Saturday, June 08, 2019

Flamin’ Groovies- Under The Bridge London Review 7/06/19

There are curses and then there are curses… For The Groovies, bad luck never seems to be far away, and once again it had struck as Roy Loney fell after going through security at the airport in SF, paramedics intervened and instead of boarding the plane to the UK, he was wheeled away to hospital.

So the band flew in without him. A very difficult situation to contend with for the band as the shows were supposed to highlight the Teenage Head album… so without Roy it was going to prove impossible to go ahead as planned.

The show must go on…

The band reconvened in the UK and worked out a set, including some tunes from Teenage Head that they felt they could pull off on stage without Roy. Following gigs in Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle, they arrived at Abramovich’s vanity Roadhouse at Stamford Bridge

Although through Facebook, many knew that Roy wasn’t appearing, the information obviously hadn’t reached everyone who attended. I didn’t see a sign at the door explaining the situation. This should really be remedied for the next shows

Anyway back to the music. With Cyril being the only original band member, on display a lot depended on him, however the band really rose to the occasion. Chris Von Sneidern (CVS) who is a real talent in his own right, having released some stellar Powerpop albums in the 1990//2000s. Chris also has a new album “Emerge”, which I am about to discover. Last time (with Chris Wilson) CVS was on bass, but this time he switched to guitar which suited him and the band much more. Atom (his real name!) Ellis filled bass duties with much aplomb and provided a solid bottom end. Last, but not least, Tony Sales on drums really lifted proceedings with his drumming and his vocals were really good taking the lead of on several Teenage Head songs and providing great harmony work with CVS.

Cyril was simply Cyril. It must be remembered that he is 71 years old, and while he mostly pulled it off, many of the songs were being played too slow. Shake Some Action in particular needs to be shifted up a gear, especially as it’s the opener.

There were some great moments, but the key moment for me was the guitar interplay between CVS and Cyril on Don’t Put Me On with both men playing parts that gelled wonderfully together. Thanks to Tony’s vocals;  the Teenage Head section also really worked, great to finally hear the Cyril’s slide part on High Flyin’ Baby

As the tour progresses, the band will get even better, they just need to work out another 3 or 4 songs. If Cyril wants to play some 80s material, I strongly suggest they drop Way Down Under (always a naff tune) and try Way Over My Head instead. Also the set was sorely missing Whiskey Woman.

It's all about managing expectations and making the most of a difficult situation. Roy is not going to re-appear during this tour which must be incredibly frustrating for him and everyone concerned.
So I suggest everyone goes to see the band and marvel at the effort the band is putting into these shows, and actually enjoy the songs on the understanding that this may be the last time that a Cyril fronted band will ever play Europe again

There will be a Mike Wilhelm tribute show in SF in October, I hope this is the occasion where all Groovies past and present, can come back together in a suitable tribute to the great man

In the meantime – good health and recovery to Roy

Pic of Roy 6th June 2019

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Red Hawk - Tennessee Man – Swiss Proto Punk 1974

Red Hawk - Tennessee Man/ Rock N‘ Roll Lady –TSH (Switzerland 1974)

Here’s a real weird and obscure one from Switzerland circa 1974. They may have a tenuous grasp of English (what the hell are they singing?) and of their instruments, however out of its amateur oblivion two gems rise up to the surface and shine in their own light. 
Both tunes ROCK in their own individual ways…
Tennessee Man is best described as Swiss In-bred Hillbilly Proto Punk, it goes from the frantic skip-a-beat-and-you’ll-won’t-miss-it to more subtle half speed interludes where they even go for a haunting backing vocal effect. 
Rock N‘ Roll Lady is perhaps even better, alternating from sub Silver Machine riffing to Flamingo period Flamin’ Groovies… 

All hail Bruno, Rolf, Andy, Jurg and Roland!

Hear full versions of both tracks

Friday, May 17, 2019

A Little Shopping Trip: Australia April 2019

A fitting find. Only released in OZ, it is a special edit with added/different piano

April was nuts… I mean really nuts. First there was the Utrecht record fair, which proved to be one of the best ones yet, then 10 days later - I .... 

Let's step back for a moment and get some context:   I've always loved Australian bands, The Easybeats and Vanda and Young have been a total obsession of mine since my teens.  

In 77/78 The Saints and Radio Birdman played some of the best shows I have ever witnessed. Although I was aware of the Ugly Things comps, I never owned them, but I had been collecting some favourites over the last few years including the Black Diamonds and (Australian) Playboys.

