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PREVIOUSLY ARCHIVED RECORD REVIEWS FROM MY OLD BLOG ‘FLOWER BOMB SONGS’


Here are some of my random thoughts and words about obscure and in-demand ’60s garage and psychedelic singles over the years. All of the original blog posts on my old website have since been deleted so no label scans or picture sleeves are available. Instead, I’ve used images scanned from ’60s youth music magazine “Intro”.

THE DELTONICS – ’The Hurt And The Pain’/’She’s Mine’ (Trident TR-666) 2002

After the demise of The Mystreated and before being re-united with Mole in The Higher State, Marty Ratcliffe kept to his ’66 garage punk roots with a little known UK combo called The Deltonics who specialized in a potent mix of fuzz and farfisa.

’The Hurt And The Pain’ is one such authentic ’66 punk gem that is simple in it’s construction and totally cool and satisfying because of it.

The other side ’She’s Mine’ is much more crude in it’s design and recording. This one is for the ’Back From The Grave’ crowd.

Mole was selling copies of this 45 via his eBay store last year but I’m thinking that all copies may have been sold. The record was never officially released and only 200 copies were pressed. Fewer copies still came with the promo picture of The Deltonics. A future rarity, I’m sure!

(01/01/12)

THE WITCH DOCTORS – Death Ray ’63 (Dionysus ID074538) 1992

The Witch Doctors were a short lived group from the L.A and Orange County areas of CA and contained ex members of The Untold Fables (Paul Carey) and The Fuzztones (Jake Cavaliere). They did, however, release some singles and an album that are well worth tracking down.

’Death Ray ’63’ is a spooky Ventures inspired organ wig-out and is my pick out of this excellent four song EP recorded at the famed Wallyphonic Studios in Pasadena.

The other stand out is their killer version of ’I’m So Restless’ which is far superior than the original from 1965 by Dutch beat group Cuby and the Blizzards.  

(29/12/11)

THE STROLLERS – ’Bring Her Home’ / ’Stay Away’ (Low Impact Records 004) April 1998

Second 45 from Swedish band The Strollers and it certainly has quality written all over it. First of all the cover is very thick, just like those 60s EPs. Also the vinyl is heavy. This has got to be one of the heaviest 45s I’ve got (as in weight). So The Strollers or rather Low Impact Records certainly spent some money on this release.

I’m not too sure about the haircuts The Strollers are wearing. There’s a couple of members who seem to have been cutting their own hair in the dark but who gives a shit about image? (well I do actually…)

Fortunately it’s the music that really counts and ’Bring Her Home’ is a powerful garage rocker with a ’high in the mix’ farfisa organ sound.

’Stay Away’ is a full on fuzzfest with a loud pulsating beat. It’s one of those teen punk girl ’put down’ anthems. This one has a cool garage guitar solo…The singer has attitude and he wants his girl to fuck off.

”I’ve made up my mind baby
I ain’t got nothing to say
Just stay away from me.”

Mathias Lilja (lead vocals, guitar and songwriter, he wrote both songs here)
Henrik Wind (farfisa organ, vocals)
Peter Kalin (bass guitar)
Martin Karlsson (drums)

(27/12/11)

PAUL MESSIS – ’Time Will Tell’/’When You Pass Me By’ (State Records THS-005) Oct 2010

This goes out to those of you who haven’t discovered the genius of Mr Paul Messis yet… This is Paul’s third terrific 45 in a row (his previous two have been reviewed and can be found in the archives) and continues his run of melancholic themes of isolation, loneliness and in the case of ’Time Will Tell’, unrequited love. 

This record is SO great it’s difficult for me to know where to start. How about the label? Well, it’s unfussy and pure 60s right down to the State Records logo which for those of you who haven’t sussed, is a homage to the Fenton label out of Michigan. These State guys know exactly how to create a purist label.

’Time Will Tell’ sends shivers down my spine with it’s majestic opening 12 string jangle. The yearning, love lorn words are neatly held together by this Byrdsian sonic delyte and Mole’s perfectly responsive backbeat.

