Cardiacs: Classic or Dud?

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Indie noisemakers since the late seventies. Unfairly ignored or deservedly overlooked?

Phil A., Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I ordered a CD of theirs once. It was on order for weeks so I gave up.

Josh, Tuesday, 8 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

2nd half of Cardiacs Live: total classic. The rest: whatever. Boy I first read this one as The *Cardigans*: Classic or Dud. ;)

Omar, Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

i was going to ask this one at some point. strangely the cardiacs were quite popular at my school when i was about 13/14, something which i never did understand. (it was the baggy era...although in any era would have been strange)

i have a bit of a soft spot for them, but don't really remember anything they did. all their songs seemed to be called things like 'a man and a house and a big window'

could we turn this into a search and destroy, because i've just decided to buy some cardiacs records.

gareth, Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

They were oddly popular at my school as well, at about the same time. Virtually everyone I knew who also liked the sort of stuff I was into at the time (Pixies, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Fugazi, baggy stuff, fraggle) had an inexplicable love of the Cardiacs. I hated them myself at the time; all that wacky proggery and pomposity were intolerable to my 15 year old self. I was re-exposed to them a couple of years ago after meeting another crazed fan but I still couldn't understand what the attraction was. So I'm afraid it has to be DUD.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Repulsively dud. Idiotic prog-wacky for the lower sixth.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

From what I've heard from some people in the know, Sing to God would be one to search (both parts).

Josh, Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I quite liked their HEAVEN BORN AND EVER BRIGHT album, not least for the single "Day is Gone," but absolutely EVERYTHING they've done since (`92/`93 or so) has been virtually unlistenable. Masturbatory to a fault. Still, I suppose I can't play that fast or in odd time signatures, so I should pipe down then.

alex in nyc, Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Just cos they play in weird time sigs doesn't make them prog. And they are not in the least bit pompous. If you've ever heard Tim Smith talking, he is a surprisingly unpretentious man. All that weird stuff just comes straight out of his strange little head and has more to do with very childish sensibilities rather than from any Yes-style drugged-up indulgence.

That said, what I've heard of "Archive Cardiacs" is painful in the extreme ("A must for all collectors of toneless drivel" according to the bands own sampler CD), so destroy that. Search the two minutes and thirteen seconds of perfection that is "To go off and things". At the very least it scared Radio 1's Simon Mayo, so that should count for something.

Phil A., Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Dud! No doubt about it. The absolute worst gig I have ever seen (and I've been to plenty of gigs, bad or otherwise)was The Cardiacs and Levitation way back in 1992 or thereabouts. Not only did I have to suffer the sub prog rock bilge that Levitation insisted on playing, but then I had to endure an hour or so of the godawful, psuedo alternative bollocks that The Cardiacs pass off as music. Oh the horror!

Eamonn, Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

we just won't forgive or forget - they are DUD beyond DUD

Eamonn - im having a bad week - but looking forward to saturday's party !

Geordie Racer, Wednesday, 9 May 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

five months pass...
Cardiacs have never fitted into any of those categories bandied above... first and foremost they write superbly catchy pop songs; as for odd timesigs and strange structures - why the hell not? There are some good samples of reletively recent stuff here, so rather than relying on ancient memories of a gig eight years ago, have a listen: http://www.cardiacs.com/button.html - that includes an example of poppier, more 'normal' stuff and two exerpts of the more Zappa-ish tracks (which are still insanely catchy, and thankfully lacking the Zappa wackyness) Then there's a dozen tracks at http://www.mp3.com/cardiacs - try 'Blind In Safety' and say that isnt something delicate and beautiful

Its true, Cardiacs are the least pompous band on the planet. They may be the most emotional... try listening to them more than once, you may notice that part of it. They are just plain unique, so don't come with a blueprint for listening - everyone gets something diffent out of them, hence such a wide range of gig goers

There's an album just out of quieter moments called 'Cardiacs And Affectionate Friends', with various solo stuff from Bic (Levitation), William D Drake and the Sea Nymphs... Of course Cardiacs are classic, someone described them recently as 'the finest band to walk the face of the earth' (which was nice)

Marina, Sunday, 28 October 2001 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

four months pass...
I think they are bleeding brilliant. And if other people hate them it just means that it'll be easier to get to the bar at gigs... I don't care if they're not top of the pops material, I don't get the royalties.