More recently I discovered The Throb, Moods, D-Coys and Hergs. This opened up a whole (New) world to me.
I loved the  intense moody side of some of these releases, the judicious (and often unexpected) choice of covers, plus the sound itself and the exuberance contained within

I swooned over the mix of pure  wildness and rawness akin to the best of US Garage Punk twinned with more UK-like professional recording techniques and production A marriage made in heaven. 

It was not just Australia, New Zealand also provided some killer including a certain Social End Product, which I manage to get last year.

I quickly found out that I wasn’t the only one seeking out these singles, many a time I was bidding high with other lovers of these amazing releases, and often losing out. So a couple of months ago, I decided to go the whole hog and booked myself a flight to Sydney to coincide with the Glebe record fair 

Once my flight was booked things started to happen...

A close friend was helping to sell the collection on behalf of a widow of a record collector of great taste. So even before flying out, 47 singles were already waiting for me when I landed. 

I was also privileged (with another Aussie collector) to have access to someone selling a huge amount of records. A flurry of emails ensued, sending back forth wants lists and updates of what might/might not be found. 
There was also  another friend/blogger who had bought a collection a while back and had several of the top titles I was after.
Now, I am certain that all this wouldn’t have happened without me actually booking a ticket and letting a few people know I was flying out
On top of that there were some great shops I visited such as Greville, Liquorice Pie and Vicious Sloth in Melbourne and Egg plus Papa Disquo in Sydney. I didn’t have the time to visit more, the 7 days I was there simply weren’t enough

The Glebe record fair was a lively and friendly event as the best record fairs are… A good return here too

Further contacts were made and I was lucky enough to venture and stay in the Blue Mountain at Jon’s who’s idyllic mountain retreat/farm was augmented by a huge barn/warehouse harbouring  100s of thousands of records.


Digging again...
Digging some more...
In fact I visited several other warehouses/factories spending hours going through pile after pile of 45s. I could have bought more, but I set myself a limit of around 200 singles, which I could include in my carry-on luggage. There was just so much more...

What follows is a list of the main finds. There were also a few spares and upgrades which are not on this list

