deal with Birmingham based company Graduate Records who also signed UB40 and The Chameleons. Although we recorded several tracks for Graduate the company folded before any were released.

++ So let’s start from the beginning. What are your first musical memories from when you were a kid? Who or what influenced you to be a musician?

My first musical memories are from school in Kent when I used to make up lyrics and tunes about my mates. My parents listened to Frank Sinatra, Johnny Cash and had a Dansette record player. I remember my Dad coming home with a Kinks record and my mum hating it: I loved it!! The first single I bought was Rocking Robin by Michael Jackson and first album was Fog on the Tyne by Lindisfarne…work that one out!! I always wanted to be a singer-songwriter and finally got the opportunity at university when I met Rod and Graham. It was Punk and New Wave that inspired us most. I remember hearing The Sex Pistols and was blown away and when I heard Joe Jackson’s Sunday Papers and his brilliant lyrics I finally knew that songs didn’t have to be about love etc…you could really say something and get it off your chest. Song writing is the best therapy!!

++ And who was first Terry and Gerry or The Man Upstairs? Just trying to get the chronology right. And had you been involved in any other bands at the time already?

The Man Upstairs was first but the bands overlapped for a few years. My first band was a punk outfit called Private Public formed in 1977. We came last in a Stoke on Trent band competition, but got 10 out of 10 for star quality!! The other groups were all prog’ rock or AOR.

++ How did The Man Upstairs start as a band? Who were the members and how did you all know each other?

I was playing a gig with Private Public at Keele University and Rod and Graham were there. They were looking for a singer for their new band The Man Upstairs and I jumped at the chance. We were all students and had the same taste in music. We loved the Cure, XTC etc and wanted to do something different from the bands around the Midlands at that time. Rupert Knowlden was recruited on drums and the line-up was complete. We had a keyboard player for the first concert but he didn’t fit in. We played all over the country and moved to Birmingham in 1983. When Graduate Records folded Rod and Graham left the band: myself and Rupert took a new direction with the help of co-lead singer Carolyn Bennett, Tim Simpson on bass and Alan Smyth on guitar (Smitty later produced The Arctic Monkeys). We stripped the sound down, added a jazz tinge and sweeter harmonies. Once again it was a change inspired by dissatisfaction with the bands around at the time and our collective musical interest.

++ Why the name The Man Upstairs? Where does it come from?

Graham Sharp came up with the name. It is a nickname for God!! He even wore a dog collar on stage as a punk metaphor!!

++ You were based in Birmingham. How was your town then? Were there any like-minded bands? What were the good venues were you used to hang out?

It was a fantastic place in the 80’s and still is now. There were some fabulous bands such as The Mighty Lemon Drops, Mighty Mighty, Ruby Turner and the venues were vibrant and packed. The best ones were Peacocks, The Click Club, Holy City Zoo, Barbarellas. There was a great music paper Brumbeat which fuelled the new music of the time and promoters like Dave Travis (later Oasis’s Midlands promoter) who were essential to the scene. The radio stations were brave enough to give airplay to local and underground bands…wish that was true now!! We all hung out in the pubs in Moseley, Gas Street and mainly at the Click Club. I met my wife there when she was being chatted up by Edwyn Collins (previously from Orange Juice)!! I am very lucky to have been in Brum at that time.

++ In 1985 you released the “Sad In My Heart” 7″ on Sideline Records. Who were they and how did you ended up in this label?

Sideline Records were part of the Cartel, along with Cherry Red, Rough Trade, Intape and a bunch of other brilliant indie labels. They also had a connection with Red Rose Records in Paris and someone from there saw us at Rock City in London and that’s how the deal came about.

++ I think the B side, “Country Boy”, is such an amazing song. I was wondering if you could tell me the story behind this song? And also what do you remember about the recording session for this single?

At the risk of sounding pretentious it’s a song that explores and challenges the expected roles of men and women in relationships: hence the lines ‘She wears a tie’ and ‘With his hands in the sink’. As with all the music I write and like I try to see things from a different angle. I also love washing machines which feature a lot in this song. The ‘Country Boy’ reference is based on a guy I knew who had just moved to Brum from a small village and the culture clash he experienced. It’s also a reference to Country Music which at the time was very unfashionable but we loved it!! It’s the only song I’ve ever come across with the word Swarfega in it: used in garages..thought by some as the domain of men: but not us.

I seem to remember the recording session was at Smitty’s studio in Sheffield. It didn’t take long to put down and we were all excited that it turned out so well. We went for a curry afterwards and I got food poisoning!!

++ Just afterwards you released the “Consumer EP” and the “Consumer Song” 7″. Why was this song, “Consumer Song”, released in two different formats and versions, and even with two different sleeves?

? It was Sideline’s idea to exploit two different markets: UK and Europe. I am very proud of both and Carolyn does a fab job singing. Somewhere there is a version of me singing Consumer Song too.

++ For this record there has been some changes in the lineup. What happened?

What happened was Terry and Gerry! I had co-founded the band with Terry Lilley, at first as a bit of fun but it took off in a small way and we were soon doing John Peel sessions, appearing on TV shows and playing all over the UK, Europe and America. I could not commit as much time to The Man Upstairs as I wanted to so I reluctantly left the band. It was a bit upsetting for everyone but the band continued and developed. Carolyn and Rupert re-jigged the band: Mick Vousden replaced Smitty and Chris Jones came in on bass. I think it was a fab line-up.

++ I like the artwork for all of your releases, I was wondering how much of control did you have over that?

Total control. That is the beauty of indie labels. The cover for Consumer Song 7’ was s skit on the T.V advert at the time where a hunky guy shrinks his jeans in the bath: in keeping with the blind consumerism theme of the song.

++ On the website there are songs dating back to 1982, 1983. A bunch of these demos never got around to be released. But I was wondering, as it was the fashion of those times, were these released in demo tapes perhaps and sold at gigs?

We never thought of selling demos at gigs: I don’t know why. There were some bootlegs knocking about but as with all bands like ours we didn’t think commercially: we just wanted to play our music and have fun. In the last years we did sell the vinyl.

++ Also there is an unreleased album from 1988. It included 13 songs. What happened to it? Why was it never released?

It was a compilation of everything we had recorded and will be released next year. I am in the process of putting the wheels in motion.

++ Was there any major label interest in the band?

