Thanks so much to Patrick Lines and Simon Rosenbaum for this great interview! I wrote about Keen some time ago on the blog and at last, thanks to Patrick, we get to know the story of Keen. They only released two records in the late 80s, a 7″ and a 12″, but it seems there was a CD also that almost got released. I look forward to listen to it someday soon!

++ Hi Patrick! Thanks so much for getting in touch! So you were telling me that there is a CD aside from the two singles? What’s the story of this CD and what tracks are on it?

Patrick: The CD was put together after the band split and used some of the songs from the two singles and some other bits and pieces that we’d recorded. It was called “Going Through the Emotions”. We never got round to formerly releasing it for one reason and another, the main one being the split of the band.  As you’ll hear a lot of it is pretty rough – more like demos really – but it captures what the band was like quite well.

The track listing is:
On Your Knees
Made Up
Small Wonder
Darker Glasses
Deep Water
Those Letters
Tears Into Me
Good Man

++ So Keen. Where does the name come from?

Patrick: I’m not sure!  I think it came from the name of the first That Petrol Emotion single but others in the band might have different ideas! I’m not certain which of us came up with it but it was either me or Andy.

++ And was Keen the first band you were involved with? What bands would you say influenced you? Can I dare to say you listened to indiepop back then?

Patrick: No, I’d been in a few bands as had the others.  Me and Andy were first in a band called The Insults, who became The Household Names and then I went on to a band called The Third Man (where Pauline came on board) before me and Andy got back together with a band called Steel Mine that were really the forerunners of Keen.

I think all five of us in the band had very different influences, which sometimes was a good thing and at other times not so good! At the time we did the two singles I think it would still have been a lot of the post-punk bands that influenced us, or me anyway, –  Echo and The Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs, Cocteau Twins, Joy Division, Orange Juice, the aforementioned That Petrol Emotion and so on. Andy was probably the most into the original punk stuff and then at the other end you had Simon who was very into the more poppy stuff around at the time. The only bands I can think of that we all liked were I guess The Smiths and The Clash, although you’d probably struggle to detect either of them as an influence! We did listen to a lot of indiepop between us and around that time I loved bands like The June Brides, The Primitives and so on.

Simon: As Patrick already said before Keen I was in a band originally called Release The Geese but by the time I left we were called Guessing Games. We were less indie more traditional power pop with folky leanings think Wishbone Ash meets Squeeze though of course not quite in the same league as those classic bands!

I have to say my influences were probably quite different to Patricks apart from maybe The Smiths I loved bands like The Pretenders, Martha & The Muffins, The Korgis (no cred marks for them!) The Cure, The Police, Pet Shop Boys and my fave artist Kate Bush. So I like a pop songs with a great melodies. Later on I did get more into the indie scene and started to like bands like Cocteau Twins, Echo & the Bunnymen and R.E.M. I was also into film music so I would say the music of John Barry was also an influence on me.

++ Who were the members of the band? What instruments did they play? And how did you all knew each other?

Patrick: Me and Andy (Guy) met at school and he played bass and me the guitar.  When I later joined the Third Man we advertised for a singer and that’s when I met Pauline (Males).  Simon (Rosenbaum) I met when we were both put on some work experience type job.  Both started on the same day and immediately hit it off.  He was in a band called Release the Geese at the time but when they split we’d occasionally get him to play keyboards until he eventually refused to leave and became a full-time member! After that we got Iain (Mackay) through an advert placed for a drummer.  It was really Iain who gave us the motivation and the plans to go from being very much a little local band to one with bigger ideas. When Andy left we replaced him with a proper bass player!  That was a guy called Matt.  And along the the way we also got a second female singer  – Gillian.

++ Where were you based? And how influential were your surroundings to the band? Would you have rather being with the band somewhere else?

Patrick: Me, Andy, Pauline and Simon all came from South West London – the Kingston, Wimbledon area for those that know it. Iain was originally from Newcastle and ended up in London for work.

Looking back I guess there was something in that suburban thing that probably did influence the band though I couldn’t say any of us were particularly attached to the area. I don’t think that ever really came out in the lyrics or anything but maybe in the attitude of the band. That sense of wanting to escape from where you were. For Iain I think there was a link back to Newcastle in the sense that he liked all the Kitchenware bands (Prefab Sprout, Hurrah, The Daintees) who were around at the time and from that area. The rest of us listened to all that too.

++ What were the places you would hang out in town? Were there many like-minded bands around that you enjoyed going to their gigs or even playing gigs with them?

Patrick: There were quite a few bands around in that area at the time but the only ones that me and Andy would go and see regularly were The Sound.  Even now they’re probably the only ones I’d still listen to. I don’t think in Kingston or Wimbledon themselves we ever really wanted to hang around there much. We’d play anywhere that would have us!  The best place to play for us back then was somewhere called The Powerhaus in Islington.

++ Tell me then about gigs, what were your favourite Keen gigs? Did you play many? Any anecdotes that you could share?

Patrick: Like I say the Powerhaus gigs were always my favourite.  It was a great venue and just about right for us at the time. We must have played hundreds of places by the time we split and might have even given the impression we knew what we were doing by the end! I remember one gig that we filmed where three of us had got held up on the way there and Iain had given up on us ever making it and got drunk instead.  If you watch the film he was usually probably the best musician out of the lot of us but his drumming was all over the place until at one point he just falls off the back of the stage; lying there in a drunken stupor!

The other one that sticks in the mind is one we did somewhere in North London. Simon – never the most hardy of souls – decided that the traffic was a bit heavy and he and Pauline gave up and went back home.  Turned out we were playing a double bill with Lush who were Simon’s favourite band at the time. A great gig as it happens and he missed it –  still moans about it to this day!

Simon: It was so long ago my memory is a bit hazy. I do always regret not getting to that gig where we were playing with Lush. I think the car broke down it wasn’t just that the traffic was heavy! I do remember we did have one very avid fan who seemed to be at every gig we played. I think his name was Dave!

++ During the years you were going did you feel part of a scene at all? What about fanzines? Were they important at all for the band?

Patrick: I don’t think we ever did feel part of any scene.  The songs were probably too diverse to ever neatly fit into any category. Songs like ‘Missed The Point’ (which you’ve heard) was definitely very like a lot of the indiepop stuff around at the time but then there’d be others – like Daddy or Those Letters –  which were miles away from  it. As I was implying earlier, if you were being kind you’d say we were a very original band if you were being less kind you’d probably say we were all over the place musically!

In the very early days – before Keen really – fanzines were a big thing and in the bands me and Andy were in we’d do all we could to get a mention.  We started one of our own called This Years Model, which was brilliant in our minds and over a pint but not quite so brilliant when we got round to actually producing it! A friend of mine at the time – Lee Davies – helped out with all that and actually made something of worth out of it. She went on to be editor of Time Out so I suppose it was useful for something!   By the time we came to recording stuff and doing most of our gigs fanzines had kind of had their day.

++ You put out your two records on a label called Scaredy Cat. Was it your own label? How did that work out?

Patrick: Yeah, Scaredy Cat was really Iain’s baby.  He put in most of the work and I think he even put up the finance for it.  He was sort of drummer and manager all in one.  I could be wrong but I think he came up with the name.  The only other band that ever got released on Scaredy Cat records was the one he’d been in previously called Sixteen Again.  As the title suggests they were a sort of Buzzcocks inspired band. I think that one is even harder to come by than the Keen stuff.

++ And I can’t help to ask, but were you big on cats? Did you happen to own some back in the day?

Patrick: I wash my hands of the name and the ‘Feline Groovy’ title!  I’ve no recollection at all of how that came about. And the picture of the flippin’ cat on the cover! Now you mention it it does make it look like we were obsessed by cats, which I’m sure we weren’t!

++ I have heard a couple of your songs, but I still think “Missing the Point” might be my favourite. Care to tell me the story behind this song?

Patrick: Pauline wrote the lyrics for that one so I couldn’t say for sure. I’m guessing that it was about the fag-end of a relationship and the inherent communication breakdowns, though if I’m wrong then I’m probably only proving the title to be correct!

I wrote the music and it was definitely one of those songs that sound quite a lot like other stuff that was around at the time.  I don’t think it was a conscious steal off anyone in particular though.

++ And which song of yours would you say was your favourite?

Patrick: My favourites were Those Letters, Darker Glasses and Daddy. I think they’re probably the ones where the lyrics are really strong and the music really works. In some others it’s kind of one or the other.  Listening back to the songs I’d have to say that the thing that most strikes me is how powerful and clever some of Pauline’s lyrics were and these three I think are the best examples of that.

Simon: My favourite Keen song was always ‘Made Up’ though I also like ‘Darker Glasses’ and ‘Missed The Point’ quite a lot.

++ Which record came out first? The 7″ or the 12″? And what do you remember from the recording sessions for these. Were they any different from each other?

Patrick: The 7″ came first when Andy was still in the band.  The 12″ was once Matt had replaced him.  They definitely sound very different..Well, to  me anyway.  Though the second one wasn’t recorded a whole lot later we knew what we were doing a bit more by then. Matt was very different to Andy and he made the whole thing sound a lot slicker and tighter.  I guess you could argue the first one sounds a bit more immediate but I think the better songs are on the 12″. The sessions were really easy.  None of us were into doing loads of takes or anything.  Like hundreds of other bands I think you can always listen back and wish you’d done some things differently but they sound okay. I think it goes back to that point about all of us having different influences.  Some of us wanted a harder sound, others wanted maybe a more polished sound and you end up with a compromise that no one is entirely happy with.

The first session was a bit more exciting in the sense that we were all surprised to find ourselves making a single; by the time of the second one we had it more in mind to try and come up with something we were happier with.

++ Your records seem hard to find. How many copies were pressed do you remember?

Patrick: Iain handled all that.  Again I could be wrong but I think there were a 1,000 of each..Most of them no doubt still up in Iain’s loft, wherever he now resides! In retrospect we took on a lot in terms of producing, promoting, distributing them and so on.  There was  interest from the press in both of them but if anyone then wanted a copy it was a bit of a lottery as to whether they could find one.

++ And why didn’t you get to release more records? Was there at any point interest from labels to put you out? Maybe some majors?

Patrick: Shortly after Feline Groovy we split up.  We’d had tentative interest from a few labels.  Arista was the one who followed it up with a  concrete offer but they wanted us to change our appearance and some other things and we weren’t happy with that. In part that was the reason for deciding to do things on our label, We had quite a lot of support from some journalists in Melody Maker, Time Out etc and though we never really discussed it we always thought something might just turn up and never made a lot of effort to push it ourselves. Iain really was the one who did his best to organise us and get some sense of urgency into what we did; perhaps all the feline references were his thoughts on it being like herding cats!

++ What happened then? Why did you split? And what did you all do after? Did any of you continued making music?

Patrick: It was weird when we split.  We went to a rehearsal one day and Matt I think it was who said something else had come up that he wanted to pursue and then Gillian and Pauline in turn also said they wanted to do other things. I think Pauline probably would’ve carried on but we went into a rehearsal with 6 members and some plans for more gigs, records etc and came out with 3!

Looking back, once Andy went the dynamic sort of changed and it was still good but became a bit more serious. Less just like a bunch of mates. At that point – though it was never explicitly stated –  it became kind of obvious that either we’d ‘make it’ in the next twelve months or so or split up.

