Bristol Archive Records Blog

Archive for May, 2009

June updates

Friday, May 29th, 2009


Loads of new releases and new features coming very soon…

Thursday, May 14th, 2009


Please check out our new youtube account where you can catch videos from






More videos to appear in the coming months…..


Wednesday, May 13th, 2009


Wednesday, May 6th, 2009


Another busy month for the label with the following releases and additions to the site.






Originally released in 1977 via New Bristol Records, the very rare ‘Youthanasia’ep.


 Plus ‘1977’ the album of the complete demos from the session at Sound Conception which produced the above mentioned release. These recordings have previously been unavailable….


We were the Pigs, a garage band that got lucky – but not that lucky. We formed in March 1977 and we disbanded in March 1978. In those twelve months we hit a few high notes and we hit a few bum notes.

High note: first rehearsal, first garage, Henbury.

Ricky was a guitar player, so he plays drums. Kit was a bass player, so he plays guitar. Nigel has never touched an instrument before, so he plays bass. Eamonn is the front man. He has the best shades.

High note: second gig, 23rd June at the Progress.

From now on, we have
Vernon and John on board as management. We’re seventeen/eighteen and we’ve played two gigs – we definitely need management. We’ve moved on to our second garage, at Rick’s.

High note: third gig, Exhibition Centre, the very next night.

The previous day, the Stranglers were involved in a punk wars incident in Cleethorpes. Now they have to cancel tonight’s gig, probably the biggest punk gig Bristol has seen so far. Support act the Cortinas will have to fill the Stranglers’ shoes……….. ( The full story can be found at



The ‘Eloquent Sounds ep – remastered by Steve Street.



Previously unavailable recordings from Chris Scott. An amazing piece of work…..

‘Recorded in ’82/’83, and never before released, ‘Flux’ is not, strictly speaking, a Royal Assassins recording. It is, in fact the blueprint from which the Royal Assassins was fashioned. Recorded and produced mainly by Chris Scott in his home 4 track studio, with the collaboration of Dave Hares and Sean Henneberry and featuring guests such as the late lamented Sax maestro Jerry Underwood, this collection sets out to establish the sound and feel of Scott’s particular vision of rock music at the time…………..



Live at Bower Ashton College 1978, mastered by Steve Street



Recorded live at Trinity Hall in 1983, mastered by Steve Street



The only single released by the band in 1981 and featuring Charlie Jones who later went on to form Violent Blue with Neil Taylor.

Remastered by Steve Street



Stories and memories from Tim Williams (Funk to Punk – an amazing tale), Chris Scott and Ken Lintern ( mainstay behind Rainbow Entertainments)



We’ve added videos from the following bands:














More next month with new releases from:








Plus more videos and more T SHIRT designs, keep checking back for more info  









Essential Bop – Album Review

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Bristol Archives

There’s a great press release that came with, available at the url below, which speaks of a terrible disappointment for this band. Envisaging their music bringing devoted women to see their performances the reality of massed throngs of men in thick glasses anxious to discuss neuroses must have been a trial. That said, being in the band clearly wasn’t the dominant factor of their lives as what they went on to do is far more interesting, and we learn that Nick Tufnell became a country squire, Mike Fewings is a rally driver, Dave Robinson is a ‘coastal guru’, Martin Kieman is ‘an intellectual Scouse Git’ and on the less dramatic front Steve Bush is still active musically, while Simon Tyler is ‘writing the definitive history of the Fosseway.’ Rock and Roll, ladies and gentlemen. A 21 track salute for the alternately peevish and demanding Bristol band with recordings between 1979-1981, this is another enthralling Bristol Archives release. 