4 Strangers Sad and Lonely

Allusions The Dancer EP
Allusions Looks Like Trouble
Ashdown, Doug A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
Atlantics Light Shades of Dark
Atlantics That Loving Feeling
Atlantics I Put a Spell on You
Atlantics Come On/You Tell Me Why
Best, Peter Carousel of Love
Billy Thorpe and The Aztecs Sick & Tired EP
Black Diamonds Outside Lookin' In/Not This Time
Blue Streaks You Belong To Me
Bobby James and The Esquires Don't You Do That/Tossin' and Turnin'
Brigade Joan/All By Myself
Britt You Really Have Started Something
Britten, Terry 2,000 Weeks
Challenge Honey Do
Changin' Times Pied Piper
Cherokees A Woman With Soul
Chocolate It's Been a Long Time Coming/I'm an Animal
Clefs I Can Only Give You Everything
Clique Stop, Look and Listen
Composers Strange Things
Count Copernicus Painted Ego
Creatures Ugly Thing
Dave Miller Set Mr Guy Fawkes EP
Dave Miller Set Let's Get Together
Dave Miller Set Why Why Why EP
Davis, Barrington Dear Lady/Complicated Riddle
D-Coys Leaving Here
D-Coys Bad Times
Deakins I'll Make You Mine
Deakins Take Me For a Little While/Look and Learn
Derek's Accent Ain't Got No Feeling
Doug Parkinson in Focus Then I Run
Easybeats Sad Lonely and Blue
Elois I'm a Man/ By My Side
Epics Too Late
Escorts Sitting By a Tree/On A Day Like Today
Executives It's a Happening World/ Moving in A Circle
Fugitives All Your Lies
Furber, Mike It's Too Late
Gemini Five No, No, No
Geoff St John and the ID Take This Hurt Off Me
Grandma's Tonic Hi Hi Hazel/ Johnny The Hummer
Gremlins Blast-Off 1970
Hergs Style of Love
Iguana Good News
Imagination We Got Fun/ A Day in The Life
In-Sect I am Waiting/Down and Out
In-Sect Let This Be a Lesson
In-Sect Over Under Sideways Down
In-Sect I Can See My Love
Inside Looking Out Long Live Sivananda
Inside Looking Out H.M.S Buffalo
Jeff st John and The ID Black Girl/Eastern Dream
John Francis Collexion I Talk To Trees
Johnny Rebb You Can't Judge a Book by Looking at its Cover
Johnny Rebb The Girl Can't Help It
Kinetics You're So Good For Me
Kinks Australia
Kompany The Family Way
Kravats We're Gonna Howl Tonight
Kruger, Russ Splish Splash/Separate The Man From The BoysLeedon
Kruger, Russ Tallahasee Lassie
Kruger, Russ Move It Baby
La De Da's How is The Air Up There
La De Da's How is The Air Up There
Larry's Rebels Do What You Gotta Do
Larry's Rebels Mo'reen
Last Straws I Can't Stop Loving You Baby/Rescue Me
Librettos I Cry/She's a Go Go
Little Gulliver Short Fat Fannie
Lloyds World Brass Burd EP
Lost Souls This Life of Mine
Loved Ones EP
M.P.D Limited Paper Doll EP
M.P.D Limited Little Boy Sad EP
Malcom, Chris Trip on Life
Masters Apprentices 1st EP
Masters Apprentices 2nd EP
Masters Apprentices But One Day
McCann, Toni Saturday Date
Michael Scott Group Sixty Minutes of Your Love
Misex Straight Laddie
Missing Links Wild About You
Missing Links You're Driving Me Insane
Missing Links Unchained EP
Missing Links We 2 Should Live
Moods Rum Drunk
Morloch Time Machine
Motivation Boy Meets Girl
Movement I Wanna Be Free
New Edition About You Girl
No Names She is Mine
Nomads Good Times/ Don't You Fret
Other Ends Without You
Outcasts Just a Little Bit +2 Acetate
Party Machine Gentle Art
Peter Nelson and The Castaways Goin' Out of My Mind
Phil Jones & The Unknown Blues Band If I Had a Ticket EP
Pilgrim's Five Barbara Allen
Pink Finks You're Good For Me
Pogs I'll Never Love Again/The Pog's Theme
Preachers Who Do You Love
Principals Women
Principals I Can't Stop  
Procession Listen
Protein Bros. Drainpipe
Purple Hearts Here 'Tis
Purple Hearts You Can't Sit Down
Python Lee Jackson Your Mother Should Have Warned You
Ramrods You Shoulda Held On/Get Back
Ray Brown and The Whispers Fool, Fool, Fool
Rebels My Son John/Passing You By
Remains Don't Look Back
Rhone, Marty Nature Boy/ Every Minute of You
Richard Wright Group Mrs Hargreaves
Running Jumping Standing Still Little Girl
Selected Few Get The Picture
Showmen Naughty Girl/Too Much Monkey Business
Simon & De Sade Girl
Soul Agents I Just Want To Make Love To You
Sound Sandwich Apothecary Dream
Sounds of Silence Mary's Got a Daisy
Steve & The Board The Giggle Eyed Goo EP
Sunsets A Life in The Sun EP
Syssys Jump Back
Syssys Baby, Don't Do It
The ID Watch Out -You Got Me Hummin' EP
Tilbrook. Peter Stop The Time
Tol-Puddle Martyrs Time Will Come/Social Cell
Tom Thumb You're Gonna Miss Me/Watcha Gonna Do About It
Town Criers The World Keeps Going Round/Big Deal
Twilights John Hardy
Twilights Needle in a Haystack/I Won't Be The Samw…
Twilights Twilight's Time EP
Twilights Lotus
Twilights The Way They Play
Union The End/Thump
Vacant Lot Leaving Here
Valentines My Old Man's a Groovy Old Man EP
Valentines She Said
Vince Maloney I Need Your Lovin' Tonight
Vince Maloney Set This is The Vince Maloney Set EP
Vyt Why Do I Cry
Wild Cherries I Don't Care
Wild Colonials Get The Picture
Wild Colonials Downtown Blues
Wright Group Love Want Love
Zoot One Times, Two Times, Three Times Four
Zoot Little Roland Lost
Zoot Sha La La

To finish off a perfect trip, on the last evening, I was invited with a friend to spend some time with Mark Taylor where we were privileged to hear top US garage singles and Aussie gems played LOUD on one of the most amazing sound systems known to man. In fact, with the positioning of magnets and other tricks… I am sure there was witchcraft at play...It was a religious experience, totally mind-blowing.

Never had I experienced such depth, clarity and such POWER while listening to what could be dismissed as lo-fi recordings. Incredible, just incredible...

Will I be back? I would like to think so, however my Aussie wants list has shrunk to about 50 (from being close to 200), but the whole experience from the friendliness, generosity and warmth I was shown, plus the amazing weather and scenery means I will most certainly return and not just for the records

PS: I have been back for over 2 weeks now  and still haven’t been able to play every record yet... No wonder!