All the majors came to see us at some point and we did meet with several suits in big offices but it never happened. I think we were a risk, too indie and to be honest didn’t care that much for corporate music. We were, and are, an indie band. The money would have been nice though!!

++ From this huge amount of songs you recorded, which were your favourite songs and why?

‘Sad in My Heart’ and ‘Country Boy’ are great because they cemented the new direction of the band after Graham and Rod left. My total fav though is ‘Don’t Be Afraid of the Dentist’ because it was made into a short film which featured the band, myself and a potato!! I’m proud of all of the records and the musicians on them. ‘I Bet They’re Missing Me Downstairs’ is another favourite because it’s about my old flat and feeling lonely.

++ And just out of curiosity, are there even more recordings other than all the ones on the website?

Yes. They will be on the new CD.

++ I read that you were an opening band for The Smiths. I’m sure many would be very curious about that experience. Any anecdotes you could share?

We toured with the Smiths in 1984 or 85: I can’t remember. They were so good to us and so helpful. It was a fabulous experience, from Johnny Marr coming up to me and Rupert to tell us a bunch of girls wanted our autographs, to Morrissey appearing on BBC Radio One and reviewing our single with the words ‘I know these people , we have toured together and they are great.’ Their audience at times wasn’t the most appreciative but it was an unforgettable experience.

++ What about gigging in general? Did you like it better than going to the studio? What were your favourite gigs with The Man Upstairs and why?

I prefer live shows to studio sessions but the two go hand in hand. There were loads of memorable gigs with TMU but Durham springs to mind. We played at 4.00am at an all-night Festival and our rider was a crate of champagne. We got to the venue at 3.00pm so you can imagine what state we were in by the time we went on. Rupert went to the toilet halfway through a song!! We were so different to many bands at the time in that all the gigs were well received. The MAC Arts Centre in Brum was another great night: not boasting but the audience wouldn’t let us leave the stage!!

++ Is there any gig you played that was so bad that you think is better to never remember?

No not really, but I’ve probably seared it from my memory. In the early days with Graham and Rodney we played with a couple of bands from Liverpool and ended up fighting with them in the dressing room. Not pleasant but we won.

++ David Travis commented on my blog post saying he was the band manager, taking photos and shooting the videos. How was that experience with him? And which videos are these he talks about? And where are those videos? Certainly not on Youtube!

Dave Travis is a fabulous photographer and promoter. He worked for Graduate Records at the time and shot a video for ‘I Only Work Here’. It will hopefully appear on YouTube when the new CD comes out. Dave has just done a new session with Terry and Gerry and we are still mates. He was more than just our manager, he was like a member of the band. He has an exhibition in Birmingham at the moment called ‘The History of Alternative Music’ at The Parkside Gallery, Birmingham City University which features pics from the 1970 onwards of indie bands and venues.

++ What about the press and radio play? Did you feel there was good support for the band?

The companies we worked with did a good job and employed pluggers and press people but I think we could have got more coverage. It’s never too late though? We got a lot of coverage in Japan but never went which is a real shame.

++ Were you involved at all with the fanzine culture that was very important in the UK during the mid eighties?

To a certain extent, but what’s frustrating is that I have no copies anymore. Fanzines, in a pre-internet era, were the underground way people got to know new bands, and without them there would have been no new movement in music. Sites like yours are doing the same job for a new generation…Wonderful.

++ When and why did The Man Upstairs split? What did you all do afterwards?

After my departure in 1986 the band continued but the guys drifted apart and wanted to do other things. It seemed at the time to have run its course, as had the vibrant venue scene and bands in Birmingham. Raves and Dance Music were the new fad and a lot of the old venues closed or hired D.J’s instead of bands. Carolyn went to live in France, Rupert now promotes bands in the Midlands, Tim Simpson still plays bass, Alan Smyth produces bands and writes fabulous songs, Graham Sharp is a top lawyer and still plays bass, Rodney Blake is teaching as well as playing trumpet and guitar, Mick Vousden is still playing and Chris Jones is involved in The Arts.

++ Are you all still in touch? What are you doing these days? Still making music?

I saw Rupert when my band supported Status Quo in Wolverhampton last year and I’m still in touch with all the guys although we haven’t met up for ages. I have fond memories of The Man Upstairs and would love a reunion.
In the early 1990’s I worked in Nashville as a professional songwriter and back in the UK collaborated with Alison Moyet, co-writing on an album project. I also penned numerous TV themes, three musicals, two film scores and wrote and presented for BBC Radio 2. My band at the time, ‘Gerry Colvin’s Inexperience’, was a fusion of Soul, R and B and Folk-Country and we became a firm favourite on the College circuit.

In 1993 I formed the folk-pop band ‘The Atlantics’: we toured extensively including a slot at Glastonbury Festival, where I was also M.C, and appeared on BBC’s ‘Pebble Mill at One’. My other major project at this time was film music as vocalist with ‘The National Screen Orchestra’; I also performed as a comedy double act with Hollywood superstar Mackenzie Crook.

In 1995 I co-founded the five piece folk band Colvinquarmby. We released six critically acclaimed albums and were voted best band at the prestigious Fairport Convention Cropredy Festival in 2009. In 2010 we won the Hancock Award for ‘Best Live Folk Act’. In May 2013 I was invited by New York producer and Robert Plant song collaborator Dave Barratt to record ‘Revolution’ for the ‘Beatles complete on ukulele’ album and website.

In 2014 I released a self-penned solo album ‘Jazz Tales of Country Folk’ and have just put out my new CD ‘Six of One half a Dozen of the Other’ which features ten brand new original songs.

In 2015 I became President of The Knitted Character Folk Festival, an annual celebration of alternative Folk Music and Knitting in Warwickshire. UK. This year’s event takes place on June 4th. www.knittedcharacterfolkfestival.co.uk it’s a mad event where the audience listens to great music and knits!!!

In 2015 I reformed ‘Terry and Gerry’ and was invited to support Status Quo on a nationwide tour. Terry and Gerry also appeared at Glastonbury this year following the release of their new EP ‘Dear John’.

As well as my new album I am working on a book ‘The Rabbits of Zakynthos’ due out later this year and a Man Upstairs compilation CD.

++ Then aside from music, what other hobbies do you have Nigel?

I love going to gigs, discussing The Prisoner, and drinking!!

