Tales from the Attic
‘revolutions of a 45 kind’
Indeed bright young things, the return of Tales from the Attic – re-floored and decorated and sporting a little sky light in the corner. Been a fair old while since we masqueraded under the tales from the attic banner, and well since we debunked the singled out tag – having reached its 300the missive and celebrating a recent 10th anniversary we felt it was time for a change.
As you’ve hopefully gathered at this point we’ve relocated too, issues I won’t bore you with here except to note that due to a disappointing apathy meant that we’ve felt obliged to look to pastures anew and when we made the call GodisintheTV kindly offered safe haven. Given they are massive Peel fans the move kind of makes perfect sense to us.
And so to the first Tales from the Attic epistle – we were considering calling it ‘needle drop’ but feared we’d be deluged in letters asking for advise on hand craft matters, ‘through the ear trumpet’ was mentioned briefly as was ‘sonic sagas’ and ‘revolutions of a 45 kind’ – be warned these come trademarked so any lazy blighter thinking it a wheeze in using these will be visited upon in person. That’s not to say we’ll bore of TftA at some point and no doubt wake in the middle of the night at some future point with a blinding vision and a barnstorming catchy title – still it could be worse we could have been dogged by an awakening bladder issue.
As ever we still love records and you can – should you so wish – send them to me at –
71 Pennsylvania road, LIVERPOOL, L13 9BA,. UK – if its email chat you want I’m at email@example.com while elsewhere we also have an updated face book status at http://www.facebook.com/thesundayexperience which your welcome to drop by for a cuppa and chat.
Ah record store day. Red letter day for those ailing independent stores and a much deserved and in some cases much needed reminder for some that life exists outside the crass profit obsessed music / dvd superstores – and that these small shops – many of whom the founding bedrock of variously seismic music fashions.
Invited down to man the doors and control the blood baying crowds for a second successive year, Probe records now happily settled on the gate lodgings of Bluecoat Chambers in School Lane recently celebrated its 40th year of trading, their survival one suspects more to do with sheer bloody mindedness of owners Bob and Annie who’ve somehow managed to steer their way through bad and badder times and retrace the shops former glories and offer safe haven for those to whom music means more than the trite gloss nonsense being peddled by Saturday night TV has to offer.
Agreeing to meet in the Bluecoat café at 8.30am for a swift cup of morning coffee and for a quick update of what was in, what hadn’t arrived and which distributor had let them down this year – Cherry Red in case you ask – who supplied a paltry handful of Fall seven’s well below the required request number leaving several souls – myself included a little miffed and muttering ill things – their excuse apparently was that they were holding 300 for export.
It was of course the weekend of the giant puppets parading around the city – a father and daughter traversing opposite ends of the city in the hope of meeting each other – we saw the father – an impressive sight – over 30 foot tall and bedecked in a Victorian deep sea outfit. The day began overcast, looming grey clouds threatened downpour – yet as I entered the city centre the sun began to stir and peek through the greyness. We hurried along to our appointed meet up, heading the approaches to the Bluecoat an overfed pigeon kindly off loaded on my head. To make matters worse I had to make my way through the waiting RSD crowd rubbing and wiping with embarrassment haste said contents from the winged rodents bowels.
Not a good start.
A sizeable crowd had assembled along the Bluecoat gates and path and up School Lane, scarcely past 8.45 and the crowd numbered over 100 – 150, some had arrived three hours earlier to nab the Pistols and Morrissey limited editions. Alas no bottles of ale this year, instead the shop had managed to order in a selection of button badges (alas not the gold RSD affairs of last year) which throughout the morning were handed out to the waiting lines along with assortment of sweets, chocolate and lollipops.
Overall the mood was good humoured, the waiting line at one point reaching past the Old Post Office pub, business was brisk and constant – reducing to a trickle at about 1.30 – certainly a marked improvement on last year wherein all was pretty much done bar the shouting around noon. Behind the counter Bob, John and Jason served tirelessly without break, John had brought in a mix tape he’d cobbled together featuring the releases interspersed by BBC Radiophonic jingles which after two hours looped play had us all agreed that we’d had our fill of jingles until perhaps the next RSD.
