There’s No Sense In Trying

Factory Friday, in response to Dirk, The Swede and others and because it could be fun. Crispy Ambulance signed to Factory in 1980. I was going to post Deaf but I’ve done it before (years ago admittedly and it is a great song). Dirk mentioned The Presence so I’ve gone for that, all thirteen minutes of it. At first listen you should be able to spot Martin Hannett’s unmistakeable production. Singer Alan Hempsall intones over a proper post-punk sound- gloomy maybe, grey raincoats possibly but with a brightness too.

The Presence

The Presence was the A-side of Live On A Hot August Night, released on Factory Benelux in June 1981. You can fit all of Crispy Ambulance’s back catalogue onto one compact disc and I think you probably should. After signing Crispy Ambulance and failing to sell them in any decent quantities Tony Wilson declared ‘no more bands with stupid names’. Then he signed Stockholm Monsters. Factory’s failure to sell records in the first half of the 80s by anyone except New Order may have had more to do with their refusal to use pluggers. Or buy advertising. But we wouldn’t have it any other way would we? Crispy Ambulance are also immortalised in Half Man Half Biscuit’s epic account of shit gigs and band rivalries.

Running Order Squabble Fest

Crispy Ambulance ‘Deaf’

Crispy Ambulance were on Factory, allegedly signed because they were Joy Division sound-a-likes and dismissed by many because they were Joy Division sound-a-likes. Which wasn’t always true. This track Deaf sounds nothing like JD, and is all the better for it, being more rough and ready, scratchy, shouty, post-punk, building and falling away. Good stuff this one.

I can’t listen to Crispy Ambulance without thinking of the Half Man Half Biscuit song Running Order Squabble Fest, which details bad gig experiences (Half past four? Half past four? You said half past ten to us,… CND? CND? We’re not going on after Chas ‘n’ Dave etc etc). In the middle it breaks down ‘Hello boys there’s a change of plan- You’re going on after Crispy Ambulance’ to the tune of the popular football song ‘You’re going home in a fucking ambulance’. It’s better on record than being described. I’ll post it at some point.

Also, I’ve got this record on 10″ vinyl, which is a funny format, neither one thing or the other. Perfect for the e.p. and mini-lp, but also for the promo/collector gimmick trap. My 10″ collection is pretty random- a Beastie Boys single with them as Action Men on the cover, a Green On Red 8 track live album, a Death In Vegas one sided single with Bobby Gillespie saying yeahyeahyeah a few times and an etching on the B-side, a Primal Scream remix e.p. with a rubbish poster, two singles by Doves, Richard Hell reading the first two chapters of his novel (played once), a Dinosaur Jr single, an Arctic Monkeys e.p., Bug In The Bssbin by Innerzone Orchestra, a Rancid record, Super Black Market Clash spread over three 10″ discs, a Cowboy Junkies e.p with a fold-out poster bag, Weatherall’s remix of VV Brown, the DFA remix of Clinic, a Folk Implosion film tie-in, Good Life by Inner City live (!), three Jesus and Mary Chain e.p.s, and a remix of Theme by Sabres Of Paradise. I mean, there’s some good songs there but I wouldn’t want to wake up in a dj booth with just my 10″ records. I think they saw me coming.