++ Looking back, what would you say was the biggest highlight for The Man Upstairs?

Playing some great concerts, getting a record deal, touring with The Smiths and still being remembered by a select few all these years later. I’m hoping there will be new highlights in the future too!!

++ Let’s wrap it here, though first I usually like asking this question. Are you still based in Birmingham, if so, and if you don’t mind, I was wondering if you could suggest the sights, places, bars or restaurants that one shouldn’t miss if you were to visit your town?

I now live in Stratford upon Avon which is not far from Brum. If you visit Birmingham don’t miss the Canal Basin in Gas Street (The first street ever to be gas lit), Moseley Village for bohemian bars and shops, The Ikon Gallery in Broad Street and for music The Hare and Hounds or The Kitchen Garden Café, both in Kings Heath. Hope you visit soon and catch a gig.
www.gerrycolvin.com

++ Thanks again so much! Anything else you’d like to add?

You are an absolute STAR. Keep up the great work.

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Listen
Man Upstairs – Country Boy

25
Apr

This weekend the 3rd Lima Popfest will happen at the Peruvian capital. This year they have expanded the countries represented and along Peruvian, Chilean and Argentine bands, this year they will be hosting bands from Mexico and Uruguay as well. As I’m not that familiar with many of these bands let’s do a small review about each of them!

Let’s do it in order then, as there are two nights, Friday and Saturday, let’s start on Friday the 29th.

Indiependencia – shame this band has such a terrible name. This trio from Lima is formed by Jessica, Paolo and German. The first song I hear from them on Soundcloud is a cover of La Bien Querida, a favourite of mine, so they win points immediately. Now I want to hear their own songs. Luckily there’s a lot of them online, and even though I don’t enjoy them as much as their very good cover, they are really enjoyable, especially their upbeat songs. I feel it’s a good choice to have this band opening the festival, they should start setting the tone for a good party.

Las Tetris – this band I have already reviewed in the past in the blog, so I’m quite familiar. I highly recommend them as I think they are the best indiepop girl group in Peru at the moment.

Blind Dancers – not exactly indiepop but more of a synthpop band from Lima. It seems it’s the project of just one man that goes by the name Lu Falen. They have an EP called “Parallel Time” released on Hype Records (great label name too, not). I’m not much of a fan of this sort of music though, so instead of complaining, I’ll move to the next band in the Friday lineup.

Eva & John – well, my favourite Peruvian band for the last 4 or so years. I’ve talked extensively about them on the blog so many of you might be familiar with them. I’ve seen them twice and they are a treat to look and listen. Hoping that they will release something new soon. A true favorite and not to be missed.

Buried Under Stars – a well known indie band from Mexico City formed by Mauricio, Gabriel, Hector and Linda. Sometimes indiepop, sometimes powerpop, sometimes very lofi, but most of the times I’d categorize them as an indierock band. They have released an album last year called “Soup is Food” and that’s what I’m listening right now. I’m not sold though.

Nubes en Mi Casa – a beauty of a band that comes from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Their last album, “Me Suelto y Vuelvo” was at heavy rotation at my place a couple of years ago. And not just because I did the artwork for the Peruvian/Worldwide edition that was released for Plastilina Records. It was because of the strength of their songs, their music, their lyrics. A charming record, pure pop class. Hoping for a new release this year. Peruvians are lucky to be able to see them at their turf. I guess I will never see them living in NYC. Great GREAT band to close the first night of Popfest.

Now onto Saturday then.

Psilosis – I hear this is a kind of a new band from Lima. I only found two songs on their bandcamp. And they are quite a nice surprise. I like the boy/girl vocals on their first song “Hey Chica”. It’s not exactly Los Lagos de Hinault, but it reminds me a bit to them. I don’t know much about them but the two songs sound good. Good opening band for Saturday then.

Astronaut Project – an odd name for a pop band I think. This is the solo project of Peruvian Alberto Zegarra and he dives into the dreamy side of pop with electronic beats. It’s nice and soothing. He sings in English. And last year he released a 7 track album which you can listen to entirely on Bandcamp. I expected something I wouldn’t like because of the band name, but I’m really liking the music!

AtaquepolariS – a band from the border city of Arica in Chile. Never heard them before so I head to their soundcloud. The band is formed by Seba, Diego, Piero and Luis. I’m definitely curious, as I’ve only heard bands from Santiago, the capital city. But then, the vocalist comes and I get disappointed. He is too shouty for my taste! Music is alright though. but the vocalist. I can’t. I can’t.

Fútbol en la Escuela – another Lima band, formed by Sayo, Edgar, Blanca, Ricardo and Carlos. They are rapidly becoming one of Lima’s favourite indie bands. I find them alright, I’m not head over heels. I think my problem with them are their influences. I feel they listen too many Chilean and Argentine bands. And not the ones I’m a fan of!

Julen y la Gente Sola – a band from Montevideo, Uruguay. I’m not familiar at all with the scene from that country. So it’s a total surprise to find myself listening to their bandcamp. I’m streaming their eponymous album released in 2014. Bedroom pop, sometimes a bit folky, sometimes more indiepop. And now I actually do like the vocalist. A nice surprise this band, never heard them and they sound fresh and exciting, with “Trotsky Vengarán” as my favourite track.

Patio Solar – the band that will close the festival comes from La Florida in Chile. They seem very popular as I was looking at the Popfest event page and people were really excited about them when they were announced. So I’m listening to their latest effort, dating from 2015 and called “Temporada”. The guitars are definitely the best part of their songs. Chiming and luminous. Catchy tunes, boy/girl vocals, so of course, I’m enjoying this. A good discovery by the Popfest people.

And that’s it. Two nights of pop music in Lima. I won’t be attending, but I’m glad I got to discover a bunch of new music through them. All of you attending, have fun!

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Dexter’s Laboratory (commonly abbreviated as Dexter’s Lab) is an American comic science fiction animated television series created by Genndy Tartakovsky for Cartoon Network, and the first of the network’s Cartoon Cartoons. The series follows Dexter, a boy-genius and inventor with a secret laboratory, who constantly battles his sister Dee Dee in an attempt to keep her out of the lab. He also engages in a bitter rivalry with his neighbor and fellow-genius Mandark. The first two seasons contained additional segments: Dial M for Monkey, which focuses on Dexter’s pet lab-monkey/superhero, and The Justice Friends, about a trio of superheroes who share an apartment.

