Hello Popkids! Another week, and just a month away for NYC Popfest!

What should we cover on the blog this week aside from our obscure band? As I was saying last week, there’s this horror feeling that I’ve been out of the loop for the past month when it comes to indiepop! Maybe some of you have ideas of interesting topics to analyze or cover? If so, would love to hear from you.

On Cloudberry news I can now tell you that today I mailed the Fibi Frap master to the pressing plant. So, hopefully it will be released within a month. After that I will release a new 7″ by a band between Europe and North America. Between Glasgow and Buffalo, NY. Who are they? Well, the are called The Color Waves. And this is their Facebook page.

I won’t give away yet all the surprises that we have in store but I can tell you that the songs on the record are called “Chirology” and “Rose”. Both of them are lush and beautiful and at the moment they are being mixed by Cristóbal from The Royal Landscaping Society. The artwork was done by the great French illustrator Catherine Cordasco. In the next few weeks we’ll update the website with information about the record and pre-order buttons. I think for everyone that loves the sounds of Harper Lee, Brighter, The Marine Time Keepers and even The Royal Landscaping Society, this record would be just up your alley. This is for the classy, elegant and nostalgic popkids like you!

The other project we have started working on the past month is the next Cloudberry Cake Kitchen release. We are at the moment gathering photos and flyers for it. The songs will be mastered pretty soon too. Who is this mysterious band? Well, can’t say much right now, but it’s a band that’s been interviewed in the blog before. And it’s from the UK! As I said, all these surprises, all these secret projects I’m working on, I’ll be letting everyone know in the next weeks and months. I think all in all there will be a bunch of great releases this year. I’m very proud of what Cloudberry is doing this 2015 and it’s all really thanks to all of you, because of your support by buying our records!


Typhoon Saturday. I first heard about them on the Shelflife blog many years ago. The other day at work, for some reason, I remembered them. I showed them to a friend after he asked me about bands from that period. I do own two of their three 7″s but it’s been a while since I played them.

I think of all of them, the song that Ed posted, “What Do I Do?”, is my favourite. It’s such a great burst of pop. So catchy and so clever with it’s boy-girl vocals. But what happened to them? Well, actually there’s a lot of interesting information online!

First stop is the Shelflife blog obviously. What does Ed tells us?
I don’t know much about Sheffield’s Typhoon Saturday, but I love this track! They seemed to release just three 7″ singles and then broke up. Members like drummer Anthony “Tich” Critchlow went on to form Living in a Box (remember them?) and guitarist Nick Robinson went on to most notably They Must be Russians, Comsat Angels, and a bunch of solo projects (he’s also a practitioner of origami according to wikipedia).

Of course this story has a Liverpool connection… This single was produced by Steve Lindsay (bassist in Deaf School, Big in Japan (for 4 months), The Planets, etc.). I read that Typhoon Saturday pretty much hated his production of the song, but the label, Polydor, and their manager didn’t give them any other option but to release it as is. Yeah, it is a bit 80s “over produced,” but I still think it’s great.

Cool thing is there’s a comment on this same post by Nick Robinson. He says that the demos they made in Sheffield had so much power, which were lost on the official release.

Then we check their discography:
What Do I Do / Fascination – 1982 – Polydor POSP413
Another Flight / Let’s All Dance – 1982 – Polydor POSP442
I have Love / Social Insecurity – 1982 – Polydor POSP501

Not much to say about these records aside that it would be a good idea for you to get them! I’m missing “Another Flight”, maybe I should try to get it this week! Also something to mention is the artwork. I really like it. It’s pretty simple, kind of pop art, always with a smart color palette. Umbrellas, drinks and a paper plane illustrate the covers.

Next up there’s Nick Robinson’s blog. I hope he doesn’t mind if I reproduce some of his comments about his records. About “What Do I Do?” he says:
Yes, my first proper crack at pop stardom. Recorded at the Producers Workshop, London in ’82, produced by Steve Lindsay (who had his own failed career with The Planets”). I remember the toilet in the studio had “Captain Beakey” wallpaper, since that classic was recorded there. Needless to say, we merrily defaced as we sat there.
The recording process itself was a huge disappointment, since Lindsey exercised his control and we were told to basically “shut up and do as we’re told”, by our manager Frank Silver. The end result was 500 miles away from the exciting demo we’d cut in good old Alan & Oz’ Input Studios (long since demolished) back home in Sheffield, being limp-wristed and light-weight.
It got plenty of airplay on local radio and a full page advert in Melody Maker, then promptly stiffed. The B side was much closer to my musical sensibilities, being darker and swathed in echoed guitar. We recorded the follow-up single “Another Fight” at the same sessions.