A.Fish, Wednesday, 13 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

my flatmate has a Cardiacs scarf and glove set!

He doesn't care that they sound like a riot in a fairground.

chris, Wednesday, 13 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Wait wait wait. How could sounding like a riot in a fairground possibly NOT be classic?

Rebecca, Wednesday, 13 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Hah! Great one line reveiw. The only bad thing about Cardiacs is that they're the only band that sound remotely like that, which is a bit of a responsibility.

Marina organ, Monday, 25 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I have "Heaven Born & Ever Bright". I like it a lot. I especially like putting it in the computer CD slot when playing "Quake". this = frightening. Bits of it sound like stranglers 33 1/3 lp played @ 78rpm, which is good. I also have "Is this the Life" (something like that anyway) on cassette somewhere. This is a really good number which sounds like proto-faith-no-more. Also, they supported Blur at some fottie stadium gig, and indie kidz were reportedly running away w/fingers in ears. I like this idea as well. From this admittedly small sampling i would say classic. Also one of levitation was in them and levitation ruled. Whatever happened to dark star anyway?

Norman Phay, Monday, 25 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Blimey, this is still going! A year ago when I started this thread, I was so upset by the responses it got, I fled ILM never to return...what an absolute wuss. I stand by everything I said though, Cardiacs rock my tiny little world.

They supported Blur at their big Mile End Indiefest, as I recall. Damian Allbran always sites them as a major influence, although you never know with Blurboy whether it's just something he says to prove his uniqueness. The only other band to really take Cardiac-worship into the mainstream were Ultrasound, and for all their freaky- outsider posturing they were never quite as interesting (Whatever happened to Tiny?)

Popular rumour has it that one editor banned them from the NME. I'd love that to be true, although I've seen the printed review of "Heaven Born" so it seems unlikely.

Phil A, Saturday, 30 March 2002 01:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Yeah, come back and do battle! Interesting if you have a look around Lusenet the journo-sheep are slowly being outnumbered by people who actually listen to and get a kick out of music. The NME ban was true - it was apparantly one of the Sutherlands (he looked like a fat old teddy boy) standing in the crowd with his notebook and a grumpy face at the 1994 Eight Day Itch finale. Cardiacs pulled 1400 people but this guy wrote a reveiw to the effect that main support Poisoned Electric Head were the headliners and that everyone in the venue was very stupid and nobody should listen to them. Then a while later a band made Cardiacs their number one band in a 'My Top Ten' feature, but there was a mysterious layout error which meant that their top ten only went to number 2. Ho hum, I overheard someone who should know say 'the NME is in big trouble' at an industry-infested gig this week.

Anyway, you do know about 'Cardiacs Greatest Hits' just out? - lots of nicely remastered tracks and a soaring new one.

Marina the organgrinder, Thursday, 11 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

phil, this is what andy "tiny" wood is doing at the moment. Marina Organ, I wish you'd post here more often, like.

Norman Phay, Thursday, 11 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I'm too busy! Are you subscribed to cardiacs-chat? It's where we're all hiding. Go to http://www.cardiacs.com and follow the link at the top of the page.

marinecreature, Monday, 22 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

hello. im sorry but anyone who slags off cardiacs has either no understanding of something achiveing true brilliance, or is not mentally advanced enough to understand when something reaches the upmost limits of its evolution.(arent these the same thing?!whoops!!)

they change my life constantly. no one today can touch them.

to be muttered in the same breath as the smiths, dexys, detroit techno, etc etc

del a robbo, Thursday, 2 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Your music collection sucks without _Sings to God_ .

dagasque, Saturday, 4 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Ahh! Wow! Cardiacs eh? The bestest band! Yum! Not always instantly likable, but if you put a litte effort in and Listen-Very-Carefully your effort will be rewarded.

The Limey Tank, Saturday, 4 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Xcept for Archive & Guns their other 12+ discs & bootlegs have kept me sane for the last 14 years.

Classic, Classic, CLASSIC

derek welch, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

So are we talking the modern Van Der Graaf Generator or what?

