Other Things To Do

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"Because Midway Still Aren't Coming Back" on Facebook.
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5318008 at gmail.com

Thursday, 20 August 2009


Back to Brighton and Sarah Records again today with Brighter, a lovely little three piece who briefly illuminated the indie scene from 1989 to 1992 with Keris Howard on vocals and guitar, Alex Sharkey on bass and Howard's girlfriend Alison Cousens on keyboard.

For a change the internet knows a lot about the band; an interview on the marvellous Penny Black site with Howard and reveals his musical tastes as the usual Smiths and OMD and shows his thoughts of forming the band - more for the thrill of putting out records than performing live and hated being lumped in with other twee bands (but happy for the massive following that the band inherited); a similar interview on the Mundane Sounds blog; a bit of background from his own blog and lots more background from the also excellent Pop Matters site.

I rather like this twee little offering from their debut EP "Around the world in eighty days", but my big boys book of indie describes the band's output as "mediocre pop tunes" that lacked the "vital sparkle [of] other groups of the time" which seems little harsh; judge for yourselves...

Brighter - Inside Out (right click etc to download

And of course there's full discographies at discogs and tweenet

Tuesday, 11 August 2009


Hello again, want to hear some Katydids? Good, because they're another of those bands that the internet doesn't know much about and nor do I.

We know, probably, that they were about from 1989 to 1991 and released four or five singles and an album or two; we know that they were Susie Hug (vocals) Adam Seymour (guitars), Dan James (guitar), David Hunter (bass) and Shane Young on drums - excellent, another lady singer, doesn't get much better than that! - but to be honest, that's more than even their myspace page knows so we're stabbing in the dark a bit and even the normally infallible discogs has nothing to report.

So, as we're a bit stuck for information, have a listen to this and please let me know if you know anytyhing, they were obviously a cracking indie band who could knock out a catchy tune, but seem to have been dropped from their label for commercial reasons; I guess being 1990/1991 nobody wanted punchy less-than-3-minute jangle and were only interested in grunge. More fool them.

Katydids - Lights Out (Read my Lips) [usual ways to download]

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


Bit of an odd one today with Dart, a band I know very little about, but came up in my digging around because the B side to this single is a cover of an album track by Sarah stalwarts the Field Mice.

The internet doesn't know much about Dart so I thought it would be nice if you lot heard them as well, they're a rather nice swooping indie band from, apparently, San Francisco - making them only the third non-British band I've done on here I think.

So, what do we know? Well, the band contained at the very least three chaps called Rick Stone, Lauren Axelrod and John Stefan (the drummer), they seem to have been active from 1994 to 1995 and released three or four singles and an album on Che Records which is described as

"Just dramatic enough, just artistic enough, Dart created an understated treasure with 36 Cents an Hour, steering clear of most independent music trends in America and the U.K. of the early to mid-'90s to create something that couldn't quite easily be boxed up. Guitar pop? Shoegazing? Strings and piano? Indie rock? All of the above, with often striking results"
by the All music Guide; rather nicely I thought.

A myspace fan page gives a bit more background, but that really seems to be it, so if you know anything, please pop a comment below after having a listen to this:

Dart - Sleepless (right click etc...)

Excitingly the single is on red vinyl and this song contains either the longest false ending I've heard on a song for ages, or it's a very short song twice on one side. It's also a 33rpm 7", which is bound to lead to some Peel-esque wrong speed hilarity; I know it did for me the first time I tried to copy it...

Monday, 27 July 2009

The Man From Del Monte

There are two qestions people often ask me; "who are you favourite 90s band named after a 1980s hat-wearing fruit-based advertising front man?" and "have you got any really scratchy 12 inch singles?". The answer to these questions is The Man From Del Monte and "yes, coincidentally I have a copy of The Man From Del Monte EP right here that's scratched to buggery, want to hear it?". Of course you do, so here it is:

The Man From Del Monte - Australia Fair (right click, save as to download, you know the drill)

The band in question are a great forgotten Manchester four piece; formed around 1987 mand consisting of Mike West on singing and guitar, Martin Vincent on guitar, Sheila Seal on bass and Howard Goody on drums (now, it's probably my mind playing tricks on me, but these names sound awfully familiar, did they go on to other things?) the first bit of excitement I had was discovering that the band were managed by Jon Ronson; yes, that Jon Ronson, him off the telly.

There's a nice little biog here and the usual wikipedia page.

