Sunday, 30 May 2010

Haunted Waves, Moving Graves

Just spent a pleasant while listening to the new Current 93 LP "Haunted Waves, Moving Graves" on the Coptic Cat label. Picked up a picture disc copy at the London show on Friday night.
A haunting sound, all to the sound of the sea - one side with looped piano and the other with violin. Excellent ethereal stuff.
I very rarely buy Current 93 releases. I bought the first two, and then nothing until "Lucifer Over London". One of the reasons being that other folk always bought their stuff and taped it for me, and their releases are "hit & miss" (and bloody expensive) at the best of times. This one though is definitely a "hit" and will get many spins....if only they had done material like this on Friday night I might have stayed 'til the end.
Limited to 666 copies - and essential.
If any one out there has a copy of the 7" made from the October gallery recordings and wants to sell - please let me know.

Secondhand Record Shops #3 : Camden, London.

Secondhand vinyl shopping in London is, generally, a waste of time. A lot of the stock is either way over priced or fairly priced (rarities etc) but when in London I'm not going to spend £70 on a record and lug it through the streets of London for goodness knows how long and not have enough money for beers on the train i?
That said, whenever I go to London I rarely come back empty handed. The best I have found are The Record & Tape Exchanges, and because of its' locale I usually end up at the one in Notting Hill. Last trip I found an LP by Eddie & Sunshine, and this time a copy of "The Album" by Eater. (£6). This journey though I was visiting North London, so a trip to Camden was on the agenda. I hadn't been to Camden for about eight years. A sunny hot day and the streets were full of tattooed, pierced, studded jacket wearing Mohican Punks - the picture postcard sort, that and casually dressed skateboard youth.....Not ideal but I did find a Record & Tape Exchange I had forgotten existed. Found a copy of the 1993 CD Re-Issue of "Snappy Turns" by Mark Perry. (£4). Very Nice. Pleasant chappie at the counter told me of another secondhand place on Inverness Street (virtually opposite) called "Out On The Floor". This is a typical "London" vinyl shop with everything over priced. Stuff I would be paying a pound for in Barnstaple or Truro is a fiver in here. Blondie singles that a 5 for a pound in most charity shops down here in Devon are £3 - £5 a pop in this shop. (Not that I would ever buy a Blondie 7", but you know what I mean. OK, replace Blondie with The Stranglers then). A fair amount of records in the shop but I left empty handed.
Then I found Resurrection Records on Camden High Street (just next to the T-Shirt market). It's snook away underneath a Retro Clothes shop, and well worth the visit. Specializing in Punk/Goth + Industrial and nicely priced. I bought a Portion Control Demo 7" ("Raise The Pulse") for £3 and grabbed a handful of Punilux postcards! Could have spent longer in this vinyl basement but money was to be saved for the NWW/Current 93 merch' stall later in the day.....

I still prefer the Record & Tape Exchange in Notting Hill and the one in SoHo over any of the shops mentioned in Camden. I am certain there are more decent shops in the Capital - my search is an endless one.

1: Out On The Floor. Inverness Street.
2: Resurrection Records. Camden High Street.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Preparing For The Nurse

Off to see Nurse With Wound tomorrow in London. They are playing at The HMV Forum in Kentish Town as part of Dave Tibet's 50th birthday celebrations. I am quite excited. It's not often i get to go to "gigs" these days. Living in the remoteness of Devon, bands / artistes just don't make it this far South - and when they do they bypass The English Riviera heading instead for the Marine Barracks and student infested venues of Plymouth. They didn't used to - I remember being down in Cornwall in 1978 and just missing out on a Wire gig in Penzance and going to see Sham 69 in St. Austell (which I never did because I got fed up and slightly scared and caught the last train back to Newquay). Apart from the Muh gig in London back in March the only gig i have been to this year is Tim Vine at Babbacombe Theatre. Damn funny it was too: "Pen behind the ear, Pen behind the ear" (one for Vine aficionado's there).
So, off to the capital we go. I have been preparing myself by spinning a lot of Nurse With Wound sounds when I've got the chance. I haven't got that many releases...but a collection has been building up over the years. Over the past few months the Vinyl On Demand Box Set, the Zero Mix book and Klangallerie 7" have set me back nigh on 200 sovs.! My favourite Nurse With Wound has to be "Soliloquy For Lilith", I fell in love with this album on first hearing. It shall remain an all time favourite.
Back in the early days my introduction to Nurse With Wound was via Sean Rorke. We shared a squat in Hulme, Manchester and he bought everything that they put out from vinyl, cassettes and appearances on bizarre compilations, if it wasn't for Sean I would never have wanted to be a registered nurse and summertime would not belong to me. Thanks Sean. I love the VOD Box - essential, especially for the LP made up of compilation appearances, that brought back great memories. That and the NL Centrum gig. We used to bury ourselves in drugs and cocoon ourselves with Nurse With Wound.
I buy Nurse With Wound in splurges. Apart from NOW the last time I got in to NWW was the early/mid 1990's and the Rock N' Roll Station stuff. I was living in York and become friendly with Colin Potter. Colin produced the first Dieter Muh LP and "supported" us on a couple of occasions in London.

