28 February 2009

Obama, Vini, and Me

The election of Barack Obama as the 44th president has evoked a sense of history in the making for many people, both inside and outside of the United States. For Democrats who suffered through the mind-boggling ineptitude of the Bush years, it has meant a return to a more progressive and socially-engaged approach to governance. For African Americans, it has signified a long overdue acknowledgment of their place in American society. For Muslims, his family connections with their religious beliefs brings hope for a better future. For the children of mixed race families, his background, black father, white mother, promises to bring greater recognition of the challenges they continue to face.

But for me, the election of Barack Obama meant one thing and one thing only. The time of the thin man has come. Sure, he's a democrat, he's black, his father was Muslim, his family of mixed race. But he was also a tall skinny guy, one who regularly reflected on this in his stump speeches, commenting on the unlikeliness of a "skinny guy with a funny name" ever becoming president. It was this, he claimed, that made him an outsider. Not being black, not having a Muslim father. But being skinny. Now, after wandering for years in the wilderness of masculinity, and having sand in kicked in our faces for not being sufficiently athletic, muscular, or simply bulky enough, the thin man is back; it's hip to be skinny all over again.

No post-punk artist was as skinny as Vini Reilly. And no post-punk artist seems to have captured the reluctant sadness, the melancholy mixed with a restless stirring of hope that defines what it means to be thin in the steroid age. In his recollection of the forming of The Durutti Column, Tony Wilson writes, "What remained in the winter of '78 was two managers, an obscure advert for a bizarre offshoot of the anarchist canon, and a sick guitarist. Vini specializes in being ill. Playing guitar like no one else in the world, and being ill. He was ill then. Anorexia would be a gross oversimplification, sensitivity, idle flattery, he was ill." But out of that illness, out of that impossible skinniness, came some of the most plangent, most deeply moving music of the period.

In 1989, Vini came out of hiding, putting not only his name but his picture on the cover of his new album. Of course I bought it the same week it came out, despite it being a pricey import, and me struggling to get by on a scholarship that barely covered tuition to graduate school. I probably just did without dinner that week. And of course I took it home with me that Christmas, propping the album sleeve up in front of the family stereo system while the record played. My mother came into the room and smiled. Then my dad. They looked at me. They looked at the album cover. Smiling and smiling. "What?" I asked, wondering what it was that they were so smiley about. "The record," my dad said. "You've made a record." I looked at the record. I looked at them. And it dawned on me. They thought the picture on the sleeve was me. The long, drawn face, head cupped in the palm of a hand, as if it were too heavy to be held without support. I suppose it could have been me, and, in a sense, I suppose they were right. Vini plays guitar for all us skinny guys. He is us. We're him. And now, with the election of the first skinny president, we're not just back, we're in charge.

Here's Vini Reilly playing live at the Bottom Line, in New York, in October, 1986. He's supported by an array of drum machines and sequencers, with the ever-dependable Bruce Mitchell on drums, and John Metcalfe adding some lovely viola playing to the proceedings. Skinny music at its best!

-- Crash The Driver

The Durutti Column - Live At The Bottom Line In New York

01. Prayer
02. Arpeggiator
03. Our Lady Of Angels
04. Pol In B
05. Miss Haynes
06. For Mother
07. Requiem
08. Jacqueline
09. Elevator Sequence
10. Missing Boy
11. Tomorrow

France CD Roir [RE152CD] 1993

23 February 2009

Magazine Promo Vids

Magazine made five promo videos for their songs. These are straightforward affairs that emphasise mood. Though a girl dancer does make a business-as-usual appearance this is not at all Robert Palmer territory.

Magazine Live at the Metropol

Since you can never have too much Magazine live, here's a performance at the Metropol in Berlin on 30 October 1980, as broadcast by West Deutsche Rundfunk. A dozen tracks that really show off Barry Adamson's bass playing.