Back to the crowds, at the front of the amassed queue it looked as though someone had brought a tent, the patrons came in all shapes and sizes, from the young – a babe in arms with his sister and mum who cooed to offer of chocolate sweets – to the old – a Floyd loving granddad stared fondly at the heavy duty vinyl edition of ‘DSOTM’ adorning the wall while his grandchild who he’d brought in one suspects in the hope of kindling some kind of wonder of the wax gems on show looked miserably on with a look that said he’d rather be in Game – faces familiar some not so trooped in and out all morning, one gentleman was after the mastodon releases – both of them – and boasted of a mastodon collection weighing in at 350 different pieces, many came for the T-Rex set – alas no show – some enquired about the Bowie picture disc of which one still sat looming from the walls until 10.30am. As to what was high on people’s wants lists – Noel Gallagher edged it ahead of Arctic Monkeys, Arcade Fire and Miles Kane – fortunate for the shop that they’d managed to order in at least enough copies to satiate the demand of the first 90 minutes of customers
A couple of shouts for Rory Gallagher, Regina Spektor, Beach House, Civil Wars, refused, pelican, professor green, thea Gilmore – plenty of interest in the Kate Bush picture disc as well as the John Cale 12 inch and the Pete Townsend release. Somewhere else The heartbreaks album which sold in a flash left a slightly perturbed father of one of the band members to leave empty handed bemused at the fact that he couldn’t lay hands on his son’s record. Most attractive release from what we saw was the Beatles box featuring the first four singles and a poster all for an exorbitant shy of 50 smackers price tag – of course they were gone in minutes and no doubt on eBay as we speak sporting grossly inflated tags – likewise both the Pistols and Morrissey discs went in a blink the latter featuring a sparks mix of ‘suede head’ which we are dying to hear. Of the stuff we sadly missed – Animal Collective, Battles and Future Sound of London – oh yea and the Matodon 7’s all flew the coup, kicking ourselves we never ordered the Cleaners from Venus sets. At various points we spoke briefly to a rather nice young reporter from Pink Revolver where accosted by the occasional numpty stopping by thinking there was a signing session, generally though it was a good day with the disappointed hearteningly happy just to browse and enthral at the fact that the previously unbeknownst to them probe actually existed.
And so to the releases that we managed to secure on the day…….
Various ‘Dracula 1972AD / Satanic Rites of Dracula’ (music on vinyl). Saw this and had to have it, all eye catching sleeving, pressed on 7 inches of wanton wax – red of course and limited to just (obviously) 666 numbered copies – what’s not to want and love. One time only pairing of this special edition pits the iconic horror heavyweights Lee / Cushing and drags them kicking and screaming into a post hippy nu age simultaneously re-branding and rewiring a tiring fang fetish formula to spin the legendary good / evil axis upon a modern down with the times modern grooving. Three cuts from ’Dracula 1972 AD’ scored of course by Mike Vickers await on the lead side with the funked out lounge smooching ’Main Theme’ sounding like a superduded Jason King in some slick back alley shoot out with Kojak and Starsky and Hutch. ’Dracula Returns / Dracula Bites Laura’ is possessed of more bite with the former brooding and bloodied, drenched in the foreboding chill of ’invaders’ esque sighs all couched in a sinew stricken sinister shell while the party to the bargain pretty much shapes up as an early incarnation / prequel of the theme adorning the ’house of hammer horror’ TV series of the late 70’s. over the flip the elephantine fanfares, harpsichord florets and the spiralling middle eastern motifs give it a grand fulsome and airy 60’s Bond-esque sophistication, contrast this with darkening eeriness of ’baptism of blood’ itself much mainlining the spectral and sparse sonic vein of Jerry Goldsmith’s ‘planet of the apes’ and wrap matters up with the psych prog kookiness of the Vorhaus like church recital ‘wild organ’ and you have the perfect behind the sofa enjoyed listening experience.
Alas we missed out on both the Radiophonic specials – both again on limited colour vinyl – repressings of 70’s special effects sets and the ‘forbidden planet’ soundtrack which much to our own stupidity we recommended to all before remembering we’d forgotten to get one put under the counter for ourselves – however we did eye this cutie….