So Dexter and Dee Dee. I’m sure many remember the cartoon. But does anyone remember a Swedish band from Malmö that went by the name Didi & Dexter?

I had totally forgotten about them until late yesterday night while I was arranging some loose Mp3s on the computer. I saw the song “Amy Song” and played it. And I was like, wait a moment, who are they? this sounds really good! Suddenly some memories starting coming back and I’m pretty sure it was my Serbian friend Nikola who introduced them to me.

I went online to try to find any information about them and of course, there was so little. Last.fm has 15 songs by them listed. They are: “Love Hurts (But Not that Much)”, “Dress Rehearsal”, “Amy Song”, “Fell From a Bridge”, “Feel New Flavor”, “Walking Out on Love”, “Hand in Hand”, “Holly would”, “Youth Stop”, “Morning Love Summer Ends”, “I May Hate You Sometimes”, Heading Home”, “Dream City Motel”, “17/17 Friends” and “Aranda de Duero”.

These songs come from two albums, one called “Might as Well Give in” and “Starting Over”.

The song “Love Hurts (But Not That Much)” is the one that has been listened to the most. Something that would explain this is that this song was also on the compilation “Blackbean and Placenta CD Compilation #4, Autumn 2000”. On this compilation, on the US label Blackbean and Placenta (catalog BBPTC 144), this song is the 10th song on the tracklist. Other names that appear and that we are familiar with are Girlboy Girl, Rabbit in Red, River, Lunchbox, Nixon and Boyish Charms.

I found out too that Indiepop.it had this same Didi & Dexter song on their free download compilation on 2004. I found also a mention to them on the 2003 Twee.net Poll. Just one. But still.

Then after some more Sherlock Holmes investigation I hit some important facts.

Popkfakta.se will tell me more about their first release, a demo CD. That one is “Might as Well Give In” I mentioned earlier. A photo of a couple on a gondola in Venice is the cover for it. The tracklist for it is:
1. Feel New Flavor
2. Love Hurts (But Not That Much)
3. Holly Would
4. Dress Rehearsal
5. Amy Song

We also find the band members names: Andreas Tursell, Maria Lindgren, Sebastian Fonzéus and Tobias Johansson.

The mixing and production credits go to both Andreas and Sebastian.

Then Discogs will give me more information after typing Didi “AND” Dexter isntead of Didi & Dexter, their original name. We find that in 2003 they released a 7″. That one is the “Starting Over”that Last.fm had listed.

4 songs in it, “Walking Out on Love”, “Hand in Hand”, “Morning Love Summer Ends” and “Fell From a Bridge”. Here we notice that Maria has left the band and has been replaced by Ulrica Kristhammar. The rest of the band is the same. The year was 2003 and it was released on a label called Jetboy Recordings (catalog JR004).

This same label had released before a 7″ by a band called Les Royales de Kiefers and a CDR compilation called “19 Ways to Get Back Home”.  Some familiar names on this comp, like Rabbit in Red, The Maulies, Brittle Stars, Laura Watling, and more. How come I’ve never heard of Jetboy Recordings before?

As Andreas and Sebastian seem to have been a working team, I look up for both of them. I find they had been during the past decade on a Malmö band called The Bells. There are a bunch of songs uploaded on Youtube.

Now I feel I really want both their releases. Where can I find them? I’ve only heard two songs by them so far, “Love Hurts (But Not So Much)” and the one Im sharing with you, “Amy Song”. Both being so good! Does anyone can share with me the rest? And does anyone remember the band at all? Did they play live a lot? Did they tour Sweden or other countries? What are the band members doing now? Would be cool to find out!

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Listen
Didi & Dexter – Amy Song

19
Apr

As promised this week I’ll check out the San Francisco Popfest bands that are new to me, next week I’ll check Lima Popfest’s. It’s definitely a good thing that these festivals, all of them, including Indietracks, are digging new bands for me to listen. Even though most of the times, honestly, they are not of my liking, far far away from my taste, I never feel disappointed. And that’s because I always think the next band I’ll discover will be amazing. Just like that one time that Glasgow Popfest had booked the then unknown Spook School, who I immediately fell in love with.

San Francisco Popfest is happening in June for three days, on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of that month. That’s Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The venues are Hemlock Tavern, Brick and Mortar and The Knockout. I can’t say if these are good or bad venues, I haven’t been in San Fran since 1994. I was a kid back then.

On Friday I know most of the bands, the one I don’t is The Dyson Spheres. Sadly I couldn’t find a Bandcamp or a Soundcloud for them. Maybe they have something else where I can listen to their songs?

Then on Saturday we have The Shivas, who happen to be from Oregon, Portland. There’s a lot of releases on their Bandcamp and they are thrown into the garage/surf rock genre basket. They have releases on the once upon a time good label K Records. As I’m doing a quick listen, just to get the gist of what sort of music they make, I go straight to their latest release, dating from February 2016 and called “Better Off Dead”. And even though I don’t hate this, I just don’t like it. Kind of folky, and slow tempo. I don’t see the pop in this band, so time to check the next one.

Another band that plays the same show at Brick and Mortar is Emotional. They hail from San Francisco and also have a bunch of releases under their belt. I check out their latest called “Ahh the Name is Emotional” released in March this year. It’s not strictly my style again, but at least this is pop music, and to be fair it doesn’t feel alien in a Popfest. I wonder what makes it pop but not indiepop. My theory more mainstream influences. What’s yours?

The last band on that Saturday show is Smoke Screens. From LA. And to my surprise when I hit on the play button some jangly and chirping guitars start sounding. Oh! This is a discovery. Sounds good!! Proper indiepop that actually reminds me of so many CDR bands from Sweden circa 2003. Lo-fi and charming, Smoke Screens have 3 songs on Bandcamp, “Out of Time”, “Vanity” and “The Bar”. These were released (I assume just digitally) on August 2015. It seems this is just the solo project by  Chris Rosi and recorded with the help of his friends.

I think I might have heard the name Burnt Palms before. But as I live under a rock when it comes to a lot of music, I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’m listening to them. I have the idea that they are quite popular. Am I right? I check their latest release, a limited 12″ titled “Back on My Wall”. It actually sounds good. The song “Fold” surprises me as it sounds to a bunch of American indiepop bands from the 90s. And that’s a good thing in my book. The Seaside, California, band make fuzzy pop, straight to the point. And it works.

