The Cranes: c or d?

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A gentle sounding somewhat Goth band with ethereal lyrics whom I saw in Austin, TX in April 1997. I have never heard anything from them since! Does anyone know what became of them. It was a great gig, btw.

MarkH, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Goth? Ethereal? Oh Lord - one of Ned's bands! :)

For what it's worth I don't like them at all - terrible singer, no melodies, cumbersome arhythmic banging-about etc etc

Dr. C, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Ha Dr.C you make them sound rather interesting! :) Don't have any of their music (just one of those bands that for some reason don't make it from shopping list to actual purchase), but I was intrigued by what's-her-name's voice (she sounds like an Allison?) for awhile.

Omar, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Cranse _are_ rather interesting when they're doing things correctly. Their first album, _Loved_, and the new one are all great. _Population Four_ must be AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS as it is a steamy pile of poo.

Dan Perry, Thursday, 26 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

DAMN RIGHT one of my bands. See the AMG for proof. ;-)

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 29 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

wasn't the cranes' first album "wings of joy"?

stephen clover, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Or even "Self-Non-Self" ('89 mini LP).

Famously dubbed The Appalling Cranes by the NME. Bit of a cause celebre at MM, which I went along with for a bit.

Michael Jones, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

No, I didn't like them at all. The singer was too porky to be a real indie singer.

Nick, Monday, 30 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

I have their 2 CD EP collection and it's pretty good (if inconsistent). Ironic that I like a lot of goth bands, even though I think the whole goth thing is really silly.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Wednesday, 1 August 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Let me rephrase:

The first album (whose name I couldn't remember), _Loved_ (a completely different album from their first album), and the new one (whose name I couldn't remember) are good. I was listing three albums, not two.

Dan Perry, Wednesday, 1 August 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

they were worse than b-jerk. same schtick: grown woman trying to sing like 3yr old, and it's supposed to be arty and precious. krunk that!

junichiro, Wednesday, 1 August 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

nine months pass...
hi there. the band had very few intersting moments but i do have to stand up and say that the songwriter, jim shaw was going out with a friend of mine for a while and the time i spent with him was well worthwhile. one of the rare few people with honesty and integrity who i would gladly call a friend.

del a robbo, Thursday, 2 May 2002 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Cool story. :-) The band are actually touring America this month, hurrah!

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 2 May 2002 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

one year passes...
i still like 'em

Eisbär (llamasfur), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 03:12 (twenty years ago) link

You are not alone.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 03:15 (twenty years ago) link

always liked them. still like them. need to buy a copy of loved. is population four really not very good? how about future songs?

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 03:29 (twenty years ago) link

I love them because her voice totally gives me the creeps.

Ian Grey (Ian_G), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 03:54 (twenty years ago) link

Classic, when you're eighteen years old.

may pang (maypang), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 04:09 (twenty years ago) link

Love them to death until the watershed that was Population 4. Never looked back since..

Baaderist (Fabfunk), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 08:36 (twenty years ago) link

Can we talk about Bang Bang Machine now please?

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 10:25 (twenty years ago) link

I am now intrigued by 'Future Songs', after reading Ned's AMG review..

Baaderist (Fabfunk), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 11:27 (twenty years ago) link

As well you should be. Great return to form.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 14:05 (twenty years ago) link

I seem to remember quite a few ppl in the audience shouting out for them to play a song called Starblood. they didn't play it tho. I have no idea whether or not we missed a treat.

MarkH (MarkH), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 14:08 (twenty years ago) link

"Starblood" is their slow-grind tribal stomp 'the end is NOW!' apocalypse song from Wings of Joy. Always goes down a treat.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 14:11 (twenty years ago) link

Fantastic song, esp. when hearing it live at the Rose Bowl. Shattering..

Baaderist (Fabfunk), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 14:15 (twenty years ago) link

I still listen to their first two albums. Saw them on a bill, quite incongruously, with the almighty Cop $hoot Cop once.

Quite like "Jewel" (the Cranes' song, not the snaggle-toothed pseudo-folk diva) as well.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 14:19 (twenty years ago) link

Also, aren't they one of those bands who insist on being simply "Cranes", not "the Cranes"? Much like Swans, Buzzcocks, Dead Kennedys, et al.?

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 14:19 (twenty years ago) link

Matt Johnson objected very strongly to ppl referring to The The The.

MarkH (MarkH), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 14:24 (twenty years ago) link

I still like them. When i saw them in 2002 she picked up the guitar for a few songs. A great gig

kephm, Tuesday, 13 January 2004 15:42 (twenty years ago) link

Haha Baaderist is ME!

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 18:32 (twenty years ago) link

U/K Search: Robert Smith remix of 'Jewel', btw

Baaderist (Fabfunk), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 18:40 (twenty years ago) link

See, further proof!

