Bogshed - kings of swing: discuss

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oh lovely bogshed still make me feel human with their artless in-jokes, playground humour and sub-fall / beefheart skiffle glam stomp. i still cut a rug to "champion love shoes" and "adventure of dog; a sandwich bar" is just THE best rhyming couplet. why are they renowned as a pile of shit? it's not like they were the membranes or anything is it????

bob snoom, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

they are on C86 = they are not the Monkees

mark s, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

i just feel the boundless energy they put into their dubious endeavours was life affirming.

bob snoom, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

"boundless energy...put into...dubious endeavors" = essence of rock music, no?

jess, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

They weren't as good as Turkey Bones & the Wild Dogs (NB I am nearly as old as M. Sinker)

Norman Phay, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

i don't know about turkey bones & the wild dogs - did they sound similar?? if they do i'd luv ta hear 'em.

bob snoom, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

They weren't as good as Wreckless Eric. (I am nearly as old as m.snicker too, but not nearly as old as Allan Jones).

Dr. C, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

i think maybe the truly great thing about bogshed is that they weren't as good as anyone.

bob snoom, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

They were better than Bentley Rythmn Ace

Norman Phay, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

damn! that screws the whole thing. i spose they were also better than terminal cheesecake as well, though

bob snoom, Sunday, 4 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

one month passes...
Found two interesting links: http://members.tripod.co.uk/mhiggott/music/bogshed.htm and http://cherryred.co.uk/crzone/canuhelp.htm

let them eat bogshed and brutal are my faves...

the Bernd, Wednesday, 12 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

"you can make a bear dance, but a tree tells no lie"

piembo craddock, Friday, 21 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Sorry Bob but they were a pile of shite. Manic disjointed riffing, caterwauling vocals inept, turgid and best-forgotten along with similar mid-80s acts Peel used to champion eg Big Flame, A Witness (and Ron Johnson records in gen).

stevo, Saturday, 22 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I once ran into a pillar and knocked myself stone-cold out, dancing to Bogshed.

Jerry, Saturday, 22 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

I can well believe this Jerry having once danced in your vicinity to Tricky at Glasgow Barrowlands. A friend had a similar experience at a Pastels gig. Respect.

stevo, Saturday, 22 December 2001 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

two weeks pass...
Benny Hill cover in a Peel Session? Can't Be Beat.

Milton Lilbourne, Sunday, 6 January 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

absolutely. and the cover art for let em eat bogshed still keeps me awake at night...

johnny dbini, Thursday, 10 January 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

Slave girls, Fat lad exam failure...top notch. Where are they now?.....working for the civil service maybe.

dj.ginsters, Saturday, 12 January 2002 01:00 (twenty years ago) link

three years pass...
The bass player makes a living as an illustrator (he did all the record covers). The singer lives in Liverpool apparently and vetoed a recent 'Best Of' CD. Anyone know any more?

Norm Waz, Monday, 17 January 2005 12:59 (seventeen years ago) link

Bogshed, Big Flame and the Membranes were all storming live acts in a very dull time on the UK gig scene. None of them really managed to get the mayhem down on vinyl. See also: The Three Johns.

Soukesian, Monday, 17 January 2005 18:21 (seventeen years ago) link

morning sir = great! not shite.

jake b. (cerybut), Monday, 17 January 2005 19:22 (seventeen years ago) link

four months pass...
they were one of the beste ever. aye we might aw be sad old cunts but we got taste. only seen em once but mick gave us a badge which ah nearly lost comin back fae the dole next day. they're so good ah went nearly aw the way back to the dole till ah found it. tales ae bein th only cunt on the floor if they got played @ clubs n walkin 16 mile hame eftir gigs in glasgow show the dedication ae the mid 80s tastefu. time to campaign fr a release ae aw peel sessions ( same also for the cravats ,other suggestions welcome)

veg, Friday, 10 June 2005 09:37 (seventeen years ago) link

so, being american, i merely liked how all those sorts of post-fall/beefheart bands (bogshed, big flame, nightingales, membranes, meat whiplash, shrubs, janitors, pigbros, slaughter joe, etc) sounded at the time, but i never really understood where they came from or what they were singing about. were they considered a "scene" in some way, or just a bunch of isolated bands? do some of the ones I listed totally not belong on the list? were they all considered working class, or, um, "northern" or from leeds (a la the three johns and mekons) or something? did they start out as a mark e. smith fan club? did their own fans hate the smiths and like the jesus and mary chain? or the other way around? or neither? any information on the matter would be very much appreciated.

xhuxk, Friday, 10 June 2005 11:29 (seventeen years ago) link

Before they split up, Bogshed performed an awesome Peel session with a less shambolic and more electric sound. Unfortunately, this didn't signal the inevitable decade of commercial success (well, I could dream) but was the last I ever heard from them: they never released another record. I seem to remember that the singer did record a solo Peel session. They are ludicrously under-rated as far as I'm concerned as were A Witness whose I Am John's Pancreas album still stands up today. Probably putting my head in the noose here but who cares!!!!!!!!!

