Wednesday, July 25, 2007
The Suede Crocodiles - Stop the Rain (288)
The Suede Crocodiles - Paint Yourself a Rainbow (215)
The Bridal Shop - From Seas (204)
Skypark - Bicycle Boy (199)
Twa Toots - Don't Send Me Flowers (195)
The Search Engines - There She Goes (178)
The Mayfields - Call My Name (177)
The Pines - If She Doesn't Smile (It'll Rain) (175)
Reserve - Adrian Fabulous
Emmaboda Festival, July 25th @ the festival pre-party
w/ Billie the Vision & the Dancers, Mixtapes & Cellmates, Effete
Indietracks Festival, July 29th First on @ the main stage on the second day.
Nottingham, July 31st @ The Rescue Rooms
w/ The Besties, The Deirdres
London, August 1st @ The Brixton Windmill
Cardiff, August 2nd @ O'Neill's
Gothenburg, August 3rd @ Kontiki
See you tomorrow!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 23, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
My favourite band at the moment is probably this long-forgotten Shelflife act. I had never heard them until quite recently because Shelflife seems not to have cared too much about releases once they'd sold out. I never read anthing about them, and there were no songs to download. They're called Brittle Stars and are like a cross between the otherwise best two bands on the label - Skypark and The Autocollants. They have the crisp guitars of the former and gorgeous keyboards of the latter. And they have an almost unparalleled asset in singer Estelle, who's voice is truly heavenly. The first time I heard them was this year, when I got "Falling Backwards" on a Japanese compilation 7". Then I heard California Snow Story's cover of "This Trip" from the Shelflife comp You're Still Young At Heart. That was such an amazing song and I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the original, which was even better! Brittle Stars only recorded one, self-titled album and then split up. Three remaining songs were released together with compilation tracks and remixes as Garage Sale in 2001. Both records are now seemingly impossible to find! If you get addicted to Estelle's voice too, you should look up her new band Elephant Parade and buy their album Bedroom Recordings on their MySpace. Brittle Stars were simply too good for this world.
Brittle Stars - No Longer Waiting
The best thing was probably a medley of "Radio" and "I Dream of Angels". And it made me very happy to hear "The Beat Hotel" as the last song. Lovejoy was probably the biggest attraction for me that day, because I still wasn't counting on TVPs. I hadn't seen Dan since yesterday and it wouldn't have surprised me if he'd gotten lost in the woods or if he hadn't survived the night. The next band to play were My Darling You!, whom I have also seen before and that gig didn't exactly leave me craving for more. I think it's something about the way the guy sings... It's simply too Gothenburg. I would have loved to see The Dreamers play at Rip It Up, but I had to settle for Action Biker. I don't think Sarah has done any gigs as Action Biker for a while and most of the songs were new to me. Sounded great though! The Dreamers' album should be out on Friendly Noise sometime this year.
Sarah also sang a bit with the next band, Kissing Mirrors, who were probably the biggest surprise to me. I'd only heard their old ep, but they were really good live. Kissing Mirrors grew out of the Unreal Scarlet's Well that played at Mitt Sista Liv. Bid came over alone and had various Swedish musicians as his backing band. At that time Scarlet's Well didn't have a fixed line-up anyway. Kissing Mirrors have many different vocalists and at Rip It Up Hanna Fahl, Sarah Nyberg-Pergament, Mikael from The Honeydrips and the guy from Nicolas Makelberge took turns. Another band that I know many had been looking forward to was of course Cats On Fire. With a debut album that makes most of the competition look pale and an increasing international buzz speaking for them, things have never looked better for the Finnish quartet. It showed that they're getting confident and the gig at Rip It Up was among the best I've seen them do. My friends Kajsa played the organ as well, and it sounded great. It was smiles all around as they did an excellent version of "My Friend In a Comfortable Chair" for the encore. Now all they have to do is prove that they can follow up! Everyday Mistakes played after them and in that light they weren't very interesting. I saw them years ago at Mitt Sista Liv, when they sounded very different and I hazily remember that as being better. Dickon Edwards had been walkling around festival area as well that day, wearing a suit as usual and thickly applied make up. I spoke to him a bit after the Lovejoy gig as we're playing with Fosca in London on August 1st. I had to say hello, I figured. Some of my friends sensed an unforgettable moment as Dick and Dickon went to get some food at the small kiosk, and brought out their cameras. "Dick och Dickon köper korv" is a headline that sounds great in Swedish, but it just doesn't work translated so I won't bother. The Fosca gig was great actually, much more of a rock-out than I'd expected. Plus Dickon was left-handed so might be able to borrow his guitar in London! They played some new songs, like "I've Agreed to Something I Should Have", and some old, like "The Millionaire of Your Own Hair" and "The Agony Without the Ecstacy".
