NME's 'C86 Compilation'.... C&D, S&D, Say Something Interesting About, etc etc etc...

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At the time, and shortly afterwards, I looked on C86 with some rancour, because I saw it as codifying "indie". No longer just "record released on independent label", now it meant "indie music", a genre. Floppy fringe, singer as flat as a fart, slack drumming, etc etc. I guess it would probably have happened anyway, but a little of the rancour still remains, even though I actually like some of it.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 11:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I have the extremely limited edition tape of the Cellophane live album. It's all there. Linda Prolapse on stand up drums, Andy Anorak shouting "Havoo!" between each song. Andy Wah Wah stretching those same 3 "Taste of Cindy" chords over an entire gig. Songs about Jane Fonda's lips, fizzy ribena, jumping into sunshine and groovy cosmic anoraks.

Marvellous stuff! (Zappi, I'll do you a tape if you want, to thankyou for those Deerhoof beauties you sent me the other week).

flowersdie (flowersdie), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 11:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

yeh, definitely! have you got any Reg demos as well?

zappi (joni), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 11:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

oh and Holly Hobby demos (im not joking!)

zappi (joni), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 11:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

fucking great AOC track .. not a floppy fringe in sight.

the rest is pretty much what i enjoyed prior to my wake up call @ end of 86 when i discovered Run DMC.

prior to that though i loved mighty lemon drops and shop assistants for several hours.

mark e (mark e), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 11:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

This cutting was on the Wolfhounds website:

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 11:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i have that AOC ICA gig on cd-r. somewhere ..

bad sound.

not to mention that the band had 'issues' with the soundboard that day which messed up the gig somewhat - according to well established sources.

but fun stuff nonetheless, includes power cut !

.. and i dont mean the Noel Watson (the bands DJ later on)

mark e (mark e), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 12:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Any idea who Dump were?

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 12:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I imagine that is an unfortunate typo for Stump

Jedermann sein eigener Fussball (Dada), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 12:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Are any of these bands worth searching for? This is the track-listing from the vulcan studios comp that i have (and like-not all of it, but some). It also has arthur's farm by hmhb on it. i got this track-listing from the hmhb website. i'm already a fan of theirs though. I was gonna start a thread on the comp, but i figure this is as good a place as any.

Peter Hurst New Brighton Through The Binoculars Of The People
One Last Fight Catch Candy
Ryan Like Men Possessed
Two's A Crowd Goodnight Angel
Crikey It's The Cromptons Food For Feet
Gone To Earth No Work Today
Innocents Abroad Time Was
Fairground In Fear Of You
Jacktars Tadpole
The Decemberists Gift Horse
Magic Carpets Trick Of Fate
Da Vincis The Book
Peter Hurst/Brian N. Smithers The End

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 12:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Scott, there a Decemberists thread right here. I quite like a couple of their songs - there's a whole bunch of them on their webpages.

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 12:23 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

cool, thanks, nick.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 12:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Isn't that thread about a new band though? I'm confused. That Vulcan comp is really old. 1986, i think.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 12:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Well, I'm obv more confused than you! Sorry, I didn't realise that was an old comp.

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 12:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Okay, quick heads up on what I downloaded from that random Soulseekers "c86 folder"

9 Steps to Ugly - Eddie Lopez lives in Slough
Very cool, proto-Sundays. Makes me wonder if that is actually Harriet Wheeler singing.

Ammonites - All We Had
Slightly better than average Britpopesque Garage Rock with a singer doing a mediocre Morrissey/Mick Hucknall impersonation.

Apple Moths - Kymri
Gag-inducingly cheesy knockoff of...I dunno...General Public or sumthin. The opening 3 seconds sounds like a jingle for Minty Kleen ass-freshener.

Baby Lemonade - Jiffy Neckwear Creation
Very, very, very badly encoded. The song sounds like an inept Fall cover band doing a version of a bad Wire b-side. And the mp3 sounds like a Victrola at the bottom of a well. (Yes, I know that this is a "The food is so terrible, and whats worse the portions are so small" kind of argument, but it is the truth.)

Baby Lemonade - Real World
Ahhhh. This is much better. Its like what would happen if Stereolab and Lush had a baby.

Balloon Farm - A Question of Temperature
Weird ass retro shit. Like a 60s garage band basing their 80s comeback on a mix of Fretblanket and TMBG's "Twisting"; though the faux soul chorus is so cheesy as to be unintentionally cool.

Jamie Wednesday - I Think I'll Throw a Party for Myself.
Yick. No wonder nobody shows up for your shindigs, you John Wesley Harding wannabe.