Kim Tortoise, Friday, 10 June 2005 11:30 (seventeen years ago) link

and oh yeah, what about the folk devils? or greenhouse of terror? or tools you can trust? or head of david? or were those ones all a whole 'nother thing?

xhuxk, Friday, 10 June 2005 11:36 (seventeen years ago) link

did their own fans hate the smiths and like the jesus and mary chain? or the other way around? or neither?
neither, i think

don't think the Nightingales "belong" here (werem't they much earlier? Dr.C to thread)

time to campaign fr a release ae aw peel sessions
seconded!

zebedee (zebedee), Friday, 10 June 2005 11:37 (seventeen years ago) link

also, even if it wasn't a "scene" per se', did NME or melody maker or whoever consider it a "genre"? if so, what was it's name? i know those papers always loved making up goofy genre names! (and wouldn't age of chance also have been part of it, at least circa "bible of the beats", before they covered "kiss"?)

xhuxk, Friday, 10 June 2005 12:01 (seventeen years ago) link

(actually, "skiffle glam stomp" would have been EXCELLENT genre name! but i never heard that one til this thread. maybe i will starting using it anyway, though, until somebody comes up with an even better one.)

xhuxk, Friday, 10 June 2005 12:02 (seventeen years ago) link

I think the only groop that doesn't fit in chuck's list are The Nightingales. They WERE a bit earlier than the rest - first Gales album was 1982, first single 1980 IIRC. Sonically their early stuff sounds similar to the others, but Robt Lloyd's words were far, far better and cleverer. Most of the bands you mentioned were in and around the C-86 NME championed scene and were awful. I have lost count of the times I saw the likes of The Membranes, The Folk Devils or The Janitors doing tedious support slots in around 85-87. None of these bands could do either songs or noise scree well enough to excite.

Oh the Mekons absolutely don't belong on the list - different thing altogether - they were class of '78 Leeds punkers and by the mid-80s were already doing the c&w thing, I think. Three Johns were possibly better than the likes of the Membranes etc, but not much.

Northern - mainly. Slaughter Joe Foster was from London (or was he orig. a chum of McGhee's in Glasgae - who cares really?), Folk Devils and Shrubs possibly from the South. Janitors were from Derby, Big Flame from Manc, Membranes from Blackpool, Meat Whiplash from Glasgow....

Yes Age of Chance were similar pre-kiss.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 10 June 2005 12:30 (seventeen years ago) link

> Mekons absolutely don't belong on the list - different thing altogether - they were class of '78 Leeds punkers and by the mid-80s were already doing the c&w thing, I think.<

oh no, i totally understand that (i was talking about them more as an influence on these later bands -- as were the pop group and wire and the gang of four along with the fall, near as i can tell); they were also already doing *some* country/folk-ish stuff as early as *the mekons* aka *devils rats and piggies* circa 1980 or so, and were doing it full-time pretty much by the *english dancing master* EP circa 1983 or so and actually even getting critic-notice in the USA for in by *fear and whiskey* circa 1985 or so (after which, to my ears, their music got less and less interesting from there.) and yeah, that's true, i guess the nightingales' gang of 4-ish stuff was earlier as well; they were doing their own country/folk-ish stuff by '87 too: in fact, didn't they even put out an LP called *in the good old country way* or something like that around then?

xhuxk, Friday, 10 June 2005 12:38 (seventeen years ago) link

Head Of David were definitely something else though. Started out as post-Swans, became an unholy cross between Big Black and Black Sabbath.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Friday, 10 June 2005 12:39 (seventeen years ago) link

Yes, In The Good Old Country Way was 86 or 87. In fact I got an email yesterday from the Gales list which says that it's being reissued soon:

It says :**(the 'in the good old country way' album is to be issued on cd on monday 3 october as the first release by a newly formed label - caroline true records.
the cd will contain both sides of the 'its a cracker' single, 'what a carry on', 'carry on carrying on' & 'first my job' from the 'waco' ep, 'lets surf'
from the vindaloo summer special record, 'at the end of the day' ('bakers dozen' version not 'what a scream' version) plus a previously unreleased (peel version) recording of 'rockin with rita' as the extra track malarkey.
catalogue number - true1. distribution by shellshock, all territories except north america & canada.

cherry red records will be releasing the 'hysterics' album at some stage in november, though the exact release date, catalogue number, etc, is yet to be confirmed.
the bonus track caper on this one features the 'crafty fag' b-side version of 'how to age', the four tracks from 'the crunch' ep & 'only my opinion'. **

Incidentally the current N'Gales line-up has Pete Byrchmore in it - his slide/metal guitar is all over ITGOCW, albeit mixed down a bit. Also in the band now are Alan Apperley (gtr) and Eamon Duffy (bass) who were in The Prefects, but not in the N'Gales. (alright Duffy was on the first single only).

Dr. C (Dr. C), Friday, 10 June 2005 13:04 (seventeen years ago) link

Up until a few minutes ago I've not been getting this love for Bogshed, when suddenly i realised that i may have confused Bogshed with my memories of Stump - which of these 2 toured with That Petrol Emotion on their Babble tour cos i really didn't like which ever band it was...

may now have to reinvestigate/refresh.

especially with the early AOC connection indicated.


mark e (mark e), Friday, 10 June 2005 14:32 (seventeen years ago) link

one year passes...
(bogshed, big flame, nightingales, membranes, meat whiplash, shrubs, janitors, pigbros, slaughter joe, etc)

I pulled out my Big Flame CD today and started wondering about these bands again. Almost none of them are on youtube, which is sad.

