Other Things To Do

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Friday 7 November 2008

A brief hiatus

Hello, you may have noticed a drop off in postings recently, I have an excuse mum promise!

I'm still going to update this - I've got a Sarah Records special planned at some point and Land of Barbara are coming soon - but I've been up to my arse in work and November is going to be a bit sparse as I'm getting married today/tomorrow so it's going to be a bit tricky do this for a few weeks; what wih honeymooning and ebay's draconinan payment rules.

In the meantime, thank you for all your contributions and visits, click an advert and come join the facebook group, I'm only still doing this because of youse lot.

Tuesday 28 October 2008


I'm pretty sure that Pele aren't the band I thought they were when I started looking into them, but now I can't remember who I was thinking of. Not that it matters, because they're a great band who released some really cracking jaunty country-fused indie in the early 90s and are a hitherto terrible omission from this place.

I now know that, thanks to the official site that's the source of the wiki page and is nicely added to by the ubiquitous myspace page that the band were formed on Merseyside in 1990, gigged around the North West of England, signed a record deal and within a matter of months had released their debut album. Aiming to capitalise on the album, their debut single was released in no time flat and featured on heavy rotation on Radio 1 before record company mistakes robbed them of a proper chart hit. It's ok though, their second single went to number 1 in South Africa.

A number of pretty major indie hits followed before some long-winded and painful legal shenanigans with their record company left the band heavily in debt with no rights to their songs until the record company in turn went bust. Phew.

Anyway, whoever I was thinking of before setting out on this excursion, I bet they weren't as good (on record or live; when they were apparently fantastic). Have a listen to the 'destined-to-not-chart' first release, Pele - Raid The Palace and right from the first bits twangy guitar and fiddle you know you'll be tapping your feet along. Then you'll go back for a few more listens, it's great.

Monday 20 October 2008

The Siddeleys

Now I've broken some of my unwritten rules to myself I feel a lot better, not least because it allows me to put The Siddeleys on here; it's a CD again I'm afraid, but try finding some of their vinyl, if you can, you're a better man than I. Besides, hunting down the best of I got this off was enough bloody trouble.

The Siddeleys have been floating around my notebook for a while, but it was only reading the excellent Dusty Sevens blog that my hand was forced.

So, in essence, formed in 1986, released their debut single "What Went Wrong This Time?" in 1987, replaced the drummer with Dean Legget out of...wait for it, wait for it... pre-Carter USM funsters Jamie Wednesday! (amazing how often these bands get a link back to Carter), recorded a Peel Session and then got stiffed by their record label going bust before they could release much more. In 2001 or 2002 a compilation called Slum Clearance was released and this is where today's featured track comes from.

You can read more at the rarely updated but excellent 'official' site, or at Indie MP3 or the Wiki page, that I swear wasn't there when I first looked into the band several months ago.

I can heartily recommend this song, The Siddeleys - Sunshine Thuggery, it's a belting bit of indie pop with a really catchy tune, try listening a couple of times without humming along.

I'm normally pretty dedicated when it comes to hunting something down, but for some reason this one broke me. I finally got hold of the CD from Rough Trade, now I've listened to it a few times, I'd suggest you do too, it's marvellous.

Friday 17 October 2008

The Moonflowers

Following in the great "you can't be indie unless your band name has a 'The' at the start..." theme of recent times, it's The Moonflowers today; proudly ploughing the same furrow as Flowered Up and knocking out some of that old fashioned trippy indie that was oh so popular in the early 90s.

There's a whole site dedicated to them here and more myspace gubbins for me to regurgitate; but basically:

"Formed in December 1987 for a few parties: [the band] made records until 1997...Following the success of indie hit 'Get Higher' in 1990, they were transported to a national, then international platform beseeching their audience and followers to hold hands while they watched the group cavort and leap about in an effort to obtain world peace by the year 1999."
Got to set your sights high I guess...

Unfortunately The Moonflowers are another of the bands (like The Chesterfields and Lush) who have an ex-member who died early; in this case drummer Toby Pascoe who died aged 32.

Well, on that cheery note, here's The Moonflowers - Fire; try not to hum Weeee-kender as you're listening.

Just a note as well, the 7" this is copied off doesn't appear to be on their "official" discography, it certainly looks kind of promo, maybe my reader can offer some sort of extra information?