Monday, May 06, 2019

Nina Martin – I am Aggressive -Top Glam Pop (1976)

Nina Martin – I am Aggressive/ Never (Fall in Love Again) CBS 4488 (Germany 1976)

Four years on from Bonnie St. Claire’s Clap Your Hands and Stamp Your Feet, Nina comes up with a answer song which serves as a warning, where as an empowered woman she may be too hot to handle as she is in turn aggressive and possessive. No easy catch then our Nina… Tune-wise there are many similarities too with Bonnie’s classic. It’s a damn catchy affair and to these ears ripe for a reinterpretation (perfect for the Dahlmanns for example).  Born Marianne Weber but also known as Nina Martinique, Nina served as singer in the German band The Renders as Marianne Rebesky. The German picture sleeve is perhaps the most evocative, her stand out mane is also highlighted on the Dutch and Australian releases. The UK issue is bereft of a picture sleeve. 

Thanks to Marek for turning me on to this one

Hear a full version of I am Aggressive

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Utrecht Record Fair April 2019 - Day 4 (Sunday)

So all things come to an end. On the whole it has been an enjoyable and fruitful Utrecht, much more of a buzz compared to last November's fair

Today, was a controlled and leisurely affair. Sunday is the day when the best deals can be cut, and there are less qualms about negotiating bigger discounts... So I managed to bag some nice UK titles that were price prohibitive on Friday

Particularly nice is that Norwegian Zombies. There were 2 copies at the fair, one less than half the price of the other

So November will be here soon enough...but BIG but... first there is going to be a record shopping spree that it going to make Utrecht look like buying a pint of milk at the cornershop

Watch this space just the other side of Easter....IT WILL BE NUTS

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Utrecht Record Fair April 2019 - Day 3 (Saturday)

Whereas Friday is full on Adrenalin, on Saturdays a certain steadiness and predictability sets in. Purchases and searches are usually more planned and transaction-based but the odd surprise still pops up, including the the chance to buy the first 2 Motions singles and the Outsiders debut. The Dutch contingent surprise was the small label release Kwyet single, a recent discovery for me

The 60s portion included a nice Swedish Science Poption which had a nice promo photo card included. The coupling on the Kingsmen single is strange to say the least as it features a Skip Bifferty and Fairytale tune on each side...

The 70s included a sprinkling of Glam and Powerpop along with the extreme heaviness of Belgium's Load Control 45. Nice to find a perfect copy of Streetlight Fight (Angie)

Bring on the Sunday stroll.... with hopefully some finds of note

Friday, April 12, 2019

Utrecht Record Fair April 2019 - Day 2 (Friday)

So here we go with the main event...

Today, it was mainly a question of quality over quantity. In just a few hours I managed to remove quite a few tenacious blemishes off my UK wants list. Including that Bunch single, which was probably my top remaining UK want.

Some nice, if less high end (i.e expensive) stuff including UK issues of those 2 Procession singles, both are great pop

The Johnny Coolrock is a tough one to find -first you don't really go out of your way to look for 70s Casablanca singles, secondly there can't be many of them about. It's a cracker in any case

What was apparent is the complete drought of European Glam singles in the wilds of Utrecht... has the well run dry? OK, I didn't have the patience to sift through boxes upon boxes of cheap singles, but even the usual dealers who feature Junkshop Glam, had become paupers...

Bring on Saturday, which is usually "consolidation" day...

Friday 07:04 am - Into the "Ghastly Blank..."

Friday 07:23 am -The feeding of the needy

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Utrecht Record Fair April 2019 - Day 1 (Pre-fair)

And  bright sunny day it was in Utrecht too...

 The outdoor fair at its new location at Janskerkhof is starting to take hold and has expanded beyond its original intention. It now meanders and winds around which makes for a convivial experience.

Some nice pieces including this Norwegian Byrds single I had never seen before....

This Wayne Fontana B side was  a recent discovery for me

Anyhow, tomorrow bright and early the real stuff begins....

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Moondoggs – Turning Point – Obscure dose of Aussie Heaviness (1971)

Moondoggs – Felicity/Turning Point – ATA -ATAK 4460 (Australia 1971)

Here’s a very obscure Grillfat sizzler from OZ. There is very little in the way of information available, however it seems that Moondoggs might have shared at least a couple of members with Toby Jug. 

