• Orange Juice - Satellite City

    Orange Juice - Ostrich Churchyard

    Title: Ostrich Churchyard
    Format: CD Album
    Label: Postcard Records
    Year: 1992

    Tracks - Louise Louise / 3 Cheers For Our Side / (To Put It In A) Nutshell / Satellite City / Consolation Prize / Holiday Hymn / Intuition Told Me (Parts 1 + 2) / Wan Light / Dying Day / Texas Fever / Tender Object / Falling And Laughing / Love Sick / Poor Old Soul / You Old Eccentric

    Satellite City

    Wan Light might have been more appropriate for a lacklustre solar eclipse but instead here's an early version of Orange Juice's Satellite City before it went all Haircut 100 on You Can't Hide Your Love Forever.

    Ostrich Churchyard is the abandoned Postcard LP from 1981 that eventually surfaced during the label's Nineties renaissance. The album tracks more recently reappeared on The Glasgow School without the four 1980 Peel session recordings that close this CD and with them on the definitive Coals To Newcastle boxset.

    There's a note on each of the songs in the booklet that states: "Written in the aftermath of an early Nu-Sonics concert (17th January 1978) supporting British Reggae outfit Steel Pulse and much to our chagrin, an embryonic Simple Minds at the Satellite City, a disco in the clouds above the Apollo. For a long time this was referred to simply as the 'Disco Song'..."

    Orange Juice - Ostrich Churchyard inner sleeve

    Whisper it all, cry wolf discreetly

  • The Jesus And Mary Chain - Just Like Honey

    The Jesus And Mary Chain - Just Like Honey

    Title: Just Like Honey
    Format: Double 7"
    Label: Blanco Y Negro
    Year: 1985

    Side A - Just Like Honey
    Side B - Head

    Side A - Inside Me
    Side B - Just Like Honey (Demo Oct '84)

    Just Like Honey

    The Jesus And Mary Chain hit their creative peak early on with classic debut LP Psychocandy and a clutch of killer singles. Just Like Honey is probably still their finest moment and mixes up bubblegum fuzz and Phil Spector's Wall of Sound with dark, dumbed down lines about beehives, plastic toys and eating up the scum.

    The Jesus And Mary Chain - Just Like Honey gatefold

    This stripped back demo version originally appeared on both the 12" and double pack where it exposed a major debt to the VU lurking underneath...

    Just Like Honey (Version)

    Listen to the girl as she takes on half the world

  • Khartomb - Swahili Lullaby

    Khartomb - Swahili Lullaby

    Title: Swahili Lullaby
    Format: 7"
    Label: Whaam!
    Year: 1983

    Side A - Swahili Lullaby
    Side B - Teekon Warriors

    Swahili Lullaby

    I had a recent message off a Television Personalities obsessed Canadian letting me know about the return of a group who had released a single on Dan Treacy's Whaam! Records three decades ago. As well as being a home for Treacy's TVPs, Whaam! had been notable for early releases by The Pastels and Marine Girls as well as the debut single by Doctor & The Medics a good few years before their big one hit wonder.

    The group in question were called Khartomb who I'd first heard via a phenomenal Peel session which was never off my Walkman during the summer of 1983. It definitely suited the sunshine and included versions of Swahili Lullaby, Tribal Man and Sanatogen along with a track called Daisy High which I absolutely loved. All four songs combined a dreamy nod to Lovers Rock, The Slits and The Raincoats with the kind of gentle jazziness perfected by Alison Statton and Weekend.

    This re-recording of Swahili Lullaby appeared as the group's only single (until now) so I was pleased to get the update from Mr Salem who also runs a pretty fine label of his own called The Beautiful Music. It transpires that Ian and Caroline, the core members of Khartomb, have been back in the studio and you can hear and buy a selection of tracks old and new by visiting their website.

    Big thanks to Ian for sending an assortment of MP3s including this 1982 demo of Daisy High which is even better than the session version.

    Daisy High (demo)

    Stroll away

  • Wah! Heat - Better Scream

    Wah Heat! - Better Scream

    Title: Better Scream
    Format: 7"
    Label: Inevitable
    Year: 1979

    Side A - Better Scream
    Side Hey - Joe

    Better Scream

    In the early 80s just before you pulled into Lime Street Station there was a welcome to Londoners scrawled six foot high on a wall that said "Cockneys Die". It always raised a smile as despite the rivalry between two major Northern cities, visiting Mancunians were generally tolerated.

    Much has been made of The Crucial Three, a Liverpool post punk supergroup who imploded after a month but featured a pre Teardrop Explodes Julian Cope future Bunnyman Ian McCulloch and the singer of this song.

    Pete Wylie's Wah! Heat (and its subsequent variations) may never have quite caught the tails of the Zoo Records opposition but I reckon debut single Better Scream is still a Merseybeat classic.

    Taken from the inside of the wraparound sleeve:

    This war could give dying for what you believe in a bad name...

  • S*M*A*S*H - Lady Love Your Cunt

    S*M*A*S*H - Lady Love Your Cunt Valentine

    Title: Lady Love Your Cunt
    Format: One Sided 7"
    Label: Le Disques De Popcor
    Year: 1993

    Side AA - Lady Love Your Cunt

    Lady Love Your Cunt

    This is the one sided red vinyl Valentine’s Day release of LLYC in a metallic foil sleeve that looks great shot under a skylight. I posted the original version a good few years back but the text I wrote seemed well worth a repeat -

    I toyed with the idea of extending the asterixes in the group name to the song title but it just didn't seem right to sanitise what is probably my favourite single of the Nineties. So firstly, let's get this out of the way, Lady Love Your Cunt takes it's name from a Germaine Greer essay on female empowerment which originally appeared in a 1971 edition of the short lived Suck magazine.

    Somehow it's sad that the C word causes far more offence than the actions of a messed up, male dominated world that happily uses high explosives to 'win' hearts and minds. Ed Borrie's opening statement of 'Most governments, religions, institutions, weapons of war and general stupid ideas were made by a man. Not me, I was made by a woman' at least recognises that imbalance.

    S*M*A*S*H were a three piece from Welwyn Garden City who swaggered with a spirit and integrity unmatched by any of their more successful peers and this single says more in three minutes than a ton of lesser vinyl. True punk rock.

    Love at first sight, another place another time


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