Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The End of the Affair

We've come to the last post on The Rain Fell Down, and the reason is of course that I'm sadly no longer in Glasgow and I've already put off the ending for too long. I started writing here so people could keep track of what I was doing in the rain, but it ended up being more about keeping track of the music I discovered. And then there was the radio show of course. As far as I know all off the programmes and podcasts are still available to download, and everything will stay that way for as long as technology allows. It's been fantastic living in Glasgow and it turned out I met some really nice people through this blog. So cheers to everyone who was kind to me, cheers to Sinister, to everyone who has read and listened, to people who have left comments or written, and to the poor old souls who have bothered dragging stuff down to the post office. I hope you've found music you didn't know you couldn't live without and I hope I've helped some bands on their way (back - in some cases...). I'll return some day, but I'm not dead you know! I'm alive, starting a new degree that will probably get me stuck in Malmö for some years, with lots of new favourite bands to discover - and I'll write about it all on Heaven Is Above Your Head. Malmö is still quite POP!, although it's not in the same league as Glasgow. But if I happen to miss it to much I can always put on a song by Butcher Boy, The Hermit Crabs, All My Friends, Wake the President, Cake Taker, BMX Bandits, The Orchids, California Snow Story, Tibi Lubin, The Pastels, Zoey Van Goey, Park Attack or any of all the other bands that will always make me think about Glasgow - and I'm sure I'll smiling again in no time. I'll think about sitting in my garden, picnicing in Kelvingrove Park, dancing at NPL, the West End foxes, drinking strudel tea at Tchai Ovna and splashing along in George Square. And everything and everyone else! But naturally, playing at The Winchester Club with A Smile and a Ribbon will always be special. I keep forgetting it's happened... It was so nice to have you all in my flat! And thanks to everyone who came to see the gig - I hope you want us to come back soon. So drop by on the other end of the rainbow, and I leave you with you a goodbye hug underneath your umbrella!

In the Hit Parade

Thought it might be interesting to see some statistics of which were the most popular DROPs, as the end is now imminent. Of course the old ones have been up longer, so it won't tell you too much. For example the Paul Chastain tune has already been downloaded 32 times, and I only just put it up. Anyway, there's no doubt about The Suede Crocodiles keeping their position at the top!

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)


I thought eighty-six might be a good number to end on... And what better way to bow out than with a fabulous unreleased demo from one of the best bands ever: Reserve. As you know, Reserve only released a single ep before splitting up, with some of the members joining James Dean Driving Experience. But there was so much more material. I think I've got 21 demos now all in all. "Adrian Fabulous" is one of the very best, dripping with sarcasm and resignation. Since then Torquil has recorded the odd solo song, as The Atom Miksa Reservation. Some of them are on MySpace and Ally told me he's just put up some new ones, so head on over.

A Is an Alphabet

Going on tour is seemingly bad luck. First we find out the weather will be shite for Indietracks, we end up with no place to sleep, making t-shirts and bags didn't work because of a faulty screen printing frame, further delays at Shelflife means we won't have any records to sell (once again) and we might not even have a drum-kit for our Gothenburg gig. But either way, A Smile and a Ribbon will soon be in a parish near you! And you WILL be able to pre-order the record for an attractive price, though. The English dates have been on Indie MP3 already but here's the full rundown:

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
w/ Fosca, The Besties, The Parallelograms

Cardiff, August 2nd
@ O'Neill's
w/ The Besties, Silence At Sea, The School

Gothenburg, August 3rd
@ Kontiki

See you tomorrow!


Alistair was kind enough to send me a cdr full of Emily demos a while back, and now I've finally gotten round to posting something from it. Two of the songs are from the first demo they recorded, which was in 1986, and "Pure As Winter" is one of them. I still haven't heard the Stumble EP on Esurient, although there is an acoustic version of the title track on the cdr. It's called "Mermaid" and is simply magnificent in all its stark beauty. Send Emily your everlasting love here. Only one left now.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Don't Throw Bouquets At Me