The last act were Television Personalities and I think they pulled the biggest crowd of all the bands, which only makes sense. But what doesn't make sense is that it was obvious everyone wasn't there. Did some people think "hmmm... am I going to see TVPs, or am I just going to stay here in my tent and drink some more?", or what?. It's possible not everyone knew who they were, but come on! The might never play in this country again. Because they did play - kind of. Everyone was standing in front of the stage, waiting, wondering if it was actually going to happen. Then suddenly they came in - Dan, a drummer, a bassist and a backing vocalist in a pretty dress. Patrik (Ring Snuten!) lent him his guitar and the sound guy had help him to get it on. After much shouting, from the audience and from Daniel, they started playing a song. Then the guitar went quiet. Dan was too drunk to understand what was happening - he'd probably been drinking all day, and he asked for at least two beers during the time the gig lasted. He had hit the mic switch on the guitar, and I don't know if maybe one of the mics didn't work but there sure wasn't any sound. Eventually he understood and flipped the switch back. Then he started playing again, and hit the switch again. So it went on and on throughout the gig. I don't think they finished one song properly. He tried to play all the hits though, as far as his memory allowed. It was a lot of "Alright, I'll fucking play Smashing Time! I fucking wrote that, you know!" and the like. He didn't seem able to deal with the audience very well and interchanged between shouting "fuck off!" and smiling happily at the outstretched hands. God knows most of them were probably as drunk as he was. You had to admire the backing band though, who were very patient and really tried. But it just wasn't possible, Dan was simply too drunk. I left before they stopped because it felt like this could go on forever. It was a very sad affair the whole thing. I went to get some sleep and luckily woke up just in time to get the ONLY bus into town before my train was leaving. Apparently there were many who just had to get on that bus to be in time for the train. The desperation was increasing as the bus queue grew and grew and the rain kept pouring. It turned out everyone got on ok, thank god. Hopefully it was all successful enough for the arrangers to try it again next year. I would go, at least!
Monday, July 16, 2007
The stage was an extension of one of the loading docks to the big building you can see in the picture above. I don't think everyone knew that what was actually inside was a fair-sized football pitch made of synthetic grass! But the arrangers Johan and Fredrik were terrified people would sneak in and ruin it anyway! I travelled up on the Thursday, which turned out to be pointless because there wasn't much to do. At least in the evening Mikael and Viktor, formerly of the legendary Starke Adolf club played some records on the stage. Friday was one long wait for the bands to get started. But the rest of my friends all arrived that day so there was plenty to do. Also, Fraction Discs did a short but sweet dj set. As they played "Throw Aggi From the Bridge" my friend Andrew from London walked past the stage. I didn't realise it was him until I saw him again after that. He told me he'd recorded a snippet with his camera to send to Mike from Slumberland/Black Tambourine. He knows Mike of course, because they were both once in The Crabapples. It didn't seem like the stage crew would be able to get everything working and sounding ok for 5 pm, and unfortunately The Sunny Street had some problems with the sound. But it was good anyway, because no one had any expectations as they have never played in Sweden before (in fact this was their second gig ever) and I don't think that many people had heard them. It was great to meet Rémi and Delphine - they were so sweet! I think they were probably those of the foreign artist who hung out the most with us 'ordinary people'. They told me they'd seen A Smile and a Ribbon in London, but had been to shy to say hello. Their band name is supposed to be ironic, but the sun actually peered out, as you can see.