About “Another Flight” he also has something to say:
Recorded at the same time as our first single, this too suffered from appalling production. So much so, we decided to call in singer Elaine’s boyfriend Kevin Bacon from the Comsat Angels to record and produce a completely new version at Fairview Studios just outside Hull. We thought our version was clearly superior, but the manager, smiled, agreed then released the shite version. We should have noted his intent when he told us he made more money from his car park than from his bands.
I’d worked out a nice double tracked melody for the solo, but the producer thought otherwise and moved it to lie underneath the last verse. Arse! To achieve a thunderous percussive sound on the B side, he had our drummer sat down slapping his thighs. It got a couple of good reviews, then died the death. As the immortal Les so succinctly put it, “Shit business, this”.

And about their last record, “I Have Love”:
This was our final incarnation, with Tich Critchlow on drums. He moved on to form Living In A Box and showed us all how to make money…
The recording sessions of my last 45 with this band covered the full range from ecstatic to miserable. We were sent first to Chipping Norton studios, to lay down the backing tracks. As it turned out, the cordon bleu cook, the barrels of Hook Norton beer and the racks of porn videos in our individual cottages took their toll. After the allotted week, we’d got the drums recorded and that was all. We’d also jammed to the B side song in order to get the drum tracks for that.
On to Britannia Row to add the rest of the tracks. Took on and lost a game of snooker with Nick Mason (Floydian co-owner of the studio) Producer Carey Taylor (who went on to work with KD Lang, George Harrison & others – he’s now a millionaire) was a bohemian type who had the idea of turning us into a smart, funky outfit, so out went the distorted guitars I loved so much, in came Nile Rodgers styles. A highlight was the hiring of Raf “Baker Street” Ravenscroft to do some brass stabs and a solo (“this song doesn’t suit a guitar solo Nick”). I also laid down some piano, before succumbing to a nasty virus & heading home whilst the others sat in on the mixing.
So, I get my cassette through the post and Lo! the piano parts had been redone by the guy from Darts. The B side, which we’d all forgotten about, was all beautifully produced drums, with us banging away over the top of it, thinking we were doing guide instruments for overdubbing later. Come the guitar solo, instead of the awesome noise-fest I’d planned, there was… nothing, just strumming away on rhythm. Jeez. They’d also vari-speeded it up a semi-tone, rendering Elaine’s vocals a tad more Mickey Mouse than we cared for. It bombed.
Shortly afterwards, I was relieved of my duties in the band, the best reason they could come up with was the width of my lapels, which clearly indicated I was out of touch. I should have quit long before it came to this, but you should try walking out on a band with a Polydor deal. They recorded a 4th single, pre-announced in the local paper as “having NO guitar anywhere!” but Polydor saw sense, pulled the plug and it was never released. Tragedy.

And that’s quite a lot isn’t it? Usually we don’t find much more about these cool obscure bands in general. But still there are many questions to be answered. For example, what about those demos Nick mentions on Ed’s blog? Were they lost? I would love to hearing them. Or what about the 4th single they recorded? Are there any other recordings? And then of course would be great to hear if they played many gigs, or how was their relationship with Polydor? And so on! Do any of you remember them?


Typhoon Saturday – What Do I Do?


I’m terribly jetlagged as I write this. But hey, I feel the blog and the site needed an update as soon as I was back in NYC.

Sadly during this time that I was on vacation the podcast wasn’t posted. I was talking earlier today with Toni and because his responsibilities with school he hadn’t had the chance to finish putting together the show. I hope it will be ready this weekend though and I’ll let you know possibly through Facebook or on next week’s blog post. Immediately after posting the podcast I’ll start recording the May episode. May is just around the corner and with it comes Popfest too. So should be pretty busy and exciting as well this coming month.

First thing I’ve done as I arrived was getting in touch with the pressing plant so I could get the Fibi Frap CDs pressed. So I’m on that, don’t you worry. There’s been some pre-orders during the time I’ve been away. I’m very thankful to those who placed them. Looking forward for more of them in the coming weeks. I think the CD should be ready by the end of May or early June as the latest. I really hope I can bring some copies to sell at Popfest.

As many of you know I went on vacations to China. It was my first time in Asia too. I had a blast. It was much better than I expected. From the Great Wall to the Terra Cotta Warrios, to the Temple of Heaven to the Longmen Grottoes. They were two of the most productive weeks I’ve done when it comes to be a tourist, I went all over, tried all the foods, and visited as many places as possible. I’m exhausted really.