An excellent promo video of the song filmed in super cool black & white, shot on location around various Medway Towns in Kent can be found on Paul’s website Paul Messis – Garage Punk Unknown

’When You Pass Me By’ has a similar lyrical theme but is a fierce fuzz punker.

There is a planned LP release sometime in 2011 with the working title of ’The Problem With Me’. Paul has already informed me that the recordings are now finished and he is proud of his achievements. Of course these recordings would not nearly be as good without the crucial help from Marty and Mole from The Higher State.

(05/02/11)

DAVID PETER AND THE WILDE SECT – ’Out Of My Mind’/’Don’t Leave Me’ (Dirty Water Records DWC1044) June 2010

Another Dirty Water Records signing are Copenhagen’s David Peter & The Wilde Sect who administer two raucous R&B cuts on this recent single.

This sort of Danish beat would have gone down a storm with past generations. Dig those sloppy but thunderous drums and primitive guitars. The vocals have a corny and unrecognisable English accent. If you’re from England you’ll know what I mean.

Both sides were recorded at Black Tornado Studios during last Summer.

(05/02/11)

THE BRANDED – ”She’s My Woman” / ”Justine” (Dirty Water Records DWC1028) June 2009 

Two sides of modern garage R’n’B can be found on this single by The Branded. They’re from Malmo, Sweden and have released other records but this is the only one I’ve got.
’She’s My Woman’ is soaked in fuzz and pounds along nicely. I also dig the garage punk vocals.

Singer and guitarist Lea Tea is English and was previously in Thee Exiters. I’m not sure if the other guys, bassist John Krantz or drummer Anders Hansson have been in other groups, but I’m sure they must have been. 

(02/02/11)

OS HAXIXINS – ’Depois De Um LSD’/’Espelho Invisivel’ (Groovie Records 0101) 2008

Call me old fashioned if you want but in my opinion almost all contemporary music is shit. Sometimes though, on a rare occasion, I’ll open my ears to music recorded after 1979.

I’d read some ravin’ reviews about a garage psych group from Sao Paulo, Brazil calling themselves Os Haxixins so I decided to investigate. So far I’ve only bought this single by them which I think is their debut 45 and limited to 500 copies on green vinyl.

Both sides are fine and purist examples of 1967 Los Angeles groove. These guys have got The Doors & Iron Butterfly heavy psych sound down on vinyl perfectly. Other groups have tried this combination in the past but NONE have come close to matching Os Haxixins. They even add some wild fuzz guitar in the mix for good measure.

(28/01/11)

THE PLEASERS – ’A Girl I Know’/’Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ (Arista 217) Nov 1978

I’ll wrap up my Pleasers retrospective with their fourth and final single.  

’A Girl I Know’ is terrible and by now I don’t think Arista Records knew what to do with the group. The song sounds like one of those cringeworthy French or German Eurovision Song Contest efforts.

Quite why they thought this would have been a hit is anyone’s guess. All it did was end The Pleasers career as far as I’m concerned.

Even the artwork for the sleeve is embarrassing, in which they seem to be promoting a skinny red tie instead of a worthwhile group of moptops. Thankfully, the B-Side saves the day here. ’Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ shows that The Pleasers could still write catchy sub three minute powerpop tunes that were radio friendly.

I’m not saying that this song could have been a hit or anything but it would have been a better way to go than the dreadful ’A Girl I Know’…

The Pleasers were dropped by Arista after this flop and it appears that they disbanded with an unreleased album in the vaults.. This eventually did see the light of day recently with a Japanese only release. I’ve not heard it so can’t comment.   

The Pleasers have their own website and have uploaded some great promo pics. I’ve used a couple of them on my blog.

(26/12/10)

THE PLEASERS – ’You Don’t Know’/’Billy’ (Arista 209) 1978

The third Pleasers release saw them very much in a powerpop mode especially with ’You Don’t Know’. The 60s influence was still in evidence with the harmonies and jangly guitar but this nugget, again produced by Tommy Boyce, had a late 70s contemporary sound.

I’m not sure that the record met with any success sales wise and after three successive flops The Pleasers needed a hit.

’Billy’ has a rock and roll vibe but is not my cuppa tea.

