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Thursday, 29 March 2007

Senseless Things

A genuine rarity this one, no fannying around. Selling for almost £15 on some sites I give you one of 1000 original copies of "The Shape of Things to Hum", a 7inch EP that came with Issue 8 of "Cloth Ears" a fanzine that I must have bought at a gig in either Top Spot or The Wharf in Huddersfield in about 1990.

The EP features outings from such luminaries as Exit Condition, Playground and Perfect Daze, but it's the Senseless Things that are getting an outing here, what with them being a proper indie band and that, as well as being chums with cartoonist Jamie Hewlitt - he of 2000AD, Tank Girl and latterly Gorillaz fame.

Wikipedia has this to say about the band: "Before they split up, the Senseless Things consisted of the following: Mark Keds - vocals/guitar Ben Harding - guitar/vocals Morgan Nicholls - bass Cass Browne - Drums

The Senseless Things formed around the musical partnership of songwriter Mark Keds (vocals, guitar) and Morgan Nicholls (bass, originally guitar), who as 11-year-old schoolboys in Twickenham, London, England, put together Wild Division in the early 80s. With the addition of drummer Cass 'Cade' Browne they became the Psychotics, playing various venues in their local area despite still being at school. Their first gig together as the Senseless Things followed at the subsequently demolished Clarendon in Hammersmith, London, in October 1986. Auxiliary members at this stage included a keyboard player Ben, then a guitarist, Gerry, who deputized for Nicholls while the latter was studying for his 'O' Levels.

In 1995, the band released a final album Taking Care Of Business, and a controversial single "Christian Killer" (renamed "Christine Keeler" for the album). They split up after one last UK tour.

Before they split up, the Senseless Things consisted of the following: Mark Keds - vocals/guitar Ben Harding - guitar/vocals Morgan Nicholls - bass Cass Browne - Drums

Keds went onto form Jolt then Trip Fontaine and now The Lams. He very briefly played with The Wildhearts. Ben went onto join 3 Colours Red and is now a press officer for Help the Aged. Morgan joined Vent with Miles Hunt from The Wonder Stuff then went on to play with The Streets. He is now part of Muse's live set-up. Cass went on to sing for Delakota and then Gorillaz. He also briefly played with Urge Overkill."

The EP was released on 4th Dimension Records (FD22 for completists), a proper independent label based in Kent. In the olden days there were loads of these real 'indie' labels that had grown from the late 70s/early 80s punk scene and were knocking out this sort of stuff. Before the internet and myspace, this was one way to learn about new bands and had something to show for it at the end of the day (or indeed century as this offering shows).

The whole things has survived remarkably well and recorded with only a minor jump and scratch on the first try; the insert for the "Things" reads: "Their intended track for this EP was "I'm on black and White", a real stormer of a song with a truly amazing chorus...However their manager ran off with the master reel on the day it was due to be cut and so poor mark in panic took along a newly-recorded, unmixed version of "Teenage" as a desperate attempt to save the whole thing from total chaos..."; which explains why the record and sleeve say one thing and the actual music says another.

And the fanzine? Well, it's what you'd expect (if you were a chap of a certain age with an unhealthy early addiction to punk, indie and and gigs dirty pubs); although it's got a picture of a rabbit on the cover.

So here you go, "Teenage" by The Senseless Things.

14 comments:

  1. Anonymous04 July, 2007

    Useless fact no. 24: Mark Keds co-wrote The Libertines 'Can't Stand Me Now". Don't believe me? Go grab the CD off the shelf and check the credits on the inlay sleeve.

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  2. It's true - he did. And they fell out over it.

    Senseless Things were my favourite band back in the day. Thanks to myspace Mark Keds lives on (despite a few personal problems)...

    This blog is bloody brilliant.

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  3. Holy freaking asscrackers I'm amazed other people remember this band, I still have aload of their coloured vynals (from the later years of the bands life) floating around. I originally got into them because of the Jamie Hewett ('Tank Girl' later on 'Gorillaz') artwork covers they used for them.

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  4. Well, bugger me if it ain't my vocal you can hear (and my guitar solo you can't) all over this unmixed version. Cripes I sound young.

    This blog truly rules. If only to remind me how much I preferred Perfect Daze.

    Love,

    Ben Harding (no longer with Help the Aged, by the way)

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  5. One of the few bands of the era, whom alongside Birdland, The Popguns who ever wandered off the beaten track to play the Shrewsbury Fridge. Apart from the Stone roses but I dont think they count on this blog. Which is mighty fine by the way.

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  6. Nice boys, sat 'round a campfire with the once. They looked spookily like Thee Hypnotics

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  7. God, I've just realised that the Senseless Things are my favourite band.
    I never quite got it when I was young enough. I remember the skateboarders at school would should "Senseless Things!" for no reason at all. I only figured out it was a band a bit later.
    Bought Homophobic Asshole on 12inch: dug the artwork first (shallow, moi?) and tunes later. Wish I'd bought a ST tshirt when I was young enuff to wear it ;) Can't find one anywhere on the www.
    Recently have grown to love the Replacements and have joined the dots.
    (Seem also to remember a Select article featuring Morgan copiously and coloufully vomiting.)
    And, look, I'm now on the same page as Ben Harding. This blog, she rocks.

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  8. That was Cass copiously vomiting in the Select aticle, f'sure?

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  9. Anonymous10 June, 2009

    They also supported an up and coming band called "Nirvana" at the Astoria...

    I wonder what happened to them. :)

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  10. Anonymous29 June, 2010

    they were the band i saw the most of live, still got a blim burned popkid t, beyond wearing tho, i might jus make myself a new one, they rocked and should soo get back together and show these whiny indie bands of today how to do it, im in a band and my bassplayer is heavily influenced by morgan, love it, used to have a live tape from glasto 92 or 3, soo wish i still had that tape, got pretty much everything they recorded, still listen to and love em to this day....

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  11. I first saw Senseless Things at the George Robey, Glen Matlock was billed I thought it was Glen Matlock they played with Mega City 4 the 2 bands moulded into 1 they rocked Big time I never looked back they were relatively small then pre-Glastonbury pre-t shirts they kicked ass along with fellow bands such as Snuff, Jesus Jones ET AL X Julia in N1 now age 46 !!

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  12. Senseless Things were awesome. Went to loads of their gigs. Me and my mates were in a band, loved them and wanted to be as good as them. We weren't though. No-one was.
    Some of those early tunes are still great. Like Girlfriend, Bus load to Bingo and Trevor.

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    Replies
    1. No doubt in my mind that Senseless Things are my all time favourite band. When i heard them first back in the day, it was like when i heard the pistols and clash for first time, blew my mind. Still listen to them on a daily basis. I will Never understand why They were never Huge. But thats the way it was meant to be. Huge to me and thats what matters. Senseless Things Fan 4everxxx

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  13. Pete Williams29 May, 2013

    This band were truly amazing. Got pretty much everything released on vinyl and all the albums on CD as well. Will never part with the albums at all.
    They were probably my favourite back in the day and still listen to them regularly even though i have moved onto a different music scene / style.

    I would absolutely LOVE IT if they got back together even for one short string of shows. I'd book one for sure

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