I don’t think any of us, this time last year, anticipated that we would be all this time without live music.

My own ‘last’ show was in the unlikely setting of the Strathaven Hotel, some 25 miles south-east of Glasgow, on a wet Friday night. It was the latest in the FRETS set of concerts, promoted by Douglas MacIntyre of Creeping Bent fame. The stars on stage were Norman Blake and Euros Childs.  It was a fantastic night, featuring all sorts of songs including the occasional number they had written and recorded with their respective band with whom they had established themselves.

I often forget how much I love Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci.  I don’t listen as often as I should these days, primarily as everything I have is on CD and I’ve become an even bigger vinyl junkie during lockdown.

But, the other day, I desperately wanted to play one of my favourite singles of theirs, from May 1998, and giving an airing to the b-sides reminded me of how often their music can take a listener by surprise and offer up a lot of sunshine and fun in these grim times:-

mp3: Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Spanish Dance Troupe
mp3: Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – (Do The) Chicken In The Jungle
mp3: Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – The Johnny Cash Lawsuit Song

Like all other GZM singles, it got no higher than the lower echelons of the charts. This one reached #60.




With apologies to those who remember a post from back in 2008 on the old blog which this is based:-

Between 1996 and 1999, the wonderful Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci released eight great singles on the bounce, all of which sold enough to reach the Top 75, but none of which sold enough to get a crucial placing in the Top 40.

Patio Song – #41
Diamond Dew – #42
Young Girls & Happy Endings/Dark Nights – #49
Sweet Johnny – #60
Let’s Get Together (In Our Minds) – #43
Spanish Dance Troupe – #47
Poodle Rockin – #52
Stood On Gold – #65

No other band has managed to hit the crossbar on so many occasions. And when you think of how many substandard bits of music have cracked the charts over the years, you have to conclude that there really is no justice in this fickle world.

Gorky’s (or maybe I should call them The Mynci – as in Hey, Hey We’re The Mynci) were victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  In an era when music was consumed almost entirely via radio, it was very rare that a band could get chart success without the patronage of daytime DJs and this was a band who only got played on shows where Mark Radcliffe or John Peel were guardians of the wheels of steel.  The fact too that the cost of CD singles was outrageous, certainly is respect of the price paid in comparison to manufacturing costs, meant that even someone whose interest might have been piqued by hearing a song on Radio 1 late at night would probably instead stick to the album.

If digital downloads had been available in the late 90s, then it is very likely that Gorky’s would have, on at least one occasion, got into the Top 40 which would have been followed by an appearance on Top of The Pops and exposure to a wider audience some of whom would certainly have fallen under the magic spell of a band whose work is so reminiscent of the really early recordings by James.  Fame and fortune would have beckoned instead of remaining tantalizingly over the horizon.

It is hard to see anyone else ever having such a run of near-misses ever again – for one thing singles can achieve chart success with fewer sales than 20 years ago and although this is purely a guess based on no scientific evidence or statistical analysis, I reckon all all eight of the singles would have been at least 20-25 places higher in the chart rundown.

There’s also the fact that record companies no longer show such patience and tolerance towards any act that doesn’t deliver instant success in terms of sales, and there’s no way single after single would be released in the same way as Gorky’s enjoyed at their creative peak.

I thought I had all of these singles sitting on the CD shelves just to the left hand side of where I sit and type these words, but there seems to one missing (Poodle Rockin), so it will need to be a quick hunt on e-bay to rectify that. In the meantime, here’s my three personal favourites:-

mp3 : Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Young Girls And Happy Ending
mp3 : Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Diamond Dew
mp3 : Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – Spanish Dance Troupe

Happy Listening.