Wednesday 8 October 2008

The Corn Dollies

To London now with sadly short-lived twangy/jingly-jangly The Corn Dollies. You'll like this lot, they're fantastic and produce really top notch singalong music that's absolutely the sort of stuff I was thinking of when I start this madness 18 months ago.

There's a good little biog/discography here and tweenet and wikipedia have the usual. Unfortunately as Wilfully Obscure points out, there's not a lot else kicking around about the band, which seems a shame as from what I can hear they were great. Sadly I guess you can add them to the ever-growing list of indie bands that were killed by grunge.

Having said that, they did feature on the anti-poll tax/indie masterpiece that is Alvin Lives in Leeds

I don't know why but this song, The Corn Dollies - Be Small Again reminds me of Billy Bragg for some reason, I think the opening twangy-singy bits sounds a but like Accident Waiting to Happen, or maybe that's just me.

The Wendys

Apologies for lack of updates recently, I'm building up to a solid few weeks off and need to get my house in order (literally and metaphorically).

In the meantime, let's get back on the horse with The Wendys.

As usual, pop over to the wiki page for a bit more information, but this time we're celebrating not only a great Scottish band, but a gen-u-ine, honest-to-goodness, Factory Records white label as you can see in the picture at the top.

This little rarity has an A4 insert that says:

"The Wendys are the first band to sign to Factory since northside and also share the same producer...Ian Broudie."
The insert also claims, oddly, that this is the band's first release on the label, but as you'll see in the linked Wiki article it's actually their second, although this rather detailed page seems to imply that their "first" EP entitled "More Than Enough" never got a proper release; maybe my reader can help fill in the blanks?

There's some great stuff kicking about the internet about the band, all of which is worth a read; an NME clipping and of course a myspace page (I should really be collecting all these; if only I wasn't such a bloody luddite and understood myspace).

Well, enjoy this: The Wendys - The Sun's Going to Shine for Me Soon, it's a cracking bit of indie pop and far better than Northside any day.

Friday 26 September 2008

The Dylans

Right, it's Friday, so let's go with a classic sing-a-long, top notch indie classic from The Dylans; and I dare you not to be singing along after the first twenty seconds.

Long before Sheffield was the 'indie' capital of the world, The Dylans were plying their trade out of the grim north, and they might not have been as big as we'd have hoped, but boy weren't they just a great band!

All the history you need is on the wiki page and at Discogs.com and you know you should own at least one of their singles, if not, what the hell were you doing in 1991?

"I hear your tambourines
Inside my head, she says
I hear your tambourines
On Planet Love, she says
On Planet Love..."
Go on, get that baggy t-shirt on, flick what's left of your indie fringe about, go to the nearest pub for a pint of snakebite and dance along to The Dylans - Planet Love; it's what Fridays were made for.

One big question remains mind you, why were all the best indie club nights on a Tuesday, not a Friday?

Wednesday 24 September 2008

The Nivens

Wouldn't you know it, I just get sorted with putting The Nivens on here and it turns out that there's two bands called the same thing. Even worse, they could both fit in here quite happily.

What to do? Nuts to it, I'm going with my original Nivens; the lot from Ashington, Northumberland. Mostly because they're the ones I meant to put up, but partially because the next band I get on here will probably be the band that released a split flexi (yay!) with them in 1988. More of that later though.

So, The Nivens, formed in 1987, released the aforementioned flexi and two other proper singles; put out a compilation CD, played loads of gigs and supported indie luminaries like

"The Las, My Bloody Valentine, Cud, Primal Scream, Brilliant Corners, Family Cat, and any indie band who bothered to visit the north"
and then folded.

Their official site is here and has what you need to know.

I also particularly like them because their music is intelligent and catchy and the second track on the double-A sided (I miss double A sides, you wouldn't get Billy Bragg having a secret number one these days) final EP The Dialect Drug is called, rather fantastically I thought, "The Necessity for Spastics in the 20th Century".

And this is it, The Nivens - The Necessity for Spastics in the 20th Century; great isn't it. I'd heartily recommend getting hold of the EP as it's genuinely really good.

For the other Nivens, go look at their Myspace page

Tuesday 16 September 2008

The Trashcan Sinatras

I'm breaking one of my own unwritten rules again today with The Trashcan Sinatras, because they're still going; and indeed have fairly recently released new material and will be putting out a new single in October 2008. All the guff you really need about the band is on the official site.