Simon: After Keen me, Patrick and Iain formed ‘The Pop Robsons’ but we only ever played one gig and then Iain left to go back up north. Me and Patrick worked on some songs for a bit after that but eventually we just stopped playing music and did other things.

 ++ Are you all still in touch? If so, what are you all up to these days? Any other hobbies or interests that you have aside from music?

Patrick: I’m still good mates with Simon and Andy and am in touch with Pauline.  I haven’t seen or heard from Iain, Matt or Gillian in years.  Iain in particular it would be good to catch up with. Two of the band (Simon and Pauline) became librarians, Andy’s a teacher, I’ve just left the Civil Service after 20 years and the others………………not a clue! Pauline has gone back to writing poetry/lyrics and I’m teaching my son to play guitar so maybe it’s gone full circle!

Simon: Me and Patrick are still good friends and I occasionally see Pauline but have lost touch with all the other members of the band. I can’t say I have any exciting hobbies apart from watching films and listening to music. I still try and keep up with the latest sounds my faves at the moment are Beach House, Girls Names and Chvrches.

++ Looking back in time, what would you say were the best moments of Keen as a band? What is that that you miss the most?

Patrick: I’m surprised when I listen back to the songs by how much I like them!  As I was saying earlier I think the lyrics really stand up – Made Up, Those Letters, Daddy and so on are really powerful.  In the early part it was just great fun – a bunch of mates making music, doing gigs and thinking we could do much as we pleased.  I enjoyed all that stuff of writing songs and rehearsals and seeing it all come together. When it was me, Pauline and more latterly Simon writing the songs it worked well. By the end everyone was chipping in and we  lost a bit of direction.

Simon: I enjoyed the creative process and seeing the songs develop and just jamming along with friends and not taking it too seriously! I probably miss that the most.

++ Let’s wrap it here, thanks a lot again, anything else you’d like to add?

Patrick: No problem.  We’re going to try to find a way to make the songs available should anyone have the desire to hear them so we’ll let you know if or when we find a solution.


Keen – Missing the Point


Well last week was quite prolific for the blog. There were five posts overall. Four interviews plus one of those obscure band write-ups I love to do. Can’t say I’m too inspired today to write a full-fledged post. You see, I woke up to the news that some tall truck had pass by my street and cut the wire that brings internet at home. After hours with customer service, technical support, and the terrible music they make you listen while waiting for someone to answer I managed to get an appointment for tomorrow morning. Mind you, at first they insisted their only available time for restoring my service was on Saturday. That’s five days of waiting. What a terrible service Time Warner.

I was just thinking that this might be right now the longest standing blog about indiepop out there. Could that be right? I mean, none of the blogs that I used to read back in 2008 are still around. Perhaps I am missing something. But if this was the case whatever happened to them? Why did they stop? And then I might ask, because sometimes friends ask me, where do you find out about the latest news about the bands you like, the labels you support?

And I feel it’s a very valid question, as I don’t even keep up with the trends or news on this blog. This blog is mostly an extension of my record collector habits, which means older music, from the 80s usually, the heyday of indiepop. Sure I listen a lot of new stuff, but as they are still writing their story, I’m not that keen in documenting it that way, with interviews and such. I want to be part of their story, I want to meet them and spend time with these bands, with these friends. It’s a bit of a different dynamic. So back to my question, whereabouts you learn what’s going on in indiepopworld?

I like that Twee.net has a feed of blogs on their front page. I’m happy that this blog is featured there among others. I’ve checked the others and though you might  tell me that I’m being a bit fascist about it, they are a bit too broad in their indie spectrum for my taste. I don’t care about the 60s much either. Not to read about it at least.

Do you believe it is for us to blame the blogs who offered full album downloads? I feel they do play a big part on it. People got used to it, where words didn’t matter, just a link to a mediafire hosted file. Vacuous of course, but extremely easy for those lazy fans that expanded their knowledge thanks to a click of a mouse. It didn’t matter the background, who the band were, what inspired them, who they were, where were they based. Who cares, right? In the end is just the same, an MP3. A simplistic way of understanding music, of making sense of indiepop. Truly, I can’t think of them as fans. Just hipsters riding the wave.

Perhaps it has to do with that too, indiepop was hip for a little while. With acts like The Pains of Being Pure at Heart or Veronica Falls. Even Camera Obscura. 2007 to 2009 lots of people embraced the sounds of jangle guitars and catchy chorus. These bands became household names for the Urban Outfitters generation. I welcomed the news with happiness, to see more people liking the music I love would have meant better sales, more recognition, and most importantly more bands making this sound. But as history repeats itself, it only lasted for a bit. These people weren’t interested in the music or the meaning of indiepop, just about what was cool at the moment. Hipsters. So they just moved on to the next thing. Whatever it is these days? Chill-wave? I’m clueless.

So if there are so little readers around, if the crowd interested in indiepop shrunk, why keep writing? Why keep researching, why keep sharing the knowledge, if you are not going to get any recognition for your work or time? And you might laugh, but there were several bloggers in the indiepop scene that became a bit of household names, not necessarily for their writing skills, but I’m not here to discuss their virtues and defects, at least they existed and in a way that was good.

Sure, platforms like Spotify, might help you discover some new bands with their sort of algorithmic processes to find you similar bands. Same as Last.fm. But really, how many indiepop bands go through the trouble of paying and figuring out how to put their music in these apps? Not many. So yes, if that’s how you find your music, you are only touching the tip of an iceberg.

I must say that at this point, for me, the only reasonable and effective way to learn about new music is still word of mouth, or what is the digital age equivalent, the facebook news feed. A friend posting a video of an unknown band, or a soundcloud link, can be the best way to discover a gem of a song. But that’s happened since forever. Mix tapes, mix CDs, have been around too.

I’ll reformulate the question then, who is making sense of the music? Who is telling you what is good or what is bad? Who is valuing the songs? Does everything have the same quality? Who is actually giving a thought, giving it’s real valuable time, to understand and interpret what one is listening? Not in an arbitrary way of course, but an opinion, a not biased judgement one can trust.  Or are we lost in trusting websites like the big P where you get reviews if you pay happily to some marketing genius, thousands to a PR? That’s perhaps the big label model, but us, small enthusiasts of indiepop, are we going to forget the long tradition of fanzines, of people who loved so much the music that they would invest their time to write and recommend their favourite songs to like-minded people? Is that’s what’s coming up? The death of indiepop criteria, where people at forums are happy to say “I think this is indiepop, because I have a broader way of defining the term” or “let’s not fight about what indiepop is” like we’ve become sissies and can’t have a passionate discussion of what this represent to us? Like we are going to be apathetic and just agree to everything? All I’m saying is we need more voices. Can someone speak up?


After losing twice at the last second Sarah #1 (that is the Pristine Christine single by The Sea Urchins, though I shouldn’t be explaining this, right?), I was lucky enough to find a two dollar copy of the Boys From the East’s “Brilliant” 7″.

I didn’t know about them at all a couple of weeks back. I think I saw them on a Japanese store listing and then found one of their songs on Youtube. I played it. And I liked it. Simple as that. That song was “Brilliant”, the A side of the single. The problem was that it was an almost 8 minute remix. A remix by James Cassidy, who according to Discogs has even worked with Catherine Zeta-Jones (?).

The song sounded great, but I needed to listen to the original one. The one on the 7″. Because this remix is the A side of the 12″ version of the single. The 12″ did include the original one, titled “Brilliant (Radio Edit)” as B1. The other song included in both 12″ and 7″ was “Icarus”. Though on the 12″ a live version was included.

Both songs are really great. Not exactly in the classic sound of indiepop, but closer to favourite acts like Two People or The Word. You know, a good mix of indiepop and new wave. Class.

This record was released on Final Cut Records and the catalog number was FINC 1. This as far as I know was the only release on the label. So I assume this was the band’s own label.

There are some credits for the songs too, though sadly we don’t get to know the band members through them: both songs had Ben Doyle and Jon Mallinson as assistant engineers, and were engineered and produced by Tony Harris.

The other bit of important information comes from the address of the label. It’s on Clarendon Road, very close to the Wood Green underground stop. North London. So, 1987, North London, that’s where and when these guys were around. Not really boys from the east then, but from the north.

The cover credits are for “Big” Gov and “Big” Glenn. There are special thanks to Mick Fitzgerald and Jon Mallinson.

But here is the interesting part. There is another single by Boys from the East. It’s not listed on Discogs but it seems that is not difficult to track. Make sure that it does have originally a picture sleeve. There are some places were they sell it without. I have yet to find one for myself though, but hopefully it will happen in the next couple of weeks!

I haven’t heard this single but it has on the A side the song “Eastern Eyes” while on the B side it has “Work Hard”. This was released on another label, Kirk Records in 1984. Catalog number WF002. I wonder what it sounds like.

And that’s all I could find about this great record. Does anyone out there know anything else about this band? Did they have any other releases? Did they play often in London? Who were they? And what happened to then? Get in touch! Would be great to fill in the blanks and know a bit more about Boys from the East.


Boys from the East – Brilliant


Thanks so much to Annette Deane for the interview! The Paperboys only released one 7″ back in the late 80s and recorded this fun video for their A side. After listening to them you’ll end up wondering why didn’t get to to be more known and why didn’t they release more records. But hey, have a read and have a listen and discover one of Manchester’s best kept secrets.

++ Hi Annette! Thanks a lot for being up for this interview! What keeps you busy these days? Are you still making music?

Not any more! After The Paperboys split, I sang with a few covers bands, then kind of lost interest in the whole music thing. These days I work as a teaching assistant with the under 5’s. The only singing I do now is nursery rhymes!

++ Let’s talk about The Paperboys. When did the band start and where were you based?

We got together around 1985/86. We were all from Manchester, and around that time the city was full of rehearsal rooms and recording studios, almost everyone I knew was in a band.

++ How did you know each other? How did the band got together and what instruments did you play?

Steve (guitar), Paul (bass) and Mark (drums) were already formed, and were looking for a vocalist. I saw the ad in Afflecks Palace, a legendary Manchester store that sold weird and wonderful clothes, jewellery and music. I took the ad down so nobody else could apply! Steve and Paul had been friends from childhood, and with the addition of Mark and myself, The Paberboys had arrived.

++ And what about the name The Paperboys? Who came up with the name and is there any story behind it?

I’m pretty sure it was Steve, I remember the name was decided upon by a process of elimination, trying to decide on the least terrible name we could think of. Before my arrival the band was know as “SOME TOFFEES” and we all agreed that name had to go!

++ Had you been involved in bands before being in The Paperboys? And what sparked you, what inspired you, to make music?

My first band was “Noose Slip Ride” in the early 80’s. We had quite a following, which wasnt easy in the days before youtube, facebook and twitter! That ended badly when the guitarist threw a mic stand at me on stage after eating magic mushrooms!! From age 11 I was besotted with Debbie Harry and Blondie. I knew every song by heart, and for as long as I can remember I had wanted to be just like her.

++ So you released only one single, right? In the single you included “This is How I Feel” and “If Only I Had a Wish”. Care to tell me the story behind both songs?

All our songs were written by Steve, and they always had a story behind them. He was the kind of guy who was never lucky in love, and most of his songs reflected that. You know, unrequited love, being ditched, wanting what everyone else had? Both the songs on the single were based on Steves search for love!

