Cardiacs: Classic or Dud?

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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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

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

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

Cardiacs make the most manically beautiful noise an ear could hear – no argument! I was a 15 year old Smiths fan when I first heard them - Gary Davies played ‘Is This the Life’ on his lunchtime Radio One show back in 1988 and I was mesmerised. I would place more value on one Cardiacs album than the rest of my record collection combined – don’t ask me which one though! I just find them incredibly rewarding – each record grips me regardless of how many times I hear it. There is so much to love and I feel genuinely sad for those who just don’t get it.

The Astoria gig last December was, I think, my 20th and I’m looking forward to the next 20. A new album would be nice though – Guns was SEVEN years ago! And I wonder when these promised DVDs will come out…?

One more thing - my girlfriend’s sister is one of the uninitiated and wants to hear what Cardiacs sound like – is there one song I could play her which will get them across? I was thinking ‘Fiery Gun Hand’.

Andrew Bates, Friday, 13 January 2006 10:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Buds & Spawn, oi reckon.

mzui (mzui), Friday, 13 January 2006 12:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The Ever So Closely Guarded Line is as good a place as any to dip your toes in. Or perhaps Nurses Whispering Verses.

Dr Greyhound, Monday, 16 January 2006 12:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Manhoo is an easy one for the uninitiated. Otherwise, Buds & Spawn. I've surprised a few folds by just sticking on the Maresnest video and playing the opener, The Duck And Roger The Horse. They usually go "whhhhh...?"

everything, Monday, 16 January 2006 22:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Great - reckon I'll start with Buds & Spawn and gauge the reaction. I can never play just one song though - I think the Land & Sea album deserves a full airing. She's up this weekend so I'll give it a go. (I'll probably get drunk and force everyone to listen to the entire back catalogue while I leap around the living room, punching the air and getting the words wrong - and be single by Monday...)

Andrew Bates, Friday, 20 January 2006 14:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
"Wireless" from StG pt 1 gets me every time

Dominique (dleone), Sunday, 26 March 2006 01:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Ahh, this thread comes back to haunt me once again...

Tim Smith is on tour supporting Ginger And The Sonic Circus at the moment. I was dead keen to go to the london date, except tickets are something like £15 plus booking fee and considering I have no interest in seeing the headline act, it would be a bit of a waste of money. Sigh.

Seven years is just silly. I wonder how many times they've recorded/scrapped the new album now? I imagine it's like Lee Mavers and The La's - they just keep redoing it over and over again and are never satisfied with the result.

Philip Alderman (Phil A), Monday, 27 March 2006 00:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

where will drake bells next concert be and how can i contact him?

allyson marie deering, Wednesday, 5 April 2006 09:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Have the good folk who visit this list been here yet?

Andy, Wednesday, 5 April 2006 12:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

On Youtube there's a little clip of Tim, John Poole and Ginger doing "Anything I Can't Eat" from last week sometime (sorry I can't seem to access youtube today to get the link).

everything, Wednesday, 5 April 2006 16:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

xpost: is that link thing there supposed to go somewhere? Cos it doesn't.

everything, Wednesday, 5 April 2006 21:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, sorry - dunno what happened there. Try keying it in manually - either that or Google it. Cardiacs Maresnest Forum should do it. It's just a friendly, small but growing chat forum dedicated to Cardiacs - come and say hello.
Dead keen to see that Youtube thing - I was on holiday so I missed the tour. Gutted! Will try and find it myself but can you stick up a link if poss? Ta!

Andy, Thursday, 6 April 2006 09:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Here's the link:

everything, Thursday, 6 April 2006 17:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Hmm, interesting! Thanks for that. Looks like it was taken by a Wildhearts rather than a Cardiacs fan but it's a nice little insight.

Andy, Friday, 7 April 2006 09:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...
revive for Louis.

sleeve (sleeve), Friday, 2 February 2007 16:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

QUICKLY, all ye uninitiated:

If you're not up for that, one of those two songs features in this peerless live recording (aka religious experience):

to scour or to pop? (Haberdager), Friday, 2 February 2007 16:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

cardiacs = complete classic.

except for two things:

1) their albums are impossible to find at a reasonable price.