Still, it's good to put them up as they're another of the bands that dropped their "The" to sound more rock and roll and they're another band from Scotland; though not Glasgow for a change. For a change, the wikipedia page really does tell you most of the stuff you'll need to know about the band.

I really liked the band when they were in their 90s heyday, and this is one of the few records I've actually had for a while in the cupboard that a) isn't off ebay or from the lovely chaps at Vinyl Tap and b) isn't the only record I own by the band (because of reason a).

Mind you, this particular recording is from a DJ only promo as you can see in the picture. All I can say is: God knows what DJs do to their records. This one is scratched to fuck and took me four attempts, metaphorically balancing 2p coins on the arm of the record player, to get the sodding thing to play and record.

I hope you enjoy the fruits of my needle-knackering exploits: The Trashcan Sinatras - Circling the Circumference; go download the new single from the official site and remember just how good The Trashcan Sinatras were.

Or you can of course buy the band's classic 1990 album Cake here.

Thursday 4 September 2008

The Waltones

We're lumbering towards actually famous today with The Waltones, not least because they may, or may not, have been offered a deal by legendary Manchester DJ and producer Dave Haslam and soon-to-be Happy Mondays Manager Nathan McGough; and of course after the band's eventual split, Mark Collins the guitarist went off to join The Charlatans.

The Waltones were formed in Manchester in 1986, comprised Alex Fyans (Drums), Mark Collins (Guitar), James Knox (Vocals, Harmonica) and Manny Lee (Bass, Backing Vocals), recorded four singles and an album, are alleged on wikipedia to have recorded a Peel Session (although the official Peel pages seem to contradict that and, thanks to the internet we know that:

"...despite gaining much streetcred and selling out their LP, their distributor Red Rhino went bankrupt. The new distributor APT refused to take on Red Rhino's debts and thus no re-press of the album was undertaken. When Medium Cool was taken over by Midnight Music records a fall-out occured between the label and the Waltones ex-manager over ownership of the mastertapes for 'Listen To Your Heart' (the bands 5th unreleased single)."
There are a number of good sites about for the band, including their myspace pages which really covers everything, James, the singer's page - which tells it from his point of view and this nice blog post.

The Waltones are great; they played proper pre-Madchester indie that reminds me of one of my favourite bands, Bob, though which came first I'll leave up to you...

So, this is The Waltones - Everything's just Fine, the first song off the album Deepest, boy, does that take me back...

You can buy You've Gotta Hand It To 'Em the re-released Best of... here.

Wednesday 3 September 2008

The Rosehips

The Rosehips are one of your great should-have-been-bigger twee bands. Formed near Stoke in 1986, the band are another with an indie-lady singer in a line up of:

"Yoland (vocals), Glenn (guitar), Ant (bass) and Mark 1 (drums). The [band's] first release was "The Last Light" on the Subway Records compilation LP "Take The Subway To Your Suburb". Two further singles - "Room In Your Heart" and "I Shouldn't Have To Say" - were released on Subway and the band gigged alongside Talulah Gosh, The Flatmates, The Clouds and The Groove Farm."
Again, I don't want to just copy and paste too much of the already full internet, so the "official" history is here and there is, of course, a lot on the band's myspace page. Oh, and believe it or not, there's a Rosehips tribute band!

The best thing about the internet is that people record such minute details as who the band played with, including such indie legends as the Darling Buds, Mega City Four and The Wedding Present!

So, here you go, this is The Rosehips - Room in Your Heart, it's a great bit of late 80s indie pop.

Wednesday 27 August 2008

The Soup Dragons

Before reinventing themselves as some sort of baggy/indie crossover stars with 1990's Lovegod album, The Soup Dragons were one more band off the indie production line that comes out of Glasgow and has produced such luminaries as the BMX Bandits and Teenage Fanclub.

In the mid- to late-1980s The Soup Dragons were knocking out Peel-friendly indie of the sort featured here - Soup Dragons - The Majestic Head (and I think I'm right in saying this is the first picture disc featured). It was only with the release of their third album that they went all I'm Free; at much the same time that Scottish chums Primal Scream were also leaving their rock roots behind and experimenting with ecstacy-fuelled indie dance.

And in the same way that the Happy Mondays "covered" Step On, I'm Free, a danced-up cover of a 1965 Rolling Stones song, brought the Soup Dragons fame and fortune.

Anyway, today's post is to celebrate the 'original' Soup Dragons, the band that recorded Peel Sessions and made it into the 1986 Festive Fifty. Twice.

