30. The GREEN TELESCOPE – \’Face In A Crowd\’ / \’Thoughts Of A Madman\’ (Wump Records BIF 4811) 1986

This was the second and last 45 by Edinburgh\’s Green Telescope. After this record they would change their name to The Thanes Of Cawdor then shorten that to The Thanes.

I love this 45. Both sides are killer. \’Face In A Crowd\’ written by Lenny Helsing is a frantic beat punker complete with caveman screams, reedy organ and a nice touch of maracas. To me this sounds more like Dutch punk as opposed to American garage. It\’s a great song whatever the influence!

The other side is a cover of the 1967 no hit wonder by The Nomads. Yes they had the balls to tackle (pun intended) \’Thoughts Of A Madman\’. Not only that but in my opinion it is far better than the original. Lenny won\’t thank me for this or agree but his 60s garage punk vocals are amazing.
Hold on to your hat when the fuzz kicks in at 1 minute 20 seconds….
Both songs were recorded at Roslin Glen Studios.

Lenny Helsing recently contacted me with the line-ups of The Green Telescope when recording the 45s reviewed. The line up for the Wump release was as follows:
Lenny Helsing (lead vocals/fuzz guitar/maracas) Bruce Lyall (organ) Alan McLean (bass) and Mal Kergan (drums)


  1. I played with The Nomads that originally recorded \”Thoughts Of A Madman\”. I also co-wrote the song. I am interested in obtaining a copy of The Green Telescopes version. I already have a version by an Australian band(The Philistines). I also understand that a band in New York(U.S.A.) recorded a version of the song but I don\’t know the name of the band.

  2. LarryThe Green Telescope 45 shows up on ebay from time to time. It\’s from the mid 80s and I don\’t think that many were pressed. Maybe as few as 500.

  3. i tried contacting lenny via facebook but to no avail, unfortunately. i loved the green telescope 45s in the 80s and still play them regularly, plus the tunes they recorded for the otherwise-lame \’waking dream\’ comp, and also remember them recording a superb session for andy kershaw\’s radio 1 show, which included a great version of \’square root of two\’ by the nightwalkers. i think a green telescope retrospective is long overdue. i may start hassling re-vola and sundazed et al to give it a go.

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