I too was at that Rose Bowl show. Mmm, volume.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 19:28 (twenty years ago) link

I saw them open for The Cure at the Target Center in Minneapolis in '92 and they were really very good. I actually went to see them more than The Cure (even though I like them just fine) and they got a decently long set (over half an hour anyway from what I can remember). I bought a Wings of Joy shirt and had one funny little guy come up to me in the hall to say hi (I think we were the only two people to buy one that night) and that was kinda nice. My favourite Cranes story: when working at the record store one night (possibly a MOLTEN METAL MONDAY) with my friend STV we played some Cranes and a customer yelled "HEY! THIS SOUNDS LIKE MUSIC TO SAW YOUR ARMS OFF TO!" at us from across the store. We of course (in Beavis and Butthead fashion) said "cool".

Bryan (Bryan), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 21:31 (twenty years ago) link

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WAS AT THAT CONCERT! They were excellent!

There was a song they played near the end of their set that featured the guitarist doing horrifically nasty things to his car while the vocalist pitched a petulant fit into her microphone. The only other Cranes song I've heard that is halfway similar to it is "Lillies" (which I know came out several years later); I would love to find out what song that was because it was fantastic. I would describe it as proto-Korn metal (only good) with a pissed-off Strawberry Shortcake coming down off of a PCP binge on vocals.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 21:42 (twenty years ago) link

I remember that but I can't remember what song it was! All I remember is my Cure fan friends looking at me like I was fucked in the head for liking them so much. Did you enjoy The Cure's 300 minute version of 'A Forest' at the end of the show, Dan? I think that one song was longer than Cranes' whole set. I sure was glad they were serving beer at that show.

Bryan (Bryan), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 21:50 (twenty years ago) link

Oh GOD YES! That was the one where everything but the bass dropped out in the middle of the coda, then Boris added in the Funky Drummer beat from the _Mixed Up_ remix and Robert started riffing off of the album titles! GENIUS. Damn, I wish I had a recording of that.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 21:53 (twenty years ago) link

So you two have been to Hell, I guess.

Ian Grey (Ian_G), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 23:13 (twenty years ago) link

Yes, I have seen Third Eye Blind in concert! How'd you know?

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 23:28 (twenty years ago) link

If any of you sickos/enthusiasts would like to buy my 3x7" box of "Jewel" off me (a marketing gimmick that got Cranes into the UK Top 30 in '93 or so) for silly money, email me.

(Er, on second thoughts, I think it's a couple of hundred miles away at the moment. Similar Sharkboy box, anyone?)

Michael Jones (MichaelJ), Tuesday, 13 January 2004 23:50 (twenty years ago) link

Oh GOD YES! That was the one where everything but the bass dropped out in the middle of the coda, then Boris added in the Funky Drummer beat from the _Mixed Up_ remix and Robert started riffing off of the album titles! GENIUS. Damn, I wish I had a recording of that.

Hm...you DID get that mp3 I have from the same year that has the queasy London version which also goes on forever and has him mentioning the various songtitles from Wish, I trust.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 14 January 2004 00:43 (twenty years ago) link

I'm sure I did. I'm also surea that that particular mp3 is buried on an unlabelled disc next to my computer.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 14 January 2004 00:48 (twenty years ago) link

Also, I wasn't in the London audience screaming "YEAH!!!! FUCK YEAH!!!! COME CLOSER AND SEE, MOTHERFUCKERS! WOOOO!"

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 14 January 2004 00:48 (twenty years ago) link

Then clearly it is inferior.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 14 January 2004 00:53 (twenty years ago) link

I would describe it as proto-Korn metal (only good) with a pissed-off Strawberry Shortcake coming down off of a PCP binge on vocals.

I am sad that this description hasn't made anyone go, "Oh, I know that song, it's '_______'."

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 14 January 2004 01:02 (twenty years ago) link

Maybe it was "Inescapable" or something. Hm.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 14 January 2004 03:37 (twenty years ago) link

Cranes are wonderful, and they're from my area of England too! I feel so proud.

Stupid (Stupid), Wednesday, 14 January 2004 04:11 (twenty years ago) link

Yay! I do like the fact that they're still going, because generally speaking I like bands who just keep on keeping on without turning into bad blues cover bands or something. Perhaps.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 14 January 2004 04:14 (twenty years ago) link

Heh, I'll have to dissagree with you there Ned. Their last album was rather disapointing, for one thing. Maybe they'll improve, but I doubt it. I wish they (and a lot of bands, actually) would just quit while they're ahead.

Stupid (Stupid), Wednesday, 14 January 2004 04:31 (twenty years ago) link

Their last album was rather disapointing, for one thing.