For more detail, the Trouser Press biography is the page you want to read and This Is Our Art, the album of the mp3 above, was recently re-released for you to enjoy the first incarnation of the band, before digging out the flares and the hooded Inspiral Carpets tops and shuffling around the house like it was 1990 all over again..

Wednesday 20 August 2008

The Prudes

For the second offering of double-request-post Wednesday, we're going to go with a band that again I'm a bit short of information about: The Prudes.

From Last.fm we know they were formed by Bradleigh Smith and Pete Ellis in 1987. They recorded 5 singles and an album (Designer Karma) on Imaginary Records and from the bit my chum Gareth remembers, Bradleigh and Terry Bickers from the House of Love covered the Velvet Underground's "I'm set free" on the early 90s compilation album "Heaven & Hell". They also may have recorded a Peel Session.

So, once more it's a call for information, know anything about The Prudes?

While you rummage through the loft of memory, have a listen to The Prudes - Glad, it's really rather good.


It's double-request-post Wednesday today. Starting off with Salad, another band with that indiest of things, an attractive lady singer.

Formed in 1992, the band consisted of Dutch vocalist/keyboardist Marijne van der Vlugt, bassist Pete Brown, drummer Rob Wakeman (not Rick Wakeman as it took me three goes to work out) and guitarist Paul Kennedy. The band were bulked up for live outings by Charley Stone (latterly of Gay Dad).

Again, I'll keep it short as there's a load of information on wikipedia and a nice little collection of rareities and B-sides on myspace which tells us that the band...

"released three full-length [albums] - 1995's Drink Me, the same year's Singles Bar, and 1997's Icecream - before breaking up in the late '90s. Despite being part of the Britpop scene in terms of sound, they never quite received the same amount of attention given to their peers."
And they certainly don't; this offering Salad - Kent is a cracking bit of swirly-waily indie pop. And it's a great addition to this place.

Tuesday 12 August 2008

Mega City Four

First off, an apology, it's been a busy few weeks at Because Midway Still... towers and I've got a backlog of stuff to put on. And to be honest, I'm more than happy that I can finally get round to putting Mega City Four on; they've been a glaring omission for a long time now.

I don't think I'd be alone in saying that I loved Mega City Four. They were a fantstic band and part of indie royalty. They released huge amounts of music and toured extensively and continuously with Midway Still, Ned's, Carter, Senseless Things and countless other indie bands that we all know and love.

Part of the reason I do this is to link together all the bands that, although they may not have had massive financial and popular success in the hit parade and on Radio 1, they really did influence so many of us to grow our hair stupidly and wear ridiculous shorts. Oh, and to really, really love music.

For a biography I'm once again lifting lock, stock from the All Music Guide:

"The long-running alternative rock band the Mega City Four had been together for over a decade when they broke up in early 1996. Formed in the mid-'80s in Farmborough, England, the band consisted of guitarist/vocalist Wiz, bassist/vocalist Gerry Bryant, rhythm guitarist/vocalist Danny Brown, and drummer Chris Jones. Aside from the studio LPs Tranzophobia (1989), Who Cares Wins (1990), Terribly Sorry Bob (1991), Sebastopol Rd. (1992), Magic Bullets (1994), and Soulscraper (1996), the band also tallied a live LP, a Peel Sessions disc, and an impressive number of singles"
Of course, we know that Wiz sadly died in December 2006; the official Mega City Four page, although not as up to date as some fan pages, will keep you abreast of any news and there's a good myspace page for the band and as a tribute to Wiz as well.

For the mp3, why not enjoy 1988's second single Mega City Four - Clear Blue Sky, it's a cracking bit of early indie rock and roll and should hopefully more than make up for leaving them out until now.

You can still buy loads of their stuff, I'd forgotten how good Sebastopol Road was...

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.

Friday 13 June 2008

The Keatons

Now, I'll be honest, I can't remember when I came across The Keatons, I'm assuming it was during looking up the S*M*A*S*H stuff from before as the band are also from Welwyn Garden City (sort of, two of the band live there) and I remember an email conversation with a chap about them, but I'm buggered if I can find it, sorry if it was you!

Anyway, The Keatons. Most of what you need to know, including the recording of the spectacularly names debut LP "Ex Vide Betamaxi In Honda Cotopaxi" in the Czech Republic, the members of the band and all the history is covered in the Myspace page and on Rhodri Marsden's (who got in the band by eating an orange, writes for the Independent and the Radio Times and is in Scritti Politti!) blog.