++ This single has a very fun artwork. Who made those drawings?

That was all my own work! I found a copy of “The Beano” comic in our rehearsal studio, and as most bands were into the arty out of focus brooding type of photo shoots at that time, I thought I would go in the opposite direction and make us look ludicrous!

++ A promo video was made for “This is How I Feel”. How was that experience? And where was it filmed?
The video was made by a rather wealthy friend of ours who owned a video camera. Nobody had video cameras in the UK in those days, we couldn’t believe our luck!! It was shot in Albert Square, Manchester. Everybody thought we were stars when they saw the camera, and the Punch and Judy guy, and the man in charge of the kiddy ride were falling over themselves to accommodate the shoot, they thought they were going to be on TV!

++ This record was put out by the Music Corporation label. Who were they? And how did you end up signing for them?

Music Corporation was owned by Gary Williams, who was the sound engineer at the studio where we rehearsed. He had heard us playing, and asked could he manage us with a view to releasing the single through his newly formed label. He loved the band, and even added a few of his own cheeky guitar riffs to our music after hours when we left the studio! Steve was NOT amused..

++ And how come you didn’t get to put out any more records? Did you have more songs?

We were very naive looking back, I had expected the single to storm the charts in week 1, and to be a superstar by week 2. When that didnt happen, we did the rounds at the record companies. We had meetings with CBS, Island Records and a few others. CBS at the time wanted a jangly guitar band with a female lead. Allegedly it went down to either ourselves, or a band called The Darling Buds. They won…oh what might have been… 🙁

++ Which would you say was your favourite Paperboys’ song and why?

“Before the sun comes up” was a great song, about having a one night stand but wishing you had met the person under different circumstances so you could see them again. We started each gig with a 1 minute song, just vocals and bass, called “my mum’s in heaven” which really caught the audiences attention. That was a great song, again based on a true story about Steve losing his mum when he was just 11. Real tear jerker!

++ I know you also appeared on a compilation called “This is Manchester”. Do you remember how did you end up there?

Piccadilly Radio was the major station in Manchester, and one of their DJs compiled that CD to promote new Manchester music. It was a great honour to be selected, there were about 300, 000 bands in the city at that time!

++ Am I missing anything? Were there any other compilation appearances perhaps? Or is this your full discography?

Thats all as far as I know. We recorded many times in the studio but nothing else was released. Young people are so lucky these days, they can record studio quality music in their bedroom and keep it forever,!

++ Tell me about gigs? Did you play many? Which were your favourites and why?

We played lots of gigs across the UK, mainly in Manchester. Mark E Smith from The Fall asked us to play at his “Cog Sinister” event at the Green Room in Manchester. It was packed with local celebrities and up and coming bands, we even got our first “rider” 10 cans of beer, peanuts and potato chips! Our biggest gig was at The International, we supported Martin Stephenson and the Daintees, and They Might Be Giants. There were over 1000 people there, and we played one of the best gigs of our career.

++ Which other bands of the period did you like? Maybe you even followed one?

All of our friends were in bands around that time, and we all supported each other. I was a big fan of a local bands “Strange Friends” and Easterhouse” My brother and my boyfriend at the time were in a band called “iota”, they were pretty good. There were so many its hard to remember!!

++ And in retrospective, what would you say was the biggest highlight of The Paperboys?

The biggest highlight has to be you showing an interest after all these years!!
Well, besides that, after our gig at The International, music writer Stuart Marconi reviewed the gig and compared my vocals to Martha Reeves! I grew up on Motown, I’m still a huge fan, so that was the biggest compliment he could have paid me.

++ So then what happened? Why did you split? Did you guys continued making music in one way or another?

To be honest there was not a definite split. When the single didnt get us a record deal, we kind of lost our enthusiasm a bit. The whole “Madchester” thing was emerging, The Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets, Happy Mondays, all that “E” taking scene, it wasnt what we were about. Steve got married, Pauls career was taking him all over the world, and we had replaced drummer Mark with Eddie, who was more of a cabaret session player. All in all we just drifted apart, stopped arranging rehersals etc. Just a bunch of quitters really,!

++ And what about these days? Are you still all in touch? What other hobbies do you have aside from music?

Paul and I are still in touch via text and email. He lives in Malaysia, married with 2 kids, high up in the oil industry. I havent seen or heard from Steve, Mark or Eddie since the 80’s. I would like to think Steve is still writing music somewhere. I may be biased, but some of his songs were astounding, they would stand up in the music industry today. He wrote straight from the heart, and his lyrics were magical. I still live in Manchester, and my 16 year old son Owen, who plays guitar and drums, starts his his BTEC 2 music course in September.

++ Let’s wrap it here Annette! Thanks a lot again for the interview. Anything else you’d like to add?

Yeah, I would like to say a HUGE thanks for getting in touch, what a surprise! Writing this has brought back some happy memories, I might even dust off my microphone and look for a new band!


Paperboys – This Is How I Feel


This Sunday I need to figure out what to play at the Cakeshop for NYC Popfest. I’m DJing between bands and this gives me the opportunity to play whatever I want as nobody but me will care what’s sounding loud in the basement venue. So it’s about really pleasing myself and perhaps a handful of pop enthusiasts that enjoy discovering a thrilling new song. You know, the kind of pop person that is in extinction.

This is the fourth time I believe I’m playing some records for Popfest. Never at the Cakeshop. Before I’ve played some records at Santos, Public Assembly and Littlefield. It was on the latter that I also played between bands, so I didn’t have to cater the crowd with hits. Not that I mind playing hits, I love them, but as of late I prefer dancing to them than me playing them. It’s more fun at the dancefloor.

I remember that just for that time I burned two CD-Rs with my favourite songs at that point of my life. I recall playing The Seashells and The Ropers, among others. I think this is what I should do again this year. Get two or three CD-Rs with my latest music crushes. I’ll try to avoid the mellow ones of course. From the top of my head I want to play Me and Dean Martin’s “When Boys Talk” and Shine!’s “Bite the Apple”. Those two for sure.

The question always arises. Why I don’t bring vinyl records when I’m invited to DJ. Sure friends would love looking at the records, at the sleeves, asking me how much I paid for them or how I got them, or how does this one sounds or the other. Sure. It sounds like fun. But from experience, especially from that time when I happened to play some records at Debaser in Stockholm, I know it can get messy, where beer can be all over the place, dripping, and wetting everything that surrounds the decks. Your records included. Would I risk doing that? I think you can never be too careful. And what if they get scratched? I don’t know, I probably have a shitty equipment at home, but at least it’s just only me who I could blame for ruining a record.

When I lived in Miami, just the same year I started the label (yes I couldn’t be busier), I started a club night with two friends. Well, it was more like a friend organized it and then the three started it. Let’s give credit to who is due. She found the venue, talked with the owner and managed to secure Wednesday’s at what was called the Boom Boom Room. It was on 16th street. On South Beach. Just in front of a Peruvian restaurant, El Chalán. This of course meant a good dinner feast before going to play records.
It wasn’t a success. We played indiepop. I played the classic indiepop, the c86 kind. José played a bit of a mix between britpop, the indiepop classics and some more mainstream pop stuff. It was with him where my differences about The Lucksmiths for example first appeared. He was a huge fan. I couldn’t understand why they were so beloved to him. I never connected to that band, and until this day, even girlfriends, exes, and all kind of people with a close relationship to me have gave me a hard time for not liking them. I actually think some might have stopped liking me because of this. Oh well, you can’t win it all.
And it was Maria who had put all this together and sadly I don’t know where in the world she is. Last time I saw her was in 2008, in NY as she had moved here. I wonder if she still lives here, but I have no clue. I’m not in touch with anyone that knows her anymore. She was the first person, other than myself and Jose, that liked Heavenly in Miami. And that was how we bonded.

Those days, I loved to play music. I don’t like saying I was Djing, because I really wasn’t. I only select a song and press play. I fade out the track when it’s ending, press play on the other CD deck and fade that one in. Easy peasy. It’s not rocket science. Though at that time, in Miami we assumed that being DJ was going to make us super interesting to girls. But that wasn’t the case of course. We weren’t playing the music Miami folks like, we weren’t quite the Ultra Music Festival you know?

Since those days I started another club. Another failure. Then I have been lucky to been invited to play records at many indiepop festivals and gigs. I’ve been lucky to play records in London (many times!), Berlin, Hamburg, Madrid, Stockholm and Malmö. And of course New York. I can’t turn down a “DJ” offer when people ask me. I’m very humbled by it. It’s very nice that people trust your musical taste. It’s true though that I won’t play them some mainstream crap at their gig or festival, you won’t see me playing Rihanna while The School is getting ready to play their set. So yes, I’m trustworthy in that sense unlike some others. But in due honesty, I’ve been losing the zest of playing records for people. And the fact is because I’ve never been able to DJ at Indietracks. I was invited once, true. But I couldn’t say yes before their deadline. I wasn’t sure I was going. But since then I haven’t been asked again. And it’s a shame. As I said, I don’t consider myself a DJ or even a tastemaker, but I do think I do a hell of a job at making people dance. Because I know what people love in indiepop, the songs they heart, and I know I wouldn’t let them down, because the most important piece of this indiepop machine, the one that makes the wheels go round, are the fans. Yes. The fans.


And before I get too nice and ask for requests let’s move into the important subject, the obscure band of the week. It’s more than true that I have posted three interviews by some fantastic and exciting obscure bands this week. It’s quite a lot. And perhaps you are still reading them, digesting them. But I need to move onto a band you’ve probably never heard about, The Lemon Sleepers.

This band I also had the chance to discover through Rupert’s fantastic mix CD. The lucky part was that I found their 7″ on Musicstack for two meager dollars. Maybe it’s so obscure that nobody buys it. And you can still find it for cheap. If so, I recommend it. It’s truly great. You need it.

The origin of the lemon is a mystery, though it is thought that lemons first grew in Southern India, northern Burma, and China. A study of the genetic origin of the lemon reported that it is a hybrid between sour orange and citron.

I don’t know much about lemons. Though I couldn’t live without them. Imagine that there wouldn’t be ceviche. That would be catastrophic, right? Anyhow, what is a lemon sleeper? It sounds great as a name, but there might be a story behind it.

As far as I know the band only recorded one single. The A side was “The World’s Too Loud” and the B side was “International Smile”. It was released in 1992 and released by Nice Music. Catalog number was 001. I would assume it was a private release.

Both songs have the same credits on the label: “A Holliday / G Holliday”. The A Holliday should be Andy Holliday. The G. Holliday, well, here we have two options. It’s either Gray or Gary.  And I know this because on the back sleeve we get the lineup of the band:

Andy – bass
Gray – keys, backing vocals
Gary – drums
The Stim – guitars
Stuart – vocals

All lyrics are credited to Andy while the music to the Sleepers. The record was recorded at Post House Music and it was engineered by George Althaus.

Post House Music was a studio in East Peckham, in Kent. Were they based there?

The only other credits on the back sleeve that I haven’t mentioned yet are that they had a manager called Daniel P. Riley, and that they thanked Danny & George. Sleeve Design by Deus (?)

Also the lyrics for “The World’s Too Loud” are written there for your singalong pleasure.

