Thanks so much to Noel Burke for the interview! Check their myspace here!

++ Hi Noel, I’ll try not to repeat myself as there’s a great interview to you in the Pennyblack Music page. The band formed in 1981 but you didn’t get a chance to release until 1987! Why did it take so long? How many great songs got lost during those years that didn’t end up in the album?

I think there were two reasons for that, the main one was that we were operating in Belfast, which was a bit of a musical backwater at that time – there weren’t any active independent labels for instance. In the end we got a deal with Probe Records in Liverpool. The second reason was that we went through quite a few line up changes before we settled on the one that recorded the first album.

++ You had a band before St. Vitus Dance called Positive Action. How did it sound like? Did you release anything? Why did you leave that band?

You’re very well informed! Positive action wasn’t my band – when I joined as a novice bass player they’d already played a few gigs. Peter and Damien who are in St. Vitus were already members – the singer was a friend of ours called Declan McCavana. Positive Action were kind of post-punk, angular guitars, shouty vocals, nothing like St.Vitus, basically. They never got around to releasing anything and I got the sack because of my lack of proficiency on the bass and my relaxed attitude to rehearsals. I occasionally remind Peter and Damien of their treachery just to keep them on their toes.

++ After the release of the “Love Me, Love My Dogma” album (one of the best of the era, if you ask me) you relocated from Belfast to Liverpool, why did you take that decision? Was it a good one? How did you like Liverpool? Any big differences between the two cities?

I’d say the decision to move to Liverpool came from a combination of the band wanting to get a bigger audience in England and my own personal determination to get out of the dead end job I was in and get a fresh start somewhere else. I’m not too fond of London, so Liverpool seemed an obvious choice, given the Probe connection. In retrospect, as far as the band was concerned, we probably should have stayed in Belfast a bit longer as we were building up a really big following just before we left and we had to start all over again in Liverpool. That turned out to be much harder than we anticipated, the gig scene was fairly non-existent at the time in Liverpool and gigs further afield were few and far between. I do like living in Liverpool – I’ve been here twenty two tears now and it’s still my favourite place in England – in many ways it’s similar to Belfast – both port cities, people are generally open and friendly with a wicked sense of humour.

++ Tell me a bit about the photo on the cover of the first album, where did it come from and why did you choose to use it?

The photo was taken by our guitarist, Damien, in Belfast city centre. It shows a street drinker being confronted by a placard carrying preacher and we instantly thought it was pretty symbolic of the Belfast we knew, where religion and drink tended to loom large in people’s lives. As quite a few of the songs on the album referenced the same topics the photo seemed to be a good fit.

++ The Liverpool scene from those years is quite well known with acts like Pale Fountains, Wild Swans, Lotus Eaters, etc. But what about the Belfast scene? Any names you could recommend us?

There were quite a few bands playing in Belfast in those days who never got the attention they deserved. Most of them never got round to putting an album out, some managed a single or two. Personal favourites were Big Self, Kitsch is Rich, Carpenter Joe, The Donnelly Brothers, Tie The Boy, Man Ray, Shock Treatment and Second Mary of Guise, who may have only played two gigs in their entire history but will never be forgotten.

++ On the liner notes of this album you say that everything revolved around Lavery’s Gin Palace. Care to tell us a bit about what kind of things happened there? What are your best memories from those years and that place?

Lavery’s is still there, although it’s changed a bit since our day. Bands play there now, but there wouldn’t have been room back then. It was just where verybody in those bands I just mentioned convened. You never needed to make arrangements to meet up with friends – you’d just turn up at Lavery’s and someone you knew would always be there. As a songwriter, scenes like that are really healthy, as you always want to keep up with or better what the guys in the other bands are doing. It’s a pity that the whole thing wasn’t documented by a few more records.

++ Just wondering about my favourite song by you, how did you end up writing such a song like Horse Sense? What was the inspiration behind it?

Musically, that song began with an idea from one guitarist,Phil, and was finished off by the other, Damien. Lyrically, if I remember correctly, it’s just a typical piece of self-loathing from me. I musn’t have been very pleased with myself at that time, I guess.

++ Out of curiosity, who is Mohammed from “Meet Mohammed” and Agnes from “For God’s Sake Agnes”? Are they real characters?

Not really, “Meet Mohammed” is about me saying “I’m not going to wait around forever” to a certain person who had up to that point overlooked my considerable charms. “Agnes” wasn’t about anyone in particular, it was just about a certain shallowness I’d observed in some people.

++ What was the biggest highlight of St. Vitus Dance?

Not sure, really. Releasing the album obviously, touring in Germany in 1988 was fun and getting back together in 2005 to play in Belfast again was special.

++ Why did you call the band St Vitus Dance? is it because of the medieval “dance mania” of the same name? Any relations to the song “Dancing Class”? Were you all good dancers by any chance?

The idea for the name came from Haydn, the keyboard player. I must confess up until then I hadn’t heard the term before, neither did I know that there were Bauhaus and Black Sabbath songs of that name. I just thought it sounded quite good and nobody else could think of a better one so we went with it.

++ I know there’s quite some nice German friends reading this blog, care to tell a bit about that West Germany tour you did? Which cities did you visit? Any anecdotes to share?

As I mentioned earlier, we went there in 1988, not long after we’d moved to Liverpool. We went with another Probe band, Jegsy Dodd and the Sons of Harry Cross. I can’t remember all the places we played but we certainly performed in Darmstadt, Rendsburg, Wiesbaden, Wolfsburg and Bonn. We were supposed to play in Hamburg on the first night of the tour, but the gig got cancelled due to the fact there was a full scale riot taking place involving St. Pauli squatters and the police. There are too many anecdotes to mention although the time we mistakenly drove the van up an exit road onto the autobahn to find ourselves facing a wave of oncoming traffic does stick in the memory.

++ You released, 21 years later, “Glypotheque”, a really nice and bright album, quite different from the first one. Will there be a third album by St. Vitus Dance? What can we expect in the future from the band?

Yes, I’ve already written about half an album’s worth of songs, so I can see us getting into a studio by the end of the summer with a new album to follow hopefully by New Year. We’ve done a couple of shows in Belfast this month, one of them supporting Lloyd Cole and they both went really well so we’re looking at doing a few more in Liverpool and Belfast in September or October, perhaps to try out the new songs with an audience.

++ What do St. Vitus Dance members do nowadays? Do you get together often maybe for a beer?

We do all sorts of things, a few teachers, a speech therapist, a journalist and a solicitor to be specific. Half of us are in Liverpool and half in Belfast so the band is kind of our way of keeping in touch. And it’s working quite well. We do indeed seem to manage the occasional beer together.

++ Anything else you’d like to add?

I’d just like to congratulate you for being the first person never to ask me a question about the Bunnymen.