I went to see Maher Shalal Hash Baz at Mono, right before going on said Gothenburg trip. They actually stopped just in time for me to rush down Argyle Street to catch the train to Prestwick. It was a very good gig - I've never seen them before so I'm glad I got that chance because I apparently missed out on a gig they did here in Sweden at the Full Pull festival recently. Tenniscoats played here in Malmö as well, as did Kama Aina. That was probably what upset me most about missing that festival, as I'd seen all the other bands before. But of course, the Malmöits (?...that's just a proposed term) didn't have the pleasure of seeing Bill Wells playing piano for them. It didn't seem like he'd gotten a chance to practise before the Mono gig, because every time Maher turned a page in the score you could see Bill looking intently at it trying to figure out how to play it. All the while trying to keep the neck of Maher's guitar out of the way. All the members had done solo sets prior to that, and on the average they were great, but it was even better when it all came together. And they got some drumming assistance from Katrina for one of the songs - that was the best one in my opinion.

So I've written about going to Gothenburg and coming back, but what did I actually do there you might wonder? Well, I went to visit a friend and to go to the recently resurrected indiepop club Taramasalata (named after an Eggstone tune). My friend's taken over the task of arranging the club and on this premiere night she'd gotten Jörgen from Fraction Discs to play records. That's him above, just about to pay his respects to Keith Girdler by spinning some Blueboy.

I always enjoy coming to Gothenburg as it's such a beautiful city. This is was it looks like. Well not really, but it CAN - if you happen to be in the Botanic Gardens. However, it was stiflingly hot this time. There was a terrible heat wave that weekend with temperatures at about 30 degrees. I also went to see the penguins of course. Didn't you know we had penguins in Sweden? They were in a pool of course. It was hard to resist jumping in the water too.

And flamingos there were. All in Slottsskogen - a sort of park/zoo thing just across the motorway from Kontiki, where the club was. Don't you think we could use some flamingos in Kelvingrove Park?

Because We're Not Dead, Yet

No, you have to stay alive until you've gotten hold of Slow Club's first single. I've ordered my copy from Moshi Moshi (which is probably the easiest option if you're not in the UK) and I'm waiting impatiently. When you've got "Because We're Dead" in your hand you can pass away with a smile on your face. And a tune in your brain. No, lots of tunes. That won't go away. I had they pleasure of seeing Slow Club at Tchai Ovna, the same day I came back to Glasgow from my Gothenburg trip (more about that soon). It was a Sunday - June the 10th. Tchai Ovna is a really small place so there was no dancing, just some serious twitching. If I was proper reviewer I'd probably say there was a really tangible atmosphere, or something. But I don't have to tell you how special this gig was. Slow Club is a band destined for worldwide success, just like Architecture In Helsinki, so it was a privilege to see them do this small (in several respects) gig, which was the first gig of their first headlining tour! No room to dance, but I did some jumping and skipping on my way home instead. If you heard someone singing "Sunday" down Great George St it was probably me! David was shocked to find the entry was 6 quid, but it made sense because there turned out to be three acts. Local boy Only Joe Kane was first on. I've missed several opportunities to see him before so I was glad to catch him finally. He played solo this time, but managed to really rock out. How could you fail in those sunglasses?:

The middle band was a band called Finniston (and were not from Finnieston) and they were good as well. They sounded a bit like Aberfeldy and The Lucksmiths, but were scarily competent. I mean, they found out they only had two microphones, so they decided to sing without mics - still they managed to make their three-part harmonies heard! And the guy who played double bass and violin was obviously a professional musician and played in an orchestra. I think I had something witty to say about them a month ago, but that's what I get for putting off writing about it for so long, I guess.


This song seems very fitting considering the weather both in England and Sweden lately. Hope we don't get washed away at Indietracks! As you might remember this was the closing track on my Rip It Up tape as well, so here's a chance for everone else to hear it. I've got this on the Bus Stop compilation Peppermint Stick Parade (I don't have to tell you what a brilliant, brilliant name that is) from 1995, but it's originally from that legendary Bus Stop flexi that was the first thing they released. This split-flexi from 1987 also had The Stupid Cupids' "Big Blue Bus" on it. The Stupid Cupids were of course Paul and Ric in yet another disguise and the song is pretty much a demo version of what later became "Big Blue Buzz" by The Choo Choo Train! While you're at it you should also download "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes" from The Siddeleys' website, if you haven't already.



