Thanks so much to Patrik Jäder for the interview! The Mary-Go-Round hailed from Luleå, in the north of Sweden. They released just one 7″ on A West Side Fabrication in 1990 and appeared in a handful of compilations. For me they are one of the best bands ever to come from Sweden just on the strength of the few songs that were released. I love them! The perfect mix of jangly guitars and girl/boy vocals. I was very happy to finally get in touch with one of the members of the band and here are his answers to many of the questions I’ve always wondered about!

++ Hi Patrik! Thanks so much for getting back to me and for being up for this interview. The Mary-Go-Round 7″ is one of my most precious records in my collection.  Love it! I think it’s one of the best ever to come out from Sweden, if not the world of indiepop! It’s really an honour. So let’s talk about music! When was the last time you picked up your bass?

I picked up my bass today. I’m working at a school and we have a band here with the teachers. We’re playing music for and with kids (6-10 years old).

++ And what are your first music memories? Were you always into playing bass? How was growing up in Luleå?

My first music memories are at home with my parents. My dad listened to a lot of jazz music and used to play saxophone at home. My first vinyl record was “Love Gun” by Kiss. I was playing guitar at first, but changed to bass when me and some friends started a band called Pornografi (after the album Pornography with The Cure).

Growing up in Luleå was fun and there were a lot of friends who started bands. I joined my first band when I was thirteen, it was a punk band.

++ Was Mary-Go-Round your first band or you had already been playing with other bands before?

Mary-Go-Round wasn’t my first band, I played in Joon Erektion, Pornografi and Action Comics before I joined MGR.

++ Who were Mary-Go-Round and how did you all meet?

MGR was formed in Luleå by a couple of friends who loved pop music. I wasn’t with them from the start, I joined later when the bass player traveled to Thailand. They needed a bass player and I took the job.

++ Tell me a bit more about Luleå, like did any good bands go play there? Or were there any other good bands in town? What were the places you’d usually hang out at? Or the venues were you went and check bands out? Has it changed a lot?

When we played with MGR there weren’t any bands who played the music we liked or played in Luleå. The music scene was kind of boring at that time. But that’s changed a lot. Now we have a big “Culture House” where at lot of big bands/artists  play (Billy Bragg, Lloyd Cole, Soundtrack of Our Lives). There’s also a great punk scene in town where a lot of bands are playing.

++ Where does the name of the band come from?

The name MGR came from Merry-Go-Round. But that name was picked, so they changed it to Mary-Go-Round when they started the band.

++ Was it always the first option to make music in English? Who were your influences at the time?

They were singing in English when I joined the band and we never spoke about changing it. We were influenced by The Smiths, The Go-Betweens, Prefab Sprout, Beach Boys, Beatles, Field Mice, The Chills, June Brides, Close Lobsters, Robyn Hitchcock. There was a scene in England called “Anorak Pop” which we liked.

++ You were telling me that you recorded two demos before the EP. Do you remember anything about them? Like what songs were in them? What year were they released? How many copies were made?

The two demos we did were recorded on a four track recorder at our rehearsal place in Luleå. I don’t remember all the songs on them, but there were “Caught you Crying” and “Our She Been”. I don’t remember when we recorded them. We didn’t make a lot of copies and we sent them to some record companies to get a record deal.

++ Your EP was recorded at Basic Music, how was the experience working there with Johan Nilsson?

Johan Nilsson was a great guy and we recorded the EP at his house in Skellefteå. He had a studio in the house and we spent two days there.

++ I guess for me the biggest mystery of the Mary-Go-Round EP is the cover. I always wondered who is the woman on the motorcycle, is she someone you knew?

The woman on the cover is my mother. We wanted a cover which showed how we sounded, so that picture was great to have for the cover. But my mother was embarrassed.

++ Three songs were included in the EP, “Fill My Head”, “Fish Bowl” and “Noble Art”. Any chance that you could tell me the story behind each of the songs, in a line or two?

I don’t really remember the story behind the songs on the record, but Nils Johansson (the guitar player) wrote them. Noble Art was kind of tricky to get well in the studio.

++ The EP was released by A West Side Fabrication in 1990. How did you end up signing with them for this release? And how was your experience with them?

We met Jocke Wallström in Luleå when we played there with two bands from Skellefteå. Jocke liked us and wanted to put out a record with us on A West Side Fabrication. Jocke was great and we could record what we wanted.

++ And how come there was no other release by the Mary-Go-Round afterwards?

We split because there were other things in life that were more important (education, work, moving to another town).

++ There were some appearances in compilations though, I guess the most well known one is your contribution of the song “Into the Morgue” to the tape “Grimsby Fishmarket 4 – Norrköping 0”. Do you remember how did you end up in it?

Nils was listening to a lot of great pop bands and got to know Markus who had a fanzine called The Grimsby Fishmarket. He wanted a song for the tape and it was “Into the Morgue”.

++ On Discogs, there are a couple of songs listed that I’ve never heard that appeared on compilations. There was “Mary-Go-Round” that appeared on “A Major Statement” LP compilation in 1988 and “A Simple Sensation” that appeared on the tape “Second Half” in 1994. One is perhaps from your very early days and the other one from the very last days, is that right?

I wasn’t in the band when “A Major Statement” was recorded. I joined later. And I don’t remember the song A Simple Sensation.

++ I noticed that you liked collaborating with fanzines. How was the fanzine culture back in the late 80s, early 90s in Sweden? Were you into that?

The fanzine culture was kind of small, but there was Sound Affects and Base One. We had our demos reviewed in both.

++ And how was the attention of the media towards your band? Was there any interest from press or radio at all?

The media attention was very small. I think we did two interviews – one for a local radio station and one for the fanzine Sound Affects.

++ What about gigs? Did you play many? 

I don’t remember exactly how many gigs we did, but there could have been about twenty.

++ If you were to think of the biggest highlight for the Mary-Go-Round, what would that be?

The biggest highlight was when we got a record deal.

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

I quit playing when we split and didn’t play bass for about ten years. But I started playing again in 2000 with Mattias Alkberg (the singer from The Bear Quartet). We started as a trio, but then Nils joined us. We recorded an album called Tunaskolan in 2004. I have contact with Nils, but not with the others. I’m not playing in a band now except the teacher band.

++ These days, are you still in touch? Have there ever been talks about a reunion at all?

We haven’t talked about a reunion. I’m pretty sure that we won’t do that.

++ Aside from music, what other hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing?

I’m much into sports. A great fan of football/soccer.

++ I always like asking these sort of questions, I’ve been to Sweden and love your country, but never been up north to Luleå, was wondering if you were to give some tips for the tourist in me? What are the sights you can’t miss?

If you come to Luleå, you must visit Kyrkbyn (The Church Village).

++ And what is the traditional food and drink from your city? And what’s your football team?

The traditional food here are a thing called Palt. My favourite football team are Tottenham Hotspurs. I’m a big fan of them.

++ Thanks a lot for the interview, it’s been an honour as I said, anything else you’d like to add?

Hope you enjoy the answers. It’s great to hear that you like what we did!


Mary-Go-Round – Fish Bowl


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do any of you remember them?


The English McCoy – Give Me Something to Believe In


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Greenfield Leisure – Leisure


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dance Stance – The Other Side of Paradise


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyone remember them?


Papas New Faith – This House