Lush – Gala

Gala was an introduction to Lush for the American and Japanese markets. It contains the band’s first three EPs which were only available in the UK. They needed to get a foothold in the American market with their debut album about to be released and a place secured on the Lollapalooza tour.

It showcases the catchy melodies, distortion,effervescence and everything that made Lush what it is.  There are a selection of outtakes and a cover of Abba’s underrated divorce-pop masterpiece Hey Hey Helen.  Produced by  Tim Friese-Greene (Talk Talk), Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) and John Fryer (This Mortal Coil), who produced Sweetness and Light EP, Mad Love EP and the Scar mini album accordingly.  This means that there are two versions of Thoughtforms one produced by Guthrie the other by Fryer.  In retrospective reviews it was the production that received criticism, but upon a recent listen I would disagree.  The production adds the the 90’s feel of the album and transports me away to that happier time.

Lush : Gala41G753D9JSL

Sweetness And Light
Sunbathing
Breeze
De-Luxe
Leaves Me Cold
Downer
Thoughtforms
Baby Talk
Thoughtforms
Scarlet
Bitter
Second Sight
Etheriel
Hey Hey Helen
Scarlet (New Version)

Th’ Faith Healers – Don’t Jones Me – And Then Some

Released roughly the same time as Lido. Don’t Jones Me is more darkly repetitive and less grebo lurch/sugar sweet than the album. It does not sound like a Loop or Spacemen 3, there is still a grebo crusty undercurrent. Th’ Faith Healers used a droney mesmerising sound in the EP particularly in Gorgeous Blue Flower. This song marked a high point in their career.

Pop Trivia fact – Roxanne Stephen from Th’ Faith Healers guested on Moose’s XYZ album in 1992.
Pop Trivia fact #2 – Th’ in the band’s name used to be The’, but the band joked that the missing e’ had been stolen by Thee Hypnotics. Allegedly.

R-387282-1277249076.jpegTh’ Faith Healers : Don’t Jones Me – And Then Some

Don’t Jones Me
Gorgeous Blue Flower
My Loser
Oh Baby

Divisionists – Daybreak

0009281456_10The London-based psych power pop outfit Divisionists announce their debut album Daydreak will be released on 17th March. The single Say Can You is out now and is sounding like a scuzzed out Teenage Fanclub.

“We are very excited by how well ‘Daybreak’ came together as an album. For me, I’m lucky to be in such an great band: Mark, Rob, Mike and I have fantastic synergy to explore new territory, yet also the intense (obsessive!) perseverance to “get it right”. Musicians always say a record is a labor of love — in this case, it’s really been true. We’ve put the very best of us into this recording, to create an interpersonal and cultural snapshot of blood, sweat, tears, late nights at the pub, the whole works — and we believe we’ve made something cool,” says Divisionists’ frontman Brendan Quinn.

Formed in 2010, the band took their name from both the Neo-Impressionist modern art movement, and one of the political factions in Beat Poet William S. Burroughs’ ‘Naked Lunch’: those who occupy ‘a midway position’ who ‘literally divide’ yet ‘live in fear of a replica revolution’.

Divisionist : Daybreak

Th’ Faith Healers – Lido

Th’ Faith Healers had only two full albums to their name and hung around the edges of indiedom. They seemed to be stuck in the 25 date, small venue tours of the nation’s back street music pubs. They were not unlike Silverfish, and adored by the crusty fraternity. They loved their Krautrock too. They even covered Can’s Mother Sky.

They were active between 1990 till 1993. They came back in 2006 to do a tour after their Peel Sessions were released.

They were never part of the shoegazing circle and but are deeply attached to the early nineties indie music scene.

Th’ Faith Healers : Lido

This Timelido
A Word Of Advice
Hippy Hole
Don’t Jones Me
Reptile Smile
Moona-Ina-Joona
Love Song
Mother Sky
It’s Easy Being You
Spin ½

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
Wonderful
Open Up Your Mind (Let Me In)
She 4
In Your Hands
Looking At You
Words
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