(25/12/10)

THE PLEASERS – ’The Kids Are Alright’/’Stay With Me’ (Arista 180) 1978

Erstwhile songwriter/producer Tommy Boyce was actively involved with The Pleasers during 1978 and this double sided 45 was the fruits of their liaison. The strange thing for me was that the beaty ballad ’Stay With Me’ wasn’t even mentioned on the record sleeve (front or back) and even more weirder was that they or the record company chose a Who cover as their next single.

’The Kids Are Alright’ is a decent enough attempt and has a polished production but I much prefer the ignored flip ’Stay With Me’….

(24/12/10)

THE PLEASERS -’A Thames Beat EP’ (Arista 152) Nov 1977

Going against the punk/new wave grain of 1977 were The Pleasers from London who embraced the sound of ’64 era merseybeat and in particular The Beatles, on this way cool three song EP.

Reading an article about them in an old Record Mirror from January ’78 they were billed as the next ’big thing’, along with The Rich Kids and XTC. Fame and fortune did not happen for The Pleasers but they did leave behind some sparkling 45s with that all important 60s beat. I’ll be reviewing those over the coming days.

According to an interview with group members Steve McNerney and Bo Benham in Zigzag #80 they had been trying since December 1976 to attract the right guitarist and drummer to help provide the beat sound that they craved. It took them almost a year to find Nick Powell and Dave Rotchelle.

The Pleasers soon dropped the Tremeloes, Searchers, Who, Beatles covers at their gigs and concentrated on their own material of outstanding beat music. They wrote great songs with superb harmonies, jangling guitars with that perfected and wholly authentic 60s backbeat.

It must have been hard to believe that it was 1977 when these chaps were performing their pleasing beat. Remember this was light years ahead of any so called revival.

They had the songs, they had the gear and they had the moptops. They were The Pleasers.

(23/12/10)

THE ADVERTS – ’One Chord Wonders’/’Quick Step’ (Stiff Records 13) April 1977

’One Chord Wonders’ was the debut single by The Adverts, who in panda-eyed bassist Gaye Advert had a genuine punk sex symbol in their ranks…. The song itself has that essential ’back to basics’ approach and was totally refreshing for 1977.

It never got near the charts of course but got the group some publicity and a slot on the Stiff UK National Tour supporting The Damned etc.

(20/12/10)

THE VIBRATORS – ’Baby Baby’/’Into The Future’ (Epic 5302) May 1977

Having a great punkoid band name that would probably offend sex starved execs and squares alike didn’t matter that much in the snobbish world of 70s punk rock. The Vibrators were derided in the scene for being bandwagon jumpers having been signed earlier to Mickie Most’s record label RAK. Group members still had long hair which was also uncool.

No one cares about that any more thankfully. ’Baby Baby’ is such a well produced anthem of sorts coming across like something Mott The Hoople would have come up with in ’77 had they still been around….

For your underground punk rock enjoyment try the revved up snarl of ’Into The Future’ on the flip.

(16/12/10)

THE EMBROOKS – ’Jack’/’Dawn Breaks Through’ (Circle Records CPW S102) 2002

I’ve got thousands of singles in my collection (I gave up counting years ago) but none of them weigh heavier than this psychedelic artifact from 2002 by The Embrooks.

This three piece outfit were a kind of garage supergroup led by ex Mystreated member Mole and having in their ranks ex Head and the Hares guitarist Alessandro Cozzi Lepri and ex Dirty Burds drummer Lois Tozer.

Both songs on this essential disc are pure 1967/68 UK mod psych, authentic in every way and skilfully produced by Liam Watson at the famous Toe-Rag Studio in London.

’Dawn Breaks Through’ is a fabulous rendition of The Barrier classic and in my opinion it’s equal at the very least.

Only 500 copies were pressed.

(18/11/10)

THE GRAVEDIGGER V – ’Be A Cave Man’ (Voxx 200.038) 1987

By the time Greg Shaw released this collection of out-takes, rehearsals and live rave-ups by San Diego combo The Gravedigger V, they had been dead and buried for 3 years. After recording their classic studio album in ’84, this group of teenage garage punks had seemingly fallen out and moved on to other projects.