22 February 2009

Three Little Words: Life As A Magazine

"I wish everybody could see your faces
I wish everybody could see mine."

Mix ironic ego, misanthropy and some funky architect glasses and you have Howard Devoto, who lately starred as a toilet attendant but is otherwise completely preoccupied with filing photographs. Once upon a time he fronted a group named Magazine. They were good. Fucking amazing, actually.

The first Magazine record I heard was not until two years on in their career. It was called Play and was a live LP. I hated live records, thanks to Peter Frampton. But this one was strange. Barry Adamson's bass played funk, but funk reimagined as a block of solid blue ice. Dave Formula's keyboards provided a demented version of prog rock conceived by a Butlins musician on acid (they were, you know). Robin Simon's guitar tried to pretend that the whole thing was still related to punk. John Doyle held down the fort with a solid back-beat. And the singer snarled in a way that recalled Johnny Rotten at a conference on land redevelopment.

I listened to the record and couldn't find any way into its labyrinth. It was so accomplished that it couldn't be a lark, so hermetically it's own thing that it couldn't be any other. It was cut off from antecedents. But the service was very, very good.

So I kept listening and eventually "got it". Then followed other records sporadically, first working forward in time to Magic, Murder And The Weather, the terminal vinyl. And then working back to Real Life, which wasn't real at all but was certainly alive in strange, unheard of ways.

Magazine never shot blanks but never took sides either. Were they the logical progression from the punk of Buzzcocks, whose debut Devoto had co-created and then fled? Were they something topically and typically Mancunian, a big joke about housing estates and existentialism? Were they James Bond fans in mufti? Were they would-be architects and photo archivists? Were they a sly expression of the worst in progressive rock tendencies? Were they so pretentious as to imagine they could be all these things at exactly the same point in time and space?

Last night I met Howard in a dream. And he said "Someday you will meet me in a dream and I will reveal to you the secrets of life." Immediately after that utterance I woke up. David Lynch was in my face with a digital camera. So I kicked him in the kneecap and swore in Polish.

Everyone woke up pleased. Howard most of all.

-- Second Chameleon

The most obscure item in the official Magazine catalogue is a live album recorded at The Paris Theatre on 22 November 1978 and broadcast on the BBC six days later. Windsong International (er, who?) issued it on CD in 1993 as BBC Radio 1 In Concert. It's very short and must have only represented that part of the gig the BBC decided to carry on their airwaves. Undoubtedly the entire concert is in the can somewhere. It's not a patch on Play but is great to hear in any case. Five of the tracks are from the debut Real Life from earlier that year. "Back To Nature" would appear on the sophomore LP.

Enjoy this rarity, despite the small glitch on track 1.


BBC Radio 1 In Concert
01 Definitive Gaze (4:21)
02 Great Beautician In The Sky (5:16)
03 Give Me Everything (4:47)
04 My Tulpa (5:06)
05 Back To Nature (6:04)
06 Shot By Both Sides (5:12)
UK CD Windsong International [WIN CD 040] 1993

18 February 2009

Music For Stowaways by B.E.F.

It held no more than ninety minutes of music. Individual tracks could be located only with a great deal of button pushing and waiting. And invariably its tape store came unwound, wrapping yards of sticky brown ribbon around the capstans of your player. But in the early eighties the cassette struck fear in the heart of the music industry. Prominent artists and label execs alike lined up to announce, "Home taping is killing music." Profits plunged. The vinyl record seemed doomed.

But there were others who saw the cassette tape as a harbinger of a brighter future. Malcolm McLaren, architect of the punk revolution, declared that it was a radically democratic medium, allowing every day users to become pop artists and music label owners in their own right. His band Bow Wow Wow had a hit with "C30 C60 C90 Go!," a veritable clarion call to the disciples of ferrous oxide, and a prodigious underground trading network sprung up. Bands that had no hope of ever securing a deal with an independent let alone a major found themselves being played on the Peel show and being reviewed in the weekly music press.