Next on were Strawberry Fair and she had people from lots of other bands as backing musicians and vocalists. I've only heard a few of her old songs so I liked "I Can't Do Anything" best. David from The Morning Paper (who have just released their first single on Cloudberry) played drums and Alice from After-School Sports (and formerly The Never Invited to Parties!!) and Ida from The Bridal Shop were on backing vocals. After that was a band that many people were waiting to see. I had never seen Liechtenstein before either, so I could hardly wait. Liechtenstein is Renée from Fraction Discs own band, and she's joined by three other girls. It was obvious that they haven't played live much but it was all in keeping with the DIY, all-girl spirit of early 80's post-punk bands like Girls At Our Best!, Dolly Mixture and Mo-Dettes. The fact that they're the only band I've seen with two guitarists playing Squires pretty much proves my point. As I've only heard the songs on the 7" it was great to get a chance to hear new material. It all sounded good, but maybe one backbeat too many! Patrik (aka Ring Snuten!) was on next and it must have felt rather good for him to be at an indiepop festival without having to worry about the arrangement itself. As you probably know, he was one of the people behind the Liv festivals outside Kalmar. I've seen him play before, so I was not that excited but then suddenly he invited the former members of Dorotea up on the stage for a handful of songs, and the crowd went wild as the percentage of Gothenburgians at the festival was sizeable (and there's nothing more Gothenburg than Dorotea!)
You know who this is, don't you? Yes, that's Glenn Melia on the left and I can't believe I was actually there! Seeing St. Christopher live was pretty special and lots of other people must have felt the same, because by the time the boys came back on for the encore there was a proper mosh pit forming. And the fact that they ended on "All of a Tremble" didn't exactly calm things down... They played all the hits actually, and the biggest surprise was probably "It's Snowing On the Moon" - the b-side to Sarah 46. I had that in my Christmas podcast, if you remember. I talked to Glenn for a bit before the gig and he said he wasn't playing the song I had requested some months ago, because back then he was thinking of doing a solo set accompanied only by a drum machine. Now they were a three-piece so I guess they opted for the more bombastic material. And there aren't many bands who can boast an opening track like "Say Yes to Everything"! I wasn't too disappointed though, as I would have been in ectasy whichever songs they'd chosen to play. Glenn said they didn't have any new stuff, but he was going to write some new songs for upcoming releases on Plastilina and Cloudberry. An economical guy - he won't write songs until he has a confirmed release. I advised him to stay and watch the next band: Days. Just because St. Christopher was one of the bands they reminded me of when I first heard them. But then it started raining and you couldn't recognise anyone behind the umbrellas and the raincoats. It was also around this time that Dan Treacy first ventured outside the backstage area, and it was quite a shock to say the least. No one was really expecting the TVPs to come, and then before you know it Dan is standing there in his wollen cap, just a few yards away. I would have like to say something but there immediately formed a crowd of teenagers around him that seemed to follow him around for the rest of the festival. He was drunk and the kids seemed bloody annoying so I decided not to bother him any further. Anyways, Days came on and did a magnificent set full of gloriously sparkling pop. The rain was picking up but I don't think anyone cared. There were intermittent shouts from the audience along the lines of "sooo fucking good!" and "the best band in Sweden!". I'm glad people have finally understood. Days were at least as good as last time I saw them and they finished with an old song that has already reached legendary status (at least if you're a Signed Papercut!). I managed to squeee my camera in-between the umbrellas overhead and the hoods of raincoats in front, to capture the moment.
It felt like the climax of the first day was behind us, and there was no sign of clear skies. I stayed for a while though, to see Mikael who is The Honeydrips. His first album was finally released a few months back and it was a relief because some of the songs are three years old now. There are a few different kinds of Honeydrips gigs, this one turned out to be of the type where he played his one-string bass (which was not switched on) and sang over the backtrack. It was good enough though, and the new songs are really fab. You can get the album Here Comes the Future from Sincerely Yours, I think. After that I was thouroughly soaked and didn't really care for seeing The Tough Alliance. I mean, their new records are nice enough but their live shows still seem pointless. And I can't get past thinking of them as a pair of right toffs. Me and Nils-Martin went to dry up in his car instead. I ended up getting my shoes soaked instead however (the car park was in the marsh, remember?). Air France did some deejaying after that, I think, but I was spent and went back to the tent and fell asleep... eventually. Maybe that's why people drink so much? So they can then happily fall asleep in their tent (or someone elses).
To be continued. (Well, there was a second day you know.)