Horrible/Adorable, is the last band I check out. They are 2 girls from Oakland, California. And Popfest keeps getting better. After two first bands that weren’t that exciting, the last three are strong, including Horrible/Adorable. I check out their bandcamp and their song 37th Street starts playing. It’s sugary and fun. They list a bunch of genres on their bandcamp which is a bit confusing, as I don’t see any noise for example in their sound! On this, their latest release called “Lookin’ Healthy” they have 4 songs, the aforementioned “37th Street”, “DMV Dream”, “You Suck!” and “Hail Sk8tn'”. All of them are really nice, though my favourite is “DMV Dream”, with kinda All Girl Summer Fun Band lyrics.

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The Apache are culturally related Native American tribes from the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. These indigenous peoples of North America speak Southern Athabaskan languages, which are related linguistically to Athabaskan languages in Alaska and western Canada.Apache people traditionally have lived in Eastern Arizona, Northern Mexico (Sonora and Chihuahua), New Mexico, West Texas, and Southern Colorado. Apacheria, their collective homelands, consists of high mountains, sheltered and watered valleys, deep canyons, deserts, and the southern Great Plains. The Apache tribes fought the invading Spanish and Mexican peoples for centuries. The first Apache raids on Sonora appear to have taken place during the late 17th century. In 19th-century confrontations during the American- Indian war of ethnic cleansing, the U.S. Army found the Apache to be fierce warriors and skillful strategists.Apache groups are politically autonomous. The major groups speak several different languages and developed distinct and competitive cultures. The current post-colonial division of Apache groups includes Western Apache, Chiricahua, Mescalero, Jicarilla, Lipan, and Plains Apache (also known as the Kiowa-Apache). Apache groups live in Oklahoma and Texas and on reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. Apache people have moved throughout the United States and elsewhere, including urban centers.

I heard The Ferocious Apaches a long time ago, thanks to a rip from the “Are You Ready?” tape that I probably got from Soulseek. A classic indiepop compilation that included 20 songs from the likes of well known bands like The Pale Saints, The McTells, The Driscolls, The Haywains, Strawberry Story, Big Red Bus, The Mayfields and more. There were a few not very known bands in there, like The Lowthers or The Pilgrims (which have been featured in the blog). It was released in 1987 on Windmill Records with no catalog number. Who ran Windmill Records by the way?

On this tape The Ferocious Apaches appeared with a gem of a song called “Golden”. It was just a few weeks ago that I reconnected with it thanks to Heinz. He had uploaded the song to Youtube and well, I started wondering what about this band, it looks and sounds very obscure.

It turns out there’s actually some information about them online. Strange for a band that didn’t leave much recorded output as far as I know. I honestly have only heard this one song. The thing is that the always amazing Tamworth Music website has a lot of facts about this band and I will try to get you the basics.

The Ferocious Apaches were:
Rob Cross – guitar
John Hodgkiss – lead vocals
Mark Hynds – drums
Bob – bass

No last name for Bob the bassist. And Rob Cross had been in a couple of bands like Herb Garden, Big Muff, Liberty Caps, The Hamilton Hammond and Extension. Actually the Liberty Caps appear also on the “Are You Ready?” tape.

There’s a gig listed from February 1988, at the Sonic Noise Happening show at the Tamworth Arts Centre. They played along Emma Gibbs Loves Badges (another band that I’ve written about and interviewed), Ruby Blaze, The Outside, Flowers in the Attic and The Eppies.

Rob Cross has written some memories of those days, from 86 to 87, about his time in the band. He mentions him and Mark being very influenced by The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Pastels, The Shop Assistants and The June Brides. They met John through Mark’s art school connections.

They recorded songs at Expresso Bongo studios. How many? It’s not mentioned. Were these songs released on a tape? I wonder. They had been receiving some sort of patronage from Ian Gibbons who owned the Rathole, a venue were the band was able to book bands, design posters, DJ and use it’s photocopy machine to make their own fanzines. Sounds like they were having a good time.

At the end of the band’s life they seem to have done another recording session but there are no more details.

Checking clippings from the Tamworth Herald, I notice that the band played with The Rosehips, yes the fucking Rosehips!, in 1987. Wonder if Rocker or Pete remember them. Emma Gibbs Loves Badges were also on the bill.  There’s another gig from 87 when they played along The Searching and The Filipinos.

And finally, Ferocious Apaches. The band were absolutely brilliant. For me they can’t do a thing wrong, their music is so full of youth, enthusiasm and arrogance and other important punk ideals, which seem to have been forgotten in a fashionable haze of studded leather and spiky hair. The anarchic aura that shines from them clearly proves that these are people who, even though they were only eight or nine years old at the time, were there in 1977.

So says a clipping from the Tamworth Herald. I wish I had been at one of their gigs. I’m just so very curious how their other songs sounded like. And I’m also wondering why they never released anything! They seem to have been quite popular, at least in their town!

More gigs, now from 1988 we know they played with The Believers, Emma Gibbs again and Psychedelicatessen. What a name of this last band.

The last bit of information I found is a poll from 1987 where the band gets the 10th place on the”What’s Your Favourite Local Band?” question. On the first place is Dance Stance who I don’t knowwho they are. Fetch Eddie (also covered in the blog) appear on 8th place.

I wonder what happened to the members of the band after the demise of The Ferocious Apaches. It seems they played shows together with Herb Garden, Rob Cross’ other band, by they end of their time as a band. But were they involved with other bands after? What are they doing now? There are so many questions left to be answered. Do any of you remember them?

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Listen
The Ferocious Apaches – Golden

12
Apr

It’s becoming a busy week this one. I didn’t actually have a weekend either, so I’m bit swamped with things to do for work, for home, for the label, and so on. So this may be a small post, a bit shorter than usual. Let’s see how it goes.

The best part of last week was definitely seeing the BMX Bandits after 10 years. They played at Sidewalk Cafe, a very odd and random place where they don’t charge you cover, but they pass a basket, just like in church, to give your donations. Duglas and Chloe were joined by three New Yorkers and, even though the drumkit didnt have a hi-hat, the show was fun and lovely. Duglas is such a showman. Lots of laughs and a good time. They played many of the classics and I even took a photo with Duglas at the end. Such a fan. He even remembered that I went to the show ten years ago with another Peruvian friend. That was really awesome. He then played the next day at Cake Shop and I believe he plays today at Shea Stadium. Sadly I didn’t attend the Cake Shop gig and won’t be able to make it today. But if you can, do it. Worth it!!