British Electric Foundation were firmly on the side of the cassette rebels. Following their split with The Human League, Ian Craig Marsh and Martyn Ware set up B.E.F. less as a band than as a corporation, an umbrella organization which would oversee any number of different kinds of musical and artistic endeavours. And to make it clear that this new enterprise was opposed to the interests of the industry, a means of using the system against the system, they launched it with Music For Stowaways, a cassette-only release of meditative mood pieces, very much in the manner of the League's Dignity of Labour, and politically-tinged dance grooves that presaged their work with Heaven 17. "Stowaway" referred to the name originally intended for what became the Sony Walkman, and the release as a whole celebrated the freedom of the personal cassette recorder.

In the years that followed, B.E.F. would be responsible for a couple of glossy collections of pop standards covered by an eclectic group of vocalists, including Billy MacKenzie, Sandy Shaw, and Tina Turner, but somehow the early promise of this tape and of the idea of the anti-corporation corporation got lost. What was to be the beginning of the revolution seems now to have been its last gasp, but it remains a fascinating glimpse of a future that might have been.

--Crash The Driver

Music For Stowaways

01 Optimum Chant (4:12)
02 Uptown Apocalypse (3:13)
03 Wipe The Board Clean (3:48)
04 Groove Thang (We Don't Need This Fascist) (4:07)
05 Music To Kill Your Parents By (1:28)
06 The Old At Rest (5:37)
07 Rise Of The East (2:51)
08 Decline Of The West (7:20)
09 B.E.F. Ident (0:36)
UK Cassette Virgin [TCV2228] 1981

Truly one of the more astounding post-punk electronic releases, this built perfectly on the rather crude Dignity Of Labour EP and established this particular Human League axis as purveyors of fine instrumental electrobeat. Not to mention that it helped ring in the bumper crop year of 1981 on an inventive and playful note.

Most of the contemporary attention was paid to "Groove Thang" and its companion vocal piece "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thang", released as Heaven 17. Perhaps this was because it was funky and perhaps because it had a vocal line to follow. It was a bit disingenuous though, considering the quick slide Heaven 17 took into nothing but "groove thangs". And though it's fine, there's better stuff here.

From the very start of the tape the interlocking rhythmic interplay of "Optimum Chant" and "Uptown Apocalypse" defines a tension between change and stasis that was later to become a primary goal of most electronic ambient works. "Wipe The Board Clean" seems to be waiting for a vocal line, but it's one of those backing tracks better left without a front. Rarely has there been a record with three stronger opening tracks.

"The Old At Rest" is noticeably mellower, with something of the dark timbre of the Bowie-Eno Berlin instrumentals, and something of Cluster or Harmonia as well. The expansive "Decline Of The West" harks back to some Reproduction sounds, with a lovely little sonar ping thrown in.

Marsh and Ware rushed on to redefine pop music (or so they thought) but never again managed to be half as innovative as on this lost piece of tape. It was issued in an edition of 10,000. And every one is loved.

-- Second Chameleon

15 February 2009

The Taverner Tape by The Human League

"No Future," they say.
But must it be that way?
Now is calling
The city is human

The Human League needed help. Not in their struggle against The Pansentient Hegemony. That was long past. No, The Human League needed help with something much more difficult, something on which their future very much depended. The Human League needed help getting a record contract. And they turned to the only man they knew who could help, Jason Taverner.

It was the Spring of 1979. Martyn Ware, Ian Craig Marsh, and lop-haired vocalist, Phil Oakey, had already scored a surprise success with their first single, the inscrutable but irresistible, "Being Boiled." Recorded for the princely sum of two and a half pounds ("And that was for the Letraset for the sleeve," Martyn would later claim), the first pressing of "Being Boiled" had sold out in a matter of days. John Peel played it on his show, they appeared on the cover of the NME, and David Bowie called them the "future of music." But they were broke. "Being Boiled" was, after all, released on their manager's tiny independent label, Fast Records. To move to the next stage, to become the all-conquering pop stars they imagined themselves being, they needed a deal with a major.

