Almost done with the year. Happy to have released some great records this year, The Seashells, Stephen’s Shore and The Suncharms. For next year we have already in the pipeline Pale Spectres, Some Other Day, My Light Shines For You and Royal Landscaping Society. And hopefully more surprises! Would love to release a new fanzine definitely and I really want to get the Leamington Spa Series back to live, would have to talk to the Firestation guys, see if they wanna do it jointly. That would be a winning idea.
Still no news from New York Popfest, will it happen next year? That’s the big question for me. Also waiting for Indietracks to come up with their first announcements.
What about the Twee.net year end poll? Will it happen this year? Last year I think Peter forgot to close it and give the results. I think there were only a few people who voted, so maybe it wasn’t really interesting.
What else is new in indiepop? I think there was something going in the UK last weekend as everyone and their mothers were there. It must be something I’m not a fan of, but I hope they had fun.
Time perhaps to check Bandcamp see what is new? Maybe there are some cool new bands? It’s been a while…
I find first this chamber pop band (or is it a solo project?) called The Rowan. They hail from Glasgow and seems these 5 songs had been recorded over a span of 20 years, the oldest song being from 1995 and the newest from 2001.
Favourites of this blog, The BV’s, have a new release “Runaway Neon EP“. There are 7 songs on this tape, but only one is streaming on Bandcamp. I think I kind of arrived late as one of the editions of this tape is already sold out. There’s another edition, the regular one, still available. Shame I’m no fan of tapes, if not I’d be ordering this right away. Why don’t people release CD-Rs? Cheaper and easier to listen to. And to rip to MP3s too if needed. Bring back CD-Rs!
The Haywains have a Christmas single part of the Snowflakes Christmas Singles Club. The songs included are “Who Needs Summer?” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. I haven’t got round getting the singles from this club since The Garlands, but this year they have The Haywains and The Manhattan Love Suicides, so it seems like I need to place an order before it is too late.
The Argentinean band Las Ligas Menores, a band whose first album I have raved before on the blog, have 3 songs on Bandcamp as teasers for their second album to be released in 2017. The songs being “Ni Una Canción”, “Mis Amigos” and “Fotos”.
And for sure, do not miss the wonderful online only compilation by Soda Fountain Rag titled “The Lost Levels“. It includes tracks that once were released here, on Cloudberry, and also from other various labels. It has made me so happy to listen to all these tracks after such a long time. Classic indiepop from the mid 00s. Now, will Soda Fountain Rag release new stuff? I hope so!! Definitely one of the best pop bands ever to come out from Bergen (and Norway of course!).
So I’ve been writing a lot of interview questions for interviews that hopefully will be published on the blog. You know, it all depends if the bands actually answer them!
So had been going through the booklets of Leamington Spa compilations, just to get some information on what to ask bands, and while I do so, sometimes I do play the whole CD. Why not? It’s been a while since I listen to them and I keep rediscovering gems, obscure bands whose records I don’t have and who I want more information from.
That was the case of Bounce the Mouse today. What is happy news though is that I went to Discogs and found both their releases for cheap. That is a win-win situation. The only thing is that I preferred buying their second release on 7″ format instead of 12″, I’m more of a singles person, but then I will be missing one song, the last from the 12”!!
When reading the Leamington Spa volume 3 booklet, where they appear with the song “Will You Ever Say” I find:
“Were formed in 1987 by Jonny Hankins, Adam Black, Steve Kenny and Tom Armitage. In 1988 during a gig at the Boardwalk we met Chris Nagle and he urges us to record “Will You Ever Say” and release it on our own label. This we did. Unfortunately Red Rhino distribution went bankrupt and distribution was interrupted. The single was recorded at Strawberry Studios in Stockport and the management there asked us to record a second single as the first release on their new label. This we did again with Nagel and in May 1989 the second single “Like Lorraine” was released. An extensive tour followed including 6 shows with The Levellers, 4 with The Family Cat and several with Cud.
We toured again in September and received interest from EG Records and Island who paid for demos to be recorded with Clive Martin. Eventually due to this interest we changed the name of the band to Sinister Groove, recorded a single with Clive Martin which was released on Bad Girl Records (home of The Family Cat) and toured again with the above mentioned bands and the New Fads, Carter etc. We also recorded a cover of “Monday Monday” by The Mamas and The Papas for a compilation album of music from 1966 under the name “The Luddi Hell Death Squad”. In 1992 we split the band. Jonny Hankins went on to form “Dumb” making 1 albums and several singles and a John Peel Session. He now lives in Italy and plays in a blues band called “Bluesberry Jam”. The others left the music business.”
Let’s leave the questions from the liner notes on a side for a moment, and check out what Discogs lists for Bounce The Mouse. The first release is indeed “Will You Ever Say?” released on Moustrap Records (BTM 01). Self-released in 1988 it included three tracks, on the A side “Will You Ever Say?” and “Coventry” and “Wicked Stepladder” on the B side. A mouse illustration on the front cover.
The next year, 1989, “Like Lorraine” was released on both 12″ and 7″ format. The 12″ included “Like Lorraine”, “Sugar Hate Spice” and “The Man Won’t Listen”. The 7″ included only the first two songs. This release came out on Big Round Records (Big R 102). This same label released a bunch of records by the Milltown Brothers. We also know from the credits that the artwork for this single was done by Martin Kay, the photography by A.J. Wilkinson and the “style and cut” by Andrew Berry.
Questions arise. Where does the name of the band comes from? And were they based in Manchester or on another town nearby?
I find on the Manchester District Music Archive an advert from The Green Room where there’s a Bounce The Mouse gig f0r Wednesday 7pm 1988. They were going to be supported by Mysterious Fifth Member and Big Wednesday.
Then another flyer for June 24 1988 were they play at The International 1 along The Waltones. Then another artifact from the Uptown Music paper from November 1988 where there are to play at the International 1 on November 30th of 1988 with Willum Wozzum Bullum Buzzum and Knowing Irene.
Also on this site we know that the band was featured on the Rip it Up #1 fanzine along the likes of The Siddeleys, The Man From Delmonte, The Brilliant Corners and more.
I think I figure out where their name comes from. It seems to come from the Ringo Starr album “Scouse the Mouse”, in it Adam Faith interprets “Bounce the Mouse”. This is what Wikipedia has to say:
Starr appears as the album’s main character, Scouse the Mouse, who emigrates from Liverpool to the United States. Scouse is a word for things from Liverpool. Other characters are played by Adam Faith (“Bonce the Mouse”) and Barbara Dickson (“Molly Jolly”). The album was written and directed by Donald Pleasence. Most of the songs performed on the album were composed by Roger Brown.
About Sinister Groove I don’t know much, have never heard their music. Maybe someone can help me with that? There’s the 12″ released on Bad Girl with 4 songs and that’s about it. I wonder if they sound just the same as Bounce the Mouse?
And what about Dumb, the last band Jonny Hankins was involved in? Discogs lists two albums and 3 singles. I’m not familiar with their music, so perhaps I should check them out. Where to start?
And that’s really all I could find about this obscure Manchester area band. Now I await for the 2 records I just bought. I hope the other songs sound as good as “Will You Ever Say?”.
Do you remember them? Any anecdotes you could share?