That’s all. There’s no more info I have been able to find about them. Maybe some of you have a clue about this band. It seems pretty obscure but we’ve solved so many band mysteries that I’m sure we can fill in the blanks the story of this band. Maybe they had more releases? Maybe some of you saw them live? Maybe you were a friend of them, you gave them a ride to the studio or something. Anyhow, leave a comment if you know the whereabouts of the Lemon Sleepers. For the time being enjoy the jangle thrill that is “The World’s Too Loud”


The Lemon Sleepers – The World’s Too Loud


Thanks so much to Nick Smith for the interview! I wrote a bit about them some time ago and he was very kind to get in touch with me to fill in the gaps. Twelve Angry Men released just one 7″, but what a 7″ it is! Just have a listen to Maagdalene and you’ll understand me. They also have a Facebook page for you to become a fan and follow them. And if you want to learn more about this great 80s band, just continue reading!

+ Hi Nick! So I assume the name of the band comes from the 1957 movie?

Yes the band was named after the classic movie starring Henry Fonda.

++ There is barely any information about the band online. How come?! We need to fill in a lot of blanks! So let’s start from the beginning. Who were Twelve Angry Men? And how did you meet?

Paul Flinton-guitar/backing vocals
Paul Lillie-bass/keyboards/backing vocals
Steve Godfrey-drums/backing vocals
Nick Smith-vocals

The band met at secondary school. Flinton and keyboard player Julian Freeguard initially formed it as Trade Secret in 1984 with a different rhythm section and singer. They recorded an accomplished debut track ‘Only Tears’ and performed a number of local gigs, including a school battle of the bands.During this period Smith,Godfrey and Lillie were gradually recruited in readiness for the band’s rebranding as Cry in March 1986 for a school charity event based on Live Aid. It was obvious to all concerned that this line up had a unique chemistry. Freeguard left the band prior to the Twelve Angry Men name change and Lillie completed keyboard duties in the studio. Two temporary keyboardists,James Ruzicka and Julie Boultby performed with the band on occasions before the decision was made to not use keyboards at all.It was only towards the end of the band’s career that mandolin player Chris Zani was recruited as a 5th member.

++ And have you been involved with music before? Any bands?

The schools in Keyworth encouraged music of all types and band members had played in a variety of groups ranging from youth orchestras to heavy metal bands. Flinton had infact made a self assured recording debut on a vinyl 12″ LP fronting the Keyworth Guitar band whilst at junior school, Smith also appeared on the recording. Flinton appeared again with Lillie and Freeguard on a secondary school 12″ LP titled When the Bell Rings.

++ Who or what would you say inspired you all to make music?

The band were all immersed in music and this was a hugely exciting time to be embarking on a career in rock at school. The band’s members had witnessed the punk, New wave and New Romantic movements unfold at first hand and were particularly aware of how a close bond of school friendship had been central to the success of U2 and Spandau Ballet
As Trade Secret and Cry they began interpreting Flinton’s songs with an eclectic mixture of mainstream 1980s styles,fusing electro pop with international arena rock and funk. This invited comparisons with U2 ,INXS, Power Station and Cutting Crew. Over a period of time, however ,the band dispensed with keyboards and under the new name of Twelve Angry Men began cultivating a more alternative image and exploring a uniquely British, guitar based sound as exemplified by independent bands such as Aztec Camera,Prefab Sprout and The Smiths. Flinton continued to develop his songwriting skills in new and unexpected directions, culminating in the 7″ single which was musically and lyrically challenging whilst still remaining radio friendly in the style of New Zealand’s Crowded House.

++ Whereabouts in the UK were you based and in what year do you reckon started as a band?

The band started at school and were based in Keyworth, Nottinghamshire.

++ And what were you all doing at the time? Students perhaps?

All students when it began …… Flinton, Lillie,Godfrey went on to higher education … Smith went to college then took up full time employment.

++ You only released one record, and what a great record it was from what I’ve heard. But I have to ask, why didn’t you release any other records? It wasn’t due to a lack of songs, right?

Correct. The band was always introducing new material into the live set and Flinton was a particularly prolific songwriter.The main reason for the lack of vinyl product is that since the release of Cry Pretend they had been courting major label interest,in particular from an executive at CBS records which required a lot of time to be spent on writing, performing at showcases and creating demo tracks rather than creating a commercially finished product.

++ Speaking of that, are there any more Twelve Angry Men recordings other than the two songs on the 7″?

In spring 1986 Cry produced a 4 track cassette called Cry Pretend at Square Dance studio in Derby featuring; Chance , Pretend . Live on the front front page…Running away.In Spring 1987 the band returned to the studio to record Fall to me, Thoughts, The More You Give. These last three tracks were not available on cassette until Summer 1988 when they were put out with four new songs recorded at Trent Bridge studio in Nottingham; Too young, Can I handle You , Take Me With You , Under the bridge. This cassette was called Tupelo and featured the new name of Twelve Angry Men. Many of the band’s live shows were also recorded.

++ Tell me about the songs on the record, “Magdalene” and “Clyde”? What’s the story behind them and are they based on real people?

Both are about fictitious people. Magdalene features a character regretting his spiritual life of celibacy whilst Clyde tells a tale of abuse, drunkenness and ultimately murder.

++ The record was released by Everbimes Records. Who were they? And how did you end up releasing with them?

The label Everbimes was the label associated with the recording studio, Meadow Farm and the owner Stuart field. The single was recorded there and released on Stuart’s own label. Stuart played bass with The Nolan sisters and The Royal Philharmonic orchestra
++ What about gigs? Did you play live a lot? If so what were your favourite gigs? Any favourite venues and bands to play with?
The band started gigging during school holiday / university term times around Nottingham. Following CBS interest the band went professional and gigged all around UK, doing on average 1 gig every 3 days for the year. Godfrey, Flinton and Lillie took a gap year from higher education in order to do this. Best gigs .. Mean fiddler , The Hype at the Bull and Gate , Leadmill Sheffield , Rock garden – Covent Garden , Hogs Grunt. The band were featured on the same bill as Fire next time, The National People’s gang. The Fatima Mansions, Voice of the Beehive amongst others and gigged relentlessly around UK at universities and colleges

++ What do you remember from the recording session of the record? Any fun anecdotes?

Godfrey smashed a milk bottle at end of Clyde.It was a complete accident but perfectly in time and keeping with the atmosphere of the song. The engineer for a pre-production recording of The Heart of Magdalene in London was the fiddle player of the Wonder Stuff. Cry-Pretend was engineered by Andy Ryder, singer from a celebrated band called Medium,Medium and then The Scare Hunters.The second Square dance session was engineered by a guy called Fidge who later engineered for the band during their first London gigs.

++ Looking now, in retrospect, what would you say was the biggest highlight of Twelve Angry Men?

The band would cite a performance at the Mean fiddler in London as a career highlight. Their residencies at Yates and The Hippo Club in Nottingham are also particularly memorable for generating a huge local fan base.

++ And when and why did you split? What did you all do after?

The last gig was in Mansfield August 1989 after which the band split in order to pursue other projects which had been put on hold during the full time year. The philosophy in the group at the time was that it was “all or nothing”. The band had given itself a one year window in which to succeed and had not achieved the level of recognition which it believed to be necessary to justify continuing.

++ What about these days? What do you guys are up to? Any other hobbies aside from music that you enjoy?

PF ….Working in Canada
NS …. Operatic theatre
SG … Still drumming
PL…..Succesful career as musical tribute artist
CZ ….. Missing in action

++ And one last question, have you ever thought of perhaps reforming? Or releasing a retrospective album?

We are currently planning a band reunion and producing compilation album.


Twelve Angry Men – Magdalene


Thanks so much to Ali Wilson for the interview! The Legendary Hearts released one 12″ that is quite a masterpiece! And if you haven’t heard about them, perhaps it’s time for you to discover them. As it seems, they are still going strong and you can keep track of them on their soundcloud. And also they have a Facebook page so you can become a fan!

++ I see you are still making music! How does it sound? How would you compare it to The Legendary Hearts?

It still IS, and always will be, “The Legendary Hearts”. TLH are MY band and are the only band I write for. I like to think it sounds like a natural progression of what we did before in the 80s and 90s.

++ Were The Legendary Hearts your first band? Which bands have you been involved with so far?

No I played drums in several bands before TLH. The main ones were “The Curious Reign” from Stirling in Scotland, from 1981-82 and “Watch With Mother” from Edinburgh in 1986-87. WWM released one single “Suzanne” in 1986 on my Surfin’ Pict label. It’s hard to find copies now.

++ Let’s talk about The Legendary Hearts. How did the band start? Who were the members and how did you know each other?

The idea for TLH started in Stirling in 1984 when I saw Lou Reed’s “Legendary Hearts” album in a record store and decided…”That’s what I’m gonna call my band!” I was writing songs back then but didn’t actually put the band together until early 1987, using ex-members of Watch With Mother.

++ What about the name of the band? Where does it come from?

The Lou Reed record!

++ When did you pick up for the first time an instrument? And which can you play?

I’ve been trying to play guitar since I was 10 and I’m still crap! I’ve been playing drums since I was 12 and that’s how I make my living today: Playing and teaching drums.

++ And what would you say was that moment that you said, “I want to have a band, I want to make music”? Who would you say were your influences for The Legendary Hearts sound?

In 1983 I was heavily into The Church, from Australia, and The Waterboys, and decided I wanted to change from playing drums and attempt to front a band, doing something similar to both these great bands.

++ You only released as far as I know the “In a World Like This” EP. It’s such a great record! Do you mind telling me the story behind each of the three songs?

That was our only release on Surfin’ Pict Records but we had two tracks, “Ferryman” and “Promised Land”  included on The CaVa Sessions compilation LP in 1990 on the TLV label.

From the EP, “What In The World” is partly about an ex-girlfriend, as I guess is “Love & Understanding”. “Everything I Have” is a love song but also touches on consumerism, the Middle East, the US military presence in Scotland and the impending Apocalypse!

++ What about compilations? Did you appear in any?

Only “The CaVa Sessions”. Again it’s hard to find but it was available on vinyl, CD and cassette. At least 5000 copies were pressed.

++ On Soundcloud there are many unreleased songs by the band. Why weren’t they released? And are there even more songs than this? If so, have you ever thought of doing some sort of retrospective album?

Most of the songs are “bedroom demos”. There are around 30 tracks in total. I always intended to re-record about 15 of them properly and put them out as the first TLH album…but money was short and the years flew by…I got married / divorced, had 3 kids and never got around to doing the LP.

++ In general, what would you say is your favourite Legendary Hearts songs? and why?

I like most of them. I have no real favourite. All the songs mean something to me and remind me of a certain time or event. “Queen Of Lorient” from 2001 is one I really like, but the subject matter is painful and I don’t know if I ever want to sing it live again .

++ You put your EP out under your own record label Surfin’ Pict. Why did you decide to go this way instead of looking for a label? How did you enjoy doing the business part of the music?

I decided to put out the EP first and try to get a deal off the back of it. We got a couple of decent reviews but the major UK music press ignored us. We had some major label interest but no deal was ever forthcoming.

++ Were there any other releases in the label?

Yes. Watch With Mother “Suzanne” was the first, SP01. Then a band called The Crepe used the label for their release. SP02, but I wasn’t involved with that. TLH EP was SP03-12. I also released one CD album by a band I drummed with called “The Rainkings” in 1996. Copies are still available I think.