They’re almost like an early Inspiral Carpets as they spookily gambol through ‘Chronicle’, ‘Raider’s Blues’ with wiggly guitar and squealing keyboards, then some espionage bass and artily splayed vocals across the roving ‘Eloquent Sounds’ with hushed keys and oblique rhythmical nonchalance, peculiar wobbly vocals and spooky sixties throwbacks. ‘Croaked’ is thrashed by some willing drums and could be great if it weren’t for so many overlapping elements converging and confusing behind the mock crooning and if ‘Butler In Running Shorts’ seems to justify inclusion just because of the title and does sound like a better version of The Fall, it is eventually bollocks because they have no sense of its poise so it rises and slumps unnecessarily, like a posh Pop Group.‘Tin And Plastic’, ‘Love Is A Loud Noise’, ‘Monkey Glands’ and ‘Mandarin Whores’ all have some charming touches and bags of energy which keeps it listenable even though this type of Indie never really grabbed me back then. I never got anything from either the Scritti camp through to the more orderly Blow Monkeys. I never even liked arty 90’s indie and now don’t listen to any of it, so I am frequently left feeling detached by this music, as it seems detached itself where Post-Punk invited mental collisions. And yet…they continued to hold my interest.

‘Quotation’, ‘Death Wears Yellow Garters’ and ‘Pleasure Dome’ are all live and, interestingly, the latter is great when it’s comparatively empty, but as everything crushes in things stop working so well. ‘The Western Blues’ is lyrically pretty disturbing, which I think is the intention, ‘Mau Mau’ gets by one some bulbous bass and punchy vocals, ‘ABZ Of Love’ annoyed me deeply but a jazzier ‘The Death Of The Cool’ is delightful, archly dramatic and sleekly stylish with a cute guitar outbreak.

‘Espionage’ does that James Bond guitar thing but the keys are practically curdled, ‘Why Did You Call My Name?’ is kooky but fun, ‘Kicking The Sun Around’ grows increasingly cool as the keyboard pushes behind the sensibly controlled vocals and the lyrics have a greater discipline, making for a coherently strange pop song. ‘Cenotaph’ continues the harshly weird lyrics but with a divinely mellow melody, showing how they have the power to attract in a weird way, then we get bustled out by the live version of ‘Chronicle.’

An interesting bunch of nutters, basically.



Review from  May 2009

Europeans – Album Review

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Bristol Archive Records


A boring cover, yes, but a band formed in 1977 who recorded this through 1978 and 1979. Vocalist Jonathan Cole also handled some guitar and synth, Steve Street played bass, James Cole was on drums and wait a minute, who’s that on main guitar? Why none other than Jon Klein who went on to Specimen, The Banshees et al. A real archive find, is what, and proof positive that labels like this who try to chronicle their own area and its history do a remarkably fine job. Please note this is not The Europeans who appeared on A&M and dressed like gymnasts because they thought that looked cool. They were total wank. This Europeans are only partly wank.‘Time’ finds vocals stretched out over leisurely bass and buzzy synth, which flutters throughout as the guitar lays low, neatly razored, all of it an interesting post-punk hotch-potch. ‘Europeans’ flickers brightly over some polite Pistolian guitar and flops happily about as a catchy New Wave item, and it was their best known moment as a single and they remind of The Original Mirrors – remember the classic ‘Dancing With The Rebels’? After this things tend to go wrong.



‘Take Me To The Continent’ is a scrawny, soppy pop song, with some pretty horrible guitar! ‘Shadows’ is too damn coy for its own good but it’s a smart bit of melodic trivia.
‘Technology’ struggles hard to pretend it’s not replicating The Who than staggers about weirdly, nicely sloppy guitar trailing behind rubbish lyrics (‘you can build a house, you can build a tree, that’s the wonder of technology’!) which is truly irritating. ‘Voices’ stomps and chomps, although they do it in a lightweight fashion, and the vocals are simply trying too hard. Weirder keyboards sounds percolate through the soft, bouncy ‘Operator’ which stops it being an ultra-suburban Cockney Rebel. ‘Russian Roulette’ is a daft but snappy item, which seemed to exist mainly because he’d come up with a clever lyrical joke, with ‘Victims’ a pale and dopey version of Foxx-era Ultravox.‘Two Lovers’ is quite odd, airy in a lush Bowie way, but snipped off short, ‘The Only One’ is a bit like The Only Ones covering ‘Rebel Rebel’, then ‘Buildings’ trumps all the other terrible lyrics, revealing ‘we live in buildings, because buildings surround us’! A lyrical visionary, clearly, and how band never died of shame onstage when doing that one we will never know.