In short, the band formed in London in 1986, recorded some great singles, got played by John Peel, toured long and hard, released the album (which is great, try and get hold of a copy), and toured even more. Read the myspace page, it's worth it and has a few other tracks on that are just as good as this: The Keatons - Gold Vane; it's track 1 on the album which would be a lazy bit of recording and mp3ing, but it captures the spirit.

I can only apologise for forgetting everything I was going to say, none of my notes to myself make any sense...

Wednesday 11 June 2008


Another entry in the "fuck me, that was hard to Google" stakes today with Top.

As requested by Kirtsy and Steve in Facebook group of this here page, Top were a Liverpudlian three-piece who kicked around for a couple of years at the start of the 1990s.

Clinging onto the coat-tails of Madchester and the Liverpool scene that gave us The Las and their ilk, Alan Wills, Joe Fearon and Paul Cavanagh knocked out a few cracking singles and an album (Emotion Lotion) and even recorded a Peel Session before going the way of so many other of their contemporaries.

The internet knows very little of Top - possibly due to the aforementioned Googling problems - so any more detail is again welcome.

You can listen to Top - Buzzin' here and should you wish buy a copy of "Emotion Lotion" here, for as little as 89p!

Saturday 7 June 2008

The Chesterfields

I was all ready to launch into a dreamy reminiscence about the lovely catherdral city here, then I found out The Chesterfields are from Yeovil, not the Derbyshire city with the wonky spire. Ah well, maybe next time.

Formed in Yeovil in the summer of 1984 by David Goldsworthy (guitar/vocals), Simon Barber (bass/vocals) and Dominic Manns (drums) and then supplemented by guitarist Brendan Holden in 1985, The Chesterfields were another of the great under rated indie bands that this page is all about.

The band were prolific in the late 80s and produced some pretty fine indie pop, releasing loads of really good singles and at least one album. Their debut LP was named "Kettle" as, and I'm quoting Tweenet here,

"The story goes that they chose this title for the LP after watching 'Coronation Street' and listening to the characters at frequent points during the show telling each other, in their best northern accents, to 'put kettle on luv'. "
The Tweenet entry is full and interesting, as is this Geocities page, so get it while it's hot.

On a sad note, David Goldsworthy was killed in a hit and run accident in 2004.

This is The Chesterfields - Blame. There's not enough trombone work in indie pop is there? Good brass band work at the end as well.

You can buy their best of "Electric Guitars in Their Hearts" here.

Wednesday 4 June 2008

The Hollow Men

The Hollow Men were first brought to my attention by a nice lady called Mandy, who emailed me way back in March. She'd been after a copy of an EP called The Drowning Man. Sadly I can't help with that particular request, but I can help with a lovely 12" called "What To Look For In Summer".

So, The Hollow Men. Coming out of Leeds in the mid-1980s, the band were at least a six-piece and released numerous albums and singles (according to their myspace page anyway). The band were lumped in with the Madchester groups of the time, unfairly really as they do sound a bit like the Stone Roses et al, but once more there's far more depth to the music that you'd expect; compare them with Northside and you'll see how much better they were.

The Last FM page has a pretty good discography and background (and, for Mandy has The Drowning Man for you listening pleasure).

Anyway, Madchester aside, you'll like this, it's The Hollow Men - November Comes; and it features some of that great wah-wah pedal-created wacka-wacka noise that was so popular in 1990.

Oh, and according to my chum Gareth, one of their first press photos had them all brushing their teeth. Crazy!

Amazingly, Cresta, their album is available for as little as 50p on Amazon!

Hang on! Youtube comes up trumps again...

Thursday 29 May 2008


Oh God, it's Northside. I was going to write off May as a bit of a washout, it's been a long month with various crap, capped off with the laptop I use to copy the music on this page playing silly fuckers. But then I found a tune flitting in and out of my head that I guess I heard on a radio in passing and I couldn't shake it. Nor, I have to say, could I work out what it was; all I could remember was the odd snatch here and there and half a chorus. Then I found out. It was Northside. And not Shall We Take A Trip?

No, it was this; the add-it-to-the-list-of-Ian-Broudie-produced Northside - Take 5. If only it had been Dave Brubeck.