St Vitus Dance – Horse Sense


From the left you have: –
Phil Andrews-Vocals and guitar.
Ian Churchward-Guitar and vocals.
Dave Clifford-Bass and vocals.
Liz Honeywill-Vocals, keyboards and percussion.
Jerry Brimicombe-Keyboards, percussion and vocals.
Shelley James (kneeling at front)-Drums, percussion and vocals.

Thanks again a thousand to Phil Andrews for the interview! Check another interview with Phil about The Morrisons here.

++ How did the band start? I read that it started first as a duo comprised by Ian and Jerry, right? What year was it? How did you knew each other?

Yea Ian and Jerry started the band around 1982. Ian played guitar and did some vocals and Jerry played synth. I knew Ian from the growing live band scene he was a big fan of going to gigs but had learned to play the guitar about a year after me so hadn’t quite got going when I first met him. Ian had met Jerry at a gig somewhere I think and I got to meet him a little later on. I did join in at the end of their first gig when I was asked to “get up and just make some noise on the last song”.

++ How was the process of the other members joining the band? Who came first? How did you find out about the band? Maybe some ad in the local paper?

Steve Honeywill joined next on vocals. Steve was (and still is!!) a pretty wild character who had a great ability to “wind the crowd up”. I think Ian and Jerry wanted someone to front the band and take the spotlight off them to give them a better chance to get to grips with their instruments. There was a good local band scene around the early 80’s so we all used to know about each other’s gigs and half the audience would regularly be other band members checking out what was happening.

++ Two of these members left quite fast: Steve Honeywill and Bev Haynes. What happened with them? They left to form the Walking Wounded. I never heard this band, care telling me a bit about it ?

Yea it was Steve Honeywill and Steve Wright actually Roque. Steve Wright had joined on bass and the band was just starting to find its feet when the two Steve’s left to form The Walking Wounded. The Walking Wounded was very much an 80’s pop band but concentrated more on a mainstream keyboard based sound whereas Ian and Jerry were to continue with their lo fi sound which of course went on to be so popular on the mid and late 80’s indie scene. I can’t complain really if the two Steve’s hadn’t left I doubt I would have ever got the chance to join.

++ Where does the name Chapter 29 comes from?

I think it was inspired by a Pink Floyd song called Chapter 24. Ian was (and still is) a big fan of 60’s garage rock and loved the Sid Barrett era Floyd. A lot of people jumped on the Sid Barrett/acid rock thing some years later to “look cool” but Ian was raving about this stuff back in 1980 when we all used to go “eh what are you talking about Ian”.

++ I read that your first ever gig was one of your worst performances as you could barely play instruments. What do you remember about that day? How fast did you overcome that? What would you say was your best gig?

Well we were all inspired by the punk ethic to just get up there and do it but certainly Ian, Jerry and Steve had some nerve with their early gigs. I think they had difficulties getting bookings at times I can remember going to one gig that they held in the front room of Ian’s house!! It slowly came together though and by the time I’d joined and we had got Dave Clifford in on bass (he was an awesome player back then), Steve’s sister Liz on vocals and Shelley James on drums and percussion some of our later gigs together were pretty tight and were a hint at the guitar based indie sound that was to eventually be The Morrisons a few years later. I can’t really remember what would have been our best gig we used to play quite a lot in all sorts of odd venues it was just a great time we were all around 20/21 so we were just into having a laugh really.

++ Any great bands that you gigged with? I find that those years are quite obscure for indiepop but it seems there were some great pop bands around! So any recommendation would be fantastic!

The only one I can think of is when we played at Tapps nightclub in Sherborne Dorset with a band called “The Scarlet Downs” which featured brothers Simon and Mark Barber who would go on to be in “The Chesterfields”. Ian had a spell of working up in the area and had got to know Simon really well. Otherwise we played either on our own mostly in pubs or as part of a line up of bands (usually Torquay based ones) at a band night. There wasn’t much interest from promoters to put on gigs in the early 80’s where we lived so we had to book them and promote them ourselves.

++ With the second lineup, which was the classical lineup, you released several cassette albums. What was the complete discography?

Yea cassette was the only affordable medium back then. We did two cassette albums the first was called “Playing In The Rooms Of Twilight” and the second “A Bizzare Joy” we also had a track “The Isolate” on a compilation album “Forgotten Futures” but frankly the album was pretty crap and we were never that happy with the version of “The Isolate” that appeared on it.

++ This year you released a retrospective CD of Chapter 29, tell us about it! What can people expect from it?

Yea it’s all down to Ian really. He’s got an amazing collection of old demo’s, rehearsals and live recordings he just used to record everything back in those days. Luckily we found a label (Series Two Records-www.myspace/seriestworecords.com) who were happy to put it out for us. It’s very lo fi but contains a really mixed back of surprises. I think it sounds very “English” and if you like C86 type indie I think you will find plenty to like. One of the old Chapter 29 songs “Captured In A Jar” has even found it’s way into The Morrisons live set this year and is sounding pretty good. We don’t spend a lot of time looking backwards but sometimes its nice to re-visit a song you wrote nearly 30 years ago!!

++ I have a couple of questions about some of the songs on this compilation. Who is Benjamin from “Benjamin’s Dream”? Was the song Ispahan dedicated to the Iranian city? And what about “Fairfax Street Dreaming”? Is that an important street to you all?

I’d like to have a really arty answer here Roque but in truth there are no great reasons for the titles other than that we liked the names as song titles. We’ve never been too deep with our lyrics but as John Peel once said why spoil a great track by having crap lyrics!!

++ From all of Chapter 29 songs, which is your favourite one and why?

Well as I said earlier we’ve dusted off Captured In A Jar this year and it does sound good (I was having my Scott Walker phase at the time it was written I recall) and we had a song called Before which my Daughter can play on guitar now and my wife Shelley also enjoys singing and playing so those songs are often ringing around the house!!! In truth I think the joy of Chapter 29 was the fact that we weren’t trying to be cool we were young and just playing whatever came out and there is some real honest stuff on the compilation. I think there are plenty of great hidden pop songs if you are prepared to dig deep enough too.

++ Do you think you were ahead of your time? You think if Chapter 29 would have been around 1986 you would have had more success? I kind of believe that myself!

O yea definitely. Chapter 29 was a blueprint for The Morrisons and wasn’t massively different from bands like The Razorcuts and The Flatmates, The Raincoats etc. I think indie pop fans from 86’ would have loved it!!

++ Phil left the band in 1983 to form Haiti Chill, care telling me a bit about this band? Any recordings Phil?

Yea like The Walking Wounded Haiti Chill was a little bit more main stream 80’s pop and went through a more keyboard heavy phase. It didn’t start like that but developed over time really. I think when your young your hungry to try new ideas and nothing seems to move fast enough for you. It was like that leaving Chapter 29 really it was that hunger to move forward ever faster to the next thing. There are demo recordings that I have but we’ve never put them out. I slowly got back into the guitar towards the end of Haiti Chill and one song we had called “Looking Down From Heaven” was certainly a prototype Morrisons number.

