BALANCE: Middle English (sense 3 of the noun): from Old French balance (noun), balancer (verb), based on late Latin (libra) bilanx ‘(balance) having two scalepans,’ from bi- ‘twice, having two’ + lanx ‘scalepan.’
Finally! The Lost Tapes 7″s arrived. I start shipping them tomorrow to everyone that pre-ordered. Also finally The Rileys CDs are being pressed. On top of it all it seems we’ll be putting new recordings by a Bristol 80s band and a retrospective by a 90s New York band. Seems like busy months ahead as we have New York Popfest as a deadline. It’s like running the 100m race right now. It’s exciting and thrilling but at the same time we need to deliver a big effort to get there!
Last week I decided to review Alpaca Sports new album and thus some people didn’t get their obscure music fix. It’s interesting from the feedback I get that there’s people that only care for the label and don’t really mind the blog, and there are people that just like reading the blog and wouldn’t give a dollar to support the label. I think it’s only a few who care for both things. And this keeps me thinking. I mean, the Cloudberry Cake Kitchen releases are an extension of the blog, right? At least for me that’s very clear.
This is the coldest winter I’ve experienced yet. It’s always freezing and one feels less motivated to go out. There are not many gigs going on either. Indiepop follows the same course, unmotivated there are barely news to get us all excited. New York Popfest and Indietracks keep quiet. No announcements yet. Primavera Sounds kind of breaks the monotony with the return of Slowdive and the very odd booking of my beloved Helen Love. Who would have thought of Helen Love putting the hipsters to dance.
I receive a bunch of emails by obsessive fans. It’s a bit farfetched what I get to read. I’m doubtful. I don’t understand what’s going on. Someone on facebook decides to call me a douche. Someone that has systematically been adding all my girlfriends in there. It doesn’t add up. But some people have no shame about anything. Days pass and these little events make me smile and enjoy them. Outside it gets dark pretty early, you have to understand.
There’s so many new albums I’ve bought this year. I’m having piles of CDs to listen. I feel again that I will never catch up. Last time I had a pile this big was around Indietracks time and it took me 6 months to listen to all of them. I’m pretty slow though that doesn’t stop me from buying more music. Must be an addiction.
I’m terribly sad about a Swedish band I used to love. I don’t feel the same love for them, sometimes friendship doesn’t last forever. Friends that start having other priorities. But aside my personal feelings, speaking strictly about their music and the band, it may sound harsh, but I feel it was already time to break up. But they’ve decided to continue with some replacements for old members that I’m sure won’t add much. Some big egos at play. I may be mistaken of course, but I trust my intuition. And it only makes me sad as they were one of the most talented bands I’ve ever encountered.
Anyways, I can’t be gossiping forever (though I love doing it, you can always find me for a chat sometime). Let’s move to this obscure English band called Balance.
No clue who were Balance. The first time I heard about them was on Youtube. Their song “Russian Train” was uploaded there by Cino Pacino who runs a blog that is worth visiting. Not surprising on the little description of the song he gives credit to another blog, From a Northern Place, saying he got the song from there.
This record came out as both a 7″ and a 12″. Both are catalog Siren 039. On the 7″ we find “Russian Train” on the A side and “River Ghosts” on the B side. On the 12″ we find these two songs as the A side while on the flipside we get “Lines and Squares”. Discogs lists the record as “Europop”. Could be. Definitely not your classic indiepop sounding record, but it has the vibe, the melodies, and the vocals. For me it has an indiepop attitude if that makes any sense.
The record was released in 1987 and as far as I know it’s the only thing the band ever released. It was released by Siren Records who used to have pretty good distribution through Virgin. On this label we can find the likes of It’s Immaterial, Bryan Ferry and even Paula Abdul. No wonder no one remembers the label, too eclectic.
I like that on the labels of the record it says, “An Essent!al Tran-siberian Release”. Perhaps a joke, but sounds cool and mysterious.
The sleeve of the record looks like a lot of photographs of the band. Actually to me it looks like stills from a promo video. Was there ever a video released for this song? Does anyone know? From those photos it looks like a duo, a boy and a girl. There’s just one name mentioned on the labels and that is of Gene Vincent. He gets the credits for the songs.
On the back sleeve there are credits for the sleeve concept (Mckellodell Productions) and sleeve design (Shoot That Tiger!). There are thanks to Steve Biancardo, Chucho Merchan, Buzz, Kick Horns and Dave Foster. None of the name ring a bell to me. Just I know that Chucho is a nickname for those with the name Jesús. There’s an address for information and contact, and it’s in Northwest London. Most possibly the band was from London then.
And that’s as much as I could gather from this band. I still don’t own a record, though it doesn’t look that pricey. Siren was kind of a big label so I’m guessing they pressed many copies. I should get around to buy the record soon. The songs are nice, all of them, very elegant, reminding perhaps to Two People, Lotus Eaters or early 80s pop like Big Outdoor Type. Easier to fit them in that neo-aco tag the Japanese know pretty well.
If anyone has any more information, of course, share!
Balance – Russian Train