C86 Show - Indie Pop
Big Country special with Mark Brzezicki

Big Country special with Mark Brzezicki

September 30, 2019

Big Country special with Mark Brzezicki in conversation with David Eastaugh

Big Country comprised Stuart Adamson (formerly of Skids, vocals/guitar/keyboards), Bruce Watson (guitar/mandolin/sitar/vocals), Tony Butler (bass guitar/vocals) and Mark Brzezicki (drums/percussion/vocals). Before the recruitment of Butler and Brzezicki an early incarnation of Big Country was a five-piece band, featuring Peter Wishart (later of Runrig and now a Scottish National Party MP) on keyboards, his brother Alan on bass, and Clive Parker, drummer from Spizz Energi/Athletico Spizz '80. Parker had approached Adamson to join his new band after the demise of Skids.

Adamson auditioned Parker (1980) at The Members' rehearsal room in Ladbroke Grove, London and the next day was called on to play drums on demos for CBS Records at their Whitfield Street studios. The demos were produced by Adam Sieff and just featured Adamson, Parker and Watson. Adamson had asked bassist Dave Allen from Gang of Fourto join the band but he declined. Adamson asked Parker to join the band, which led to eight months of rehearsal in Dunfermline in a disused furniture warehouse.

The culmination was a concert at the Glen Pavilion at Dunfermline and an interview with BBC Radio Scotland where the CBS Studio demos were utilised. The band then played live with Alice Cooper's Special Forces tour for two concerts in 1982 at The Brighton Centre.

Butler and Brzezicki, working under the name 'Rhythm for Hire,' were brought in to play on "Harvest Home." They immediately hit it off with Adamson and Watson, who invited them to join the band.

John Parish special

John Parish special

September 29, 2019

John Parish in conversation with David Eastaugh

Parish is best known for his work with singer-songwriter PJ Harvey. He has also worked with many other bands including Eels, Tracy Chapman, Giant Sand, and Sparklehorse

His first record release was a single "Mind Made" by the British new wave band, Thieves Like Us (1980). In 1982, he formed the band Automatic Dlamini, with Rob Ellis. The changing line-up of Automatic Dlamini included Polly Harvey from 1988 until 1991. Automatic Dlamini recorded three albums: The D is For Drum (1987),Here Catch Shouted his Father (1990 – unreleased but available as a bootleg), and From A Diva to a Diver(1992). By the time From A Diva to a Diver was released, Harvey had left to form the PJ Harvey trio with ex-Dlamini members Rob Ellis and Ian Olliver, and Parish was playing guitar with Marc Moreland's band The Ensenada Joyride.

In 1986 Parish had begun a parallel career as a record producer working with UK bands including The Chesterfields, The Brilliant Corners, The Caretaker Race and The Becketts. In 1995 he co-produced PJ Harvey's "To Bring You My Love", on which he also played guitar, drums, percussion and organ. He co-wrote and produced The Eels album Souljacker (2001), and played guitar on the world tour that accompanied its release. He has produced and/or played on a number of Howe Gelb / Giant Sand albums and frequently appears onstage with them. Parish produced the Giant Sandalbum Chore of Enchantment (2000), and a photograph of his wedding in Tucson in 1998 was used as the cover for the 2011 re-release of the record.

He also began working as a film composer in 1998, writing the score for Belgian director Patrice Toye's debut film, Rosie. Parish's score won the Jury Special Appreciation prize at the 1999 Bonn Film & TV Music Biennale. He has since scored other films and a Dutch seven-part TV drama Waltz(2006).

Parish has now worked on seven albums with Harvey, including two co-written albums: Dance Hall at Louse Point (1996) and A Woman A Man Walked By (2009). He played in the PJ Harvey touring band (guitar/drums/keyboards) from 1994 – 1999, from 2009 – 2012 and from 2015 - 2017. He co-produced and played on To Bring You My Love (1995),White Chalk (2007), the Mercury Prize winning Let England Shake (2011) and The Hope Six Demolition Project (2016).

Thee Hypnotics & Jim Jones Revue special with Jim Jones

Thee Hypnotics & Jim Jones Revue special with Jim Jones

September 28, 2019

Jim Jones in conversation talking about his life in music with David Eastaugh

Thee Hypnotics are an English psychedelic garage rock band, formed in 1985 in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England. The band are currently composed of frontman James "Jim" Jones, guitarist Ray Hanson, drummer Phil Smith and bassist Jeremy Cottingham. The band split in 1999, before announcing their reformation in January 2018.