I did actually meet Steve Stapleton once. Back in 1984 in a strip club called "The Fantasy Club" in Digbeth, Birmingham. Nurse With Wound (Or "Nurse With Wind" as Graeme Revell called them) were to support SPK at this gig. The building used to be called "The Tin Can" a semi-famous punk/Goth club, I honestly don't think that the people who booked the gig had realised that the club was now a strip joint....Anyway. Back in 1984 I used to travel the road with SPK. I did in 1983, and now in 1984 I did the same. I was a sort of free hand. I humped, I babysat the kids during soundcheck, I made sure the sound was good at the back etc. So, in 1984, on the 9th of November I was in Birmingham to "support" SPK on their "Junk Funk" tour. It all went titsy skyward when the Fairlight broke during the soundcheck. Graeme lost his temper and myself, Dave Kenny (live mix) and Steve Stapleton found ourselves sat at the back of the club waiting for things to be fixed. Then.....Dave Tibet and Annie Anxiety show. They were doing a benefit gig in another part of Birmingham and popped in for a chat type o' thing. A crate of bottled Holsten Pils appeared in front of me. (Kismet: I am drinking (tinned) Holsten Pils whilst typing this). I remember Steve Stapleton asking me why I liked SPK and I said that I didn't - well, nought after "Leichenschrei", I was there as a friend of Graeme's.....
The (non) soundcheck dragged in to the evening and the promoter (Brummie Strip Joint Owner) was getting pissed off and opened the doors to the club. Graeme was even more infuriated because they hadn't had a decent soundcheck, then Steve Stapleton kicks off because Nurse With Wound have not soundchecked at all. He packed up his tape decks and violin case and with Diana Rogerson in tow headed off back to Brighton. Annie Anxiety, Dave Tibet and the drummer from Flux Of Pink Indians filled in as support. (One for the SPK archivists there).....I don't remember much as I was the only one drinking the bottles!
So tomorrow I shall see Nurse With Wound live for the first time. 26 years later!
I've seen Current 93 live before - we shared the bill a few years back at The October Gallery in London.
I'm also meeting up with some friends from Helsinki that I haven't seen since a fucked up crazy night in Mantsala ten years (almost to the day) ago. Should be a good night out in Kentish Town.

!: NWW that got played today!

Monday, 24 May 2010


Just finished reading the Devo book "We Are Devo" by Jade Dellinger and David Giffels published by SAF. I've had it for a month and read a bit every day. An excellent book, and fully recommended. This book has interviews and insights with all the original members which is good - too many biographies these days are overviews and paper clippings, this book is the meat. Good stuff. It also covers the music "scene" of Akron and Cleveland in the mid 1970's with members of Pere Ubu, Tin Huey, Chi Pig and Dead Boys etc all chipping in their ten cents worth. Read the XTC biog. "Chalkhills And Children" or the Hugh Cornwall autobiography and realise what a bloody good read this book is.
Also, it is a fascinating story starting in the early 1970's with the Kent State University shootings and the birth of the idea of Devo/lution. Jerry Casale and Bob Lewis' writing in the mid 1970's. The Mothersbaugh brothers attempt at being a teenage rock group at the same time and the music "scene" in Akron at the time.
At this point I found it really funny that no matter what bloody book I am reading about punk rock/new wave - call it what thou wilt - the name Chrissie Hynde ALWAYS pops up. I could be reading about the Roxy Club, or Jah Wobble's autobiog. or Slits book or Julian Cope's autobiog. and Chrissie Hynde's name is always there. She turns up in this book as brother of Terry Hynde, saxophonist with The Numbers Band and vocalist / girlfriend of Mark Mothersbaugh in 1975 or something. I dread writing my own autobiography...I wonder when I'll meet Chrissie Hynde.

I loved Devo when I first heard them. Could have been John Peel, could have just spotted the 7" "Jocko Homo" in the 7" singles box on Sanctuary Records counter back in 1978 and bought it on the power of the name/sleeve. I can't remember. The pictures in the music weeklies were working too. True industrial, my cup of tea! The next 7" "Satisfaction" coupled with "Sloppy" was the bollocks of the dog, I was sold to Devo. Unfortunately (for me) the LP did not cut it. After hearing the rawness of the singles, the LP was this too much produced smooth approach. Over produced. I have re-bought the first LP on CD (with a bonus live album tacked on) but I still don't like it, I'll stick with the Booji Boy singles.