++ Tell me about gigs. Did you play many? What were your favourite gigs? Any fun anecdotes you could share?

We played less than 10 gigs in total, as it was hard to get a full time band together, as all our members were involved with other bands. This is often the way when you are trying to make a living from music. I was drumming with bands in pubs, clubs and hotels at the time trying to earn a living and writing for TLH when time allowed. I enjoyed all the gigs apart from the last one in December 2001 when I used a band who were woefully under-rehearsed. Actually, some band members had never met until we stepped on stage. It was pretty awful. The pressure of fronting a band made it hard for me to have much fun because I was so busy concentrating on my job and keeping the other guys right too.

++ How was Edinburgh back then by the way? What were the best venues? The places were people into guitar pop would hang out? Were there any good bands in town?

Edinburgh was, and still is, a great city, with some great venues and bands. The indie and pop-art crowd would go to the City Cafe, The Doric, The Wee Red Bar (at the Art College) and The Hoochie Coochie Club among many others. The best gigs were mainly at The Venue, The Music Box and La Sorbonne.

++ I’ve been to Edinburgh a couple of times myself and really enjoyed it. I wonder though were would you recommend the best haggis in town? and what about the best cullen skink?

I’m a big haggis fan! You can eat in a Michelin Star restaurant or a simple fish and chip shop and the haggis is usually very good. I like it with a whisky & pepper sauce best. Cullen Skink? Also widely available and usually good at most places in the city centre and beyond.

++ So then what happened? When and why did the band split?

The band is, and always will be, just me myself. I work with a keyboard player who I’ve played with since WWM  in ’86 and then we add members as we need them. I have a pool of guitar players, drummers and bass players who I can approach when required.

++ And are you still in touch with the rest of the band? if so, what are they up to?

Yes, I’m in touch with all of them from the early days. I still play with Lawrie Ball the keyboard player and Glyn Harris the guitarist regularly in cover bands playing around Scotland. Neil Baldwin, the bass player, was not an actual member but played on the EP and at the first gig. He was also in The Bluebells, Goodbye Mr MacKenzie (with Shirley Manson of Garbage), TV21 and is currently with a great band called The Cathode Ray.

++ What about you? Aside from music, do you have any other hobbies?

To be honest, outside of music, I don’t do much. Some mountain biking and hillwalking.

++ One last question, what would you say was the biggest highlight for the band?

Being selected in 1989 as one of the top 6 new bands in Scotland for “The CaVa Sessions” album out of 300 bands who entered.

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

I’ll be playing music until the day I die…simple as that!

Thanks for your interest in The Legendary Hearts.


Listen The Legendary Hearts – Everything I Have


Thanks so much to Simon, Mark and Jan for this great interview! Beware the Dog were an English band from Slough and released one great 7″ back in 1987! You can listen the songs from the 7″ on Youtube, “Madam” & “Nasty Things“! Aren’t they really fantastic? So I thought it would be a great idea to talk with them and hear their story!

++ Hi Simon, Mark and Jan! Thanks so much for being up for this interview! So whereabouts in the world are you? And are you still making music?

Simon: Very happy to oblige, Roque – it is good to know that people are still interested in the 1980s.

Mark (Leechie): I’m still making music. I now live in Wokingham, Berkshire where I’m currently in a couple of active bands and I still do a bit once a year with The Morbific Seeds [https://soundcloud.com/the-morbific-seeds]. I live with my partner Suzanne and have a 17-year-old son Jack.

Jan: Back home now after 15 years living in Ireland as a photographer. Have picked up drumming again after all this time, am involved in a few projects and loving every minute of it albeit a bit rusty. My home is now in Burnham Bucks which I share with my wife and two young kids aged six and two.

Simon: My lovely wife and I live in West Sussex in the UK, not far from Brighton; our three daughters are grown up and live all over the place. I have a small studio which I don’t get enough time to use, shamefully. I am still writing music but, since converting from analogue to digital, I am hampered by my lack of ability to relate to the software.

++ So let’s take a trip back, when did Beware the Dog start as a band? Where were you based? And have you been in other previous bands?

Simon: We all lived in Slough back then – quite close to each other, in fact. The three of us came together in early 1986, having known each other for several years. We had all been in various separate line-ups. I had been in lots of local pub/club bands, playing mainly cover versions and some original material. I joined Simon Townshend, Mark Brzezicki and Tony Butler in about 1980; various line ups with ST followed over about two years until he took a solo tack with his brother, Pete. After that, I tried a string of ventures whilst renovating a house.

Leechie: I was booted out of the matrimonial home and ended up around Simon’s with a crate of beer! That was the start of a mad summer! Previous bands include The Onlookers [http://www.detour-records.co.uk/ONLOOKERS_INFO_PAGE.htm], The Morbific Seeds, The Mighty Marvels (a soul band with a chap named Eddie Pillar, founder of the acid jazz label) and various other musical projects that didn’t get off the ground. I had also done some recording for Simon in one of his previous bands.

Jan: As Simon said we all lived locally and had a social scene going, being young and single with lots of free time to spend on music. The 3 of us had day jobs so we crammed in our music all involved in our own projects. I was involved with a few local bands, Arrogant, I Can Crawl, Johnny Panic and a cover band or two. This was the time we fine-tuned our art, all being involved with recording and gigging the London circuit. Simon was always writing material and when he teamed up with Mark there was a natural spark and some good stuff was being made. I got interested and gave the project a bit of my time to see how things would pan out.

++ And who were Beware the Dog? What did each of you play? and how did you all meet?

Simon: It started when I teamed up with Leechie and we very quickly forged a solid musical – and social [Leechie laughs] – partnership. I was on Lead Vocals and Guitar. I had generally played keyboards and percussion up until then but I played guitar while we looked for a real guitarist. Hah. We spent a while looking whilst penning our first songs, and then we somehow just got used to the idea of just me playing guitar and, because we’d come to like the simple, energetic sound of ourselves as a three-piece, we just went with it. We persuaded Jan to share his time with us, although he was heavily involved with another project at the time.

Leechie: I was The Bass – and backing vocals.

Jan: I played Drums.

++ Where does the name Beware the Dog came from?

Simon: Mark and I wrote Madam (our very first creation) and the idea of the dog reference was amusing. We eventually twisted it into a catchy name which also closely resembled a commonly used sign so maybe people would easily remember the name. After a while, we were actually known as ‘The Dog’.

++ When you were around, which other bands did you guys liked? Who would you list as influences?

Leechie: I was young enough to have witnessed the Punk movement first-hand. I guess The Buzzcocks, Magazine, The Jam, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones and The Clash got me into playing music first and then got into all the 60s beat music: The Kinks, The Who, The Beatles and even rarer ones too numerous to mention here. I also love soul and Reggae.

Jan: Although my drumming was rock/pop based I was listening to Sly and Robbie, Grace Jones, Simply Red, Prefab Sprout and disco stuff like Chic, Sister Sledge and WHITNEY HOUSTON!

++ You only released the “Madam” 7″ single. And how great are the two songs on it. Care to tell me a bit about each of the songs? What’s the story behind them?

Simon: Thanks!

Simon: The story behind Madam was about young love, general misunderstandings and incompatibility within relationships.

Leechie: That’s a polite way of putting it!

Simon: Nasty Things was a nod to the horrors which sadly appear in the papers every so often. The playful music is an ironic reference to the way that, after the event, the perpetrators seem to give casual, bizarre or banal account of their heinous crimes.

++ How do you remember the recording sessions for the single? And why did you choose these two songs?

Simon: We recorded a few tracks at a small studio: ‘The Padded Cell’ in Colnbrook, near Heathrow Airport. Madam and Nasty Things were both short, sharp tracks with very different themes and we felt comfortable with how they sat. It was a great time and as I remember; the whole process was just straightforward.

Leechie: It was a lot of fun, I remember that. What I also remember is that there was this humming noise that kept appearing on the backing tracks and we couldn’t figure out where the hell it was coming from until…

Simon: … we realised that Jan was humming during the takes.

Jan: Unfortunately I still do that… bummer! It was a habit I picked up from years learning to play whilst humming the bass line to myself. I have a daft concentration face as well, it’s a good job I’m sat at the back!!!!!! Yep, I remember the session and it was a blast, happy days indeed.

++ I also happen to like very much the artwork for the single. What’s the story behind that?

Simon: Jan (Spidey, the photographer) took a great picture of my 1963 Humber Super Snipe on a cold winter morning. We thought it somehow captured the spirit of the theme of lost love that is at the heart of Madam. The picture on the sleeve for Nasty Things was found in an auction lot and, having now searched the internet, I believe it was from a set of sketches by Polish artist and Dachau concentration camp survivor Jerzy Zielezinski. I had a load of art studio stuff set up at the time and I designed and created the artwork for the sleeve.

++ And how come you didn’t get to release more records? I ask because, clearly you had many more songs!

Simon: We released the single as a sort of banner and I guess we could have got some more songs out there but we were concentrating on trying to land a major sponsor, so it was somehow low on the agenda.

++ Do tell about these other songs. How many songs did you actually record? And in general, which would you say is your favourite Beware the Dog song and why?

Simon: We recorded (live) a bunch of songs at rehearsals and did indeed record a few more tracks at The Padded Cell, which included Heartbreak and Waste of Space [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2Y-CVnxxiw]. Waste of Space is my personal favourite because I got to say what lots of people had in their minds and I like to think I gave it a catchy, simple and light-hearted tune.

++ Let’s talk about gigs, did you play live often? Which was the farthest you ever went to play a gig?

Leechie: We didn’t play much beyond London. We spent a lot of energy doing as much ground work as possible to promote the gigs – we even recorded an ad for our first gig that we put out on Capital Radio, which was a hoot! In those days you had to go around the local area at night with a bucket of paste and an arm full of posters sticking them up everywhere local to the gig. No Facebook in those days.

++ And which would you say were your favourite gigs? Any anecdotes you could share?

Simon: It was brilliant playing live because, as a three-piece, we could basically do whatever we felt like. We jammed through extended versions of the songs a lot of the time and improvisation was easy because it was just up to me and Leechie staying in the same key and Jan nailing it all down. I think, for me, our run of slots at the Rock Garden in Covent Garden was the best.

One time, I broke a string early on in the set. I finished the verse, scurried off to the side and, within a few moments, I had the new string in place – albeit a few tones low. I sang another verse with the volume down, at the same time tensioning the new string. As we approached the chorus, I added an impromptu few bars and hit the volume in order to get the string in tune. Just on cue, we made the chorus as the string climbed up the scale and (although I say so myself) it sounded awesome! Things like that really hit home with an audience and the write-up in the paper was all about ‘the string change mid-song’. Professionalism is indeed key!

++ The single was released in 1987. One year after the influential C86 tape. I was wondering, did you ever feel part of a scene at that time?

Leechie: Not really. I liked a lot of the bands: MCARTHY, Bodines, Wolfhounds, but sadly we just missed the crest of that particular wave and really we were a little different from the scene.

++ And so then what happened? When and why did you split? What did you guys do after?