Ned Raggett, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

CLASSIC....BEYOND CLASSIC....INFACT ABSOLUTE GENIUS IN THE EXTREME, OH YES THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT IN ANYONES MIND, JUST PLEASE MAKE THEM PLAY THIS YEAR WHERE I CAN SEE THEM FOR THE FIRT TIME IN 4 YEARS. HAPPINESS AND JOY TO ALL THINGS CARDIACS. OH AND IM ALSO SAD ENOUGH TO HAVE A CARDIACS TATTOO. CHEERS PUPPIES

david sheridon, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

with reference to the bloke with the tattoo engraved on his arm.. i am sure i have saw the sad fucker strolling about Glasgow.. oh as a matter of fact.. i know him very well, he is my boyfriend. In my opinion this is kool.. i seem to find ourselves listening to them during the strangest ritualistic love making sessions. Wont be long before we give birth to a mini cardiac.. demon or angel? CLASSIC

angeline campbell, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

angeline....its an angeldemon darling, full of baby puppy love and dirty dogginess.....spreading happiness and joy on land and in the sea. ps..to all other cardiacs fans, you will be invited to our wedding to worship and praise all that is CLASSIC!!!!!!

david sheridon, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Cor! Can I come! I seem to miss all the weddings... You're not the only person with a Cardiacs tattoo - Adrian Bell (Belch of Sheffield United mad hitcher fame) has one Talking of which have you seen his book called Fever hitch - It has a big picture of Tim Smith in it... heh heh heh

marinecreature, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

everyones welcome as long we all chip in to get cardiacs to play a 3 hour set and get william d. drake to perform the ceremony.....now that would be cool. mandi apple has got the tattoo as well. has anyone got a copy of seaside treats on video, as i only have mares nest... thanks and doggy love davexx

david sheridon, Wednesday, 8 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

just out of interest are there any cardiacs fans in scotland....im curious to see what anyones got(bootlegs, press cuttings etc) or if anyone else out there can swap or sell e mail me make way for the big ship...and here she comes now god bless 'er.

david sheridon, Wednesday, 8 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Those who fail to understand the sheer brilliance of Cardiacs shouldn't be denied their opinions. But I advise them to listen again. I've had the pleasure of meeting Tim and he's just a normal bloke with brilliant ideas. And if Jim reads some of these unkind comments on this page; it'll make him cry. Would you like that?

Labrat, Thursday, 9 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

JUST BOUGHT THE GREATEST HITS ALBUM...FUCKING FANTASTIC. "DIRTY BOY" IN ALL IT'S FULLBLOWN MAJESTIC GLORY!!!!! NEW CARDIACS TRACK.."FASTER THAN SNAKES WITH A BALL AND A CHAIN", OH YES, OH YES, OH YES...BRING ON THE NEW ALBUM AND THEN WE WILL SEE WHO RULES THIS COSMIC UNIVERSE...HA HA HA HA (SCARY LAUGHTER ENSUES!!) THANKS PUPPIES

DAVID SHERIDON, Tuesday, 14 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I wonder how many of you are out there... Cardiacs are totally independant, whick means they don't have the finances to do many press ads or pay PR people... hence hardly any coverage (UK music press covers stuff they know has money for adverts behind). I'm always meeting Cardiacs fanatics who have no idea of the amount of stuff they've done recently.

There's a Rock Sounds mention this week (thanks to Sean Organ), and a couple or articles in The Organ 'zine - www.organart.com

Always check out WWW.CARDIACS.COM for info!

marinecreature, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The Consultant's website is also great. It's got a selection of their old promos in poor quality realvideo, including their performance of Tarred and Feathered on The Tube. And the Consultant's Flower Garden film off Seaside Treats, which is highly recommended viewing. "This is William D. Drake. Sometimes we call him Bill. The Consultant will never call him Bill, such is his hatred of him..."

I've had the Greatest Hits on constant play since I got it. What an album! I've only had Guns, Sing to God and the Sampler up till now, so most of the old stuff is new to me. Affectionate Friends ain't bad either.