Jazz Butcher - Shirley MacLaine
Coulda been cool, like an upbeat version of...I dunno...Nick Cave fronting the Hoodoo Gurus. Shame the mp3 sounds like crap being squirted through a very thin tube.

Look Blue Go Purple - Hiawatha
The only thing cooler than the weird retro organ is the thickly accented brit girl pretending to be both Kim Gordon and Kristin Hersh.

Love Parade - Wounded
Whiny maudlin drivel. Starts out with yet another lame Morrissey impersonation. (and another track with tinny...no, scratch that... 'styrofoamy' sound. a 160 bitrate and it sounds like your listening to it through a door.)

Primitives - Crash (Demo)
I always loved this song. The vibe is much rawer, but the singers vocal sounds unrehearsed and slightly bored.

Wild Flowers - A Kind of Kingdom
Derivative, yet...catchy. I can't explain it, but the music sounds...aussie. The vocal tries to hard to be Bono Vox, though.

Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 17:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Custos, that Balloon Farm single came out in 1967. It should have been in the C67 folder.

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 19:30 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Jamie Wednesday - I Think I'll Throw a Party for Myself.
Yick. No wonder nobody shows up for your shindigs, you John Wesley Harding wannabe.

Jamie Wednesday were a previous incarnation Carter USM weren't they?

ailsa (ailsa), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 20:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the Balloon Farm were ok - from coventry - and definitely 80s.

"All we had" was the Ammonites song i remembered as ok.

I liked what I heard of 9 Steps to Ugly. (And the Sainsburys were on a similar tape I once had - they were good)

Most of the rest mentioned in Custos' post a bit rubbish. (But NOT baby lemonade!)

"Doing it for the kids" is way more floppy fringed and whiney than C86. When you think of C86 you must never forget it housed bands as brilliant as A Witness and Big Flame.

Oh and the Jactars were pretty good of all those scouse bands upthread. Hellfire sermons were the best liverpool band of all though (well, second best behind HMHB)

gerardo francisco, Tuesday, 28 September 2004 21:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I remember Jamie Wednesday but didnt know there was a Carter link. I think they were the worst of the bands of the otherwise pretty spiffy Pink label (Wolfhounds, McCarthy, June Brides and early That Petrol Emotion). There was a Pink compilation out at the time that had way more of an effect on me than C86. But then again, not nearly as much of an effect as Wailing Ultimate had on me around that time or In Love With These Times shortly after.

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 21:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Okay, now I'm really confused. Their was an 80's band named Balloon Farm that named themselves after the 60's band Balloon Farm who did a cover of the 60's Balloon Farm's biggest hit? Was their version better than Brownsville Station's cover of "A Question Of Temperature"? Were they a tribute band?

scott seward (scott seward), Tuesday, 28 September 2004 21:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

dont know that partic tune - but the Balloon Farm (80s) were no trib band, they were immensely weedy and to 15-year old me most likeable - they later became the Pristines - maybe the copyright police or their dads caught up with them - I dont think they released any records until they changed their name. But they weren't as good afterwards.

gerardo francisco, Tuesday, 28 September 2004 21:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Jamie Wednesday were a previous incarnation Carter USM weren't they?

yeah, Carter formed when the other three blokes quit but they still had a gig booked; Jim and Les did the show with a drum machine and thought "well this was easy and we don't have to split the money so much" sorta thing. "let's name this one after you instead of me."

kit brash (kit brash), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 02:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

What about bIG fLAME? Their tune was fantastic and made me buy a couple of their records, which were equally great. They broke up pretty soon after though.

everything, Wednesday, 29 September 2004 15:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Anyone have this one:

Various Artists - An Hour Of Eloquent Sounds
Pleasantly Surprised 001 / Klark 02
a Speak in Volumes / Sunset Gun Enterprises colaboration 1982

Side 1
Side 2
1. The Birthday Party - The Hairshirt
2. Dante and the Lobster - Murder Followed By
3. The French Impressionists - Summertime
4. A Pair Of Blue Eyes - Giovanis Room
5. Eric Random and the Nosebleeds - Bedlam a
6. Ludus - Rosa Luxemburg
7. Primal Scream - Thought
8. Marine Girls - Take A Chance
9. A.P.B. - Love To Learn
10. 22 Beaches - Zoo
11. Essential Bop - Monkey Glands
12. Cocteau Twins - Perhaps Some Other Aeon
13. The Wake - The Drill
14. Sunset Gun - Gotta Have Me Go With You
15. Billy Makenzie Sings Orbidoig - Helicopter

scott seward (scott seward), Saturday, 2 October 2004 20:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Well, anything that has the Cocteau Twins and the Birthday Party has my vote. (Unless, of course, this comp is total ass and those two are mere "bait tracks")

Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Sunday, 3 October 2004 02:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
I saw some vinyl promo version of the C86 tape on eBay recently. I'd be interested in hearing it for historical reasons if nothing else. I bought the Rough Trade Indiepop compilation last month and have just started getting into all those 80s UK indie pop bands. When I was in England last month I was able to find a couple of Creation Records compilations at a used vinyl store for 2 pounds each - 'Doing It For The Kids', and 'Its Different For Domeheads'. Both are good - 'Doing It For The Kids' has a really good Felt song on it I can't find anywhere else.