Simon: We were gigging a lot around the time when the ‘Acid’ scene was just about to kick-off. I managed to land us a gem of a slot at a nightclub called La Val Bonne to coincide with one of the very first events given over to the new craze. It took a lot of effort to convince the Night Club Manager that this was going to be a big movement and he eventually agreed for us to headline on the second night. This was a really flash club at the time and for the first time in its history they were going to allow people in wearing ‘T’ shirts! It sounds daft now but back then this was a massive shift.

The plan was to play a totally dynamic set with no songs as such – but snippets of lyrics, monster grooves and blazing chords (the place had a fabulous sound system). However, as it turned out, Jan had booked a holiday; I asked him to cancel it because this was such an important opportunity but he said no. Leechie refused to do the gig with a session drummer, I got upset… end of story.

Jan: What we were about to do was a massive deal, there weren’t bands doing the whole mash up acid/club thing, it was being done live by DJs but not by live bands! It was a serious undertaking to do it properly in a named high profile club (no pressure) and there was not the time scale to prepare for it. My mantra, if it’s worth doing… Sadly, that was the beginning of the end.

Leechie: I liked the Acid scene, but sadly doing a gig without Jan at the time was unthinkable as we were all good mates in it together. My loyalty upset some people. It’s a shame that we don’t have recordings of some of the more Acid BTD ‘cos that was an interesting progression.

++ And what about today? What do you do? Any other hobbies aside of music?

Simon: I am an engineer and spend far too much time behind a desk. I am in the early stages of writing a musical. I love snow-skiing and hitting tennis balls.

Leechie: I’m still making music – currently as a member of both The Transients and The Leopolds and I have a few other projects on the go. Last year I had an old demo released as an album by the Onlookers ‘Blue and green and tangerine’ [http://www.boredteenagers.co.uk/ONLOOKERS.htm]. Day job as a sparky. Not much work about at the moment though.

Jan: By day I’m a househusband. By night I’m playing drums with Hubba Bubba a disco\pop covers band and have recently completed an album with my old buddies from I Can Crawl which is proving to be awesome! I still do photography, albeit part time [http://janwilgaphotos.com/].

++ Let’s wrap it here. If you look back in time, what would you say was the biggest highlight of Beware the Dog?

Jan: Playing exciting, fresh music with a great bunch of guys. A great ride. Happy days.

Leechie: I agree with you there, Jan. It was a fast ride and great fun! Cheers guys!

Simon: For me, breaking a string at The Rock Garden!

++ Thanks so much again, anything else you’d like to add?

Simon: You too, Roque; good times!

Leechie: Yes, cheers Roque for showing an interest and looking back. It was fun.


Beware the Dog – Waste of Space


Thanks so much to Dave Jones and Matt Bolter for this fantastic interview! I wrote about Turn to Flowers a long time ago and they were kind to get in touch and tell me the story of the band! Now sit back and enjoy, it’s never to late to discover a great band!

++ Hi Dave and Matt! Thanks so much for getting in touch and being up for an interview! You were telling me that you all are still around in different guises, so yeah, what are these guises? In which bands or projects are you involved these days?

Well, Matt is now a father and still very active in music – performing with his original songs band called Statedancer and a covers band called the Robbers. He writes and records regularly in his home studio. (music available on itunes – search for statedancer)

Dave is a now a doctor but is also still involved in music and theatre. He writes his own songs in his home studio and tends to get onstage acting, singing etc at any available opportunity!

Steve – sadly we’ve lost touch in all but Facebook – don’t know what he’s up to currently.

Paul – lives locally and works in multimedia. He did a couple of stand in stints drumming for us.

++ Let’s go back in time. When did Turn To Flowers start as a band? And had you been in bands previously? Or was this your first incursion into music?

When did Turn To Flowers start as a band? Formed about 1983. We’d all been in a couple of School bands and there was one early incarnation with Matt, Steve and Paul called the Misistry. We were all self taught except Dave who had learned the piano from an earlier age.

++ What inspired you all to have bands, play music? What are the first “music” memories you have?

Matt: I always wanted to get up there and “do that” – especially if I heard something that was crap and I thought “we could do that better”.

Dave: The desire to get up and perform really. Loved the vibe of playing live.

Matt: Let it Be (Beatles), Trex, Slade, the Sweet.

Dave: My brother (completely a-musical) taught me a healthy love for heavy rock – ACDC, Rush, Deep Purple, however being  younger was a child of the 80’s – so was brought up on a healthy dose of 80’s cheese – new romantics and indie etc.

Although these were earliest memories our influences were taken from Beatles, 60’s psychedelic, funk, Jazz, Punk, Blues, some classical.

++ So how did the band come together, how did you all know each other?

Matt met Steve and Paul at college and they were looking for a keyboard player. Matts girlfriend at the time (Sue Lees – the sort of “Janine” in the relationship) knew Dave and introduced them. The band started rehearsing in a old (derelict) village hall in Partington, Cheshire – it barely had floorboards. We started doing small gigs around Manchester (The Boardwalk, Jilly’s, Middleton Civic (often playing with the Mock Turtles), the Green Room, Band on the Wall, PJ Bells, The Roadhouse and other smaller venues).

++ What about the name of the band? Where does Turn to Flowers comes from?

Turn to Flowers comes from the fact that we were about to give a tape to someone, and we didn’t have a name. The song “she turns to flowers” by The Salvation army who later became the Three O’clock was playing – so it was just plucked from that. Crazy.

++ Tell me about Manchester. It must have been fantastic living there in the 80s with the amazing amount of great bands in town. Plus you had the Hacienda of course. How did you like it there? What were your favourite local bands? and where did you usually hang out?

Yes it was fun time and there was so much music going on – it’s a bit weird that when you’re there, you don’t quite realise the significance of the emerging bands and the emerging Manchester scene. Later on, the Stone Roses emerged and we were big fans of them. Ian Browns brother used to play tambourine in TTF for a while – he was like our “Bez” character. Apparently Ian used to think that we’d get signed before the Stone Roses – but we now know they were signed and became massive.

++ And compared to these days, would you say that Manchester has changed for better or for worst?

Definitely the worse. The music scene is nowhere near as vibrant as it once was – there are precious few live music venues these days. There are lots of big club nights but many of the band venues have ceased to be.

++ You only released the one EP on Imaginary Records. How did you end up signing with them? Were there other labels interested?

We basically did the old thing of sending tapes to record companies and got picked up by Imaginary. They had a few bands on the books including the Mock Turtles who also released EP’s at the same time. We also recorded a version of the Kinks “Village Green Preservation Society” which was released as a Tribute to the Kinks (Shangri La) on Imaginary. We felt proud of our version! Sadly we don’t have a copy of this anymore. If you get one – let us have a listen!!

++ Tell me about this EP. Care telling me a little about each of the songs on the record? And which one is your favourite?

People Change like the weather: Probably our most popular song. It’s about a relationship breakup – like many songs.

On Her Own: This is a song about the same person but was originally written for a college play. There was a theme about dolls marching – therefore the marked riff. We would have loved to do this with a real cello/orchestration.

Listen to the deadman: “Pure gobbledygook” (Matt’s words). Written like they’re meant to mean something – but they don’t!

++ And you were also telling me that there are many more Turn to Flowers songs. Will they ever be released? And why weren’t these songs released back in the day?

Well we were due to release another EP – but for one reason or another with the record company (mainly money), we never got the chance. Maybe we should think about putting the others on itunes – better that than letting the tapes just degrade.

++ What do you remember from the recording sessions of the EP at Suite 16 in Rochdale? How was that experience?

That was a great and fun time. We had an engineer called CJ who was great fun. I (Dave) personally remember laughing a lot, but also caught up in the excitement of our first proper recording sessions – we wanted to make a really good record – but we have a damn good laugh along the way. Suite 16 had been used by lots of major bands (New Order, Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, Happy Mondays, Railway Children) so it felt pretty exciting to be in such esteemed company. We had access to New Orders “Emulator” (a true vintage keyboard) – which they had used to record “Blue Monday” on there. We used their cello samples for On Her Own and also used some guitars from the Chameleons – particularly their 12-string.

++ Maybe there were no more Turn to Flowers releases, but perhaps you appeared in compilations? Do you remember if you ever participated in any? Maybe in those 80s tapes that were given away with fanzines?

See above about “Shangri La” – tribute to the Kinks. We’d love to get hold of a cop of that! Our first CD.

++ And talking about fanzines, how did you like that culture in the late 80s?

We really didn’t go into the fanzines. It wasn’t a big thing for us at the time. We paid some lip service to the NME and Melody maker – but their reviews just tended to annoy (often being overtly negative – and reports written by non-musicians).  At least the fanzines would tend to have an enthusiastic and positive viewpoint in stark contrast to the music press.

++ And what about a scene. Did you ever feel part of one?

Not especially – although we did feel an allegiance with the other Imaginary records signings. Especially the Mock Turtles – as we did so many gigs with them.

 ++ Let’s talk about gigs. Which were your favourite and why? Any anecdotes you could share?

Dave: one of the best ones was when we were in the ascendancy and we were asked to headline a gig (at the Green Room) and the Mock Turtles supported us! Martin Coogan wasn’t happy about that – he always felt they were the better band. Other great gigs were at Manchester Uni (when we were supported by the comedian Steve Coogan (now a film and TV star) – who is Martin Coogans (Mock Turtles) brother. It was brilliant to think weve been on the same bill as Steve Coogan!!

Probably the highlight was supporting the Stone Roses at the Powerhaus in London (Islington). This was just as the Stone Roses were breaking through and a time when we were really starting to motor ourselves. It was an exciting time.

++ And then what happened to you guys? When and why did you split?

Gets a bit complicated. We had another guitarist involved (Mike Anderton) who took lead and we continued for approx 1-2 years without any further signings or record deals. There were a few “musical differences” emerging but the band had probably just run its course. Rather than splitting, we sort of ground to a halt!

++ After Turn to Flowers you were involved in Black Fat Cat and The New Originals. Care telling me a bit about these bands?

Yes – Dave had gone off and formed a band called The Elysian Fields. The line up was Sean (vox), Paul Lockett (guitar), Andy Treacy (Drums – he now plays with Faithless) and Colin Robb (bass). After this, Dave and Colin teamed back up with Matt to form Fat Black Cat. We auditioned for a drummer and a female singer and soon enough we were joined by Helen Garner (drums) and Alison Donohue (vox). We probably had a lot more success in terms of big gigs with FBC. We had two UK tours with the Australian Doors Show which took us to all the major venues around the UK from Aberdeen to the London Shepherds Bush Empire. Although we released our own EP with FBC, we were never formally signed. The New Originals was a band we formed as a covers outfit to fund our touring costs. It worked really well and actually outlived FBC by many years. We only really stopped playing with the New Originals in 2011 – when our dear friend and band member Colin died at the age of 47 from Oesophageal cancer. We have done one or two “special” gigs since then but it was very difficult to carry on after losing Colin. Matt has since formed a new covers band called The Robbers (in memory of Colin) and as mentioned above is still actively writing and playing with Statedancer.

++ These days, aside from music, what other hobbies do you have?

Dave is doing more and more with the theatre and loving it. Matt has a new love for eating salad and exercising – something very alien to him when we were playing in Turn To Flowers!

++ So, are you a United or a City fan? Who were your favourite players ever in your team?