Phil A, Monday, 27 May 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I WOULD JUST LIKE TO NAME AND SHAME DAREN, NATHAN,JOE,MELISSA,CHARLIE FROM STGREGORYS ANDPAUL FROM THE INTERNET ALL OF YOU ARE JELOUSE AND THICK TO BE SO CRUEL TO GARETH HE IS REALLY NICE AND YOUR JUST BEING BULLIES.YOU PEPOLE AT ST GREGORYS STOP MAKING FUN OF GARETH HES ABETTER MAN THEN YOULL EVER BE. ITHINK PEOPLE SHOULDN;T JUST LIKE GARETH FOR LOOKS.KATHRYNS YOUR NUMBER 1 FAN GARETH LOVE AIDA YOU RULE

AIDA HORSE, Tuesday, 4 June 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Pardon?

marinecreature, Sunday, 16 June 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

oh dear..oh dear..oh dear......and people think cardiacs fans are off their heads....mmmmmmmm. All hail Gareth, no i cant really see it somehow. Happiness and Joy Mr. Sheridon

david sheridon, Tuesday, 18 June 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
cardiacs are great- tim smith-what a songwriter these songs are the bus on a bus-listen and youll find out see-dont listen to the dont knowers who think they know but dont!sea nymphs gig a couple of years back too -one of my best gigs ever-more soon please keith

keith phillips, Friday, 5 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Do you know that William D Drake is playing a gig at the Spitz on Monday? With Bob Leith on drums apparantly. Sounds like its going to be a bit of a Cardiacs do.

Marina organ, Friday, 5 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
CLASSIC, OBVIOUSLY. You can SORT of see how ppl wouldn't get it - they haven't evolved very far yet! but i cannot understand whoever it was saying "I quite liked" anything by Cardiacs. That's plain odd. It's a bit like saying "Eating, well I can take it or leave it."

xini

xini, Saturday, 20 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

After seeing two live concerts and listening to their albums for years, I'm still figuring out what their music is all about. Brilliant!!!! Such complex and beautifull melodic structures.

BTW if you get the chance go see Bill Drake, he has an album forthcoming, and there's a CD-single out produced by Tim Smith (Cardiacs).

A fan!

Wilco Boumans, Monday, 22 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

two months pass...
And Cardiacs are actually playing an actual gig on November 15th 2002 at the London Astoria.

Result!

Marinaorgan (Marina Organ), Saturday, 28 September 2002 23:14 (seventeen years ago) link

three months pass...
Just heard them for the first time: from what I can tell, classic. Reminded me of XTC if they had been a prog band. Also, some remnants of Rocky Horror style theatrics. I've heard "Guns", and guess I'll work my way backwards.

dleone (dleone), Sunday, 12 January 2003 16:34 (seventeen years ago) link

four weeks pass...
CLASSIC!!! Love em or loathe em.....this band is unique. Truely. Uninitiated should check out 'Is This The Life?' on the 'A Little Man And A House' Lp as a good introduction and go from there. Gawd knows where it may lead you. I've just dug out the 'Seaside' tape that Lee from 'Catherine in a Cupboard' did for me years ago - a forgotten gem. Nurses Whispering Verses - oh yes! TOP live band. Just hope they'll continue gigging......)))

Allen, Tuesday, 11 February 2003 09:13 (seventeen years ago) link

two months pass...
Blimey, this thread has ressurrected itself!
You know big tall Lee... did he do you a tape of Toy World/Obvious Identity (Cardiacs tape albums from 1980-83 and earlier).

DL... If you've just heard 'Guns', wait till you hear 'A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window'... give us an email if you have difficulty getting stuff.

Marinaorgan (Marina Organ), Wednesday, 16 April 2003 21:54 (seventeen years ago) link

eight months pass...
This Spratley's Japs record is pretty good.

dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 00:06 (sixteen years ago) link

two months pass...
Love em or Loath em ??
The first time I saw Cardiacs I absolutely hated them. Thankfully It didnt last for long, and soon I was enjoying some of the best gigs I have seen in 20 years. Nothing matches the total euphoria of a Cardiacs shown, I just wish Sarah would play a bit more often.
To anyone who who isn't convinced- stick with it.

paul ashby, Saturday, 13 March 2004 12:19 (sixteen years ago) link

two months pass...
Hi All....Since my last post, me and the girlfriend got married and still.....Cardiacs are Classic!!!!
Roll on November this year.
Still the greatest band on the planet, or any other,
HAPPINESS AND JOY.
Mr Sheridon

David Sheridon, Monday, 31 May 2004 08:56 (sixteen years ago) link

I think Rhodri Marsden's eulogy was really very good and spot-on in a lot of ways.