British people please illuminate me some more. Thank you.

xhuxk (xheddy), Monday, 22 January 2007 01:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Well I can tell you that the Bogshed album is up on this blog (scroll down to Jan 7th):

http://phoenixhairpins.blogspot.com/

I would like to hear it actually because I only remember "Run to The Temple" from the C86 tape.

White Dopes on Punk (Bimble...), Monday, 22 January 2007 03:29 (fifteen years ago) link

World Domination Enterprises >>>> all the bands mentioned on this thread, although I love some Big Flame, Bogshed, and Three Johns tracks.

Dave Segal (Da ve Segal), Monday, 22 January 2007 03:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Big Flame is sorting out offers to get a CD out again, I believe.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Monday, 22 January 2007 04:13 (fifteen years ago) link

Dave Segal OTM

White Dopes on Punk (Bimble...), Monday, 22 January 2007 04:17 (fifteen years ago) link

WDE were amazing, but to me, but like most of these bands, I find that a little goes a long way. I'd also throw in the Scottish contingent of the Stretcheads (and related Scottish bands like Dawson) early Age of Chance stuff, the entire Ron Johnson label . Here's a decent enough summary of that label by very occasional ILM poster and one-time member of the Keatons, who also belonged to this parish http://rhodri.biz/ronj/

Other than quite a few great singles, the really great releases: Let Them Eat Bogshed, bIG fLAME's Cubist Pop Manifesto .

everything (everything), Monday, 22 January 2007 05:07 (fifteen years ago) link

If my fuzzy memory is correct the NME grouped any band remotely sounding like the Fall or Beefheart under the "shambling" label to distinguish them from the rest of the C86 crowd who ripped off the Byrds. The whole scene, if you could call it that, centered on the Ron Johnson label ran by Dave Parsons. Some bands that are worthy of a second look are A Witness – fractured not quite funk close to the Gang of Four, Big Flame – who sound close to American Hardcore with stuttering stop-start rhythms and dentist drill guitars, Jackdaw with Crowbar – multi-media shenanigans and agit-pop tomfoolery, and Stump – Beefheart crossed Irish pub humor and leg pulls. Very little of this stuff has been re-issued except for Big Flame who had a release on Drag City several years ago called Rigour. A little does go a long way with this bunch. Big Flame sound thrilling in small doses, but more than one or two songs make my ears hurt and I usually like anything that makes my ears hurt.

Ice Cream Electric (Ice Cream Electric), Monday, 22 January 2007 08:34 (fifteen years ago) link

A Witness reissued I Am John's Pancreas on CD last year.

Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Monday, 22 January 2007 11:51 (fifteen years ago) link

WDE were amazing, but to me, but like most of these bands, I find that a little goes a long way

Yeah, I had a single or two (12-inch I guess?) at one time, which I liked fine, but I don't remember them being all that much better than most of these other bands -- and definitely not better than the Three Johns on Atom Drum Bop or "Death Of The European." I could be wrong, though; I should try to hear them again sometime. (But didn't they come out a couple years behind more of this stuff?

We’ll ignore the Sewer Zombies album, I think Ron was trying to jump on the hardcore/Napalm Death/Extreme Noise Terror bandwagon, and missed, bruising his knee on the kerb. Ouch.

From that Ron Johnson link....Ha, Sewer Zombies were Floridians, I think, who sounded like Chrome. Way better than any of this Brit stuff, if my memory's right. I still have the U.S. (self-released, I think -- definitely not Ron Johnson) version of their debut LP.


If my fuzzy memory is correct the NME grouped any band remotely sounding like the Fall or Beefheart under the "shambling" label to distinguish them from the rest of the C86 crowd who ripped off the Byrds.

Really??? I always thought the so-called "shambling" bands were the janglier ones who were trying to sound like the Byrds. But my comprehension of the British language isn't always so good; maybe I misunderstood. (I also remember A Witness being shamblier or at least janglier than most of these bands, but I could be wrong. At least at the time, they actually struck my ears as too "normal"!)

Big Flame – who sound close to American Hardcore

Um...maybe if by "American hardcore" you mean the Minutemen? (I never really understood how the NME etc used the word "hardcore" at the time either. They'd run year-end hardcore top tens with, like, the Swans and Einsturzende Neubauten on them! And I just noticed somebody apparently British on some other thread lumping Mission of Burma and Ut under the term; weird. But the Minutemen at least did come out of L.A.'s hardcore scene, plus their songs were a minute long at first, so I suppose they can count.)

xhuxk (xheddy), Monday, 22 January 2007 12:13 (fifteen years ago) link

didn't they come out a couple years behind more of this stuff?