Friday, July 13, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I stood right in front of Greg last week, so no wonder he recognised me when I went up to talk to him before the gig. We talked about this old live recording of their gig at the Emmaboda festival three years ago, and if I get round to uploading it I'll give you the link as well. We had a nice chat and I spoke briefly to Satomi too and they're all such lovely people! The setlist was pretty much the same as last week, apart from the encore, but I didn't mind as I hadn't listened to them for far too long before that anyway. The picture above is of Satomi last week, and here's Greg two days ago. I ended up standing right in front of him again, as you can see!
Monday, July 02, 2007
Here's the back cover with the tracklist, if you want to print it.
R... Is For Rain
When I got home Louis Philippe's new album was waiting in a parcel for me. I've listened to it a few times and it's one of the best records so far this year. Definitely one of his very best - quite comlex in orchestration, arrangement and concept. It's called An Unkown Spring and features Alasdair from The Clientele on some acoustic guitar. Alasdair and Mel also help out with some of the harmonies. I hope Louis comes over to play sometime too.
I'll put up the last podcast today, but I also have some stuff left to write about from last week so it's not over just yet! And I've got about ten more songs that I just HAVE to post. So if you were thinking about converting your computer into a cosy house for hamsters, I suggest you wait a while.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
The Driscolls - Call Me Anything
The Popguns - Don't Smile (live)
Big Red Bus - Another World
The Mayfields - All You Ever Say
Buy off the Bar - No Money For the Lavatory
The Candy Darlings - That's Where Caroline Lives
The Colgates - Before
The Haywains - Surfing in My Sleep (live)
Mousefolk - Fire Engine
Jane Pow - Why Am I Here?
Jerks - Waterskin
The Penny Candles - No Doubt
Great Scott - The Very Best Part
The Man from Delmonte - Casual Friends (live)
The Moneygods - Papa's Gonna Buy Me a CD Player
Nervous Curve - Your Idea of Heaven
St. Christopher - To the Mountain (live)
Crocodile Ride - Ride
Howl in the Typewriter - Melt
The Williams - Can I Walk in Your World
Rodney Allen - Victoria's Values
Wom - Hanging Man
Honeycrash - Smiling Behind Me
Millstones - Walking Stick Pub
Singing Curtains - While the Children Build Sandcastles I Can Sail & Windsurf
Dirty Stop-Outs - Trying So Hard
Margery Daws - Typical Day
The Driscolls - Call Me Anything
Monday, June 25, 2007
The Garlands - Freedom
The Wolfhounds – L.A. Juice
There's quite a bit of sixties-tinged music today, and we start off with "L.A. Juice" on which the influence of Nuggets and Pebbles lps becomes perhaps more apparent then anywhere else in The Wolfhounds' short career. It's from their debut ep Cut the Cake that came out on the influential Pink Label in 1985. I recently remembered how brilliant The Wolfhounds are, so this is why this is here as well.
Thee Headcoatees – All My Feelings Denied
This all-girl garage group evolved out of The Delmonas and is perhaps better known as the group Holly Golightly was in before launching a very successful solo career. This song is from their 1994 album Ballad of the Insolent Pup. Watch out for that amazing scream about mid-song. That's the true spirit of garage!
The Fallen Leaves - Repetition
A relatively new garage group based in London, that I discovered via Bus Stop's MySpace page. The members aren't exactly new to garage though. They run a club in London called The Parliament Club and even have a founding member of The Subway Sect in their line-up! They have a self-released 7"/cdep called Trouble that I bought directly from them. If you're interested you can contact them here.
The Cyrkle – Red Chair Fade Away
American psychpop group The Cyrkle had a hit in the late 60's with "Red Rubber Ball" then disappeared from the radar. But as many other obscure 60's groups they've been reappraised and since 1991 their output has been available on cd as part of Sony's Legacy Rock Artifacts Series. This song was originally by The Bee Gees, and it has also lent its name to Tim Vass' band after Razorcuts.
The Clientele – Nothing But Sunshine
The Clientele released their third album on Merge last month. It's called God Save the Clientele, and as usual it is a masterpiece. It also features the debut appearance of new keyboardist Mel Draisey. It was recorded in Nashville and produced by Mark Nevers who has previously worked with Will Oldham and Lambchop. The result of this new combination can be heard e.g. on the pedal steel equipped "Nothing But Sunshine".
