I Cut My Teeth On A Bed Of Wire

No April Fool’s stuff here. Since posting Big Decision the other week I’ve spent a bit of time re-listening to That Petrol Emotion. I’ve enjoyed two different parts- the mid 80s, clanging guitars TPE of Manic Pop Thrill and Babble and the remixed TPE of 1990-91. V2 was a single in 1985. The sleeve detailed the abuses of female prisoners in Northern Ireland’s prisons. The record is angry and clamorous, squally guitars and drums almost drowning out Steve Mack’s vocals. There are screams and fury building up to an abrupt ending.

V2

Around the time the 80s became the 90s they underwent some line up changes and started working with producer Scott Litt, known for producing R.E.M. Probably not coincidentally they started getting the acoustic guitars out, slowed things down and sounded a little like R.E.M. Their records from this time are redeemed by the remixes, including Andrew Weatherall and Terry Farley’s work on Abandon (Boys Own Mix) retaining the anger and energy of the mid 80s and adding the 90s club.

Abandon (Boys Own Mix)

I remember there was a Weatherall interview where he said a band (and I’m sure he was referring to TPE) had been suspicious of the whole remixing lark and left a guitarist sitting in the studio while Weatherall did the remix, to ensure he didn’t completely get rid of the guitars.

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You’d Rather Sail The Ocean

The Swede posted Weatherall and Farley’s remix of That Petrol Emotion’s Abandon yesterday. Apart from the odd remix they’d completely dropped off my radar. Big Decision was a hit (of sorts, number 42) in 1987, and massively popular in indie discos/alternative nights. They sort of prefigured the Madchester/indie-dance sound, big guitar chords and drumbeats that you could dance (or lope around) to. With a nod to rap as well. Annoyingly the video here cuts out just before the end.

Live at teatime on a Friday up in Newcastle for The Tube (Big Decision and Swamp) and sounding really good. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you biographical stuff about The Undertones and all that.