Disc

The Cortinas



 

The Cortinas 'MK1' ARC155V

Cortinas

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Featured Track

The CortinasThe Cortinas

Defiant Pose

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14 Track Vinyl album (3 Tracks previously never released before) on any format. The release is limited to 500 copies. The Cortinas soon built up a big local following, and a break came when the band supported The Stranglers at the fabled Roxy Club in Covent Garden on 22 January 1977.Things then moved quickly for the band. Miles Copeland and Mark Perry's Step Forward label released the classic singles 'Fascist Dictator' in June and 'Defiant Pose' in December, the band recorded a fine Peel session, and they appeared on the front cover of the April/May issue of Sniffin' Glue. Heady stuff, but sadly, it was over all too soon. This edition DOES NOT include the Limited edition insert.

 

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Includes limited edtion insert. Click here to BUY

 

» Album Review


 

Bristol's first punk band, The Cortinas, formed in March 1976 when Jeremy Valentine (vocals), Nick Sheppard (guitar), Mike Fewins (guitar), Dexter Dalwood (bass) and Daniel Swan were still at school. "Jer put the band together, he definitely had a vision of what he wanted; he was very hip - Dexter and Mike went to the same school as him" remembers Nick. "He found me via Mark Stewart, who I went to school with, and I brought Dan in; we had played in a band together before. We used to practise at the back of Jer's Dad's shop".

The Cortinas soon built up a big local following, and a break came when the band supported The Stranglers at the fabled Roxy Club in Covent Garden on 22 January 1977. Nick recalls how it came to be: "Hugh Cornwell was staying at a friend of his' flat near the university, on holiday, and me and my girlfriend met him in the street. This would have been in the summer of 76. We started talking to him because we recognized him from seeing The Stranglers and hung out for the afternoon. I told him about the band. Later on, in January 77, he sent us a postcard asking us to play at the Roxy, so we rang up and said yes! I remember my mum telling me not to be too disappointed if people didn't like us...". Things then moved quickly for the band. Miles Copeland and Mark Perry's Step Forward label released the classic singles 'Fascist Dictator' in June and 'Defiant Pose' in December, the band recorded a fine Peel session, and they appeared on the front cover of the April/May issue of Sniffin' Glue. Heady stuff, but sadly, it was over all too soon.

The following year, after a poorly received album, the band were no more, but in 1977 they were unstoppable - simply one of the best first wave punk bands around.

 

For Fucks Sake Plymouth ARC031

the fans

  1. Defiant Pose
  2. Tired Of Compromise
  3. They
  4. We're Gonna Play In The Subway Today
  5. Further Education
  6. Fascist Dictator
  7. Tokyo Joe
  8. Gloria
  9. Gonna Get Mary In The Bus Shelter
  10. Have It With You
  11. Television Families
  12. Have It With You
  13. Slow down

Jeremy Valentine - Vocals
Dexter Dalwood - Bass
Daniel Swann - Drums
Mike Fewings - Guitar
Nick Sheppard - Guitar

 

Released on October 6th 2008 via Shellshock Digital Worldwide
Recorded Live in Plymouth 1977


In 1977 even Bristol, home to The Cortinas, never mind Plymouth, was not the accepted face of 'mint' it is today. If we weren't country bumpkins, we were middle-class twats and us girls well, we thought lines and mirrors were to do with washing and make up. So sayeth the great Tony Parsons, Lord of NME and reviewer of the Cortinas Bristle Colston'all gig in July of that year.

What 'know it all' 23 year old Tone failed to predict was that class had nothing to do with being a punk, as the pedigrees of the past great punk bands now confirm. If you'd been on a stage in '76 with 3 chords, no vocal ambition, angry lyrics and defiant pose, you were punks.

The Cortinas were all that, their first gig was at our Youth Club and they were fantastic, I went to take the piss, what the hell was Jeremy Valentine doing fronting what I had assumed would probably be a cross between Jethro Tull and my piano lessons. I was so wrong, I got it, this wasn't intense naval inspecting 'progressive' bollocks, this was stuff I understood.

 

the cortinas

 

And this Live Album recorded in Plymouth sometime between those two gigs in '77 tells the story, you can't quite hear all the lyrics, well that was what it was like, and titles like We're Gonna Play in the Subway Today said it all, to us anyway, if not to Tony. He took particular offence at Fascist Dictator, (single released June 1977), because 15 year old Bristolians couldn't possibly understand the politics. Hey maybe the Cortinas helped raise our consciousness ready for 'Rock against Racism' a few months later?