The trio gathered home-made demos of several of the tracks they had been playing live, in support of bands such as Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Stranglers, and asked local network television personality Jason Taverner to introduce them on a tape to be sent round to the labels. Taverner was an avuncular figure; when they appeared on his show, he liked to call Ian, Martyn, and Phil, "the lads," and praised their youthful optimism when other bands "were just trying to shock people." In return, the band had recorded a hit album, There'll Be A Good Time With Taverner Tonight. This was sure to get the attention of the A&R men.

Of course there was no Jason Taverner. The League had never been on tv, let alone recorded a hit album. It was all an elaborate ruse, somewhere between Situationist prank and Monty Python skit, with Phil playing the part of the regional television personality to a tee. To further confound matters, they inserted the same fifteen second theme, the so-called "Dominion Jingle," after each song. An obscure reference to a fictional drug, and sounding like a lost sound cue from a low budget horror movie set in an abandoned amusement park, the jingle cast an ominous shadow over the demo's collection of pop songs and futuristic instrumentals, reminding listeners that the League were as much descendents of Delia Derbyshire as Donna Summer.

And it worked. The Banshee's label, Polydor, expressed interest. Soon Virgin and Fiction, home to both The Cure and The Associates, were in a bidding war for the synthesizer band from Sheffield. Finally, in April, The Human League signed with Virgin. "I was really taken with their version of 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin,'" recalls A&R man Simon Draper. "They were very original and Phil had his amazing asymmetrical hair; I immediately wanted to sign them. But they were very avant garde and I wondered whether they were going to be successful or not."

Commercial success would, in fact, largely elude the original line up of The Human League, but their albums have become among the most revered in the minimal synth canon. Here, then, is the long lost demo tape that started it all. Though every effort has been made to restore the tracks (among other things, Second Chameleon is a trained sound engineer), the quality is less than ideal. We trust that the historical significance of the tape out weighs such concerns in this instance.

--Crash The Driver

The Taverner Tape

1. First Jason Taverner Intro
2. Blind Youth
3. Dominion Jingle
4. Interface
5. Dominion Jingle
6. Again The Eye Again
7. Dominion Jingle
8. Second Jason Taverner Intro
9. Toyota City
10. Dominion Jingle
11. Path Of Least Resistance
12. Dominion Jingle
13. Zero As A Limit
14. Dominion Jingle
15. Third Jason Taverner Intro
16. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

08 February 2009

Tubeway Army Rules

It's a bleak vision of the future. In the foreground a cut-away view of a subway reveals a speeding train, broken glass littering the tunnel, grafitti daubed on the wall. The tunnel snakes through a lunar landscape to a dominant dome, a bubble fit to burst with the skyscraper city inside. But this is not a utopian view of some glorious future. The image is rendered in crude black and white; rough pencil strokes hatch in a claustrophobic perspective. There is no sense of accomplishment, no intimation of the boundless possibilities of the future. The city is capped and constrained; our focus is on the seedy underside. And the train is speeding away from the city, not towards it.

"Tubeway Army Rules" says the grafitti; it's their first single and they are punks. Valerian and Scarlett want to create a new future, but the present lies too heavy. They soon give up their space-age monikers and go back to plain old Gary and Paul. And while the dress-up games might continue, it is apparent throughout the two albums issued under their collective name that this is music of a profoundly dissociated present.

From the very opening of the Tubeway Army LP Gardiner's bass is central. Paired with minimal synth it propels "Listen To The Sirens" and "My Shadow In Vain" out of the shadows and into some stark hinterland already perfectly illustrated by that single cover. Half future / half retro, born of the Eno / Ultravox! experiments and Bowie characterisations, it's got a desolate feeling all its own. Just as Ultravox! looked to literary antecedents ("this is the Burroughs song", "this is the Ballard song", they planned in session), so too Tubeway Army has its Burroughs song, its Dick song, its Zamyatin song.

