the bordellos

The Bordellos
Debt sounds – the Friday night sessions
Welsh cake

Think I’m right in saying that this mighty fine slab of wasted out there creaking psyche blues minimalism is the first outing for the newly fashioned Welshcake imprint which is basically an outlet set up by St Helens finest psychedelic talismen in order to turn you on to some of the finer and more head expanding sounds currently to be found across the globe.

We here at the mop top mopping parlour of dayglo ditties are a tad fond of the Bordellos. These last few months our radar has been summarily tweaked and stirred into life by the distant buzz of happenings emanating from the Bordellos studio bunker wherein it seems a hive of activity has been set into motion, such activity has promised the arrival of two albums at an eclectic turntable near you during the course of the next few months kick started in earnest by a release schedule that saw the recent unearthing of a stash of demo tapes packed with rare thought lost vintage recordings by the band which hitherto found themselves gathered together and pressed up as the ’nobody wants to shag the bordellos’ CD (limited to just 4 copies – three of which we’re offered up as competition prizes). In addition to that armed with a four track and a week spare while spouses visited various in laws both Brian and Dan from the band managed to nail an albums worth of material under the collective guise as Huckleberry in the Kingdom of the Broken Hearted – a sample of whose sounds you can hear by redirecting various pointy mouse like devices in the general direction of

And so to ‘debt sounds’ – laid down over 10 consecutive Friday nights last summer – hence the subtitled ‘the Friday night sessions’ and recorded on a 4 track cassette with the promise of no harmful overdubs having been used in the recording process, this set – as with the aforementioned ’nobody’ rarity finds the Bordellos stripped back to the core, raw and dishevelled yet sounding strangely primitive and dare we say soulfully better for the experience. ‘debt sounds’ is a bit of a gem – collecting together 17 treats its title perhaps an obvious play on the Beach Boys ’pet sounds’ is unlike Wilson and Co’s well weathered lushly productive classic of yesteryear something a little more Spartan in design and texture. Right from the unique hand drawn labels – each one individual – this album wreaks lovingly of a DIY ethos, the sounds drilled with lo-fi frailness at times come across with the air of lost swamp dragged nuggets that have been left on a window ledge exposed to the elements and scratched by a decades old skin of dust.

Primarily ‘debt sounds’ finds its comparable roots in the early work of Daniel Johnston and the Palace Brothers though happily removed of the depression and in its place filleted by a sense of unhinged verve, it makes for a compulsive blend of battered and bruised road blues montages (‘Spirograph’ being the prime example with its Richman imprints and bliss fuelled and lilting harmonica breezes); Dylan-esque motifs as on the lazy eyed homeliness of er- ‘homeless bound’; flowery kaleidoscopic bubblegum (with ‘you better run’ proving to be a worthwhile listening spectacle for admirers of Freed Unit’s ‘gigglegoo’ set); darkly brooding and deeply set frazzled shanty opines (as on the off balanced and off kilter dissipating austere tinged opener ’fading honey’ and its sibling ’honey pie’ which neatly act as the sets book-ends – the latter a seriously charred slab of Jad Fair meets Eugene Chadbourne dizziness) and some Elephant 6 quirkiness via ’???’.

Trawl a little further for the simply smoked and chilled distressed freak beat mirages of the subtly sultry and seriously shit faced wasted psych drifts found on the sets best moment by far ’Rolf Harris’ – hell one listen of this and you’ll feel as though you’ve been toking on something mildly illegal – all frazzled and out of it atmospheric riff fragments and prowling Jagger-esque vocals – not so sure about dear old Rolf being offered up as a sexual hero though – still each to their own. Elsewhere ‘Crocodiles’ era Bunnymen are recalled on ‘Mersey beat memories’ albeit as though recalibrated by Ellery Bop, then there’s the fractured John Cooper Clarke meets Richard Hell wiring that scars ‘she’s an art form’, some woody fog bound mountain folk haziness looming on the decidedly unsettling waywardness of the lysergic wraps that freewheel throughout ‘sealhead’ while lets be honest no Bordellos release would be complete without the appearance of the odd psych soaked sortie here happily provided by the GBV / Southall Riot inspired ‘Captain Coma’ and ‘Fine’ not to mention the tripped out and warped 60’s Arabesque mantras of ‘she in the sun’. Think that pretty much covers it – any questions at the back.

There’s an overtly humorous and brutally honest track by track account by Brian Bordello over at while I should tell you that this little beauty is currently retailing for a paltry 4 pounds – the words ‘stare‘ ‘gift horse’ and ’face’ readily come to mind.

Key tracks –

Rolf harris
Captain coma
I dream of jimmy Campbell’

first aired – September 2009


This entry was posted in archive and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s