Other Things To Do

It's the 21st Century apparently, so why not come join the Facebook group of the blog of the music. It's what people from the future do.
"Because Midway Still Aren't Coming Back" on Facebook.
If you'd like to contact me, the best way is probably to email:
5318008 at gmail.com

Thursday, 31 July 2008


Back to early 1990s Manchester again today with Intastella, a great band that produced some really good, swooping, atmospheric pop and were unfairly lumped in with the Madchester crap that was kicking about at the time.

Another one with not much about unfortunately, but we do know that the band were formed in 1991, consisted of members Stella Grundy, Martin Wright, Martin Mittler, Spencer Birtwistle and Lil' Anthony (Anthony Green), released a load of great singles and three albums and live on in myspace. As they say themselves, they

"made music we liked and created music we had not heard before. Although we were inspired by some Manchester bands, we never tryed to sound like any of them. We wanted to make pop music."
The bit of music we're going to have today is this, Intastella - Point Hope, a magic bit of indie pop.

There's an interview on the BBC Manchester bit of the internet here and if you've got more money than sense, you can buy their best of here.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


McCarthy are another band that came up in conversation on the Facebook group and are can be added to the list of top notch Essex-based indie bands. Formed in 1985 and active until about 1990, the band released a good few singles and three albums as well as recording three Peel Sessions and appearing in the Festive 50 twice; the sign of a good band in anybody's book.

There's a number of very good histories available on the old internet; this one particularly details their history and influences and tells us that:

"[the band were] named for the infamous US Senator Joseph McCarthy, who led the Communist witch hunt [in the USA] in the 1950's, McCarthy were ironic to say the least. Due to their chosen name and politically charged lyrics, as often satirically far right as they were sincerely far left, as well as their rumored association with the Revolutionary Communist Party in England, most critics were quick to label McCarthy as "Marxist" or "anarchist" rock and roll. The band, for their part, didn't take themselves quite as seriously. from left to right: Gary, Malcolm, Tim, and John Malcolm's lyrics are filled to bursting with irony, humor, and contradiction."
They really were a great band and this mp3, McCarthy - Keep an open mind or else, captures them in essence (it was released as one of 600,000 copies according to the insert!).

The Tweenet page is also very good and so is the wikipedia page.

The Band split in about 1990; you can still buy "That's All Very Well But...", their Best Of album.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

World of Leather

The only thing the internet knows about the best band ever named after a sofa shop, World of Leather seems to be on the once more invaluable Trouserpress site; which says:

"British power pop auteur Tot Taylor is the man behind the throne in the World of Leather, a merry band floating around Liverpool singer/guitarist Mark Chase...[the band] were a bizarre glam-pop extravaganza that credits a couple of drummers and as many as eight (!) guitarists on a single track."
And it's true I've got their first two singles here, and World of Leather (below) has six guitarists, five vocals and three violins credited; the second Future Ex-Pop Star has eight guitarists and, wonderfully, two drummers; a quick Google brings up a couple of ex-members around: Ray Weston, drums and Paul Cuddeford, guitar.

They came to my notice care of a drunken weekend in that indiest of cities, Oxford, via my friend Paul who was at one point either their manager or PR man or similar. He also had something to do with The Gigolo Aunts back in the day. He told me a story about how he'd got them a gig somewhere in Kilburn and the band had paid a couple of my other chums £5 each and all they could drink in exchange for working the smoke machine.

Of course, they took "all you can drink" as a challenge, so when it came to doing the smoke they just left it blowing full blast and filled the whole place with a thick smog. People walking through kilburn that night tell of vast clouds drifting down the road, obscuring the pavements, causing busses to crash and bringing back memories of the famous London pea-soupers.

Anyway, this offering World of Leather - World of Leather is a bloody marvellous bit of indie/power/glam/rock pop and more than deserves a mention here.

I'll admit that I'm breaking my own rules a bit and it's from a CD, not a bit of vinyl so I hope you'll forgive me. But as a) it's so good it needs remembering, b) WoL don't seem to have released anything on vinyl and c) they're my rules to break so nuts, I'm going to put it on.

Do bands still use smoke machines? They were very indie...

PS, I forgot to say, the song is off a limited 500 run of the CD and there's still loads of WoL stuff on Amazon, much for as little as 1 pence.

Monday, 7 July 2008


Felt inspire something of a dedicated following; with uni-monickered Lawrence, the man behind the band (and latterly Denim - of who more to come at some point) being regarded as something of a stereotypical English "eccentric genius" type in the true wacky genius-cum-scatterbrained old professor sort of way. There are numerous stories, some probably true, some probably apocryphal about his compulsive cleanliness (of the "he wouldn't let anyone else use the loo in his house" type) and Mark E Smith recruitment policies for the band (sacking the drummer for having curly hair).

There's no denying that Felt were great, a band who developed and grew through their ten years of existence into a genuinely briliant new wave/indie pop band who were capable of producing some fantastic records.

I don't want to cover too much ground as there are several sites that will tell you the story in more detail than I can fit here; the Perfect Sound Forever, Felt Tribute Site and Adrian Denning's site especially. You can also see what's what from wikipedia.

For today, content yourself with listening to Felt - Get Out of My Mirror, taken from a flexi (yay!) sampler of the band's 1989 album Me And A Monkey On The Moon. It is bloody excellent, I'd forgotten just how good the band could be.

There's loads of Felt CDs and stuff available, and you really should look into the band.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The Flatmates

A while back now someone mentioned The Flatmates to me as a band that should really go up on here and I'd dutifully noted the name down and gone about my business.

Then, at some point last week I was using the 6music "listen again" thing to listen to Gideon Coe during the day at work rather than that moron Lamb, and he played a song (as is usual on the radio I understand) that blew me away before I even knew who it was; it was just perfect indie pop.

It turned out that it was this: The Flatmates - Shimmer and for the first time in ages I was speechless. How the hell had I missed them? Why, when I was writing their name down didn't I bother to listen to them on their myspace page?

Suffice to say The Flatmates are fantastic. They have an information page here and a Wikipedia page.

Anyway, formed in, or around, 1985 in Bristol, the band released half a dozen cracking indie-pop singles and a couple of albums, recorded a Peel Session and as is the way, split up, reformed and split up again. This site has all the story you need in far more detail than I can fit in here and the mp3 above, although scratchy is great. It's in better quality on the myspace page too.

And lo and hehold there's a 'Best of' to buy, worth £8 of anyone's money.