Dienstag, 22. Dezember 2009

WE SAVE TEBE



Firestation Records supports www.wesavetebe.de

Mittwoch, 18. November 2009

GEORGIE RIZZO – ONLY ME



Until the end of the last year there was some kind of second hand store just around the corner of my house. The shop mostly cared for furniture, books or clothes but offers also some boxes of records. I went in nearly every day and over the 12 months the shop was around i found some amazing stuff, in the likes of The Times “Go With The Times“ to “Demonstration Tapes“ by Dolly Mixture. Beside this i picked up some rare funk and soul lps on regular basis, not to forget about some nice goth records as well.
It should be around may or june the last year when i walked in with my brother to show him some german 70's radio drama vinyl which looked unfamiliar to me. Between those stuff he picked up an LP by an guy called Georgie Rizzo. Both of us never saw this piece of vinyl before so i asked him to let it to me. I payed an euro and back at home i didn't played the album for a couple of days and i nearly forgot about it. Gladly one week later i finally gave it a spin. From the start i was more than inspired and did not listening to anything else over the next days. Until now i'm still not so sure how i should describe Georgie's music, maybe it's folk, ? I'm not sure and tell you what, for me it doesn't matter, it's just sounds like an perfect pop album! “Only Me“ was released in 1971 on (as it seems) private GWP label which was based in New York. The sleeve's back let us know that Georgie grew up as the youngest in a family of fourteen children. To my surprise, the internet did not list many infos about Georgie, there might be one 7“ single, released the same year. Apart from it the album get some praise on a couple of japanese webpages, that's nearly all i could locate about him. “Only Me“ did contains at least four tracks which are real classics, from the fantastic opener “Scarlet Lace“ over “Fly“ up to his absolute masterpiece “Next Summer“. All those songs contain some of the most finest acoustic guitar lines i've ever heard, beside this Georgie's voice sounds amazing to me.
While listening again to “Only Me“ i have to think on the album by pre Dream Academy outfit Alfalpha which was released some years later. I was never that much into 70's music but those two albums makes me very curious into more. Someone out there who can recommend similar stuff or who has any further infos about our Georgie?

Sonntag, 15. November 2009

FST 083 THE SOULBOY COLLECTIVE – CASINO ACTION




YEAH, welcome to sound of young Kornwestheim. Once announced for the year 2013, it's finally here!!!
“Casino Action“ will be co-released by our friends from Fastcut Records in Japan, with the band's debut album, “Clique Tragedy“ to follow in january 2010. And tell you what, they're sooo special, a pure popdream!!! “Casino Action“ sounds like nothing else in the world and contains some of the best lyrics ever written, while the 7“ flip is an amazing affair between Northern Soul Records and Belle And Sebastian's “Woman's Realm“. What more can i say? They make my life from the first time i was listening to them! There will be only a handfull of copies available from the Firestation shop's website, so be quick and don't tell me later on that i have not let you know about it in advance!!!


Casino Action

Three buttons in a row that meant the world to me
The weekend’s just beginning and I long to see
My only friend
This old Casino
 
I used to park my GS just outside the shed
I gave up drinking, smoking
Taking pills instead
My only friend
This old Casino
I’d like to dance there
Once again till eight A.M.

Sonntag, 8. November 2009

Pontification Plus Four out next Monday



FST 086, the re- release of our top- selling album Pontification by The Desert Wolves is in the pressing plant. From Monday the 16th of November on it's directly available from Firestation Records, within the next two weeks from every good mailorder- service.
The previously unreleased "Skin Deep" you can hear here.

Sonntag, 1. November 2009

Another great night...

... was the last night at the Ex'n'Pop in Berlin-Schöneberg with the Firestation- Bands MAZY FIELDS, THE GROOVY CELLAR and the DJ FISHERMAN


FIRE!


Yesterday was Halloween


Strictly 7inches


The ultimate Pop-Hit this week

Dienstag, 27. Oktober 2009

Dienstag, 13. Oktober 2009

FST 084 - DER ENGLISCHE GARTEN




Finally – after two singles we will release the debut CD of Munichs finest at Firestation Records. Since their 7” “Eine neue Welt” we love the sound of the nine Munich lads. By the way was it the fastest selling single at our catalogue. We have only left a few copies of the “Junge Leute” 7”, too. Time for their self- titled CD- album .
The album will be opened with a new version of “Junge Leute”, followed by ten new tracks who let you think and dream of new Jim Jiminee or Dexys songs. The disco-like “2 Minuten 45”, the early Merricks sound-a-like “Heizdecke Am Strand” or the groovy “Bitte Bleib Mal” – forced by the horn section these are HITS. And the lyrics from singer Axel Koch ( C.l.a.r.k.) about resistance and revolution – class struggle can be fun!
And what a sensational live- band they are…glorious!
“Der Englische Garten” will be out in November.

TRACKLIST:

Junge Leute
Der Geist Der Straße
2 Minuten 45
Baden gehen
Eiffelturm
Unter Dem Wasserfall,
Regentag
Heizdecke Am Strand
Dein Taschenmesser
Irgendwoanders Hin
Bitte Bleib Mal

Dienstag, 29. September 2009

OUT NOW




THE OGDENS - HELLISH MAD RUSH

The Ogdens were formed in 1986 by Jon Fagg, Andrew Milton, John Phillips and Vince Woodward. Vince left Britain to live in the US and John Devenney (JD) joined in 1987. Karen Andrews was with the band for a year or so on trumpet.

The band released three singles, the first of which was Single of the Week in the NME in 1988. John Peel regularly played the band’s songs on his show and his special selection for the BBC World Service. Their third single “She Made Everything Groovy” was produced by Pete Overend Watts of Mott the Hoople. Over the years, the band played tours across the country in venues such as the ICA (on the same bill as the Stone Roses), the Marquee and The Mean Fiddler.

The group have never formally disbanded and their records and memorabilia still turn up regularly on ebay.

After almost 20 years here finally comes their debut-album on Firestation Records with 22 great songs, including all singles, never released tracks, some demos and live recordings. You can buy HELLISH MAD RUSH direct on our website, on ebay and other onlineshops or at your local record dealer (distribution in Germany/ Austria/ Switzerland by ALIVE).

Mittwoch, 16. September 2009

FST 086 THE DESERT WOLVES – PONTIFICATION PLUS



We first released "Pontification" in the summer of the year 2000. Can't remember exactly what keep's the ball rolling back then. Maybe it was Peter who was going in contact with Martin King of the band a couple of years earlier. What i remember is that i met with Guy Lovelady of Ugly Man Records on an rather cold spring day in the year 2000. We had some great conversations in a bar nearby the Kurfürstendamm. Beside the master CD he passed me over the first recordings by the Vermont Sugar House. What a lovely day it was !
“Pontification“ became a big fan-favourite, 1500 copies of the album were pressed, another 500 vinyl copies were done exclusively for Vinyl Japan. Most of the cds were sold abroad. In the early days of Firestation Records we worked shortime with an german distribution company which name i have forgotten a long time ago. We passed them over 200 copies of the album with the result that we never ever received any payment from them. The company broke down a year later, so somewhere in germany there still should be some boxes of the original “Pontification“ release, as we never received the cds back from them. We run out of copies of the album in 2001. Over the years many new fans came by and asked for it. Gladly a couple of years ago Martin and his mates found some unreleased songs. So what to do which such brilliant material ? On the first there was the plan to release a two track 7“ single with both unreleased songs. After a longtime discussion at Firestation head quarter we decided to make some kind of “Deluxe Edition“ of an long out of stock album. Without a doubt, it's more than worth to do !
Now we have “Pontification Plus“ an new edition of this classic album with an brand new artwork and four bonustracks, three of them unreleased elsewhere !
“Skin Deep“ would have made a classic third single for the band, so we're more than proud to present it to you here on this special release !