OST ‘Wicker Man’ (silva screen). Pressed up on ultra limited slabs of yellow vinyl, this set pairs together the soundtrack versions of ’willow’s song’ and ’gently johnny’ – the former indeed yes the one where a Britt body double gyrates salaciously against a bedroom wall and yet as a standalone cut prior to ever having seen the film and cast upon a demurring bed of faintly brushed rustic timelessness exudes the dreamily yearning innocence of a hopeful love note yet seen in the filmic context manifests and reveals its more underlying lustful wantoness, admittedly an all time favourite here and if memory serves right covered near perfectly by Seafood a few years back – their version I should say thoroughly recommended in the tracking down of. As previously mentioned ’gently Johnny’ provides good company over on the flip side, with its wistfully breezed armoury of homely spun hushed Gaelic garlands and its lulling phrasing this cut featured Magnet’s Paul Giovanni taking up lead vocal duties, couched in a traditional tapestry based on a melody whose origin was thought to date back to medieval times it was for many years erroneously thought to be credited to Robert Burns. Goes without saying an essential gem.
Black Angels ’I’d rather be lonely’ (very bland design). Really has been too long since the black angels darkened the desires of our dansette, here pressed up on 7 inches of orange wax and strictly limited in nature this twin-set baby sees the angels shifting away from their normal shades adorned psych glazed grind and opting for something readily more bubblegum grooved and 60’s kissed starry eyed. ’I’d rather be alone’ is your heart skipping breathlessly bruised slab of heart ache, drilled at the core with the sumptuous opine jangle jive of forlorn teen beat all caressed with the sweet sigh of hope flattened vocal yearns and garnished with an overtly pop fixated Meek meets Spector cavernous production which in short translates on the turntable like Spectrum sugar kissing the Vaselines. Love the aching sigh of the steel guitars on ’watch out boy’ – again another about turn on the usual trademark Angels sound here countering a quietly epic widescreen presence cradled in a 50’s pop twisted teen beat meets hymnal / gospel aura and posited upon an axis that suggests Spacemen 3 demurring the grooves of the Everlys, Walker Brothers and a youthful Lennon and McCartney. And since you’ve been good root about inside the sleeve for a download code which for your efforts will get you their cover of the Zombies ’she’s not there’ which arrives faithfully treated replete in Hammonds and a barnstorming 60’s seasoned wig out. Smoking.
The Oscillation ’waste the day’ (all time low). Sure we’ve mentioned this lot in previous despatches though I’m stumped and buggered if we can find any citations on the web, we only eyed this at the last minute and must admit that its one of the prized pickings amid our record store day stash. Limited to just 295 hand stamped numbered copies and pressed up on heavy duty slabs of wax (7 inches of course) ’waste the day’ is a bleakly beautiful slice austere post punk psychedelics – kind of the Passage distilled through the viewing lens of Modern Eon and then flashed through strobe effected glaze of a pre trance / house Shamen emitting a glorious hypnotic haze of hallucinogenia. Flip side features the black hole consuming cosmic rock gouged ’no place to go’ – old school Black Angels in a head to head with the White Hills with Mugstar on hand to referee the unfolding motorik melee is perhaps the best way to describe this stoned out space freak. Kind of essential wig flipping wares.
Bevis Frond ’hard meat at the midnight court’ (woronzow). Recently found emerging from a period of prolonged hibernation with a new album which incidentally we’re yet to hear / see and spied appearing on a recent Fruits de Mer compilation platter. ’hard meat at the midnight court’ is a specially commissioned 500 only record store day exclusive, black vinyl seven inches in size and attractively picture sleeved featuring two new cuts from the Saloman song book. ’hard meat at the midnight court’ relocates the listener back to the acid fallout of the early 70’s for an almighty slab of progged out psych trimmed stoned out heavy blues, this hulking brute comes adorned with shaggy hair, big beard and its own home brewed stash of bad medicine, freakishly retro and mainlining upon a Hendrix axis albeit as though clearly spiked and skewed by the Walking Seeds. ‘number one defender’ occupies the groove space on the flip – more fried Hendrix flashbacks kissed with a smoked out slinky fuzzed freaked shakedown and grizzled by an off kilter and killer wasted wig flipping persona. In short bad boogie for beatniks.