Recorded at A.T.A studios in Sydney, it’s the B side that is of most interest. Starting off in subdued fashion, the track then plunges into Heavy plodding dirge mode and features some neat sustained lead going all Eastern before reverting to its Caucasian origins. The A side is just a weird novelty tune of limited appeal

Hear a full version of Turning Point

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Starlust – Girly Books & Magazines – Obscure New York Proto Punk

Starlust – Girly Books & Magazines/ Solid State Hysteria –Starlust ST 100 (US 197?)

Starlust is one of those names mentioned in the same breath as other New York bands thrown up in the wake of the New York Dolls such Teenage Lust, Harlots of 42nd Street, Magic Tramps, Brats etc…However there is nary any information on Starlust let alone on this release. 
The main guy was called Steve and he later re-appeared as a member of The Grapplers who released a single on Sonic in 1980. It has been mentioned that this single was recorded at Bell Studios at the same time as the first Kiss album, which might place it to 1973, but there are reasons to doubt this: The label states it was recorded at Kingdom Sound where the Ramones, DMZ, BOC and others recorded but I doubt this as well as the A side sounds more like a home studio recording… oh and mixed at Record Plant? Again big doubt…It also sounds later than 1973
Girly Books & Magazines by Starlust sounds like a total New York sleaze classic –right? Well it nearly is - the tune and lyrical content are great, HOWEVER it goes on and on and on for over 6 minutes, so loses the initial momentum it had promised. 
A better idea would have been to have a part I and part II split across both sides of the record and it would have helped in mastering it louder than it actually is. The B side (the AM side) is a buzzing and loud instrumental with some raucous guitar, like a Dictators backing track

Hear a full version of Girly Books & Magazines

Hear a full version of Solid State Hysteria

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Nick Farinacci –Don’t Be a Fool – Cracking obscure 70s Midwest Powerpop

Nick Farinacci –Don’t Be a Fool/Trying Every Way I Can – Smile Record -475-23 (US 197?)

Nick Farinacci was a talented Anglophile Pop provider out of Cleveland (OH). It seems he was on a one man mission to deliver his vision of Pop perfection as he plays and sings it all by himself. 

As far as I can see he only released 2 singles, this one and You're Wasting My Time / Hold On To What You've Got on Edcom in 72. I am assuming this one came out shortly after, but it’s a Google “0” so no fact to back this up.
Anyhow Don’t Be a Fool is a lovely example of Midwest Powerpop, all catchy and jangly, played and sung just right. The B side is another kettle of fish, being some kind of Gilbert o’ Sullivan going Toytown while aiming to represent Luxemburg in the Eurovision song contest...

Hear a full sound clip of both sides

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Cloud Nine - Rock And Roll Highway –Obscure Aussie Rocker (1974)

Cloud Nine – Say Goodbye/ Rock And Roll Highway WB WBA-4070 (Australia1974 )

Cloude Nine was an Aussie Boogie/Glam band that eventually signed to RCA releasing a couple of singles and one LP (We're Just Good Friends…So Rock On) with its iconic sleeve. 

However before signing to RCA they released this single on Warner Bros. Both sides are exclusive to this release, but it’s the B side that is of more interest

Although not ground breaking, Rock And Roll Highway is a perfect example of an uptempo Aussie melodic rocker with Glam tendencies. Of particular interest is the slap-back delay that gives the lead guitar a Groovies feel. The A side is OK Pop, no more, no less

Following their stint on RCA, Cloud Nine then morphed into Taste with some tasty releases on Bootleg, and Philips

Hear a full version of Rock And Roll Highway

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Zebra –Hey Girl –Top Spanish Glam (1974)

Zebra –Hey Girl/ To Dream On –Novola NOX-207 (Spain 1974)

Spain is not usually known as a land of predilection for Glam infused crackers. Rare examples include Burning, Norah (although Argentinian by birth) and Noel Sotto (Hello Hello) , so it was a nice surprise hearing this for the first time last summer in LA while on the way to a record store (thx Noah)

Hey Girl is not an outright Glam Cruncher, but has a Glitter Beat underlay over which streams a delightful melodic tune with many  neat touches such as the Smoke (My Friend Jack) guitar sound and Popsike harmonies. Hey Girl is a top tune and performance regardless of genre.

Zebra had pedigree as formed by ex Los Bravos members (who quit before this single) and had a quite a large output during their tenure from 1971 to 1976. 
I have not heard anything else by Zebra, but if there are any other gems in their catalog, it would be nice to know

Hear a full version of Hey Girl