Behind most of this stuff I meant. (Though maybe it's just that the World Domination Enterprises 12-inch[es] I heard arrived on American shores later; for all I know, they came out around the same time as these other bands in England.) Anyway, I still definitely associate World Domination Enterprises with Age Of Chance, for some reason. Didn't both attempt a hip-hop influence? (Though my favorite AOC stuff -- i.e, "Bible of The Beats," the 45 of which I wish I still owned -- was before they seemed to audibly discover Public Enemy or whoever. )

xhuxk (xheddy), Monday, 22 January 2007 12:19 (fifteen years ago) link

(Just checked my Sewer Zombies LP -- Nope, not self-released; on Subversive Records out of Tuscon, Arizona. I'm still fairly sure the band themselves came from Florida, though.)

xhuxk (xheddy), Monday, 22 January 2007 12:36 (fifteen years ago) link

You could be right about the label "shambling" Chuck. I just remember the term being thrown around more with bands like Stump, Big Flame etc. I don't suppose it really matters since the whole C86 deal allegedly had more to do with internal NME politics than music. Like I said the memory's fuzzy after all these years. The Big Flame, Minutemen comparison is a good one. Minutemen are much better though.

I’ve only heard “Asbestos, Lead, Asbestos” by WDE. I’d like to hear more. Just checked out my Rough Trade Post-Punk CD and it says that WDE used to release stuff on Fuck Off records as The O12. They put out the "Fish from Tahiti" single which I kinda like.

Ice Cream Electric (Ice Cream Electric), Monday, 22 January 2007 15:13 (fifteen years ago) link

That was the "Weird Noise EP" which also contained a few tracks by the Mark Perry vehicle The Door and The Window.

I'm trying to sort out my memory of how the word "shambling" was used. I think it went something like: Peel suggests the name and it's taken to mean any of the more-or-less amateurish indie stuff he's playing, from the crunchy Ron Johnson end of things to the janglers and the sub-Buzzcocks lot. Then various people seemed to use it to mean one or the other of the above groupings but never both, and it was often really hard to understand what people meant when they used the word. Then, weirdly, the jangly and buzzsaw end of things seemed to take on the name C86 and the rest were left with shambling, in so far as anyone talked about them at all, ever.

On topic slightly: I still think Bogshed's two finest moments were the first EP ("Let Them Eat Bogshed" and the interview with Neil wotsit (Spencer?) in the NME.

Tim (Tim), Monday, 22 January 2007 15:23 (fifteen years ago) link

"Shambling" was definitely the Shop Assistants/twee/jangly end of C86-esque indie. I don't remember Peel using it of Bogshed, Big Flame etc. After all, whatever those bands do, they don't exackly shamble.

God Bows to Meth (noodle vague), Monday, 22 January 2007 19:48 (fifteen years ago) link

The labels are silly - and for the most part the NME had little or nothing to do with these bands except giving them a tiny amount of coverage occasionally. The NME were too busy boosting bands like the Communards, the Pogues, the Redskins, whoever Morrisey said liked at the time and quietly waiting around for Echo and the Bunnymen to get back together.

Fanzines were 100% where it was at for coverage of this scene. The scene seemed to be pretty small. Maybe only 100 people or less at the gigs I attended with much of the audience being folks in other bands and who were also fanzine writers etc. eg. The fanzine Pure Popcorn was done by a couple of guys who were in the Soup Dragons and the Close Lobsters and Glottal Stop was Rhodri Marsden from the Keatons. Many poorly attended, very late (like 2am) Sunday night gigs at Rooftops in Glasgow where I was living at the time. I recall one WDE gig there with only about 60 people - this was right when they were shit-hot, had appeared on telly, decent radio play etc, but could only get a handful of mad-keen fans out to their shows. All the rest of the fucking idiots were saving their dough to go and tour Europe with The Mission, I guess.

John Peel championed most of them, though. Bogshed, Noseflutes, A Witness, the Mackenzies, bIG fLAME etc all did numerous sessions that were as good as if not better than their official releases. The final Bogshed one (findable on slsk) is really quite excellent - containing the songs US Bands & Duckfight amongst others).

Almost all of them did at least a few absolutely brilliant songs, most of which I can't remember since I can't lay my hands of a lot of these records right now. I know the Noseflutes had one really awesome number which sounded a bit like "Tom Hark" being performed by the Residents. The Mackenzies second single "Mealy Mouths" was an nice step from being the Scottish Big Flame into some kind of dancable Sudden Sway territory.

World Dom had a couple of indie hits which got played at certain kinds of clubs. Picking only one I'd say "I Got A Message For You People" was their most rousing crowdpleaser.

I think I had three Shrubs albums at one point and I have to say there probably isn't anything on there I'd care to reccomend.

A Witness were brilliant live but I haven't heard their records in years.

I remember the Janitors being played in the common room when I was at school. Loud, garage punk with shouting is how I remember them. They were on Marc "Lard" Riley's In Tape label who released loads of of good records, some quite similar this kind of stuff but slightly more digestible - Rote Kapelle is one that springs to mind. Pretty much all the Rote Kappelle releases are good but they aren't as original as the Ron Johnson bands. The In Tape label doesn't seem to have acquired much fandom on the net, possibly because their releases were quite eclectic and they didn't have a signature sound. (Frank Sidebottom, skiffle-duo Terry and Jerry, Gaye Bikers On Acid, June Brides, Robert Lloyd, Yeah Yeah Noh etc).

Slaughter Joe don't fit in with this lot, really. They were a feedback band on Creation that were initially identical to Psycocandy-era JAMC, Meat Whiplash etc and later developed to sounding a bit like the Telescopes but I don't remember anything good, except the debut single "I'll Follow You Down".