Louis Philippe – Born Beautiful
Just as with Strange Geometry, the new Clientele album has string arrangements penned by Louis Philippe, who has been busy this year. Recently his collaboration with Stuart Moxham (ex-Young Marble Giants) resulted in album as Huddlehouse. He has also released a new solo album, that like the last one is released on his own label and was funded through subscription. It's definitely a return to his él Records roots and he describes it as his most orchestrated album for years. It reminds me of his first album, both in its complexity and simplicity.
Blueboy – Boy’s Don’t Matter
My tribute to Keith Girdler continues with songs from two of his previous bands. Only after his death have I finally heard the whole Blueboy catalogue, which is quite extensive. And impressive to say the least! Three albums all in all, and looking back now I can conclude that as suave as If Wishes Were Horses is, my favourite will have to be Unisex. A complete artistic statement in a way that no other record from his career became. This is song is from that album, released by Sarah in 1994.
Feverfew – Crimson Gloom
Before starting Blueboy, Paul and Keith played in this band. Two of their songs ended up on split with The Rileys on A Turntable Friend. It was dubbed The Happiness EP and came out in 1992, when they had already split up and Blueboy was well on their way to stardom. At the time of Feverfew's existence though, a handful of songs turned up on compilations and "Crimson Gloom" from the Corrupt Postman tape is the best I've heard from them.
Twig – At Work and At Home
Eventually Twig's first single has seen the light of day. This band from Stockholm have been active off and on for many years, producing only a few demos. I first heard them in 2004 and fell in love with "Find Me". They got played on Swedish radio and were described as a cross between The Wake and Orange Juice. And I have to say that is the most well-founded description of that kind I have heard! The "Life In a Swedish Town" single is available from Cloudberry, but I can't wait for the release of this opus of a pop song.
California Snow Story – A New Light to Guide You
I've already told you how much I love Close to the Ocean but if you're still not convinced, just listen to this song from the new album. It was my favourite already when I heard it live last year.
The Hi-Life Companion – You’re the Greatest
The Hi-Life Companion's first album should be out sometime this year and should include this song. It is the best I've heard from the band so far and it was on a sampler called Say Yes! they were nice enough to send me. The Rain Fell Down wishes them all best for their future career!
The Pocketbooks – Not Going Out
London's darlings The Pocketbooks have been headed for a place in the hearts of pop fans ever since the inclusion of "First World Record" on Ian Watson's Kids At the Club compilation. This song is from their first single, released by Atomic Beat - newly started by the lovely Marianthi. You can get the 7" from their website, and should also take the opportunity of grabbing a copy of the Pete Green single.
Wake the President – Sorrows For Clothes
Glasgow boys Wake the President's first single is truly a double a-side, and it took a while to figure out that this is the actual 'first' song. It came out on Electric Honey - legendary for releasing Belle & Sebastian's first album - and it's a prestigious title to chosen as their band of the year. Wake the President definitely live up to expectations though, and manage to simultaneously be at the centre of Glasgow's indiepop scene and wallow in their influences from 80's Scotspop acts like Remember Fun.
The Hardy Boys – Wonderful Lie
...or The Hardy Boys. This obscure Scottish group released one single in the late 80's and this is it. And what a wonderful single! They've recently reformed and Erik and Bjorn from Wake the President were quick to book them some gigs in August. According to the new MySpace page there is a retrospective cd in the works, although it doesn't say on what label.
Bubblegum Lemonade – 10 Years Younger
Laz continues going from triumph to triumph. The new Strawberry Whiplash tune "Summershine" (that you can listen to here) is an instant classic that wouldn't be dwarfed next to The Sea Urchins' song with the same name and other 'summershine' songs like Bulldozer Crash's "Sarah Said". Equally "10 Years Younger" is a flawless addition to the Bubblegum Lemonade catalogue. Now all we need are a couple singles! And something tells me it might happen soon.
The Thanes – World of Stone
This is the best garage revival group from Scotland. They started out as The Green Telescope, which is a much better name if you ask me, releasing two seven-inches. Since then they've recorded countless albums, but a good introduction might be the Evolver compilation from 2004. This song is on it, and someone said it sounded like "Simple Things" by Belle & Sebastian!
Thee Milkshakes – The Best Things In Life
Another Billy Childish band. This is from Thee Milkshakes' album They Came They Saw They Conquered that came out on Pink Dust in 1984.