I've finally heard the Postcard For Flossy EP by The Poppyheads, that was the fourth flexi in the Sha-La-La series. Since the Cremation Town EP on Sarah became one of my favourite releases on the label, I've been desperate to hear these four songs. To be honest they're very different from say, "Dreamabout". Not unaccomplished, but more twee maybe - definitely more naive! Once you get used to the thought though, they're briliant songs. Three of them with female backing vocals. The third one is the one on which you can glimpse the sound and direction they later went for. This is "First Thing". It's a crying shame they only did one proper 7". And it's a shame I can't afford it!


Monday, July 23, 2007

All For Art and Art For All

One of the best things that happened the last weeks I was in Glasgow was the Art School's Degree Exhibition. It's definitely the best art show I've seen since the fourth Berlin biennial last year. Unfortunately I never got around to seeing the Master of Fine Arts graduates' stuff, which was housed in the Tramway. I spent several days going through the main building and the adjoining ones though. Everything there was done by the Bachelor graduates and all the fine arts stuff were in the main building. Design, ceramics, textiles and jewelry amongst others were just across the street. The first day I went, I barely had time to see two floors in the main building. There wasn't that much traditional painting, which was good. I liked some of the photography and there were some great video works and installations. For example there was a really funny animation that included a falling leaf. It had some spooky concrete music set to it and suddenly, before the leaf hit the ground, it opened its mouth and let out a shrill scream. It was in a separate room, so everyone in the next room turned their heads and wondered what was going on every time the scream recurred! There was a fascinating installation that was a low corridor you could walk through, after taking your shoes off. Everything around you was covered in black and white checkers, and there was some other stuff that your experience of being in there could make you relate to. In the same part was also my favourite work, which was more conceptual - a Japanese girl called Masako Ueda had made screen prints on paper towels. She'd then placed them in dispensers that she had photographed in various locations, e.g. next to the Kelvin River. On the first day her paper towels had also been in the toilets of the main building. The whole point of course, was that you were supposed to take one, but I don't think many people understood that. There were also printed tissues, because the whole thing derived from the Japanese phenomenon of handing out free paper tissues with advertisements on them. Apparently no one buys tissues because pretty much every company gives them away as a PR thing. So it obviously related to pop art and commercialism. But also the aloofness of the art establishment. I was quite surprised at the prices some of the graduates had set on their works. Lots of things were £300 and above and prices seemed to depend on the size of the work and not the amount of time spent on it. I liked the fact that many artists had things that were not for sale (which seems to suggest it means something to them, beyond being just something to be proud of), and I liked Masako's works - because they was free. I like art you can take home, interact with, or at least touch. Otherwise it sometimes gets hard to relate to it or get something from it. Another interesting thing, which was independent of the degree show was that there were works on display from something called 'the one pound gallery' or similar. This a project to encourage artists to share their work, and might be a possible outlet for unfinished or unsatisfactory works. The idea was that you could take a picture of the thing you've created, which should correlate to the value of one pound in some way (e.g. the costs of the materials or the amount of time spent on in relation to what the artists would normally charge). The gallery would then consider it and if accepted the artist would be paid one pound.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Here's another one from Grimsby Fishmarket 4 Norrkoeping 0. Mary-Go-Round are apparently a legendary Swedish indiepop band. If you'd asked me about them a few months ago though, I wouldn't have had a clue who they were. Since then I've found out that they were from Luleå and only released one 7" that I still haven't heard, on the West Side Fabrication label, which became the biggest indie label in Sweden during the early 90's. This single, pictured above, came out in 1990 and that is probably from when the song here is too. The picture was taken from eBay, were the crazy guy 'macbeats' from Gothenburg had put up a copy for £199! The first Eggstone single was priced similarly and man, that person must be in serious need of money. Thankfully no one bought it, as you can see if you follow the link. Anyway, Mary-Go-Round must be pretty good judging from this song which is the best on the tape together with the Orchids one.



