Friday, January 18, 2008

The Company She Keeps - What A Girl Wants

Talulah Gosh the real inspiration behind Girls Aloud

Top find this week : Aston Hall : My Daily Sun.

Not often I venture into the lost caves of Beanos but Croydon called and after a two year absence I returned to a shop where pleasure has so often been denied me by ridiculous over-pricing. I scuttled feverishly among the cheap boxes and discovered a Tiny Town LP. A good start. Claire Mooney was then uncovered nestling between some unloved soul 12"'s. Then a Yeah Jazz LP beckoned me over; I went willingly. It got even better when I lurched over with lusty-eyed hunger to several 7" boxes proudly displayed on the counter. Go on, impress me, I dared them. And they did. I rescued the Innocents : One Way Love; Attrix : Lost Lenore; Features : She Makes Me Blue and My Daily Sun by Aston Hall. And all at half price as Beanos had generously declared a special discount for those on their mailing list, for a limited time only of course, the dastardly niggards.


The Spasms, accidentally renamed by the seller as the Spams, Never Happens Like It Does On The Telly 7" on the fabled Ellie Jay label. I got priced out at £26.48. It went for £33.


The Snowbirds / Les Poissons Solubles split single for a note-crinkling £34.33. One of my old ebay sparring partners Krischan! flashed his wad but I subdued him. About the going rate for this single.


1 Birds : You're On My Mind

A sunny day in Tooting. Yes it does, it really does, the sun, shine in Tooting. I was early to meet a fellow music geek though his passion rarely extends backwards beyond 2006. As one does, if one is a scavenger, I paid a visit to the Trinity Hospice charity shop. Thrown higgledy-piggledy into a box a selection of dusty 7" singles yearned for a farewell caress. Not encouraged by the crumpled covers of generic 80's hits that peered back at me I reluctantly pawed my way through a morass of moronic top 20 tunes. I continued, though depressed, for I am the Scavenger. And then sleeveless, grooves gobbled up by unclassified brick-sweat particles, something like the scavenger's Holy Grail presented its sickly self to me. I swallowed hard, I stifled a cry, I may have tossed a Paula Abdul single in the air in joy, I temporarily believed in a God, not a specific one, whatever one was available. I held in my hands a single by the Birds, not their hit that meekly stalled a t no.49 but their first single. Oh it was worn, it did not shine, it looked like several Grand Prixs had been held on its lustreless surface but I cared not. I trembled as I presented it to the old man manning the till. He registered my ecstasy but couldn't fathom it.
The next few hours were long and tiresome. I had to get home to hear how wrecked it was. Eventually it lay on my turntable. I gently placed the needle on the groove. Crackles I expected but there were few. It sounded fine though obviously played numerous times. And why not, it's a fabulous song with an even stronger B side. After years of paddling through waves of James Last and Paul Young records this was illustrious reward.

2 Typhoon Saturday : What Do I Do

Sometimes you walk into a charity shop and you feel lucky. A pile of 7" singles await your attention and you know they will offer up a delightful chum for you to cuddle and take home. So it was when I walked into a charity shop in New Malden. I had no idea whom I would befriend that day, perhaps that elusive Evening Outs single or an LP by the Deep Freeze Mice. But somehow I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. And so it came to pass; clothed in a raddled cover was this, a naughty 7" that refused to come live with me when I had tried to snatch it from ebay. I paid a measly 50p for its company, a lot less than that Japanese collector who grabbed it from me in the last seconds of an ebay auction.

3 Keen : Sad EP

I had no idea what this was when I bought it in a Chiswick charity shop several years back. Clad in a black sleeve I took pity on its neglected existence. It was the label name, Scaredy Cat, that reeled me in. It spoke to me of a twee charm and my impetuousness paid dividends. Ok, one song is a total rip off of Politics by the excellent Girls At Our Best but that seems to endear it to me even more. After all they could have ripped off Wake Me Up Before You Go Go but instead they chose an obscure new wave band. That's class. Some years later it crops up on ebay and sells for £20 plus. Then a 12" makes its existence known on ebay. Feverish bidding sees me lose all care of financial stability but I'm outbid in the closing seconds. A year later it ventures onto ebay again. There is only one bid, and it remains that way until the last minute when I pounce but my fiscal claws are trimmed despite my reckless use of the numbers on the keyboard. My only consolation, my rival pays £92 for this unattainable gem. I check to see where my vanquisher lives.......Japan, I should have known.

4 Chin Chin : Stop ! Your Crying.

They came from Switzerland. They were three girls. They released this 12" on 53rd and a 3rd. But first it appeared on Farmer records. And this is the version I unearthed in an Acton charity shop. I already owned the reissue so why the fuss over this. Well imagine if you're a tramp and you dip your hand into a bin and you find not only a Burger King meal, untouched and warm, but a bar of Green and Blacks wrapped in a £50 note. How would you feel? Skip the emotion, you'd guzzle down the food and then march defiantly into a pub. Am I stereotyping tramps? Cage the metaphor ; I was elated. And then I found the Turn To Flowers 12". Hey, I need that tramp again.