Dave: United. All the way. About to win our 20th league title. I’m a season ticket holder. We have had SO many brilliant players – my personal favourites are Cantona, Roy Keane and Andre Kanchelskis. We have a very rosy future – but our inspiration manager Sir Alex Ferguson can’t go on forever. It’s going to be a terrifying time when Fergie finally goes. Matt hates “dull ball”!

++ One last question, what would you say was the biggest highlight for Turn to Flowers?

Well it has to be the first time we saw our record in print and supporting the Stone Roses In London. Definitely!


Turn to Flowers – People Change Like the Weather



Plastilina Records, the label based in Lima, Peru, has many new releases this year. I thought it was a good time to interview the person behind it these days: Jalito.

++ Hi Jal. You’ve got some new releases coming up after being quiet most of the year. Can you tell me about these 3 new releases coming up? Pinkie, Nubes en mi Casa and Diosque?

Hi! Yes! I’ve been quiet most of the last year because I focused more on discovering Latin-american indiepop bands and promoting my record label in Brazil, where i lived for nearly a year. Now I am back with fantastic new music as Pinkie from UK… This is Alex Sharke’s proyect ( Member of the legendary Brighter. Fosca, Hal, etc…) Plastilina is releasing his second album called “ Somehow It Feel Like Rain” after being almost 8 years hidden. An album full of lyricism, nostalgia, beauty and superlative elegance.

Nubes en mi Casa and Diosque are my newest gems that I found in the South American region. Both are from Buenos Aires – Argentina and bring us perfect oneiric atmopheres that’ll wrap you easily. Highly Recommended!

Also I just released what may be one of the best albums of 2013! “ When you and I were Really Young” from Silver Screen! An álbum with a fluid guitar sound reminiscent of COCTEAU TWINS, married to a gentle pop sensibility very near to the sounds of bands like THE SMITHS or IAN BROUDIE of THE LIGHTNING SEEDS, and, indeed: artists of past decades on the adored Sarah Records label. You really must give a check!

++ I see you are releasing for the first time some South American bands. What does that mean to Plastilina, being a South American label?

Since we started this label around 2006 Plastilina was always looking for Peruvian and South American artists but the lack of bands at that time (in indiepop terms) forced us to look for foreign sounds. Years after we witnessed how this regional scene grew with amazing bands such as Nubes en mi casa which actually was on the last line-up of the SXSW Festival in Austin-Texas. Diosque which has one of the best regard albums in our continent, Eva & John which is our new Peruvian discovery! And many many more talents are appearing!

++ And what about Pinkie? Working with someone who has been involved with cult bands like Brighter and Fosca! How has your relationship being with him?

Alex Sharkey is one of the most talented persons that we have in our home. We have following his work for years and once we figured out that he was in the process of recording his second álbum, we were in touch for at least one year and finally got to release his amazing second album. I’m personally quite surprised how this guy can keep his roots in every different proyect that he has…. “ Somehow It Feels Like Rain” is an album of 11 perfect dreamy songs that reminds me to Pale Saints’s voices, Cocteau Twins’s guitars and Beach Boys’s chorus! Highly recommended!

++ I’ve heard that there are many other releases coming up, seems you’ve gotten busy as of late. What else is coming up on Plastilina for the near future?

Yes… we have a tight schedule this year… We recently released the newest Silver Screen album “When You and I Were Really Young” which goes over very very well in Japan and some other countries in Asia. Also, Eva&John, which is our first Peruvian band on the label! And at the same time we are gonna start a new series of releases on flexi discs. We finally got them! Also Coconut Groove’s second álbum, “How To Build a Maze” will be our next one… and then The Tartans and their full discography, plus unreleased bonus tracks is our new challenge.

++ Let’s go to the early days. When and how did Plastilina started as a label, and did you imagine being around this long? what expectations did you have then?

Plastilina was born in late 2005 when Roque and I, along with two other enthusiastic friends of mine decided to be part of the new change. Unfortunatelly, at that times, Lima (our city) had a monotonous independent pop scene. So our idea was to create a new plattaform to encourage people to make pop music. Since we didn’t have a proper local band to start this project with, we replace that idea with hosting our own events like gigs, festivals, a record label’s fair and themed parties with the few bands and attendants we had at that time. Years after years this has been growing and now we are in the process of making our independent scene even stronger.

++ As years passed you’ve released more than 25 CDs in a country were piracy is number one, where copied CDs are what people prefer. How have you managed to tackle this problem?

CD piracy was never a trouble for us since our prices in the local market are pretty accessible. I personally believe in spreading music through streaming and blogs that share and allow music to be downloaded. I do support piracy in small scales… As long as any third person who is not involved in this can make any kind of profit. I don’t think that that can be trouble for independent record labels since nowadays our objective public is entirely made up of music collectors and true music lovers that truly believe the only way to keep this alive and releasing great stuff is by supporting and buying originals, thus rewarding bands. Just true lovers of music.

++ Running a label is never an easy task, there’s problems, but there are times that are very rewarding as well. Which releases are you the proudest of? And if you were to choose one release that sums up the spirit of Plastilina, which will it be?

Absolutely, during all these years I have experienced lots of anecdotes and have worked with many different people from various countries and cultures. Choosing my most rewarding moment is a very difficult question but I may mention that it was very very cool working with such amazing bands like Twig, St Christopher, Alex Sharkey( Member of Brighter, Fosca, Hal), Diosque and being able to arrange Plastilina shows abroad in places like Brazil, Argentina or Djing in Sweden, Germany and other countries. Definitely, the releases what I feel proudest of are “Life After Ridge” by Twig, “ Bote+Brote” by Diosque and “Lost at Sea” by the emblematic St Christopher! Uff!

++ Are there any labels that you would consider as influential to Plastilina?

Totally. I am very much a fan of the work of Hardly Art, Beko, Matinee, Fuego Amigos, Sincerely Yours, Labrador, Siesta ,Cloudberry, Shelflife and many, many more. I love how these labels have kept their musical aesthetic despite
those rough times when the music industry tries to kill you.

++ Tell me about Plastilina’s setup, your office and stuff? How far do you have to go to the post office? What’s like a day in Plastilina?

Nowdays Plastilina’s office is ran from my home in Chorrillos… a really nice neighborhood next to the beach and 15 kilometres from downtown Lima… A day in Plasilina is pretty mellow… checking emails, creating, designing and discovering artists for the label, emailing distros and customers, listening to demos and new music while I make something yummy for lunch, then again… coordinating the next gigs and festivals , biking to the postal service in the afternoon, which is only 5 minutes from my place, watching movies, planning to trips to new places at night and having some beers with friends on the weekend That’s pretty much my life.

++ And by the way, why do they call you Jalito? Isn’t your name Jose?

It’s kind of a secret….. but I can give you a clue… It’s about the Halley comet! 😉

++ So Jal, how did you get into indiepop? How did you discover it?

I was always so passionate about music and I think this is one of the very few ways to discharge all the tension that everyone gets from living in big cities. I began listening independent music when I was around 13 years old… I was
pretty interested to hear new sounds and I discovered New Order and Cocteau Twins which changed my perspective in life at the time. Then after listening lots of 80’s pop music I got into guitar bands such as Yo la Tengo, Pavement, Built
to Spill, The Pastels, etc… Then Spanish pop caught my attention and led me to discover an unreleased tribute to The Field Mice which was the beginning of all of this.

++ Which would you say are your favourite bands? And if you could, can you give me a top 5 songs of yours?

I really like when interviewers comes to this same question all the time. I’ll take a look into my collection and mention 5 acts that were significantly important in my life.

The Siddeleys ( UK)
The Embbasy ( Sweden)
Silvania (Peru)
Aztec Camera ( Scotland)
Air France (Sweden)

Top 5 songs:
Something Almost Brilliant Happened Last night – The Siddeleys
All the Dark Horses – The Trash Can Sinatras
This Chain Won’t Break – Wild Nothing
No excuses – Air France

++ Actually, have you ever been in a band?

My closest experience with a band was back in 2004 when I tried to be the drummer in a twee pop band. We all met via soulseek and arranged a rehearsal (that’s how we met for the first time!) and then we came up with a lightning bolt band called Los Rebeldes Walkies Talkies… This band recorded around 4 songs that were included in some local magazines… Now I am about to take some lessons to produce music on my computer. Hope to have this done soon!

++ You don’t only release records but also organize gigs and club nights in Lima. How do you enjoy doing these? And how successful do you think they are? How big is the indiepop scene in Lima?

To be honest Lima has a small independent scene despite that it has around 9 million inhabitants… Even though this city is pretty big and has about 49 districts everything is summed up in 4 of them. That’s why I am planning to expand my events/organizations to create more accessibility for everyone. Plastilina shows have gone very well in the last few years. I have around 150 enthusiastics followers that always come when I set up gigs, festivals, etc… I pretty much enjoy doing this and even moreso when I see those smiles of happines, or people singing the songs, or simply when people dance with their eyes closed. That’s pretty rewarding.

++ What would you say has been the highlight of Plastilina so far?

The highlight of Plastilina is to have been recognized by people from every country that we’ve traveled to and also to have our faithful followers in Japan! I think that’s pretty much exciting! One of my plans for the near future is
to actually travel over and make a Plastilina pop party in Japan! Can you imagine!?

++ And where do you see the label 5 years from now?

I see Plastilina with a subsidiary in the States or Europe that basically would be in charge of releasing our same albums on vinyls. Also working even harder to make our bands participate in festivals like Primavera Sound, SXSW, etc. Getting more synchronization licensing for our bands to be able to be on soundtracks in movies and more. That would be really cool, indeed!

++ Everytime someone involved visits Lima, you give them a tour. So, what places would you recommend visiting if someone was to go there?

Yes. I love to meet people involved from all over the world and exchange information about our work. That’s very productive! Lima is a such big city… I would recommend to get a bike and make a tour around Barranco which is one of the nicest areas in the capital.. very beautiful, cozy and charming. Also, go around Miraflores’ promenade around 5-6pm to see one of the nicest sunset in the Pacific. I’d also recommend to visit some art galleries like Revolver, Centro Colich, if you are around those mentioned areas … then downtown! And goes directly to Quilca’s galleries to DIVE and look for some Peruvian gems on vinyl from the 60s or 70s. So much amazing music throughout that period. Then keep walking til Queirolo ( one of the oldest bars in Lima) have some Pilsen Callao, relax and keep walking til Plaza de Armas which is the main square and just next to there is the “ Alameda Chabuca Granda” which is a boulevard where you’ll find lots of traditional food and deserts.. I recommend eating e v e r y t h i n g.

++ And what would you say is your favourite Peruvian dish and beer?!

Peruvian food is absolutely great. Actually, It’s one of the few things that I really miss of Peru when I am abroad. I may say that I am really into seafood as I live really close to the sea. Dishes like Rissoto con Mariscos, Ceviche, Leche de Tigre and the best invention of humans: Conchitas a la Parmesana along with some cold Pilsen Callao (beer) It’s just like heaven!

++ And when you are not listening to music, or releasing music, what other things do you like to do?

I like to spend time with my very good friends outdoors or at their places watching movies , cooking delicious food or deserts or simply playing table games with them. Also I really like to explore more about my city and taking pictures… Also relax and read on my bed… that’s how I enjoy life.

++ Thanks so much Jalito, anything else you’d like to add?