I was also pretty much out of touch of indiepop, though I feel I saw a video on a bus of a Chinese girl covering a Saint Etienne song, though I may have just imagined that. So now it’s time for me to catch up as well. But today I want to go over an obscure band, to keep the tradition going, and next week perhaps do a review of up and coming bands. Sounds good? If so, let’s move on.


Well, I chose to dig some info about the Irish band Shocking Stockings mostly because they wrote a song called “Red China” and I thought, how proper, it goes pretty well with my last few weeks.

We need to rewind the clock many years. All the way to 1980. To the days when indiepop wasn’t a thing. To the days when indiepop was starting to brew. If you are familiar with bands like Scissor Fits, Girls at Our Best, The Mo-Dettes, The Gymslips, The Chefs, etc, etc. The Shocking Stockings will be up your alley. There’s that punkie attitude and there’s the naiveté too. It’s pretty good indeed!

So one release only. In 1980 on the Carrere label (CAR 147). A 45 with two songs, “Red China” and “You Move the Movement” on the B side. Both songs credited to Niall MacMahon and both produced by Phil Chevron. The A side was remixed by Peter Hinton. You can listen to the B side here.

In 2010, Niall macMahon, the leader of the band uploaded a video of him playing “Red China” that year. You can check that here.

The Irish Rock site has a lot of info about the band. It’s a good resource definitely starting by the band members:
Bree MacMahon – vocals
Niall MacMahon – guitars, vocals
Dave Bourke – bass guitar
Terry O’Sullivan – drums

There’s a bio:
Niall MacMahon was in various obscure outfits with names like Spike, Niall-on & the Shocking Stockings, Gott, The Maidavaleables and Brute Force & The Ignorance.

Shocking Stockings (originally Niall-on & the Shocking Stockings) were a post-punk new-wave band with an ironic repertoire of pastiches that ran from Reggae through Funk and Disco to Rock, with humorous political and/or social commentary lyrics.They released a single on Carrere Records and recorded an LP titled ‘Nylon’ which was never released (details taken from Hot Press vol.4 nr.2, June 1980).

“Tragi-comic vocals (Beefheart meets Chadbourne meets Dennis of Dr Hook and goes for a stroll around Stephens
Green, Dublin) and clever poignant moving lyrics”–NME

Niall released a solo album in 1988. Folk Roots described it thusly: “He starts off by plundering Ennio Morricone, dips boldly into the eccentric world or reggae folk hero Lee Perry, mercilessly satirises the British ruling class,
and winds up with a veritable masterpiece of bitter-sweetness about Ireland and the lot of the emigré.
Fashionably enough it sounds like a demo (which is occasionally a bit of a shame, especially when you have a song as realistic and movingly unromantic as Don’t Ever Take Me Back Across To Ireland). Plenty of people are doing this now, but this is cheerfully random enough not to sound contrived or self-conscious. The opening track,
El Sid’s, for example, isn’t as funny as you initially imagine it, but is about football hooliganism
draped in the arrangement of a tacky spaghetti western. Then again, Like An Alien has him  sounding like a dead ringer for Warren Zevon.”– Folk Roots Magazine, August 1988.

About that album we know it was released both in LP and tape format and included 7 songs. They were produced by Philip Chevron, Joe Foster and Niall MacMahon. Would it be the same Joe Foster we all know?

A 1997 release is credited as “related”. It’s by the band Lila and the release name was “Damn the Colours”. It was released on MTH Records in the UK. It was an album of Niall’s songs recorded by Lila MacMahon in various 90s dance genres.

Last stop is the website of Mosa Records, a label that seems to do digital releases based in Spain but run by Irish people. On an update dating November 2nd of 2012, they announce the release of the Shocking Stockings album “Nylon” as a digital release. I, of course, have never bought anything from iTunes and don’t plan doing it. This means I won’t be able to listen to the whole songs (you can listen to clips on the site). I would be more than happy to pay the same amount of money or more for a physical release. I wouldn’t mind even if it’s a handmade CD. But Mp3s? Ugh! But anyhow, this release includes, I’m assuming, all their recorded output: “Police Questions”, “She”, “White Eggs”, “Red China”, The Tony”, “Axeman”, Sad Politician”, “You the Movement”, “Hounted House”, “Pose” and “Plastic Rock”.

The 7″ they released seems not too difficult to find according to Discogs. I still haven’t got it, but I plan getting it as fast as nice copy appears online. It doesn’t seem like an expensive record either. Which is good. But what about the rest of the songs? Will they ever be released properly? I would love that. Anyone remembers anything else about this band? Were there more recordings? Any compilation appearances perhaps? Would love to know more!