Thanks to Guy, Martin and Kevin for great cooperation over all these years !!!!


tracklist:

Skin deep
Mexico
Love scattered lives
Stopped in my tracks
Desolation sunday morning
Passion in the afternoon
Speak to me, rochelle
Besotted
November
The gunmetal jaguar
La Petite Rochelle
She wore my sweater
Passion in the afternoon (version)

Donnerstag, 20. August 2009

ZAZ TURNED BLUE




As promised before here we have some more obscure stuff from the demo-tape collection i bought a while ago. I have to say honest that i never heard about ZAZ TURNED BLUE before but this 6 track tape makes me very curious about them. I checked google for them but the only thing i could found out was that there once was a song by Was (Not Was) recorded in 1983 named that. Not sure if our ZAZ TURNED BLUE named themself after this song but i will make sure to give this number a listen in the near future. Unfortunately the tape's sleeve did not contain any infos apart from the bandname and the songtitles. The first four songs were recorded live while the last two tracks were recorded at home. The home-demos are very rough and rather keyboard-based, what really kicks me are those four live-cuts. “Speak Your Mind“ brings back memories of early Aztec Camera live-recordings and i have to think on “Just Like Gold“ while listening to this number. Maybe it's the singer's voice or those wonderful jazzy guitars. I'm not sure but can let you know that this number became very special to me over the last couple of months. Next up we have “The Night Is As Loud As Thunder“, another fine tune. “Observations“ is pure North Of Cornwallis, believe it or not ! How great ! I can't stop listening to it. They close with “If I Choose“ which contains more jangly guitars and an great refrain. I really wonder if someone out has any infos about them. So many questions to ask. When were they around ? Did they released any records ? Where they came from ? The list seems to be endless. Come on, don't let me spend another month keep searching in the dark !

Dienstag, 18. August 2009

FST 087 THE OGDENS – HELLISH MAD RUSH




After a break we will return in october with three new releases. We will kick off with an retrospective by alltime-faves The Ogdens. “Hellish Mad Rush“ will contain no less than 22 tracks ! Formed in 1986 the band released three wonderful singles, all of them are still in the hearts of indiepop-lovers all around the world. I bought “It's A Beautiful Day“, the band's debut 7“ single, sometimes back in 1990 only to found out soon after that there were two other records by them already out. It took me a while to locate them both finally in 1991.
Full of jangly guitars and some of the finest melodies ever heard, songs as “Patricia“, “Train To London Bridge“ or “Rachel Put Your Arms About Me“ makes my day for many many years. Still friends today the band never called it the day but went separate ways back in the early 90's. I played their records on regular basis over the years and looked out for them on google twice the month. Time went by and i nearly gave up. I became an lucky man earlier this year when i found out that they finally appeared on myspace. Now we have “Hellish Mad Rush“ an compilation CD full of hits which contains all tracks from the band's regular releases plus lot's of unreleased recordings. As a bonus there will be even some 4 track demos plus a couple of live tracks !
As yet unreleased songs as “Yeah Yeah Yeah“ or “From One Extreme To A Broken Dream“ will make your day, more than sure ! So let them into your heart !!!
Thanks a lot to Andrew for the great conversation over the last couple of months !!!

the tracklist will look as follows:




Yeah Yeah Yeah
Sticky Licky Apples
From One Extreme To A Broken Dream
It's A Beautiful Day
Shades Of Green
Bad State Of Mind
Rachel Put Your Arms About Me
Train To London Bridge
The Prettiest Girl In Carmarthenshire
Deep
I Want To Know Everything
She Made Everything Groovy
Walk In The Country
Patricia
All About Steve
Bring Me The Head Of The National Theatre
Dizziness
Boeing Boeing Bomb!
Slip Of A Lad
Funny What A Moon Can Do
From One Extreme To A Broken Dream
Goodbye Yuppy Scum

Donnerstag, 30. Juli 2009

BEYOND THE BLUE / SIDEWAYS LAUGHING / THE TENDERHOOKS





I fell in love with british indiepop back in 1986 and became an collector soon after i left school a year later. Beside all those lovely records i was always into demotapes. To locate those obscure stuff always giving me the biggest thrill. I was getting very nervous the last year when i received an offer to buy an demotape collection from an english ex radio dj who was on air between the mid 80's – early 90's. From the start it was a sure thing for me that i have to buy this amazing collection. I collect nearly 100 hundred tapes from him and it will not surprise you to hear that the lot contains some of the most greatest stuff i've ever heard. I wrote about demos from well known bands as The Jeremiahs or The Rain before but now it is time to go deeper into the more obscure stuff. Some of you may remember the excellent “Beyond The Fence Begins The Sky“ compilation LP released in 1986 on Plastic Head Records. Full of hits there was a band called BEYOND THE BLUE which really kicks me. I once wrote that their song “The Return Of The Prodigals“ is one of the most finest indiepop songs ever written. All the years i've tried to track down this band to get the chance for more recordings by them. Without luck i was an happy man to found one of their demotapes among the collection i've bought. This untitled collection contains six songs recorded back in 1986. i can't stop listening from the start as all of the songs contain some of the most fantastic jangly guitars i've ever heard. How great ! The tape contains an different version of “The Return Of The Prodigals“ plus five other tunes which left me sleepless. I have to think of all those classic bands as The Love Parade, Mighty Mighty or The Aurbisons while listening to those recordings. The tape's tracklist looks as follows:

Beyond The Blue
Time To Smile
The Return Of The Prodigals
A Time In My Heart
The Never Never Girl
Acid Rain

To my surprise i found out that the band's members played in two other band's as well whose tapes were also part of the lot. Although i'm not sure i believe that SIDEWAYS LAUGHING were pre BEYOND THE BLUE. Songs full of love and vocals somewhere between Edwyn Collins and Paul Haig. I received two tapes by them with 12 tracks in total, no filler, hits only ! I really wonder why i never heard about them before ! They should have became huge and i'm more than sure that everyone who is into the first Orange Juice album would have fell in love with them.
As it seem's BEYOND THE BLUE split up in 1987 and members of the band formed an group called THE TENDERHOOKS and tell you what, the band's demotape contain some of the greatest song's i've heard in years. Unfortunately no songtitles were given on the tape's sleeve but can let you know that it contains an new version of one of the SIDEWAYS LAUGHING tracks. Over all those years, some songs became special to me in the likes of Mighty Mighty's “Is There Anyone Out There, Aurbisons “Ring Collector“ or Close Lobsters “Mirror Breaks“. It's that wonderful feeling that hit's me while listening to those songs. Some of Tenderhooks song's now means the same to me and it's not often that i can say something like that. Now it's up to you, try to locate them and when you found them let them know that there is an label who would love to release an retrospective by them !!!!

Mittwoch, 15. Juli 2009

Vacation 2009 (or should i rather say business...)