I was lucky enough that for a few years Tim and I had quite a lot of mutual friends, ne'er-do-well musicians mostly, so I got to meet him a fair bit, usually at gigs and/or in pubs.

The two bands I was in at that time were tight with The Monsoon Bassoon and we played the same bills or would go see each other's gigs and Rhodri is dead right, Tim would stand down the front at your gig with his big, lovely Cheshire cat face. You did get the impression that a lot of his favourite music was indeed made by his mates.

He was charming and would give you huge unexpected bear hugs and kisses whenever you saw him.

A favourite memory, one night, walking from the tube to see The Monsoon at a gig up near Dingwalls and seeing Tim heading the same way I asked him how things were going with the next Cardiacs release - which would have been Guns - and instead he was excitedly jabbering about Spratley's Japs, I remember asking him about the Incredible String Band song Cosmic Boy, mentioning how it had reminded me of Sea Nymphs and we geeked out over how good the album 'Liquid Acrobat...' was.

My proud claim to fame, we got asked to support The Sea Nymphs at The Bull and Gate - iirc, it could have been The Monarch - I remember looking to my right, mid-song and seeing Tim watching us from the side of the stage, he was checking out our fancy pedal-work and I got all nervous incase I muffed up.

I never saw him after he got sick. He had an amazing circle of old friends around him, as you all know and I'm sure a visitor's queue of people from his periphery would have been never-ending.

But, my wife and I sent him a care package once he was settled in the care home, a box of CDs and box-sets that my wife had brought home from her record company job, I remember calling Kavus up and asking if Tim liked Jethro Tull and Bill Nelson's Red Noise. I hope he got them.

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 13:30 (two weeks ago) link

Some friends I was in a band with in the early 90s were good mates with Sidi Bou Said and I guess other people in those circles. One of them was part of this Lewisham (?) crowd and the other was responsible for me first seeing Cardiacs in 1990. Saw the band often over the next few years but having caught the tail end of the big line-up the gigs innevitably changed when four (?) people had left and the band was playing with backing tracks and a new guitarist and drummer. Well, you know. Not that it was bad, just different.

I only met Tim once AFAIR. I may have mentioned it was in a pub in Islington, I just happened to be wearing a battered yellow daisy Cardiacs t-shirt and he came and sat opposite me and said "alright."

Was the show with The Sea Nymphs at The Falcon? That's my memory, it was the last time I went there before it closed as a venue.

Stanley Halfbrick (Noel Emits), Friday, 24 July 2020 16:25 (two weeks ago) link

It *was* the Falcon, my bad. Sean Organ was playing Selling England By The Pound in between bands.

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 16:33 (two weeks ago) link

I was always a bit torn about them playing with backing tapes. Sacrificing a certain amount of spontaneity and generally complicating things seems unnecessary when it would've been just as good or possibly better just doing it live as a four-piece.

everything, Friday, 24 July 2020 18:03 (two weeks ago) link

thank you for introducing me to this band back in 2006, everything

― imago, Friday, July 24, 2020 5:17 AM (five hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

You're welcome. Wouldn't have done it for anyone else hahaha.

everything, Friday, 24 July 2020 18:04 (two weeks ago) link

:)

imago, Friday, 24 July 2020 18:06 (two weeks ago) link

still wondering who the guy was that introduced me to them and if they post here or are in the FB group

frogbs, Friday, 24 July 2020 18:15 (two weeks ago) link

My introduction: bought the Nighttracks EP without having heard them, judging from the photo that they must be some kind of relatively mainstream, female-fronted indie band that I hadn't heard of before because that was the kind of stuff Janice Long played on her show. When I put it on I was a bit crushed at first that Sarah Smith wasn't the singer and that they didn't sound like Girls At Our Best. But, like frogbs, I got hooked by "In a City Lining" and played it about a hundred times and then got into Buds and Spawn and played that about two hundred times. Played it to my friend who said she hated them and that we'd both seen them when they were on The Tube so that must've went over my head. I'd also seen the Marillion tour years earlier, which was my first big concert I ever went to but I arrived while Marillion were already onstage and I don't know if they even played at the Glasgow show.

everything, Friday, 24 July 2020 20:34 (two weeks ago) link

I was introduced to them by a friend who did their live lights for a short while, he posted a nice thing about Tim on Facebook yesterday.

