The Return of the Box
Some time ago, whilst sitting in a transport café just outside the drab Kent market town of Sittingbourne two friends and I set upon a challenge.
It was six in the morning, we hadn’t slept that much and we were awaiting our greasy spoon fry up, John (full English), me (veggie version, no egg) and Adrian (Mushroom, Egg, Tomatoes and Toast). We were talking about music, primarily New Order, and John likes to think of himself as a New Order oracle, he claimed right then and then to be able to list more singles and albums by the band along with Joy Division, Revenge, Monaco, The Other Two and Electronic than the rest of us.
We went to the counter and asked for three pencils and three sheets of paper, and we gave ourselves five minutes or until breakfast arrived, the winner got a free breakfast. Four minutes later breakfast arrived – so we put our pencils down, and ate up. Then we totted up the correct answers, I was last, in fact last by some distance, if it was Spiritualized, Spectrum and Spacemen 3 I would have won, but it wasn’t.
Adrian scored one more than John – and John demanded a recount and verification (at this point the truckers in the café were starting to get fed up with the manky students in the café disturbing their breakfasts). I was appointed judge and went through the lists –they were largely the same, both had missed the classic New Order single Run 2 which even I had got , but when it come to the end, Adrian had listed an Electronic single called For You and that was the difference between the two of them.
John sighed and said that he forgotten about it because it was rubbish. His grapes were sour all the way home. When we got home Adrian popped round my house and gave me this CD, he’d bought it in Woolworths two days previously for 49p – hadn’t even played it. I did play it, it’s not rubbish. It’s very pleasant indeed.
mp3 : Electronic – For You
‘For You’ was in fact the second single off of the second Electronic album, Raise the Pressure, an album which I have never heard. The single peaked at Number 16 in the UK Chart. It is well worth the price of a greasy fry up in a truckers café in Kent (about £2.99 in 1996).
I remember getting this particular CD sent to me because it came with a promotional gun and me and my mate Chris drove around Maidstone taking pot shots at chavs with it all afternoon.
mp3 : Cable – Whisper Firing Line
Having re-read that sentence, I should make it clear – it was a water pistol, and not a very good one, as it leaked. The fun was spoiled when we squirted a big bloke and then got stuck in traffic, (Inbetweeners Bus Wankers Style) and he threatened to hit us.
Cable were from Derby and were big favourites of John Peel they released three albums in the late 90s and this was taken from their second album When Animals Attack.
They are by far the greatest band to have ever come out of Derby (come on name another one!) and probably the only one to have had their music feature on a Sprite advert (‘Freeze The Atlantic’). Whisper Firing Line is a good example of the kind of thing Cable did on each of their three albums, I’d recommend the first two Cable albums – I’ve not heard the third, but by and large, this is decent garage rock with a nod towards the punk rock of American labels such as Blast First and Dischord. The B Side comes with a nice little cover version of the Stevie Winwood song Can’t Find My Way Home which as it’s a cover version gets an obligatory posting.
mp3 : Cable – Can’t Find My Way Home
Getting a bit more obscure now, I can’t find much more out about Heave, I know that this single came from an album called Scaramanga which I remember being quite good, it has long since vanished from the shelves of my house though.
mp3 : Heave – Pig Pretty
They had an earlier single Suna which is terrific – kind of art rock in an Earl Brutus meets Wire kind of way (there was a cover of 12XU as the B Side). The band featured a female model and keyboardist Sharon Mew who later went on to be in Elastica. Heave I think split up around 1997.
That is it.
More next week folks
PS from JC
This is about as close as we will be getting to a random shuffle series as S-WC digs into his long-lost box of CDs from back in the day, pulls them out three at a time and writes some fine words about each of them. I genuinely had no idea whan I did yesterday’s posting on Wire that his scheduled piece, which has been sitting unread in my inbox since 29 May, also mentioned that very fine band.
Just to say that S-WC will next week feature on the Monday, a day earlier than normal. Tune in and all will be revealed why…………