Another summer means another trip to London for me. I've been doing this mix of vacation and business since more than 20 years. I gave up going by plane in 1994, so i took the bus instead since then. This year it took me a lot of good words to convince Marina to hit the road again. In honest the bus-journey is pure horror ! We left berlin on sunday afternoon and reached london in the early hours of monday morning. The tour operator offers an sight-seeing tour before we can check-in into the hotel. No interested in this we left the bus at Elephant & Castle Tube-station around 9.00. It took us another 30 minutes to reach tube-station Oxford Circus. I always enjoy this place in the early hours, the streets are still empty. We first went into HMV to buy some music-magazines. Soon after we moved to Berwick Street, which is still one of my favourite places for record shopping, although some shops were closed down over the last couple of years as Mr. CD which was an amazing place for finding bargain stuff. We spent a while in Sister Ray where i bought the new Rumblestrips EP (just out on that day) plus some bargain cds. Too tired to have a look at all these 7“ boxes we left to enter Revival Records. This shop is around since two or three years. I was too late the other year, so I've never been to this shop before. A friend of mine went in the last year and bought some excellent stuff. To be honest, i didn't found that much, just bought stuff for a friend and the latest Camera Obscura album for cheap money. Next it was our plan to visit Record & Tape Exchange, but normal thing in the early hours, the bargain floor was still closed. Some time left we decided to have a first look at Cheapo Cheapo Records which is just a couple of minutes away from R&TE. To my horror we found out that the shop has finished business. How sad ! This shop was one of my alltime favourite stores. A friend of mine told me later that they have closed down a couple of weeks before.
We moved to Paddington station to get in the bus again. Another surprise hits us when we found out that the hotel was based in Heathrow. Not a good thing. We arrived an hour later. After some conversation with our tour guide we went into our room to fresh up again and left our bags. Only can say great words about the hotel (the breakfast was amazing by the way) but it took us an hour to reach London City each day. We spent the rest of the day at Records & Tape Exchange at Berwick Street. I bought some cool albums from the likes of Montt Mardie, The Answering Machine or Little Jackie for 0,50 pence each. I also found an compilation album called “The Sounds Of The Rhubarb Triangle“ which dates from 2005. It contains favourites Skint And Demoralised with an early take of “It's Only Been A Week“ which will be part of the band's debut album which will see the day of light in october and an great tune by Pavilion whose had an fine 7“ single out the last year. The next day we went to Camden for some clothes shopping. Sure thing, we went to Record & Tape Excance as well. I bought records from Dubious Brothers, Jamie Wednesday or Marden Hill for a pound each. Next up we took the tube to move to Angel. It took me nearly four hours to go through all the boxes at Haggle Records. Marina meanwhile spent the time to check the streetmarket which is nearby. I bought around 40 records from Haggle for 2 pounds each including some nice stuff from bands as Red Harvest, Guernica or Felt. Now it was time for some lunch and we took a bar just next up to Flashback Records for it. While having an cold banana shake i noticed that Christian of Soulboy Collective fame went through the bargain boxes of Flashback. What a surprise ! Christian left Berlin a couple of years ago for living in London. After some cigarettes (my first since we arrived to London!) we've spent some time to going through all the boxes which can be found at the shop's second floor. Nice stuff was found ! Christian offers an pub-session but i rather stayed away as it would have been impossible for me to drive back to Heathrow with having some beer before. How sad ! We spent the rest of the day for clothes shopping around Oxford Circus.
Next day we moved to Covent Garden to visit my friend Stephan (Ship Shape Club) who works in London since last december. It was great to meet him again after all those months. After some drinks we went to Notting Hill Gate to spent the rest of the day at Record & Tape Exchange. I bought around 100 cds / vinyl at the bargain floor plus some more stuff at the regular floor. What kicks me back home was an 12“ by an obscure band named After Tonite which was engieered by John Rivers. The record's a-side leaves me cold but both songs on side b sounds amazing to me. “It's Getting Harder And Harder“ let me think on such fine bands as Fragile Friends, Ade Moose and Walker or Decoy Avenue mixed up with the guitarsound of Archie Bell's “Tighten Up“. How great ! I played this record to death when we moved back home. It's up on places as musicstack, so please feel free to have a look for it !
On thursday it was on the plan to visit Alan's Record shop in East Finchley. I heard great words about this shop from friends of mine. The shop is based 218 High Road. It will took you a 10 minutes walk from the tube station to reach Alan's shop, but do not worry, there are a lot of Charity Shops on it's way which are worth to visit. We've been to four or five of them and found rather amazing stuff. Another copy of that amazing 12“ by swedish band The Hip Horace was found at the first shop. It was only the second copy i ever saw of this unique record. I just bought it from an scandinavian dealer a couple of months ago and i tell you what, this record is more than worth to have. Songs somewhere between late Close Lobsters, The Smiths and vocals ala Grahame Skinner makes this one an big favourite of mine. I also found a copy of the rare 12“ ep by obscure irish band Cuba Dares at the same place. At the next shop i took Trash Can Sinatras deadly rare “Senses Working Overtime“ 12“ plus some regular stuff from bands as McCarthy, Mousefolk or Jim Jiminee. It took us nearly two hours to finally reach Alan's shop only to found out that the shop's owner was on holiday. A letter on the shop's window promised that he will open again on saturday, so no problem. We took the bus and went to Portobello Road where we spent some nice time for shopping as well. I went into Rough Trade Shop only to find out that they now have an second floor which offers second hand stuff. I was surprised about it. They stock some nice stuff, so i can recommend a visit ! I bought some 7“ vinyl at the regular shop as well before we went into Oxfam shop which is just around the corner. Marina went through some books while i was searching for some cool records. I bought the first Pooh Sticks album plus 12“ singles from Boxing Clever, Fallover 24 or The Servants from it. A nice place to go as well !
We took our bus on friday for a trip to Brighton. The tour operator offers the trip for just 12 euro each. I always enjoy this town very very much. Unfortunately i left too much money for an polo-shirt only to found out an hour later that i could have saved more than 15 pounds for the same one from a shop nearby. Anyway, i was an happy man to found some obscure records the next door in the likes of stuff by The Waiting Sound (ever heard ?), The Sardines or that cool EP by obscure Lancashire based Hate Syndicate which were around the early 90's. The next hours we spent some time at the Brighton Beach. How lovely !!
On the way back to the hotel we left the bus in Brixton to walk around the streets over there.
The next day we had to bring our bags into the bus which took me nearly an hour. After we found out that i've bought nearly 400 cds plus 150 vinyl, i decided to left all the cd jewel case in the hotel but it was still a hard walk to transfer everything's into the bus. After work was done we spent saturday morning for some more shopping at camden town before moving to East Finchley again to visit Alan's Record Shop finally. This time he was in ! How great ! It took us nearly five hours to go through all his records, and we only checked the indie and pop section !!! we bought around 30 records and Alan makes us an great discount. I have to say honest, that i've been never into an more friendly shop than this one. I absolute recommed this place. Please make sure to visit his place the next time you're will be in London. It's more than worth !
Still time on our side we went to Covent Garden to visit Fopp Musicstore. We spent the rest of our money for cds from Beautiful South (BBC-Sessions), Lloyd Cole & The Commotions (sessions), Belle & Sebastian (just another BBC-Session Disc) or the deluxe edition of the Housemartins first album which was on my top must-have list for our vacation.
Hours went by and we totally forgot to pick up Stephan who just works around the corner for a “goodbye drink“. Shame on us for it ! We went back home to berlin soon after. It took us nearly 18 hours and costs me 30 euros for an taxi to bring my stuff home from the busstation.



