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

Monday 17 December 2007

Mambo Taxi

Congratulations Mrs Internet, it's a post about early 90s riot girl combo Mambo Taxi!

Well, it would be but I can't even remember whey I bought this single or anything else about the band. The best bit of information I could find is from Stewart Mason's All Music Guide and goes like this:

"The short-lived all-female combo Mambo Taxi was born out of the U.K. garage rock scene of the early '90s, but their music mixed garage with punk, pop, and dance influences. The first-names-only group consisted of Delia (ex-Cornershop, future Family Way and Baby Birkin) on guitar and vocals, Ella on vocals and guitar, Andrea on keyboards, Lenie on bass, and Karin on drums. (Karin was later replaced by Huggy Bear's Anjali.) Mambo Taxi released three singles, 1992's "Prom Queen," 1993's four-song EP "Poems on the Underground," and 1994's "Do You Always Dress Like That?" as well as one album, 1994's In Love With Mambo Taxi, before splintering later that year."
Mambo Taxi were part of the "Riot Grrrl" movement of the early 90s, a group of shouty ladies in such illustrious bands as Huggy Bear, Bikini Kill and Babes in Toyland; all bands that were full of energy and oestrogen and who were far more interesting than the latter day Girl Power shit of the Spice Girls et al.

Well, as it's Christmas and this is a pretty crappy post, can I make it up to you by offering you an mp3 of Mambo Taxi - Prom Queen? You'd like that? Well, Merry Christmas to you then! And here's my card to you. Print it out and imagine I posted it to you. For real excitement, why not staple a five pound note to it?

Friday 14 December 2007

The Planet Wilson

To Hull then today for The Planet Wilson who, you may or may not recall from way back in the past, were the support band for Ned's Atomic Dustbin at the Duchess of York in Leeds in 1990 at my first ever gig and were, I guess, in that case technically the first band I ever saw live. That's top indie pop knowledge that is.

Anyway, hailing from Hull and formed (it says here) from the remnants of a band called the Red Guitars, The Planet Wilson released a couple of cracking albums - 1988's In the Best of All Possible Worlds and the follow-up Not Drowning but Waving - and possibly a couple of singles.

The first album has more than a hint of the late-Talking Heads, early-solo-David Byrnes about it (as you can probably hear on this recording of The Planet Wilson - Flap The Bird) and, for some reason, really reminds me of The Bees. Neither of these things can be considered bad (or at least very bad).

Trouserpress.com has a bit more information here, but that's about it again I'm afraid. Any more background gratefully received.

Thursday 6 December 2007


There can't be many useful things to know about Welwyn Garden City can there? Nick Faldo started his golf career there, we know that. The city was built by Quakers, erstwhile England flapper David "Calamity" James was born there, I used to go out with a girl who lived there, isn't the bus station famous for some reason? That's all we know about Welwyn Garden City. Oh, and it's the home town of indie pop punk trio S*M*A*S*H. Officially the hardest band to Google in the world.

S*M*A*S*H were moderately famous in the early-to-mid 90s, supporting such indie luminaries as Pop Will Eat Itself and playing on the NME's "On Into 94" tour, but they never really made it big. According to Wikipedia

"The trio made a memorable appearance on Top of the Pops, singing "Shame" live to a backing track which had been recorded at a studio especially for the programme. They became the first to appear on the BBC's flagship chart show without officially releasing a single - their debut EP reaching number 26 in the album charts."
Oddly, once you get past the impossible to Google band name... and who'd have thought back in 1992 there's be idiots like me on the internet at half 10 of a Thursday night - incidentally I'm doing this now because the wife has gone to see Take That - desperate to search for information about long-forgotten indie bands; you wouldn't have called your band "Ride", the internet gurus would have told you to choose something easy to find.., but I digress, once you find the stuff, there's a few really good websites ou there devoted to the band, S*M*A*S*H.net and Self Abused to name but two.

The band made an attempted comeback early in 2006 and acording to the internet they were very good. But you have to wonder whether that's the same internet that remembers Moose as the founding fathers of shoegazing...

Well, here you go, what you're here for. After much deliberation you can have a bit of a listen and a mosh to S*M*A*S*H - Petal Buzz; my personal favourite off the Another Love EP and also the name of their fanzine. Enjoy.


Surely you can't want more jingly jangly indie nonsense? You do? OK, here are London based indie popsters Moose.

I hate copying willy-nilly from Wikipedia, but apparently, and I have no way of verifying this either way,

"Moose have been credited by some as being the first band to be called "shoegazers" which was inspired by an early gig of theirs at which [singer and guitarist] Russell Yates read lyrics taped to the floor."
Can this be true? Surely someone like Ride would have been the first shoegazers? Moose as the first shoegazers? It's the first I've heard of it!

I've got a load of old NMEs somewhere, I'll try and check at Christmas, but in the meantime, if you can prove this bold claim then please let me know! (This bit of typing is getting very exclamation mark-heavy, for which I apologise).

So, the band were possibly instrumental in the popularity of shoegazing, produced a load of cracking tunes in the early 90s, never achieved the fame they probably deserved, disappeared, reappeared to try their luck again around the millenium and promptly disappeared again. This is a running theme for bands on here.

There's a really nice little fansite here (which, by the way, would be a leading exponent of shoegazing as a style of web design, if such a thing existed. Take a look at it and you'll see what I mean. That site is the most shoegazingest website I've seen in ages).

And to keep you going and remind you of the alleged first ever shoegazers, from 1991's Reprise EP, have a listen to Moose - Last Night I Fell Again, it's rather good.

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

(And now, if you can imagine me wandering off, shaking my head and muttering "first ever shoegazers, I just don't know...", the illusion is complete).

Monday 3 December 2007

The Charlottes

Today we have some cracking early 90s East Anglian indie pop action (it's not often you'll hear that said!) from much missed band The Charlottes. Swooping in on the C86 bandwagon, The Charlottes showed the way for a lot of those who came after. There's more than a hint of Ride in there and when the drummer Simon Scott went off to form Slowdive there was a straight line drawn from one to the other.

As with many of the proper indie bands, The Charlottes were firm Peel favourites, recording two Peel Sessions, and they toured extensively; playing to the massed ranks of shoegazing fops at such places as the Duchess of York in Leeds and the Old Trout in Windsor. We knew what we wanted and we knew were to get it!

According to MusicOMH.com, a pretty bloody useful review, interview and features website I'd highly recommend:

"Lovehappy [the debut album] from The Charlottes, described by the NME's Steve Lamacq no less as "altogether more sexy than Kylie", when awarding it 9/10. Sadly for the band it sold rather fewer copies than the diminutive Antipodean."
There's a pretty comprehesive biography here and on the Cherry Red site here and here is The Charlottes - Liar, in all its characteristic ding-dinga-dinga-ding indie-tweeness-glory.