The band recorded three studio and one live album for record labels including Sub Pop, Beggars Banquet/Situation Two, RCA Records, American Records. They were part of the early alternative rock and psychedelic rock London scene, and made an impact on the underground and alternative music scenes in the UK, Europe and the United States.

Co-founders Jones and Hanson were originally joined by drummer Mark Thompson and bassist Adam Sharam. Personnel changes ensued with others including drummer Chris Dennis (1987–88), bassist Will Pepper (1988–93 and 1994–95), Canadian drummer Phil Smith (1989–99) and bassist Jeremy Cottingham (1997–1999).

They released their first 7" single "Love In a Different Vein" in 1987 on Vinyl Solution. Thee Hypnotics subsequently signed to Situation Two a subsidiary of the independent record label, Beggars Banquet. The band cemented this union by scoring an independent chart hit with the 12" single "Justice In Freedom" and the follow up "Soul Trader".[1] Their live album, Live'r Than God (1989), elevated the band out of the UK club scene,[1] and they toured supporting both Gaye Bykers on Acid and Crazyhead, as well as on their own UK tour. In September 1989, Melody Maker noted that "Thee Hypnotics care only for their own generic past and frenetic present. The future doesn't even get a look in... Forget regression, this is reincarnation! Past, present and future!"[3] Thee Hypnotics were asked to do a radio session for BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel on 28 March 1989, and they recorded "Nine Times", "Love in a Different Vein", "Soul Trader" and "Let's Get Naked", and were previewed on MTV.

Thee Hypnotics began to attract attention in the United States, in particular Seattle where its own alternative rock scene was taking off. Sub Pop made Thee Hypnotics their first UK signing. Sub Pop's release of Live'r Than God! became the band's US debut, and encompassed not only a Powerhaus concert recording but also their singles to date. Thee Hypnotics shared pages with Mudhoney, Screaming Trees and Nirvana in the Seattle publication, Backlash. Seattle became a second home for the band and, after Mark Thomson was replaced by the Canadian drummer Phil Smith, the band made its US tour debut.

The Damned took the band out as their support act. The Lords of the New Church approached Thee Hypnotics lead singer, Jim Jones, to front the Lords but he declined. Subsequently, Stiv Batorswore a T-shirt with a 'singer wanted' advert and then sacked his band onstage.[6] In 1989, Ray Hanson and Jim Jones joined Stiv Bators onstage at The Opera On The Green, Shepherd's Bush, London, as temporary Dead Boys, after Cheetah Chrome failed to secure a work visa.

Talulah Gosh, Heavenly & Marine Research special with Peter Momtchiloff

Talulah Gosh, Heavenly & Marine Research special with Peter Momtchiloff

September 28, 2019

Peter Momtchiloff in conversation talking about his life in music with David Eastaugh.

Peter Momtchiloff is a British guitarist and bassist. His musical career began in 1978 playing bass guitar in Winchester band The Big Figure. At Oxford he continued as a bass player and vocalist in Ron and His Beat Busters (under the name Miguel Horton) and Communist Alliance. These outfits played a combination of cover versions and original material with new wave, R&B and rockabilly influences. As a guitarist he played in country bluestrio The Shovel Robinson King Biscuit Country Blue Band.

Momtchiloff was a founding member of the seminal twee pop bands Talulah Gosh, Heavenly and its later incarnation Marine Research. In 1999, he joined Jessica Griffin in her band the Would-Be-Goods.

He has also played guitar for Scarlet's Well, Les Clochards, and Hot Hooves.

In 2014 he formed a band called Tufthunter to record an album of his songs, each sung by a different singer. This album was released in 2015 under the title 'Deep Hits'.

 

Captain Beefheart special with John Drumbo French

Captain Beefheart special with John Drumbo French

September 28, 2019

Captain Beefheart special with John French in conversation with David Eastaugh.

French was invited to join Beefheart and the Magic Band in late 1966, as a replacement for Paul Blakely. Having played on Safe as Milk (1967), his distinctive drumming style moulded the driving heavy psychedelic blues of Strictly Personal (1968) and Mirror Man (1968, but not released till 1971). During the Trout Mask Replica sessions, French transcribed the musical ideas Beefheart played for him on piano for the rest of the band.