Though the synths throw up spectral possibilities of uncertain futures, it is the bass (and drum pulse) that anchor the songs in the back streets of a dire monochomatic London. Without Gardiner's bass these songs would not be such controlled exercises in restraint and power.

"Mr. Webb there is no way out," Gary sings, reminding himself of the traps that await failure or, even worse, success. Pop is there to give us a sparkling illusion, but Gary knew from the beginning that we never get to live in that glittering future, only in a present we fashion for ourselves, day by day. His songs are redolent of melancholy and loss from the very beginning.

Paul should have listened more closely.

-- Second Chameleon

This missive contains the first two Tubeway Army singles. "That's Too Bad" was issued in early 1978 in an obvious attempt to break the punk market. Despite the chugga-chugga guitar it contains a hint or two of stranger things to come. "The Lemon Kid is my friend" and other lyrics from "Oh! Didn't I Say" are pure Burroughs.

"Bombers" came five months later and marks Numan's first use of synthesiser, pressed into service to create the sound of a siren.

The two singles were re-issued together as a double pack after the debut album sold out its first run and started to create a stir. The versions here are the very best quality we could find, sourced from the very rare Japanese-only four CD set Asylum. This collected The Plan, Tubeway Army, Replicas and The Pleasure Principle together with rarities and b-sides. Eventually Beggars Banquet re-issued the albums individually in a similar fashion.


"That's Too Bad"
01 That's Too Bad (3:23)
02 Oh! Didn't I Say (2:19)
UK 7" Beggars Banquet [BEG 5] 1978.02

03 Bombers (3:54)
04 Blue Eyes (1:47)
05 O.D. Receiver (2:39)
UK 7" Beggars Banquet [BEG 8] 1978.07

"That's Too Bad" / "Bombers"
UK 2x7" Beggars Banquet [BACK 2] 1979.06

Asylum 1
Japan 4xCD Alfa Records [ALCB 6-9] 1990.12

07 February 2009

Tubeway Days: Paul Gardiner

Take that smile off your face
Wipe the tear from your eye
Don't say you're sorry for me

Paul Gardiner could not have known, when he was auditioning guitarists for his band The Lasers, that his life was about to take a quite sudden turn, that he would soon find himself helping to create one of the defining sounds of the post punk era, and reaping the rewards that followed from a string of hit singles and sold-out tours. No more could he have known that the trappings of such success would prove fatal.

But on that day in the summer of 1977, all Paul Gardiner knew was that he quite liked one of the candidates for the guitar slot, a somewhat awkward but good-natured guy with bleached blonde hair named Gary Webb. He talked the other members of the band into giving the job to Webb, and, in the weeks that followed, encouraged him to take on the role of lead singer, a role that Gardiner himself had been fulfilling up to that point. The two got along so well, in fact, that they decided to ditch The Lasers and to set up on their own, adopting the name Tubeway Army. Webb brought in his uncle Jess Lidyard to play the drums, and as a three piece they recorded some paint-by-number punk demos in the cheapest studio they could find. The songs were Webb's, and already showed his skill for crafting a memorable phrase, but musically they owed a lot to Gardiner's simple but effective bass lines and talent for crisp arrangements. The demo was summarily rejected by every company they approached, but Gardiner never lost faith in either Webb or his songs. When the guy behind the counter at the Beggar’s Banquet record shop in Ealing mentioned that he was starting up a label, the bassist talked him into listening to the demo. Tubeway Army soon found themselves with a record deal, Gary Webb renamed himself Gary Numan, and the future beckoned.