++ When and why did the band call it a day?

Chapter 29 broke up in 1986 when Ian and I decided to form another band together (this was The Morrisons). We had remained good friends although musically Ian was never a fan of Haiti Chill “Where are the guitars Phil” he would say and “It’s not very 60’s is it”.

++ And of course later you all got together again and formed the mighty Morrisons! But would you like to add or tell anything to the popkids out there?

Just thanks to you Roque for letting me tell you all something about Chapter 29, As I said earlier if you like your indie lo fi and C86 in style I think you will like Chapter 29. Just sit back and enjoy………………………


Chapter 29 – Before


Thanks so much to Carl Green for the interview! Definitely don’t miss the retrospective CD from The Whirlpool Guest House that is out on Summerhouse Records. It’s called “Rough Digs” and it’s a fantastic collection of songs! Also expect them to be showcased in the next Sound of Leamington Spa compilation!

++ Having read the great interview our friend Tommy Gunnarson did to you not so long ago, I won’t repeat the same questions. But tell me, what happened to Carl Green and The Scene and Rules of Croquet? Why did you decide to stop these bands and make music under The Whirlpool Guest House? And especially what made you change power pop for beautiful jangle pop?

CGATS and Rules Of Croquet had run their course. I wasn’t the sole songwriter in either band and I wanted to be. I was compromising too much, too often. I was utterly bored with playing live and wanted a pop group where the emphasis was on songwriting and recording and not live performance. The jangle pop thing was an accident really. My rudimentary guitar skills saw me play electric guitar like an acoustic- lots of strumming of chords with very few effects. A sixties feel was always the aim, but it actually didn’t sound like that. We were making 80’s indiepop and it was the most natural thing I’d ever been involved with.

++ Andy was also in The Scene and Croquet, so it was kind of easy to think he would join your new project, but what about Sallyann? Was she easy to convince? And what about Graeme Robinson, why wasn’t he in the “band” even though he recorded all drums?

Sallyann was Andrew’s wife and, despite being initially shy, she was happy to donate her vocals to such a good cause! Graeme was never asked to join. He ran a succesful recording studio and was very busy. Musically as well, he wasn’t really on our wavelength. He was more a rocker than a popper!

++ How did you meet William Jones from Friends? Why didn’t you ever had a band together? or maybe you did?

Me and Will worked together at Stockton’s Dovecot Arts Centre, now sadly pulled down. Will was a sole songwriter like me and had his own way of writing. We were/are musical control freaks! Once you find your own voice, it’s best to use it rather than keep it quiet just to maintain the peace.

++ Aside from your band and Friends, which other Stockton-On-Tees bands would you recommend? Was there a thriving scene as it seems from William liner notes for Rough Digs when he mentions Dovecot Arts Centre’s weekly performances?

There was a small scene, but only WGH and Friends were flying the indiepop flag. A lot of Stockton bands were creative and competent, but from a rockier place. Not really to my taste a lot of them.

++ Speaking of Rough Digs, it is such fantastic thing that it came out. Who’s idea was it to release it? And what about these 4 unreleased songs? Were they planned to be a single maybe?

The credit goes to William. I would never have conceived of the idea. I didn’t think there’d be any interest really- there certainly wasn’t on its initial release in 1989. Yes, the final 4 songs on the album were planned as an EP in 1990 but we’d already started to morph into Shandy Wildtyme, and they got left behind.

++ You were a print distributor, a photographer, a poster designer and a mobile disco proprietor, you were the jack-of-all-trades. Was that song about you? Which of these things enjoyed the most doing? Are you still doing any of these?

Yes, I liked to dabble! The print distribution business continues to this day, and provides me with a modest living. Photography is still a hobby of mine and I take pictures whenever and wherever I can.

++ What about The Plumber’s Daughter (my favourite song!), is it a real story? Did the plumber’s daughter really existed?

She probably does exist, but I never met her! Like the song says- “a silly impossible dream”!

++ You had another band called Gaberdine. What was the sound of it? I haven’t found much information about it online, maybe there were some releases?

Gaberdine were short lived- 1996 to 1997. No releases, not much to say. It was still pop, but punkier and less melodic. Not my favourite time if truth be told.

++ I know you has a different approach to live performances, having video projected while your songs were played, but honestly, you never played live with Whirlpool Guest House?

No never. We just didn’t want to.

++ Something that strikes me from your vinyl releases is the great photographs you used for the sleeves. Did you take them yourself?

Thank you. Yes, all my own work.

++ Why did you decide to change the name of the band to Shandy Wildtyme?

Basically, Shandy Wildtyme was the live version of WGH and we felt we had to put distance between the two bands. Also, the songs of SW were less indie and more harmony pop so we felt the time was right for a change.

++ What are the Whirlpool Guest House members doing nowadays?

I don’t know. We drifted apart years ago.

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

After Gaberdine, I created a cartoon pop band called The Close-Ups. We released 3 vinyl singles and an album (2am In Flat 3b) between 2004 and 2006 on my own Northern Round Square label. If you like WGH, you’ll love The Close-Ups! It’s pure indiepop and features the brilliant voice of Abby Connor who was 15 at the time. The album is still available on CD Baby etc and is one of my proudest achievements in music.
Bringing the story up-to-date, I’m now solo and go under the name Head Of Light Entertainment. It’s quirky alt-pop and I’m gigging again after a lengthy absence. I’m really enjoying being back in the thick of it. My debut album is planned for Autumn this year, and will feature 12 songs that sum me up both musically and personally. More info at: www.myspace.com/headoflightentertainment


The Whirlpool Guest House – The Changing Face


It’s been a while since I had some time to listen carefully some of my 7″s.  It’s a bit late and while waiting for the football highlights show, I chose this record that is quite new to my collection. I got it just a couple of days ago thanks to a tip from the wonderful Uwe from Firestation.

This seems to be a very obscure release on the Rampant label of Australia. I’ve already talked to The Odolites who were on this same label run by Bill Tolson. And if I thought The Odolites were not very well known, These Future Kings seem way more difficult to track down. This 7″ is catalogue number Rampant 048 and includes two songs, one on each side. Without a doubt the A side, “Bury My Bones”, is the star. It’s a fantastic jangly track. It starts with some great crystalline guitars, then a pounding bass, and soon we get to a fantastic chorus, and then to some trumpets, and then to the chorus again with some catchy backing vocals. And all along, while the song spins on my turntable, the guitar doesn’t stop jangling! Glorious!