However, shortly after the completion of Trout Mask Replica, French was booted out of the group rather violently by Beefheart and was replaced by the inexperienced Jeff Bruschell. French was also contentiously omitted from the credits of Trout Mask Replica and was largely absent from the band photos taken for the artwork. Nevertheless, he was soon invited back and played on the critically acclaimed albums Lick My Decals Off, Baby and The Spotlight Kid, sharing percussion duties with Art Tripp aka Ed Marimba. Then in late 1972, just before an American tour, he left again.

Beefheart's contractual problems in 1975 forced him to join Frank Zappa's Bongo Fury tour,[citation needed] but as soon as he was able he reformed The Magic Band and French was recruited as both drummer and music director. 1976 saw the recording of the original version of Bat Chain Puller, which due to legal ownership problems remained unreleased until 2012. French also played guitar as well as drums on some of these songs. He walked out on Beefheart when his friend John Thomas (keyboards) was sacked from the band.

French visited Beefheart in 1980 looking for work and was hired to take part in the recording of Doc at the Radar Station, playing guitar (and drumming on two tracks). He left before the band toured though, when Beefheart handed him a list of 40 songs to learn over a 3-month period. French sealed the walkout the next day by returning the guitar Beefheart had loaned him.

 

Dolly Mixture special with Rachel Lowell

Dolly Mixture special with Rachel Lowell

September 27, 2019

Dolly Mixture special with Rachel Lowell in conversation with David Eastaugh 

Dolly Mixture were an English band formed in 1978 by bassist and vocalist Debsey Wykes, guitarist and vocalist Rachel Bor and drummer Hester Smith. They had a taste of Top 40 success performing backing vocals for the Captain Sensible hit "Wot", a Top 10 hit with Sensible on "Glad It's All Over", and a UK No. 1 hit backing Sensible on his 1982 cover of "Happy Talk". Rachel Bor also featured on the Animus/Loose Records single "Wot NO Meat?" also by Captain Sensible in 1985. Rachel and Debsey performed together on 24 April 2013 at the Islington Assembly Hall in London.

The group was formed in Cambridge by Bor, Smith, and Wykes, three school friends who shared a fondness for The Shangri-Las and The Undertones. Dolly Mixture supported The Undertones on one of their first UK tours. The band also played venues with The Fall and The Transmitters in 1979. They were once supported by U2. In Autumn 1981, they toured as the featured support band for Bad Manners on their Gosh It's tour and were very well received by the second wave mod/ska audience that filled various theatres and venues up and down the land.

Relocating to London to gig extensively, national BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel gave them exposure on his radio show and in his weekly column in the UK pop paper, Sounds. Signed to Chrysalis Records, the group released a cover of the Shirelles hit, "Baby It's You" (1980), produced by Eric Faulkner of the Bay City Rollers. However, the cover version was disowned by the group, which protested the label's attempt to sell them as a teen girl group. Their next single, "Been Teen" (1981), was the first single released on Paul Weller's Respond label. It was followed by "Everything And More" (1982), also released on Respond. Both singles were produced by Captain Sensible and Paul Gray of The Damned. They became friends with Sensible and recorded backing vocals on his singles and albums. After Sensible had a hit with "Happy Talk" in 1982 (featuring Dolly Mixture, credited as "Dolly Mixtures" on the single, and also in the song's video) and following various appearances on the television show Top of the Pops, Dolly Mixture – as a separate entity from Captain Sensible – performed extensively.

In 1983, the band released a double album called the "Demonstration Tapes" on their own Dead Good Dolly Platters label. The album sported a plain white cover and each copy was numbered and authentically autographed by the group members. Only one thousand copies were pressed. The album featured 27 demo tracks which covered a large part of the band's repertoire.

The same year saw a release of the "Remember This" single, again on Dead Good Dolly Platters label. The B-side was a piece entitled "Listening Pleasure/Borinda's Lament", which included dialogue (à la Home Service British Force's Radio DJ), a half-finished song and an instrumental chamber piece with Wykes on piano and Bor on cello.

The 12-inch vinyl Fireside EP was released in 1984 on Cordelia Records, owned by Alan Jenkins, a member of The Deep Freeze Mice. The six-track EP represented the band's new artistic direction and contained mostly instrumental pieces, abandoning the guitar/bass/drum format. The most recognisable track was "Dolly Medley", containing highlights of the Dolly's repertoire, including the previously unreleased "Dead Rainbow", all done in a chamber music style. It was produced by Dolly Mixture and Andrew Fryer.