Shocking Stockings – Red China



Hi! How are you all? This week I have a small post once again. Thing is I have little time in my hands as I’m preparing to go on vacations and I want to finish with all the deadlines I have, run all the errands I need to run and so on. I’m leaving this Friday to China for around two weeks. As some might have noticed on the Cloudberry site, all orders placed after tomorrow won’t be posted until the 24th of April.

The other news on the Cloudberry site is that now you can pre-order the Fibi Frap CD. When I return from China I’ll be sending the masters to the pressing plant. So we are looking for a late May release. I’m very happy about this release. It’s a very obscure Swedish band but I grew very fond of them years ago when I had no clue or had no contact with them. Took me ages to get in touch with the girls.

Fanzine are out and selling fast. People were really excited these days after listening to the magnificent cover of “Red Sleeping Beauty” by The Royal Landscaping Society. Don’t miss this one.

On other news, yesterday I finished recording the April podcast. I hope to post it before I leave, but if Toni can’t have it ready by then, I trust he’ll be able to publish it. Remember in China I won’t have access to Facebook or Gmail. But do send your answers for the clip of the month. I’ll reply when I get back. Promise!

So that’s more or less what’s cooking at Cloudberry HQ. Very excited about traveling. Very excited that NYC Popfest is just around the corner. Excited to get to see friends very soon. It’s all happening. New releases too. Can’t complain!

So no posts from now until I return! Be good in the meantime!


“I Know a Gondola Panda” I read on the Firestation blog years ago. There was a list of recommendations of records to search for. Immediately I googled for them. Google asked, do you mean “I Know a Gondola Punter”? That was it. There was a typo, a funny one definitely, but I had found a new band to look for.

That was many years ago. Since then I tried bidding twice on eBay for their one and only 10″ and both times losing. You know me, I try to avoid paying large sums for records. Right now you could buy it on Discogs sure. But with the shipping costs it will end up costing me around $50. I think I will be cool paying around $30. That’s the max I’ve set. I know, different people have different max prices they are willing to pay. Some people just buy their “definitive” and “important” records, so they allow themselves to pay crazy prices, but then, they don’t buy anything else. I in the other hand love buying new and old records, and many of them. I really want to hear songs I’ve never heard before. It’s an addiction I guess.

Anyhow, as you can expect because this is the obscure section, about this band there’s very little online but let’s try to go over about what we know.

They released their single 10″ in 1988 on Plop Records. Catalog number was 1. Possibly then a self-release. It’s funny that on Discogs it’s listed as shoegaze. Definitely it’s not shoegaze. A comment says:
The original poster galled this a “shoegazing” band. I think that’s a NME89 somesuch title for esoteric jangle pop British genre, which this bad really doesn’t fit. The vocal are hard-core Punk in a northern Brit accent. There a girl doing backgrounds and harmony, but this is bullet-punk that sounds pop.

I wouldn’t call this hardcore myself either. It’s punky sure, and reminds me of a mix of The Haywains and Strawberry Storey. Indiepop would be a better genre if you ask me!

The tracks are:
A1     Yell factor string bleed (was: Mary)
A2     Plectum trash (was: Ich Bin)
B1     dum dum-dum dum dum-twang (was: Dance)
B2     talksingyell (was: Shekan)
B3     The backyard choir (was: Millk Tray Man)

Not sure about that “was”. But seems more people know the songs by the name inside the parenthesis.

We also know that the record included an insert with the lyrics for all the songs. The lyrics are really good. They are so funny and ironic, they kind of remind me of the Spanish band Aerolíneas Federales.

Their EP by the way is titled “OO Bang Jingly Jang”. And the band hailed from Stafford.
Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire, in the West Midlands of England. It lies approximately 16 miles (26 km) north of Wolverhampton, 18 miles (29 km) south of Stoke-on-Trent and 24 miles (39 km) north-west of Birmingham. The population in 2001 was 63,681[1] and that of the wider borough of Stafford 122,000, the fourth largest in the county after Stoke-on-Trent, Tamworth and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

There is a castle in Stafford. I like castles. Maybe I could visit sometime. The Ancient High House in the town centre also looks really cool.

I haven’t had the chance to listen to all the songs included in the record yet, only “Mary”, “Dance” and “Shekan”. Both are top tracks! Maybe someone can help me listen to the rest?

There are some more songs that I have had the chance to listen though, and those are “Building Bridges” and “Up Against the Wall”. You can find these two on a Myspace that the band used to run years ago. I wonder then if there are many more unreleased recordings!

And that’s when I hit a wall. Does anyone remember them? Anyone have a spare copy for me? 🙂 Are there more songs? What happened to the members after the band split? Were they involved with music? Would love to know more about this band. Really like their songs!


I Know a Gondola Punter – Shekan