The most important announcement is that I’m already working on a new 7″ by Swedish band Stephen’s Shore. They are jangly and brilliant. I fell in love immediately with the sound of their guitars, chiming and chiming. I thought no one was making this music anymore, but was very lucky to find them thanks to my friend Henrik who pointed them to me. Right now the idea is to include four songs on the 7″, on the A side we will have “Ocean Blue” and “If You” and on the B side, “Turn Your Head” and “Let’s Go Home”. The artwork is being created at the moment by Fabio Consoli, all the way from Sicily, Italy. Very very excited about this!! Hopefully there will be more news about the release date and on the website as soon as the artwork is done. Songs are ready!

Now as promised a small review of all the “new” bands for me that are playing Indietracks, always in the hope of finding some hidden treasures. As I listen to the bands I write the post, so it’s all first impressions here.

Nervous Twitch: a four piece from Yorkshire that have released two albums on Odd Box Records as well as some 7″ singles. On the biography I read they are likened to The Ramones, Au Pairs, Talulah Gosh, Blondie and Thee Headchoats. Right now I listen to the first thing that shows up on Bandcamp and that’s a limited edition cassette called “Don’t Take My TV”. Not really indiepop, as it seems to become a trend with all the bands I already reviewed last week, and more of a garage band. Rock and roll, some punk thrown in there, and some hooks here and there. It’s not bad, I enjoy some songs, but definitely not the kind of band that would make me want to go to a pop festival.

Lorna: a dream pop from Nottingham. And it seems they have released 5 albums already. Maybe they are well known but it’s really the first time I hear them. On bandcamp they have the Snowlights EP. The first two songs are quite nice but the third one is really not my style, a bit too slow. I’m not crazy for slow tempo bands at festivals, it gets a bit tedious because you are watching a band after another for so many hours, so you want some energy coming from the songs you know. Perhaps they have energetic songs on their other releases, that I don’t know. In that case it would be a good idea to check this band at the festival, it could be a nice surprise. For sure much better than many of the “new” bands I’ve been discovering.

Charla Fantasma: I think they have a very good name so I had big expectations. The songs are just straight garage. No frills. It’s what it is. But where’s the indiepop among all the screams and shouts? One wonders.

Chrissy Barnacle:  A singer songwriter from Glasgow. I usually shiver when I read the title “singer-songwriter” but as she comes from Glasgow, land of so many indiepop heroes, well, who wouldn’t give a chance? I listen to the one song on Bandcamp called “Witches” and I find out this is too folky for me. I try other releases on her site but it’s all the same, sometimes more upbeat and it gets a bit better, but still. I assume she’ll play at the church, but then again, where’s the indiepop?

Boys Forever: This is a project by Patrick Doyle from Veronica Falls. I check their one single they have streaming on Bandcamp. It’s called “Poisonous”. The B side is a cover of Kirsty MacColl’s “They Don’t Know”. So far these are the best songs I hear on this recap. Their big merit for me is to be indiepop among the no pop bands that seem to abound. That is already saying a lot.

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I decided to check again the compilation “Disparate Cogscienti”. I talked about this compilation a long time ago when I introduced you to the band The Lowthers. But let’s remember some facts about this compilation first. It came out in 1987 and was released by the Cog Sinister label. Mark E. Smith from The Fall ran this label.

From that old post of mine I wrote this:
The first appearance of the Cog Sinister label was in 1987 when The Fall used it as the imprint for their self-released anthology album “Palace Of Swords Reversed”. The imprint returned in 1990 when the band signed to Fontana and used Cog Sinister as a vanity label for their releases. When they moved from Fontana to Permanent Records, they continued to use the Cog Sinister brand on their releases. Since leaving Permanent in 1995, The Fall no longer used Cog Sinister on their new material. However, since 1997, the imprint has become part of the Voiceprint label group, and is being used for reissues of the group’s back-catalogue.

“The Disparate Cogscienti” was the second release on the label and it includes another gem, Beatrice’s “A Girl Like Me”. So I do recommend getting it, as I listened Jessel’s recommendation once, that time he took me to a – secret, secret – to find so many great records in what may be the best record shopping experience I’ve ever had. That day I picked up this fabulous black, white and yellow sleeve from one of the racks, after my good friend asked me if I knew about it. Of course I didn’t. He said it was worth it for the Beatrice song. Though he did mention that The Lowther’s song was quite good. And good it is. And the compilation is worth getting for The Lowthers song too I say. On Discogs at the moment there’s a copy for 4.99 euros if you are interested. I say get it.

Well, today I see a copy for around $7 dollars. Still a good price. Today though I want to talk about that song I mentioned back then. That song by Beatrice titled “A Girl Like Me”.

About this song and about this band there’s really nothing online. I have googled in so many ways and combinations, name of the band, name of the song, band members and all. But I couldn’t find anything.

I do know the band members as they are listed on the back cover:
Lisa Feder – guitar
Gina Harrel – vocals
Genji & Alec – drums

It’s stated that the song was recorded in 1986 and there’s a cool motto next to the band lineup that says: “Flying the flag for free and fanciful females”.

An all-girl band then? I would guess so. On the front cover of the compilation, where there are photos by each band in black and white, for Beatrice we see two girls. To my surprise the band name on the photo is just not Beatrice but it says Beatrice NYC. Does this mean that they hailed from here, from right here? I would guess that’s the case. This definitely adds more to the mystery.

Was there an indiepop band in NYC at that time, even better, an all girl feminist indiepop band in NYC in 1986, recording such gems as “A Girl Like Me”. It’s just amazing. I wonder what happened to them, if they recorded more songs, how their song ended up in a compilation in England, were they involved in other bands? So many questions, and so little answers on the web. Hopefully someone could help!

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Listen
Beatrice – A Girl Like Me

04
Apr

April at last. It’s been around a year since I did for the first time the Cloudberry podcast and I’m actually thinking about doing it again. See how it goes. While in France my friends insisted that I should record the podcast again. It definitely is a good idea. But then at the end it all depends on whoever helps me put all the tracks together. Thomas from Pale Spectres has offered. As soon as there are more news I’ll let you know.