The Bambi Slam with Roy

The Bambi Slam with Roy

September 27, 2019

The Bambi Slam special with Roy in conversation with David Eastaugh

After releasing 3 singles in 1987 on Product Inc./MUTE Records in the UK, put out by Rough Trade Records as the "Is" EP in the US. They then released their debut and only full length CD on Blanco y Negro/WEA in the UK, a huge thrill as the band where great fans of label mates the Jesus and Mary Chain, and Warner Bros Records put the record out in the US.

The band played and toured with the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Iggy, PiL, the Cult, Big Black, Fields of Nephilm , Sonic Youth , the Pixies etc. and was managed by Andrew Eldridge, singer of The Sisters of Mercy and his partner Boyd Steemson at Merciful Mngmt. They also did BBC radio sessions for both John Peel and Janice Long.

The Bodines with Paul Brotherton

The Bodines with Paul Brotherton

September 26, 2019

The Bodines special with Paul Brotherton in conversation with David Eastaugh

The Bodines, consisting of Mike Ryan, Paul Brotherton, Tim Burtonwood and Paul Lilley, emerged from Glossop, England, near Manchester, in 1985. Fronted by the floppy-fringed Ryan, they became one of the better-known outfits from a crop of jangly indie bands that sprang up around that time. They made their debut with "God Bless", an early release by Creation Records. Shortly afterwards, Lilley was replaced on drums by John Rowland. Two further singles followed; their second, "Therese", was included on the famous C86 compilation album. Like their contemporaries Primal Scream, The Mighty Lemon Drops and The Weather Prophets, The Bodines went on to sign up with a major label with great hopes of transferring their success to the mainstream charts. The group joined Magnet Records, where a remix of "Therese" became their major label debut.

In July 1986, The Bodines participated in the Festival of the Tenth Summer. The Bodines's debut album, Played (produced by Ian Broudie, later to enjoy success as a recording artist as the Lightning Seeds) scraped into No. 94 in the UK Albums Chart, in the summer of 1987. None of the Bodines' singles got into the UK Singles Chart. Under pressure for failing to deliver the hit record that their major label backers required, the Bodines split up, albeit temporarily. Rowland went on to play with The Rainkings.

In 1989, a reformed line-up of Ryan, Brotherton, new bassist Ian Watson, and new drummer Spencer Birtwistle released the single "Decide" on Manchester's Play Hard label and contributed a further new track to the same label's Hand to Mouth compilation. A couple of years later, Ryan reappeared with a new band called Medalark Eleven (misnamed after Harlem Globetrotters' Meadowlark Lemon), assisted by Gareth Thomas on bass and Adrian Donohue on drums. Reunited with Creation Records, they released a couple of singles ahead of the album Shaped Up, Shipped Out.

On 23 August 2010, The Bodines debut album Played was reissued with seven bonus tracks on the Cherry Red label.

Fanny special with Alice de Buhr

Fanny special with Alice de Buhr

September 24, 2019

Fanny special with in conversation with David Eastaugh.

Fanny was an American rock band, active in the early 1970s. They were one of the first all-female rock groups to achieve critical and commercial success, including two Billboard Hot 100 top 40 singles.

The group was founded by guitarist June Millington and her sister, bassist Jean, (who had been playing music together since they moved from the Philippines to California in the early 1960s). After playing through several variations of the band, they attracted the interest of producer Richard Perry who signed them to Reprise Records in 1969 as Fanny. The band recorded four albums together before June Millington quit the group, leading to the original line-up splitting. Following a final album, Fanny disbanded in 1975. The Millington sisters have continued to play music together since the split, and with a former drummer, Brie Howard Darling, formed the spin-off group Fanny Walked the Earth in 2018.

The group has continued to attract critical acclaim for rejecting typical girl group styles and expectations of women in the rock industry generally, and emphasizing their musical skills. Later groups, such as The Bangles and The Runaways, cited Fanny as a key influence.

Sisters June and Jean Millington moved with their family from the Philippines to Sacramento, California, in 1961. They began to play music together on ukuleles as they found it helped them gain friends. In high school they formed an all-female band called the Svelts with June on guitar, Jean on bass, Addie Lee on guitar, and Brie Brandt on drums. Brandt left to get married and was later replaced by Alice de Buhr. When the Svelts disbanded, de Buhr and Lee formed another all-female group called Wild Honey. The Millington sisters later joined this band, which played Motown covers and eventually moved to Los Angeles.