This song was recorded in November 1987 in Melbourne by the band. So who were the band? 5 names appear on the sleeve: Charles Caldas, Mark Freeman, Steven Johansen, Claudia White and Perry White. Researching I went to find that Perry White went solo and participated on a compilation called “Lost Dog’s Show”.  I couldn’t find a way to contact any of the band sadly as I would really like to know more about them. The B side is “The Liar’s Been Found” which was recorded a year before, in 1986. It’s a fine track but, to be honest, it can’t fight back the prowess of “Bury My Bones”. This song has the collaboration of Warren Ellis, on violin, who would later be part of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

There’s some more releases by These Future Kings that I still need to track down. Before the 7″ there was a self-titled 12″ mini-album released in 1986. And after “Bury My Bones” the band released the LP “Carnival”.  I believe both records came out also on Rampant Records.

Sometimes the releases appear on eBay and I think some Australian second hand stores may have it. So be patient and on the look. And of course, if you know the whereabouts, or any stories or anecdotes about the band, please share! A band like this, who wrote such a top tune as “Bury My Bones”, doesnt’ deserve to be forgotten!


These Future Kings – Bury My Bones


Thanks a thousand to Matt Price for the interview!

++ Where you really known as “The Smiths on acid”? Why do you think people called you like that? Were you fans of them at all?

I think the phrase was coined by a journalist reporting one of our gigs. We did like the Smiths, they were certainly one of the best post-punk indie bands, but there was no conscious effort to be like them. We had our own sound, but like any band’s music, the mixture of influences necessarily shows through in places – which is a positive thing. That’s how new music maintains a link with the whole whilst progressing in itself.

++ How did the band come together? How did you all knew each other? and what was the main reason to start Harrison?

We’d all gone to the same school and were friends and we always wanted to be in a band. The first band we were in together was a school prog rock band age 15. But it wasn’t until after coming back from Uni, where I’d studied Philosophy, that I got together with Mick Adams (guitarist) in 1983 and things started to get more interesting. Under the name ‘Strange Acquaintance’ we arranged and recorded a number of my songs and went to London with a demo, going round record companies trying to get some attention. In Jan 1984 the duo expanded to include school friend Andy Hill on drums and another guy from our home town, Nige Shephard, on bass guitar. The new line up was then renamed HARRISON.

++ Why did you choose “Harrison” as the name of the band?

No reason really. But at the time “Raiders of the Lost Ark” was a big screen success and we all kind of liked Harrison Ford’s cool adventurous character.

++ What happened with CBS? Why didn’t you get signed to them?

Strange isn’t it? – What were they thinking? There was also Chrysallis Records who paid for us to make a 3-song demo with a view to giving us a contract. But ultimately they weren’t able to ‘get it’ either.

++ Let’s talk about the fantastic single you released! What do you remember from the recording sessions? How did the creative process worked for you all?

It was recorded at a studio in Birmingham (England). Both the songs went down well at gigs so that’s why they were picked. The backing track was more or less recorded ‘live’ with additional material and lead vocal added afterwards. We took to task very seriously, but managed to have great fun at the same time. In general, the way the creative process worked was, I’d write the songs (words, melody, basic chords) and then we’d fully arrange them as a band working together.

++ Tell me about the front cover, who is that girl? Which came first, the photo or the Skipping Rope name for the label?

I don’t know who the girl is. It was a photo taken by an art student friend. We all liked the shot; it seemed to sum up the general style language of the day – innocence, low budget, street, slightly nostalgic, you know. The idea for the ‘Skipping Rope’ label came directly from the picture, as I recall.

++ How many copies were pressed? It seems it’s so rare, nowhere to find it!

Can’t remember. Not enough anyhow!

++ There are at least 6 other songs from Harrison that I’ve heard, they come from a couple of demos I believe. Do you remember the name of the songs and if there were more songs recorded by you?

There were about 25-30 songs at the time. All our demos and some studio master tapes still exist to this day, and I’m really proud of them all.

++ You gigged quite a lot, which gigs are the ones you remember the most and why?

We played loads of gigs all over the UK. Several stand out. London: in front of an invited A&R audience. Aberystwyth (Wales): we supported a band called ‘King’ who were enjoying chart success at the time. Warwick: we blew people’s minds – a massive ego trip. Wherever we went we travelled in our ‘Harrivan’ – an early 70s camper van with fabulously tasteless interior trim.

++ I don’t know many bands that have ‘managers’, was that quite common back then? How was the relationship between manager and band?

I thought all bands had managers. We went through at least 2 of them. To be honest, I never really engaged with that side of things as much as the other members did. I was maybe a bit aloof, in a sort of creative dreamworld, just wanting to write and play good songs. I never really thought about it in a hard-nosed commercial way.

++ Biggest highlight of Harrison?

All of it really. Being in the band, making great music, playing gigs, turning people on.

++ Do you still live in Hinckley? Honestly, I haven’t heard much about that town, so what are the best things to do or visit there? Has it changed much? What do you miss from the days of Harrison?

Let’s just say Hinckley’s not really the sort of place to attract much attention. None of us lives there any more, but there’ll always be a little place in my heart for the town. I’ve got some good memories of growing up there. The nearest city is Leicester where we played quite a few memorable gigs to a largely home crowd.

++ Why did you call it a day? What did the members of Harrison do after? Maybe started new bands?

Some members got fed up not having much money and went off to get jobs. I carried on writing songs and working sometimes with guitarist Mick Adams, recording new demos under my own name. There were a few more gigs with a backing band and further flirtations with A&R bosses and the whiff of a possible recording deal – but once again it never quite happened. Story of my life it seems. After a couple of years the band was reformed, this time with bass guitarist Pete Bryden. We got a brand new set together and even released a really good 4-song 7″ EP as ‘High & Dry’ (essentially Harrison in all but name). But due to personal commitments, the band couldn’t stay together, alas.

++ Are you still in touch with the bandmembers? What are you doing nowadays?

Yes, all of them, apart from bass guitarist Nige – don’t know where he’s gone. I’d love to contact him again though. Mick now lives and works in the USA and Andy has got a big job and lives near London. I run my own small publishing company, but have never stopped the music. I’m still writing songs and recording CDs under my own name to this day, working with good friend and sound engineer/producer Dale Robins.

++ Anything else you’d like to add?

Definitely. There’s an imminent limited release of 2 separate CDs containing nearly all the Harrison material, remastered and with full liner notes with pictures of the band etc. – due out June 2009 at budget price. Anyone interested in getting the CDs should contact me via email at matt@riverhead.co.uk and I’ll keep them posted with the release. For more Harrison info, pictures and song samples see: www.MySpace.com/harrisonuk1984 or www.MySpace.com/mattpricesongs


Harrison – (There Is) No Refrain


I wrote already about The Doris Days a couple of months ago. Since then I’ve been looking and searching everywhere for more information about them as well as trying to find at least mp3s from their demos. Just recently, thanks to Phil Suggars from The Candie Maids, I got the chance to get in touch with Hayley Morton from The Doris Days! She has been super kind and nice to share some interesting facts about one of the best bands you have never heard about. I thought sharing with the couple of readers of the blog.