Up next five specially commissioned releases from the Sire stable all arriving housed in retro die cut card sleeves and sporting jukebox 7 inch editions limited to just 800 a piece……pushing their luck now aren’t they – first introducing young folk to the wonders of the turntable and now pressing records without middles – which I should add at this point has had us something of a disadvantage given we‘ve lost our stash of spiders and can‘t admittedly play the blighters – such a wheeze – bring back 8 tracks that‘s what I say……anyhow swiftly on…..
The Flamin Groovies ‘shake some action’ – I’ll make no excuses or apologies for saying I’m one of those types who despairs at people who’ve never heard this particular cut, ‘shake some action’ is in my humbled opinion one of those tracks that every self respecting record fan should have about their collection, all at once blending a garage cool afterglow caressed with a 50’s pure pop sensibility, it cross wires the soft psych jangle of the late 60’s and the pub rock awareness of the early 70’s and forges and crystallises perfectly the whole notion of power pop. One of those tracks that appears to succinctly intersect, blend and bend the divides of the various generic pools, it kicks and pinches with an easy on the ear feel good effervescence and quite frankly wipes the floor with the competition – that said of late we’ve been more a ‘slow death’ advocate as in the record and not some weird euthanasia cult type thing. Over on the flip ‘teenage confidential’ culled from the same ‘76 Sire full length entitled – er – ‘shake some action’ tenderly shimmies gently to reveal a hurtfully withdrawn forlorn easy pop persona that transposes the baroque overtones of the Left Banke with the aching artistry of a 60’s era Bee Gees.
Ramones ‘blitzkrieg bop’ – really – do I need to mention this in any great detail – one of the cornerstones of punk, ‘blitzkrieg bop’ was culled from their debuting rule book trashing ‘76 full length ’Ramones’ – yep the one that Peelie played pretty much all the way through and listed constantly on various play list schedules that year. Short and spiky it set the tone for what would become known as punk, stripped back bare to the bone three chord fuzz buzz bubblegum weighing well within the prescribed sub three minute model, there’s a kind of cartoonish dumbness about it as it draws upon echoes of garage beat, Spector-esque harmonies and 50’s rock n’ roll and fuses the sporadic parts into a brisk and bullish terrace toned battle cry – direct, immediate, said what it needed to say and buggered off as fast as it appeared. Over on the flip and again culled from the same debuting long playing platter ’havana affair’ is another slab of goofed out three chord pogo pop spat out at 100mph. Of course you want the blighter who wouldn’t.
Richard Hell and the Voidoids ’blank generation’ – is it just me or are these selections getting tediously obviously, and so to Richard Hell – formerly neon boys, television and the heartbreakers – and the Voidoids – if one track from the era could be cited as embodying the very spirit of its surroundings and its surrounding times then ’blank generation’ was it, kissed with a casual aloofness there’s an effecting take it or leave it nonchalance that bleeds through its cooled ice cold exterior, it was post punk before punk had crawled out of its infancy, engrained and stained by the whole decadence of the CBGB’S / NY scene of the time from out of which it was birthed, there’s a kind of blistered and soiled chic that attaches like no other record of its time and with that rightly lauded as one of the key stone moments of the punk / new wave / no wave era. Over on the flip sit’s the frantic flame hot Beefheartian boogie that is ’liars beware’ while elsewhere the skewed and twisted art funk freak beat punk of ’who says?’ foresees the pop group. Essential.
Dead Boys ’sonic reducer’ – a seminal cut – loud, chaotic and in your face and upon you like a rash, attrition grizzled incendiary pop, wasted and scorched ’Sonic Reducer’ mainlined on the spirit of the Stooges and MC5, a ferocious slab of stateside grind and perhaps one of THE anthems of the era, Dead Boys hailing from Cleveland, Ohio were headed up by the late Stiv Bators who’d re-emerge in the 80’s as part of the super group Lords of the New Church. Over on the flip two additional cuts that feature on the bands debuting platter ’young, loud and snotty’ the first a blistering take of Syndicate of Sound’s immortal ’little girl’ and the dead eyed scowling ’down in flames’ pre-empting by twenty years the much admired Black Halos.
The last of the specially selected Sire quintet features….