It’s rubbish, obviously, but it’s engaging rubbish, a weird timeshift back to a time where bands were discarding the energy of Punk and honing their melodic skills, wherein all manner of influences collide, some going the winsome route as in this case, other going for the jagged post-punk rollercoaster. I know which I prefer, and it isn’t this one, but it still makes for an interesting experience. For anyone who saw them when they were stalwarts of the local scene I’m sure it’s a treasure trove of memories, and thanks to Mike Darby I have other albums on this label by Essential Bop, Electric Guitars, Andy Fairley and Head coming up.






Review from  May 2009

Andy Fairley – Album Review

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Bristol Archive Records

This is a weird one. The first three tracks come from the Fishfood entity, formed by Howard Purse and Doug White, with former Cortinas drummer Dan Swan, and a local poet, master Fairley, and these songs came out through the local magazine The Bristol Recorder, which I’d forgotten all about! That had quite a reputation. The final songs come from a secondary line-up of locals, and it’s from these, according to the press release/info sheet, which I have every reason to believe, that have achieved something approaching legendary proportions, having coalesced over time, although you need to wait right to the end to see why.

‘Dry Ice Hot’ sounds like Talking Heads gone in a wonky post-punk direction, ‘Seventeen Eels’ could be a certified edition of Play School hosted by a cheap Captain Beefheart impersonator. With a soothing, swaying bass ‘Modern Dance Craze’ at least carries you along, with some cute guitar scratchiness, but the repetitive host annoys me intensely, but that’s poets for you.

So they split up, but this Purse character, who’d gone on to be in the posh indie crossover stink of Animal Magic found Fairley again, gathering up former Animal Magic drummer Rob Bozwell and an artist called Jim Galvin on guitar. They created the final six tracks which is where the claim for amazement lies, as it reckons they predated Portishead recent work by 25 years. I dispute this. Firstly Portishead’s latest work is crap compared to their first recordings, being a pale retread, which is why it took so long to come out, and so this would make Birth Of Sharon fifteen years ahead, at best.

In a local music scene already familiar with The Pop Group the blaring, linear angst of ‘Now’ wouldn’t have sounded unexpected, surely? I can accept that people using tape samples early on, and synth which wasn’t stodgy but incorporated naturally into a heady funked indie stew was unusual but that’s as far as it goes, because this is also like an artier form of Stump during ‘Film Titles’, with fabulous drumming.

‘The Art Of Wanking’ has a brooding bass pattern, jittery guitar splashes, and some more sheltered, ruminating vocals which suit him better than the outright mental delivery elsewhere, and there’s more stylish drumming along with a groaning base on which they tilt.
The one thing I always associate arty scenes with is bleating saxophone, and that makes an unwelcome appearance in ‘Sex Is A Language.’ This stumbles on its shuffling beat, and sounds pretty crappy, like Gang Of 4 trying to have fun. Dismal. ‘Man Made It So’ is swirlier art-jazz rumbling and mumbling with more of the same tightly corkscrewed funk guitar, lightly knitted across a scrolling bass motif and gargling, anguished vocals. On the grand slurry that is ‘Volition’ they do appear to be entering new territory, with a fierce ambient undertow and some fascinating rhythmical pulses that nobody else would have been doing back then. This one track highlights something very special. It’s just a shame the others don’t come even close. It’s also an instrumental, really, which implies Fairley wasn’t a particularly vital part?


Review at May 2009