So. We have the story of Devo. A band that ran out of ideas and got swallowed by behemoth that is the "music industry". Their ideas were based on tracts / pamphlets that they found in secondhand bookstores by Dr. B.H. Shadduck and Oscar K. Maerth. The idea of Devolution. Take in stuff like "The Island Of Lost Souls" movie where the mutants chant "Are We Not Men?" and we have the birth of Devo, the "rock" band. From the start they were asking for help from Akron musician Joe Walsh trying to get their tapes played in the "right ears" of the "right people". They moved to Los Angeles and stayed with Iggy Pop and jammed with Neil Young.....(I've seen it on You Tube). Devo were desperate to hit pay dirt. I'm surprised they didn't ask Ted Nugent to play guitar! The two major members - Jerry Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh come across as a couple of right cunts. Users. This is why the book is such a good read. They use people for their own ends and they just want to be "rock stars" - the original Devo manifesto is left behind in a haze of cocaine, alcohol and court cases. It is very easy to see how Devo went pants very early on. This is where the book becomes unputdownable. I really recommend it, if you see it on the bookshelf of your local book shop.

The book hasn't ruined it for me listening to Devo - unlike the Slits book "Typical Girls" - even though the main characters are highly unlikeable people, in fact I want to hear their final LP just to see/hear how poor it is....

Whip it/Whip it good....

1: "We Are Devo" book cover.
2: Devo. 1978. (Outside the shop where Chi Pig got their name from).

Sunday, 23 May 2010


It has been a quiet week by all comparison here at Hartop Towers this weekend, so a time to delve in to the piles and play some stuff I hadn't heard in a while. I am preparing for the Nurse With Wound gig on Friday at the moment and spinning a lot of old Nurse when the chance arises. But today i went with Tho-So-Aa. I cannot remember how I came across this project - I have a feeling it was Mick McDaid - he probably had a cassette or two when we shared the house in Lincoln, but then again I've a promo copy of the 7" on Drone Records from 2005 with a little note from Stefan Knappe saying "I think you may like this". The memory is blurred.
Tho-So-Aa is a great name. It has a magickal ring about it. It must have been the name that attracted me first and Tho-So-Aa is a great name. Enochian. Apparently stands for The Other Side Of AADOM. AADOM being the project Luke (who is Tho-So-Aa) was involved in before this one....(I was told this by a source in Germany.....2006)...
The 7" on Drone is superb. Dark ambient. Very sinister sounds over disturbing vocal samples about stealing children. Excellent stuff. I then found the CD "Enrielle" on German Label "Art Konkret". This release was from 2002 - three years before the Drone Records release. Packaged in A5 with "Gothic" photographs...i.e. Angels in cemeteries, this LP is nothing like the Drone 7". That is not a bad thing, but came as a surprise. The album could be Klaus Schulze or Terry Riley. It has it's moments of unease but is a synth keyboard based album. An excellent CD to do the housework (or read a book) to. It becomes a wash - a pleasant wash but a wash non the less.

2006 and Dieter Muh are invited (by Tesco Org) to play WGT in Leipzig. We jumped at the offer. The last time Dieter Muh had played in Leipzig was 2000, we were playing an independent fringe gig to the fest' in a venue called "Zoro" with Putrefier. This was part of the Muh/Putrefier/Harbinger Sound Travelling Circus + Freak Show tour of 2000 which I am not too sure I have recovered from. When I am sure....I'll write about it.
Typically, we (Dave and I as Dieter Muh) had no idea who else was playing the WGT. We were booked for 3 days in a very nice hotel on the outskirts of Leipzig and we were playing on the Sunday night.
We arrived - chauffeur driven from the airport with Dave Knight - an old friend who was guitaring for Lydia Lunch on the opening night and Jim - Lunch's drummer an ex-Gallon Drunk sticksman. So - opening night we went to see Lydia Lunch and within seconds were walking out of the venue to watch a group of Schoolchildren play the songs of ABBA on accordion in a small Market Square. I checked the programme to find that Tho-So-Aa were playing in the middle of the afternoon the following day in a place called Sixtina. I had to be there....
Sixtina is quite easy to find, near the Train Station. I love Leipzig train station. That, again, is a story that goes back to 2000 and watching England play football on a huge screen above the platforms trying to drink lager whilst not being arrested and the others just wanting to get back to blighty to be with their partners...but that is another story as they used to say on "Tales Of the Riverbank".
Dave and I made it to Sixtina in time for Tho-So-Aa, the problem being we could not find where he was playing....We walked in to a courtyard full of European Goths drinking Absinthe. Sixtina is an Absinthe Bar. We sat and watched a lady read poetry in German whilst getting our bearings. There were three bars all serving absinthe. A guy set up in the courtyard, synth a-plenty. I settled for the Tho-So-Aa gig. Unfortunately I was watching Shava Sandhava and it wasn't very good. After his set I approached him (Shava) and asked whether or not he was Tho-So-Aa! Whilst I was watching Shava, Luke was playing in the cellar all unbeknownst to me! Gutted.
I bought the CD "Salon Decadence" from Cold Spring. A document of the Sixtina during that day I was there! Tho-So-Aa track is a killer. Shava's contribution is the worst on the CD! Sods Law. Still, Sagittarius tracks on there are excellent and we arrived after they had finished.....