Shawn Robinson – My Dear Heart
The week's northern soul tune is a recent favourite, that I had the pleasure of dancing to at the Function club in Sweden. One of the places you can find it is on the second volume of Stateside's Talcum Soul compilations.
The Leaves – Words
The early stage of The Turtles, and they've been credited with cutting the first version of "Hey Joe" that became most famous in Jimi Hendrix's rendition. This song is from the album Hey Joe that came out in the US in 1966 - two other songs from it is on the Nuggets box.
The Knickerbockers – I Can Do It Better
The Knickerbockers' first album goes for big money on eBay, I've read. But it's nowhere as good as the second one, called Lies, that apart from that staple of garage rock that the title-track is (also on Nuggets) also includes this slightly more psychedelic song.
Heaven Is Above Your Head
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The Dovers – People Ask Me Why
The Orange Peels – Everybody’s Gone (demo)
The Rain – Saint Martin’s-In-the-Fields
The Byrds – Have You Seen Her Face
Primal Scream – It Happens
Biff Bang Pow! – The Happiest Girl In the World
St. Christopher – Gabriel
Blueboy – Always There
The Pines – Baby You’ll Do
Brittle Stars – Souvenir
Love Dance – Unsympathetic Ways
Fat Tulips – Girl That You Once Knew
Sportique – If You Ever Change Your Mind
The Squires – Go Ahead
The Rainyard – 1,000 Years
The Choo Choo Train – Parasol
Happydeadmen – Science Fiction
Holidaymakers – Cincinatti
Bulldozer Crash – Sarah Said
Brighter – Don’t Remember
Razorcuts – Snowbound
The Sea Urchins – Day Into Day
The Poets – I’ll Come Home
The Thanes – Girls
The Claim – Hopeless
Television Personalities – The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Dreaming
Reserve – Postcard From Paradise (slow version)
Johnny Johnson – Cripple Me
Popguns – I’m Spoiling Everything
The Velvet Crush – Circling the Sun
Paulie Chastain – Raining All Day
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
EDIT: Well, that was quick! Jessel actually identified this as a compilation HE had made years ago. He's posted the tracklist in the comments.
The Page Boys - In Love With You
Monday, June 18, 2007
The Tender Engines – Clinging to the Wreckage
This was one of the bands that made the Summershine label so great. It's one of my favourite labels and just like Bus Stop and A Turntable Friend it should be placed right up there with Sarah Records. This song, from 1990, was the group's first single and the second to be released by Summershine.
Even As We Speak – Stay With Me
This is from a Peel Session they did during their first trip to the UK, to promote the release of their album Feral Pop Frenzy in 1992. It never appeared on record, I think. Peel was a big fan of the band and they managed to record four songs, borrowing equipment from other Sarah bands. Jim Kavanaugh, ever the fan of ozpop, has a compilation of the band's pre-Sarah singles scheduled for release on his Egg Records sometime this year.
The Masters Apprentices – War Or Hands of Time
Australia produced quite a few good beat and garage groups in the sixties, as the second Nuggets box proves. This group was perhaps the most successful in their apprenticeship to the masters of fuzz on the other side of the world. This song is from 1966.
The Sugargliders – Tightening Our Belts
This is a demo that I got from Olaf, so I don't know where it came from apart from that. A google search turned up dry - maybe he can enlighten us?
The Apartments – Help
Australia was pretty big when it came to powerpop and garage revival as well, as any readers of Sideroom 7" Singles should have learned. This song I found on Beat For Two though, and it's a 1979 single.
The Sunnyboys – Alone With You
Probably the best Australian revival band? This is the 7" version that came out on Phantom in 1980.
The Lighthouse Keepers – Wheels Over the Desert
Here's another Australian band from whom we're also eagerly awaiting an Egg compilation. I still only have the band's first album Tales of the Unexpected from 1984, but judging from "Springtime" that was on the latest Egg sampler there are some great stuff lurking in the vaults. This is the opening track from the album, and one of the best on it.
Widdershins – Now You Know
As the The Lighthouse Keepers turned into the Widdershins after 1986, they may have lost an amazing bassist, but the music also became increasingly jangly in a Smiths kind of way. And Juliet Ward's voice had never sounded better! This song is included on the Egg retrospective Good Songs, which in fact includes everything the band ever recorded. It originally came out on a Waterfront 7" twenty years ago.