Big Flame were actually quite an influential band to the few who heard them. I know up in Scotland there were lots of bands who sprang up in their wake - they did a well remembered gig at Bobby Gillespie's Splash-One club some time in '85 and soon we had the Mackenzies, Stretcheads, Dawson, Whirling Pig Dervish, Badgewearer etc all rocking the abrasive guitar/everchanging rhythm sound. There's some discussion on these bands on another thread on ILM possibly called something like "Growing Up In Scotland" but I can't seem to find it.

The Great Leap Forward were ex-Big Flamers who managed at least a couple of good Peel Sessions and their two eps are solidly excellent - much poppier, very energetic, nervy and political. It's possible they haven't dated very well. I span them a year or two ago and thought they were still quite good but not as mind-blowing as the first time I heard them. I've never heard the album.

Also: search for Nyah Fearties. Not really part of this scene (or any scene for that matter), but in the mix somewhere.

And yeah, "Bible Of The Beat" is possibly THE most essential thing of all.

everything (everything), Monday, 22 January 2007 22:22 (fifteen years ago) link

Thanks, everything! So...Any thoughts on the Pigbros, Greenhouse of Terror, Tools You Can Trust, the Folk Devils? Or do they not count?

xhuxk (xheddy), Monday, 22 January 2007 22:35 (fifteen years ago) link

I don't think they count.

From memory: The Folk Devils, (who again I think I recall being played alongside Marillion and the Sisters of Mercy on the High School dansette) were ramshackle and punky kinda in the Three Johns style. They also got support from John Peel. Never heard of Greenhouse of Terror. Who they? Don't know anything about Pigbros and Tools You Can Trust either, though I've heard them mentioned.

everything (everything), Monday, 22 January 2007 22:46 (fifteen years ago) link

great stuff rhodri. thanks for putting that all up

stirmonster (stirmonster), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 08:41 (fifteen years ago) link

I have a Tools You Can Trust EP, I would fit them in more with the Neubauten/23 Skidoo metal scrapyard aesthetic that was prevalent at the time than with the other bands you listed, xhuxk. Glad to see Stir has already linked them.

sleeve (sleeve), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 09:02 (fifteen years ago) link

I think in 1986, Simon Reynolds was writing a lot about stuff like Husker Du, JAMC, Sonic Youth etc. Seem to remember a one particular bit on the Meat Puppets where he was all OMG, I can't believe I'm seeing these guys.

NickB (NickB), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 09:23 (fifteen years ago) link

I remember that gig in Kilmarnock. There was an Awkward Angular Ron Johnson Disco, to which I was the only person dancing. "Dogs Breakfast" by the Mackenzies is no "September" by Earth Wind And Fire, that's all I'm saying.

We were playing with Dawson and Pregnant Neck on a, er, rotating headliner. It was Pregnant Neck's turn that night, poor bastards.

Rhodri (rhodri), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 10:20 (fifteen years ago) link

I think in 1986, Simon Reynolds was writing a lot about stuff like Husker Du, JAMC, Sonic Youth etc. Seem to remember a one particular bit on the Meat Puppets

Hmmmm...Both Husker Du and Meat Puppets were past their peak by 1986. By then, Bogshed and the Membranes etc were more interesting for sure. (I never connected with Stump, by the way, assuming I ever actually heard them. I think I always confused them with the Shrubs.)

xhuxk (xhuck), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 12:19 (fifteen years ago) link

I can confirm with authority that SR in 1986 was INDIE BOY - there were close umbilical links with C86 via Tallulah Gosh (since Chris Scott and others wrote for Monitor) but he loved the Smiths and Mary Chain and tried to be enthusiastic about then-current trends in hip hop but invariably from an indie/heart-not-really-in-it viewpoint, cf. MM '86 review of first Schoolly-D album comparing it with Swans and reviews of second Mantronix and first Beat Happening album in Dec '86. With the former it's as if he's struggling to justify his love whereas with Calvin & Co. it was all ooh lovely fluffy innocence as ultimate Thatcherism revolt &c.

Wingco and Oldfield were the Monitor chaps with the real leftfield tastes.

Marcello Carlin (nostudium), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 12:23 (fifteen years ago) link

I was just suddenly reminded of Stubb's parody Stump song: "Kenny Sansom Put His Pants On".

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 13:07 (fifteen years ago) link

This reminds me Dave Parsons owes me money. I sent off for the "First after Epiphany" sampler just as the label went belly up. I'd still like to hear that.

Back to Simon, the mid-eighties and the weekly music rags. Wasn't that the time of the infamous NME hip-hop wars with certain writers pushing hip-hop and go-go music as the next big thing while other writers pledged allegiance to mop topped boys with guitars? As a yank it never made any sense to me why there was this musical schism. It certainly wasn’t that way in the early eighties. Just contrast the difference between C81 and C86. C81 had the usual indie suspects, but also had slinky funk from Linx, jazz from James Blood Ulmer, and Furious Pig. C86 had the Byrds/Velvets axis, the Ron Johnson crew and nothing else. C86 is a musical runt when compared to its predecessor.

Ice Cream Electric (Ice Cream Electric), Wednesday, 24 January 2007 23:54 (fifteen years ago) link

Rhodri I just clicked on your link and Ephiphany is there! Thanks.