My Top 11 list of songs from the records i bought:

Answering Machine – Another City, Another Story
After Tonite – It's Getting Harder And Harder
Skint And Demoralised – It's Only Been A Week
Pavilion – Lost In The Moonlight
The Northwestern – All The Ones
Tim Yen Yen – When The Song Applies To You
The Twang – Barney Rubble
Rumblestrips – Not The Only Reason
Beautiful South – BBC Sessions
The Hip Horace – Local Cornershop
The Steeples – Loosy Lucy

Dienstag, 23. Juni 2009

THE RAIN – DEMO TAPES





Hailed from Basingstoke, this great three piece released a couple of singles and one sole album between 1984 – 1990 before decided to change their bandname into Clark Springs. Another two singles were released before the band finally called it the day.
Always big faves of mine i was more than happy to receive some of the band's demo tapes a while ago.
First up we have an three track tape which i believe contains some of the band's earliest recordings.
Although no recording date is given on tape's sleeve, it contains the cataloguenumber JA 002, the same which can be found on their debut 7“, released in 1985. The tape kicks of with one of their greatest tunes ever, the elsewhere unreleased “Feet Turns To Clay“. Everything on this song sounds perfect to me, Clive sings like an young god and the guitarsolo sounds amazing to me. I played this tune to a couple of friends and everyone wonder why this track never found it's way on the band's vinyl releases. Next up we have an cool version on the rare “Money Man“. The tape end up with another pearl. “These Feelings Will Pass“ is one of those songs you will never forget about the first time you was listening to it. It was released later on one of Dave Driscoll's legendary compilation tapes .
The band released at least one other demo in 1984 contains this tune plus the unknown song “Parliament Hill Fields“. The tape's sleeve is shown on the band's myspace. It would be a great thing to hear it !
Next up we have another three track demo which contains songs whose later versions ends up on the band's album “To The Citadel“.
Tracklist for it as follows:

Hi There 1986
St Martin's-In-The-Field
Down Here

The last tape of the bunch i received is much more of interested as it contain an elsewhere unreleased coverversion of “She Don't Care About Time“ which was originally written by Gene Clark plus early versions on “First Of May“ and “Bright Pavilions“.
The lot i bought has also an demo by THE SOUND ACADEMY which contains the Rain's Nigel Rivers who teamed up with Jo Burgees on this. Unfortunately the tape didn't contain the band's songs, instead i have the pleasure to listen to an radioshow. I nearly went crazy when i found out about it !
The tape's sleeve lists four songs, anyone out there who has further infos about them ?
Back to The Rain, Clive once passed me another great unreleased tune which i will not forget to mention. “And The Leaves Circled Like Birds 'round Her Hair“ seems was recorded during the band's final days and shows once again how special they were !

Donnerstag, 18. Juni 2009

JIM JIMINEE – EARLY DEMO TAPE


JIM JIMINEE – EARLY DEMO TAPE

OH, how i love this band ! It was the summer of 1987 when me and my old mate Stefan spent holidays in Hastings. There was a club whose name i have forgotten about which we went to every night. Great music was played and beside classic tracks from The Smiths or New Order there was a song we never heard about before. To shy to ask the DJ about it we just found ourself on the dancefloor. Shortly before leaving Hastings we're listening to an radioshow which plays this tune as well. We found out that the band's name was Jim Jiminee which just released their first single called “Do It On Thursday“. We went to the next recordshop but couldn't find the record. Back at home it took us months to locate the record finally. I will never forget the day i first played it on my turntable. After playing the record an hour or so, my neighbour came by to ask me if there would be a chance to stop this nonsens. I just closed the door and was listening again. He moved house soon after.
Over the years the band became a part of my life, i bought their records and saw them playing live a couple of times. “Town & Country Blues“ became an alltime fave at the ship shape club. Split much to early the band released two retrospective albums on Vinyl Japan and i was nearly sure that i never ever would hear any other songs by them. Gladly i became the chance to buy an early demo tape by them and tell you what, i nearly start crying while listening to it. No idea about it's recording date it contains four tracks, three of them unreleased elsewhere and i really wonder why. “Sleeping Once Again“ and “Centre Of Attention“ would have made perfect hits on the band's sole album “Welcome To Hawaii“. Beside those songs the tape contains an early version of “Snap Me Up“ plus an fine tune called “Time On My Hands“. Check out their video on Youtube and remember yourself how great they were !!!

THE BERNARDS – DEMO TAPE


THE BERNARDS – DEMO TAPE

Ever heard about The Bernards ? Do not worry if not, i have to say honest that they were unknown to me as well until a couple of weeks ago when i received the band's three track demo tape which was titled “Nutmeg“. I first played their songs while prepared some boxes for the next record fair, so i did not looked on the tape's sleeve carefully. While listening to the tracks i was nearly sure that i just found out about another long forgotten indiepopband from the late 80's. To my surprise i noticed later that the band was around in the mid 90's. Based in Birmingham, the line-up shows us the following bandmembers:
Danny Bernard, Carl Brett, Alex Martin and Bobby Tofu.
Full of jangly guitars, all three tracks let me think on the first 7“ from Action Painting. Without a doubt, this band would make an great job on the Sound Of Leamington Spa compilation serie. Anyone out there who has any further infos about them ?

Tracklist:

Rah Rah Rah
The Ugly Boys
In The Village

Dienstag, 9. Juni 2009

THE JEREMIAHS – DEMOS & LIVE-RECORDINGS






Basingstoke four-piece The Jeremiahs released one mighty EP back in 1988 on Abstract Records and had two songs on compilation-LPs, not much more is known about them. The band released a handful of demotapes as well. The first one dates from 1985 and it contains the well known “Never Come Back“ from legendary “Beyond The Fence Begins The Sky“ compilation LP. As it seems the tape contain an early take of this song. Much more of interest without doubt is the second song called “Bluer Days“, a great bassdriven tune. The tape's sleeve is handmade, so i think that the band didn't pressed that much copies of it. Next up we have another two track demo which contains an early version of the EP-track “Whipe Away The Tears“ plus the unreleased “Over The Shove“. The sleeve contains handwritten songtitles on it and comes with sticker which lists the recording studio's address.
The third tape has three tracks, including early versions of the well known songs “Far From The Maddening“ and “Honeysuckle Love“. Apart from those it contains an amazing unreleased tune. This untitled song blows me away every time i listen to it. What a shame that the band never released it proper. There is even a girl singer which shares vocals in the refrain. The tape contains no tracklist, just comes with an sticker.
The band recorded at least one more demotape which once was sold on ebay. It's list on Twee.net. No idea if the versions on this tape are any different from the ones which end up on the EP or which can be found on the other demo tapes.
In 1986 the band recorded an four-track live tape which contains otherwise unreleased songs. The soundquality is perfect. It was recorded at Paradise Club. The first song from it remains their best ever in my opinion ! “Satin Shoes“ let me think on the highlights from Lloyd Cole's “Rattlesnakes“ and would have made the perfect indiepop-single. “Return Of The Spirite Stones“ and “The Daffodil Fields“ shows the band on their highest as well.
Hopefully they will come by some day as i would love to release all those wonderful songs proper. What a great band they were !

Mittwoch, 3. Juni 2009

Those Happy Feelings


Between Firestation Records (Germany) and Plastilina Records (Peru) we’ve been planning to do a compilation of the great sounds and bands that happened in Greece during the late 80s and early 90s. We’ll call it “Those Happy Feelings” in honor of the best label to come out from the Hellenic country: This Happy Feeling! We know there were many great bands at the time some of them more known than others. We want to make some of these names more familiar and give a chance to people to listen some of these sounds without paying high prices on eBay. We also know that some of these pop gems are so obscure that this could be a nice chance for them to see the light of day.