This is the first of two songs I'm posting from Grimsby Fishmarket 4 Norrkoeping 0 - the tape I mentioned in the last post and that I'm guessing came at the same time as the fourth issue of the fanzine. The full tracklisting can be found on TweeNet. It's a capital crime The Orchids didn't keep a master tape of "And When I Wake Up", because it is definitely one of their best songs! Apparently there's been a thread on the Indiepop list about this after I put in on a cd I gave to Brogues... If you're on the list, Marianthi was kind enough to give you a download link for the whole tape. If not, here you go.

What a Palaver!

I didn't tell you about the perhaps biggest surprise at Rip It Up. In the middle of a gig Andrew turned and pointed towards a girl wearing a white t-shirt with "Grimsby Fishmarket" printed in large green letters - "that's something you don't see everyday!", he said and I could only agree. For those of you who don't know, Grimsby Fishmarket was an old Swedish pop fanzine. Then later on, as we were looking through the stuff Fraction Discs were selling at the festival, there were three issues of the fanzine and it's predecessor Smash Hit Wonder. It wasn't too difficult to solve the mystery though, as Jörgen told me that the girl wearing the t-shirt worked together with one of the guys who used to do the fanzine. He had lots of un-sold copies lying around at home and was planning to throw them out. So she'd brought them to the festival instead! I've read through the first issue that you can see pictured above, and it was really interesting. They seem to have been very into the whole él scene. Felt strange reading a fanzine in Swedish though, but it only proves that it can be done. The fifth issue (which was the other one they sold) came with a transparent flexi holding two songs by Chocolate Barry. I didn't know this artist but they were nice enough songs and I was surprised to find that their address was Bunkeflostrand - a small suburb to Malmö that I've actually been to a few times! The writers of the fanzine also made a cassette compilation that has become quite legendary, because it included an exclusive track from The Orchids. I heard something about there being cds with the songs from the tape, but I'm not sure if that was true. But luckily a kind soul actually sent me a ripped version of the tape on a cd a couple of months ago (two or three songs didn't fit on it though), so I'll be putting up two of the songs here shortly. The Orchids told me that they hadn't heard the song in question themselves for about 15 years, so I hope these people still have a master tape or something! I don't think Fraction Discs sold all the copies of the fanzines, so you could write to them and ask if you're interested. Or you could write to Marcus Törncrantz, to whom to can send a message via the Indiepop Directory entry for Grimsby Fishmarket. I think that might be the person we're talking about here.

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 Man Who Paints the Rainbows

On the second day God created the wellingtons. I put them on in anticipation of a rainy day and looked forward to some good old puddle-jumping. The weather had been great for most of the first day, but the Saturday was worse. It wasn't difficult to kill time though as there were enough people I knew to keep me talking until 5 pm. We also got a chance to listen to my tape, although we were almost interrupted because Patrik was drunk and needed some Boyracer badly. Lovejoy were first on and Richard arrived punctually an hour before the gig. He said he wasn't very well rehearsed and did a fairly short set. It was great to meet him, and I should probably say 'hi' because it seems he has been reading this blog. I'd seen him once before three years ago, but back then I didn't have the confidence to talk to strangers, even if I happened to love the music they made. I got to take some pictures from the stage while Richard did a very casual soundcheck. From this one you can probably guess the cover he opened with, if your myopia isn't getting too bad.

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


I still think James Dean Driving Experience are every bit as good as they're reputed to be. (And as they seem to think themselves.) Still no news of the compilation though. I would indeed have payed a lot for this 12" so I hope it comes before the next copy turns up on eBay! This song is my favourite JDDE song, though there are still a few I haven't heard. It's simply a perfect pop song and indeed it is one of my favourite songs of all time. They actually had quite a distinct sound for being a jangle pop outfit. They had a violin player (that actually sounds like a third guitarist on "Ballad of Bedford Town") and were sometimes joined by the distiguished folk guitarist Mac Macleod. The singer also has a very soft and pleasant voice, although it's sometimes so mellow you can't make out the lyrics. The actor on the cover of Clearlake Revisited is Rita Hayworth and all of their record covers had different actors on the front. All female, predictably. Thanks to Brogues for making this post possible!


