TIMES LIKE THESE

Many thanks for all your kind words on the news of my (semi) retirement from the world of work.  Hugely appreciated.  A couple of the comments, from regular contributors, ended up in the spam section which was very strange, but I’ve fished them out and put them in their proper place.   I’m thinking that, with a reported rise in online scamming in recent days, WordPress is acting on the cautious side – I’ll do my best to stay on top of things by checking on the spam stuff at least on a daily basis – so if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, then please bear with me.  But I can’t work out just why The Great Gog is having all his comments left behind as ‘anonymous’ just now.  Might be worth everyone adding a wee signature at the end of any contributions for now.

A few folk have been in touch offering additional guest contributions on the basis that they have a bit more time on their hands and want to try and do something useful.  You all know my take on this – every single guest contribution, unless it is offensive, racist, sexist etc. will find its way onto the blog as I regard it as a place where everyone is welcome to say their bit and share their thoughts, views and opinions with our little community.  So, feel free to send stuff over.

Having said that, please be prepared, again, to be patient.  I really don’t want to expand beyond one post per day and I have a policy of one ICA per week as these lengthy submissions should be allowed a bit of breathing space over an extended period of time. I’ve also got a couple of ongoing series, not least SWC’s 45s at 45 rundown, all of which have been allocated dates to take us through to his #1 appearing on his birthday in mid-June.  The Saturday series is also staying put – I’m loath to give it up or put it to one side after so many weeks getting to the letter ‘M’ and while I know it’s the one day when perhaps it features a singer or band that few or you know or, even worse, many of you don’t have any time for, it’s something I’m determined to get through to the end.

Today was meant to feature another ICA from HSP, but I’ve shifted that to later in the week. I’m instead handing over to ‘Middle Aged Man’ whose previous toe-dip as a guest contributor was a well received Bauhaus ICA.

Here he is….with some thought ss on two bands he completely missed out on (which, incidentally, happens to be a subject matter that will be the focus of one of SWC’s upcoming contributions).

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While as a person I’m not cool and never have been, I’ve always sought refuge in that I had cool taste in music, although in truth my taste in music was probably closer to what the music press said was good. Like many of the readers of this blog I was lucky enough to become interested in music during the heyday of the music press and in particular the NME, I would slavishly read every page every week – I was even known to cut out ‘witty’ quotes and put them on the pin board.

And then some years later came the internet or rather and then came music blogging and I discovered that there were bands who made great music and not just a single track but album after album who the NME never even mentioned. How did this happen? How did bands make great music never have a hit, never even get in the Indie top 30 or a review in the music press?

One band that I completely missed were ‘Click Click’ who must have been a great band name at the time.

Having listened to a couple of tracks I then spend a few years trying to find everything and anything else they released – via various blogs and then bandcamp and finally their own label – Rotorbabe Recordings – and even better laerning that they were releasing new music and performing live.

Now comes the tricky bit- how to describe their music – it is definitely electronic in that there a very few if any guitars but have a real drummer using a real drum set so they avoid the feel of the mid 80’s electronic duos such as Yazoo-Soft Cell- Blancmange etc. There’s a lovely indie disco dancability to their music but definitely not disco and on top of this is a real sense of tension verging on spookiness a few of tracks to illustrate this – the song titles give an idea of the tone and feel – paranoid 80’s at its best.

Awake and Watching from their album ‘Rorschach Testing’
Yakutska a stand only single
Man in a Suit – from their most recent album ‘Those Nervous Surgeons’

My second ‘how did I miss’ are ‘For Against’ – 8 albums released – who knew? Sadly not me. A ‘proper’ band with drums, bass, guitar and probably keyboards although they seem to have been a trio most of the time and a much more ‘post punk’ feel- by the way, when did post punk become a thing? Initially very early 80’s with the bass to the fore as you would expect and no hint of the dreaded love song. As with most bands they become ‘tuneful’ with proper songs and proper singing over the years.

Amnesia from an ep ‘In the Marshes’
Loud and Clear from their debut album ‘Aperture’
Glamour from the album ‘Shade Side Sunny Side’

MIDDLE AGED MAN

One thought on “TIMES LIKE THESE

  1. Just a side note on Soft Cell’s drum sound. I recall reading about the recording of their debut album in a music mag called “Music Sound Output” [if I’m remembering it correctly] from back in ’81-’82. While it was a drum machine used, the way that Mike Thorne recorded it was innovative to say the least. They ran the drum machine output to monitor speaker placed inside a bass drum, and then the result was recorded acoustically, to give the machine played inside a real drum a sonic spin that avoided the clinical nature of those very limited beasts. I miss thinking like that in sound design.

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