The idea is to make it into one fantastic CD with a booklet that includes photos and bios of these bands. I hope we can track down many of these bands and have the release out soon! Would be so fantastic! Watch this space for more updates! Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Bands we are looking forward to be in touch with:

* Costas
* Sensitive Painters
* Sad Candy Lilies
* Next Time Passions
* Groovies In The Heart
* Sensitive Painters
* Protest March
* Verden Fell
* Blossoms
* One Night Suzan
* Groove Machine
* Kissamatic Lovebubbles
* The Crooner
* Impossible Tymes
* Fantastic Something
* The Jaywalkers
* Love Exotics
* Who The Dickens?
* Pillow
* Sound Devise
* Raining Pleasure
* Seaside
* The Wish
* Pledge
* Starblind
* The Mute
* Common Sense
* Sanders
* M.C.S.
* Bella Union
* Sleeve
* Suave Gap
* The Point For

Freitag, 22. Mai 2009

SOMETHING TO LOOK OUT FOR (PART 2)




I will write some lines on the rather obscure bands which appears on the future “The Sound Of Leamington Spa“-list in the near future, but meanwhile it's time to have some words on bands which still makes it on the list yet for various reasons. The main reason is simple, we haven't update the list since 2007. During the last two years “new“ bandnames appears on the scene which have to be include on the list soon. Also, I found a list of bandnames which i put together back in the early 90's. I haven't heard any songs from most of the bands, but reviews from the past makes me very curious about them. If anyone out there has any infos about the following bands, please get in touch !



THE WILSONS
i once read about them in an fanzine whose name i totally forgot about. Band was around the early 90's and recorded at least one demotape. It's said that they mixed early Aztec Camera with “Luck“-period Style Council. I can't believe and would be a happy man if someone could pass over more infos about them.


AVANTI
Another Aztec Camera-styled band which seems was around the late 80's. No further infos.


HOBGOBLINS
Highly praised by the UK Fanzine scene of the late 80's, i have to say honest that i never heard any songs by them.


TIDDLEY WIDDLEYS
It's said that they once had a flexidisc called “You Just Poured Soup On My Pyjama Top“ released in the late 80's. A fake ? I really wonder why i never saw this record although i've been looking for it since nearly 20 years.


I KNOW A GONDOLA PANDA
Once released a fine 10“ back in the late 80's. Songs like the Haywains on acid makes this one a pearl. Band appears on myspace, but haven't signed in since a year.


HELLO SUNSET
Oh, how i would love to hear their recordings. Feat. Tommy Scott of Space-fame who fronted also great bands as The Australians or The Substitutes. Around in the mid 80's.


HILLSTORMERS
Great name, but never heard any of their songs.


THE GLASS HAMMERS
Sheffield-based four-piece. I once read that they mixed Haircut 100 with the soul of Dexy's Midnight Runners. A good thing !


A BAND CALLED JEFF
Early 90's outfit which once released an ep called “Hope“ on the Horizon label. Never saw it in the shops.


GO BUGGY BABIES
Female six piece from London, released one record on Ugly Records the late 80's. It's said that they mixed up early Everything But The Girl with The Specials.


FIVE GO OFF TO PLAY GUITAR
Short-lived Manchester based five piece feat. then named Johnny Dangerously (now I AM KLOOT) and Penny Priest (remember Manchester North Of England compilation). There was once a single release by them called “Black and Blue“. No idea about it's label.


THE CONSULTANTS
Once had a tape-release on Timebox Records. Not much more is known about them.


INNOCENCE
Jörg Winzer found the band's (as it seems) sole 7“ release a while ago. Five piece from Kent whose songs will let you think on such fine bands as The Waltones or Summerhill. Thanks to Jörg for the photo !


11.59
I once saw them live at Covent Garden back in 1992. Three piece whose songs were not a millions miles away from East Village. Great !


THE POPPYFIELD
Liverpool-based. No further infos apart from an review which describes the band's song's somewhere between Orange Juice and The Monkees.


PRETEND FRIENDS
Oxford based. Once too jangly for the Melody Maker.


SUGARTRAIN
No Idea. It's said that their played songs between the Style Council and The Milltown Brothers.


THE FAMILY WAY
Short-lived band fronted by Graig Gannon (Aztec Camera, The Smiths). I never heard any of their songs. Around in the early 90's.


More obscure stuff to follow soon !

Montag, 18. Mai 2009

SOMETHING TO LOOK OUT FOR (PART 1)


While having a look on some old wantlists of mine i noticed that there are still a lot of records or bands which i still can't locate. Just found some of those lists in my bedroom the other day and was surprised that the last wantlist i put together dates from september 1997. Over the years i found out that some of the list's records never came out or were withdrawn from it's release.
For the next weeks i will write some words about “lost“ indiepoprecords from the past or bands we're still looking for. First up I put together an list of withdrawn records which i found on my old wantlists. If someone out there as any further infos please feel free to drop us a line !

Here we go:

1. East Village – Break Your Neck 12“ (Label: Head, cataloguenumber: Head 9)

Planned for april 1988. Head Records turned into Sub Aqua soon after. Would have made another classic ! No idea about tracklist.

2. The Company She Keeps – Amanda LP (Label: Cold Harbour, cataloguenumber: Cold 8)

Planned for late 1988.

Tracklist:
What A Girl Wants
Express Interest
Recording Angel
Amanda
Touch On My Emotions
A Little Madness
How The Film Began
A Day In A Balloon
Accolade
The Men Responsible (original version)

Definitely unreleased !

3. The Bloody Marys – Stain LP (Label: Mess, cataloguenumber: Joss 2)

Planned for January 1987. Not so sure about the tracklist, but most of the songs should have end up on FST 057 – Sixteen Hail Marys.

4. Treebound Story – Butler's Cafe LP/CD (Label: Native Records)

Planned for 1989. Adverts for it were placed in the british musicmags back then, unfortunately it never saw the day of light.

5. Kill Devil Hills – Here We Go Again (Label: Roustabout, cataloguenumber: RST005)

Planned for october 1988. Unfortunately the label broke down soon before the record came out. No idea about the tracklist.

6. A Riot Of Colour – Should've Listening To Me 12“ (Label: Play Room Discs, cataloguenumber: PLAYD 004-12)

Planned for march 1988. “Sign Of The Cross“ was recorded as the record's b-side.

7. Bluetrain – LP (Label: Pastell, Germany)

Absolute no idea about this. I once saw an advert in an german mag for this. Was it really ever planned ? Big thanks to Roque and Jalito for release their retrospective cd the last year !

8. Candlestick Park – Re-Invent The Wheel LP/CD (Label: Midnight Music, cataloguenumber: chime 011)

Planned for august 1991. An fine album by ex-The Waltones. Hopefully Cherry Red will release it one day.

9.The Compass Flow – Bush Telegraph LP (Label: Glass, cataloguenumber: glalp033)

Planned for april 1989. Ex The Submarines.

10. The Waltones – Listen To Your Heard 12“ (Label: Medium Cool, cataloguenumber: MC022)
Planned for 1989. Glady these great songs can be now heard on the band's compilation CD, released back in 2007 on Cherry Red.

11. Circus X 3 – Leslie Hope Town LP / CD (Label: Sweatbox, cataloguenumber: SAX 031)
Planned for early 1988. Adverts were placed for it.

12. Circus X 3 – Thunder High 7“/12“ (Label: Sweatbox, cataloguenumber: SAX 033)
Planned for july 1988. It's strange to see that there was even the plan for another single-release although the album never found it's way into the shops.

13. South Of Heaven – Stars Of Heaven Tribute CD (Label: Disques Fridge, cataloguenumber: mrf 14)

No idea about it's planned releasedate. The artwork for this tribute CD to Dublin's finest was created but the record never found it's way into the pressing plant.

