Friday, September 29, 2006

Hands Off Cocks and On With Socks

Stackridge. They came, they made some albums, the lineup changed a few times, they reformed, they may or may not still exist. The (two) official Websites disagree on their current state. George Martin produced their 3rd (and best, IMO) album and James Warren (or was it Andy Davis?) played guitar on John Lennon's 'Imagine' album.

Despite the talent, the songwriting, the wackiness, the rhubarb, they never really got anywhere and their five albums are pretty much forgotten about - which is a great pity because they're all great. As far as I know this 4th album has never been available on CD so here's my vinyl rip. It's the least typical of their albums, a bit Zappaesque and lacking any input from James Warren but it's still an interesting oddity.

It's also the only other album (apart from the Longdancer ones) that I own that's on Elton John's Rocket label.

Stackridge - Extravaganza

01 - Spin Round The Room
02 - Grease Paint Smiles
03 - The Volunteer
04 - Highbury Incident (Rainy July Morning)
05 - Benjamin's Giant Onion
06 - Happy In The Lord
07 - Rufus T Firefly
08 - No-one's More Important Than The Earthworm
09 - Pocket Billiards
10 - Who's That Up There With Bill Stokes

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

One Time, One Life

OK. When I was at secondary school (William Ellis school, north London) there were three main bands there - Narcissus (my band), Landslide (slightly younger kids but better musicians, played at Windsor free festival with me on lead vocals) and Sore Throat.

Sore Throat was Matthew Flowers on keyboards, Danny Flowers on bass, Reid Savage on guitar, Greg Mason on sax, and Robin Knapp on drums. Soon Justin Ward joined on lead vocals and manic frontperson personality, then Robin was replaced by Clive Kirby from Landslide. They played a residency at the Stapleton in Stroud Green and also the Pindar Of Wakefield in Kings Cross. They were a great live band, and for me one of the highlights was Reid's guitar playing and onstage antics (he'd end up being strangled and 'dying' on stage while playing the most incredible solos).

When Sore Throat broke up, Reid joined Way Of The West and I saw them live several times - including a great gig at the Music Machine in Camden where they supported the Comsat Angels (another great band). WOTW released five singles and then changed their name to the Candymen - I roadied and mixed for them a few times but then they broke up.

Reid married Louise Goffin (Carole King's daughter) and played on and produced her debut album, but then they split up and I lost contact with Reid - I saw him a few years ago at Greg's 40th birthday party. He's now working with a woman called Lucinda Sieger, about whom I know nothing but I must check out because anything Reid's involved with can't be all bad. I hope he's OK - he's a great guy and a phenomenal guitarist.

I might rip & post some Sore Throat stuff soon.

Way Of The West - The Collected Singles

By the way, if you don't know WOTW and would like a sample, you can hear See You Shake at

01 - Don't Say That's Just For White Boys
02 - Prove It
03 - See You Shake
04 - My Own Front Door
05 - Drum
06 - The Friend
07 - City For Lovers
08 - Countdown
09 - The Cool Set
10 - Feel The Steel
11 - Cars Collide
12 - Countdown (full version)
13 - City For Lovers (12'' version)

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I'll Wrap Your Hopes Up

When I was working as a sound engineer (see my Miracle Legion post) I had the privelige to work with some great artists and some rotten ones. Some people impressed the hell out of me when I'd been expecting them to be rubbish, others were heroes of mine (hi Roy Harper) who were - on that night at least - absolutely rotten. And then there were those who were exactly as they sounded on album.

The first time I worked with the Strawbs I was amazed to hear Dave Cousins' voice in the flesh - somehow I never really believed anyone could actually sound like that without some kind of processing - without even a microphone - and he was amazing. The other person who really impressed me in a similar way was Martyn Bates. During the soundcheck he just sang some bits and pieces to get levels etc and blew me away. I told him the only other person to have impressed me that much was Dave Cousins but I don't think he was particularly pleased...

The whole Eyeless In Gaza / Martyn Bates thing confuses me - I'm not sure how they fit together, whether they are working together or not, who's doing what, etc. And I haven't heard any of the very recent MB stuff, it sounds kinda wierd to me. But for a while they were responsible for a half dozen or so fantastic albums, of which this is the first post from me. I'm 99% certain it's not available anywhere, and this is ripped from a cassette that I made of a friend's copy so the quality isn't excellent.

But the music is.

More from EIG/MB when I get time - and if anyone can provide me a definitive and simple discography / timeline I'd be very grateful.


01 - I'd Better Mean It All Now
02 - Since I Can't Have You
03 - You So Secret
04 - This Is What I Say To Love
05 - Dark's Chorus
06 - Love Smashed On A Rock
07 - We Won't Begin To Belong
08 - Azure Flag
09 - She's On A Pedestal
10 - You're The Spell (I Can't Break)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Put Your Hands Against My Wall

Some 30 years ago I was on holiday in Cornwall and met a 'groovy chick' (man) called Chrissie Quayle who was staying in her father's house on Zennor Head (she was the niece of the actor Anthony Quayle). I fancied her, but for whatever reason never made any attempt to do anything about it. We spent some time together and then I came back to London and we met a couple of times by accident after that, but I haven't seen her for 20 years now - in fact, I just found an article on the Web by her brother (Quinton Quayle, the British ambassador to Romania) that implies that she died - I hope not :-(.

Anyway, some time before we met she had been in a band called Daylight and had made an album for RCA and some years later I saw it in a 2nd hand record shop and bought it (it was pretty scratched already so I make no apologies for the quality of this rip). It's not bad on the whole, sort of pleasant pastoral soft rock with a bit of a jazz influence. Chrissie's song, How It Feels To Fall, is the highlight for me but maybe I'm a bit biased. Mike Silver and Steve Hayton wrote most of the rest of the material.

One other thing about the band - the (upright) bass player was Spike Heatley and the drummer was Tony Carr, both respected jazzers. Spike was also the resident bass player with Jonathan Cohen's band on Play Away.

Daylight - Daylight

01 - Lady Of St Clare
02 - How It Feels To Fall
03 - Journey in Time
04 - Troubled Times
05 - Ain't It Right
06 - King Of Trees
07 - Yes
08 - Hallo
09 - Never Say Never
10 - Pretty Ladies
11 - Song
12 - Carry Me