WGT was not wasted on us. Besides not seeing Tho-So-Aa and walking out on the atrocious Lydia Lunch. I saw Spiritual Front - who are a really bad Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds tribute band and a really good Robbie Williams tribute band (from Slovakia) play in the main town square - we were sharing the same hotel (bar) and you have to show solidarity over the Continental breakfast...

1: THO-SO-AA Drone 7".
2: THO-SO-AA "Enrielle" Cover.
3: "Salon Decadence" CD Cover.
4: Myself at the Sixtina, searching for Luke, finding Absinthe and Lager.

First swim of 2010

A glorious weekend of sunshine here in the South West of England. Took the opportunity to soak up the sun in Sidmouth. Sidmouth is a small town in East Devon, just over an hours drive from Hartop Towers. Nice little town - pebbly beach and enough little curio shops (charity based) and veggie cafes to keep the day tripper happy. I was only there for a couple of hours on the way to watch a cricket match in Tipton St. John so didn't pack the ol' swimming gear. Jealous of those basking in the sea I thought; Right, tomorrow I swim!
Hartop Towers is minutes away from the beach. Albeit a sink estate habited beach this time of year. Tattoos, baseball caps and Brummie accents being the popular choice - oh yeah, and personal soundtracks on mobile 'phones. Still, I had to swim in the sea. The first swim (in the sea) of 2010 and it was glorious. Now the family has a car hopefully I'll get to swim in more pleasant Devon beaches.
Bigbury Calls!!

1: Myself in the Sea. 23/05/10.
2: Sidmouth - and Oscar doing his Genesis P-Orridge face.
3: The family on Sidmouth Esplanade.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

New Shoes

Now it is official - Isabel Frances is a "cruiser".
So we thought it appropriate to get her first pair of shoes. This was celebrated by the shoe store "Clarks" with great reverence. They chose socks to highlight the shoes of our choice and then took pictures of Isabel, presenting us later with a congratulatory card and a "Clarks Growing Feet Record Card" and a tract explaining the infant foot.
Simply buying a pair of shoes is a thing of the past! Should we have organised a "My First Shoes" party? Baked a cake in the shape of a mule? Are we now hooked in to "Clarks" shoes and have to buy there for Isabel's childhood. There'll be reminders in the post I'm sure...
But - Isabel is cruising. She can walk approx. 10 steps unaided before falling on her backside and laughing at the futility of it all - but low lying furniture is her best friend for the now...

Isabel loves her shoes. She sits on the sofa whilst wearing them, staring intently and moving her feet in a clockwise motion.
Life is beautiful.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Charles Manson

I have always had a copy of the Charles Manson LP "Lie" in my possession since 1985. Mainly because it's a good album.
Folk who live outside my world, but from time to time enter find it strange that I can spend an hour or so listening to the tunes of Charles Manson, but there y'go - and probably why they exist outside of my world....
Why Charles Manson? It's that Throbbing Gristle thing I suppose, I think it was looking through a copy of "Industrial News" back in 1978 that had word on Charles Manson that got me interested. Probably even asked my Mum on her thoughts....
Back then the world was opening and I would have searched out a copy of "Helter Skelter". "Helter Skelter" is a fascinating story, but that is what it is. A story. Ed Sanders "The Family" is a great read too. I have a copy still, rather like "The Occult Reich" and "The Tin Drum" it is a book I have to have in my library.
The fact that Manson made an album was excellent news but I didn't get to hear it until 1985. A housemate of Simon Kane's had a copy on cassette, the cassette that Come Organisation released: Paul Clayton "I thank you". I got a dubbed copy and played it all the time. I just love the songs, the lyrics, the history behind the singer etc. I am not all consumed in the philosophy of Charles Manson if there is such a thing - but the album is like a document of the times and accompanies the books that I had read, and the history behind the recordings is just so bloody fascinating.
I could not believe my luck when I saw a vinyl copy of the LP back in 1990, in Red Rhino Records in York. The version on Awareness Records. It's a sing-a-longa Manson album. One of my favourite Charles Manson tracks is from the 400 Blows LP "If I Kissed Her, I'd Have To Kill Her" on Illuminated Records. "For Jackie M." is an interview with Charles Manson from some US TV programme. Excellent insight in to the mind of Manson. (Like "Lie"). Even today when people ask me how old I am I tell them; "I'm as old as my momma told me". Can't resist it.