I met Vanessa Norwood (lead singer) 25 years ago when we were 17, she was doing an art foundation course at Lewes College and I under duress was doing a secretarial course. I play classical piano and wrote songs which Vanessa would write words to. We both met Dennis when we were about 19 – I think he was a DJ and helped put on Magical Mystery Tours where you could go off to see bands in London mostly – we saw a lot of the June Bride gigs and the Shop Assistants who Dennis had links with.

Dennis was at Brighton Art college doing an expressive arts course with Nick the trumpet player and Simon, who played cello with us for a while. He was also friends with Ed the bass player who I think was an engineer with the army if my memory serves me right. Rachel the other guitarist was Vanessa’s younger sister.

Dennis started going out with Vanessa – he was always writing music and asked me to write some piano bits for him. We then formed the band with his other friends. Dennis wrote the songs and we contributed with our instrumental parts. We would go into the art college and record the tracks – unfortunately I only have old tapes of this music and I’m not even sure I got copies of any of the good stuff. (I hope these get digitised one day!! – CCP)

The basement gig was our last one – I won’t go into details but we argued after the gig and that was that – I think Dennis carried on for a bit under the same name. I met up with them both a few years later and he was doing other stuff by then.

I went on to play in a band with Phil Suggars called CC Baxter (well worth a listen). Unfortunately I’m not doing anything now apart from finally trying to do my Piano Diploma – still writing songs though.

Thanks so much Hayley! :)


The Doris Days – Another Day


Thanks a thousand to Ian Thomson for the interview. Check the band myspace here.

++ When did the band start? How did you all come together?

The band were very short lived. 1987/88. Less than a year. Didn’t do a great deal. Rarely performed live. But good fun while it lasted.

The history of the band could be used as a definition in the Oxford English Dictionary:

Nepotism nep’ o-tizm, n. See the Gold Blades

The first band I was in was called Henry and Mary. We were a three piece band initially with myself on guitar, Peter Moug on bass and John Weir on drums. We all shared singing until Susan Henderson answered an advert in the Arbroath Herald. After that, Peter and I were left to carry the equipment while John and Susan shared saliva! After taking four hours to record one lousy demo track, I left the music business for the first time, leaving John and Peter to join Dundee’s Wildhouse. After a short period, I got the bug again and started a duo with a friend of mine called Billy Stewart. He came up with the brilliant name The Wilderness Children. John put us in contact with Fraser Reid after Fraser had asked to join the Wildhouse. The Wilderness Children became myself on guitar, Billy on vocals and tambourine, Fraser on guitar, Andrea (Fraser’s wife) on vocals and Phil (sorry mate, but I can’t remember your last name) on drums. Peter Moug used to help us out on bass. This started off great, but Fraser and Andrea wanted to take the band down a more rocky 70’s punk sound and became really negative towards what the band started out as. Cue my second retirement. This time it was much shorter as I got talking to Gordon Will while he was going out with my fiancée’s sister, Lynn Nicoll. We decided to start a new band. I played guitar. Lynn sang. Gordon had a bass guitar. Lynn’s cousin Wendy Henderson (Susan Henderson’s sister) played guitar and sang backing vocals and John Weir (at the time he was living with Susan in Dundee) played drums. We practised in Gordon’s house on Sunday afternoons, mostly without John, who found it hard to get from Dundee on a Sunday. We recorded our demo on St Valentine’s Day 1988 and played as support to The Motorcycle Boy in Edinburgh shortly after. Our demo was played on Radio Scotland a few times and Gordon pocketed the royalties if we got any. This was only fair because he financed the studio time and sent off the demos to the radio station. A rift between Wendy and Allison (my fiancée and Lynn’s sister and Wendy’s cousin) ended my time in the band on a sour note, but people make their own choices in life and I honestly bear no grudges now.

++ Where does the name The Gold Blades come from?

“I Stuck a six inch gold blade into the head of a girl! No Laughter, No laughter.”
It is taken from the Birthday Party’s song 6” Gold Blade which appears on the Junkyard album. I was really into the pounding rhythms that were on that album. I had this big vision of trying to do something similar with this band. It never really happened. We weren’t tight enough musicians. Our rhythm section struggled to stay in time with each other and the rest of us just weren’t technically skilled enough to add the decorative flourishes that would make the intended songs interesting. I did try to write some BP style songs – ‘Texas’ is an attempt to write our own Murder Ballad! – but I just couldn’t pull it off.

++ I only know the three songs on your myspace which I suppose are part of your first demo. Are there any other recordings from the band? Did you have any releases at all? Maybe in some compilation?

Until recently, I had forgotten all of our songs apart from the three we recorded as a demo. We never recorded anything else. I can’t even remember putting anything onto cassette during rehearsals. We really weren’t very serious about achieving anything. We were just in it for the fun. In a strange coincidence, I recently came across my old notebook where I used to write down the lyrics and the chords to our songs. They had titles such as Longing for Yesterday (Wendy), Road to Somewhere (Wendy – I think), Lost in Love (Me – I think), Jealous of Jasmin (Wendy – she might have had a bit of help from her sister Susan with this one), My Favourite Girl (Me) and Smile (Me). If anyone can unearth recordings of any of these songs, I’d love to hear them. Initially most of the songs in the band were mine, which perhaps explains why we chose three of my songs for the demo, but as things progressed, Wendy began to bring some of her songs to rehearsals and this gave us a more varied sound to our set.

++ One of the songs is called “The Day I went down to Texas Part 3″, have you ever been there?

I had been to Texas many times to purchase DIY products until the chain was shut down in the late 1990s. The song itself isn’t really about Texas. Apart from in the title, Texas isn’t mentioned. The song was initially known as the ‘Cowboy Thing’ because it felt as if it was set in those times. This was unintentional. It just felt as if it was. The title grew out of the Orange Juice songs of a similar name. They originally released the song The Day I went down to Texas as a 7” flexi in1983. It then appeared on the Texas Fever Album as The Day I Went down to Texas Part 2. Our song is called part 3 as a tribute.

++ You supported The Motorcycle Boy at Edinburgh University! How did that go? Any cool anecdotes from that day? Any clue where’s Alex Taylor now?

This remains the musical highlight of my career. When I get a bit drunk, you can almost guarantee that I will manage to bring it up in conversation. I thought that we played as well as we were capable of and it was just a shame that so few people bothered to watch us. Most of the crowd clapped with Arbroath accents!

I remember hiring the van to take us to Edinburgh caused us a few problems. We didn’t realise that we would not be insured to carry people in the back because it had no seats. The old lady who hired it to us made me promise that we would only put our equipment in the back and that the rest of the band would travel by some other means. I really did worry that she would find out that I had lied to her.

As for the venue itself, when we arrived, we were allowed a very quick sound check before we went on. I seem to remember that we did not have long to wait. We hung around the room where the stage was without realising there was a dressing room we could use. A dressing room with free beer for all of the bands who played that night! We did not get any of the beer and we never met Alex Taylor.