For all their alleged youthful naivety, Van Morrison's Gloria is played just as intended, a teenage lust ridden 3 chord rock anthem, allowing Jeremy to ad lib, the emerging guitar talents of Nick Shepherd and Mike Fewins to let rip and the ability to copy the conceit, albeit tongue in cheek, of introducing band members... as Johnny.

Larry Williams's Slow Down hints that maybe our boys abilities stretch beyond punk, but it's Defiant Pose, Television Families, Having It, (Have It with you) and Further Education played in John Peel's radio session, together with Facist Dictator, that sum up this period best.

If anyone accuses you of not knowing your Punk from your elbow slip this album on and they'll soon be gobbing all over you.

GILL LOATS

 

Roxy Club

 

 

» Cortinas Gig Locarno Review PDF

Text taken from 'Keep Upright, Do not Bend' Issue No 2 Oct 1978

 

GBH Demos 1977ARC103

The Cortinas

  1. TRIBE OF THE CITY
  2. I DON'T REALLY WANT TO GET INVOLVED    
  3. YOUTH CLUB DANCE
  4. MR.WAVERLEY
  5. HAVE IT
  6. BROKEN NOT TWISTED

Recorded at GBH Studios, Bristol in 1977 by Steve Street and Ange Peters.

Mastered by Steve Street June 2009

 

 

Please Don't Hit MeARC037

The Cortinas

  1. TRIBE OF THE CITY
  2. I DON'T REALLY WANT TO GET INVOLVED    
  3. YOUTH CLUB DANCE
  4. ASK MR.WAVERLEY
  5. HAVE IT WITH YOU
  6. BROKEN NOT TWISTED
  7. HEARTACHE
  8. RADIO RAPE
  9. JUSTICE
  10. FURTHER EDUCATION
  11. I TRUST VALERIE SINGLETON
  12. FIRST I LOOK AT THE PURSE

Recorded at 'Steppin' Out Studios, Bristol on the 9th Jan 1978.

Recorded and Engineered/Produced by Andrew Peters.

The Cortinas are
Jeremy Valentine Lead Vocals
Mike Fewings Lead Guitar
Nick Sheppard Rhythm Guitar
Dexter Dalwood Bass
Daniel Swann Drums

Remastered by Shaun Joseph at Optimum Bristol 21st June 2008.

 

By late 1977 interest in The Cortinas was at its peak. They had released two singles on Miles Copeland's Step Forward label. They'd supported The Stranglers and headlined at the Roxy. They'd been top of the bill at The Marquee played with Chelsea and Sham 69 and toured with Blondie and Television. Promoters had booked them with the caution befitting a punk reputation, which had been further guaranteed by Jeremy's photograph in NME precariously close to the incident involving Shane MacGowan and the missing ear lobe.

It was time for an album; Miles who had his finger in every punk pie going and was the king of the record deal gave them CBS. Please don't hit me comprises the demo tracks that secured the Cortinas the deal and consequently the album True Romances.

And 'real' punk does still exist here; the critics argue it was lost on the album released after the band split. Please don't hit me disagrees: Youth Club Dance takes us back not only to their very first gig, but also to that non-relationship between words and music synonimus with the genre... you - ooth club dance.

Tribe of the City was slated on the album, it is repetitive, never gets much beyond three notes, and as John Hamblett - NME says in his review uses 'sixth form philosophy '...yep that's what it was about.

Never able to shake off the schoolboy image, much was made of Mike Fewings and Dexter Dalwoods waif-like image and drummer Danny Swan was still just 17. CBS used the bands age to counter criticism but did nothing to promote the album or further it's members careers. Hamblett further suggested they'd either grow into fine young musicians- either that or Oxford Dons - well they did more or less, but he didn't manage to forsee the famous artist Dexter was to become.

By their own admission much of the punk stuff had been 'hastily written and perhaps a bit formulaic', many said the tracks that became True Romances had returned them to their formative r&b roots. First I look at the purse- a Smokey Robinson remix could give The Jam a run for their money in the reworked Tamla department, and I always want to hum Van Morrison's Brown eyed girl when I hear the opening bars to the CBS single Heartache.

So is this compilation punk, post punk, alternative or what we used to call r&b, (not today's slush)? Whatever the verdict, you'll find Ask Mr Waverley' going round and round in your head for days after hearing it and if you remember him, you probably know the answer already or don't give a Valerie Singleton.

GILL LOATS

 

Next: The Cortinas Q&A Session with Dan Swan and Nick Shepherd

 

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