Patti Smith ’hey Joe’ – released in ’74 Smith’s deeply personalised twist to a song much mired in legend and controversy is perhaps the most harrowing and human of covers that followed in the wake of its first known commercial appearance by the Leaves. Making it her own, with the adding of an introductory monologue Smith re-scripted Joe as fugitive heiress Patty Hearst who’d been kidnapped by and later joined the Symbionese Liberation Army – this aberration was later recognised and put down to Hearst’s suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Where Smith’s version lacks in the intensity of say Hendrix’s commonly agreed and acknowledged superior arrangement it more than makes up for by the fact that it howls horrifyingly at the contemporary and of the time and melds it to corkscrew the original theme and scratch deep into the darkening fucked up depths of societies very psyche. Over on the flip the hollowed monotony of ‘piss factory’ retraces her bitter memories of the dream choking factory work as an adolescent and ambitions of escape – nuff said really.
Up next two exclusives from Jack White Third Man imprint…
Karen Elson ’milk and honey’ – goes without saying much admired around here, Karen Elson celebrates RSD with a twin set of cover versions pressed upon limited quantities of yellow wax – there was talk of a milk and honey split coloured vinyl version in a by all accounts gorgeous looking lace sleeve alas only available to pickup in person at third man. Ho hum. Anyway as said two covers – and no doubt because of our ribbing before of the now generation being in search of turntables wondering with bemused looks where to plug their earphones into these primitive though dinky looking slabs of round wax – we are still minus our spider middles and so as a last resort have had to try and source this cutie on the web – meaning fortuitously that our copy remains un-played, unopened and well – as RC would say – mint. Enough rambling I hear you say – what’s the track and what’s it like – well it’s a cover of Jackson C Frank’s ’milk and honey’ – all at once sparse and spectral, frail and frail, tortured and tender, there’s a humbling glow to softly spun love noted yearn that presses through these grooves as they haunt and seduce in equal mercurial measures. On the flip a by all accounts storming take of Bonnie Dobson’s ’winter’s going’ which once we’ve nailed one of those spidery middles we’ll get back to you about.
Moving picture show here…..
White Stripes ‘hand springs’ – on red vinyl the classic pairing from the WS vaults of ‘hand springs’ and ‘red death at 6:14’ found here pressed up on limited quantities of red wax lined with black smudges. ‘hand springs’ needs no introduction or fanfare, one of the finest from the Stripes – a killer cool dead eyed dust caked slab of desert dried rockola road kill, a skewed, scowling, scuzzy and damaged blues boogie primitively dispatched with the devil dealing on their shoulder. Did the Stripes ever sound more shit faced – a riotous and squalling rock-a-hula rumble is ’red death at 6:14’ prized kicking and screaming by the hair roots from its crossroads spying post – for sinners only.
And the one that got away a chunky slab of the killer recorded for posterity last RSD when he appeared at third man and cut loose and laid down an almighty shakedown…..trailer is here….
Here’s a peek at the limited third man releases only available at the TM HQ – God I want one of those liquid filled 12’s……
Noel Gallagher’s high flying birds ‘the good rebel’ – early reports suggest that it was this little nugget that garnered not only the most interest on RSD but secured the spot for best selling release on the day. The limited white wax 12 inch culled together 4 high flying birds flip sides on one almighty heavy duty vinyl strictly pressed up in quantities of 2000 all numbered. A peach of a set it should be said revealing something of a melodically wandering hand to the Gallagher elders artistry. Here you’ll find nuzzling between the grooves the quietly anthemic winter born succulence of ’the good rebel’ garnished in a soft tonal haze frantically taking notes from Moviola’s ’durable dream’ contrasting with the frankly immense and sleek hymnal soul kiss of the genteel faraway and flown opine of the sedately intimate and introspectively turned ’let the lord shine a light on me’. over on the flip side dressed with a gorgeously lolloping braid ’I’d pick you every time’ finds Gallagher and Co relocated to prairie lands all sweetly seasoned in glowing spring hues and sun beaming feel good vibes while the parting ’shoot a hole in the sun’ is well – frankly – stunning, a seducing sophisticat tailored and trimmed in swirls of smoking soul wisps and funked out cool as f*** psychedelics all lights lowered blissfulness primed and cut with dream wired discofied struts – blighter just smooches its way across the grooves.