W. Earl Piglet, Friday, 31 December 2004 01:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

b-b-but the felt song on 'doing it for the kids' is "ballad of the band", it's on three different Felt compilations..

the surface noise (slight return) (electricsound), Friday, 31 December 2004 02:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I thought something wasn't quite right there.

Bimble..., Friday, 31 December 2004 02:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

5 according to AllMusic.
Initial searches only led me to the Bad Company song "Ballad Of the Band".
I guess I didn't look hard enough.
Beside the point - its a good song.

W. Earl Piglet, Friday, 31 December 2004 03:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

benrique (Enrique), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 09:34 (eleven years ago) Permalink


Diddumsismus (Dada), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 10:37 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i used to like saint etienne but their connection to c86 (none of which i've heard) has always bewildered me.

and now bob stanley gone done this.

benrique (Enrique), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 11:12 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It's the music of Bob Stanley's youth, that's the connection

Diddumsismus (Dada), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 11:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

the connections of bob stanley to c86 are widespread and considerable

electric sound of jim [and why not] (electricsound), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 11:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i didn't know what c86 was when i was getting into saint etienne. they seemed au fait with dance music, which i had been led to believe indie kids weren't supposed to like. and even since then, weren't the c86 lot about "shambling"? not sure what shambing entails exactly, but it doesn't sound very etienne-like.

benrique (Enrique), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 12:16 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'm trying hard to imagine anyone who is more of an indie kid than Bob Stanley is/was!

Diddumsismus (Dada), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 12:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink


benrique (Enrique), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 12:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Ha ha, but, re: St. Etienne and dance music, indie kids do grow up eventually

Diddumsismus (Dada), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 12:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

has CD86 got all the C86 trax on it?

pisces (piscesx), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 14:40 (eleven years ago) Permalink


e.g. Stump "Buffalo"

mark grout (mark grout), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 14:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I don't think it has any C86 tracks on it

Diddumsismus (Dada), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 14:42 (eleven years ago) Permalink

No Miaow! either. But a lot of the others.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 14:44 (eleven years ago) Permalink

My main problem with the C86 comp is that most of the really really awesome songs that get labeled as "C86" aren't actually on the C86 comp.

Somebody said it up there

Diddumsismus (Dada), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 14:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Velocity Girl" is the same start track on both.

mark grout (mark grout), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 14:51 (eleven years ago) Permalink

That's because "Velocity Girl" was (that incarnation of) Primal Scream's best track, nobody else on C86 was represented by their best tracks (they were mostly rubbish tracks that would have ended up stuck on the b-side of a 12")

Diddumsismus (Dada), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 14:56 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Did The Bodines record a better song than "Therese"?!

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 15:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

About half of the first Bodines album is about as good as "Therese".

"nobody else on C86 was represented by their best tracks "

So true. Though Buffalo is Stump's most likable track.

everything (everything), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 15:39 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The McCarthy track put me off them for far too long.

Venga (Venga), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 16:59 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Gasp! You dare diss the McCarthy track! For shame!

Bassment Jacks (Bimble...), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 19:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

C'mon man, it's far from their best.

everything (everything), Wednesday, 18 October 2006 20:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Close Lobsters (to a degree) and (more so) Fuzzbox and Wedding Present are not really jangly or sweet enough for me.

But I take the general point and I do sense that the 87 and 88 compilations might be closer to what I like.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 April 2018 15:50 (one month ago) Permalink

It's apples and oranges innit. C86 was a compilation of brand-new artists while the others are retrospective genre compilations.

The connection is the use of "C86" for marketing purposes.

everything, Friday, 6 April 2018 18:03 (one month ago) Permalink

twas called "shambling bands" not "jangling bands" at the time iirc; a jaggedness that might be clumsy and/or willed was one of the hallmarks at least as much as velvets/shangrilas indiepop template, or something.

Stump were magnificent.

anatol_merklich, Friday, 6 April 2018 20:46 (one month ago) Permalink

"It's apples and oranges innit. C86 was a compilation of brand-new artists while the others are retrospective genre compilations."

