RELEASED? Out now. SOUNDS LIKE? The Bristol Punk scene from 1976 to the early eighties and fuck what you hear about London with its fashion posers and Manchester with its art posers, Bristol was where the real shit was happening. Or so I believe. I wasn’t there, but these songs sound like they mean it, which is fine by me. IS IT ANY GOOD? What do you think? This is when the only real punk was made, anything the wrong side of the eighties is nothing, a great big gape. So listen and learn, this is history, vital and important and a worthy addition to the earlobes of any connoisseur. I’m not a connoisseur, but I do like the badly recorded shouty punk jangling from this recording, so I’m sold. For a shortlist roll-call we have The Pigs, The Cortinas, Social Security, The Verdict and Chaotic Disorder, the latter of which kicking out a tune in just over a minute called ‘Who killed ET? (I Killed the Fucker!)” which is delivered with so much attitude you believe the young man, even though he may now be the director of a bank. Or an organic farmer. WHERE IS IT?www.bristolarchiverecords.com
14 STUNNING TRACKS 3 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED IN ANY FORMAT
This album contains all four tracks from those two great singles, plus ten rare early demo tracks, all newly remastered.
The other 400 copies will be sold via all normal retail distribution outlets, but the 100 copies here are UNIQUE, WE CURRENTLY HAVE JUST 30 COPIES LEFT
BUY NOW – Price £13.00
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.
I enjoy discovering good music that I’ve never heard before. Most modern music just bores me, so I usually dip into the late 70s/early 80s for this enjoyment.
A few months ago, I bought a compilation record/magazine called The Recorder. I found it for $2 at Jive Time in Fremont, noticed that there were three live Peter Gabriel songs on it (including a cover) and figured that those alone would be worth the two dollars.
I finally got around to listening to it an while the Peter Gabriel songs were quite fun, the real gem was the three opening songs by a band called Fish Food.
I’m not so good at reviewing music, so I’ll let the band introduce themselves to you…
Fish Food are a band are an aid, first to be the second coming round the mountain Diagram fingers spiced with many flavoured fingers from dressing gown chord sequences, aluminium crayfish savim, monkeys leap from limb to limb for five pence in the RSPCA jungle sale. Step lightly down the street, you don’t know who you’ll meet cleaving an enormous crevasse in a broken heart from which a flower grew, with metals soft as velvet and a colour so rich, deep and beautiful that the insects dared not land on it.
And honestly, that does sum them up rather well.
Fish Food (or Fishfood) was formed by four fellows from Bristol, England (about 100 miles west of London). It features Howard Purse on guitar, Doug White on Bass, Danny Duck on drums, and a local poet, here named only Andy (but it’s really Andy Fairley).
The three songs on this comp are all they ever wrote and recorded. They played a few times around Bristol, opening for the sort of legendary punk band The Slits.
“Dry Ice Hot” starts us off. It’s been described as “Talking Heads gone in a wonky post-punk direction” and I guess that’s sort of true. The thing that struck me with both are the vocals. Andy sounds nothing like David Byrne, of course, but he is … distinct. You can’t really hear all that’s going on vocally, I think my mind shut out a lot of it – only bits seeped in. “Kind of pinched or squeezed at the corners and edges” was repeated a lot at varying urgencies. I think somewhere in there I fell in love with it.
The second song “Seventeen Eels” is a short piece about seventeen eels in a red barrel. It describes the scene very accurately. There are seventeen eels in a red barrel. They squirm and bite, etc.
But the real genius hits during the sarcastic “Modern Dance Craze.” Where the music in the other two songs was chaotic and harsh, there’s a jangly guitar and soft drums over Andy’s urging for us to “do the modern dance craze.” His urging does grow more frequent and you really do get the feeling that he wants us to be “grooving and be-bopping, getting with it and staying sharp, being cool on the scene” while we do this modern dance craze. As we acquiesce and give into this modern dance craze, we are rewarded for our triumph: “Oh that’s lovely, you’re really grooving it and digging it and loving the music. And we’re really having a lot of fun here tonight because we’re doing the new modern dance craze.” Andy even gives suggestions, “Oh that’s lovely, the modern dance craze, shake your butts, yeah.”
I don’t really have much to compare this to. Maybe TV Personalities if they weren’t so influenced by early Pink Floyd would have done something like this. And what’s more is I’m not sure who would like this. I do, of course, but this is something you either think is total crap or you love it to death and wish there was more.
The band broke up shortly after this recording and Howard Purse (who seemed to be the driving musical force in the group) put together a band called Animal Magic. After their demise, Purse got back together with Andy the poet/vocalist, forming the band Birth of Sharon.
I’ve not been able to find anything on them, though a reviewer says they sound like “Gang Of 4 trying to have fun.”1
ITunes seems to have both The Recorder and a split download compilation of Fishfood and Birth of Sharon. Being on Linux, I can’t really access the iTunes store and really wish people would either stop using it or provide an alternate, cross-platform and nonrestricted way to legally download songs.
These were put up by the (digital only?) label Bristol Archives Records, which plunders the vaults of the old Bristol scene, releasing the gems they find. It’s a great service, so thanks bunches, but what’s with the iTunes only thing?