’Be A Cave Man’ was an outtake from the album recordings at Silvery Moon Studios in Hollywood. Their version of The Avengers classic sounds as primal, snotty and arrogant as much of the cuts that did appear on the LP ’All Black And Hairy’, so I’m not too sure why this was left to remain in the vaults.

Reader comment:

Since there are none…let’s leave a comment on the Gravedigger V.I was about 16 by the time I got their ”All Black & Hairy” album around 1986 and we all knew that the band had already split up a couple of years earlier apparently even before that LP came out…

The Morlocks took it a step further with their ”Emerge” mini LP (horrible artwork I thought!)…but for me, thousand of miles away, years before the internet the Gravedigger V were some of the really cool bands around, in a sort of cartoonish kind of way, like the Gruesomes…back then we had bands like the Lyres, the Fleshtones and the Fuzztones regularly play our local club (where the original ”Be a caveman” was a classic!)but it would have been great seeing the Graveddiger V, still enjoy listening to those bands when I do (I quickly outgrew the Fuzztones though…somehow…)

(06/11/10)

QUANT – ’I’ve Got No Time’/’Walk In The Shallows’ (Detour Records DR069) Oct 1998

The second and final 45 by Quant was this great double sider with ’I’ve Got No Time’ being the plug side. This time ’round Quant are less hippie psych and much more late 60s rockin’….Rachel Croft’s vocals remind me of Sharon Tandy and the gruff freakbeat style howls from Francois Nordmann really work.

’Walk In The Shallows’ is quite a different sound, mixing psych rock with some jazzy interludes.

The band appeared on a Channel 5 TV show called ’Raw TV’ in 1999. I’ve not seen the clip and don’t know what Quant were performing that day. Hopefully the clip film will turn up on YouTube at some point in time.

(06/11/10)

QUANT – ’Play With Mary’/’Close Your Eyes’ (Detour Records DR061) 1997

Quant (named after 60s fashion icon Mary Quant) were a short lived London group from the late 90s. They only released two singles then were gone, which is a shame because the recordings they left behind demonstrated that they were onto something different (for the time) with their heavy acid rock mixed with sitar and tablas.

’Play With Fire’ is a psychedelic mass of wah wah guitars, backwards tapes, sitar, tablas, flutes, flanging and Small Faces riffs. In other words the proverbial psych ’kitchen sink’ has been thrown into the mix. An all round cool as fuck sound.

I don’t know much about Quant. They never got mentioned in any music magazines that I read or were the focus of any fanzines. The press release that I got from Detour Records (that I can’t find) confirmed that ex Clique drummer Matthew Braim started the group in ’96. There was only 1,000 copies of the record pressed making it a difficult one to find these days.

line-up:   
Matthew Braim (drums)
Jack White (guitars)
Stewart Turner (bass/sitar)
Rachel Croft (vocals/percussion)
Francois Nordmann (bongos/tablas/flute)

Readers comments:
Heh… someone just sent me this link. I played bass on the first single. Quant were formed after Rachel, Jack and I moved down from Leeds in 1996.

We were in a band called The Reaction before Quant, and hooked up with Matthew and Francois. I parted company with the group under rather acrimonious circumstances after the first single. Very strange times.

I used to see these play at the untouchables mod clubs in London. I own this single on vinyl still, I picked one up when I saw them at purple pussycat club night in the 90’s

(04/11/10)

MY FAVOURITE THINGS – ’Fruit Machine’/’Memphis’ (no label) 1995

When I first started my blog back in March 2007 I decided to highlight groups from any era as long as I liked them. Writing solely about 60s groups would bore the fuckin’ shite outta me….Take this 45 for instance, it’s not garage, psych or punk rock but I dig it nonetheless.

I remember seeing an advert in a music mag back in the mid 90s, can’t remember the magazine…. anyway, all you had to do was send your name and address and My Favourite Things would send their latest record direct to your door for FREE. It helped that they commented that some of their favourite things were The Rain Parade, Gene Clark, Big Star and Julian Cope….well I was in, too good an offer to ignore!

’Memphis’ is purepop with jangle, very commercial and well produced. I was shocked out just how good the record was for a freebie.