Frustrated by a lack of success or respect in the male-dominated rock scene, Wild Honey decided to disband after one final open-mic appearance at the Troubadour Club in Los Angeles in 1969. They were spotted at this gig by the secretary of producer Richard Perry, who had been searching for an all-female rock band to mentor. Perry convinced Warner Bros. Records to sign the band, still known as Wild Honey, to Reprise Records. The group won the contract without the label hearing them play, on the grounds of being a novelty act, despite their genuine musical talent. Prior to recording their first album, the band recruited keyboardist Nickey Barclay.

The band was then renamed Fanny, not with a sexual connotation but to denote a female spirit. The initial lineup consisted of June Millington on guitar, Jean Millington on bass, de Buhr on drums, Barclay on keyboards, and Brandt on lead vocals and percussion. Perry dismissed Brandt because he wanted the group to be a self-contained four piece band like The Beatles. The Millingtons and Barclay all assumed lead vocal duties on alternating songs, while de Buhr sang lead occasionally on later albums.

Perry produced the band's first three albums, beginning with Fanny in 1970. Because of the connection to Perry and Reprise Records, Barclay was invited to tour with Joe Cocker as a backing singer, and consequently appeared on the album Mad Dogs and Englishmen. The group's cover of Cream's "Badge" from the first album had significant radio airplay. The follow-up album, Charity Ball was released the following year, and its title track reached #40 on the Billboard Hot 100. The members of Fanny also worked as session musicians, and played on Barbra Streisand's 1971 album Barbra Joan Streisand, after Streisand had wanted to record with a small band. The group continued to pick up well-known fans; David Bowie sent the group a letter admiring their work and invited the band to a post-show party where he showed them mime techniques. With young engineer Leslie Ann Jones as their road manager and live sound mixer, Fanny toured worldwide, opening for Slade, Jethro Tull and Humble Pie, gaining widespread popularity in the United Kingdom. A 1971 article in Sounds remarked that the group "seems that they are the support group to everyone these days". The group made several live television appearances during tours, including The Sonny and Cher Show, American Bandstand, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Beat-Club.

The group's third album, Fanny Hill (1972) featured the Beatles' engineer Geoff Emerick in addition to Perry's production. It included a cover of "Hey Bulldog" and Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar". The latter featured regular Rolling Stones saxophonist Bobby Keys, and was released as a single, reaching #85 on the Billboard Hot 100.[16][17] Fellow Stones sideman Jim Price also played brass on the album.Rolling Stone wrote a rave review of the album, praising the group's musical skills and particularly June Millington's ability to play both lead and rhythm guitar.

Their fourth album, Mother's Pride (1973), was produced by Todd Rundgren. By the time Mother's Pride was released, June Millington was feeling constrained by the group format. The record label wanted her to wear certain designer clothes and adopt a hard rock image, which she resisted. She decided to quit the group, later saying "I needed to figure out who I was" and regularly clashed with Barclay, who had a different personality to her. June moved to Woodstock to study Buddhism, but insisted the group continue without her.

de Buhr also left the band, with Brandt returning on drums. Patti Quatro (sister of Suzi Quatro) replaced June on guitar. This lineup signed with Casablanca Records and released the final Fanny album, Rock and Roll Survivors, in 1974. The first single, "I've Had It" reached #79 on the Billboard Hot 100. Brandt left the band shortly after the album's completion when she married composer James Newton Howard, and was briefly replaced by Cam Davis. Barclay quit the group at the end of 1974, thinking it was not working without June Millington. The second single, "Butter Boy" was written by Jean Millington about Bowie, and became their biggest hit, reaching #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1975. By the time that was released, the group had split.

C86 Show - Various

C86 Show - Various

September 24, 2019

Featuring the music of The Cure, Throwing Muses, Terry & Gerry, The Pogues & much much more

Ut special with Jacqui Ham

Ut special with Jacqui Ham

September 20, 2019

Ut special with Jacqui Ham in conversation with David Eastaugh 

Ut's members were Nina Canal, Jacqui Ham, and Sally Young. They were joined briefly by filmmaker Karen Achenbach in 1979 before resuming as a three-piece band and relocating to London in 1981. Ut toured the UK with bands such as the Fall and the Birthday Party. Originally releasing albums on its own label Out Records, the band became a favourite of John Peel and recorded several sessions for his show before joining forces with Blast First in 1987.