Anti-Cop Ponceortium (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 24 July 2020 20:36 (two weeks ago) link

Here it is:

So sad to hear of Tim Smith, singer of The Cardiacs' passing... aged 59. He suffered brain damage from a heart attack in 2008 and never fully recovered.

The Cardiacs were 'support' band for The Wildhearts when I was doing Wildhearts' merch/lights in 2004, the early formative days of my career.
I'd never heard of the Cardiacs before and I remember when they first kicked in full blast at the first gig. I'd never heard anything like it and it took me about 2 or 3 gigs to get my head fully around it. I ended up doing their lights for the tour including at the Astoria, and they were definitely the first band I lit which didn't follow conventional rhythm rules (or rules in general). It helped shape the way I still work today. Kept me on my toes and ready for anything!

Tim was a kind sweet warm man off stage, clearly a mischievous twisted genius bubbling under which would surface when he was front and centre and screaming to a half bewildered half entranced crowd.

I don't generally do eulogies because the internet is inundated with them but meeting and working with Tim (and his band/music) was one of those moments in time that instantly affected me in a positive way and shaped what I am now. Plus the Cardiacs deserved way more exposure than they got.

Give em a listen if you haven't before. Just don't expect to get it right away!

Anti-Cop Ponceortium (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 24 July 2020 20:39 (two weeks ago) link

It's so weird that steve Wright played them loads on his afternoon show for a few weeks after Is This The Life? was released, that was my initial exposure and I guess I must have thought they were a slightly angsty, punky band.

I carried the name around with me until they started popping up in Levitation interviews along with Tim's name, then I bought Heaven Born on a whim when I was visiting London in 1992 and, apart from March and Helen And Heaven which remain two of my favourites to this day, I really wasn't terribly fussed about it.

Then in 1993 after a move from Scotland down to London, I discovered my flatmate had a VHS copy of Maresnest which I watched, equally compelled/repulsed, then watched again and again until the penny dropped and then, of course, the usual Cardiacs mania kicked in, luckily I had not too long to wait before the reissue campaign happened.

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:13 (two weeks ago) link

god what was it like when STG dropped, already being a fan of theirs

imago, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:20 (two weeks ago) link

Pretty epic, realising it was going to be a double, Michael(Moke) who taped gigs and sold bootlegs in Camden at the weekends had heard it already and I remember him describing it as the most amazingly epic thing.

I was buying the Organ zine at gigs and they were talking about it long before release and a little later Org put out the Belleye CD single with three tracks, and then there was a bit of an agonizing wait for the album in true Cardiacs fashion.

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:27 (two weeks ago) link

sad lol

imago, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:28 (two weeks ago) link

In-fact, Manhoo might have even come out just before the album too, possibly? idk

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:29 (two weeks ago) link

After it's release, I even recall a little bit of half-hearted dissent from some folks, too much Poole, drum machine etc:

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:32 (two weeks ago) link

lol, the ships and irons purists :D

imago, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:34 (two weeks ago) link

Alex In NYC was one who weirdly adored HBAEB and loathed STG, when they're clearly a brilliant continuum imo

imago, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:35 (two weeks ago) link

Bellyeye had been out for quite a long while before Sing To God showed up. I think Manhoo was played by Mark Radcliffe in advance and I taped it, but it was the less epic single version. I remember playing the CD on a discman on the train to Stirling the day I got it. When the album showed up it took me a while to appreciate it totally, since I got fixated on a handful of tracks like Insect Hoofs on Lassie and Doglike Sparky. I sorta ignored the second disc for a while.

