Cardiacs: Classic or Dud?

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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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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

marinecreature, Monday, 22 April 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Your music collection sucks without _Sings to God_ .

dagasque, Saturday, 4 May 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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

Ned Raggett, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink


david sheridon, Tuesday, 7 May 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

angeline....its an angeldemon darling, full of baby puppy love and dirty dogginess.....spreading happiness and joy on land and in the sea. 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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

just out of interest are there any cardiacs fans in 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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink


DAVID SHERIDON, Tuesday, 14 May 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 -

Always check out WWW.CARDIACS.COM for info!

marinecreature, Friday, 24 May 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink


AIDA HORSE, Tuesday, 4 June 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink


marinecreature, Sunday, 16 June 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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, Saturday, 20 July 2002 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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


Marinaorgan (Marina Organ), Saturday, 28 September 2002 23:14 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

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 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

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 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

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

dleone (dleone), Wednesday, 24 December 2003 00:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

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 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

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,
Mr Sheridon

David Sheridon, Monday, 31 May 2004 08:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Whats happening in November?

mzui, Monday, 31 May 2004 09:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

MR SHERIDON, Saturday, 17 July 2004 16:14 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
CARDIACS are touring again for the first time in years. With THE WILDHEARTS!

08/12/04: London - Astoria
09/12/04: Manchester - MDH (Uni)
10/12/04: Glasgow - Garage
11/12/04: Sheffield - Leadmill
13/12/04: Cambridge - Junction
14/12/04: Bristol - Anson Rooms
15/12/04: Wolverhampton - Wulfrun Hall

Did anyone see them at the Astoria on 12th Nov? What happened?

everything, Monday, 22 November 2004 20:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

CARDIACS are touring again for the first time in years. With THE WILDHEARTS!

Say WHAT? What a fuckin' double-bill!!!!!

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 22 November 2004 20:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I saw them at the Astoria. Usual stuff really (i.e. amazing), except this time they had 4 or 5 extra singers and percussionists with them. What will the Wildhearts audience make of them?!

udu wudu (udu wudu), Monday, 22 November 2004 20:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

What will the Wildhearts audience make of them?!

I expect indifference followed by swift irritation followed speedily by violence.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 22 November 2004 20:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Apparently Jon Poole is now an ex-Cardiac and is a full-time Wildheart. Dunno if that's a good or bad thing. Any opinions on their new guitarist?

everything, Monday, 22 November 2004 20:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
When is the new record coming out?

Dominique (dleone), Tuesday, 10 May 2005 14:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I have one compilation of earlier songs - classic!

zeus, Tuesday, 10 May 2005 15:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I met Marina Organ at the VdGG gig last week!

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 10 May 2005 15:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I was at that gig at the Astoria. The Wildhearts fans were predictably nonplussed by the Cardiacs. It must be very strange to see such a demented support act, with its own fanbase moshing you out of the hard-won space near the front that you'd reserved for the main act. I left about 3 songs into the Wildhearts, who were quite extraordinarily terrible.

Japanese Giraffe (Japanese Giraffe), Tuesday, 10 May 2005 15:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
two new live CDs (Garage Concerts vols I&II) are out now, and have only stuff from the earliest days of Cardiacs/Cardiac Arrest. Surprise, surprise, you can hardly tell anything has changed.

Dominique (dleone), Monday, 31 October 2005 18:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Wow. Anytime there's a new Cardiacs album it's a treat, even if it is another live one (this is the fourth innit?). It's old material, but recorded last year, right? I will be ordering this immediately.

everything, Monday, 31 October 2005 19:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, recorded autumn 2003, and it really does sound great (possible post-production alert!)

Dominique (dleone), Monday, 31 October 2005 20:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
I have been in a state of Cardiacs-induced bliss these last few days listening to Special Garage Concerts Vols 1&2. This is the wildest live recording yet. Utterly ferocious - and what a relief that there is not another version of "Is This The Life".

For you lucky bastards that live in London, Cardiacs will be playing TWO SPECIAL SECRET CONCERTS at The Bull and Gate in Kentish Town, London on the 21st and 22nd of December.

everything, Wednesday, 7 December 2005 19:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

F***ing typical. The one time your musical hero happens to come and stand next to you in the pub you're too pissed to make any sense when you speak to him. Tim Smith now knows more than he ever would want to know about my troubles writing a job reference for an agoraphobic. He was very polite, though, but I now hate myself.