I have since (1978) seen endless Manson documentaries, the films such as "The Other Side Of Madness" and the recent Jim Van Bebber movie "The Manson Family" - I bought this dirt cheap when a DVD shop in Exeter was closing down...I bought a picture disc 7" on Spahn Ranch Records and bought ( and very quickly sold) the LP that Overground put out in the mid '90's called "Live At San Quentin". That LP should have been a lesson. An incredibly poor recording of Manson in his cell. I should have learnt my lesson then, but I could not resist the new Manson 7"EP on Holy Terror. It came through yesterday. Very poor. Playing it I got to thinking about Mark E. Smith. If you were sat at a bus stop and a guy wandered up and sat next to you, with a swastika carved in to his forehead and started telling you how he could transform in to a wolf or a spider and how he had a cassette of his songs about how we should all live as a family in peace ... would you invite the man back to your house for a cup o' tea and a listen to the tape or just politely smile and walk away? You could have been sat next to a genius who could solve all the world's problems or an acid casualty.
Mark E. Smith. Genius poet and documenter of our times or Mancunian piss artiste?

The 7" is limited to 1000 - it cost me about a tenner + I have learnt my lesson....

1: Manson Now.
2: Cover to Charles Manson "Air" 7"EP on Holy Terror. 2010.
3: Cover to Charles Manson "Lie" LP on Awareness Records.
4: Cover to 400 Blows "If I Kissed Her......" LP on Illuminated Records.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Secondhand Record Shops #2 : Torre Records, Torquay, Devon.

If visiting Torquay I do recommend a trip to see Torre Records. Situated in the run down area of the town known as Torre. Go to the top of Union Street and keep walking, even if there seems no point. Pass the smackheads and ruddy-faced drunks outside the Town Hall (Where both David Bowie and Queen played in 1972) , pass the 24 hour snooker hall, pass the nightclub that keeps opening and re-opening. It's one of those drink all you can for a tenner then stab a foreigner type nightclubs, pass a few empty shops (dodging the dog shit and phlegm) and you will find Torre Records. Hard to believe now but back in 2001 when Tamsin and I were moving down to Torbay we actually considered buying a house in Torre. Thank goodness we found Hartop Towers!
Torre Records is a "Rock Shop" where you are more likely to find a Jimmy Hendrix gate fold LP or a Metallica Picture Disc than you are an old TG album or a mint copy of "Sylvie & Babs", but it has been known to have a copy of Skullflower's "Form Destroyer" and a Savage Republic album or two in the racks. I have spotted a lot of records that I already have in there; Gloria Mundi, Crispy Ambulance, Ultravox! to name....I did get a couple of Shoes For Industry 7"'s that were on the Steve Underwood wants list a few years back, that kept him happy. But like I said, the main stock is black leather jacket rock. Stock like Foo Fighters or local heroes Muse, the kind of music for people who don't like music but have to like "something" just to seem "cool", the main purpose for Bon Jovi, U2 and Guns & Roses back in the 80's/90's. Torre Records does stock new CD's as well as secondhand vinyl but the majority of stock is secondhand vinyl.
Prices of LP's start at about a tenner with seven inchers being between four and seven quid. I haven't bought from there in a while - last thing bought was 999 "The Singles Album" on Albion Records - the last two times I have got there they have been closed, even though their times on the door states they should have been open. Poor. But like I said, worth a visit if you want to look at (and even buy) some 1980's New Wave + Rock never know what you'll find.

Did you know (and I know you didn't) that Dieter Muh track "AAKaL" was to be called "Torre Firma" after some graffiti I saw on Torre train station but it had to be changed because Dave didn't like the title, said it sounded too much like Torre Andre Flo. Although I have told you this - I still own that title!!