It was tough finding the records in Scotland. There'd be like one copy in one shop. Seriously if there was something being released I'd go round all the record shops every day so no other bastard got it. Other than the Marillion tour I'm not aware of them playing there till about 1992. Thank the stars I went down for the Maresnest filming as that was the only time I saw the full line-up.

everything, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:36 (two weeks ago) link

Are you the guy shouting 'show us yer bottom!!' in-between songs? :)

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:39 (two weeks ago) link

No, that guy clearly is English. I'm from Ayrshire.

everything, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:40 (two weeks ago) link

Actually, now I think about it, I remember hearing the edits in the Manhoo single and thinking it odd, so StG must have been out beforehand.

Totally agree about fixating on certain songs at first and for a long time, Dog Like Sparky, Manhoo, Flap Off You Beak, Wireless, the second side definitely suffered at first.

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:42 (two weeks ago) link

XP - Just kidding, I know, me too. I think we've maybe talked about this before on an Ayrshire thread. But I do wonder who that guy is from time to time.

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:44 (two weeks ago) link

on a personal note that little twangy bit on Flap Off You Beak ("they're not alive..") was when I realized this was absolutely the best band in the universe

frogbs, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:47 (two weeks ago) link

the climax of that song is probably the 30 seconds of music that, if pushed, i'd ask the aliens to preserve

imago, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:47 (two weeks ago) link

That Bellyeye CD single was the first thing I ever bought by the band - I found it randomly in the 'C' section of Crash Records one Saturday in January 1996 while looking for the Chemical Brothers' STRICTLY LIMITED EDITION Loops of Fury EP that had come out that week (I also bought lol Spaceman by Babylon Zoo the same day). The previous November some friends and I had seen Cardiacs supporting Chumbawamba - I was 14, it was only the second gig I'd ever been to and we were basically just hoping for something we could pogo to. I have a really vivid memory of them launching into the first song and us all just looking at each other all kind of 'What the hell is this, it's brilliant'. Was genuinely shocked when I went Xmas shopping in London a few weeks later and discovered in HMV that they had loads of albums going back to the late '70s. After buying the single I got that cheap Sampler CD which I played to death, then later Heaven Born and Sing to God when it came out. Didn't get around to the earlier albums until years later!

Gavin, Leeds, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:48 (two weeks ago) link

One of my cats from home had passed away that week and I had been listening to 'Flap...' after hearing the news because it always makes me think of her.

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:51 (two weeks ago) link

I just remembered the track "Faster Than Snakes With a Ball and Chain", fucking ace

god its all so frustrating. I knew if they'd ever made another album it would not only be incredible but it might have a shot at breaking them through to more than just the locals. if I remember there was an album in the works post-Guns that was accidentally deleted? (the one with "Silvery" on it)...but I always assumed that story was bullshit

frogbs, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:52 (two weeks ago) link

I love plateau endings, it has a similar feeling to the end of 'No 13 Baby' by Pixies.

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:52 (two weeks ago) link

'faster than snakes...' is all we have of LSD iirc (unless 'ditzy scene' makes it on there)

the really great unrecorded track is dream dress/vermin mangle, for now only found on a couple of youtube videos from a short solo tour tim did in 2000

imago, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:54 (two weeks ago) link

XXP - I'm guessing not (to that rumour) as Tim was probably still working on tape at the time.

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:54 (two weeks ago) link

There's this too - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBDRAqocYlc

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 21:56 (two weeks ago) link

that interview is hit after hit of pathos now

imago, Friday, 24 July 2020 22:12 (two weeks ago) link

A slightly longer edit of the Surbiton video has surfaced - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ezc3USYXjCg

Maresn3st, Friday, 24 July 2020 23:59 (two weeks ago) link

It is a regret of mine that I didn't go to see the Cardiacs play in Reading some time in the late 90s after my friend's boyfriend told me I might like them and he was going to see them - I think it was some punk bullshit about aversion to "prog rock" tbh - I didn't actually get around to listening to them for several years after that and I was instantly converted when I did listen to them. RIP Tim

CP Radio Gorgeous (Colonel Poo), Saturday, 25 July 2020 00:55 (two weeks ago) link

What would be the best place to start?