Take some time to appreciate the lyrical genius of the man... A song about an insect landing on a TV screen and falling in love with Lassie (who was a he-dog). A song about when you used to play with your food on the plate because it was too scary. All with random letters inserted into words ("indside") and resurrection of beautiful archaic terms like "phiz" and "foundling". And utterly no respect for the rules of metre. You could write a doctoral thesis on it.

Mark Harvey, Tuesday, 20 December 2005 03:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

To realise that Tim Smith wrote songs like "As Cold as Can Be In An English Sea" at such young age is almost scary...

It shouldn't be about whether you boo or hurrah Cardiacs, by the way. Just take it as a fact that Cardiacs are a truly independent musical/lyrical universe in itself. For that is undeniable fact.

Let's fly hawks around your house :-)

Peter Sijbenga, Saturday, 31 December 2005 19:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Just found this thread for the first time because it's way down on googles' Cardiacs search. I like the way it's been taken over by the innitiated.
I got into Cardiacs by accident in 1990 (aged 13), when I found a 7" of Is This The Life in an abandoned locker at school and promptly stuffed it in my canvas ruck-sac for later listening. It was an epiphanic moment of clarity and I've been in love ever since. I can't think of a genuinely bad Cardiacs tune. They even made the Kinks' "Suzannas still alive" sound better than the original! Unfortunatley I've only seen them live seven times which is never enough. Although I have made the 700 mile round trip to the London Astoria gigs three times now (The first of which we arrived just in time for the last song).
Quite simply they're a way of life! criminally ignored but we like it that way.

Greyhound, Friday, 6 January 2006 12:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I always thought that the sound of StG and HBaEB were a result of the limitations of Tim's home studio plus how his own brain reacts to mid freqs, you can hear it also in some (but not all) of the records he produced and recorded. he def has a way of mixing that can sometimes be a little pushy in that spectrum.

They're not, by any means, full of screeching mids, he balances quite tricky middle frequencies (mostly guitar blare) fairly well, but as my own ears get older they're less well equipped to handle certain mids, so I tend to watch what I'm doing to preserve it.

MaresNest, Sunday, 27 May 2018 10:06 (five months ago) Permalink

The '95 reish of HBAEB (I always read that as Hey Babe!) is supposedly utterly trashed and distorted for some reason (something to do with a bucket and some nails....)

The recent vinyl and digital versions are I believe from the '92 master which is quite light on bass but not too bad at all, jt's appropriate to the style and what he intended.

Absolute Unit Delta Plus (Noel Emits), Sunday, 27 May 2018 11:04 (five months ago) Permalink

STG frustrates me a bit on that front. It is just a little harsh in those mids and my ears are also very sensitive to that. My preferred way to listen has become a normal position cassette of a CD-R rip of the vinyl ;-)

Absolute Unit Delta Plus (Noel Emits), Sunday, 27 May 2018 11:08 (five months ago) Permalink

Whenever this thread is bumped I'm expecting news of an obscurities or live recordings dump on Bandcamp.

Ditzy Scene and Faster Than Snakes should appear at some point. What else is missing (apart from LSD)?

Absolute Unit Delta Plus (Noel Emits), Sunday, 27 May 2018 11:15 (five months ago) Permalink

One day, the original A Balloon For Bertie's Party will emerge in its best-prog-song-by-a-teenager-ever glory

imago, Sunday, 27 May 2018 11:18 (five months ago) Permalink

StGs big secret is that it's all drum machine apparently.

MaresNest, Sunday, 27 May 2018 11:49 (five months ago) Permalink

Every beat was sequenced, it's a library of sampled Bob.

Brainless Addlepated Timid Muddleheaded Awful No-Account (Pheeel), Sunday, 27 May 2018 12:52 (five months ago) Permalink

Thanked by Cardiacs-hating record store employees for buying one of the band’s LPs because “our boss loves them and now he can’t play this in the shop anymore.”