Please Don't Play "Rip It Up"

So, what was Rip It Up like then? Apart from hearing the Orange Juice song so many times I won't be able to listen to it for quite a while. The location was quite nice - outside a small town called Säffle, lodged inside a small industrial area and right next to a heritage-marked marsh. The car park was actually in the marsh area, which didn't seem like a very bright idea to me. And going for a swim in the two feet deep 'lake' wasn't either, as three of my friends found out.

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


Nothing can match the thrill of hearing a Mayfields song you hadn't heard before. But that seems to be a pleasure I won't experience again, as I've now heard all the songs listed on TweeNet. I still hope there are some more though. Eleven songs by one of the greatest bands ever is far too little. This song is just amazing, and as The Brogues put it, "I Don't Dream" is a thouroughly POP! song title! It was included on two different tape compilations from the early 90's - Everlasting Happiness and Out of the Blue. The latter also had "Rain-Bird" on it, but that's just a joke track really!



Here's another song from the Texas Flashbacks series, this one more a bit more psych pop. The guitar-playing reminds me somewhat of The Dovers, which can never be a bad thing! The Changing Times track is from volume four, also from 1986 I think. The mp3 tag says 'Changing Time' but on the cover there seems to be an 's' at the end. It sounds better as well. As I said before all the volumes were uploaded by Twilightzone!, so thank them!


I Wish I Hadn't Seen Her

I'm standing here in a bird-watching tower on the skirts of the Brosjö marsh. It's the first day of the Rip It Up festival. We came yesterday. At 5 pm The Sunny Street will be the first band to take to the stage. St. Christopher is playing today as well. I don't see any birds. Maybe it's just the wrong season. Or maybe there's a reason all bird-watchers have binoculars. I had to get away. I don't like festivals, apart from the music. People's behaviour is just embarrassing. It's a beautiful day so I thought I'd go for a walk around the marsh that is just next to the festival site. There's no one here. It was peaceful and beautiful walking here. I'd brought The Outsider by Camus with and I'm going to sit down and read the second chapter soon. I swear the buttercups are more than a foot high (just look at the evidence). As I walked I could see the approaching borders of shadow and golden sunlight on the ground as the cotton clouds passed swiftly overhead. The wind changes direction, carrying swathes of Orange Juice blasting from the speakers on the stage. The people are just dots from here and the music is like an old transistor radio. It's too hot up here, I have to go down again. I've sat down at a picnic table and for a second I wish I wasn't alone. But only just. It feels strange sitting here in the middle of nature, while I'm at an indiepop festival. I guess everyone else is busy getting drunk. But then again indiepop has often been called pastoral, even if in a derogatory sense. At least Dave Callahan is a bird-watcher. I don't know where this is going so I'll stop now and continue after all the gigs. I'll tell you then if Glenn Melia played that song or not.

This picture was taken from the Cookie Nose Tower. You can just barely make out the festival area among the trees to the left.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

No Dreams Last Night

Just the day before The Clientele played I went to see Deerhoof at exactly the same venue. It was only 20 kr (£1.50) which is extremely cheap even for a weekday gig! I'd actually been to seem them just one week before that, at ABC2 in Glasgow. I went with Hannah and her friends and it was so good I had to see them again. I'd been out of touch with them since The Runners Four, but all the songs were great - the new ones too. It was a good turn-out at Debaser as well. At ABC they were supported by two band - their Californian friends in noise band Kit and some Canadians that called themselves Holy Fuck - both were great. Over here the slightly inferior locals in Talking to Teapots supported. They didn't impress me nearly as much as last time I saw them, three years ago. They've gone all Archers of Loaf since then, apparently, I didn't even know they were still around.

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!


So here is the song alluded to before. And just MAYBE, I will see Television Personalities on Saturday at Rip It Up. I put this song on my tape, for luck, but it will surely be a first if Dan manages to get his arse over to Sweden. This song is most easily found on Fashion Conscious (The Little Teddy Years) from 2002 - it was originally from a 1999 seven-inch. It's a great song, but first and foremost it was the lyric that caught me. As often in the TVP's case!