Next week I will announce our next 7″. And I’m very excited about it. It’s a band you’ve probably never heard before, but it’s jangle heaven hailing from Sweden. It will include four songs. That’s all I can give you at the moment!

I did promise last week that I was going to check many of the bands that I haven’t heard ever from the lineup of Indietracks. So I’ll do that. But before it’s important to know that this year San Francisco Popfest returns. It’s happening on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of June. You can check the event here. Many bands I’ve never heard are playing so I’ll do a review sometime soon. We do have some time! Also Lima Popfest is around the corner (April 30th), and I’ll do a review of their bands next week. It looks like a fine year for indiepop so far with all these festivals!

So I start in no particular order:

Two White Cranes: I like Joanna Gruesome quite a bit even though some friends of mine can’t stand them. Too nineties they tell me. I find them fresh and exciting. Two White Cranes is the project of Roxy Brennan from Joanna Gruesome. She is also part of Grubs (whose flexi was amazing). On Bandcamp there’s a CD for sale called “Radisson Blue”. I’m skimming through the songs. Definitely not Grubs or Joanna Gruesome. This is a solo project. Guitar,vocals, some drums. Very personal songs, and for sure there’s a good vibe in the songs, but I don’t fall head over heels for them. I miss the jangle and the pop hooks.

Songs For Walter: From Manchester and with an album already in their pockets. The same name album includes a bunch of songs and it’s been released on vinyl and CD and you can buy it from their Bandcamp. This is folk-pop. As you may know from the blog, I’m usually not a fan of folk-pop as it tends to be awfully boring. Songs for Walter is a bit better than that to my surprise. Laurie Hulme, the guy behind this project, crafts nice and melodious tunes, making sweet music. I couldn’t listen 5 of their songs in a row as it gets a bit too sugary, but if you were to find one of their songs on a compilation, I think it would be a delight, an actual highlight.

Seazoo: I’m listening to their newest single, “Telephone Jones”. There’s even a video for it. They’ve been showcased in a bunch of radio shows throughout the UK. They come from Wales and have released the “Ken” and “Car Deborah” EPs. It’s pop with indierock leanings, with solid songs but nothing new to say “wow”. It’s good though and enjoyable.

Prizefighter: Band from Derby, very close to Indietracks grounds. There are two songs on their bandcamp.
“There is a Light” and “Ghosts”. They date from 2014. Not sure if they have anything else new. Shambolic indierock would be my first thought. Not crazy for their songs, the A side being much much better than the B side that has this drone sound on the background that is really hard on my ears.

Maggie8: I’m very confused by this band. For sure this is not indiepop and doubt anyone would say I’m wrong by saying that. There’s a very eclectic mix of influences here. I read someone comment saying that it’s a mix of indiepop and South Asian music. I don’t see the indiepop part though. The strange thing is that this actually works. It sounds interesting and all. I’m not disliking it, and I would even argue that if they tried they could become a bona fide hipster band, and play often in Williamsburg. It has that appeal. This Leeds band formed by Mark Wright and Nivedita Pisharoty is not an anomaly at Indietracks (there’s been odd bands playing there before), but is perhaps the riskier sounding band I’ve seen them book.

So there are 5 or 6 more bands I’m not familiar with, but I’ll save them for another post. But how do you like these first bunch of bands? Anyone you don’t want to miss? Are they making you book a ticket to the UK? I won’t be going this year, but as always will miss seeing friends, which I think, is the beauty of Indietracks.

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The Ryecatchers. I believe they hailed from somewhere in London. There’s not much written online sadly and it’s a bit hard to get any information from this band that was around in the late 80s, possibly between 86 to 89.

They released just one demo tape, recorded for Capitol Records. Then I find 4 songs on Youtube. “Apron Strings“, “Frozen White Rain“, “Where I’ve Already Waded” and “Flowers“. I can confirm that at least “Apron Strings” and “Flowers” appeared on that demo tape. I remember them from the time of Myspace. That’s when I first heard about them. Their cool haircuts and their obscurity were something I never forgot. I actually even thought I had already covered them on the blog, but it seems not! Well it’s never too late.

Going back to their Myspace I check that they have many more songs. But as it’s Myspace maybe half of them only play. The songs on Myspace are: “Frozen White Rain (4-track home demo)”, “Release Me (4-track home demo)”, “Don’t Even Try”, “Killing Horses”, “Butterfly Riot (4-track home demo)”, “The Worm and the Bird”, “Frozen White Rain”, “Mystery Prize”, “Where I’ve Already Waded”, “Flowers”, “Your Screaming”, “Apron Strings”, “Deeper”, “Butterfly Riot”, “I Get Confused”. The quality of the songs seem to vary. “Your Screaming” is definitely a favorite, check it out.

On one of the Youtube videos we find the lineup of the band:
Nick Evans – vocals and guitar
Jason Poland – vocals and guitar
Jim Allison – bass
Richard Deacon – drums

I actually end up finding Jason Poland’s Youtube account and there’s a solo performance, him and his guitar, possibly recorded at home in 2009, of the song “Frozen White Rain“.

The video for “Frozen White Rain” actually includes a lot of photos and press clippings. There’s a clipping written by Simon Williams were he says that “The frets clamber over each other, two guitars grating and mating like hedgehogs in Ecstasy”. What a description! He likens them to The Jesus and Mary Chain, though I think The Ryecatchers are less noisy, more jangly. He also describes them as “prime candidates for fanzine activity, all polka dots and polo necks”.

On a clipping found on their Myspace Nicholas says that he doesn’t understand the comparisons to the Jesus and Mary Chain. We also learn from that clipping that their demo included 6 tracks and was recirded un Brixton. Here Capitol Records is written Kapitol Records. We learn that at least they played twice at Portsmouth Poly, once as a support slot to Spaceman 3. That they also played at The Rock Garden in Covent Garden, The Sir George Roby and at Hype at the iconic The Bull and Gate in Kentish Town.

Of course that’s all I could find online. There’s very little. It seems they had a bit of a hype when they were around but sadly that didn’t translate into a proper record. I wonder which were the songs included in that demo. What happened to them afterwards, and if they actually released anything, perhaps on a compilation. Does anyone out there remember them?