— Andy Zax (@andyzax) June 6, 2018

mookieproof, Wednesday, 6 June 2018 16:41 (five months ago) Permalink

He'll find a way

imago, Wednesday, 6 June 2018 19:17 (five months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Guns seems pretty laid back for this band despite some typically energetic tracks. Or did Sing To God have this same balance?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 15 September 2018 10:33 (two months ago) Permalink

It's definitely quieter but the emotions and the compositions are just as intense. It's a very tragic and mysterious album - very inspired by Night Of The Hunter

imago, Saturday, 15 September 2018 10:51 (two months ago) Permalink

Had no idea about that. Wikipedia says it's utilized in a cut-up technique way, so perhaps not exactly inspired but just spliced in?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 15 September 2018 11:45 (two months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

It is now nigh on nine months since the start of the Just Giving campaign, and perhaps high time for an update on how things have been going for Tim since then.
Unfortunately, at around the time of the launch, Tim became seriously ill, and it has taken him a while to get his strength back. Thankfully though, in the last couple of months his health has improved enough to start his rehabilitation in earnest.

So he now has:
*A Speech and Language Therapist
*A neuro-physiotherapist
*A masseuse
*A Feldenkrais therapist
*A Support Assistant to help with the everyday stuff
...and his own PA to coordinate things for him.

As well as this, he has a new state-of-the-art touch screen computer, and access to the resources needed to enable him to attend gigs more often.
Tim is at the beginning of what we hope will be an exciting journey for him, and it's all down to the financial support given, with love, by you.

With love from Mary x

MaresNest, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 10:48 (one month ago) Permalink


It's one of those things - if a 6Music show begins with "is this the life", I fear the worst thesedays. Thankfully, it's just that it's "time to play that record"

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 11:01 (one month ago) Permalink

The JustGiving is still open so I'll bump it here:

(hopefully this will also remind to chip in again later)

a passing spacecadet, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 11:47 (one month ago) Permalink

Would be amazing if those of us who care could keep him afloat with the yearly care costs as long as is required.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 13:56 (one month ago) Permalink

was really heartwarming to see a bunch of people donate to that campaign under famous musicians' names with a message about how inspired they were by him

I think I did three of the Monkees

frogbs, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 14:01 (one month ago) Permalink

Oh smart! I'm totally going to do that from now on.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 9 October 2018 14:16 (one month ago) Permalink

From the Royal Conservatoire Of Scotland's FB page -

The man who inspired musicians Blur, Radiohead and Biffy Clyro is to be honoured at the RCS winter graduation on October 25. Tim Smith of the Cardiacs is to receive an Honorary Doctor of Music to celebrate his remarkable contribution to the music industry.

MaresNest, Friday, 19 October 2018 17:57 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Sweet. Congrats, doc.

Walter Wegmüller Fruit Corner (Noel Emits), Friday, 19 October 2018 18:31 (four weeks ago) Permalink

That said, FFS the man's contribution does not mainly consist of inspiring a bunch of more famous bands. Inevitable but ridiculous that Cardiacs (or anyone, really) should be framed like that. The Radiohead thing is highly spurious anyway so there's no need to hold him even partly responsible for that!

Walter Wegmüller Fruit Corner (Noel Emits), Friday, 19 October 2018 18:42 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I mean its essentially a press blurb, if it gets people interested mission accomplished. But yeah that really irks me too, I know nothing of "Biffy Clyro" but Cardiacs don't sound a thing like those other two bands. or anyone really.

frogbs, Friday, 19 October 2018 18:45 (four weeks ago) Permalink

except their army of devotee musicians keeping the flame alive :)

imago, Friday, 19 October 2018 18:48 (four weeks ago) Permalink

blur i can see btw; radiohead gtfo

imago, Friday, 19 October 2018 18:48 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Tim Smith, whose music inspired international luminaries such as Deep Turtle and Shrubbies...

Seriously though this is some nice news. ty Scotland

obnoxious pun (ultros ultros-ghali), Friday, 19 October 2018 19:12 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Dawson, Dog-Faced Hermans or Stretcheads if they needed token Scottish act rather than LOL Biffy Clyro.

everything, Friday, 19 October 2018 21:24 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Haha yeah, Buntychunks vs Radiohead

MaresNest, Saturday, 20 October 2018 11:27 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Didn't realize Biffy Clyro were still big.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 20 October 2018 14:18 (four weeks ago) Permalink

Hope this links okay because it's unlisted, but here is the live stream for Tim's nomination at the Royal Conservatoire today, accepted on his behalf by Jim.

MaresNest, Thursday, 25 October 2018 19:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Jim deserves an award almost as much for his services to bass guitar tbh

imago, Thursday, 25 October 2018 20:11 (three weeks ago) Permalink

that video's lovely, thank you

imago, Thursday, 25 October 2018 23:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I thought so too, made me a little teary

MaresNest, Thursday, 25 October 2018 23:52 (three weeks ago) Permalink

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