Serious Drugs

Who need drugs when we have The Clientele? Sometimes listening to them has a narcotic effect on me. The gig last night was no exception. I've been longing to see them for the whole time I've been in Glasgow and they rewarded me by playing at Debaser in Malmö just three days after I came here. I finally bought the new album, which I haven't seen in Monorail any of the THREE times I've been there to look for it. It really is such an amazing record - probably their best even. The gig took me from being on the verge of fainting (to "We Could Walk Together), to getting close to tears ("Saturday"), to nearly feeling my knees fold under me ("I Want You More Than Ever" and "Reflections After Jane"), to bouncing to the pop perfection of "Joseph Cornell" and "Since K Got Over Me", to getting my mind blown by the fuzz heaven that the eight-minute version of "Lamplight" was. They also played seven songs off God Save the Clientele and ended with a Television cover from Adventure. It was the best show I've seen for almost a year. I've seen them twice before and it seems as if it's better each time. And of course Mel played with them this time. I hadn't met her before (I met the others during an interview last year), but she was very nice indeed. I stayed around for a while afterwards and had some backstage beer. I talked with James about Chris Hillman and with Alasdair about Carnival. Cycling home afterwards in the rain seemed fitting, seeing as they're not uncommon subjects in Alasdair's songwriting ("Bicycles", "Rain" etc). The dizziness was starting to wear off then. Right after the gig I just stared blankly into thin air while trying to walk in a straight line. "If only we had a time machine, eh?"

Monday, July 02, 2007


We all know the second Close Lobsters album is not as great as Foxheads Stalk This Land, but it does have a few pearls. Like this song, on which they almost do their Paisley background justice, if you know what I mean! They were actually from Paisley you know, unlike any of the so-called Paisley Underground bands. That was purely an American phenomenon - and mostly limited to California. Headache Rhetoric came out in 1989, and just like its predecessor it was recorded at The Royal Leamington Spa.



So this is the last one. It's meant more as a compilation that you can burn to cd, just like no. 8. There's not much to say really. Greg and Elizabeth from The Carousel are on the cover and the tracklist includes some old and new The Rain Fell Down favourites! Perhaps some explanation is needed for the more obscure tracks though. The Dovers one is from the 10" I've been raving about earlier, and the guy who wrote the liner notes says it's the song that captures the band's essence best - I think Brogues would concur. That double-time break is astounding! "So Many Times" is from a series of compilations called Texas Flashbacks, featuring 60's garage and psych groups from that state. "Poet" is a brilliant 1000 Violins b-side that was strangely not included on the singles compilation Like One Thousand Violins. "Rainin' In My Heart" is from The Crawdaddys' first album, which means 1979. I just included it because my first podcast was named after this song, although I didn't know I actually had a version of it on my computer! And finally I've included Belle & Sebastian because they will always remain my favourite band, and "Beautiful" is still their best song I think.

Here's the back cover with the tracklist, if you want to print it.


This band has got nothing to do with The Wind (Lane Steinberg's band pre-Wall of Orchids) that I've played before. This is a 60's garage group from Texas. I don't know anything about them, and the only reason I know they're from Texas is because this song is on a series of compilations called Texas Flashbacks, more precisely volume 4. The record came out in 1986 and the whole of it was originally posted on the brilliant Twilightzone! blog (along with the other five volumes).


No Matter Where You Are

And before I knew it I'm back again! The last week in Glasgow was among the best, thanks to a certain person, so I'll miss it sorely. I watched Roman Holiday for the first time yesterday, and it really struck a chord. But I've got no time to worry, cause I've got gigs to go to! The Clientele haven't played Glasgow for years, but it seems they are still faithful to their Swedish fans. It's ironic how there's nothing much happening in Glasgow this week and here The Clientele are playing at Debaser (a new venue) tomorrow, and today I'm going to see Deerhoof. Again! I went to see them with Hannah and her friends in Glasgow exactly one week ago, and it was good enough to make me want to see them again.