Something else we missed out on was a rather nifty twin set from Field Music who took it upon themselves to mark the occasion with a homage to the Pet Shop Boys by releasing an uber limited white wax 7 inch coupling together ‘rent’ and ‘heart’ – the latter removed of its sweeping gloss is re-branded with a tenderly alluring and intimately lo-fi’d spectral vibe while the former – incidentally the best of the brace – is stripped back and clipped with an austere early 80’s refit that suggests admirers of b-movie in the ranks.
And so to the final RSD mention – alas not the all singing and dancing fanfares that was hoped but rather something of a very damp squib with which to round matters off. A cassette release no less put out by the highly readable bido lito fanzine via Payper Tiger records. And there was us eager to sample Liverpool’s finest, found showcasing their wares on this here 15 track compilation – strictly limited – incidentally – to just 100 hand numbered copies, cassette in hand into player – blighter sounds warped we thought – just then we eye a little insert in the cassette case – upon it a code in which to unlock a download copy from a site that alas doesn’t appear to exist. Harrumph we thought, a quick shufty around that there google and we nailed down the bido lito site which aside trumping and cheering the release also selflessly provided vids and sound cloud clips to all the featured artists. Our hearts a quickened and expectancies were heightened only to bitterly peak when upon checking said roll call we discovered several of the excerpts didn’t feature the chosen cuts. Ah well we thought – better crack on a mention the stuff we could salvage and hope that said download issues are resolved in time for the next tales from the attic so that we can gather up the errant MIA’s for closer inspection and further comment.
As said put out by Bido Lito – a much loved fanzine in our parish – ’game theory’ gathers together the crème of the Liverpool underground. Fifteen cuts feature within on this dinky little pink cassette of which incidentally only 100 hand numbered copies are available. Inside you’ll find download codes (see above) and a voucher for £5 that you can exchange for various listening wares at local music emporiums such as Probe, 3beat and the music consortium vinyl emporium. Sounding not unlike Gallon Drunk recalibrated through the viewing lens of Revolutionary Corps of Teenage Jesus, Beach Skulls serve up the primitive voodoo blues groove ‘the Brooklyn jive’ a chilling slab of prowling Gun Club cool etched with rippling reverbs and all manner of swamp dragged shadow plays. Similarly affected by an overtly austere 80’s post punk twang Forest swords minimalist ‘hjurt’ sumptuously blends the generic folds for all at once this slow burning cutie manages to come across like some dark mantra dealing shadowy men on a shadowy planet seductively swirling in Jefferson airplane apparitions the next couched in the kind of disarming down tempo sophisticat grandeur that much marks out Manchester’s No Ceremony as the season’s secret find. Mugstar of course should need no introductions in these dispatches, the scouse space heavy weights have graced the catalogues of the esteemed important and trenSmat stables of late with word abound a new album looms on the horizon. Alas not the advertised pod cast version but the original mix prized from their ‘lime’ set from last year or thereabouts, a killer 14 minute sonic odyssey that sees them shifting from their Floyd axis to charter a mind morphing trajectory of hypo-psychotropics simultaneously freewheeling into the motorik earth beat grooves of the much loved Tank albeit with side serving of the Silver Apples and Neu for good measure. Last up on this brief peek of ‘game theory’ wares comes courtesy of kankouran whose ‘rivers’ is one of those rarefied cuts that manages at once to cut deep and hurt whilst being clipped with a strangely becoming euphoric exuberance, much recalling ex post facto at their finest, this babe aches and bruises shepherded as it is with a driving shoe gazed widescreen persona that’s forlornly majestic and tenderly tempestuous – a bit of a gem if you ask me.
As to the rest of the set – as said earmarked for considerable mentions will be outfit, clinic, tsar bomba, all we are – whose debut ep we have in our midst likewise with the wild eyes, bill ryder jones, owls, death at sea, stealing sheep, the loud and vasco da gama.
Update – the guys from Bido Lito have kindly got in touch – turns out payper tiger are trying to sort out admin licences for the site url so hopefully everything should be up and running in time for the next tales from the attic.
originally published – April 2012