Paul Gardiner was the only member of Tubeway Army who stayed with Numan for the string of hit albums that followed, contributing his distinctive touch to Replicas, The Pleasure Principle, and Telekon, and joining Numan on stage for his farewell concerts at Wembley Stadium in 1981. When the other members of Numan’s backing band decided to carry on as Dramatis, Gardiner chose to go his own way. "Stormtrooper In Drag," his solo debut, saw the old Tubeway Army friends swapping roles: Gardiner played guitar and synth, while Numan took up the bass. The result had a cool, arty, understated feel that recalled Avalon-era Roxy Music or Japan's Gentlemen Take Polaroids. For many, though, the single appeared as a Numan project in all but name, with Numan not only playing bass, but producing and singing on both sides. In his autobiography, Praying To The Aliens, Numan recalls that he had little choice but to take the lead, given Gardiner’s erratic behaviour, the consequence of an increasingly serious heroin addiction. On one occasion, Gardiner "came into the studio and started to play and then he just keeled over, cracking his head quite badly on the side of the console. I thought he was unconscious but he was asleep, and when we tried to wake him we couldn’t. He had always been a bit flaky but this was different. This was scary."

Numan liked the b-side, "Night Talk," well enough to include it on his next album, the gentle, graceful, Dance, but the two gradually fell out of touch. Numan spent more and more time pursuing his great passion, flying twin-engined aircraft, and was forced into tax-exile in the US, while Gardiner descended further into his drug habit. They reunited briefly in 1983 to record some new material at Rock City Studios, with Numan again at the controls, but with Gardiner assuming the lead vocal duties for the first time since his days in The Lasers. Things, in fact, were looking up, when, suddenly, on February 4, 1984, Numan got a call from a mutual friend telling him that Gardiner had committed suicide, injecting himself with a lethal dose of heroin while sitting in a local park. The suicide note, pinned to his jacket, read simply, "Cremation please." "To be honest," Numan writes, "the horrible reality of what happened didn’t really sink in until the funeral. I remember looking at the coffin and thinking, 'You idiot. What a waste.'"

Numan would go on to work with many talented bass players, including Japan’s Mick Karn, and Pino Palladini, but in some ways his songs were best served by Gardiner’s economical but always apposite playing–it is as hard to imagine "Are 'Friends' Electric?" without Gardiner’s bass as it is to imagine it without Numan’s synthesizer. When Numan began his own label in 1984, Numa Records, he released Gardiner’s last recordings, a cover of The Velvet Underground’s "Venus In Furs" backed with an original composition, "No Sense," as NUM 1. The 7" version of that single, together with "Stormtrooper In Drag" and its b-side, "Night Talk," are included here. As a bonus, we’ve included Robert Palmer’s version of Numan’s "I Dream Of Wires," from his 1980 album, Clues, with Gardiner on bass.

-- Crash The Driver


"Stormtrooper In Drag"
01 Stormtrooper In Drag (4:59)
02 Night Talk (4:26)
UK 7" Beggars Banquet [BEG 61] 1981

Paul Gardiner: guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Gary Numan: vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards
John Webb: drums
Written by: Gardiner/Numan
Produced by: Numan

"Venus In Furs"
03 Venus In Furs (3:25)
04 No Sense (3:35)
UK 7" Numa [NU 1] 1984

Clues by Robert Palmer
05 I Dream Of Wires (4:36)

04 February 2009

"England's Trance" by Placebo

You went down like a dream
But I caught it all in colour.
This is an obscure one. And it's certainly not the Placebo you know. Instead it's the husband and wife (I assume) team of Gary and Michelle Wild, from somewhere in darkest England. Apparently in 1982 they found their way to the small village of Pity Me (I kid you not) near Durham and laid down nine tracks at Guardian Studios. And what tracks!

Placebo is so totally obscure that there's no info on the net. Their records are so rare no-one has blogged them. So who would expect something so freaking good?