Art V. Filth

It was 25 years ago and almost to the day that the Art V. Filth project came to an end.
It all began in January of 1985 when (not for the first time and not for the last) I became homeless and moved back to North Hykeham. This time from Manchester. Dave (Uden) was still in North Hykeham and taking a rest from his project "Diet Of Worms" whilst other members (Sarah Taylor and Andrzej K - aka Crabby) were on a European holiday, he also had bought new musical equipment and was busy installing a 4-Track studio in his house. A TEAC 244, Roland SH101, Boss Digital Delay and Roland Drumatix and a Casio keyboard. We christened the studio "The Wormery".
At this time I was also "projectless" after leaving Manchester. A situation I had not been in since 1979, so with Dave happy with his Diet Of Worms I hunted down friends Paul Carr and Tim Bayes and muted starting up something under the "I.B.F. Ideas Beyond Filth" banner. Both were agreed and rehearsals were to begin in April 1985 - when I planned to leave North Hykeham and move to Sheffield. So that left 4 months to start and finish a project with Dave. Art V. Filth was born. We literally recorded a track a day. We would rehearse a track in the morning, have lunch, record the track, have tea, mix track down on to a cassette, go to pub (The Centurion on Newark Road) to discuss the next days track. They weren't all classics but a few gems appeared in that few weeks. Dave and myself were still discovering what the possibilities were with the equipment to hand.
Some time in the first three months of 1985 I had the great idea to cap the project off with a live gig. This was to prove a bit of a problem because the only venue in Lincoln that was a possibility to play without hiring (and still get a credible audience) was the Cornhill Vaults. Unfortunately Dave was banned from playing The Vaults due to "blowing up the PA" on Christmas Eve 1984. Diet Of Worms supporting Heavens To Betsy. I went in person with a cassette of "poppy" tunes that Dave had recorded solo handed it in to the then owner Anna and waited over a pint of Samuel Smiths whilst she played the cassette in her office. I did claim that we were from Sheffield and support on the evening would come from a psychedelic rock band from Manchester called "Furious Fish", and she bought it. Not only that she put us in the middle of the 1985 Lincoln Music Festival. (The one where John Peel was supposed to play at the Regency Ballroom but never showed up, so we got The Nightingales and Gist instead).
With something to work towards we got on with working out a live set. We roped in Tim and Paul to help, also Sarah and Crabby - who were back from France by now. We got Furious Fish to come and play, and Sean Rorke was to play a set as Sonic Death Hypnosis. I roped in my old friend John Stafford to MC. We weren't going to use a PA (not with Dave's history) so John could fill in with banter and an acoustic guitar whilst each group set up.
An evening of filth was planned.
We got to The Vaults to set up early in the day. Pre-Anna. Left the equipment set up and returned later in the day. We hid Dave for a short while but Anna spotted him....I said something like; with us coming from Sheffield we needed to borrow Dave's equipment. She agreed and let us play.
The set started with "Purulent" a beat driven track about a nervous breakdown, in to "A Mouthful Of Sand" an ambient piece about a guy murdering a girl on a beach by burying her feet and hands in sand and then filling her mouth likewise. Then came "An Ostracised Man" a slow beat number about a sex offender being free mentally if not physically and then there was the all out noise attack "Arlington, Texas" with Tim randomly blurting out saxophone riffs to feedback and white noise. Shortly after we finished we all got barred.
Then that was more Art V. Filth.
Dave went back to his Diet Of Worms releasing the cassette "Burden Of Proof" and I moved to Sheffield but was back in Lincoln only weeks later to carry on as I.B.F. with Tim Bayes.

Art V. Filth was one of my favourite times. We did perform a version of "A Mouthful Of Sand" as Dieter Muh in Jyvaskyla, Finland fifteen years later. Dave just said that he had this pulse that the lyrics fitted to perfectly, so unrehearsed we did it...trouble was, on the night I forgot the bloody words! Another note. In 1991 I went in to The Cornhill Vaults with a friend whilst visiting Lincoln and Anna was behind the bar. She spotted me and said "you're barred". We all laughed, but she was serious....had to go to the Green Dragon instead.

1: Art V. Filth Postcard. (Design by Steve Cammack).
2: Art V. Filth Flyer. (coffee stained).
3: Myself during "A Mouthful Of Sand"
4: Myself and Sarah Taylor during "A Mouthful Of Sand". (Sarah's vocal was a faked orgasm).

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Secondhand Record Shops #1 : Scene & Heard. Teignmouth, Devon.

