Friday, July 31, 2009

DAS SCHNITZ------They got played on Dr.Hook's radio.

No, I didn't get a phone call from Sylvia's mother imploring I heap praise on Dr.Hook, this is a single by Das Schnitz who couldn't afford proper sleeves and so,like anarchic magpies, borrowed other artists' sleeves and customized them. This particular punk typhoon hit Torquay, the band's home town, in early 1979 when this single was released in a pressing of 533 on Ellie Jay. Some one hundred or so ended up in the borrowed sleeves before legal action was threatened by a major label claiming the customization was an infringement of copyright. Artists who unknowingly helped the Das Schnitz cause by providing the single with an overcoat include Blondie, Chaka Khan, Funkadelic and, if this isn't a fake, Dr.Hook.
The band members were Tim Dodge on vocals/guitar, Nardi Jahangiri on vocals/guitar, Stuart Gordon on bass and Kevin Perry on drums. They were 16/17 years old and they lost their gig virginity at Torquay Girls Grammar School. After that there were no worlds left to conquer.

Free website -


The Men Of Westenesse came from somewhere just east of London and released this lone single in 1989. £28 is a reasonable winning bid considering I paid about £40 for my copy. Musically it's pleasant indiepop.


More indiepop, this time of an Irish nature. The seller picked this up in a charity shop I have been known to frequent so out of sheer jealous stubborness I refused to bid on it. As far as I know this is Cuba Dares only release and £44 is a good return on something which probably cost £1, he exclaims through gritted teeth.


Episode 4 released one 12" single before mutating into East Village, a band much beloved of Bob Stanley of St. Etienne. This single has surpassed the £200 mark in the past but recently it has stalled far short of that. Its final sale price of £108 is the cheapest I've seen it sell for. A friend told me that it used to turn up regularly in the bargain basement in MVE. If only I had a time machine.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

HAIRSLIDES AHOY! --------Indietracks, a festival with music and trains.

I've never been one for attaching myself to scenes. True I marched down the Kings Road in the summer of 77 one sunny saturday with a fifty strong army of punks. Havoc was not unleashed on good citizens until six or seven teds were spotted in Sloane Square whereupon a charge was mounted against the musical throwbacks. These days it would be hard to find a punk in the Kings Road, let alone a teddy boy.

This weekend I ventured north to a field in Derbyshire to experience a festival called Indietracks. If I thought the spirit of C86 had evaporated in the nineties amid a fuzz of grunge guitars and acned laddism I was to be pleasantly surprised. C86 was never a movement or scene, it was simply an NME tape/LP that was intended to portray a cross section of sounds that were happening in 1986. People conveniently forget that not only did it showcase the talents of the Close Lobsters, Primal Scream and Wedding Present but also the defiantly unpoppy meanderings of Stump, Bogshed and MacKenzies. Whatever the merits of the latter groups it was the former that inspired and engendered a longing in many boys and girls across the land to grasp a guitar and proclaim the joys of love reciprocated or, usually, denied.

Indietracks was held at the Midland Railway Centre and a few bands even played on moving trains. There was a main stage outside run under the aegis of Elefant records who were celebrating twenty years in the music biz. There was also a stage in a converted locomotive shed and one in a small church. More than fifty acts played over the weekend. Unfortunately I was only there for the sunday. As I waited on the platform to board the train to see the Manhattan Love Suicides I was coaxed into a nostalgic reverie as I surveyed the crowd: girls in spotty or flowery dresses, hairslides harassing their hair and boys in denim or corduroy jackets sporting a colourful crop of badges. It felt like being at a Sarah records convention.