Ice Cream Electric (Ice Cream Electric), Thursday, 25 January 2007 00:20 (fifteen years ago) link

So can somebody please explain what C81 and C86 were? People keep mentioning them, and I have no idea what they mean. (I thought cassettes only came as C-60s and C-90s myself. Or okay, maybe C-120s sometimes. Don't laugh; I'm pretty sure there was an indie casette compilation series called something like C-90 once. Which was how I kept picturing C86, but it was nothing like that, I'm now guessing.)

xhuxk (xhuck), Thursday, 25 January 2007 00:50 (fifteen years ago) link

They were cassettes put out thru the NME. There was a whole series of them, but the only ones I've heard are C81 and C86. They were named after the year issued. Here's the track listing for C81:

Side one

1. "The "Sweetest Girl"" – Scritti Politti (6:09)
2. "Twist and Crawl Dub" – The Beat (4:58)
3. "Misery Goats" – Pere Ubu (2:26)
4. "7,000 Names of Wah!" – Wah! Heat (3:57)
5. "Blue Boy" – Orange Juice (2:52)
6. "Raising the Count" – Cabaret Voltaire (3:32)
7. "Kebab Traume (Live)" – D.A.F (3:50)
8. "Bare Pork" – Furious Pig (1:28)
9. "Raquel" – The Specials (1:56)
10. "I Look Alone" – Buzzcocks (3:00)
11. "Fanfare in the Garden" – Essential Logic (3:00)
12. "Born Again Cretin" – Robert Wyatt (3:07)

Side two

1. "Shouting Out Loud" – The Raincoats (3:19)
2. "Endless Soul" – Josef K (2:27)
3. "Low Profile" – The Blue Orchids (3:47)
4. "Red Nettle" – Virgin Prunes (2:13)
5. "We Could Send Letters" – Aztec Camera (4:57)
6. "Milkmaid" – Red Crayola (2:01)
7. "Don't Get in My Way" – Linx (5:15)
8. "The Day My Pad Went Mad" – The Massed Carnaby St John Cooper Clarkes (1:46)
9. "Jazz Is the Teacher, Funk Is the Preacher" – James Blood Ulmer (4:03)
10. "Close to Home" – Ian Dury (4:13)
11. "Greener Grass" – Gist (2:32)
12. "Parallel Lines" – Subway Sect (2:38)
13. "81 Minutes" – John Cooper Clarke (0:13)

And for C86:

Side one

1. Primal Scream - Velocity Girl
2. The Mighty Lemon Drops - Happy Head
3. The Soup Dragons - Pleasantly Surprised
4. The Wolfhounds - Feeling So Strange Again
5. The Bodines - Therese
6. Mighty Mighty - Law
7. Stump - Buffalo
8. Bogshed - Run To The Temple
9. A Witness - Sharpened Sticks
10. The Pastels - Breaking Lines
11. Age of Chance - From Now On, This Will Be Your God

Side two

1. The Shop Assistants - It's Up To You
2. Close Lobsters - Firestation Towers
3. Miaow - Sport Most Royal
4. Half Man Half Biscuit - I Hate Nerys Hughes ( From The Heart )
5. The Servants - Transparent
6. The Mackenzies - Big Jim (There's no pubs in Heaven)
7. bIG fLAME - New Way (Quick Wash And Brush Up With Liberation Theology)
8. Fuzzbox - Console Me
9. McCarthy - Celestial City
10. The Shrubs - Bullfighter's Bones
11. The Wedding Present - This Boy Can Wait

Ice Cream Electric (Ice Cream Electric), Thursday, 25 January 2007 01:13 (fifteen years ago) link

C81 v C86 has come up several times here over the years, and C81>>C86 is a rare exampel of (almost) complete agreement amongst interested ILx0rs.

Here are a couple of links:

Indie pop and Rockism

Taking Sides : C81 vs C86

Happy days. Slightly embarrassing happy days.

Tim (Tim), Thursday, 25 January 2007 10:17 (fifteen years ago) link

God, I hate that C81 v C86 argument. I couldn't care less which one is "best", but I have to say that this: "C86 had the Byrds/Velvets axis, the Ron Johnson crew and nothing else" while commonly repeated, is surely wrong.

Even generously shoehorning the likes of Mighty Mighty and the Close Lobsters into the former category, your still left with Half Man Half Biscuit, Fuzzbox, McCarthy, Age of Chance, Miaow, Shop Assistants, Soup Dragons, Wedding Present adn the Wolfhounds who have no relationship to either.

everything (everything), Thursday, 25 January 2007 17:40 (fifteen years ago) link

I tried buying a copy of Big Flame's "Popstars" EP from Dave Parsons, and it never arrived. 15 years later I ended up owning two copies, and heard that he didn't have one and was looking for a copy. So I sent him one of mine. I'm all heart.

Rhodri (rhodri), Thursday, 25 January 2007 19:46 (fifteen years ago) link

I was looking around recently for a way to tell some of my friends what C86 was and I found the Wikipedia page to be pretty good, they even have a scan of the cassette sleeve, which looks as old and worn out as my own!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C86_%28music%29

White Dopes on Punk (Bimble...), Thursday, 25 January 2007 20:37 (fifteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
You folks with your blogs - anyone got any Rote Kapelle they would want to put up? I've heard one song and would like to hear more.