Apart from that, if you can get pass the hissing and popping on the mp3 above you can get some idea of how different TMFDM (as I'm sure the NME would have called them) were from other 1989 Manchester bands. Not for them the ludicrous baggy of the Stone Roses or the shuffling miserableness of bloody Morrissey, no, these were a jolly jangly indie pop band, and one that I'm glad to have been pointed at; this is what we want.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Brilliant Corners

Bit of catching up to do I'm afraid, other things have called, research has been feverish, records have been bought and left in a pile. So, to start let's begin with the backlog and the Brilliant Corners.

Straight out of Bristol, the Brilliant Corners were formed in the early 80s by Davey Woodward (vocals, guitar), Chris Galvin (bass), Winston (can't get more indie than a one-named tambourine man!), Bob Morris (drums) and Dan (occasional keyboards) with the later addition of Phil Elvins on guitar. The band were incredibly active, knocking out single after single, a good half-dozen albums, touring extensively and recording three, yes three!, Peel Sessions

I shan't go on too much, there's an excellent official site and a surprisingly (though with misguided use of a The) good wikipedia page for further reading.

Unfortunately this is yet another post with a sad ending, Chris Galvin died of cancer in 1998.

So, enjoy this rather scratch and distorted offering, promise I'll be more active soon, I've got a couple of belters lined up!

Brilliant Corners - The Pope, The Monkey and The Queen (right click, 'save as...' to download

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Close Lobsters

Close Lobsters 7" anyone? That's handy, because that's exactly what I've got here and we're instantly back in familiar territory with a band that were featured on the legendary C86 tape and were released on the marvellous Fire Records; erstwhile home of Teenage Fanclub, Pulp, Spaceman 3 et al.

So, formed in Scotland by brothers Andy and Bob Burnett (vocals and bass respectively), Tom Donnelly (guitar), Stuart McFadyen (drums) and Graham Wilkington (possibly also bass; two basses! RÖCK!), the band were moderately successful and troubled the indie charts scorers regularly from 1986-1989; they supported such luminaries as the Jesus and Mary Chain (although from a quick look around the internet it seems that pretty much anybody from Scotland who ever picked up a guitar supported JAMC at some point) and latterly had a song covered by The Wedding Present in their 12 singles in a year phase.

Their official site is a Geocities monstrosity, so you'll be lucky to see it (one day I must get around to rescuing all those poor band pages that live on Geocities...) and there's a wiki and myspace page needless to say.

I'll apologise in advance for the terrible quality of this recording, the vinyl was just too battered for even the old tuppence-on-the-arm-trick to work:

("Close Lobsters - Nature Thing", right click, 'Save as...' to download)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


Have I done Gene? I can't remember. This isn't about Gene though, this is about Sp!n the band that Martin Rossiter's band mates were in before they were in Gene. And yes, there really was an exlamation mark in the name. No matter what blogger wants me to do with the title, it's Sp!n, not Spin.

So, before Gene came along, Sp!n were doing their thing. Ok, this is where it gets confusing and I've been informed by a world-leading authority on the band that I got it arse-about-face. So:

Consisting of Lee Clark on singing/guitar and initially Daz Walton on bass, the band were formed in that London in 1988. Soon after, John Mason replaced Walton on bass and Matt Wingley (possibly aka Matt James) took over drumming. Subsequently Steve Mason (John's brother) joined to play geetar. Right, now, now that's in order... By 1991 the band had knocked out a few good EPs and an album when a serious motorway accident left John Mason in a coma and their tour manager and sound man seriously injured. Unable to carry on, the band split and the remaining members went off to form Gene with Mr Rossiter and the rest is history. I don't know what happened to Daz Walton mind you.

There's other speculation and rumour on wikipedia as you'd expect and amuch more in depth history here and here

This track is great, it's got that early 90s wicky-wicky-wicky guitar noise that appeared so often throughout 1989 and 1990, probably because the Stone Roses thought it was a good idea:

Sp!n - Scratches (in the Sand); right click, 'save as...' to download

And there you go, oddly placed punctuation marks, only one bloke away from becoming Gene, a lovely bit of indie guitar, what more can you ask for? Wasn't Martin Rossiter famous for something else? I'm sure he was, I just can't drag that bit of information out of the back of my memory at the moment, I'll come back to it.

Ps, there is a Gene 'Best of' that's worth getting as well.