The Orange – What's In a Name?
This song was part of Jim Kavanaugh's Australian extravaganza on Indie MP3 a few years ago, if you remember that. He said himself that this was the most obscure contribution, and there is very little information about this band. Apart from the fact that it's from a Flying Nun 12" released in 1986 there's not much else. There's another release listed in the Flying Nun catalogue, but there are doubts as to whether it actually exists.
The Easybeats – Sorry
Thee Australian freakbeat group! They moved to London in 1966 and became the first Australian band to score a big international hit, with "Friday On My Mind" in 1966. But this single from the same year, which is included on Nuggets II together with "Friday On My Mind" has at least as much hit potential if you ask me. They where definitely the Beatles of Australia and created an 'Easyfever' that could even rival Beatlemania.
The La De Das – How Is the Air Up There?
This band was The Rolling Stones of New Zealand then. The song is a Blues Magoos cover and was their first single with proper distribution. It made them the biggest pop group in New Zealand, which they remained until moving to Australia in 1967.
The Smoke – No More Now
Another New Zealand garage group, that like The La De Das, The Chants R&B and The Bluestars (on SPLASH 22) is included on Nuggets II. But this one might be my favourite, with its psychedelic guitar parts and overdriven bass. That's probably a result of it coming out one year after e.g. "Friday On My Mind", which means in 1967 when psychedelia hit full on. They're not to be confused with the seminal Britsh group with the same name.
Sneaky Feelings - Pity's Sake
The birth of Flying Nun was a response the growing scene in Dunedin and Christchurch. The centre of this scene was The Clean, although everybody played in each other's bands. There's a quite comprehensive study of the Dunedin sound on the excellent In Love With These Times. After the original bands like Toy Love and The Clean split up, several new bands were formed and four of them ended up on the Dunedin Double EP from 1982: The Chills, The Stones, The Verlaines, and Sneaky Feelings. Each band had one side, and this is the first on Sneaky Feelings' side.
The Bats – Boogey Man
The Bats were formed by Robert Scott, the bassist of The Clean, after they split up. They're my favourite band on Flying Nun alongside The Jean-Paul Sartre Experience. This is a jangly single from 1991, that was also included on their third album Fear of God.
The Go-Betweens – Eight Pictures
What can you say? The most important band from Australia, right up until last year saw the end of the reformed duo of Robert Forster and Grant McLennan. Nothing short of death could stop them. This is one my favourites, and it's from their first album Send Me a Lullaby. It was also the first Go-Between's album I heard, after buying it at a record fair in the nearby town when I was at a festival in Sweden. I brought it all the way back home, put in on the record player and was overtaken by the fractured pop songs coming at me from the speakers. I quickly learned to love it, especially "Eight Pictures" and "It Could Be Anyone".
The Cat's Miaow – Smitten
This band has been a relatively new discovery for me, but when I finally got around to buying those two Library compilations I realised that this is one of my favourite bands ever. The Cat's Miaow was the best of the many indiepop bands in Australia in the early 90's - like Hyroplane and Huon e.g. You can get this song on Songs For Girls to Sing from 2003.
The Lucksmiths – Don't Bring Your Work to Bed
This was probably the first Australian indiepop band I discovered though, around the time Why That Doesn't Surprise Me. I remember they were actually on tv in Sweden, on the music programme Musikbyrån. I went to see them live in Malmö at the wonderful Young Alive and In Love club, although I was probably under-age! But it was the best show I'd ever been to at the time. I even wrote a song about it. Every song on that album is a favourite and I can't resist singing along every time I put it on, but anyway, this is one of them.
Girl of the World – 3000 ft.
Bart Cummings was one of the founders of The Cat's Miaow in 1992, but he'd been in other bands previously. For example Girl of the World, and this is the b-side of their third single.
Ups & Downs – I Wonder
Another classic Waterfront release was the Ups & Downs' "In the Shadows" from 1986. But the b-side is simply unbelievable! To the band's credibility, their name comes from a Flamin' Groovies song, and they even had the honour of supporting them on their 1986 tour. I'll let this song end today's podcast.
Kaleidoscope Worlds Away