Well the Cherry Red C86 box is both. But the songs it includes that were not on the tape include (esp CD2) stuff that's like what's on the tape. It's not that everything not on the original tape is a different aesthetic.

"The connection is the use of "C86" for marketing purposes."

But ... given that the original C86 was a particular thing (some pop, some noise, some Fall, etc), why did it become potent for marketing something else? That's the puzzle maybe.

For me the whole thing is to some extent a case study of how culture is reimagined, re-streamlined, etc, retrospectively for the needs of a later time. Though it's not entirely that, as some of what came to be casually thought of as C86 is present in the original.

the pinefox, Saturday, 7 April 2018 14:04 (one month ago) Permalink

There's a great Stump thread on here

Mark G, Saturday, 7 April 2018 14:12 (one month ago) Permalink

... and why did the later time have those needs?

And what time was it?

I'm inclined to pin it on the www-driven indiepop revival of c.2008-. I feel like it was around that time and subsequent years that I especially heard a lot of 'C86' as a category for indie discos, influences, etc, not particularly meaning the actual 'C86'. I feel like that was the time that the reinvention / relabelling process really took place. A clear-cut example is the idea (c.2008-) that The Pains of Being Pure at Heart drew on C86, though it would be harder really to point to a Pains record that sounds like what's on C86.

But maybe it was earlier too. Maybe all this was around by eg: the early days of Camera Obscura.

And maybe, even, by say the end of the 1980s, once some kind of idea of indie pop had been more streamlined and solidified (cf. the 87 and 88 compilations which draw on this), it was already tempting to look back and think of this in terms of C86? I can remember reviews of The Primitives in maybe 1989 putting them in this sort of context (ie: saying they were successors to Shop Assistants & Talulah Gosh, who at the time were exotic mysterious bands I had never heard).

the pinefox, Saturday, 7 April 2018 14:37 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm sure I don't need to remind you all that the first BMX Bandits album, released in '89 or '90(?), was called 'C86'! This seemed kind of hilarious at the time because C86 was like the uncoolest thing imaginable by 1989. I don't know why the BMX Bandits called the album that but it seemed to me they were saying, "Yeah yeah, we know you think it's crap but we still like it".

Buff Jeckley (Tom D.), Saturday, 7 April 2018 14:55 (one month ago) Permalink

... they might have just thought it was funny though.

Buff Jeckley (Tom D.), Saturday, 7 April 2018 14:56 (one month ago) Permalink

Yes, I did need you to remind me of that.

BMX Bandits are on CD2 of the Cherry Red version with a song from 1986 itself.

I agree that releasing a record called C86 in 1990 is odd.

I don't think I have ever really heard a song by that band that I liked, but I might not have heard enough.

the pinefox, Saturday, 7 April 2018 15:00 (one month ago) Permalink

I bought the C86 tape in a second hand shop in 1997, and I was surprised by all the Fall-influenced bands because I was expecting it all to be jangly indiepop, because that's what C86 meant at the time.

Colonel Poo, Saturday, 7 April 2018 15:02 (one month ago) Permalink

C86 became a millstone for bands included on the album and also for some bands that weren't. BMX Bandits' C86 album is because they were one of the bands cast as and archetypal C86 band yet having nothing to do with it. And possibly because it had taken them almost 5 years to get an album out and some of the songs were from the C86 period. The cover has their skeleton mascot rising from the dead with associated iconography - just like Iron Maiden's Live After Death.

everything, Saturday, 7 April 2018 17:38 (one month ago) Permalink

But maybe Duglas will show up on this thread to sort it out.

everything, Saturday, 7 April 2018 17:46 (one month ago) Permalink

Stevie T pointed out to me that MIAOW was CATH CARROLL so I listened to this with new ears.

Previously I had heard or misheard it as some kind of Scritti Politti pastiche.

I also keep playing THE SERVANTS.

Despite my doubts, there is something about this compilation that responds to a lot of listening.

the pinefox, Monday, 16 April 2018 10:19 (one month ago) Permalink

The Servants is Luke Haines's original band iirc?

you're my luger not my rifle (Noodle Vague), Monday, 16 April 2018 10:33 (one month ago) Permalink

It was but he hadn’t joined by the time of C86.

Tim, Monday, 16 April 2018 10:41 (one month ago) Permalink

Stevie T pointed out to me that MIAOW was CATH CARROLL so I listened to this with new ears.

Check out the Miaow compilation When It All Comes Down that LTM put out; great stuff!

early rejecter, Monday, 16 April 2018 14:25 (one month ago) Permalink

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