Tracklist:

Northern Picture Library – Ammonia Train
Icehead – Every Other Day
Something Happens – All About You
Sean A McDermont & Mary Whelan – Paradise Of Lies
Hey Paulette – Smalltown Reel
Engine Alley – Three Kings' Day
Dr Millar – Leave As You Came
Junkster – 28
Grief – Someone's Getting Tired Of You
Everything But The Girl – Lights Of Tetouan
Baby Snakes – Hey Little Child
Cathal Couglan – Ghost Cars
Screech Owl – Poison River
Muck Savage – Sacred Heart Hotel
7 League Boots – Little England
Peter O'Kennedy – Two O'Clock Waltz
Engine Alley – Before Holyhead
Sultans Of Ping – Never Saw You
Brian – Speak Slowly
The Revenants – So You Know


14. Bradford – Tattered, Tangles And Torn 7“/12“ (Label: Village, cataloguenumber: VILT 104)

Planned for November 1988.
Band signed to another label before this release makes it into the pressing plant. Would be great to find out which other tracks should have been appeared on this withdrawn release.

15. Motorcycle Boy – Scarlet LP / CD (Label: Chrysalis, cataloguenumber: CHR1689)

Planned for september 1989. I heard that there were plans to release it finally this year, so finger crossed !


More to follow soon !

Dienstag, 12. Mai 2009

Back in 1991......



In spring 1991 Uwe and I went together with two other friends to Dresden to visit an Indie-Pop-Weekender. We had 40 freshly printed copies of our first fanzine with us. After spending hours in an oldstyle eastern german train, drinking quite some amount of beer, we got lost after arriving at Dresden Main Station as none of us bothered beforehand to investigate the way to the club. Luckily we met Peter from The Legendary Bang, who was supposed to be picked up at the train station, so we joined him. Arriving at the really beautiful space of the club “Die Sekte” we greeted well-known faces of Hamburgs Indie-Pop gang of Marsh Marigold boss Oliver Goetzl. Their current label bands were supposed to play in Dresden. At first performed a really dreadfull band from Dresden but the rest of the weekend was reserved for really brilliant gigs of 5 Freunde, Jesterbells (photo), Red Letter Day or My Guru Says. The party was great, at the last song of 5 Freunde, a cover version of Time Twisters´ hit “Auf Meinem Weg zu Dir”, Uwe and I found ourselves at the microphone suddenly. The after show party was legendary: as I could not find the way to the doss upstairs I partied with Florian of Red Letter Day, Peter Hahndorf (yes, him) and Martin Fuchs (this is a different story) until early morning. Our versions of “Ice Ice Baby”, at that time a hit of the great Vanilla Ice, and “Peter Hahndorfs Dead”, alternatively known from The Golden Dawn, are unforgettable. Finally we ended up in bed for a short 2 hours night. Waking up I could see that Uwe arranged to encounter a 120 cm long doss, his sleep has definitely not been comfortable. The following tour through the city was very interesting and especially for the guys from Hamburg a culture shock as the city of Dresden showed its almost full destruction during 2nd World War drastically. One and a half years after Germanys reunion, hawkers and numerous put down and exploited Trabis, famous cars from eastern Germany, created a special atmosphere, not comparable with Dresden in 2009. The gigs at second night have been as excellent as at first night, I remember most the loads of chats with interesting and charming people from the pop scene. Various friendships were born that weekend. We also could get rid of some of our fanzine copies…

Dienstag, 5. Mai 2009

HEY PAULETTE - DEMOS & UNRELEASED




Without a doubt one of the most popular releases in Firestation-history is “Long Ball Into Nowhere“ by legendary Dublin-based band HEY PAULETTE. A compilation contains singletracks, a BBC-session among lot's of unreleased material. We first talked to the band about the possibility to release their backcatalogue in the days when Sound Of Leamington Spa 1 came out, so it took us seven years to release the album finally in 2006. In the early days the tracklist for “Long Ball Into Nowhere“ was different to the final release. It was in the plan to include some more livetracks on the album including an version of “Ceremony“ or an fine track called “Don't Let Your Tea Go Cold“. Plans changed in 2005 when the band sent over the final pressing plant master. The result is history...
Beside the songs which makes it onto the album the band recorded some more amazing demos. Derrick once sent me 12 tracks back in 2003 or 2004. I have to say honest that i can't remember why we didn't include none of these recordings on the album. Derrick once told me that these songs were recorded in the band's early days. Some of the songs show's the band on their best. “See You Sometime“ would have made an great 7“ single release, jangly as hell and not far away from tracks as “Commonplace“ or “Another Poet“. I love the guitarsound on “The Way That You Talk“, another classic ! Both songs were recorded on 8-track. I have to think on the band's faves STARS OF HEAVEN while listening to “Everything I Do“. Next up we have two great popsongs which were called “The Go Between“ and “Miserable As Sin“. “The Girl In Question“ contains an amazing guitarsolo, which makes me dance everytime i hear it ! Side one of the tape closed with another toptune which name is “I Can't Whistle“. The flip kicks of with two live tracks including the album's unreleased titletrack “Longball Into Nowhere“ an fast instrumental. Those twelve “lost“ songs would have made an brilliant album on it's own and shows how special this band was. The tape also includes songs by singer Eamonn which he's recorded with Eileen Gogan of The Would Bee's. But that's another story we have to tell you later about...

The tape's tracklist looks as follows:

See You Sometime
The Way That You Talk
She Just Says...
Smile (It Won't Kill You)
Touched
Everything I Do
The Go Between
Miserable As Sin
The Girl In Question
I Can't Whistle
Did It Ever Enter Your Head To Say Please (live)
Long Ball Into Nowhere (live)

Donnerstag, 23. April 2009

19 Goldene Hits - Berlin Pop Compilation


Here are some information about this 1994 Compilation- CD on our Tape- /Fanzine- Label SMUF. All of these bands were from Berlin. We pressed 500 copies, some are left and can be ordered from FST.

SAINTLY SNAILS - The Rumble ( Surf- Instrumental – a perfect opener)

MOST WANTED MEN - The Glass Menagerie ( pre- GROOVY CELLAR, compilation CD on Marsh Marigold)

ABRAMCZYK – Grungemädchen ( Noise- Pop with myself on the mic)

TUMBLING HEARTS - V.I.P. Treatment (Country- Pop out of the TWANG TONE- scene)

ELEKTRO IM BUS - Ich Liebe Dich ( later DIE ELEKTROS, with smash- hit „Kämpferin in S- Bahnzügen“)

THORN - The Best Part Of Being With You ( Uwe’s own band, feat. Members of SAINTLY SNAILS)

CUBAN REBEL GIRLS - Sixteen Days ( Sixties- Pop)

GOING DOWN WITH BRILLIANCE - Only Place ( song by ex- FST- member Jan, “produced” by myself)

SAINTLY SNAILS - Amuck In My Head ( friends of the family)

WESTWAY – Shine ( Electro, first Band from BLOCHIN 81 and LATO- singer Des Squire)

PLEASURE - Shut Up ( Shoegazer - singer Sascha formed JAKETHIVE two years later)

CRACK A WHEAT - It's About time ( great Popabilly)

PROFANES - Too Late To Leave ( another band from the sixties- scene)

RECKLESS PRESSURE - And Suddenly The River ( another band from “the scene that celebrates itself”)

GROOVY CELLAR - You Make Me Feel Younger Than I Am ( 15 years later on Firestation Records)

MILCHBLUMEN FC - Auf Dem Halensee ( I know nothing about them ;-) )

PHONETIC RELATIONS - Girl With No Name ( another great Sixties- tune)

ELEKTRO IM BUS – Popstar ( second track by the Berlin- Popstars)

THE ANSWER - Sun Won't Shine Anymore ( my favourite track on this CD, great organ- sound)

THE 1 EURO SHOP

Please notice, about 30 releases from our catalogue are now available for only 1 EURO each. Tell your friends that this is the chance to complete their collection for a small amount of money. Releases by Lato, Arvidson, Cinnamon, The 05, Ambitious Beggars, Tribeca or Vermont Sugar House are some of the offers. Please check our website for the full list.