Booper Soul (Bimble...), Friday, 9 February 2007 21:18 (fifteen years ago) link

Anyone remember The MacKenzies?

Did this sort of thing really well. Great Lyrics, too:

"I hear backstairs destitution,
Should I walk on?
Should I listen?"

v. similar to Mekons circa "Kill".

Phil Knight (PhilK), Friday, 9 February 2007 23:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Yes indeed, the Mackenzies. Both Peel Sessions up here:

http://rhodri.multiply.com/music/item/37
http://rhodri.multiply.com/music/item/42

Rhodri, Thursday, 22 February 2007 17:30 (fifteen years ago) link

Wow, your site looks great. Buntychunks! A name I have previously only heard in the very intriguing context "if you like Cardiacs / the Monsoon Bassoon, you should listen to... except you can't, because it's out of print". Marvellous, thanks.

a passing spacecadet, Friday, 23 February 2007 02:25 (fifteen years ago) link

six months pass...

Well I don't think this is the thread I was really looking for, but it will do, I was pretty desperate trying to find the one I was thinking of that compared all these late 80's Brit indie bands to Beefheart. Can anyone please find the thread I'm thinking of?

The reason I'm here is look, does anyone remember this band called Slab! ?

I didn't get to hear them until now and I think "People Pie" is fab though I'm not sure how much I'll dig the album it's from. "Mars on Ice" was pretty good, though.

Bimble, Monday, 17 September 2007 05:13 (fifteen years ago) link

You know what I mean it's the thread where we talked about those late 80's Brit Indie bands. Damnit. You know the ones I mean. Stump were mentioned, and Stitched Back Foot Airman and you know the ones I mean.

Bimble, Monday, 17 September 2007 05:14 (fifteen years ago) link

MacKenzies, Big Flame. Was it a Big Flame thread?

Bimble, Monday, 17 September 2007 05:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Well fuck me, it probably is this thread anyway.

Bimble, Monday, 17 September 2007 05:17 (fifteen years ago) link

bogshed is probably the best band that has ever existed. i'll give 'em a spin. now.

andi, Monday, 17 September 2007 05:19 (fifteen years ago) link

sorry. i just checked. don't think i know anything about slab.

andi, Monday, 17 September 2007 05:22 (fifteen years ago) link

Damnit it's only 6:30 am in Britain I think. See how I'm always doomed with these time zones?

Bimble, Monday, 17 September 2007 05:28 (fifteen years ago) link

I remember Slab! They sound like their name, right? Kinda monolithic de-funked indie-funk? I liked them in 1986, as I recall.

Noodle Vague, Monday, 17 September 2007 08:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah Slab! were a noisy indie-funk thing, repetitive bass stuff with a bit of gtr scree over the top. Sort of like Swans-lite trying to make dance music. Actually I saw them once with That Petrol Emotion... and VOTB IIRC!

NickB, Monday, 17 September 2007 09:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Thanks guys! It's great to know people remember them.

Bimble, Monday, 17 September 2007 20:43 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...

So, looks like Simon Reynolds has started writing nostalgically about the Bogshed/Big Flame/Pigbros/ Membranes/Nightingales era (whatever it was called):

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2009/feb/13/mid-1980s-revival

http://blissout.blogspot.com/2009/02/heres-my-second-blogpost-for-guardian.html

And I guess this is him writing back in 1985 about it:

http://bringthenoisesimonreynolds.blogspot.com/2007/07/btn-deleted-scene-1-funks-fictional.html

xhuxk, Thursday, 19 February 2009 05:12 (thirteen years ago) link

(Actually, nah, now that I actually look at it, that 1985 piece is about other stuff. Don't think I every heard Chakk.)

xhuxk, Thursday, 19 February 2009 05:19 (thirteen years ago) link

four months pass...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Trad-Rock-John-Robb/dp/1901447367/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1246826560&sr=1-10

In the 1980s, the charts overflowed with what felt to many like the most boring pop music ever made - and the underground exploded. The post-punk scene was a diverse collection of bands brought together by independent releases and aided by reportage in fanzines and airplay by John Peel. This is the first time this era of music has been analysed in such depth, exploring the loose confederation of noisenik outfits including Three Johns, The Membranes, The Ex, Wedding Present, A Witness, Bogshed and Big Flame.

Pretty interested in this but John Robb is going to write it in the style of John Robb and that will make it less good

Real Men Play On Words (DJ Mencap), Monday, 6 July 2009 07:10 (thirteen years ago) link

what felt to many like the most boring pop music ever made

He lost me there.

Wd love to read a good book about those bands tho.

Big Babby JeezHOOS (Noodle Vague), Monday, 6 July 2009 07:24 (thirteen years ago) link

This was a great thread since it made me go back and listen to C86 again. I think my previous posts were much too dismissive. Some of the bands on c86, as everything stated, had nothing to do with the Byrds/Velvets floppy fringe conspiracy or the Beefheart crunch of some of the Ron Johnson bands. The Wolfhounds, for example, where garage band refugees who found a home with Sonic Youth style skree and stutter. Not to mention the lead singer, Dave Callahan, was one bitter guy who knew his way around a lyric. He later went on to found Moonshake who are an entirely different can of worms. Nobody seems to remember the Wolfhounds which is a damn shame. As a side note, I just recently tracked down a live show from Big Flame which is far better than any of their official releases.