++ Did you get to gig a lot? What were the best places to play in Arbroath?

We hardly ever gigged. I can’t really remember any other gigs apart from at The Colliston Inn. Colliston is a small village about 3 miles outside Arbroath. Places to play in Arbroath were few and far between. Nowhere else in Arbroath was putting on bands at the time so we used to put on concerts at the Manhattan Lounge opposite the bus station. Turn out was always poor and we never made any money out of it, but we did have some great nights. The best of these was when This Poison! from Perth filled in at the last moment when Primal Scream pulled out because they were going into the studio to record their first album. There were about 20 people there and it was a great night.

The only other place that I have heard of that put on bands is The Viewfield. Band nights were run by an old friend of mine called Crookie, but he is so tight that I had to pay at the door the last time I went!

++ Do you still live in Arbroath? What is that that you miss the most from those days?

I left Arbroath in 1992. I now live in a small town called Darwen. It is just outside Blackburn and suffers from the same small town mentality that blighted Arbroath.

I have to admit that I still miss Arbroath at times. I travel back there regularly to visit friends and family.

What do I miss about the place and the times? That was my youth. Everything was an adventure, even the boring parts of living in a coastal town they forgot to close down. What I really miss was the excitement of hunting out new music to listen to. It was a lot harder to find out about music in those days. You had to work at it. Read the music papers. Listen to Peel. Write off to fanzines. I used to love it when I was able to share a hard won piece of vinyl with my mates. We would go to a place called Elena Maes and try to order all sorts of obscure music. To really have a chance of finding good music, though, we would have to head into Dundee and visit the record shops there. Today all I have to do is spend half an hour on the internet and then wait a few days for a CD to arrive. Musical gems were more precious then.

Do I sound like an old git?

++ What did The Gold Blades do in their spare time? What other hobbies, or jobs, or sports did you do?

I was on the dole and preparing to go to teacher training college when the Gold Blades were on the go. I remember being really skint. Gordon worked for Dundee Council. John worked as a mechanic for a firm that made industrial sacking. I think Wendy and Lynn were on the dole.

Most of the time we spent together was to do with listening to music or talking about it. If it wasn’t music, we were often talking about politics. John and I were both driven into socialist politics by that evil witch, Margaret Thatcher. We were both Labour Party members. We were involved with CND and the Militant Tendency. Before the Gold Blades we used to put on Rock Against Thatcher events in the town.

As for hobbies, we used to read comics and drink alcohol. I used to play football for The Ram’s Heid (Arbroath pub) and I have always supported Dundee United. I used to go to Tannadice a lot. John and Gordon weren’t really very sporty and didn’t really do anything like that.

++ Is it really true that you call it a day because John Robb called his new band Gold Blade? What did you do after?

I have to admit to being a bit pissed off at the time because I felt it was a great name for a band, but it was definitely not the reason for me calling it a day. I left the band because of friction between Wendy and my then fiancée. Something happened and I had to make a choice. Unfortunately, John, who was a long time friend and Gordon chose to side with Wendy. I have just read that again and it sounds really bitter. It isn’t anymore. I have since spoken to John and Gordon and bear no grudges, but at the time I did feel let down. As for my fiancée, I made the right choice. I married that girl and we are still madly in love.

The Gold Blades were the last band I was in. There were times I thought about doing something else, but I have to admit that my ability with the guitar was always a frustration with me. I always wanted to be able to do something more challenging, but at the same time lacked the will to learn how to do it. This always led to me becoming disillusioned with what I was doing after the initial honeymoon period was over. To avoid future heartache, I have definitely called it a day. I keep my musical performances to supporting my class during school performances. My most recent highlight was a superb version of A Wooden Tree by Ivor Cutler.

++ What are The Gold Blades doing these days?

I can only speak for myself and Lynn as I don’t see the other band members anymore. Lynn is a mum. She has a 10 year old son and still lives in Arbroath. She has recently talked about singing with a band again and I think something may happen soon, but I think it is a covers band.

I am a primary teacher in Darwen. The town is close enough to Manchester to let me see plenty of concerts. Recently I have been lucky enough to see the likes of Nick Cave, Magazine, Calvin Party, Damo Suzuki, The Nightingales and Calvin Party. At the moment I have tickets for Malcolm Middleton pinned to my notice board. I have a 16 year old son who is doing his GCSEs at the moment. I have passed the music bug onto him. He now owns both my old guitars as well two he has bought himself. He also plays keyboards. He has his own Myspace site and I promised to mention it for him.


++ I asked this same question to Gordon Will, can you make an Arbroath smokie or not? ;)

As I said before, I regularly visit Arbroath and one of the things I do is buy smokies to take back south with me. I have even brought some back for some of my English friends. It is surprising how many people are aware of them. My wife just sticks them under the grill. Delicious.

Can I just plug the good work Marks & Spencers are doing at the moment in promoting Arbroath smoked fish? I have recently been pleased to notice that they now stock a range of fish that claims to be Arbroath smoked. No smokies though.

++ Anything you’d like to tell the popkids out there?

In the words of Les McQueen – “It’s a shit business!”


The Gold Blades – The Sun Seems to Shine


Thanks a lot to Scott Degraw for the interview! Read the interview to bandmate Douglas Armour here!

++ How did Juniper start? Who were the members and where did you all meet each other? And what was the main reason to start the band?

If I recall Doug and Jenny met and they decided to start playing.

I knew Doug through my brother Brian (of Crainium and Gang Gang Dance). We had all played music in he and Tim Dewitt’s (also of Crainium and Gang Gang Dance) practice space starting in late ‘94, which was a 10X10 U-Haul rental space in Arlington. Very punk rock that. We recorded a few improv sessions and dubbed it “Actress”. We also had a co-op music and art space in DC called ArtsLab for about four months until the floor started to cave in. As soon as the hair dresser below us started complaining about plaster falling into client’s hair it was all over.

So we were all just making a go at it, seeing what stuck basically.

But I digress…Doug and Jenny had posted an ad on the tree in front of my house looking for a bassist. Coincidentally, the same day I saw it, Doug thought about asking me if I wanted to switch from guitar to bass and join. And I did.

++ How was the scene of DC during those years? Was the halo of Pam Berry’s music still present? Where you influenced by any of it? Why did you decide to leave the city and relocate to San Francisco?

This was in Mt. Pleasant in the heady mid-90’s. You couldn’t throw a rock without hitting someone in a white belt. Hipsters abound. We were sort of outsiders it seemed. Just doing our thing.

I lived across the street from Tuscadero. My roommates and I used to throw water balloons at them when they hung out on the front porch.

