• Psychic TV - I.C. Water

    Psychic TV - I.C. Water

    Title: I.C.Water
    Format: 12"
    Label: Temple Records
    Year: 1990

    Side A - I.C. Water (Radio Version) / I.C. Water (CD Version)
    Side B - Alien Be-In

    I.C. Water (radio version)

    Thirty-five years after the death of Ian Curtis, here's a twenty-five year old tribute from a friend. Psychic TV's I.C. Water was Genesis P-Orridge's undecipherable lament to the Joy Division singer and this radio edit featured on both the one-sided 7" and 12" single although only the longer, Curtis sampling Towards Thee Infinite Beat CD version has made any of the PTV compilations.

    I said most of what I wanted to say about a young man with a weight on his shoulders in a post for the 30th anniversary but five years on his loss feels just as unglamorous.

    Water is the source of all life, seven tenths of this earth's surface is water

    Ian Curtis 15.7.56 - 18.5.80

  • Camera Obscura - Eighties Fan

    Camera Obscura - Eighties Fan

    Title: Eighties Fan
    Format: 7"
    Label: Andmoresound
    Year: 2001

    Side A - Eighties Fan
    Side B - Shine Like A New Pin / Let's Go Bowling

    Eighties Fan

    The TV's full of cheap shows that reduce the Eighties to a collective memory of Ra Ra skirts and Rubik's Cubes as a bunch of B list celebrities pad out the clips and go all misty eyed over Bros or Neighbours. You know the ones, the kind that air punch the fall of The Berlin Wall but airbrush out The Miner’s Strike. I was sixteen when the decade arrived and for the record, it was great.

    Eighties Fan was Camera Obscura's third single and also featured on the Belle & Sebastian produced debut album Biggest Bluest Hi-Fi. The sleeve is actually more lemony than this…

    Tell me, do you wash your hair in honey dew?

  • The Prisoners - Whenever I'm Gone

    The Prisoners - The Last Fourfathers

    Title: The Last Fourfathers
    Format: LP
    Label: Own-Up
    Year: 1985

    Side One - Nobody Wants Your Love / Night Of The Nazgul / Thinking Of You (Broken Pieces) / I Am The Fisherman / Mrs. Fothergill / Take You For A Ride

    Side Two - The Drowning / F.O.P. / Whenever I'm Gone / Who's Sorry Now / Explosion On Uranus / I Drink The Ocean

    Whenever I'm Gone

    Running pretty much parallel to the swirl of the Paisley Underground, Britain had its own Sixties obsessed scene that seeped through early Creation and was undoubtedly led by Medway mods The Prisoners. Whenever I'm Gone is taken from their third and possibly finest album The Last Fourfathers and reappeared as a single the following year on new Stiff subsidiary Countdown who'd also release the group's final album In From The Cold and some great singles by Wolverhampton's Makin' Time.

    Four on 4

    Title: Four On 4
    Format: 7" EP
    Label: Big Beat
    Year: 1984

    Side One - Thee Milkshakes - Out Of Control / The Prisoners - Reaching My Head
    Side Two - The Sting-Rays - Come On Kid / Tall Boys - Ride This Torpedo

    Reaching My Head

    Elsewhere on this blog you can find tracks from The Prisoners debut album A Taste Of Pink and its follow up Thewisermiserdemelza. As a bonus here's the group's snarling Reaching My Head from the Four On 4 EP which soundtracked and complimented a Big Beat special on Channel 4's never bettered Friday night music show The Tube. Love the Star Trek outfits...

  • The Salvation Army - Mind Gardens

    Salvation Army - Mind Gardens

    Title: Mind Gardens
    Format: 7"
    Label: New Alliance Records
    Year: 1981

    Side A - Mind Gardens
    Side B - Happen Happened

    Mind Gardens

    I’ve never been to Los Angeles but its propensity for musical sunshine reached a teenage me through some much loved late Sixties Elektra albums and an Eighties Paisley Underground scene whose nod to LA’s psychedelic past proved particularly popular in a damp Northern city.

    Here’s some vinyl gold dust from that period in the shape of the only 7” by the short-lived Salvation Army. The group released just one single and an album before objections from their religious namesakes forced a rebrand to The Three O’Clock.

    Mind Gardens was released on The Minutemen’s New Alliance label way back in 1981 but this copy arrived in the UK very recently through a bit of Californian / Mancunian back scratching that followed an offer to buy a Joy Division flyer that’s over on sister blog Gold Mine Trash.

    I’d picked up quite a few of the Jon Savage designed handouts at the time but I'm not into selling stuff so I suggested a swap and mentioned my fondness for all things Paisley Underground especially The Three O’Clock. I put the flyer in the post and a week or so later a record I'd only dreamt of getting my hands on arrived via air mail. Thanks Ray!

    Both songs from the single appeared on The Salvation Army’s 1982 LP but I’d never realised that they were completely different versions. The earlier recording of Mind Gardens included here is thick, power pop punk unlike the cleaner, less urgent album take. Between the two releases, guitarist Gregg Gutierrez arrived and singer / bassist Ricky Start dropped the stage name.

    Befour Three O'Clock

    Title: Befour Three O'Clock
    Format: LP
    Label: Frontier Records
    Year: 1984

    Side One - She Turns To Flowers / Upside Down / The Seventeen Forever / Mind Gardens / Grimly Forming

    Side Two - While We Were In Your Room Talking To Your Wall / Minuet / Happen Happened / I Am Your Guru / Going Home

    She Turns To Flowers

    Just like the single, I missed out on the original debut LP but did pick up the Befour Three O’Clock repress which followed the renamed group’s early success. It's since been repackaged on CD as Happen Happened with additional tracks including both sides of the debut 45 but here's opener She Turns To Flowers taken from the vinyl and sounding far more familiar to anyone who's heard the Baroque Hoedown EP and follow up album Sixteen Tambourines. A certain Manchester group were listening to both intently...

    Ask if she knows where her mind goes and ask if she knows where the garden grows

  • The Mekons - Where Were You?

    The Mekons - Where Were You

    Title: Where Were You?
    Format: 7"
    Label: Fast Product
    Year: 1978

    Side A - Where Were You?
    Side B - I'll Have To Dance Then (On My Own)

    Where Were You?

    Here's another of the groups I followed on a flat bed lorry making its way to Alexandra Park for the Anti Nazi League Northern Carnival in the summer of 1978.

    The Mekons clattering debut single Never Been In A Riot was the first release on Bob Last's glorious Fast Product label which also issued the much finer follow up single Where Were You? The sleeve claims its a double A side but this question mark strewn lament to romantic drudgery will always be the early line up's post punk classic. It's not as slow as I remember...

    When I was waiting in the bar where were you?


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