THE FESTIVE 50 0F 1989 (2 of 3)

Yesterday’s posting concentrated on the multiple entries into the Festive 50 of 1989, and those of you who are half-decent at arithmetic will have worked out that 27 acts managed to get enough votes to muster a place in the rundown.

Some of these were very well-known acts with some of their best-known and best-loved songs, with perhaps the best examples being found in the higher echelons of the festive rundown – Happy Mondays with Wrote For Luck (#4), James with Sit Down (#7), House Of Love with I Don’t Know Why I Love You (#10), Dinosaur Jr with Just Like Heaven (#12) and The Jesus And Mary Chain with Blues From A Gun (#13). They’ve all been featured on the blog before, and so it is the next few bands in the rundown that I want to shine a light on.

mp3 : Cud – Only (A Prawn In Whitby) (#15)

There are others out there way more qualified than me to wax lyrically about Cud. They’re another band of whom I own very little but anytime I’ve eavesdropped in on an offering on a blog, I’ve found myself nodding my head in appreciation.

They had been kicking around for a couple of years having released a handful of singles and recorded a Peel Session, before debut album When In Rome, Kill Me was released in June 1989. The seven songs on side one of the album are linked by short narratives thus, sort of, forming a single story in which the main character runs away from Whitby to Rome to try and escape the long arm of the law. From the one time I’ve actually heard the entire album, it seemed to me to be far from an over-blown concept record and indeed seemed to be taking the piss out of such records so loved by the prog-rock fraternity. The track featured today was based on an alleged encounter with Morrissey in which the vegetarian was supposed to have been spotted wolfing down a prawn in a café in Whitby….but in all likelihood not true.

The only other band with a single entry into the Top 20 were American grunge combo Mudhoney at #16 with You Got It (Keep It Out Of My Face).

The lower part of the chart was festooned with great tracks which still endure to this day, including these which should be familiar to you either via this or other great blogs:-

808 State – Pacific State (#22)
Field Mice – Sensitive (#26)
New Order – Vanishing Point (#27)
Spaceman 3 – Hypnotised (#33)
De La Soul –Eye Know (#34)
Dub Sex – Swerve (#39)

And then, like Convenience by BOB which started all this off, there’s a handful which may well need some prompting but are more than worthy of a listen. Here’s three today, with a similar number to follow tomorrow:-

mp3 : The Telescopes – The Perfect Needle (#30)
mp3 : Senseless Things – Too Much Kissing (#42)
mp3 : The Family Cat – Tom Verlaine (#48)




JC writes…….

Last time round I changed the title of this series which was a bit naughty of me.  This is the third and final part of what happened after SWC visited the Oxfam Charity Shop in Totnes and bought the then recuperating Badger some indie vinyl on the premise that he write about them for T(n)VV.

Badger writes………………

The fifth, sixth and seventh records are a lot better than the third and fourth ones;  two were by bands that I know and like and one was a band that I had never heard of, but one which led SWC into another one of misty eyed tales from the past. He’ll take over in a bit after we talk about Record Five.

SWC’s daughter unwraps the fifth record and it is a mash up of different colours and swirling images it also has some writing on it, in red pen. I look at and then I tilt the record sideways to try and read what it says.

“Is this signed?” I ask SWC.

He nods enthusiastically, “That record has been touched by four bonafide rockstars” he tells me. Bonafide rockstars is pushing it a bit, but all the same, this is exciting news. I own three signed records, (well four now), one is my pride and joy a vinyl picture disc of ‘The Holy Bible’ signed by Richey Edwards, the second is a Carter USM 12” signed by Jon Fat Beast (RIP) and the third is splodgenessabounds 7” signed apparently by band member ‘Baby Greensleeves’. The authenticity of that is dubious at best.

The record is ‘Is It Too Late?’ by Senseless Things. It cost £1.99 and that includes the signatures of all four members of the Senseless Things which as SWC adds “Probably increases the value by at least 50p”.


mp3 : Senseless Things – Is It Too Late

Senseless Things are a band dear to my heart. They feature on the WYCRA 200 both in this guise and in one of their off shoot bands Delakota.