Hopefully fill a few blogs with a report of secondhand record emporiums I chance upon on my travels. There are none in my neck of the woods (Saint Marychurch), so I have to travel to assuage my needs.
Scene & Heard is a quaint little shop in the old part of Teignmouth (near the docks and opposite Molloy's pub). When visited today it had a Basil Brush LP in the window, for a fiver! I am a regular visitor to Teignmouth and this is the umpteenth time I have been in the shop, but I have never bought ought. There are thousands of records and hundreds of old 78's in the shop, but only a macro-percent of the stock is post 1977. The categories say it all; Rock A-Z, Male Vocal A-Z, Female Vocal A-Z, UK Folk, Comedy, Jazz A-Z...etc. Plenty of fun if you'd like to see what a record shop looked like in 1976. I did notice that the owner (Pete) had started a new section in the albums; Pub Rock & Punk. Half a dozen Dr. Feelgoods and a few Stiff compilations. Quite contemporary. The pricing is fair. Albums run anywhere between four and six quid and singles are priced up to about three quid - not bad. The seven inchers are categorized by decades by the way.
So, if you are in the area - and Teignmouth is a great day out with the kids - and fancy perusing through some 1960's and 70's classics - like today I marvelled at the LP "The Ladybirds Sing All The Number One's Of 1977" and rediscovered the artwork of Roger Dean via Greenslade LP's - then may I recommend "Scene & Heard".
Today I saw a 7" by the Passions; "The Hunter" for 50 pence but I didn't buy. For now we enter The Moral Maze. At the beginning of the year I was in the shop looking at a few Planxty covers and checking out who actually produced Spitballs when the owner (Pete) told a customer (and obviously regular) a highly offensive racist joke. I don't want to give this guy my money - even if it is only 50 pence....but what if in the racks there was a mint copy of "Sylvie & Babs" or The Passions 7" "I'm In Love With A German Film Star" (the only Passions record I want by the way)...would I / could I?

Teignmouth also houses a lot of Charity shops that still sell vinyl and one of those Oxfam shops that only sells music + books, but their vinyl racks are slowly diminishing - last year I bought the 1st Splodgenessabounds LP from there for a quid! (Was there a 2nd album)....

1: Scene & Heard Record Shop on Teign Street, Teignmouth.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Choclate Monk

It was a wise decision to take today off work. I knew I'd be too knackered after a late night watching the General Election unfurl on TV. I'm not (party) politically minded or affiliated at all but once every four or five years this circus happens and last night it was nice to sit back with a couple of bottles of wine and a smorgasbord of niblets - cold comfort buffet - and watch politicians' careers end and pundits verbally masturbate over anything that moves....Good stuff.
It was a wise decision for the postman had a full sack for Hartop Towers and to be in instead of having to traipse tomorrow to the sorting office is a blessed relief.
One of the parcels contained a couple of releases from Chocolate Monk. A week or so ago I was trawling the Internet (I don't surf...I trawl) to find some alternatives to Norman and found Brighton's Chocolate Monk. I was familiar with the name and the guy that runs the label - I've got some Prick Decay - but I have never bought from them before. A couple of their releases caught the eye.
Aaron Dilloway "Door With No Handle" CDr is a top class release. Recorded at Brighton's "Colours Out Of Space" festival in 2008, the CDr is nearly 30 minutes of prime Dilloway. One track separated into six segments of powerful looped noise. After seeing Aaron perform a similar set last year at London's ICA I know that the noise is created simply by FX pedals and contact microphones (maybe a WEM Copycat)? Powerful attention grabbing stuff and to have witnessed this performance in the flesh must have been quite something. I am slowly building up my Dilloway collection and I have yet to be disappointed. It was in 2008 that Aaron Dilloway first got in touch with me. He wanted to stock the I.B.F. Harbinger Sound 12"EP for his Hanson catalogue so we did a trade and I slipped in some Dieter Muh - then there was talk of him performing in the UK, then he said he wanted Dieter Muh to support....all was looking good. A while afterwards I got an E Mail from George from Turgid Animal asking (on Aaron's behalf) if we wanted to play in Newcastle. No fee - no expenses and a floor to "crash on". Newcastle! I live in South Devon....Paris is nearer than Newcastle (and I can understand the French language). I had to decline. A shame.
I am still actively collecting Dilloway releases + if you have any...please let me know.
Also in the Chocolate Monk package was a CDr by Neil Campbell + John Clyde-Evans. "Live At Transmission Gallery, Glasgow. 22 November 1998". (catchy title). This release is a little of a disappointment. 23 minutes of poorly recorded live material. Campbell on cello + Clyde-Evans on violin recorded on a Walkmans (not mixing desk) at the back of the gallery. The sound is muffled and there is "audience chatter", if I was Neil or John I would not have allowed this to be released - or at least let it be known it is a "document" release...if you know what I mean? (For Campbell completeists only). A shame but lesson learnt. Both releases cost me £5,50 (inc.P+P). That's fair for the Dilloway CDr although the material deserves better packaging (It is also a Hanson cassette release and if you see it - buy it)! But I think £5.50 is a little cheeky for the Campbell / Clyde-Evans release.
I remember playing a gig with John Clyde-Evans way back in 1999. Steve Underwood asked us to do a gig in Brixton with Das Synthetische Mischgewebe, Colin Potter, Putrefier + Nomex - we agreed (of course), then he offered the Nottingham gig (I think someone must have pulled), so Dave and I took it as a "warm up" gig for London. The gig turned out to be the straw that broke the camel's back as it were for Steve as it was the gig where nobody turned up. No body came. I kid not. Not one person came out that night to watch DSM, Dieter Muh + John Clyde-Evans live.
What was also strange was that John was playing with his friend Ross (from the band Hood) and they produced some nice improv. ambient drone type sounds. They played squatted on the floor. But once they had finished they packed up their keyboard and sax and left leaving Guido + Sam of DSM playing in front of 5 people and ourselves then playing in front of 5 people. I would have thought for moral support that John and Ross and their entourage of three could have sat the evening out and shown Steve some kind of support.
That night we recorded the gig and sections from that performance ended up on "Cari Saluti". The sleeve from the EE Tapes release is a photograph taken by Mick McDaid on that night. All good things.