It’s just such a summery sound with that jangle and those vocal harmonies. Could have easily been a radio hit. Too bad England went Brit Pop crazy in the mid 90s.

My Favourite Things were, formed in 1992 from the ashes of five piece band The Hungry I (the other two members of The Hungry I were Eyeless In Gaza singer Martyn Bates and Steve Dullaghan from The Primitives) 

They split up after the release of their 2nd 45 ’Syd’ a tribute to Syd Barrett.

line-up:
John O’Sullivan (guitar/vocals)
Simon O’Grady (bass/vocals)
Peter Burke (drums)

(01/11/10)

THE UNHEARD – ’Don’t You Stand In My Sunshine’/’I Don’t Believe’/’I Don’t Want Anything But You’ (Kavern 7 Records – K7-007) 1987

I wrote about this record back in April 2008 but since then I received some photos of The Unheard from Steve Mulrooney, a regular to my site but never got around to posting it (until now).

Steve: ”Out of interest, you featured a 45 by Oz band The Unheard a few months back. The Unheard evolved out of The Stayns, of which I was the original bass player.

The Unheard still play today – with the original drummer and singer. Gordon their first guitarist moved to Melbourne and helped form The Breadmakers”

My review in April ’08:

Continuing my trip through the dark recesses of my record collection, post 1975 releases, I pulled this three song EP out of an Australian box….The Unheard were a group of four garage teen punks and their record was probably ’unheard’ in the late 80s.

I dig the fact that they preferred to have a picture of a tone-bender fuzz box on the front cover of their record, with a very small pic of themselves on the back of the sleeve. And it’s for that reason I’m giving them number 40 slot on my Renaissance Fair Top 50 chart.

All three songs are fuzz punkers with barely a tune to write home about. (this doesn’t matter to me as long as there is attitude, punk screams or fuzz and The Unheard offer all three key ingredients)

’I Don’t Believe’ is perhaps their best song.

line-up:
Gordon Johns (vocals/guitar/writer of all three songs on EP)
Michael Wilson (bass)
Stephen O’Brien (drums)
Patrick Browniee (vocals/organ)

Readers comments:

So what of The Stayns? Did they leave any recordings behind? They certainly left two super cool gig posters behind as proof of their existence.

Steve: ”The Stayns never recorded anything. I actually left the band to travel the world before they started gigging. They imploded whilst I was gone, but when I returned we reformed with a slightly different line-up and played a few gigs. Then Pete the guitarist got a job in Canberra and left, and that was it.

We had a hasty reunion last year but didn’t do any gigs”

The version of the Stayns that gigged around Wollongong featured Gordon Johns and myself Steve O’Brien on drums the A side of this Unheard single was performed by the Stayns and written by Gordon and the recording due to misfortune, ended up becoming the Unheard as only Gordon and myself made it to the studio, thus the end of the Stayns and the start of the Unheard.

The Unheard continue to this day from 1986 and that was the only record we have ever put out!

I was the singer in the original Stayns that gigged around Wollongong – Andrew Williams. I have the original live recording of a gig at the Coniston Hotel, which includes Don’t Stand In my Sunshine, mentioned above that The Unheard went on to record. I also have a video recording of the same gig….rare but great fun to listen and watch.

Fellow Wollongong rockers! Noddy here from the Mutated Noddy’s. Kick-started the underground scene in 1983, covering Stooges, MC5, Radio Birdman, Doors, 13th Floor Elevators, and many unheard-of 60’s Psyche bands.

Played the Conno as well where one of our amps blew up. Peter from the Stayns joined us on guitar for a while as well.

The Mutated Noddy’s have a site at Bandcamp, as does my later band Froghollow (psyche and lots more), and I have my own under Noddyparp. Forever rockin!

(31/10/10)

THE CHESTERFIELD KINGS – ’You Better Look Now’ (Mirror Records) 1982

One of the first and BEST garage revival groups of the 80s were The Chesterfield Kings. Their early singles and first two studio albums are where it’s at and I can still remember my eyes lighting up when I happened upon ’Here Are The Chesterfield Kings’ LP in a record store in Newcastle, England back in 1982.

At last some kindred spirits wearing the same type of clothes as me, with long hair, tight jeans and cuban heels!

