Five Go Down To The Sea?: Singing In Braille


Creation 1985.  CRE021T


Five Go Down To The Sea? weren’t much like any other bands on Creation at the time.  Their music was jagged, discordant and chaotic with unhinged vocals, but was very much part of the achingly cool (back then) Ron Johnson sound, although despite their three singles being on three different labels, they never recorded for Ron Johnson.  The band apparently claimed that the much more successful Stump ripped them off, which is certainly a plausible story.  I think they’d spent too long listening to old Beefheart records.

This was the band’s last single, issued shortly before the lead singer drowned in Hyde Park while drunk.

So is it any good?   Well that depends on how much you like discordant music.  If you do it works well, but if you’re after the jangly indiepop more typical of early Creation singles, you’re in for a disappointment.  Whatever it’s the sort of obscure record this sort of blog should be about.

Various Artists: Good Morning Mister Presley


Grunt Grunt A Go Go Records 1985. GGAGG 1


In the 80s record shops groaned under the weight of indie compilation albums.  This is a rather obscure one, but consistently strong.  Most of the highlights are on side one – Marc Riley who used to be in The Fall, the always entertaining Yeah Yeah Noh with a different recording of Crimplene Seed Lifestyle (more from them another time), and what is for me is the best track English White Boy Engineer credited here to The Botha Boys who are actually The Three Johns.  The name change is just to emphasise the anti-apartheid message of the lyrics.  If you’re not up on South African history, PW Botha was the last apartheid prime minister.  The Bomb Party track is lifted from The Ray Gun EP which I’ll post another time.

The best known name is probably Microdisney who for some reason completely passed me by.

There’s not much information out there about this complilation so I don’t know how many of the tracks are exclusives, but it’s a worthwhile listen regardless.

Various Artists: Never Mind The Jacksons… Here’s The Pollocks


Abstract 1985.  12 ABS 030


A rare excursion into slightly gothy territory which isn’t usually my thing, but I’ve always rather liked this compilation. The Three Johns are always reliable, and the Bomb Party have a really dirty Cramps sound which works well.  It’s old enough for the New Model Army track to be worth a listen, and there’s an appearance by Five Go Down To the Sea? whose Creation 12″ I’ll post at some point.  According to discogs three of the tracks are Peel sessions, including the rather out of place Joolz spoken word piece the album ends with.

I bought this second hand and it’s a bit crackly I’m afraid.  Still, that’s vinyl for you.