It was back in October 2015 that Song By Toad Records decided to issue a sixteen-track compilation album called David Cameron’s Eton Mess. Almost all of the singers and bands were, at the time, unknown with very little more than a few tracks available online or via a limited physical release, most often cheaply done on a cassette. Label owner, Matthew Young, said at the time:-
“Most of the bands are friends and a lot of musicians feature on several of the album’s tracks, one of the reasons why we’ve put the compilation together. It feels like there’s this pool of really talented musicians bubbling away and all sorts of excellent music is starting to emerge from the mix. Bands are forming, breaking up, and starting again all the time. When you see a loose collection of bands connecting like this you never know what is going to happen. A few will disappear, some will do okay, some might pave the way for others, and a few of these bands could go on to do really well.”
The album is available on bandcamp, and there are still some vinyl copies available by mail order.
The album closer is by Pennycress, with the song taken from the cassette/download album, See Us Swell, that had been self-released in the summer of 2014. Sadly, by the time the Song By Toad compilation was issued, the trio who made up this band – Kate, Seb and Calvin – had long called it a day after what appears to have been no more than a year together. I found this description of them from December 2014:-
The name Pennycress (originally just Cress) started appearing at the bottom of bills in the summer. From their first show in Glasgow School of Art’s Vic Bar, it was clear, however, that they had both ferocity and texture in equal measure. Since then they’ve blasted their way through a number of show-stealing sets to the point where they really should be the main draw. Theirs is a tight, cohesive take on Olympia, Washington riot grrrl/hardcore. Fired-up teenagers, the world over should be tearing down whatever posters they have on their walls to make way for their Pennycress clippings. Fingers crossed they can capture their spark when recording. If they can, their records will be uncompromising treats.
Going by the few clips I’ve seen of them on you tube, I don’t think the recording process quite caught the spark mentioned in the above review, albeit I haven’t found any live footage of the song included on the SbT compilation.
Judge for yourself:-
mp3: Pennycress – Stopped and Stared
I’ve also learned that Kate, on the break-up of Pennycress, joined the Cardiff-based Joanna Gruesome after their lead vocalist had decided to leave, just a few months after them winning the 2014 Welsh Music Prize.