The debut flexi from the Leeds indie combo which was released in 1988. The blue flexi-disc was self-released and given away free with a Wakefield fanzine which cost 20p. It shows that they had much more in common with the Madchester scene than the Leeds indie scene which was mainly Cud and The Wedding Present. The b-side (although this is the second song on a single-sided flexi) Just Good Friends does sound like Northside with a trombone. It was the trombone that was the unique selling point and featured throughout their discography and set them apart from everyone else. Lastly, I have been sadly been unable to find a link between the track Just Good Friends and the sitcom of the same name starring Paul Nicholas that finished just two years previous in 1986.
The fourth studio and wilderness album from the House of Love. Guy Chadwick recorded most of the guitar parts himself as lead guitarist Simon Mawby departed just before the album’s conception. This probably sped things up as the whole album was recorded in two weeks. Prior to the albums release drummer Pete Evans departed leaving Chadwick to promote the album by himself. The album was not toured due to lack of band members and the albums was poorly received. I do remember that a friend went to Great X-pectations Festival 1993 in Finsbury Park and said that Guy Chadwick did a solo set and there was quite a hostile audience.
The album is not the best House of Love album but it is still better than the vast majority of indie landfill that would be clogging up the charts at the time. Shining On is a pastiche to their biggest hit Shine On and 8 minute epic Into the Tunnel builds up and breaks into a glorious crescendo. The album had only one single which was Hollow which I personally feel did not showcase the sensitive appeal of the House of Love at all.
The very last single from The Dylans and it was a great tune but unfortunately it was a busy happy track that harked back to the Madchester era and as it was released in 94 and everyone was into Britpop, drinking Gin and Tonic and feeling Supersonic. The single didn’t chart and they released Spirit Finger the following month in April 94. They called it a day shortly after.
One of the singles from the heinously unrecognised House of Love album Babe Rainbow. There were many versions of this single but I focusing on the Limited Edition version. It was a bit of a safe choice as a single and it also features Christine and Loneliness is a Gun which are stalwarts in the HOL backcatalogue. But it is the last song the The Hill which confuses me, I thought that I had magically put a song from another band onto this mp3. Initially I thought a Voice of the Beehive mp3 had slipped in there but after a look on Youtude this does seem to be the official version, then I ventured onto Discogs and this did not show any additional vocals. It is definately not Guy Chadwick singing.
Exhilarating garage rock from Australia’s High Pitched Scream which is the multi-instrumental David Lloyd recorded at home with session drummers from Fiverr. David describes this single as My Bloody Valentine meets Dinosaur Jr, which I would believe is pretty accurate from listening to Two Songs the debut single. After listening to this I revisited Gumball which has the same urgent garage rock sound.
I asked you a hundred times
Would you be my best friend
You replied a hundred times
You didn’t need a friend
The opening lyrics from My Best Friend. If ever there was a quintessential twee pop group it is Talullah Gosh, the band that was more Sarah than Sarah Records (but only ever released the compilation They’ve Scoffed the Lot on the Bristol-based Sarah Records label). Allegedly containing a complete back catalogue, every demo, single, and radio session. To whet the appetite of every fanzine loving mid-forty-year-old.
The name Talulah Gosh was taken from an interview between the NME and Clare Grogan from Altered Images. Amelia Fletcher from Talulah Gosh said, she did an interview and the interviewer “What are you going to do after your band ?” She said “I’m going to be an actress and I’m thinking I may call myself Talulah Gosh.”
Or there is another school of thought that the name derives from Jodie Foster character in the film Bugsy Malone. Anyway enjoy this comprehensive compilation.
My Best Friend
Just A Dream
Don’t Go Away
Escalator Over The Hill
My Boy Says
Way Of The World
Bringing Up Baby
I Can’t Get No Satisfaction (Thank God)
The Girl With The Strawberry Hair
Talulah Gosh (Janice Long Session)
Do You Remember
Looking For A Rainbow
My World’s Ending
Be Your Baby
Break Your Face
In Love For The Very First Time
I Told You So
Steaming Train (Demo)
I Told You So (Demo)
Mmm Mmm He’s So Dreamy (Demo)
Sunny Inside (Demo)
The second and last single from the short-lived and small back catalogue of Spirea X, which was the point that Jim Beattie transitioned from Primal Scream to Adventures in Stereo, and has been kicking himself ever since.
Regular readers will know that I have two heroes; Sonic Boom and Terry Bickers. The latter was in a short-lived combo called Cradle. Cradle was formed in a week after Bickers left Levitation in 1993, Bickers teamed up with guitarist Clive Giblin (Alternative TV, Shock Headed Peters, Two Worlds Collide, Sol Invictus). The duo formed a band called Paradise Estate, named after the Television Personalities’ track as they were both fans. They spent about six weeks writing and recording the songs that would convince Warner Bros to sign Bickers, following which the pair drifted apart (with Giblin leaving the band).
After a year the line up was secured Bickers recruited his partner singer Caroline Tree for vocal duty. Giblin joined the band and jumped ship again.
Moving to Rye in Sussex, Bickers put together a third line-up of Cradle with himself on guitar, vocals, and various instruments, Caroline Tree as co-lead singer and Ian Mundwyler on guitar, plus a shed load of contributing musicians with this floating cast of contributing musicians Cradle released what would be their only completed album, Baba Yaga, in 1995.
This is an album that shows some truly great guitar work from Bickers, but his partner at the time and co-vocalist Caroline Tree did some really ropey singing. This album is really for people like myself who want to collect everything that Bickers has released, not for newbies that want to enter the world of psychedelic indie.
Minneapolis-based Muun Bato (pronounced: moon-bah-toe) debut album delivers a melodic pop-rock. Released back in October 2019 this debut has a mature and well-polished feel which is not surprising as the band is comprised of a selection of mid-west sonic pioneers. The band formed back in 2018 when Joe Werner (First Communion Afterparty, Driftwood Pyre, Bridge Club) and Andy Iwanin (Basement Apartment, The Pitchafits) were rehearsing for a one-time collaboration show in Minneapolis. This impromptu jam showcased their creative chemistry and later Vince Caro (Flavor Crystals, Basement Apartment), Timothy S Ritter (Basement Apartment, Shapeshifter) was recruited for bass and synth duties.
The debut album is refreshing as it features strong vocals, many bands now use guitar effects to disguise their lack of vocal prowess. The first track Catacomb Caty opening bars reminded me of Garbage’s Stupid Girl but this is a taster of the solid melodic tunes that grab the listener and showcase their impressive songwriting talent.
In this time of self-isolation and social distancing, you could almost experience what it was like to be a goth in the 80s. So I thought I would throw some obscure feelgood classics indie at you. Tracy Tracy (so good they named her twice) lead singer in The Primitives was an indie heartthrob before Toni Halliday, Rachel Goswell, and Louise Trehy.