For a whole bunch of complicated and related reasons, I sort of lost touch with new music from late 1986 through to early 1990. Thankfully, I’ve been able to plug many of the gaps in my musical knowledge thanks in the main to my dear friend Jacques The Kipper who supplied me with all sorts of C90 cassettes over many years chock-full of great tunes that had passed me by.
By the time I had even heard of Close Lobsters, they had come and gone, breaking up in 1989 and leaving behind a body of work that consisted of 2 LPs and 6 singles. Indeed, the first time I ever got to listen to any of their songs was when The Wedding Present did a cover version on a b-side.
The band formed back in 1985 in Johnstone, which is a small town a few miles to the south-west of Glasgow with a line-up of Andrew Burnett, Bob Burnett, Tom Donnelly, Stuart McFadyen and Graham Wilmington. One of their songs – Firestation Towers – was included on the original C86 tape and this lead to a deal with Fire Records as well as a major support slot to Jesus & Mary Chain. Bob Burnett left after only a couple of singles and was replaced on bass guitar by Paul Bennett.
It was talking to folk in a pub one night in the early 90s about my recently discovered love of TWP (it took me until the single Kennedy in 1989) that mention was made of Close Lobsters and a couple of folk said they were best described as the Caledonian Weddoes. Intrigued, I tried to track down some of their songs, but wasn’t successful as they had been released on a record label which weren’t the best for re-stocking when a shop had sold out.
So for a number of years it was only through their songs appearing on compilation CDs that I picked up their song….until the advent of ebay which saw some folk sell vinyl copies of the albums and singles.
It is true that their sound was unmistakably of its era….and yes, there’s an awful lot of musical similarity between Close Lobsters and The Wedding Present. Neither of these are things that count against the band.
The song on CD86 is what sounds like an earlier mix and version of the opening track on their debut LP:-
mp3 : Close Lobsters – Just Too Bloody Stupid (CD86 version)
I actually think the LP version is superior:-
mp3 : Close Lobsters – Just Too Bloody Stupid (album version)
In the absence of a b-side to a single I thought I’d offer the bonus of the tremendous track after which the debut LP was named:-
mp3 : Close Lobsters – Foxheads
In March 2012 they came back together to play indie festivals in Madrid and Berlin as well as what can only be described as a triumphant gig in Glasgow where the clock was well and truly turned back. Last year, the band played the Copenhagen Popfest and released rather splendid new material via an E.P. called Kunstwerk in Spacetime which picked up just about exactly where the boys had left off 25 years earlier….