Wah!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 14 January 2004 04:34 (twenty years ago) link

Sorry, it is. It doesn't even compare to their early stuff. They've lost it.

Stupid (Stupid), Wednesday, 14 January 2004 04:37 (twenty years ago) link

Tempted to get that last (I guess final?) album of theirs.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 4 March 2014 09:07 (ten years ago) link

five years pass...

FFFFSSSS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89y1QJM6eNs

MaresNest, Sunday, 16 June 2019 17:32 (five years ago) link

The version of Starblood completely bangs.

MaresNest, Sunday, 16 June 2019 17:36 (five years ago) link

Heading Starblood in the Rose Bowl (when opening for the Cure) will always remain engraved in me

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Sunday, 16 June 2019 17:55 (five years ago) link

Cool, don't know when I'll watch that but thanks.

I think they said they're working on a ton of stuff but it's been quite a wait. But I'm patient.

Solo EP from guitar/keyboard guy
https://paulsmith.bandcamp.com/album/through-strange-windows

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 16 June 2019 18:35 (five years ago) link

Heading Starblood in the Rose Bowl (when opening for the Cure) will always remain engraved in me

That was definitely an experience.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 16 June 2019 18:48 (five years ago) link

I saw them live during that tour. Amazing.

Duke, Sunday, 16 June 2019 20:21 (five years ago) link

18 September 1991

Duke, Sunday, 16 June 2019 20:23 (five years ago) link

At the end of 1994 my life collapsed around me. Five years earlier I moved to NYC and attempted to make it into the "music biz" with varying degrees of success but i got involved with a person who was a mess and a combination of that and my own immaturity led to an untenable situation. The end result meant that I had no choice but to leave her as well as the city I loved and I thought everything else as well. I did the dreaded "move back with your parents a failure" thing in my mid 20s.

I didn't have a car. I got a job at the Ledo's Pizza walking distance from my parents place, but I didn't have any money for a car and public transportation around then in suburban DC was not the best. So I didn't think I could go to shows but I had an idea: Offer someone who was into music free shows in exchange for rides. I put up a little notice in the laundry room in the apartment complex and somehow someone answered. They didn't know Cranes, but I loved their last album Loved and I was able to snag free tickets from my former life and I bought one for her boyfriend.

It was 2/10/1995 at the 9:30 Club. I saw the band and they were wonderful, but more importantly it was a tiny shred of freedom and joy in music that I had started to take for granted when I was in New York attending 120 shows a year. It also allowed me to have some semblance of a social life, which is not easy when you sleep on your parents floor in your mid 20s with nothing lined up.

In many ways, that was the best show I ever went to. It was just what I needed, just when I needed it. I will always treasure the memory of that show.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Monday, 17 June 2019 02:45 (five years ago) link

Oh, and this is perfect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CH12Rxvz40

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Monday, 17 June 2019 02:47 (five years ago) link

Yeah, in many ways "Lilies" is my platonic ideal of what I want to hear from Cranes.

brigadier pudding (DJP), Monday, 17 June 2019 13:02 (five years ago) link

I never owned any of their albums as a kid, but I must have listened to the Jewel EP with the Robert Smith mix hundreds of times. Been trying to track this one down for ages, I just could never remember the name of the song. Such an awesome version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZdEByzo-8I

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 10:13 (five years ago) link

yeah I got that EP for free at a show and it could well be my favorite release of theirs

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 19 June 2019 11:21 (five years ago) link

this one's on it, too - i like it a lot more than the heavy version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BOZDtGIHkM

Chuck_Tatum, Wednesday, 19 June 2019 12:35 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

Can't find the fan forum anymore where I used to check for updates. Hope the new stuff is further along.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 22 July 2020 23:40 (four years ago) link

Wow I was just thinking of them yesterday and wondering how they spent their days (just can’t imagine Alison Shaw having a normal job). Didn’t know they were working on new stuff

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, 23 July 2020 10:29 (four years ago) link

man I wore out the robert smith remix of 'jewel' in college. fell in love after seeing them open for the cure in '92. favorite song on wings of joy is 'thursday'. saw them again in NYC in '97 and it was the worst show i've ever seen

this has been the best year fuiud (rip van wanko), Thursday, 23 July 2020 15:51 (four years ago) link

I watched that Luxor performance last night and she spends half the concert trying to hold her hat in place, but it's really good for a camcorder concert.

