The Spirit Shows

August 1981, a young Roddy Frame leads Aztec Camera to De Villes nightclub in Manchester, just off Albert Square. They play The Spirit Shows, Just Like Gold and Remember The Docks and someone has uploaded a recording to Soundcloud. De Villes was the first nightclub I ever went to (not this night I must add, I was only eleven in 1981). De Villes must have had a slack door policy back in the mid 80s as there’s no way I looked 18, I barely looked 16. I drank a bit, danced (after a fashion) with my mates and got off with a girl in fishnets. It’s funny, the things that stick with you.

I’m off on my youngest brother’s stag do, a day and evening in Liverpool. Nothing too wild, a few beers, late train home. Someone’s threatened a Beatles tribute band at The Cavern. Wish me luck.

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Back To Land

Wooden Shjips had a new lp out earlier in November. The single Back To land sounds really good- bright and clear, some lovely melody along with that heavy guitar groove. The thing with Wooden Shjips is, you know exactly what you’re going to get, and they sometimes disappoint a little over the course of an album, but this one sounds like everything they do well, done really well.

The video? Your guess is as good as mine but it fits in nicely with the moral panic news stories this week about clowns threatening and chasing people in the street, from Wigan to Norfolk. A spokesman for Norfolk constabulary said ‘Dressing as a clown is not against the law.’

Not yet. But it’s only a matter of time.

The Return Of Friday Night Is Rockabilly Night 129

I’ve got ongoing lack of Boxnet bandwidth problems so your Friday night rockabilly comes in the shape of a documentary from London in 1981, then in the thores of a rockabilly revival, presented by Danny Baker and opening with The Blue Cats and then going back to the roots and forward again. Most of the kids dancing in parts one and six will be well into their fifties now, if not older. Fascinating stuff.

Snubbed Four

An ace New Order interview just after the release of Technique with a very fresh faced Bernard, a less fresh faced Hooky and Stephen. Vaguely stroppy throughout regarding Top Of The Pops, videos, the re-release of Atmosphere, marketing Ian Curtis and a certain Irish frontman…’It’s all pretty hypocritical and it’s a false ideology, I mean U2 are supposed to be Christians right and a big Christian belief is that thou shall not become a false messiah, right, and that Bongo guy, right, he’s having a good stab at it isn’t he?’

Snubbed Three

Loop, recently reformed feedback fans, and some very late 80s interview clips along the lines of ‘we make music for ourselves and if anyone else likes it it’s a bonus’. For the record, I do like the music, so that’s the bonus. To be honest, Wooden Shjips don’t sound a million miles from these chaps do they? There’s something very mid-to-late 80s about the mixture of guitar noise, 60s visuals and Home Counties accents.

T.R.A.C.

I’ve put up quite a few Big Audio Dynamite posts recently but thought I’d share this with you, having just stumbled across it- blogger’s stats tend to suggest there are a fair few BAD fans who come here. After getting fired from The Clash in 1983 Mick went to work pretty quickly, possibly just to prove Joe and Paul wrong. In a Clash old boys solidarity moment he hooked up with also recently fired Topper Headon, plus Leo Williams and Dan Donovan (a future Mr Patsy Kensit) and formed T.R.A.C. (Top Risk Action Company). This band transformed into BAD, gaining Don Letts and losing Topper (who was deep into heroin addiction by this point). T.R.A.C. recorded a series of demos, an albums worth. The Bottom Line, very much a demo and really quite different to the BAD version is here…

The Bottom Line was a potential Clash song, one of the most recently written before Mick’s ejection- I believe they had a go at rehearsing it. In this T.R.A.C. version the riff is there (or thereabouts) and some of the lyrics but it’s much less bass and drum machine led one that is on BAD’s first lp. Some jazzy sax parping away at the end.

The rest of the demos are on Youtube and probably hidden somewhere in the deepest recesses of the internet. This one is Ducane Road…

The rest (you go look for them yourselves I think if you’re interested) are Interaction, Nation, Apprentice, Fare Dodgers, Euroshima and The Prolific. It’s interesting, if you’re a geeky obsessive like me, to speculate on what might have’s and what if’s…

Deadstock, Baris, Asphodells

This Asphodells remix came out on vinyl last week- Baris K is a Turkish musician/producer who was up here the other day. In this remix Weatherall stretches it out, bassline forefront, adds an Eastern stringed instrument. And the backwards/forwards vocal is t-r-i-p-p-y. Hypnotic. The original is worth seeking out too (or just flipping over if you bought the 12″).

Also out recently (not sure if it’s on vinyl or not) is a Weatherall/Asphodells remix of Justin Robertson’s Deadstock 33s. The Circular Path has a Luke Solomon and Dmitri Veimar remix apiece too. The Weatherall one is machine-funk reminiscent of TLS to these ears. Excerpts of each available to listen to below. I know, I find excerpts annoying too. You’ll have to buy it.