Anyway, to bring my Rogues exposé to a conclusion I’ll post The Chesterfield Kings version of the classic ’You Better Look Now’…..The Kings really do the song justice with authentic 60s style production from Armand Schaubroek, jangling 12 string guitars and Greg Prevost’s moody vocals.

File under E for essential…

(28/08/10)

An interview with Paul Messis

Paul Messis is a young songwriter from Billingshurst, a small town in West Sussex, England. His vision is to re-create the jangle punk sounds of obscure American groups from 1966.

He writes angst ridden, loner type songs and uses vintage instruments. Fortunately for him and everyone who digs this type of music he’s currently being guided by Marty and Mole from The Higher State.

Paul’s released songs have all been recorded at their Sandgate Sound Studios.
His (so far) two very authentic sounding 45s are opulent jewels in the stinking morass known as contemporary music.

Paul read my review of his debut 45  ‘The World Is Square’ on my site last year and we have been exchanging emails since then. Here’s a recent interview I conducted with him earlier this month.

You’re still only 24 years old so would have missed the 60s garage revival of the mid 80s. There are virtually NO bands playing your kind of music any more. So how did you discover 60s garage and when did you decide to write your own songs in the garage style?

I discovered 60s garage music around the time I was 15 years old which would have been around 2001, prior to that as a kid I had a wide scope of influences hitting me from all directions.

My grandfather was really into be-bop, blues and jazz, my uncle was really into bands like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and the whole Krautrock thing and my parents were both into stuff which ranged from typical 70’s rock and soul.

However during my school years I was a bit of an Outcast and like the Kinks song goes decided ”I’m Not Like Everybody Else”…. during High School I listened to a lot of 80s indie, stuff like Spacemen 3, Jesus and Mary Chain etc and found that these groups were quoting garage bands from the 60s as influences, which when you are a kid you just grab and research into instantly.

Since 15 years old I have always played some form of garage punk, but always leaned more to songs with melody.

You seem to write songs that fit perfectly in with the teenbeat folk janglers of mid ’66. Is this type of garage your favourite genre?

Yeah the Garage Janglers are my favourite in the genre, comps like Class of 66’, Shutdown 66, The Teenage Shutdown series and New England Teen Scene have had such a huge influence on me.

Not only cos the songs are all brilliant, but I also really relate very much to the lyrics and the general vibes of the tracks, many of those kids sing about things that actually have happened and still do happen to me.

So yeah the moody folk-punk aspect to garage is my favourite indeed. I do have some fuzzed out punkers I’d like to record in the future, but it just depends how I feel when I go to Folkestone to record. I have about 40 odd garage songs I could record with Marty and Mole and continue to write songs all the time.

Have you played in any bands before?

Yeah I have played in a few bands actually, During the first few years of moving to Sussex in 2002, I played in an Iggy and the Stooges type band called The Deviants we only played at peoples houses and did a few local gigs I never really got along with the rest of the band, plus didn’t feel confident with my guitar playing back then and decided to leave.

Around 2006 I joined London Mod-Garage Punk band The Fallen Leaves on Bass and played with the guys for about a year, it was really fun, I am still friends with the band, but personal commitments meant I left.

I then briefly started playing in a group with Sterling Roswell, but we only did about 3 gigs together, I had to stop playing with him cos I was going through various trials in my life and I really had to stop playing music and find a job etc.

How did you connect with Mole and Marty from The Higher State?

This is a funny story actually, Marty liked my demos on Myspace and we had sorta got a friendship online. The Higher State were going to be doing a gig In Hastings which although is a bit of distance for me, I felt ’Hey it’s still Sussex’, and went and saw them.

Me and Marty hit it off fine and in-fact have become really good mates. I basically enquired with Marty about how much a 45 costs to make and if he knew anyone I can contact… a few days later he emailed me and said ”fancy doing a 45 with us?” … I of course said ”Yeah!!”

Your first single ’Stuck In Society’/’The World Is Square’ is a very strong debut 45. Both sides are killer and both sides are very different in the own unique sounding way. Were you satisfied with the results?

