Ace halfway-spoken-word thing from 1997 by writer and… can we call him a performance poet? He performs poetry, after all… Kirk Lake, backed by Jacques, the side-project of Anthony Reynolds and Matthew Scott of Jack. Well, on the first two tracks he’s backed by Jacques. On “£10,000 Dog” support comes from sample-delica (if that’s a word) artist Ed DMX, and he’s got his own band backing him up on “Dementia Pugilistica”. Quirky and witty.
Link: Kirk Lake / Jacques – Five Finger Discount (password: salad)
1. Five Finger Discount
2. All The Clocks Have Stopped
3. £10,000 Dog
4. Dementia Pugilistica
At least I don’t have to put any effort into this gimmick! First up for this installment, The Sabres Of Paradise. I don’t think there’s any doubt here that the band was named after the song – heck, Andrew Weatherall probably chose it expressly to wind up Jeremy Healy (who in case you didn’t know, was half of Haysi Fantayzee before becoming a top DJ). “Wilmot Meets Lord Scruffage” is easily the best of today’s tracks.
There’s definitely no connection in this instance. Also no similarity at all between the slightly-too-upbeat 80s synthpop of Modern Romance and the gloomy Yeah Yeah Yeahs number with which they share a name.
And no connection here either. Catch (not to be confused with The Catch, who became The Tourists) were an indiepop band of no particular renown. For the last twenty years I’ve been carrying around the idea that one of them was Angus Deayton’s son, but now I come to check it out, this turns out to be nonsense. As for the song, you were going to get The Cure here, but then I found this Sunscreem CD. They never did release the album this was supposed to presage.
I don’t know anything about the guy behind this. I would guess he’s a DJ and part-time Belisha beacon salesman, collects umbrellas, speaks Farsi, Tagalog and Klingon, and has a false leg made of cheese. But I am just guessing.
This is mainly generic 90s progressive-trance-house, but head straight for “The Difference Mix”, a piano-heavy choon that actually lives up to the “Discobug” title.
Freakyman – Discobug ’97 (CD single, 1997)
Let’s go a bit jangly with PO!, an ever-evolving line-up which revolved around songsmith Ruth Miller. I first became aware of Miller through her work with early-90s Leicester supergroup Ruth’s Refrigerator – well, actually that band was my introduction to the whole sprawling Leicester art-pop scene, given that its members were instrumental (and vocal) in a whole mess of other groups including, but definitely not limited to, Deep Freeze Mice, The Chrysanthemums, (Jody And) The Creams, Immediate, The Thurston Lava Tube, The Junipers and of course PO!. Throw the likes of The Originals and Jesus Couldn’t Drum into the mix, and even Pete Frame would struggle to sort that lot out.
Anyhow, Miller took the majority of lead vocals in Ruth’s Refrigerator (she fronted the aforementioned Jody And The Creams as well), but PO!, where she performed her own material, was her main and best outlet. As she describes the band on her own blog, they had “soaring and jangly tunes, but the words are often more reflective, miserable or aggressive”. I’d call it proper, consistently high-quality old-school indiepop. I’m sure she’s been dogged by these comparisons her whole career but if you like Amelia Fletcher‘s work (and why wouldn’t you), then PO! should be right up your street too. Thrillingly, the old PO! material will (if things go to plan) get a long-overdue reissue in the near future. Meanwhile, here’s one of the later works…
PO! – “The Alphabet EP” (1997)
When I posted country-folky-bluesy-acousticy-person Idha‘s debut single a few days ago, I had a request in the comments from Mark (hi!) for her 1997 second album Troublemaker. So here it is.
There was a bit of a change in emphasis for this one, going “slick” rather than “homespun”. Where Melody Inn came across as a homage to California filtered through the perspective of a Swede living in the UK, Troublemaker drops the filter and, to me, is less interesting as a result.
Creation were obviously splashing the cash a bit (though not on a company-endangering My Bloody Valentine scale, obviously) and it sounds a bit over-produced compared to her debut, but it has its moments, particularly the brass-assisted single “Going Down South”.
Link: Idha – Troublemaker (password: salad)
Always Been With You
Going Down South
Sweet September Rain
Me And Johnny
Fields Of Avalon
Just Moved In
Plucking a CD at random from the drawer, I find myself holding a copy of “Rough Lover” by Posh. Remember Posh? Me neither. But I’ve got this single, so I suppose they must have existed. Also it appears I once spent 50p on this. Guitars, electronics, third-hand punky attitude, somewhat underpowered female vocals. There was a lot of this sort of thing around in the late 1990s and I wouldn’t say this was one of the better examples. Still, somebody out there will be looking for this, probably. So here it is.