I shall keep a tab on Chocolate Monk releases, there might be some gems popping up. At least now I know what I am letting myself in for.....

1: Aaron Dilloway "Door With No Handle" CDr. (Chocolate Monk. choc 193).
2: Neil Campbell + John Clyde-Evans CDr. (Chocolate Monk. choc 142), design by Karen Constance.
3: Das Synthetische Mischgewebe / Dieter Muh Nottingham Flyer. 1999. Design by Steve Underwood.

Monday, 3 May 2010


Saw a message on Mikko Aspa's Special Interests forum from a chap wanting to complete his Taint collection. One of the items listed was the CDr version of the album "Candyman" the split project with Nicole 12. I read it, and thought......I've got that. Haven't played any Taint in years so I stole an hour or so to listen to my Taint collection.
the first time I heard Taint was the split 7" with Smell & Quim that Red Stream Inc. Released in 1993. An excellent single all around but unfortunately Taint suffer from the fact that the S&Q track is (probably) one of the best S&Q tracks ever. "I've got a virus and you're a Nazi". The Taint track though is called "Apidocere" and is a great 3 minutes of tape noise mixed in with white noise and background screaming. For '93, good stuff.
I've got the Freak Animal compilation CD that came with the #11 mag, but I decided to miss that out and play the 2002 Nicole 12 collaboration.
Ten years ago and Mikko used to mail me stuff. I did used to mail stuff to him too let it be said - but I used to get packages from Freak Animal. A CDr version of "Playground" came first. I was impressed - and then a year later I got "Candyman". (I imagine titled after Texan serial killer Dean Corll, with Taint being from Texas and all). It is a good album. Subtle, dark and creepy. OK, there are moments of standard fayre harsh noise (SFHN), but it has moments of outstanding Power Electronics (PE). The opening track "T.M.H.C." could have been on S.P.K.'s "Information Overload Unit" LP. Seriously! "Facts" is a great instrumental in an old school industrial style. I've also got a test pressing of the Harbinger Sound 3xLP compilation "...And The Vultures Miss Nothing" that has 2 Taint tracks on it...but I left the Taint alone after "Candyman". I will not be getting in touch with the guy on the forum, it's a release I want to keep.

On a separate forum board thing at the end of last year there was a conversation about Konstruktivists and the work of Glenn Wallis. Some guy had a mint copy of the "Psykho-Genetika" LP and was willing to sell. I lept in with a modest bid that I thought would get refused but got accepted! The seller was Keith Brewer. AKA Mr. Taint.
Internet research leads me to believe that Keith has finished Taint and is now called Mania. (Perhaps that is why some guy wants to fill in his Taint gaps before it disappears for good)?

1: Insert from the split 7" on Red Stream Inc.
2: Cover from Nicole 12/Taint CDr "Candyman".

Sunday, 2 May 2010


Acting as a guide to Devon....If you are travelling between the county's fair capital and Moretonhampstead you will pass Dunsford. You won't pass through Dunsford, but you will pass it. Situated on the entrance to Dartmoor on the Eastern side Dunsford rests above the River Teign in an area known as the Teign Valley. Unless you are in search of a fine local brew or a church "fan" then there is no reason to turn in to the village. The church; St Marys Church is a small fifteenth century building with a great eagle lectern and a sculpture of Christ's disembodied head on a cross taking centre stage. The pub (The Royal Oak) shuts in the afternoon as does the village shop on a Saturday!
I have been to Dunsford a few times since moving down to Devon to watch village cricket. The cricket pitch is on the left hand side of the B3213 just after the village turning and is the access to the river Teign. Cool, clear and clean and lovely for picnics. (And to watch a bit of cricket).

1: At the match. (Erratics Vs. Stoke-In-Teignhead)
2: Entrance to Dunsford.
3: St, Mary's.
4: Oscar exploring on the banks of the River Teign.