‘Is It Too Late?’ was one of the band’s early singles, their second or third I think. It has a sleeve designed by Jamie Hewlett the guy behind Tank Girl and Gorillaz and it is a brilliant couple of minutes of punky pop.

The interesting thing is that a few years back Senseless Things released a singles compilation and this record wasn’t included on it, I imagine this is because of record company rules and the like but it almost feels forgotten about, which is a massive shame.

I’ve also attached two of the three B Sides which are pretty much the same thing, two minutes shouty indie punk pop with thrashy guitars and sneery vocals. All excellent and a welcome addition to any record collection I would say.

mp3 : Senseless Things – Andi In a Karmann
mp3 : Senseless Things – Ponyboy

Next up I’ll hand over to SWC

“There was this kid at college, we’ll call him Jeremy in case he is reading. Jeremy told everyone he was in a band, I think in an attempt to impress impressionable girls, his band were always playing gigs in London and around the South East, they were supporting larger acts in proper venues (rather than just playing in the same old dreary Maidstone pubs). They were called Spartac – with the R the wrong way round to make it look Russian, which isn’t a bad name for a band to be honest – yet something didn’t add up, no one had seen this band, apart from Sad Gary, the bloke who no one listened to, he told us he had seen them. Jeremy tried to convince me that his band Spartac had played at the club I DJ’ed at and they supported a band called Tiny Monroe. They didn’t because Tiny Monroe never played at the club, they were supposed to, but they actually did cancel due to illness. The support band that night were called Torque and I know that because the lead guitarist in said band was my mate Dom and they needed the ‘exposure’. The general feeling was that Jeremy was a bullshitter but he was a convincing one because people started to believe him a couple of other people started to mention that they had seen them and they were playing a demo CD of his band.

Anyway, I said, to Jeremy that if he provided me with a demo tape I would get them a gig in the next few weeks, we had a few decent bands coming up at the club and I could probably get them a support slot when Delicatessen play. “Oh I know them, we played with them in London a few weeks back I’ll dig you out a demo, is a CD ok”. Yup absolutely.

About a week later, Jeremy gives me a demo. I play it that evening at home, it sounds familiar. I have heard this before, I know I have, I just can’t place it, maybe, at a party somewhere, maybe he was in a band. I mean it sounded like a demo, it was pretty badly recorded.

About two weeks later, my mate John and I went to London to see a Pop Will Eat Itself gig at the much missed Marquee club. The support band that night was a band from the same next of the woods as them, they are called Scorpio Rising and they come on and bugger me sideways the opening song they play is track 2 on Spartac’s Demo CD – Scorpio Rising call it ‘Watermelon’ Spartac call it ‘Inside Her’.

The next weekend John tracks down a copy of ‘Watermelon’ by Scorpio Rising in a record shop and we play it to a couple of our mates, and then I play Spartac. There is general disbelief and laughter, John then tells me that I should play this at the club the next time we see Jeremy there, which isn’t often to be fair, he’s probably off playing live at the Viper Rooms in LA or something.

We don’t do that. Deciding that it would be cruel and besides like me and a load of others Jeremy would be leaving the area in October to go to University (in Huddersfield if I remember rightly), we let things lie, smug in the knowledge that we know. Around August, Jeremy announces that his band have split due to ‘musical differences’ and that three of them were continuing without him and the drummer under a different name. Shame, another great lost band, like the Badgers I suppose.”

And now it’s back to Badger….

Yes although that’s quite enough of them.

Record Six is ‘Saturnalia EP’ by Scorpio Rising and is kind of ace in warped wobbly kind of way – the recording is not great – the B Side is ‘Watermelon’. Price £1.50

mp3 : Scorpio Rising – Saturnalia
mp3 : Scorpio Rising – Watermelon

…and finally we come to record 7 – another day another remix 12” but this one is slightly different in that it is actually quite good, I won’t bang on about this one because I have to be somewhere in fifteen minutes and I’m running late, but I’ve saved the best for last.

Record 7 – Price £2.50

mp3 : Manic Street Preachers – Australia (Lionrock remix)