Now, Northside divide opinion like few other of the 1990s Manc-indie-dance-flare-wearing-sub-Mondays groups. I don't mind them in a "haha! I remember that! (now) way", but not everyone would be prepared to spend £1.99 on the 7" and still own it. I'm sorry.

The Wiki says, rather sterily (is that a word?):

"Northside are a band from Oldham, England that borrowed heavily from the Madchester scene of the time...Formed in 1989, they released their only (and well respected) album Chicken Rhythms on Factory Records in 1991...Northside were considered a real goup of the 1990's scene."
Should you want more, and I'll understand if you don't, there's a Myspace page and a Facebook group (what sort of knob has one of those..?) Ahem.

Anyway, probably most famous for Shall We Take A Trip? the band actually released three singles, the above being the last, and an album. Hands up who owns that!

Sod, it, enjoy the Dave Brubeck jazz-lite number as well.

Oh, and you can buy the "Best" of Northside here.

Wednesday 21 May 2008

Paris Angels

Paris Angels were part of the great Manchester indie/dance crossover explosion of 1990 and were well up there with the best of them. Although sadly nowhere near popular and remembered as some of their contemporaries, the Paris Angels were just as good, if not better.

The seven piece band featured, amongst others, Paul Wagstaff (latterly of The Mondays) on guitar and were regulars in the Hacienda scene that made "Madchester" the terrifying behemoth of dance and bad trousers that it became.

The Wikipedia amd 24 hour party people pages have what you need to know.

This is Paris Angels - Perfume, the band's first single from 1990, number 6 in the 1990 Festive Fifty, which beat such luminaries as The Happy Mondays, The Orb and the mighty New FADS. The 1990 Festive Fifty, as an aside, is a list of probably the 50 most indie songs ever put together; how many have you got in your collection?

And the video, thank you youtube.

Monday 19 May 2008


Eat were a cracking band; formed in London in the mid-1980s by indie genius Ange Dolittle (latterly of criminally over looked band Dolittle). Splitting in 1990 due to "musical differences", not least Ange's heroin addiction, the original bluesy-folky-cajun inspired Eat reformed with a new line-up in 1992 as the seminal indie pop band we now know and love; something we should all be glad for.

Big in the UK, but never breaking the big time in the States, Ange and Eat gave it all up in 1995; playing to empty rooms in an abortive tour being the final straw.

There's a good Wikipedia entry and the biography at Forgotten Band Planet is particularly good, so we won't cover too much old ground. Instead, enjoy Eat - Mr and Mrs Smack from the Plastic Bag EP, it's a lovely bit of swooping indie pop; one more reason to be glad for Eat.

You can buy Eat's second album "Epicure" here. You should

Wednesday 14 May 2008

Circus Circus Circus

We're going with another request for this month's first entry. Circus Circus Circus (also more conveniently for the typer known as Circus X3) were brought to my attention by my mate Dan who'd been digitising his collection of bloody terrible goth singles when this little gem popped up in the middle.

I have to admit here that the only thing that seems to exist anywhere is a MySpace page for the band, but that tells us what we need to know.

The band were formed in Beckhenham, South London in the mid-80s and comprised Doug Hart on vocals, Ric Clark and Mark Shaw on guitars, Richard Bentley on bass and Rich Spicer on drums. From the press cuttings available the band seem to have been a well-produced, slick and stylish five-piece who could belt out a cracking tune. I never saw them live, but they sound a bit like The Shadows.

Still, they obviously toured extensively and released a number of singles and at least one album so someone reading this will know more about them to fill in the gaps.

So, in the meantime feel free to enjoy the (unfortunately crackly) musical stylings of Circus Circus Circus - Inside the Inside Out Man. I rather like it, it's a nice bit of jingly-jangly indie pop and one more added to the list of obscurities.

Friday 25 April 2008

The Sedgwicks

A more than mysterious band here; The Sedgwicks were, as far as I can tell, from Kent, released two singles in 1992 or possibly 1993 and disappeared without trace. Having said that of course, I can only find any trace of the Stolen Smiles EP that this track, the eponymous The Sedgwicks - Stolen Smiles comes from.

It's a cracking bit of jingly-jangly and I'd love to know more about the band, so sorry this is a bit short, i'm kind of hoping anyone who stumbles across this knows more than the internet does; plus it's been a hectic month and I've not had the time to sit down and do anything that passes for research!

Wednesday 16 April 2008

The Bodines

Not much comes out of Glossop (except for Stuart Hall and Shaun Ryder of course), so it's nice that we can visit there today with The Bodines.

