And so we are back with Fruits de Mer (and Mega Dodo as it happens) for an unexpected treat that greeted our return from 9 to 5 boredom for the eagle eyed among you may have noticed and indeed already nabbed tickets for a celebratory all dayer over at the legendary Half Moon in Putney this coming May bank holiday (incidentally called ‘Games for May’ – now without resorting to google wasn’t that a famous Floyd festival or some other such) which hosted by both labels incorporates a happening whereupon attendees will be wowed by stage appearances by Tir na Nog, Schnauser, the Past Tense, Mark and the Clouds and Crystal Jacqueline and the Honey Pot. Not only will there be live performances and wigged out deejay sets but for your hard earned dosh you get a limited 7 five track seven inch features the aforementioned bands, a brimming to bursting goodie bag featuring a CD featuring a previously unreleased album by PIPE who these days masquerade as the Past Tense, a poster, a game (‘crabs and dodos’) and a stash of CD’s from both labels extended family and friends. And so it with thanks to Keith because we have a CD of that mentioned 7 inch – and a bit of a killer it is to featuring upon its grooves four previously unreleased gems three of which have been recorded specially for this limited release. First up Tir na Nog who fresh from their stunning 7 inch appearance on the label early last year kick off the celebrations with a track culled from their ‘live at Sirius’ CD. ‘Time is like a promise’ is an alluring pastoral posy tendered and tempted in soft psych undulates that whisper prettified poetry, in truth not a million miles from fellow label mates Soft Hearted Scientists all cast upon a rarefied vintage that reveals an ear for the lost, the timeless and the romantic. Now we here are of the thinking that had Peel and Waters still been alive (along with Viv) that around about now they’d be holed up in a Maida Vale snug having merrily imbibed on several red wines and a selection of strangely curious sounding beers – purely for medicinal purposes you understand – and upon hearing Schnauser’s ridiculously eccentric freak psych master class ‘henry and his magic horse’ where now impishly guffawing and concocting up a spot of televisual surrealism much like ‘gurney slade’ but with Mr Stanshall in the lead role doing his best Cat Weazel meets Gummidge meets Dumbledore with this as his theme tune. Absolute barking and the point at which the Cardiacs and the Pretty Things collide and all sense of normality goes out of the window. ‘Vision from another world’ – the chosen poison brought to the waxen grooves by the Past Tense is a muscular no nonsense strutting psych out blighter of some biff, bang, pow measure that amid its riff riddled scowls and kaleidoscopic keys kicks, buzzes and pouts like a prime time Inspiral Carpets in some kind of face off with Julian Cope. As ever you can always rely Crystal Jacqueline and the Honey Pot to both enchant and weave their mysterious psych spell craft and so ‘three Sisters of Silence’ proves no exception sounding so late vintage late 60’s you’d think it had peeled itself of a Hapsash and the Coloured Coat poster, in short the love children of Jefferson Airplane. Mark and the Clouds round up the set with something a little different from their usual comfort zone for ‘any part of town’ – think Love meets Byrds part II meets ‘paint your wagon’ – a husky mountain blues rambler free spirited journeying the road replete with moonshine mosaics, prairie opines and oodles of lolloping motifs, quite homely if you ask me.
Those with an eye for these things may well note with interest the inclusion of catalogue numbers 61 to 64 on the fruits de mer web site – four albums with an estimated turntable action around late May curiously titled ‘sideways’, ‘sidesteps’, ‘sidetracks’ and ‘sideshows’ which look like another Strange Fish type of venture with them all being listed separately and collectively indicating a box type thing. Alas no details just yet. http://www.fruitsdemerrecords.com/discography.html