Friday, October 12, 2007

Oooh a bumper crop today...


I see that my old soulmate over at Time Has Told Me has upped 'Lucky Planet' by Neil Innes and The World. Excellent stuff and a big thanks to him.

In return I said I'd post these - the first two Grimms albums (the third and best, Sleepers, is available from Amazon).

Grimms was formed from the ashes of The Scaffold, The Bonzos, and The Liverpool Scene, and was a 'you had to see them live' mixture of music, poetry, clowning about and general lunacy.

The name of the band was taken from the surnames of the founding members:

  • Gorman (John, ex-Scaffs and later Tiswas and Cilla Black fame)
  • Roberts (Andy, ex-Liverpool Scene & fab solo albums, later 2nd guitarist for Pink Floyd and Roy Harper)
  • Innes (Neil, ex-Bonzo and later Rutles & Python)
  • McGough (Roger, ex-Scaffs & Liverpool poet, later - er, Liverpool poet)
  • McGear (Mike, ex-Scaffs & later to reclaim his McCartney surname)
  • Stanshall (Vivian, ex-Bonzo and later Rawlinson. Sadly missed - we won't see his like again. RIP Ginger Geezer)

Viv never made it onto a Grimms album, but other people who did included Adrian Henri, Brian Patten, Zoot Money, Ollie Halsall (wizzo guitar hero, also sadly missed), John Megginson, Dave Richards, and others.

So here are the first two Grimms albums. I was fully expecting to be bored, listening to them for the first time in 25 years or more, but I wasn't. They're not exactly rock classics, but they do have some fab musos - Roberts & Innes are both good songwriters (Innes is *very* good), McGear can sing, McGough is a good poet, Olly Hassle is wizzo - basically if you have (and like) some of these albums you won't go far wrong with the rest.

BTW - watch out for the final 2 Scaffold albums (Fresh Liver and Sold Out) - coming soon to this very blog, and perfect stablemates to the Grimms albums. Same people, basically.

Great stuff.

Grimms - Grimms (1973)

01 - Interruption At The Opera House Part 1 & Small Bird Theme
02 - Three Times Corner
03 - Sex Maniac
04 - Galactic Love Poem
05 - Chairman Shankly
06 - Italian Job
07 - Albatross Ramble
08 - Humanoid Boogie
09 - Short Blues
10 - Summer With The Monarch
11 - Twyfords Vitromat
12 - Following You
13 - Newly Pressed Suit
14 - 11th Hour
15 - Con. Gov. Fig.
16 - Brown Paper Carrier Bag
17 - Soul Song (Jellied Eels)
18 - Interruption At The Opera House Part 2

Download GRIMMS - The first album

Grimms - Rockin' Duck (1973)

01 - Rockin' Duck
02 - Songs Of The Stars
03 - The Right Mask
04 - A Policeman's Lot
05 - Question Of Habit
06 - Take It While You Can
07 - Poetic License
08 - The Masked Poet
09 - Hiss And Boo
10 - Gruesome
11 - Fx
12 - Blab Blab Blab & EEC
13 - Backwards Thro' Space
14 - The Prophet
15 - Oo-Chuck-A-Mao-Mao
16 - End Of The Record
17 - Forwards Thro' Space (bonus track)

Download GRIMMS - Rockin' Duck

Saw You Running From Where I Lay

When Donal Lunny formed his own record label in the mid-70s, the first album that he put out (LUN001) was the debut by a young group called Pumpkinhead (later releases would include his own Bothy Band - the subjects of an imminent posting here - and the fab 'Andy Irvine Paul Brady', as well as Midnight Well - see below).

Pumpkinhead was essentially Thom Moore (main songwriter, vocal, guitar), Kathy Moore (vocals & autoharp), Sandi Epping (vocals, mandolin & fiddle), and Rick Epping (Harmonica, Jew's Harp, Tin Whistle & Concertina). The album was - is - a pleasant mix of original songs, traditional songs, and Irish tunes. It isn't staggeringly good, but I liked it a lot at the time and enjoyed listening to it again last week while I was ripping it from vinyl.

A year or so later Thom made another album, this time with a different bunch of people (Gerry O'Beirne, Janie Cribbs, and Martin O'Connor), under the name Midnight Well. It's not hugely different from its predecessor, though probably a somewhat better album. There are distinct American (Appalichian?) elements to both of them, and I always filed them mentally alongside the Lamb and Spirogyra albums, Loosely psych folk I guess.

Thom Moore became a successful songwriter apparently, writing for Mary Black and others - see Thom Moore.

One final thing: a couple of weeks ago I went to see Joanna Newsom at the Albert Hall (she was *wonderful*), supported by Roy Harper (who was... well, he was Roy Harper, but he played Stormcock from beginning to end, which was about the best thing he could possibly have done in my eyes) and The Moore Brothers (who were dire - Simon & Garfunkel without the songs, the voices, the harmonies or the sex appeal...). But one of the Moore Brothers is called Thom, which is unusual I think - two musical Thom Moores? He was clearly too young to be the Pumpkinhead/Midnight Well Thom Moore, and apparently he's American (not Irish), but... any connection? They certainly *look* similar...

