Ocean Colour Scene – Do Yourself a Favour

I really loved the first few EPs that OCS did, and still consider them to be their finest work.  These are colossal tracks that never really transpired to a long player.  Unfortunately artistic clashes with their label caused the debut album to be a watered down flop.  This is probably why they tend to ignore this period, and it was not very commercially successful.    Thankfully Ocean Colour Scene have released an Anthology which includes all singles and b-sides. Otherwise those gems would of been lost forever.  It was only Yesterday Today that made any inroads in the charts, a weak number 49.

Do Yourself a Favour originally is a Stevie Wonder track with a really filthy funky guitar/organ riff, and Ocean Colour Scene maintain the 70s funky feel but in a Led Zeppelin style rather than Motown.  The Seventh Floor continues the 70s feel and I feel that the first two songs pave the way for Moseley Shoals.  Even at these early stages the production is crystal clear and can have a negative effect, sounding like a group of session musicians rather than a band.  Their rise to fame could be attributed that they became a more cohesive unit in the mid-90s

Ocean Colour Scene : Do Yourself a Favour

r-1814117-1245091036-jpegDo Yourself a Favour
The Seventh Floor
Patsy In Green
Suspended Motion

The Real People

Critically acclaimed yet still obscure, and they have been around in the background forever. My first
introduction to the Real People was their brilliant psychedelic single Open Up your Mind (Let Me In). It
was one of the only records in my collection that was from a major label.  They consisted of  Tony Griffiths (bass guitar, vocals), Chris Griffiths (guitar, vocals), Martin Lappin (guitar) and Tony McGuigan (drums) formed in Liverpool in 1988.

Despite being signed to a CBS they failed to gain widespread recognition. They deserved it too. Sounding like sixties merseybeat with a bit of Britpop. When the album came out it hit number 59 for one week. the Real People said it was lack of promotion by their record company. Shortly after the album was released they were dropped by CBS.

They went into hiding until the mid-nineties when they came back with their own record label.  They have been credited with helping Oasis with their rise to fame.  Tony Griffiths is credited with providing vocals on Supersonic on Definitely Maybe. Chris Griffiths also co-wrote Rockin’ Chair with Noel Gallagher in 1993. This was released as the B-side to the single of Roll with It in 1995.

The Real People : The Real People mi0002512568

Window Pane
I Can’t Wait
For You
The Truth
Everyday’s The Same
Open Up Your Mind (Let Me In)
She 4
In Your Hands
Looking At You
Another Day

Carter Unstoppable Sex Machine – 30 Something

cusmUnfortunately one of Jonathan King’s favourite bands and tipped by him for pop greatness. At the Great British Music Weekend King went to interview the duo, but rumour has it they hid in the dressing room.

Carter gigs were a spectacle and they had a relentless tour schedule, I must of seen them four times between 90-92. Their tour manager Jon ‘Fat Beast’ would appear topless in front of the audience at the start. He would whip the crowd up into a frenzy just before Carter would take to the stage. Strangely, Jon Fat Beast signed my ticket when I saw them at Bournemouth International Centre. I am not sure why I got it signed. I think that I joined a queue not realising what I was queuing for. It might not of been the Beast at all 92 is a bit of a blur.

Carter’s second album 30 Something is probably their most well known works. It starts o with a a sample of Rimmer from Red Dwarf. It is drenched in social comment. Bloodsport for All is about bullying in the British Armed Forces it was banned by the BBC. Sealed with a Glasgow Kiss tackles the issue of domestic violence. It has much more energy than you would expect. Considering that this is two men in their thirties; a drum machine, keyboards and guitar.

51busosynolCarter Unstoppable Sex Machine : 30 Something

Surfin’ USM
My Second To Last Will And Testament
Anytime Anyplace Anywhere
A Prince In A Pauper’s Grave
Shoppers’ Paradies
Billy’s Smart Circus
Bloodsport For All
Sealed With A Glasgow Kiss
Say It With Flowers
Falling On A Bruise
The Final Comedown

Catherine Wheel – Balloon

Great Yarmouth’s Catherine Wheel was formed in 1990. I was very impressed with their early work. This was predominantly shoegaze, but then they went a bit rock and got a massive following from the US College Radio scene. This enabled them to outlast most of the early nineties scenesters.

The Balloon EP demonstrates that Catherine Wheel had more up their sleeves than the run of the mill indie chart offering. Balloon and Intravenous are vivid well crafted pop songs. Balloon was the first song that made me seek out Catherine Wheel after hearing it on the radio. It’s catchy tune that encouraged radio play. There are two live tracks included Let Me Down Again and Painful Thing they showcase their live energy.

Catherine Wheel : Balloon s-l500

Let Me Down Again (Live)
Painful Thing (Live)

Jesus Jones – The Next Big Thing (CD1)

I might have an ‘I was a Teenage Shoegazer’ exclusive! I have it on good authority that Jesus Jones started life as the Hillmen in Tony Hill & the Hillmens. Tony was a character who lived in Devizes (just 13 miles away from Jesus Jones in Bradford-on-Avon) and the band released a handful of singles such as Cuckoo Clock, I am a Pirate King and Terry Wogan’s Party. These were all released on the Blue Hat Record Label in Wiltshire. I am a Pirate King sold 11 copies and thankfully Jesus Jones went their own way. I cannot find any information to back up this story. I am expecting an email from Mike Edwards saying that this is complete rubbish and please remove this post.
I remember buying the The Next Big [CD1] because at the time I did not have the album Doubt and the b-sides had a couple of the hits from that album like; Right Here Right Now and Who? Where? Why?  It also has the track Idiot Stare which is from the 1993 album Perverse. The creatively titled The Next Big Thing [CD2] features unreleased b-sides.

They hope to have an album out this spring and you can pre-order it via Pledge Music.

Jesus Jones : The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing
Right Here Right Now
Who? Where? Why? (1997 Remix)
Idiot Stare

Spirea X – Speed Reaction

The Speed Reaction EP, shows Spirea X still had C86 leanings, but with a few dance beats thrown into songs such as in Re: Action. Which is a remix of Speed Reaction, it is ironic that Jim Beatie also embraces dance music like his former band Primal Scream.  Spirea X disappeared with only one album and two singles to their name.  They were only active in 1991, which was the year Primal Scream released 4 classic singles.

The other EP was Chlorine Dream. The only new song on here and not on the album was Risk. After the two EPs came out, the album Fireblade Skies was released. That was all they produced before they called it a day. Jim Beattie and Judith Boyle emerged again in Adventures in Stereo in the mid-’90s.

Spirea X : Speed Reaction

Speed Reaction
What Kind Of Love
Jet Pilot