The day went by in a whirl of discovery and disappointment. The weather, a ceaseless dribble of rain from 4pm onwards, and the Manhattan Love Suicides announcing they had split up before they were about to play were the only downers. Engulfed in ecstasy, caught in a torrent of joy, those two minor infractions were soon dismissed. Bands like the School, the mental but so loveable Stereo Total, the rapturous Northern Portrait, the playful Smittens, the pristine powerpop of Spain's Cooper, the deceptively delicate Pocketbooks, and the hypnotic gentle menace of Help Stamp Out Loneliness propelled me to the sun-glazed shores of happiness. Seeing the BMX Bandits with frontman Duglas now resembling one of the Bonzo Dog Band doing an impression of Rick Wakeman carved a smile on my face that only surgeons could remove. And to top it all Teenage Fanclub, the sunday night headliners, were in fine form.

Highlight above all highlights though was seeing half of the legendary Talulah Gosh do a short acoustic set in a tent. Amelia's voice broke up as she succumbed to laughter and smiles. Grown men sobbed. A Japanese man had to be restrained from committing hara-kiri. And Amelia was playing an unplugged electric guitar acoustically, it was that silly and that fabulous.

If Indietracks is a "scene" then I'm hooking myself up to it.


1 Honest Johns : Grandfather Of Gold
2 Ash Can School : A Day Out In Paris
3 Fish John West Reject : Twenty Ways
4 Peppelkade 14 : Time Flies
5 Memphis : You Supply The Roses
6 Lovely Eggs : Have You Ever Heard A Digital Accordion
7 Peruvian Hipsters : Tony Hadley
8 Dolly Mixture : New Look Baby
9 Mag And The Suspects : Thousands Dead
10 Shitbirds : Oh Joy
11 Hardy Boys : Fifteen
12 Help Stamp Out Loneliness : Pacific Trash Vortex
13 Hardy Boys : Wonderful Lie
14 Indifferent Dance Centre : Flight And Pursuit
15 Northern Portrait : Crazy
16 Josie Cotton : Johnny Are You Queer?
17 Proles : Thought Crime?
18 Camera Obscura : French Navy
19 Eggstone : Bubblebed
20 McClusky Brothers : She Said To The Driver

Friday, July 24, 2009


Between the numerous giant opaque clouds I caught a glimmer of light and, dodging raindrops, dived into a charity shop or nine. The paucity of vinyl in Cancer Research and the Shooting Star Hospice encourages one to speculate on a vinyl revival. Every couple of years the press hark on about the revivification of vinyl and plodding through puddles from one CD-saturated charity shop to the next I felt it likely such a piece would surface in the Guardian or Times in the coming weeks. Along with the copious CD's a worrying abundance of ignominious dance 12"'s are now the inevitable unwanted guests; they are the 21st century equivalent of all those queasy listening LP's by that bearded party-lover James Last that choked charity shop doorways back in the nineties. I have often wondered what kind of people would zombify their guests with Last's listless renditions of pop standards; surely the sort of parties that only exist in Two Ronnies sketches in which one of the Ronnies casts impure glances at some airbrushed blonde the BBC has plucked from a Top Of The Pops LP sleeve.

But I digress and I can almost hear your gruff impatient voices yelling at me, demanding an explanation for all this inane chittering. This prevarication is pure indulgence, me savouring a moment, extending my pleasure as far as I feel I can keep your attention but now I cease my teasing. I found a Fantastic Something LP for a £1. No that's not it, though it is true. However, more amazingly, I found an Idle Race LP called Time Is for £1, listed at £130 in the RRPG. And it doesn't stop there, I also scooped up a single by a band called Track 4 of whom I know nothing, but it's also listed in the RRPG at a staggering £100.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

EYE ON EBAY----Almost set the universe on fire.

Despite both songs being available on LP's the lure of this little blue beast by Galaxie 500 on Aurora records snares the seller a decent £113. Remember seeing them live many years ago with my friend Melanie. Every tune made us swoon. A great gig.