Sometimes I think they were the best band of their era/generation, on the strength of Loved, Forever, Tragedie and Self Non Self.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 23 July 2020 19:09 (four years ago) link

anyone here own the Music on Vinyl reissues? Do they sound good?

beamish13, Friday, 24 July 2020 01:25 (four years ago) link

listened to Cranes on shuffle on Spotify today, and nearly every song was good. lots of good ideas in their music

this has been the best year fuiud (rip van wanko), Friday, 24 July 2020 03:40 (four years ago) link

Yeah. I understand the voice might be a dealbreaker for most but musically (esp arrangements) they were incredible. I love the buzzing drone that underpins most of their stuff, esp on Loved.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 24 July 2020 07:12 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

New album out today by Irish band Just Mustard who share a lot of Cranes DNA, right down to supporting The Cure. They have some great live sessions on YouTube too. There are a couple of passing mentions of them on ILM but I don't think anyone's yet pointed out this glaring similarity (which of course is a big recommendation!).

Supposed Former ILM Lurker (WeWantMiles), Friday, 27 May 2022 13:19 (two years ago) link

Are we taking the early Swans-inspired Cranes or the later dream poppier material?

Maresn3st, Friday, 27 May 2022 13:32 (two years ago) link

Early stuff, for sure.

Supposed Former ILM Lurker (WeWantMiles), Friday, 27 May 2022 14:32 (two years ago) link

> the early Swans-inspired Cranes

maybe i should check out swans, which i never really have.

koogs, Friday, 27 May 2022 15:45 (two years ago) link

I think maybe mid-eighties Swans might be worth checking out, the rhythms have that same flavour as songs like Starblood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHES9YAGGkU

Maresn3st, Friday, 27 May 2022 18:14 (two years ago) link

was ok until the vocals, which were a large part of the appeal of the cranes

koogs, Saturday, 28 May 2022 10:13 (two years ago) link

five months pass...

Still gods...and now on Bandcamp

https://cranes.bandcamp.com/

2000s albums for now, but various plans are in the works.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 3 November 2022 22:40 (one year ago) link

Bless’em

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Saturday, 5 November 2022 08:40 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

Okay, various reissues and things happening...and a 30th anniversary show for Forever, with the original lineup:

https://www.ticketweb.uk/event/cranes-30th-anniversary-show-of-earth-tickets/13090185

Also posted a very nice note about Ray Shulman the other day.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 6 April 2023 20:15 (one year ago) link

£1.75 for "delivery" of etickets. they need Robert Smith on the case

koogs, Thursday, 6 April 2023 20:34 (one year ago) link

Just did a lovely near hour long chat with Ms Shaw. Forthcoming Bandcamp piece in a couple of months.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 16 April 2023 16:23 (one year ago) link

Good. I never did get the album reissues and wondered if there was any particularly good tracks that weren't on the EP collection

Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 16 April 2023 19:39 (one year ago) link

Xp Nice! I always wondered about her. Did she go back into civilian life then?

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Sunday, 16 April 2023 19:54 (one year ago) link

I didn't get full details re what they're all doing now but sounds like everyone found their own particular paths, and that the last few months brought things back together nicely. (There's more news forthcoming but not yet public; the show is I believe a one-off for now at least.)

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 16 April 2023 20:11 (one year ago) link

This sparked a revisit of Wings of Joy (never my fave). I'd forgotten just how beautiful and timeless "Tomorrow's Tears" was.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 24 April 2023 08:37 (one year ago) link

Yeah that intro remains perfect.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 24 April 2023 11:36 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

The feature is live!

https://daily.bandcamp.com/features/cranes-alison-shaw-interview-peel-sessions

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 18 May 2023 18:41 (one year ago) link

Thanks

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 22 May 2023 19:00 (one year ago) link

Yer welcome

Ned Raggett, Monday, 22 May 2023 19:19 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

Forever anniversary gig is tonight. I probably should have listened to the album before coming because it's years since I've listened to it, have mostly listened to their early stuff recently

Colonel Poo, Saturday, 14 October 2023 18:44 (nine months ago) link

Jealous

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Saturday, 14 October 2023 19:23 (nine months ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DfXd2PsSsM

MaresNest, Sunday, 22 October 2023 12:49 (nine months ago) link

three months pass...

And a new reissue here: Fuse, on vinyl for the first time as well:

https://cranes.bandcamp.com/album/fuse

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 6 February 2024 17:14 (five months ago) link

I never thought this would be reissued

Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 7 February 2024 20:41 (five months ago) link

Really remarkable to see it. I think any further reissues after that would have to go through Cherry Red because I gather they have access to the Dedicated releases (which explains the Chapterhouse box from the other year), but I think that's still in the works. We'll see what follows next!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 7 February 2024 20:50 (five months ago) link

Really excited to see them in May

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 7 February 2024 21:39 (five months ago) link

two months pass...

Saw them last night. The songs are still a joy but the band was pretty rough. Often out of sync and missing cues. But they nailed Starblood. Hope they can play a few more shows and shake things off.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 1 May 2024 07:18 (two months ago) link


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