Looking back though (and I will admit up front that this sounds like something an old crotchety bastard would say) it seems like it was the beginning of the end for the DC scene as it was known. All the emo stuff was in full swing and about to implode on itself. The pop scene seemed to be small and strong, but a little overshadowed by the “DC scene”.

I think Jenny was way more into the pop scene and all the bands that came with it than Doug and I. She and Mike from the Ropers actually introduced me to a lot of that stuff, but I think we did play a few coffee shop shows with Black Tambourine. Personally, I would say Pam Berry was not necessarily a huge influence on me. I came at the whole thing from more of a Smiths/David Bowie/Eno/Pixies place.

I’d say Boyracer was more of an influence on me than anyone at the time. Just because they were nice folks and didn’t shy away from making some fucking noise.

You can hear it on our records to a certain extent, but we didn’t really fit the mold of “twee”. We played really fucking loud and fast most of the time. So much so that at one show in Adams Morgan we actually rattled the entire top shelf of liquor off the bar breaking all the bottles.

The move to SF – from my perspective at the time – was spurred on by just a desire for change and NOT being in DC. I thought we were just getting things going in DC, but everyone else had wanderlust. Not a bad thing to have. The rest of the band moved to SF via our U.S. tour. We started in DC and ended in SF and they stayed there. I came back to DC for a few months and finished up some work then moved out there. I think that was sort of the beginning of the end for me. Jenny was already talking about moving to LA when I got out to SF. I lasted about six more months then jumped ship. But I’m still glad I went out.

++ That year, 1996, you released two 7″s right. The debut one was “You Don’t Hide so Well” on A Turntable Friend in Germany. How did you end up releasing so far away? Care to tell us a bit about more of the single?

Hmmm…I think we ended up hooking up with ATF through Mike from the Ropers. Ulrich really wanted to put out the record and we just decided to go for it. I remember coordinating with him in Germany and coincidentally using AIM for the first time to communicate. It seemed pretty high tech. Holy Shit! I’m writing back and forth to a dude in Germany!

Don’t remember much about recording or the genesis of that song. But I remember learning that we needed to mix the vocals MUCH higher after listening to the test pressing.

++ The second came out on The Orange Peel label, who I honestly don’t know any other releases from, and it was called “Making Gerard Smile”. Who run this label and how did you release with them? And… who was Gerard? Is this a real story?

OK…sadly I just remember it was guy named Ari who was a University of Maryland student who ran Orange Peel. I think he did a lot of stuff at the radio station. I think he just heard us at a show and asked if we wanted to put out a record.

Gerard I think came from some joke between Doug and Tim Dewitt. I think it refers to Gerard Depardieu. Ask Doug on that one.

Don’t remember much about recording or the genesis of that song. But I remember learning that we needed to mix the vocals MUCH higher after listening to the test pressing.

++ Also there was a video for the A side of this single, what was the idea behind it and what do you remember from recording it?

I was just starting to get into video production at the same time Juniper started and was working at my first production gig when we shot that. I had access to an AVID system and a Hi-8 camera so we just made it. It’s funny to watch it now. It was mostly shot in our cramped little practice space which was a room we built in Jenny and Mike’s basement apartment and lined with urine stained mattresses found around Mt. Pleasant. It was a sweaty, shit hole and pretty awesome. I still have bad hearing in my left ear from playing with Jenny’s amp next to my head.

On a sad note, the guy who releases the balloon at the beginning is Nathan Livingston Maddox who was one of the original members of Gang Gang Dance. He was hit by lightning in NYC and killed about six years ago. That shot was typical Nate.

On another note I have hours of footage from our U.S tour – Nate came along on that too. And our ill-fated recording session in Philadelphia from Winter 96 or 97 where we got snowed into a studio for four days and lived off gas station burritos and Dr. Pepper.

++ Third and last came the Fantastic Records single, the wonderful “Think and Die Thinking” with “Summer on My Mind” as a B side. Aside from the fantastic song the sleeve is really pretty. Whose idea was it to have a real flower pasted on the back cover and a little kind of portrait on the front cover?

I think the flower was Jenny’s idea. The picture on the front is a still from the movie “Delicatessen”. We all loved sleeves with attention to detail and that was our best effort. I remember wanting it to look like a Durutti Column LP.

But they were a pain in the ass to make. We had to glue each photo to the sleeve, then put on the little corners, then flowers. We all picked flowers out of the front yards of Mt. Pleasant every day until we had about five hundred then dried them out.

++ Also on this single it says that “Think and Die Thinking” was titled by Tatty Bellrope, what’s the story behind this?

Tatty Bellrope was a pseudonym for one Daniel Gallagher who came up with the title. I believe he is mowing lawns in New Hampshire now.

++ What was the highlight of Juniper’s life? What were the best moments of being with the band?

Hmm…I think the one and only U.S. tour for me was a highlight. I had never driven across the country before so it was pretty memorable. I’ve done it since, but it pales in comparison to that trip. And always will.

I think we opened for a very young Spoon on our date in Denton, TX. That was right before Doug tried to light the front awning on fire and we got kicked out. Good times.

++ Where the band members involved with any other bands before or after Juniper?

Doug and Jenny can speak to that. I have played around DC, but pretty much have focused on TV/video production since then. My music involvement is one of the weekend warrior variety. That being said, I still have a full drum set, guitar and bass set up in my basement and fuck around constantly with recording bits of music that no one will ever hear.

++ Why did the band call it a day? What are you all doing nowadays?

I quit the band in late ’97 I think. We had moved to SF and I was just realizing that film production was something I was just as interested in AND I could make a paycheck from it. I realized that my favorite thing about playing music was playing music and I didn’t really care if anyone ever heard it. The rest of the band wanted to make a go at it – there was talk of moving to LA – and my heart wasn’t in it fully. Looking back I think I was a bit of a self-righteous dick about it but at the time it seemed like a huge deal to pull up roots and move to SF, only to move again to LA. Mike Roper took over for me and Juniper became Mondo Crescendo. Some of the songs on the first EP still have my bass lines in them but I didn’t want credit on the record for some reason. I always thought it was cool that Mike kept them.

I moved back to DC from SF and jumped into production work. I work at National Geographic in DC now making television.

++ Anything else you’d like to add or say to the popkids out there?

Don’t take any wooden nickels. Keep your feet clean and dry. Don’t be afraid to light things on fire.


Juniper – Think and Die Thinking


Thanks so much to Mike Barry for the interview.

Get their last record here. And also look for them on The Sound of Leamington Spa vol. 6. If you want to read more about the band, here is a great PDF with the history/discography of the band!

++ You have celebrated your 25th Anniversary not so long ago? How do you feel about it? What did you do for this special occasion? What can we expect in the future of Easter and the Totem?

Ok So the 25th Anniversary was held in a pub in Penge South London.Somewhere theres a dvd and some interviews I must dig it out.The future for the band is a brand new 4 track ep recorded in Deptford South London.judging by the sound of the unmastered tracks it rocks like a beast.