1 Honest Johns : Grandfather Of Gold
2 Ash Can School : A Day Out In Paris
3 Lovely Eggs : Have You Ever Heard A Digital Accordion?
4 Dolly Mixture : New Look Baby
5 Shitbirds : Oh Joy
6 Peppelkade 14 : Time Flies
7 Mag And The Suspects : Thousands Dead
8 Memphis : You Supply The Roses
9 Fish John West Reject : Twenty Ways
10 Hardy Boys : Fifteen
11 Hardy Boys : Wonderful Lie
12 Indifferent Dance Centre : Flight And Pursuit
13 Peruvian Hipsters : Tony Hadley
14 Help Stamp Out Loneliness : Pacific Trash Vortex
15 Proles : Thought Crime?
16 Northern Portrait : Crazy
17 Camera Obscura : French Navy
18 Josie Cotton : Johnny Are You Queer?
19 McClusky Brothers : She Said To The Driver
20 Eggstone : Bubblebed

Green numbers indicate new entries.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

EYE ON EBAY----By george, they're everywhere

A plethora of Harrison singles have surfaced on ebay in recent weeks. Most of them have been sold by Mike the Hoarder who, it seems, as his name suggests, hoarded many copies of this one and only release by the midland's band. Due to its abundance it's no longer the Holy Grail for indie collectors, that would be the Wee Cherubs single. This one was sold by another seller and went for the knockdown price of £74.11.

EYE ON EBAY----Emergency Ward 34

Time was when this would sell for double this sale price of £41.22. Ward 34 had Andy Taylor as trainee producer on this effort but even the Duran Duran connection couldn't propel this beyond the £50 mark.


A foreign indiepop effort of which I know nothing but that didn't prevent me from bidding on the Hip Horace single which was released in 1988 in Sweden. I gazed in awe as it sold for £98.99. And not to me I might add. I suspect it sold to either Atichon or Picheux, my old indiepop collecting rivals.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

WHAT I LOST ON EBAY-----No joy on this ride

Advised by a respected follower of this unholy parish I went all Chopin on the keyboard but came out loser for the Joyride single, Goodbye/Something Special released on their own Joyride label. For some inexplicable reason this veered into a ditch at £152.67 selling for less than Modboy 1's other big seller described below. Please illegal bootlegging comp camp sort something out, I want to hear this.

EYE ON EBAY-----From the outer limits of the twilght zone

Having escaped from the asylum the lunatics logged on and let their craziness loose on ebay. This Twilight Zoners effort is a mediocre meander through DIY pastures and isn't good enough to polish the Desperate Bikes' handlebars. I have the second single which was released in 1980, picked up for £1 in Brighton about a year ago, and that doesn't come within a tramp's vomit of the majesty of the One On The Clapometer single. I can't believe this broke through the £200 barrier but the seller Modboy 1 (does that mean he's the original mod?) must be rubbing his lambretta with glee.

Friday, July 10, 2009

EYE ON EBAY----Tango in mango

Dieter Meier didn't have to cry for fame for too many years as he and fellow musician Boris Blank raced into the charts under the guise of Yello in the late eighties. This single, Jim For Tango, released on Periphery Perfume on mango coloured vinyl, waltzed over the £40 mark. I remember buying this in MVE for about 50p nearly thirty years ago.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


1 Honest Johns : Grandfather Of Gold
2 Ash Can School : A Day Out Of Paris
3 Shitbirds : Oh Joy
4 Hardy Boys : Fifteen
5 Dolly Mixture : New Look Baby
6 Indifferent Dance Centre : Flight And Pursuit
7 Hardy Boys : Wonderful Lie
8 Mag And The Suspects : Thousands Dead
9 Lovely Eggs : Have You Ever Heard A Digital Accordion?
10 Help Stamp Out Loneliness : Pacific Trash Vortex
11 Peppelkade 14 : Time Flies
12 Proles : Thought Crime?
13 Fish John West Reject : Twenty Ways
14 Eggstone : Bubblebed
15 Memphis : You Supply The Roses
16 Camera Obscura : French Navy
17 McClusky Brothers : She Said To The Driver
18 Josie Cotton : Johnny Are You Queer?
19 Northern Portrait : Crazy
20 Nine Steps To Ugly : Bobby Charlton's Haircut

Green numbers indicate new entries.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

EYE ON EBAY----Keeping their cool

The Fans very wonderful Giving Me That Look In Your Eyes on the Bristol based label Fried Egg reels in £34. Worth every penny and about what I paid for it three years ago.