Technical Information: Media Used:
Vinyl LP from my personal collection.Hardware Used:
Turntable: Audio Technica PL-120A
Cartridge: ATP-2XN (Stock)
TCC TC-750LC Audiophile Phono Preamp
Soundcard: Roland Edirol UA-1EX USB external soundcard
Audacity 1.3.7 on Linux Mint 7
-Digital recording from soundcard
-Editing and splitting of tracks
Gnome Wave Cleaner 0.21-10
-Manual and automatic click/pop removal
-Converted WAV to 320kbps MP3
The Rimshots second single originally released in 1981 has just been rereleased via www.1977records.com in Japan.
If you wish two check it out and maybe buy a copy please use the link above
Formed in 1979 in Bristol, England this Power Pop / Mod band started to appear on the British gig scene along side the likes of The Purple Hearts, The Chords, The Beat and Secret Affair. They unfortunately never achieved national recognition but did support The Beat, Hazel O’Connor, The Bellstars and The Bodysnatchers along with many others in their home city and the surrounding area.
This is their second single originally released on Spectro Records in 1981, their first a Ska offering ‘I Was Wrong’ was released on Shoc Wave Records in 1980.
The band were managed by Gene Walsh owner of Shoc Wave and were influenced in their early development by the thriving Reggae scene in Bristol and supported British heavyweight reggae kings Black Roots and Talisman who were leading the charge on the British public.
More information and a digital download Rimshots album can be found at www.bristolarchiverecords.com with a vinyl album release in the pipeline.
Lunatic Fringe ‘How’s in Control EP’ with extensive notes from John Finch and great pics 1982
Valve ‘Pulling Legs Off Flies’ – The Claytown Troupe without Christian and Richard circa 1994
Sweet Energy Album – 1990
The Directors Album with notes from Dave Masters circa 1979- 1983
Vinyl and CD Releases:
The Cortinas ‘Mk 1’ – OUT JUNE 21ST
LIMITED EDITION 500 COPIES VINYL ALBUM
14 STUNNING TRACKS 3 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED IN ANY FORMAT
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”.
Available to pre-order now from: www.bristolarchiverecords.com
www.amazon.co.uk and all major distribution outlets and Record Shops
The Bristol Punk Explosion – Out June 14th
Various Artists Compilation CD with 20 page full colour booklet and 4000 word sleeve notes by Shane Baldwin
20 STUNNING TRACKS 7 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
The Cortinas were the first. They played the Roxy Club, released two singles on Mark Perry and Miles Copeland’s Step Forward label, graced the front cover of Sniffin’ Glue and recorded a Peel Session. Guitarist Nick Sheppard remembers the night it all slotted into place: “I think a real turning point for us was seeing the Ramones at the Roundhouse on July 4 1976 – we definitely started to write our own songs after that gig. We had been playing and doing gigs for about a year by then – all covers apart from one song, Tokyo Joe as I remember. After that gig we started writing stuff like Television Families. I think we saw people like us in the audience at that gig, and it must have given us confidence.”
Taking their cue, bands like Social Security (the first band on Heartbeat Records), The Pigs (whose Youthanasia single was released by Miles Copeland’s New Bristol Records), The Primates, The Media, The Posers and The Verdict gave Bristol one of the strongest provincial early punk scenes, mainly centred around the Clifton area of Bristol and Barton Hill Youth Club.
Available to pre-order now from: www.bristolarchiverecords.com
www.hmv.co.uk and all major distribution outlets and Record Shops
The Fans live at Red Cloth, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan 19 April 2010
Video added to the Fans section of the site – Wow!
The discography has been added to The Archive Records section as near to complete as we can get it plus stories on Bristol Reggae Kings Black Roots
Bands 1982 onwards:
NAKED EYES – THE STORY
PETE BYRNE INTERVIEWED BY JONAS WÅRSTAD
Fascinating interview with this massive Bath band who recorded all their demos before signing to EMI with Steve Street at SAM Studios
The Peoples section:
The Tony Dodd story has been added he of Tony’s Records fame but also the guy that started Revolver records on the Triangle in Clifton – LEGEND!
Working on CD albums from:
The Bristol Reggae Explosion – Various Artists
The Best of Heartbeat Records – Various Artists
The Pigs – Vinyl release
‘AVON CALLING 2’
Released worldwide on 23rd August 2010
20 SUPERB TRACKS ALL PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED ON CD
In 1979, Bristols’ music scene was riding the crest of the new wave, spawning numerous bands and performers whose influences and indeed physical beings have gone on to feature in some of todays’ big music makers.
During this period local musician Simon Edwards decided to form Bristols’ first independent label, Heartbeat Records, to capture all the excitement and get Bristols’ music out beyond the M32.
With so many bands to choose from the label set about releasing a series of 7” singles, and such was the demand realised by these that a compilation LP featuring fifteen of these bands was released. The album, topically titled AVON CALLING went on to achieve near legendary status – even hailed by John Peel as “truly superb, the compilation that all others should be judged by”.
Thanks for checking us out – support Bristol Music and look out for The Seers live in Europe and Live in Bristol out next month!! www.bristolarchiverecords.com