Sunday, January 29, 2012

Return from Amsterdam Record Fair

Organised by the same people as Utrecht, the Amsterdam fair is of course smaller in size. However it’s a vibrant fair with a steady stream of buyers with dealers from Germany, France, UK, Belgium (and Holland). Smaller but perfectly formed, 3 hours was sufficient to see what I needed to instead of the usual 30 hours required at Utrecht. So call it a stop gap between November and April...

Not a mind-blowing haul as there was no unsuspecting German dealer with 10.000 singles to jump upon during unloading, however I was pleased to get a good condition copy of BZN’s Rock & Roll Woman, most sleeves you see of that one are always ripped and written upon.

Hear a full version of Rock & Roll Woman

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Amsterdam Record Fair

In a few hours I'll be here...nice and early and probably with no sleep. A quick visit  tp the Lowlands as a stop gap before Utrecht after the crap as usual VIP Olympia fair in London -Only 1 LP!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cromwell –Stomp Stomp Stomp

Cromwell –Stomp, Stomp, Stomp/Nothing Left To See –Cromwell DOS 118 (1974 Ireland)

Cromwell were a Irish band who released 1 LP and 5 singles at the time with Stomp Stomp Stomp being their 2nd release. They were surely asking for trouble calling themselves Cromwell - pretty Punk Rock in attitude...Music-wise you could call this Bonehead-lite with a touch of Glam, but they probably meant none of it. The bass is loud in the mix and omnipresent. The guitar is more pop, although it does cut through at times, but the drums and vocals are at the forefront of the stomping. All in all there is an exuberance and candidness which is most appealing...not to mention the explosion. Once again they were asking for trouble; another sign of the times...

Hear a full version of Stomp Stomp Stomp

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bulldog –Emanuelle Nera (Black Emmanuelle)/ Robin Hood

Bulldog –Emanuelle Nera / Robin Hood –Blue Jean BJ 603 (1975 Italy)

EXPLOITATION-A-RAMA! Ok Black Emmanuelle (Emmanuelle in Africa) wasn’t quite “Debbie Does Cannibal Holocaust”, but it did feature Laura Gemser... Written by Italian singer and B movie soundtrack provider Nico Fidenco, it’s a fun compendium of 70s trash grooves. The B side is where the true Junkshop action resides. Written by ex Casuals Alan Taylor, Robin Hood is a gritty Heavy Glam rocker albeit with tongue caught in a Bubblegum cheek. Alan was also behind the other Bulldog single –the VERY silly Doggy Doggy also on Blue Jean

Hear a full version of Emanuelle Nera

Hear a full version of Robin Hood

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Rockids- She’s A Cartoon

Rockids -She's A Cartoon/ Young and Sexy - TKO 007 (1979 US)

Also from out of 1979, but lost somewhere between bar band shenanigans, Hard FM Kiddie Bubblegum and Powerpop genius, comes this insanely catchy first single from New Jersey’s Rockids. They had a chorus and certainly knew how to use it...The B side Young and Sexy starts off a bit scarily then becomes some sort of Power Pomp Punk Rocker...Strange. Their other single Candy Kiss is also worth the detour, but it’s She’s A Cartoon which will hook itself into your brain forever. You have been warned...

Hear a full version of She’s A Cartoon

Monday, January 02, 2012

Blu Maxx –Rev It Up

Blu Maxx - O’ Come All Ye Faithful/ Rev It Up –Brother Studio BS -19 (1979 US)

To start the year here’s a real Powerpop gem of which only 500 were ever pressed.The opening of Rev It Up is one of the most evocative intros ever with twin lead guitars recalling Wowii at their best. The track then turns into a perfect lesson in maximizing the minimum where nothing is superfluous and where a simple chord structure and infectious melody rule the roost. The lyrics spell out SOCAL existentialism
Bob Shank: “The whole point of "Rev it Up" was to celebrate the "Southern California Beach Living" lifestyle. Our singer Gary worked in a Surf Shop, was an avid Surfer with hundreds of girlfriends. He looked like a Japanese soldier who wasn't told the war was over. But charisma and charm oozed from his pores...”
The A side O’ Come All Ye Faithful is a punked-out festive ditty akin to The Yobs but with added gritty guitar moves. The track actually received a good amount of local airplay on KLOS and KMET in the Los Angeles at the time “Come All Ye Faithful was on LA FM drive time radio for 3 weeks. We were living the dream...” (BS)
The band line-up was Gary Haraguchi (vocals), Bob Shank (Lead Guitar, Vocals), Bill Shank (Bass), Gordon Sims (Guitar), Carl Jensen, (Drums). Following the single, in 1980 Geoff Guerrero added his Rick 6/12 and Vocals to the mix. Blu Maxx had been in existence quite a few years before their only single
BS: “Gordon Sims and I got our roots in instrumental Surf Music. We saw all the heavies .. Dick Dale, BelAires, Chantays, and The Ventures.We saw the change first hand. We were 1967 highschool graduates. We saw Sonny and Cher, the Turtles, Yardbirds, Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. We did a lot of "herbal" jams back then. (Summer of Love). We started BluMaxx because there was a sudden influx of good venues, and sound engineering was coming of age. We felt we had a cool sound that went back to Real Surf Music, not The Beach Boys style, but real South Bay Surf...”

You can hear some 70s Blue Maxx recordings here:!/artist/artist_songs/767037

Recorded between 72 and 74 Superman Boogie and Short In My Brain are fully realised proto punk riff-heavy melodic numbers, like The Stooges transplanted to California in a bid to get on the radio. These tracks shine beyond the parameters of the limited recording facilities.
BS: “Superman Boogie was my second song written in a herbal haze in 1970. My first was The Family Visits Saturn. A Timothy Leary tribute in 1969...”

Blu Maxx at Pier 52, Hermosa Beach, California -Bob Shank and Gordon Sims

Following Blu Maxx, Bob formed Holy Joe “an Alt Rock experience fashioned on the Garbage model...Leah Sharp was an able front with her Big Voice and Courtney Cox good looks! Today Holy Joe has had new life in Russia and Ukraine...”. Holy Joe was Tim Edmondson, Darren McClung, Leah Sharp and Bob Shank. But what of Blu Maxx?
BS: “I have managed to stay connected with all but Gary. Rumour has it he is living on various sofas in Hawaii!

Hear a full version of Rev It Up

Hear a full version of O’ Come All Ye Faithful