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Listen
The Ryecatchers – Apron Strings

29
Mar

Back now from France, from vacations, from castles and bakeries, from boulevards and gorgeous cathedrals, from museums filled by impressionists and  supermarkets with quality wine. Back to the Big Apple then since yesterday night. With jet lag. Tired. Exhausted but having having had such a good experience in France that I can’t wait to return.

I didn’t get around to see any indiepop bands. I did see many of my good friends living there, the Pale Spectres, Alpaca Sports, Cristina Quesada, Carlos from Eva & John, Yves from Hands and Arms, Jennifer and Miguel who came from England, and Joanny from Another Sunny Night. I bought two 7″s by Les Autres almost before leaving. I got the new CD from Pale Spectres that they have made for their tour around Paris, Nantes and Rennes this week. But that was it. I only visited one record store and it was just a chance encounter. I didn’t even plan to go record shopping. Quite terrible from an indiepop lover, but I was already so thrilled by all the castles, the châteaus, I saw.

Now it’s time then to start working on the label again, on the new releases. I’m still hopeful that any day now I’ll receive the Pale Spectres masters from Spain. There is also a 7″ by a Swedish band that I will announce very soon. We are just trying to figure out the artwork and then we are go. It should be a 4 song EP of pure jangle bliss.

I should start working on the new fanzine. I know, I’ve been saying that for some time. But I should do now. There’s many things I want to do and so little time! But at least I try to blog once a week. I actually missed blogging last week.

The Twee.net poll seems to be still open. I guess Peter is busy traveling and haven’t had the chance to count the votes.

Some good news I saw today was that My Light Shines For You have published their first video ever. It’s for the song “Why?“. I had a lot of fun watching it. It’s very “Heavenly”.

Also do listen the latest from Lost Tapes. “Girls“, it’s a beautiful slice of indiepop. I have received all their new recordings their other day, for the album they will be putting out on Mushroom Pillow later this year, but I haven’t had the chance yet to listen to it. But if it’s anything like this, then it’s definitely a cracker.

Maybe I’m missing some other news! Did I mention that Sunny Summer Day from Indonesia, our Cloudberry friends, will be playing NYC Popfest this year too? Maybe I did! I feel like being away two weeks I have lost track of most of the news! But next week I think I’ll be up to date with everything that’s going on. Hopefully do a review too of all the new unknown bands I’ve seen on the Indietracks lineup. Maybe there’s a surprise there!

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I arrived around 9pm yesterday at home. From Charles de Gaulle airport, a stop in Keflavik airport. Then the line of immigration, the airtrain, and then the subway on the E, to the street and then to the N. Waiting for me at my mailbox at home was a record I’ve been hunting for a long time. And when I finally saw it at a decent price on eBay, I bidded right away. I never thought though that I was going to be lucky enough that I ended up being the only bidder!

Released on their own Sticky Label (Sticky 001), Fetch Eddie’s one and only 7” included two songs: on the A side we had “He’ll Love You Till You’re Pregnant” and on the B side “Too Much to Ask For”. It was 1987 and indiepop was in perhaps it’s best moment ever.

From the back sleeve we know that Fetch Eddie was Pod on vocals, Aaron James on lead guitar and vocals, Lucy Lloyd on bass, guitar and vocals and Johnny Rimshot on drums.

The 7″ was produced at TVM by Mike and the band. The design and the cool drawings on the artwork were done by mini cine. That’s what we find on the back sleeve, but on the labels the production credits are for Good Fortune. From the labels we find out that Pod  was actually a P. O’Donnell. Not sure what his first name is.

This is definitely a great single if you can find it. Upbeat, a bit punky even, but all so catchy! If you ever see it, get it. I see there’s a copy available now on Discogs (though a bit pricey!).

I keep digging and I end up in a website I’ve visited many times before: Tamworth Bands.

It was on that page that I found out about so many bands like Bash Out the Odd, Space Seeds, Great Express or Emma Gibbs Loves Badges. What I find though there is that the band, after releasing this single changed their name to Fetch Eddie The Baby’s Gone Blue. Or was this their real long name since the start?

The photo on the Tamworth band would suggest they changed their name as I can’t see a girl, a Lucy in it. Also only two band members seem to be listed. Pod and Aaron. But then, a clip from the Tamworth Herald says:
Plumbing Eddie’s Depths
A NEW BAND, sporting the name ‘Fetch Eddie The Baby’s Gone Blue’ made their first demo on Saturday and we hope to look at them in more detail shortly. Among their tasteful numbers is one called “He’ll Love You ‘Til You’re Pregnant”. Lovely.

So I am almost 100% sure the long name was their original name now.

There’s a gig list too, and it seems they played many many times with Emma Gibbs Loves Badges. The only other band I know they played with were The Wonderstuff.

Other songs listed from Tamworth clippings are “Memories”, “Disguises”, “Mean Tin O Beans”, “Keep on Running”, “No Good For Love”, “It’s Your Turn”, “Teachers Lemonette” and “Steamroller”.

We also learn that they worked on a demo for CBS. Don’t know what happened with it. I believe it’s the one called “Mean Tin O’ Beans” and there’s a review from Tamworth Herald:
It’s took a very long time for this new demo to finally surface but all the wait seems worthwhile. This new four tracker will further convince those of us that are committed to the band and should hopefully win over many that are not. Best of the four are the two tracks in the middle – ‘Teachers Lemonette’ and ‘I Think That I Love You’. The former is an unexpected joy, a bubbling 50s rockabilly jaunt with some stylish rhythm work, the usual amazing vocal and a surprise burst of harmonica at the end, ‘I think That I love You’ is let down slightly by a lack-lustre muffled production but still retains its basic high-energy, high-jinks sound and remains to my ears the nearest thing any local band has come to a piece of pure pop. The tape is completed by the punchy title track and a splendid acoustic version of ‘Mar. Sharp’. All in all a perfect introduction into the multi-faceted talent of a multi-faceted band. The business.

Then in August of 1990 it seems Aaron left the band and with that the band split. It was said that they were going to carry on, but it seems that didn’t happen.

I don’t have much more information, but definitely check out the Tamworth bands page were there’s a lot of information from the Tamworth Herald.

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Listen
Fetch Eddie – He’ll Love You Till You’re Pregnant