For reasons I can't remember now I'd crossed this lot off my list of bands to put up, goodness knows why, they're as indie as they come. Again, I'm not going to repeat stuff that's easy to find on the internet, but the biography from here sums up what we need to know:

"The Bodines emerged from Glossop in Derbyshire. Fronted by the floppy-fringed Michael Ryan, they became one of the better-known outfits from a crop of jangly indie bands that sprang up around that time... The group's debut album, 'Played' (produced by Ian Broudie, later to enjoy success as a recording artist as the Lightning Seeds) was a fine jangly pop artifact, but it only scraped in to no. 94 in the album charts, in the summer of 1987. "
And there's Ian Broudie again. He gets everywhere. The wiki page and Indie mp3 page have loads more stuff, so go and enjoy there. This particular mp3, The Bodines - William Shatner is taken from a Canadian live bootleg 7" single, which is worth a mention alone.

I'm a fan of the band, they really did produce some cracking indie pop and were much better than their lack of success would lead you to believe. I'm glad I put them back on the list, they certainly deserve to be remembered, not least because Therese, their second single was considered such a yardstick for their genre that it was on the NME's legendary C86 tape; which is always worth getting hold of if you can (or you can buy the updated CD86 version here, which is still as good.)

Friday 11 April 2008

Do The Indie Kid

Firstly apolgies. This isn't a post about an indie band and it's not mine. It is however, a work of genius from the mind of MJ Hibbett, the man who previously unleashed "hey, hey 16k" on the world.

This is "Do the indie kid" and it's the greatest thing I've seen in a long time

Even better, if you go here you can buy the song on 7" vinyl. I would. Well, I have.

Normal service will be resumed soon. Promise. Probably with The Bodines.

Wednesday 9 April 2008

Th' Faith Healers

Once more into the London-based world of swooping, swirling indie rock today with Th' Faith Healers, a rather good band that plied their trade on the indie circuit from (probably) 1990 to 1994; and jolly good they were too, despite what is universally considerd to be an unhealthy fixation with Krautrock.

The band were really good live, produced some belting singles and almost had a crack at the really big time (not least as they supported The Breeders on a US tour) but unfortunately never really converted fanbase and critical success into the commercial fame they probably deserved before splitting. They re-formed in the early 2000s for one more crack at the big time, but apart from a short tour and a couple of re-releases, they've not really been seen since 2006, so they are ripe for a mention here.

The All Music Guide tells you most of what you'll need to know and this is a really good Faith Healers fan site which fills in a lot of gaps, so again I'll not copy left, right and center and suggest you pop over there for a read. Oh, and of course the band have, as is fashionable, one of those new-fangled Myspace pages for even more.

Here you go, have Th' Faith Healers - My Loser, an only available in the US on blue vinyl limited edition 7" and everything.

I can heartily recommend buying Th' Faith Healers' Peel Sessions by clicking here

Friday 4 April 2008

Pop Will Eat Itself

Time for some spring cleaning of the indie notebook I carry around in my dapper manbag. I've been meaning to put Pop Will Eat Itself on here for ages, but keep getting side-tracked by obscurities and bands I'm only just discovering; so it's nice to finally get round to putting on a band I really used to like. I do keep forgetting that some of these bands, although they're "famous" to me and most of the people that read this page, there are still people that have never heard of them. Poor people.

So, another bunch of West Midlands scamps, cut from the same cloth as Ned's Atomic Dustbin, The Wonderstuff and the Senseless things to name but a few, PWEI were probably one of the most prolific and well known of the early 1990s indie bands; they knocked out singles and albums at an incredible rate and, along with CUD and Carter, were probably one of the most recognisable and critically acclaimed bands of the time.

You knew where you stood with PWEI, if one of their records came on in a club then everyone would be up and dancing and you knew that when the NME had a photo of Cint Mansell on you were going to get a good story. You knew that you were going to get a good show if you went to see them live and by crikey you knew a single was going to be a good shouty sing-a-long of a bit of vinyl.

Of course, the Wikipedia Page covers most of what you need to know and this Pop Will Eat Itself - Bulletproof; is a taster of what we're missing. Although, of course, they did play a comeback tour in 2005...

You can buy Pop Will Eat Itself's best of "PWEI Product 1986-1994: The Pop Will Eat Itself Anthology" by clicking here. You really should.