Here's the *original* Thom Moore:

Thom 'Pumkinhead/Midnight Well' Moore, circa 1978

And here's the *new* Thom Moore - Lazarus?

Thom 'Moore Brothers' Moore, circa 2007

Watch out for the Bothy Band albums - coming soon, folks.

Pumpkinhead - Pumpkinhead (1977)

01 - Here Comes A Man
02 - Jigs (Joe O'Dowd's & Maid Of The Spinning Wheel)
03 - Richland Woman Blues
04 - Crackbone Tune
05 - Nora's Dove
06 - Reels (Paddy Fahy's & Down The Strand)
07 - Wild West Show
08 - Wedding Dress
09 - Comfort You
10 - Reels (Corner House & Hand Me Down The Tackling)
11 - Miss You
12 - 'Se Fath Mo Bhuartha & Maid Behind The Bar & Earl's Chair
13 - Are You Ready For The Country
14 - Cedars Of Lebanon

Midnight Well - Midnight Well (1978)

01 - Still Believing
02 - Saw You Running
03 - Make Yourself At Home (Lullabye For A Wayward Friend)
04 - Jesse's Friend
05 - Soldier On
06 - Wheel Of Fortune
07 - Rosy-Painted Barge
08 - Nicky's Song
09 - The Mighty Turk
10 - Low, Low Northern Moon

Post script: apparently this album *is* available, from the Mulligan Web site in Ireland - so no download, sorry. Link below goes to the Mulligan site instead.

Buy the Midnight Well album

Stay A While At The Blue Hotel

My recent Dresden Dolls discovery has led me down a few interesting alleys and into a world that I was only vaguely aware of. Suffice to say that if I were 20 years younger I might have wanted to be part of the 'Dark Cabaret' scene... or I might not.

Anyway, I bought both the DD DVDs - brilliant, marvellous stuff - and was intrigued to see that Lene Lovich sang 'Delilah' with them. Not very well, in my opinion, you see I *really* like Amanda's voice. In fact, Amanda Palmer, I think I love you... Ulp...


Anyway, back to Lene Lovich.

In the late 70s I was quite a fan of a lot of the stuff that cropping up in the wake of punk, and of course that included lots of the Stiff stuff - though I still wanted Nick Lowe to get back with the Brinsleys (I've never been entirely convinced by his solo stuff... might post Ian Gomm's 1st solo here some time, waddya think?).

If you've never heard any of the early Lene Lovich albums I recommend that you do - she's a lot more than just the wierd voice on 'Lucky Number'. I don't think this is her best album but it's very good, and not out on CD (why not?). Enjoy.

Lene Lovich - No Man's Land (1982)

01 - It's You, Only You (Mein Schmerz)
02 - Blue Hotel
03 - Faces
04 - Walking Low
05 - Special Star
06 - Sister Video
07 - Maria
08 - Savages
09 - Rocky Road

Download Lene Lovich - No Man's Land


Anonymous Anonymous said...

An embarrassment of riches! Really, these are such good posts. Thank you very, very much for sharing.

11:08 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for these, brilliant! The original Thom Moore of Pumpkinhead etc was American also, he lived in Ireland for a few years before returning to his homeland never to be heard of again. Could this be his son?

2:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christ on a bike with a wicker basket!
What a post old chap...good stuff..the pace is picking up again.ah the winter is coming...a time for introspection and bog (I mean blog) posting...hoorah for the winter!

9:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Flex...Plus" re-issue had tacked on four songs from this album. I guess they figured that was enough. Lene Lovich had an amazing voice and range, and, in case you didn't notice, she was pretty hot. (Frauleins are my cup of tea!)

Great blog! Thanx.

8:14 am  
Blogger Mathew Gomes said...

I heard the first two tracks of the first Grimms album on a radio show over the summer and really enjoyed them. Later, I tried googling the lyrics I could remember, to no avail. I could not find any record of the lyrics, which ended up being from "Three Times Corner" or the band that produced them. Tonight, I tried again, having downloaded a podcast of the same radio broadcast and managed to find this blog — and a download link to boot! This week, you are officially the biggest badass on the internet, in my book. Thanks for existing.

5:58 am  
Blogger shortsleave said...

The photo you posted is Greg Moore, not Thom. The Moore Brothers have no connection to Pumpkinhead.

5:36 pm  
Blogger shortsleave said...

The photo you posted is Greg Moore, not Thom. The Moore Brothers have no connection to Pumpkinhead.

5:40 pm  
Blogger Lou Ming said...

What is it about Amanda Palmer? She just sucks you in, or you wish she would antway...

2:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After years I recently bought the Best Of Lene Lovich CD, but without the Blue Hotel and other great songs of No Man's Land.
Thank you very much for this beautiful songs!

8:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But it was out on CD, however briefly - I have a copy.

11:25 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thom Moore , once upon a time, sent me an email with the chords to all his songs to date (1995), including the MIDNIGHT WELL and even PUMPKINHEAD days. He's one talented songwriter and still going strong. (NOt faded to god-knows-where as suggested above.) Good site/blog by the way. And the MIDNIGHT WELL album is WELLLLLL worth adding to the collection. Shane

2:34 pm  

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