As you see there, www.firestation-records.de is under construction. I need some time to re- organize the website- structure, a total chaos welcomed me last tuesday. In the meantime enjoy this blog or check our myspace- pages.

Mittwoch, 22. April 2009

THE BIG GUN




“Heard About Love“ - When people asked me about how the perfect indiepopsong should sound like i always reply these three words. Full of the greatest jangly guitarsound i ever heard this 2.58 minutes long song makes my day since nearly 20 years. I still remember the day when i bought the 7“ from record and tape exchange in camden town. “Heard About Love“ was released on the band's (i believe) own “Hi-Fibre“ label back in 1987. A year before the band shared a flexi disc with Basil Pieroni. “You'll Always Give Your Best“ was nearly as brilliant as the singletrack. When we started the Sound Of Leamington Spa serie back in 1998 one of the first bands we were looking for was the Big Gun. I remember that it took me ages to locate them. They came by by in 2000 and i was more than happy to include their song on Sound Of Leamington Spa 2. As member Andy Crone once said the band never called it the day, they just went separate ways. Beside the 7“ and the flexidisc the band recorded at least one three track demo tape back in 1986.
It contains the following tracks:


-Happiest Day
-Now That You Gone
-Where I Want To Go


Needless to say that all those songs are brilliant as well !


In 1989 members of the Big Gun founded short-lived band Cincinnati. A demotape was recorded but no proper records were released. I have to think on band's as The Great Leap Forward or Drop while listening to their songs. Especially “About You“ is a great song. Hopefully there will be a chance to include this tune on Sound Of Leamington Spa 8.
Andy and Keith Martin teamed up together again in the late 90s to form another band which name was Stagger Lee. We included their song “Four Families“ on FST 045 – These Are The Songs We Always Wanted To Hear. I have to say honest, that this tune is still my favourite track from that compilation. The band recorded a couple of fine demos before broke up soon after.
Recently i talked to Andy about the possibilty to release a Big Gun compilation CD, so finger crossed for it !!!

Dienstag, 7. April 2009

Firestation Records - Pre-Releases (1991 - 1994)



I first met Olaf back in september 1990 at a Soup Dragons concert. A couple of months later we released our first fanzine which was called “SMUF“. Although i never found out cleary why it was called so, Olaf should know for sure. Can't remember how many copies we've done of it, but most of them were sold with a flexi-disc by then Sarah Records artist BRIGHTER. Not so sure anymore how the deal was, but Bernd Kabs of Blam A Bit-fame passed over copies of it for letting us giving it away with the magazine. The fanzine has an interwiew with our flexistars among stories and live reviews on such bands as ACTION PAINTING, AZTEC CAMERA, GOLDSTEIN CIRCUS or THE PARIAHS. It was sold mostly through Mind The Gap mailorder.
Soon after we compiled a compilation tape which was called “It's All About Love“. Released in the year 1992 it has some fine bands on it in the likes of THE AURBISONS, JESTERBELLS or THE SUGARGLIDERS. The next tape we released was a compilation by Greece-based indiepopbands. I think it was some kind of “licensing“ as it was released in Greece also. “In Those Happy Days“
sold not much more than 50 copies back then, so i was surprised that it is a good seller on ebay these days.
Without having a job back in 1993 i decided to start an fanzine on my own. I named it “Happy To Be Sad“ after an unreleased song by alltime faves The Servants. I done a couple of numbers on my own before Annikki and Jan came by. I still wrote it when Firestation Records was found in 1998. There should be no more than 50 copies of the first numbers but last two numbers were an good seller on concerts so i decided to re-press it again. “Happy To Be Sad“ Number 3 lists english indiepopbands from the 80s from letter A – D. Although there was the plan to have a follow-up on it, not much happens.
The most important release in pre-Firestation days saw the light of day back in 1994. Olaf and me put together an compilation CD by Berlin-based Indiepop-bands which were around these days. The title of it was “19 Goldene Hits“ and we pressed 500 copies of it without having any distributer on our own. Beside tracks by the labelowners bands (Abramczyk, Going Down With Brilliance, Milchblumen FC and Thorn) it contains such wonderful bands as Most Wanted Men, Westway (pre Blochin 81/Lato) or Elektro Im Bus (later called Die Elektros). The releaseparty for it took it's place in oktober 1994 at then famous berlin club Die Insel. More than 300 people went by and we sold lot's of copies of the record. Although i have to say honest that i can't remember not the half of that night, i still have wonderful memories of it. After great gigs from bands as The Groovy Cellar or Milchblumen FC things went wrong when myself found his place on the stage to sang some songs with my band Thorn. Falling from stage, loosing my T-Shirt and breaking young girl's hearts.
It took another four years then before Firestation Records was found at a warm sunday afternoon around the Nollendorfplatz.

Dienstag, 31. März 2009

Firestation Records - Withdrawn & Unreleased



People asked me recently what's the story behind the “lost“ cataloguenumbers from Firestation Records. Back in the early years (1998 – 2001) there were three records which never made into the pressing plant.
First up we have FST 010. We started the Sound Of Leamington Spa serie back in 1998. One of the first band's we've been in touch with back then were Manchester based ASIA FIELDS. The band just released their third single a couple of months earlier, so it was no bigger problem to contact them. After a couple of e-mails the group agreed to include “Dazed“ on the compilation serie. Beside this they sent over three demo-tapes full of amazing songs. We offers a 7“ release and everythings seems to work well until the day we lost contact to the band some months later. What a shame ! Believe me, it would have made an brilliant release ! Listen to the songs again makes my day ! Full of jangly guitars and funky rhythms, how wonderful ! This band was so special and i feel sad this moment again that the release never happens.
Please find the demo tapes tracklists as follows:


Demo 1:


Know Who You Are
Chances
Waking Up


Demo 2:


Know Who You Are
Sneakin
Chances


Demo 3:


That Feelin
Humming Bird
Bluke



As far as i know all these tracks remain unreleased elsewhere.



Next up we have FST 022 which was reserved for London-based indiepopstars BOB. It was in the plan to co-release an compilation-album by the band with Clarendon Records (then still called TweeNet). Peter met the band a couple of times back in 2000 and things looks good for an great release. I have to say honest that i can't remember why this release remains to be unreleased.


The tracklist for that unreleased album looks as follows:


Extension Bob Please
Groove
It Was Kevin
Kirsty
What A Performance
Come Winter
You To Me
Tour Song
Who You Are
Bloodline
STP
Say You're Alone
Queen Of Sheba
You Can't Stop For A Start
On Your Side
Plastered In Paris
Coquette
Don't Know



All of these songs were recorded in Banwell as the band wrote on the tape sleeve's. Without a doubt this collection feat. some of the finest tracks the band has written in their career. Highlights including an early version of “Leave The Straight Life Behind“ (then called “Was It Kevin“), the acoustic based “Come Winter“ or the mighty “Queen Of Sheeba“. Hopefully the band will include all these songs on their website soon, so look out for it !



Back in the early days of the year 2001 i heard some tracks by spain-based band FINE. The group released a wonderful 4 track EP in 2000 on spanish label Strange Ones. Beside this EP the label provides us with an live-tape which i believe was recorded at the band's hometown Barcelona. My heart was beats fast and faster while listening to all these great tunes. I was thinking about about early Cardigans or songs by my alltime faves Cloudberry Jam, so i put on my computer and wrote over a mail to the label before the tape was finished. There was no doubt, i wanted to release a record by them as fast as possible. The label's owner shows interested in our plans, so we decided on a two track 7“ release. I told my designer to create a cover and the work was done within a week or so. Not much happens after, simple because i found out that the label did not want us to sell copies of the records to Japan. So it was clear for us to withdrawn this release, although we already gave it the cataloguenumber FST 025. It would have made one of the few records i would have agreed on even without hearing studioversions of the songs. I can't remember which track we had in mind for side B, but the titletrack for this unreleased release was called “The Ones That Smoke Are Fool“.