A book would be interesting, but may be very difficult to write given the scattered nature of this scene. Most of the bands were quite local and only released a small amount of product. If everything or Rhodri ever to reply to this thread they could sort this out since they were there and involved with the scene. Me, I'm just a yank who bought weird noisy records.

sandcat dune buggy attack squad!! (leavethecapital), Monday, 6 July 2009 22:24 (thirteen years ago) link

The records generally don't give more than a flavour of how intense these bands were live. I saw the Three Johns, The Membranes, Bogshed and Big Flame over the mid 80's and they were incredible live acts. The Johns and the Membranes in particular toured incessantly, and you always came away from gigs with a bundle of fanzines. I think there was actually a very strong fan network, the more so because this stuff went so much against the vein. John Robb was right in the middle of it all, which makes him well placed to write about it.

As for the charts, I realise that this is ILM, but it certainly felt like the most boring pop music ever made to a lot of us at the time.

Soukesian, Tuesday, 7 July 2009 08:06 (thirteen years ago) link

four months pass...

An excerpt from John Robb's book which touches on many of the things said on this thread.

everything, Monday, 23 November 2009 23:27 (thirteen years ago) link

I'm looking forward to reading this book - hopefully there are some good interviews in it. I'm more than happy with John Robb as the writer of this book. I can't really think of anyone who's better qualified actually, let alone anyone who would even bother. His writing has absolutely none of the depreciation that some other UK music commentators his age indulge in, especially when they are discussing non-canonical/critically maligned music. This music was very self-confident and positive and so is Robb's writing.

One thing he talks about there is the influence of the Stranglers' bass guitar which I have never really considered but it makes some sense, eg. Let Them Eat Bogshed.

everything, Monday, 23 November 2009 23:56 (thirteen years ago) link

Yes, Burnell's bass playing is an interesting connection. I read somewhere that the Cravats were formed after seeing the Stranglers - puzzled me at the time, as they seemed poles apart, but Shend's bass is very much upfront in their sound. (And, for me, the Cravats and the Very Things were very much the weird elder brothers of the scene Robb is writing about.)

Soukesian, Tuesday, 24 November 2009 20:28 (thirteen years ago) link

two months pass...

How come nobody told me the Membranes were back together? (We Americans are always the last to learn these things.)

http://thequietus.com/articles/03623-john-robb-the-membranes-reform-interview

xhuxk, Thursday, 28 January 2010 18:50 (twelve years ago) link

seven months pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtG1sLMyfLA

Good vid

Hongro Horace (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 7 September 2010 12:37 (twelve years ago) link

three years pass...

Got John Robb's Death To Trad Rock book for Xmas -- Tons of context in there, not to mention more bands I never heard of. Am starting to get obsessed again, and wish I'd kept all my Pigbros and Bogshed and World Domination Enterprises and Big Flame etc. EPs and 45s from back in the '80s when almost nobody else in the U.S. was paying attention.

xhuxk, Thursday, 26 December 2013 18:37 (eight years ago) link

eight years pass...

Get yourself bogged. If you choose.

https://bog-shed.bandcamp.com/album/the-official-bog-set

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 19 October 2022 15:48 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

Mike Bryson RIP ;_;
it were all about dat bass
:-(

massaman gai (front tea for two), Friday, 11 November 2022 11:41 (three weeks ago) link

Wow, shocking that 3 of them are dead. How sad.

everything, Friday, 18 November 2022 08:22 (two weeks ago) link

Yes, shocking.

Fronted by a bearded Phil Collins (Tom D.), Friday, 18 November 2022 09:23 (two weeks ago) link

CD5 on the bog-set looks exciting - i've only heard half of these on those DVDRs that were doing the rounds turn of the century
CD5 – Who Scoffed The Trill?
1 Budgies
2 This MUST Be Taken Seriously
3 Necktie Murder Shopping Trollies
4 Gathering Change
5 Proper Music
6 You Are This
7 Too Many Personalities
8 The Amazing Roy North Penis Band
9 Hardly Manky
10 I Feel Like A Thing
11 Are You Alive
12 Thankyou Horse
13 Pain Is Nice
14 Lodger Problem
15 Piano Vocal Easy Organ
16 I Taste Little Windmill
17 I Prayed In Your Parlour
18 Monument
19 Soon To Exist
20 Oh Regulation!
21 Sunday Man
22 My Little Heart's In A Whirl
23 Simple Spinal
24 Runner On A Blunder

massaman gai (front tea for two), Friday, 18 November 2022 10:11 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah nothing there is familiar & should be a fun listen. Mostly looking to hear the later peel session tracks in best quality because that was some gold.

everything, Saturday, 19 November 2022 03:06 (two weeks ago) link

been catching up with this thread today, really great read. Listening to the Death to Trad Rock comp on Spotify. Love this kind of thing, always fascinated by UK bands that didn't didn't fit in with whatever the narrative of what was going on in the UK musically was at that point.

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Saturday, 19 November 2022 16:30 (two weeks ago) link

I remember hearing there was supposed to be a volume 2 of "Death To Trad Rock".

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 19 November 2022 18:06 (two weeks ago) link


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