Remenber that we all like to dream, but also we must make things happen. .Thanks to you! I really enjoyed answering these unusual questions! See you soon!


Silver Screen – Really No Wonder


A bit of a quiet week for Cloudberry now although the fanzines arrived home today and I should start shipping all pre-orders tomorrow. The official release date is for the 10th. I’ve talked already a bit too much about the zine so by know either you are fed up with reading about my excitement about this new issue, you have already ordered a copy or you don’t understand what the fuss is about. So let’s move on to other essential topic of the indiepop world: Indietracks.

It’s true that there is still some announcements to be made. And I don’t know when that is happening. Perhaps it says somewhere on the Anorak Forum, but if there’s a place one feels unwelcome, it is in that forum sadly. So I decided to stop visiting it for some time now. I feel that if you are not British, if you are probably not from Nottingham, you have not much to do there. So fair enough. In any case, and who cares really, I didn’t wait for that last announcement and I booked a very expensive flight to spend almost six days in my favourite country, England.

Four of those days are almost exclusively dedicated to Indietracks. Friday you travel to Alfreton/Mansfield/Swanwick or whatever the place you are staying at. Saturday and Sunday are exclusive to the festival. And Monday you leave knackered around noon back to London. Arriving at 4 or 5 and then having late lunch. So I count Monday as an Indietracks day. Especially as these lunches are with all the nice friends that are traveling with you on the train back to the city. This year I’m going to a pre-Indietracks show too on Thursday. So that’s another indiepop day. 5 of my days for the cause. For the good cause.

I did have a room reserved at the Mansfield Premier Inn since January. Or maybe it was since December. I still didn’t know if I was going to go. Not because of money but mostly about vacation days. Though I admit I never thought I was going to pay this much. This year it seems everyone wants to go to London for the summer! But as bands started being announced for Indietracks, and as things started to develop with Cloudberry in ways I didn’t expect, it started to make sense to go for my fourth Indietracks. Fourth in a row too.

I believe that knowing that The Secret History were going to play was a big bump for me to buy the ticket. The new release and getting to see them in such a great place, with the right crowd, cleared all my doubts if I should be there or not. Of course all my friends have been telling me to come over. Jennifer especially who convinced me by 100% as she asked me to DJ an event. Very important. Can’t let my dear friend down. And then of course getting to see my favourites Alpaca Sports and Flowers. One more time after the NYC Popfest. It all makes sense.

The latest Indietracks announcement was also very important to make up my mind. If minutes earlier before the announcements I was telling Emilie that I really hoped to see The Brilliant Corners this year, that it was unfair that they were playing Berlin and the Scared to Get Happy gig, someone was going to tell me they were getting booked for the Derbyshire festival I wouldn’t have believed it. But they did! Emilie funnily enough told me right away that I might have been crossing my fingers way too hard for this to come true. I might! Of course! I love The Brilliant Corners and I can’t wait to at least say hi! to Davey. If he can sign me a record, then that would make me the happiest. The question being should I bring my own records or would they sell some of their old stock there? This is important as I love to travel light!

Then the other two bands that melted my heart. Helen Love and McTells. Two of my favourite bands ever are also playing. And these two came very unexpected to me as they are not playing around or promoting anything new. So hats off to team Indietracks for booking these two. I’m sold. You make me happy. Now who else will you book? Can you do The Popguns as well? I’d be thrilled. Thrilled to bits!

Sure, some might say that older bands are not what the young crowd wants. And we need some of the young guns at the grounds. Aren’t they the ones that buy the most beers and the most records? Who knows. But they do know how to camp whereas I don’t. If the young crowd aren’t pleased by the classic sound of indiepop then maybe they shouldn’t come to an indiepop festival? I think in any case the team is catering to them with some bands like Fear of Men (who in my book have only one “indiepop-sounding” song and it’s really good), The Wave Pictures (zzz), and really a lot of bands that make me feel I live under a rock (though not trying to be a moron but usually if I haven’t heard the band it’s not real indiepop haha, but it’s true). So the young crowd should be pleased I think. There’s a bit for everyone and I have more than enough with this good lineup.

Add to all these the new-comers Pale Spectres who I hope don’t play at the church because I don’t want to miss them.  The Ballet are quite great too and I haven’t seen them since NYC Popfest 2007, though I might have seen Marina at NYC Popfest 2010? I don’t remember. I had a quaint conversation about La Pequeña Suiza, the beloved and cult indiepop band from Spain she used to play with many moons ago. Also looking forward to seeing the Fireworks, Matthew, Isabel and Emma’s new project! The 7″ single on Shelflife sounds fantastic! German’s The Soulboy Collective is also rather a surprise, it’s not the kind of sound I thought team Indietracks loved. But then, I really liked their album on Firestation Records, so this is one not to be missed. The Understudies are also on my “bands to watch” this year. Also I need to grab all of their releases. Seems I’m missing some. Shame on me.

Camera Obscura, The Pastels, Still Corners, all of them I will watch. I’ve seen them all before, and I’d say I liked Camera Obscure a lot in Berlin. That was quite a show and I’ve been meaning for a couple of weeks now to frame the huge poster that Andy ripped from the wall for me. Thing is, A1 posters are not standard size in this country. So I need to look into some custom framing here. Sucks. I’m thinking of bringing a frame from the UK though now. Wonder how easy will that be. Does it fit in a big bag? If it does that would be the best solution!

I’m very curious about Finnmark! More because their principles, their love for Sweden. Music-wise I hope to be surprised.  But they do represent everything that is great about indiepop I think. Big Wave. I ordered their 7″ some weeks ago. Still waiting! Then The French Defence, Lardpony and Nalda. Three bands that I originally scheduled for the 3″ singles series. Sadly it never happened. Glad that they are back though, I look forward to their sets.

So pretty busy already, huh? It should be a good one indeed. This year I’m probably going by myself. First time without the crazy Christin and Emelie’s, first time without the quiet As of my life. That might change my mood a bit perhaps when I’m there. But who knows. I don’t dislike traveling alone. And it’s been a while now since all of these things happened. I feel it will be more like 2011, where as Jennifer said to me, “I was all over the place”. Hoping then that I see many familiar faces, all the people that make this festival the best around.

Probably I’ll blog about the festival a week or two before with my planned schedule for the whole thing, the clashes, the decisions to be made. The DJs (once again I wish I played some records there! maybe the next one?), the food, and the latest announcements. I’m very happy to go there again!

One question though for all of you. Should I bring some Cloudberry records to sell? If so how many? Last year I didn’t bring any because I wanted to spend a lot of time with my then girl as I didn’t get to see her too often. But this year I’m all for spreading the word and the love for the label. Previous years I’ve brought around 50 7″s. And always they sold out. Especially the latest releases. Maybe something like that this year too? Maybe 60 or so? Let me know if anyone is interested in anything in particular too so I can bring that and everyone can save on the crazy US postage prices.

PS. Can I ask for the Felt Tips to play Indietracks? I want to listen to their new album live!


After this ‘short’ Indietracks review of mine, let’s move into another obscure band I’ve been trying to track for years now after seeing their name listed on the Twee.net Future Leamington Spa bands page: A Tune A Day. What a good name I thought. Though perhaps these days with the internet a lot of people listen and discover more than a good tune every day. Though a tune a day, the idea of it, the principle of it, is just perfect. For example I have this thing myself of a 7″ a day. That way I force myself, at least when in town, to listen to one of the 7″s in my collection.

I would have thought that the band was from Clapham in London because their label name was The Clapham Omnibus, but the address listed on the back of the sleeve of their sole 7″ is closer to Tooting or Balham. But perhaps there was a bus that ran (or still runs?) from their place in Hillbury Road all the way to Clapham. Perhaps a bigger clue would be the catalog number of their 7″, ‘FARE 37’. Perhaps that was the bus number? Maybe someone familiar with the area could tell me. I’ve never been to Clapham myself in any of the visits I’ve done to London. Perhaps the Brockley is the place I’ve been the south-est in in London. From what I gather Clapham is mostly known for:
its extensive 220 acre green space Clapham Common, which features three ponds and is overlooked by large Georgian and Victorian mansions, and the village-like atmosphere of its historic Old Town. And also for being home of Holy Trinity Clapham the Georgian Church on Clapham Common, from where The Clapham Sect led by William Wilberforce and a group of upper class evangelical Christians campaigned for the abolition of the slave trade in the 19th century.

The name of Clapham is thought to derive from the Old English clopp(a) + hām or hamm, meaning Homestead/enclosure near a hill.

And Omnibus –  1829, “four-wheeled public vehicle with seats for passengers,” from French (voiture) omnibus “(carriage) for all, common (conveyance),” from Latin omnibus “for all,” dative plural of omnis “all” (see omni-). Introduced by Jacques Lafitte in Paris in 1819 or ’20, in London from 1829. In reference to legislation, the word is recorded from 1842. Meaning “man or boy who assists a waiter at a restaurant” is attested from 1888 (cf. busboy). As an adjective in English from 1842.

The one 7″ A Tune a Day released had two songs, one on each side. On the A side “I Am Going Home” which I remember listening long time ago on one of the compilations Jessel used to put online on Myspace. I can’t remember right now how the song goes, though I remember liking it. The B side is “I’m Not Going To Get Out Of Bed In The Morning” and I found it on the From a Norther Place blog. And of course, it is a nice guitar pop tune, classic indiepop sound from the late 80s.

And it did came out very late in the 80s. The 7″ was released in 1989. It was recorded and mixed by Lance Philips. Other credits include the cover photo by Jane Skinner and design by Sharon Sutcliffe. The front cover is indeed a photo of who I would guess is the vocalist of the band. Couldn’t say where was the photo taken. I could guess Brighton Pier, but most probably not. It looks less glamorous, though I don’t know how it looked in the late 80s. Also I assume there are more piers like this in the UK.

No band members listed. The only other credit appears on the labels of the 7″. Both songs are credited to I. Bain. A safe guess, as there are not many names starting with I is that he was an Ian or an Iain. And yes! Thanks to that I stumbled to a blog post by the essential Fire Escape Talking. How are thing all connected in this world, it seems Iain Bain before A Tune a Day had a band with Martin Cotter who I interviewed some years ago about the great Wee Cherubs!

So Bain was in a band called Radio Ghosts before A Tune A Day. With this band they released an EP called “Say Hello To The World of Love EP!!” which I just found on Discogs for a good price. There are more copies there if you are wondering. Hopefully when it arrives I can maybe do a blog post about it. On one of the listings it says they sound a bit like The Times! Curious to hear! Also the lead song of this EP, “My Room” was included on the Messthetics #105 release. I’ve been meaning to buy the Messthetics releases and I still haven’t. Shame on me. Hopefully I get around to it soon. It has to be done, especially as they include booklets with great information.

And this is where I hit a dead end. So Iain moved from Scotland to England. Then he put out this record. I wonder what he did after. Also what he did before it, in between Radio Ghosts and A Tune a Day. Maybe more great guitar pop? Anyone knows? And does anyone happen to have an mp3 to refresh my memory on how “I am going home” sounds like? Or maybe a spare copy of the single that I could buy or trade? I’d love to have it! Does anyone out there remember them? Did they play any gigs? Did they have more songs? I’m curious to know!


A Tune A Day – Im Not Going To Get Out Of Bed In The Morning