WHAT I LOST ON EBAY-------Not my virginity

How I Lost My Virginity by the Spunky Onions spurts past my maximum bid and sells for £53.85. It's enough to make one cry. Vies with Regular Fries for the worst band name ever. According to Messthetics this was released in 1979. By its omission from 45 Revs this is almost certainly an error.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

EYE ON EBAY-----Sending pop to the Abbatoir.

Quiz yourself this, how many Scandinavian bands can you name that don't begin with A? Abba, Ace Of Base, Aqua, A-Ha, Acid House Kings, one wonders if those bands ever got past the letter A in the English dictionary. Kriminella Gitarrer were obviously page turners and, even more radically, they weren't in thrall to the English langauge. Their rebellious nature wowed some punters as their scorching punk single sold for £250+.

EYE ON EBAY---Hit the road Jack Kerouac.

From the Hypstr66 collection comes Nicky Beat And The Beatniks. 45 Revs likens them to the Desperate Bicycles in their amateurishness which had my bidding finger twitching. Such comparisons though remind me that nobody is equal to the Bikes and if I won said item I'd be constantly disappointed every time I read Mr 45 Revs' description. What also dissuaded me was the final price of £81.

EYE ON EBAY-----Sema 4 sale signals economic upturn.

Caution, recession ahead. What recession? In the artificial economic landscape called ebay a vintage blast of punk can still persuade some punters to plunder their piggy banks. Blitz my wits, I didn't imagine Sema 4's seminal debut to gallop past £300, finally refusing to jump the £330 fence. For the benefit of Hypstr66 the boys from York delivered a yorker. I'm so glad I bought the reissue for under a tenner.

Friday, July 3, 2009

EGGSTONE------Hatched in the garden of Sweden

This isn't a rare Three Stooges single. Would I shovel shit of that abominable nature down your ears? It's not even Abbot and Costello plus one; no it's Swedish indie popsters Eggstone and their opening vinyl salvo released in 1990 on Das Supersound Project. Patrik Bartosch, Maurits Carlsson and Per Sunding made up Eggstone and a true representation of the band appears on the back cover. Bubblebed was joined by two other tunes, Have You Seen Mary? and See The Good Thing. Many other releases followed until 1999; since then they have been dormant.

eggstone bubblebed.mp3 -
The artist or label that owns this song has not approved full-length streaming for our users. This is a 30 second preview.

WHAT I WON ON EBAY----Fish not thrown back

I cast a line with a £20 bait and hooked a Fish John West Reject single. At that price nothing to carp about. They swam about in the Australian indie backwaters around the late eighties/early nineties. I favour the B side Twenty Ways.

I also scooped a bargain. Perhaps nobody noticed Peppelkade 14's lone single up for grabs. In the past this elusive indie 12" has heavily injured pockets selling for over £70. I snatched it at the starting price of 99p. No link to this as for some reason it's vanished from my ebay page.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


1 Hardy Boys : Fifteen
2 Shitbirds : Oh Joy
3 Indifferent Dance Centre : Flight And Pursuit
4 Hardy Boys : Wonderful Lie
5 Ash Can School : A Day Out Of Paris
6 Dolly Mixture : New Look Baby
7 Honest Johns : Grandfather Of Gold
8 Help Stamp Out Loneliness : Pacific Trash Vortex
9 Mag And The Suspects : Thousands Dead
10 Proles : Thought Crime?
11 Eggstone : Bubblebed
12 McCluskey Brothers : She Said To The Driver
13 Camera Obscura : French Navy
14 Lovely Eggs : Have You Ever Heard A Digital Accordion?
15 Man From Delmonte : Like A Millionaire
16 Northern Portrait : Crazy
17 Josie Cotton : Johnny Are You Queer?
18 Nine Steps To Ugly : Bobby Charlton's Haircut
19 Peppelkade 14 : Time Flies
20 Fontaines : Bernadette

Green numbers indicate new entries.