Please find the live-tape tracklist as follows:


Equipage
Barcelona
Summer Revisited
The Big Issue
Seyman
He Smile Sometimes
Fishing For Birds
The One That Smoke Are Fool
Both
Philippe



Although there is no cataloguenumber given for it, there was a plan back in 2001 to release a compilation by Kent-based NEWSFLASH. Conversation went down soon after The Sound Of Leamington Spa 2 came out. No working title was given to this release as well, but the tracklist would have looked as follows:



An Englishman
Help
Wherever I Go
The Hand That Stangles
Sam The Bland
Mundane Me And You
Nobody's Home
The Tale Of Nothing In Particular
Real Horror Show
Brought To Light



Although the album would have contain the band's flexi and 7“ singles tracks, the songs from their sole 12“ release would have been missing. Hopefully the band will come by one day again, as i still would love to put out these great tunes !

Donnerstag, 26. März 2009

The Sound Of Leamington Spa 7



Believe it or not, we're still working on the artwork for it. The good news is that we have done the master a couple of weeks ago. I have to say honest that i'm very proud about the result. If everythings goes as planed The Sound Of Leamington Spa 7should be ready at the beginning of june.
I have compiled the tracks for it between early 2007 – late 2008, so it took more than two years finish work on it. I can't remember that any other release on Firestation took such a long time.
Ala Pana Fuzo's “Friend“ became an alltime favourite the first time i heard this special song some years ago, so the choice became easy to start the new part of the serie with it.
Not much is known about Huge Big Massive (see picture). This great short-lived band was around the early 90s and put out two 12“ singles.
“Here To Stay“ was taken from the band's “Out Of My Mind“ EP released back in 1992. Needless to look out for it, 'cos it never comes by !
Whirpool Guest House has just released a compilation album on always wonderful Summerhouse Records. “The Plumber's Daughter“ was the first song on their sole album which was released in 1988.
“Same Old Story“ by Screaming Silence became a favourite among collectors over the last years. Check out their Myspace for more wonderful songs.
Wee Cherubs “Dreaming“ makes it's CD-debut on Spa 7. Without a doubt one of the greatest songs in indiepop-history ever written !
I was wondering a lot once i found out about Endless Bob Brown a couple of years ago. Why the hell have i never heard about them before ? Their music is so special and i was surprised even more to find out that they never put out any records while they were around. What a shame ! Believe me, they would have made it on many people's favourite lists ! I heard a rumour that there are plans for a compilation, so finger crossed !!
Not so sure what should i write about Mighty Mighty. This band is one of my alltime faves and became a lifetime friend since more than 20 years. They are one of the few bands all of my friends agree on. My mates and me played their songs to death at the Ship Shape Club. They should be the most played band at our club beside The Smiths. Would you believe ? I just love them and i have to say thank you for all the great songs ! Needless to say that i'm the most happiest
man around to have them on the compilation. “Emile“ remains unreleased until now.
Home And Abroad released some fine singles around the late 80s which should made it to any serious indiepop-collector's home. We're hope that their unreleased album will be see the light of day soon !
Another collectors-fave comes from Fire Hydrant Men. “Baby I'm A U-Boot“ was taken from the band's split 12“ singles which they once shared with the Railway Children and Screen 3.
I bought The Dadas 12“ back in 1992 for 10 p from Record and Tape Exchange. It became a big favourite of mine, so i was glad to find out about them finally. “Mercy Mercy“ was released on Mickey Rourkes Fridge (home of Hey Paulette) back in 1992 and it's still relative unknown among collectors.
The Irony Board were around the early 90s and recorded some wonderful songs. Members of the band are now based in such cool bands as Broken Down Lorry or Charlie Big Time. More then worth to check them out both !
Have to say honest that i was blown away the first time i heard songs by The Gits. Their music makes my day and let me think of alltimes faves as The Close Lobsters or The Aurbisons. Only one 7“ was released but lot's of songs were recorded. I should ask them to release their backcatalogue. This would make the perfect pop-record !
I remember the day when i first the EP by Reflection AOB at a friends place. It took me ages to find it finally in a shop nearby. “Only In My Dreams“ was produced by Ed Ball of The Times fame and was taken from the band's sole record released back the late 80s. It's still an amazing seller on ebay.
My friends from Borgine released some wonderful music with various bands since the early 80s. The band's members are familiar with our compilation serie, pre Borgnine bands, The Shrew Kings and The Clamheads can be found on earlier parts of the serie.
Hookline & Silverfish released one fantastic 7“ single back in 1986 which became a regular on many wantlists over the years. Bandmembers once appeard one the legendary C86-Compilation LP “Beyond The Fence Begins The Sky“. They called themself The Thin Line back then.
Next up we have some wonderful female vocal indiepop from Feline Jive. The band released one 7“ single around 20 years ago.
The Ferrymen just released their compilation album on Firestation Records a couple of weeks ago. “Summertime“ is another exclusive to this compilation !
Hailed from Sailsbury, Don't Feed The Animals released one superb piece of vinyl in 1985. “Wealthy Man“ can be also heard on the band's 7“ single, although it's nearly impossible to locate a copy of it these days.
Another's collector's dream is the first 12“ release by Penelope's Web. “The Gap“ EP was self-released back in the mid 80's and shows the band on the highest level. The band recorded a second
superb EP for Cherry Red in 1990 before call it the day.
It took me ages to track down the members of Elephant Noise. The band's sole EP became one the most-after records in indiepop-history over the last couple of years. What a great band ! “New Town Tom“ is a demo and remains unreleased until today !
We close the compilation with the great Kevin McGrother who just released his debut album. I can recommend this record to anyone ! There is also a split EP out now on Cloudberry Records which contains an new version of the old Tickety-Boo classic “Riverside Heaven“. Tickety-Boo are another story and i will make sure to tell you some facts about them soon !



Ala Pana Fuzo – Friend

Huge Big Massive – Here To Stay

Whirlpool Guest House – The Plumber’s Daughter

Screaming Silence – Same Old Story

Wee Cherubs – Dreaming

Endless Bob Brown - Be Good To Your Blood

Mighty Mighty – Emile

Home & Abroad – Back Were I Belong

Fire Hydrant Men – Baby I’m A U-Boat

The Dadas – Mercy Mercy

Irony Board – No Ties

The Gits – JK Rent

Reflection AOB – Only In My Dreams

Borgnine – Everything You Need

Hookling & Silverfish – Christine

Feline Jive – Blue Dawn

The Ferrymen – Summertime

Don’t Feed The Animals – Wealthy Man

Penelope’s Web – The Gap

Elephant Noise – New Town Tom

Kevin McGrother – You'll Never Know

Mittwoch, 25. März 2009

First steps into the music biz..


This is me (left) buying 50% of Firestation Records. Annikki and Jan are now very rich.

Mittwoch, 18. März 2009

the new one

Hey, hello, I am the new 2nd man at Firestation Records. Today I bought me a new turntable system including an USB port, great thing! Altough I have no time I will record some of the old stuff in the next weeks to enjoy the music on my walkman. I started with the Bodines “Played” and “This is our art” from the Soup Dragons, great album (haven’t heard for years).

OK, enough of these things. In the future you will read here some news about our releases on FST, some stories from the so called “good old days” of Indie-Pop and some other things and thoughts.

Ahh, Side A is finished, I have to turn the record…