Monday, 15 June 2009

1000 Violins

Are you lot still here then? Apologies for slow/few updates recently, long story; can I make it up to you with 1000 Violins?

We're going back in time again to the heady days of 1986 with this one. Blimey, 1986, the NME's C86 tape was to become the yard stick against indie was measured, Maradonna did for England with the 'hand of God' goal and I was still in short pants (albeit about to get a sexy French lady form teacher at school) and still probably listening to Huey Lewis and the News...

Anyway, 1000 Violins were brought to my attention when I was sorting out The Dylans at the end of last year; I made a little note in my book and then forgot all about it until the other day. Turns out you see, that Colin Gregory the guitarist of this lot went on to form the Dylans where he knocked out cracking indie pop in the early 90s.

This lot however were around from the mid-80s [with a line up of Darren Swindells on bass, Colin Gregory on guitar, John Wood singing, David Walmsley on keyboards and guitar and Peter Day on drums] until about 1989, released a load of good jangly singles and an album, recorded a couple of Peel Sessions and snuck into the indie charts with this track (andmy what a scratchy chap it is!):

1000 Violins - Please Don't Sandblast My House (right click, 'save as...' to download)

After the band split they fantastically became big in Japan - the ultimate indie dream; however, by that time they had unfortunately lost David Warmsley to cancer in 1992. Another of those sad losses that I've stumbled across doing this nonsense.

You can of course have more in the All Music Guide and wikipedia pages should you wish. Apparently the internet is helping the band gain latter day popularity, so it's nice to be able to help them along in some little way. The 'Best of...' is occasionally available on (Amazon) and is definitely worth hunting down if you can.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

See See Rider

Bit of an odd one this time; it's See See Rider, a band who really would have disappeared without a trace were it not for some of their members. The first thing that you notice when reading about the band is that they only released two singles and, despite having sort of Nico-(sort of)-out-of-the Velvet-Underground style vocals from singer May Rock Marshall and having early support slots for Lloyd Cole and the Jesus and Mary Chain, they never really broke through into the public or press consciousness, although they were championed early on by Steve Lamacq.

So that would ostensibly be that, the band released the two singles on the same Lazy label as Birdland, had a big falling out on stage and split up.

But. While signing for Lazy, Wayne Morris, manager of the aforementioned moptopknobheads recommended a drummer for them; he turned out to be Phil Tweedie from The Primitives and during the self-inflicted delay between the band's only two single releases (after Marshall - possibly Rock Marshall? - fell off the back of a motorbike), they managed to managed to be joined by Phil King from Felt

Oh, and just to complete the Pet Frame style Rock Family Trees feel of this, the final nail in the band's coffin was King leaving to join Lush. He's in JAMC now as well. He gets about a bit does that boy...

This is the track one from the first EP - "See See Rider - She Sings Alone":

Right click, "save as..." to download

So there you go, read the excellent official site for lots more information. There's also a brief wikipedia page

Sunday, 17 May 2009


Back into one-word band names again today with Spitfire. Coming out of the indie wastelands of Crawley, the band were another band formed by two brothers (Jeff and Nick Pritcher) and bulked up to the standard five-piece by Steve White, Scott Kenny and Matt Wise. Membership changes later in the band's life saw white replaced by Simon Walker (who latterly joined The Auteurs) and Kenny leaving the drum stool which was filled by Justin Welch (later a member of Elastica).

Formed in 1990, Spitfire released a good half dozen singles; leaving their shoegazing beginnings behind to go more indie pop/rock, a couple of albums (much delayed debut Fever eventually surfacing in 1993) and recorded a Peel Session in 1991. It's also suggested in a number of places that the band took the rock and roll lifestyle a bit too seriously with reports of less than subtle banging on in the NME and the like and freely handing out backstage passes to groupies; neither being particularly popular traits with their record companies needless to say!

This track "Rubber Rosie" is a bit of an odd one though. It's undeniably Spitfire (it appears on their 'official' site, but it doesn't get a mention in either of the places I usually look for background; discogs and in Martin Strong's Big Boys Book of Indie), so what we're supposed to believe I'm not sure. Maybe it's the rarest thing in the world ever? More likely it's just one of those things. This particular copy comes in a nice cardboard sleeve with Dickie Davies' World of Sport-esque "S" logo.

Right click, 'Save as...' to download

And of course, there's a wikipedia page as well. At some point I'm going to have to go through Wiki and update all these pages that are just bits and pieces memories and speculation. After all, this place must be all true by now...