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


Recently I've been more and more taken by the bands on the old Teatime label, that Indiepages had some songs from on their sounds page a while ago. The only bands I knew on it before where The Spinning Wheels and The Candy Darlings. I'd only heard about The Driscolls and Mousefolk, who actually started the label. Since then I've heard so many good songs, especially by The Dricolls, who were one of many indiepop bands at the time to take their cues from 60's garage. They even did a cover Fire's "Father's Name Was Dad", which is really good. The Driscolls released four singles between 1987 and 1990 and turned up on countless compilation tapes (13 according to!). One tape that isn't listed on TweeNet however is Kite - it's from 1989 and the tracklisting is:

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 seem to have a record on its way finally. Someone said Cloudberry, but according to their MySpace site they've made a deal with Fridlyst that has previously released Agent Simple. This song is available for download from their MySpace page - it's more stripped down than "David" and "You Never Notice Me" with just Roger's guitar and Christin's voice, but it's every bit as good! Had I known my George Michael stuff better I would have recognized as one of his songs, but it took a Tom to point it out. The picture above is of uhm... Roger and his car.

The Garlands - Freedom


Today it's a mix of new stuff and a few odds and ends that I wanted to get in before the final one, which you'll get next Monday. By then I should be safely back in Malmö again. The title of this podcast is from a Louis Philippe song that was on his first album Appointment With Venus. Fittingly, he turns up here with a track from his brilliant new album. The Sarah style cover picture is based on a photograph by Partick Camera Club, although I might have said before that I wasn't going to use any more of them.

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


Caretaker Race is a band I've been intrigued by recently. I'd only heard "I Wish I'd Said That", but now finally I've had the pleasure of hearing the rest of their only album Hangover Square that came out in 1990. Caretaker Race was one of the bands formed in the wake of The Loft's break-up, and this one was Andy Strickland's project. He's my favourite member of The Loft as he was the guy who played the Byrds style lead guitar. So no wonder I like Caretaker Race better than The Weather Prophets or The Wishing Stones. The album is not all as great as that that song due some all too common overproduction, but it's got its high points. The one I've chosen for this post is the closing track "Man Overboard", that had also come out as a single earlier that year. The whole album sounds quite inspired by Grant's contributions to the Go-Betweens songbook, and this is no exception. As a side note one of the b-sides to the single is called "Grey Gardens", which I'm dying to hear after having seen the film by the Maysles brothers (that is also Roxanne Clifford's choice for the next Monorail Film Club by the way). Incidentally Hangover Square was a film too, directed by John Brahm in 1945. There's plenty of more information about the band here.

Caretaker Race - Man Overboard

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bright Pavilions

Summer is the season of mixtaping, and making tapes for pop festivals are especially important. I've already compiled my tape for the Rip It Up festival, although I haven't recorded it yet. It looks really promising - and it's only two weeks now until I get to see St. Christopher play live! I really must buy my ticket soon. If you want to hear it I suggest you come along. TVPs are with all probability NOT coming, but it'll be great anyway!

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

Name That (Old, Obscure Indiepop) Tune

Here's a competition of sorts. Although there's no real prize, except for getting the songs. But it would be a boost to your indie credibility if you get them all right (if you're sad enough to care about that). See, a devout reader of this very blog sent me a compilation that he didn't know the tracklisting for. He thought I could help and I've got tracks 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11 and 17 pinned but the other remain unknown. Take a listen to this, and post your contribution in the comments. I've posted on the ones I know, so don't look if you don't want your fun spoilt!

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.


Here's a song by the band that turned into 1000 Violins. The Page Boys had one 7" on Whaam! in 1983 called "You're My Kind of Girl", this is the b-side. Wally from The Beautiful Music called it electromod, but judge for yourselves. You can find this song on the Whaam! compilation that Vinyl Japan put out years ago. At least it might be easier to find than the original single! Couldn't find any proper pictures, so you'll have make do with this one snatched from eBay.

The Page Boys - In Love With You

Monday, June 18, 2007


Only two left now... Today it's a podcast on Australia and New Zealand. These countries have produced some great groups through the years, though there haven't been that many new bands lately. The Zebras is one exception of course. Both Australia and New Zealand were very important for pop music in the 80's and produced respectively the Brisbane sound and the Dunedin sound. The former is represented here by bands like The Go-Betweens and The Lighthouse Keepers and the latter by Sneaky Feelings and The Bats. The two labels of note here are Australian Waterfront (which, like Rough Trade, was also a record shop) and Flying Nun (which was modelled on Rough Trade amongst others) in New Zealand of course.

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