Certainly I didn't. Back in the early eighties I bought the album 90% on the basis of the fantastic cover, and 10% on the basis of the incredible title. In those days a good title could sell me on a band, and a cool photo like the one provided by Brian Griffin would certainly urge me towards the till. I am sure the obscure song titles sealed the deal.

But that band photo? Ugh. One might expect something sub-Cure or sub-Banshees inside, but I am happy to say neither is true. Michelle's high-pitched vocals recall perhaps early Moev (and we'll get to them in a future post) but thankfully she's no Siouxsie wannabe.

So what do these nine tracks sound like?

Well, any time a song has one guitar track in each channel picking away in syncopated arpeggios, someone has to say the magic word "Television". Yet this record sounds nothing like anything Tom Verlaine has ever touched. There's a bit of I'm So Hollow in the sporadic synth burblings. Once or twice I think of Faction, the equally obscure Liverpool project. But Placebo is very much in a league of its own, with flanged electric guitars stitching an intricate web of sound through which Michelle Wild's voice moves with delicate precision. At its best, as with the single, "Poppy Dance," or the thrilling rocker, "Paying Hommage," this is post punk of the highest order, more than deserving of the double CD re-release with accompanying booklet and hagiographic liner notes that lesser bands have earned.

If anything lets the album down, it's the production. With Steve Severin at the helm this might have gained a layer of psychedelic excess. With Mike Hedges maybe a stripped-down monochromaticism. And with Martin Hannett a dubbed out industrial edge. As it is, it mostly sounds like a demo, but at least it's a demo with some nice pulsing bass (Brian Dixson), work-a-day drumming (Stephen Robson) and great guitar interplay between Gary Wild and George Handleigh. By the time you get to the closing track "Pseudo Silhouette" you'd be forgiven for once again turning to Television as a reference point. It's one of those songs that's long but still not nearly long enough. And laced with strange lines that echo the band's name: "He didn't know about vitamins / administered by a hypodermic syringe."

At some point I bought the single, perhaps hoping for different versions, but these did not materialise. Incredibly, the album was re-issued on CD in 1998 by See for Miles. But that is out of print and more difficult to find than the vinyl.

Prepare yourself now, post-punk fans. Once you hear "Poppy Dance" there's no going back!

If this is the placebo, I'd rather not have the real drug.

-- Second Chameleon


England's Trance
01 Poppy Dance (3:43)
02 Comrade (4:10)
03 Velvet Claws (4:31)
04 Gita (4:12)
05 Blot (3:54)
06 Fabian Policy (3:38)
07 Punishing Pierrot (4:06)
08 Paying Homage (3:52)
09 Pseudo Silhouette (8:12)
UK LP Aura Records [AUL 721] 1982
UK LP WEA / Aura Records [AURA 58488] 1982
UK CD See for Miles [SEECD 488] 1998

"Poppy Dance"
01 Poppy Dance
02 Punishing Pierrot
UK 7" Aura Records [AUS 133] 1982

For completeness, here's what the CD looked like. They changed the typography and made a big deal about it not being "that" Placebo.

01 February 2009

A Short History of Martha Ladly... Via YouTube

No-one's history should be told by YouTube. But since Crash The Driver did such a good job it's only fun to look at the flip side. Music videos are not the most forgiving medium, are they?

"Light Years From Love"
...in which we learn Martha has a pretty good back-stroke.

"Club Country" by The Associates
...featuring some naff violin miming but a hilarious Martha moment midway.

"Party Fears Two" by The Associates
...bad suit day?

...or maybe the flapper look?

"18 Carat Love Affair" by The Associates
...Billy loves Martha, Martha loves Billy?

"Addicted To Love" by Robert Palmer
Ladly toured to Japan with the band in 1986 and can be seen here having "fun" at 0:30 and 3:12. I say that in kindness so you can skip the rest of the video. But you do know that Palmer covered a Gary Numan tune and even co-wrote a song with Numan? It's a wonderful world!

-- Second Chameleon