++ Looking in retrospective, how did the band came together? What year was it? who were the members and what was the main reason to start a band?

Questions about our history can be found on the Totes History which is on a blog on the website www.myspace.com/easterandthetotem25 and www.westnilerecords.com

++ Why did you choose the name? Anything to do with Easter island?

The name comes from a painting by Jackson Pollock..On the second album cover “The sum is greater than its parts” there is a drawing of the Easter Island Statues.

++ You are a self proclaimed agit-pop band, how politically involved were you back in the days and today? Do you feel there’s a big difference from the 80s and this decade? Has UK advanced in a good direction you think?

The difference between now and the 80s is that Governments have sold off most of the silverware and the people are now paying the price.I dont think anyone believes that privatisation ws a good idea now.I think the way the UK has moved on is full of wasted opportunities and a disastrous war with Iraq.

++ If you had the chance to have a chat with Margaret Thatcher back in the day, what would you have asked, or demanded, her?

I wouldnt have anything to say to Thatcher she is personally responsible for the ruin of many lives and communities.A lot of people will have a party when she finally drops dead.Me included!

++ Many of your records go for big bucks on eBay. How do you feel about this? Did you expect being a collector’s band? Will there be a reissue of the old stuff? Where can people get the recent stuff?

The value of records will always be in the music.We have had a good laugh when weve seen some of the prices. We have tried to put out most of the stuff from that era on Cd and Itunes Cd Baby.Some of the quality of the pressings wasnt great so we tried to use the masters wherever possible.

++ What was the full discography of the band?

Full discography is on the history of the band.

++ What are your favourite songs of your repertoire and why?

Personally I have always liked Co-conspirator and Days after. Modern Romantic always seemed to be a crowd favourite. Other band members have different favourites like Acid Reign Distant generations

++ You played lots of gigs, many of them being benefit gigs. Which were the gigs you remember the most and why?

We played a great gig at the Amersham Arms supporting Squeeze.Truly the place was rocking.
Gigs in Brighton were always good fun too.Benefit gigs for the the Gulford 4 Campiagn will always remain special to me personally Especially when Paul Hills Auntie Teressa spoke to the crowd about the savage injustice of the case.

++ Speaking of benefit gigs, you were never for the money when making music, so what were you doing as a job back then?

My job at the time was working for the Railway Trade Union the National Union of Railwaymen.Nowadays I work for the same organisation in Glasgow Scotland.

++ You also started a label. Care to tell me a bit more about it? Why did you started? Which bands did you released? What is more fun, having a band or a label?

Starting a label is great fun Running the label is a pain in the arse paperwork wise etc but a great joy to see a song written recorded and pressed up without anyone interfearing.

Jumping around onstage in a band will always be better than running a label.

++ What was the biggest highlight of the band, maybe being single of the week on NME?

There have been many great moments both funny and from a musical achievement point of view.Biggest highlight was probably recording the last EP I really think all the years of playing with the same musicians creates a wonderful atmosphere. Some of the people who have played in the band are the finest human beings that I have ever had the pleasure to know.

++ Anything else you’d like to add or tell all of us who believe in international socialism?

I remain a dedicated Democratic socialist and Trade Unionist and the recent recession/depression is conclusive proof to me that capitalism is no way to run the world. As long as children are living on rubbish dumps while the uber rich lock themselves away on their yachts everyone should strive for a better way and the governments have a duty to the people they serve to bring about a fundemental and irreversable switch from rich to poor.


Easter and the Totem – Acid Rain


News. Bits and bobs. Releases. Songs. Stuff. May offerings.

  • Out now is the Signed Papercuts single! I’m very happy and proud about it. It includes 2 songs, one on each side of the vinyl record. On A side you can find “Of My Heart” and on the B side the great “Sound of Silence Pt. 2″, which I believe, at least in spirit, is the continuation of “Sound of Silence” which was included in the 3″CD that was released in 2007. And speaking of that release, the comic book look is finds continuation in the 7″ thanks to the great illustration of Danny Zabbal. If you like dreamy, lush and swirly indiepop-shoegaze, this will totally be up your alley. You can order it on the Cloudberry website. Thanks again for your support
  • Firestation Records is having a huge record blowout! Lots of their back catalogue for just 1 euro! And some other stuff for 3 and 6 euro. Lots of discounts! Now is the time to get those releases you are missing from the great Berlin label. Visit them here. Among some great stuff I would totally suggest getting The Vermont Sugar House’s “Braveheart” 7″ for 1 euro, and what about The Nivens or the Bloody Marys for 6 euros. A good good deal!
  • There’s a nice bundle by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart which includes their latest 7″ (”Young Adult Friction” which is a great song!), a tote bag, a poster and 3 badges. You can get all of this for $17 dollars here. I bet these will get sold out pretty soon!
  • Also a new 7″ is out by Boy Genius. I had the opportunity to put out a small 3″ (which is still available!) that was a taster for their fantastic debut “Anchorage”. The new 7″ is out on their own Greenpop label and includes the tracks “Blame Love” and “Backyard”. I’ve only listened so far the A Side, which is streaming on their Myspace, and it’s a really nice track. Upbeat, boy/girl vocals, and jangly guitars. You can order it in their myspace
  • Also Papillons Noir label has some new stuff out that is totally worth checking out. First is the Komon 7″ that includes her smash hit, “Ebay Watchlist”. Ehem, this title sounds really familiar!! At the moment I have 125 items being watched… oh dear. And second 7″ they have out is by Help Stamp Out Loneliness! This is maybe one of my favourite indiepop bands around. This is a single you can’t miss, “Torvill and Dean” is one of my favourite songs this 2009! Get them here!
  • Stars in Coma has just put out an album on the always lovely and interesting Music is My Girlfriend. The album is called “Sisters” and I still need to order it! But it looks promising. Maybe you can be faster than me and order it here? André is very talented, I bet the album is a cracker!
  • Another album that I need to order is “Bite My Tongue” by Friday Bridge. Would probably do it next week! Need to save those 15 euros! The songs on the myspace sound fantastic, go ahead and order it here.
  • Cherry Red has some great treats for us indiepop lovers this month too! Can you believe, the lost Blue Ox Babes album is going to be released… and “Pleasure” by Girls at Our Best reissued! Can’t wait for them
  • Liechtenstein’s album is just around the corner too! Here is what Fraction Discs say:
    “Survival Strategies In A Modern World”, the debut album by Liechtenstein, will be released on both CD and 10″ vinyl on May 26! The 10″ vinyl will be a co-release with Slumberland, who will also release the CD in North America. One of the tracks from this 9 track album is now available for free download on our label page. It’s a smash hit called “Roses In The Park”. You can also have a listen to another track called “All At Once”.
  • And looking forward to May 19th for the great release by Socialist Leisure Party on Shelflife. But more on that later!


Signed Papercuts – Of My Heart