(I must've been around at the time but don't remember seeing the LP's, or maybe just wasn't looking / listening in the right places. I do remember lots of t shirts at gigs...)

((Actually, I do have that one best-of...))

koogs, Saturday, 25 July 2020 03:53 (two weeks ago) link

I've had some success in the last couple of days getting Sund4r off the ground with Guns - the songs tend to stay more or less in one (ish) place while containing all the melodic and sonic inventiveness you'd hope for

https://alphabet-business-concern.bandcamp.com/album/guns

imago, Saturday, 25 July 2020 08:54 (two weeks ago) link

If it helps, here's a mix I made for a friend that asked me where to begin with Cardiacs last month, tracklisting included.

https://we.tl/t-ztUXWzvg8F

Maresn3st, Saturday, 25 July 2020 21:48 (two weeks ago) link

I only know StG, and it took me quite a while to get into that. I still feel like I'm not in it completely, but I know I will and can. It just takes time. I will def listen to your mix Maresn3st, thanks so much! Sometimes all it takes - and that's been proven by nearly all here - is the right person/time to be introduced to music.

Scampidocio (Le Bateau Ivre), Sunday, 26 July 2020 09:25 (two weeks ago) link

I can't believe the 1video of Gloomy News, Hope Day and To Go Off And Things from the Garage rehearsals won't turn up. All great songs.

The arrangement of Hope Day that brings out that bass line under the long instrumental section is a highlight among highlights from those versions. You'll know the bit I mean.

Stanley Halfbrick (Noel Emits), Sunday, 26 July 2020 10:47 (two weeks ago) link

XP - Hope you like it LBI, let us know how you get along.

Maresn3st, Sunday, 26 July 2020 12:45 (two weeks ago) link

I've just noticed that live recordings are beginning to surface on d1m3ad0z3n (which usually happens there when a musician passes on) including the really early ones that were apparently recorded by Ted Chippington.

If anyone is interested in such things, speak up and I can get download links happening at some point.

Maresn3st, Sunday, 26 July 2020 12:57 (two weeks ago) link

it was A Little Man And A House And The Whole World Window that won me over

CP Radio Gorgeous (Colonel Poo), Sunday, 26 July 2020 13:21 (two weeks ago) link

I've just noticed that live recordings are beginning to surface on d1m3ad0z3n (which usually happens there when a musician passes on) including the really early ones that were apparently recorded by Ted Chippington.

If anyone is interested in such things, speak up and I can get download links happening at some point.

― Maresn3st, Sunday, July 26, 2020 1:57 PM (five hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

Yes, please do. Happy to share my stash of bootlegs and rarities that's accumulated over the years but I'm sure I've got lots of gaps.

https://mega.nz/folder/paATzQ4R#uKt4MkS0WbTGDX9thnegRg

Brainless Addlepated Timid Muddleheaded Awful No-Account (Pheeel), Sunday, 26 July 2020 21:40 (two weeks ago) link

Steven Wilson on the latest ep of the Album Years podcast he's doing with Tim Bowness was talking about Bill Nelson's Red Noise - Sound On Sound album being an influence on Cardiacs.

It's not hard to see.

https://youtu.be/d3mfKe5KX04

Stanley Halfbrick (Noel Emits), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 16:55 (one week ago) link

Although really apart from a few cool bits that song sounds more like a parody of what people think Cardiacs sound like.

Stanley Halfbrick (Noel Emits), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 22:23 (one week ago) link

Sing To God was featured album on the freak zone on sunday night (3 tracks played and a few sentences about tim and the band around the first)

Dog Like Sparky
Dirty Boy
Nurses Whispering Verses

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000lgrb

koogs, Wednesday, 5 August 2020 12:41 (four days ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLGEP2gl2UI

Maresn3st, Friday, 7 August 2020 19:18 (two days ago) link

Who are these people??

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROBymAeY4MI

Maresn3st, Friday, 7 August 2020 19:23 (two days ago) link

following the basslines of Cardiacs songs is a very quick and easy way to redouble your appreciation of Tim AND Jim's genius tbh

imago, Friday, 7 August 2020 19:40 (two days ago) link


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