Yeah I was happy with both sides, although I guess because of my initial fear of playing in front of others after such a long time, I didn’t get the same amount of energy on ’The World Is Square’ recording as my original demo had.

The moment we all heard the mixed version of ’Stuck In Society’ and knew instantly we had faithfully recreated a track which mixed a Surf Sound and Merseybeat sound together, Which is very similar to what the Minnesota garage sound is (check out any release on Soma) We all felt that nobody else is doing this kind of garage stuff in the contemporary garage scene, so we all were really pleased with the results.

What instruments were used during the session?

For the ’Stuck in Society’/’World Is Square’ session, we used Mole’s Ludwig for Drums, Marty used our friend Gina’s Fender Jaguar which is a beautiful piece of guitar, I used my Hagstrom Futurama Guitar and for Bass I used my Vox Cougar, the amps we used were Fender Twin Reverb and Marshall Bass Amp.

You told me earlier that almost all of the 500 records pressed have sold. Are you surprised by this?

Yeah most definitely, Marty and Mole have told me endlessly that they are not surprised. BUT personally yeah I am surprised that the record has sold well.

I am a lone musician from the middle of nowhere West Sussex, I don’t have a band to promote it with live. The 45 just appeared to be a word of mouth thing, I know that the people that really dig the record, know where I am coming from, those who don’t get it quite frankly can’t be garage fans.

Your new single on 13 O’Clock Records is perhaps even better than your first. ’Lost And Found’ is a perfect folk jangler. At times the guitar has a tripped out raga sound. Tell me about the recording session for this song.

Well The demo I did at home for this track, the guitar solo was more Byrds-esque, but I forgot how to play what was on my demo. The thing with ’Lost and Found’ is I used a 12 string electric guitar on it which non of my previous tracks did. For me ’Lost and Found’ is a very personal song.

When I record songs with Marty and Mole, we usually just knock them out in about an hour or two, there hasn’t been too much time spent on them.

’Lost and Found ’ was an enjoyable session cos every thing just seemed to fit together, I was playing all the guitar parts very well, the bass part was a challenge but I eventually remembered how to play it and got it down ok… and I even allowed Marty to play one note on the record, which is the Fuzztone note at the end of the song (just so he can say he played on the track haha).

’I Gotta Go’ is teen punk all the way. How did the recording go with this? Did Mole or Marty play anything and what instruments were utilized?

I Gotta Go was really easy to record, what happened with this track was this… I played the guitar and Mole played drums and we recorded it, I then recorded the Bass Part, I then added the 12 string electric, I then added Combo Organ which was funny, cos Marty and Mole laughed at the fact I played the whole song with one finger.

It is pretty primitive my keyboard playing. I then did the lead vocals, and then asked Marty and Mole to add some backing vocals whilst I enjoyed a cup of coffee in the garden. 

You mentioned to me in Sept 2009 that a cover of ’Live And Die’ originally recorded by Texas garage band The Barons would be released on a comp given away by perhaps Shindig magazine or Lost In Tyme. Will this release still happen?

No, unfortunately I doubt any magazines will feature this cover on their comp CDs, We will keep it in the vaults for something in the future I am sure??

What I’d mostly like is for the original members of The Barons to hear it, cos I reckon they would really dig it. It is a very faithful cover version.

What are your plans for the future?

Well I have a few new songs to record with the guys in Folkestone, one is called ’Time Will Tell’, which in my head will be like a Byrds-esque or Nightcrawlers styled love song, it is a song I wrote from the heart and I know when completed with full band it will be a great great track.

The other new song is called ’I’m Leaving Town’ which has a New England garage vibe and will have a ’fuzztone guitar throughout’ I guess it is still folk-punk though.

I also have a real Back From The Grave styled song I’d like to record called ”I’m Sick’ which I’d like to attempt to record, cos I believe I could really nail that BFTG sound.

I also hope over the year I can manage to record some of my Myspace demos with the guys, songs like ’Escape’, ’Alexandra’ and ’Why’ would really sound great with the State records touch….. I have loads of plans musically.

I would like to get a group together and play the odd gig live, more as a personal achievement more so than anything else and If I managed to do an LP that would simply be killer.

(19/03/10)

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