2) they are one of the greatest live bands of all time, but they never play outside of london. that was fine when I lived there, but nowadays it's a fucking disgrace.

but another point in their favour is that they gave the ridiculously talented kavus torabi a home once the monsoon bassoon prematurely ceased to be.

m the g (mister the guanoman), Friday, 2 February 2007 16:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Now he's in this new band, Authority:

everything (everything), Friday, 2 February 2007 17:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Dirty Boy" is such an amazing song. That youtube, with all the lights, those people must have been seeing stars afterwards

Dominique (dleone), Friday, 2 February 2007 18:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Not content with nicking the name, lame Canadian band SS Cardiacs have now decided to rip off their logo as well. Check it out:

everything (everything), Friday, 2 February 2007 19:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

SS Cardiacs are a half-assed indie band for whom it might as well be 1993, by the way.

everything (everything), Friday, 2 February 2007 19:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

No album news but this is something at least:

"Cardiacs will play the songs YOU love live in session on
Thursday 28th June 2007.

YOU will stand by YOUR radio.
YOU will press up YOUR vile ear to the tinny-sounding speaker.
YOUR heart will erupt and YOUR guts will swirl.
Like the angry sea, like all biblical storm.
YOUR big eyes might POP OUT OF YOUR HEAD.


everything, Thursday, 7 June 2007 21:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

I heard the above session which consisted of three songs from "On Land And In The Sea", so nothing to get too excited about. But there's always this:



everything, Thursday, 2 August 2007 20:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I met Tim Smith at the first Authority gig! I could only blab about how STG and Guns were two of my favouritest albums. Didn't have the courage to ask about new recordings. This news, however, is excellent! I may have to catch them before it's too late.

I'm honestly astounded by the lack of Cardiacs awareness on ILX. People, this. Is. As. Good. As. It. Gets.

Just got offed, Thursday, 2 August 2007 20:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I could only blab about how STG and Guns were two of my favouritest albums

Ha ha - Gotta wonder how many times he's had THAT conversation. If you've got a choice, try to see them in the biggest venue - they know how to rise to the occasion. The Astoria gig will be a sell-out for sure.

How are Authority?

everything, Thursday, 2 August 2007 21:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Authority were consistently blinding, with a couple of absolute stormers ('The Catalyst' and 'Southway' (I think that was the title). More straightforwardly 'rock' than TMB, their interplay (with two guitars, bass and drums) was mesmerising and at times near-unfathomable, but their riffs often deceptively simple and their grasp of dynamic build excellent. I await their debut album with great interest!

I also spoke with Kavus Torabi, and that conversation was far more profitable. We bonded over Battles' "Atlas" which happened to be playing over the PA (me: "This is my single of the year, brilliant, isn't it?" him: "Yeah, me too!") and discussed his band (and Cardiacs) for a brief while. (I lie when I say I only blabbed to TS, however; I also mentioned the bands we'd seen and agreed that they were superb.)

Shall I book an Astoria ticket soonish, then?

scourage, Thursday, 2 August 2007 21:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Whoops, wrong login!

scourage, Thursday, 2 August 2007 21:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The new Sea Nymphs is pretty much just as good! (It's more conventionally song-y, perhaps - the s/t is all mysterious fragments and snatches)

imago, Friday, 15 February 2019 16:37 (two months ago) Permalink

Cosign, all Sea Nymphs is great, including the Mr & Mrs Smith and Mr Drake recordings, love 'em just as much as Cardiacs.

MaresNest, Friday, 15 February 2019 17:29 (two months ago) Permalink

Also, I was listening to some Ligeti Keyboard Works CD the other day and this struck me as very Sea Nymphs/Bill D

MaresNest, Friday, 15 February 2019 17:33 (two months ago) Permalink

Bill definitely skews less avant-garde than that but there's definitely a reminiscence in the flourishes! Good spot

imago, Friday, 15 February 2019 17:43 (two months ago) Permalink

Bill once mentioned Debussy as an early influence, and you can definitely hear that from Debussy's Tarantelle.

Brainless Addlepated Timid Muddleheaded Awful No-Account (Pheeel), Friday, 15 February 2019 22:18 (two months ago) Permalink

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