In Gut's House was originally released in 1988 and made NME's Top 50 that year. The Washington Post noted, "With In Gut's House, Ut has scraped and droned one of the finest underground rock albums of the year.... The tightly woven, firmly focused sound...is rich, spooky, urgent, and quite unexpectedly beautiful."

In 1989, the band recorded and released the album Griller, engineered by labelmate Steve Albini, who shared Ut's raw aesthetic. In March 1990, Ut played its last concert in Paris.

 

The Senseless Things with Morgan Nicholls

The Senseless Things with Morgan Nicholls

September 19, 2019

The Senseless Things special with Morgan Nicholls in conversation with David Eastaugh

Senseless Things formed around the musical partnership of songwriter Mark Myers aka Mark Keds (vocals, guitar) and Morgan Nicholls (bass, originally guitar), who as eleven-year-olds in Twickenham, Middlesex put together Wild Division in the early 1980s. With the addition of drummer Cass Browne (also occasionally known as Cass Cade and Cass Traitor) they became the Psychotics, playing various venues in their local area despite still being at school. Their first gig together as the Senseless Things (named after a phrase used in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Julius Caesar) followed at the subsequently-demolished Clarendon in Hammersmith, London, in October 1986. Auxiliary members at this stage included a keyboard player, Ben, and a guitarist, Gerry, who deputised for Nicholls while the latter was studying for his O levels.

The definitive Senseless Things line-up formed in summer 1987 when Nicholls returned to take over bass, with the new recruit, former BBC clerk Ben Harding acquiring the vacant guitarist's role. The band regularly appeared at The Clarendon in Hammersmith, London playing both downstairs in the Broadway bar and upstairs in the main auditorium.

Taking their musical cue from the Ramones and the Dickies, and their spiritual lead from fellow guitar outfit Mega City Four, the quartet embarked upon a hectic touring schedule, often playing on the same bill as Mega City Four, Snuff and Perfect Daze.

The band's first releases were singles given away with issues of Yo Jo Jo and Sniffin' Rock fanzines. By March 1988 the band had attracted the attention of the BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who invited them to record the first of three sessions for his programme. The "Up And Coming" 12" followed, then "Girlfriend" the following year, both on Way Cool Records.

Their first album, Postcard CV, was released in 1989, capturing the energy of their concerts by packing ten tracks into twenty two minutes. Record Collector called it "sprightly pop-punk/ indie with touches of Buzzcocks and the Undertones". The album was rounded off by "Too Much Kissing", which was released as a single and was to become their signature track.

In 1990 the band signed with What Goes On Records, just as the label collapsed, resulting in an abortive EP release. The band then signed to Vinyl Solution subsidiary Decoy Records, who released the four-track EP "'Is It Too Late?", produced by Jon Langford of the Mekons. The group stayed with Decoy for "Can't Do Anything", (also produced by Langford), which prefaced an appearance at the Reading Festival; the band then signed to Epic Records at the start of 1991.

The subsequent album The First Of Too Many saw the band experimenting with other styles including acoustic songs, and the single "Got It At The Delmar" entered the Top 50 of the UK Singles Chart. Allmusic praised the album's blend of "bubblegum pop" and "gobstopping hard rock", likening the band's sound to the Who and the Replacements. Two further Top 20singles followed in 1991/1992 - "Easy To Smile" and "Hold It Down". The band toured the United States, supporting Blur, and went to Japan for the first time, appearing on talent show Ika-Ten.

Cover art for the first two Senseless Things albums and most single releases around the same period was provided by comic artist Jamie Hewlett, creator of Tank Girl and later Gorillaz.

The second single from their third album, 1993's Empire of the Senseless, "Homophobic Asshole" (with promotional video directed by Steven Wells) received critical acclaim but was released reluctantly by their record company due to the band's choice of title and failed to chart highly. Follow-up single, "Primary Instinct", an equally political (anti-racist) lyric but a more radio-friendly title, had slightly more commercial success. In a further Mekons connection, the album shared its title with a track from the 1989 album The Mekons Rock 'n Roll, itself named for a Kathy Acker novel.

In 1995, the band released a final album, Taking Care Of Business accompanied by two singles, "Christine Keeler" (renamed from "Christian Killer") and "Something To Miss". The latter's b-sides included a Replacements cover as well as a song co-written with Lenie from Mambo Taxi. Senseless Things went into permanent hiatus the same year after farewell tours of the UK and Japan.

Mark Kramer in conversation

Mark Kramer in conversation

September 17, 2019

Mark Kramer in conversation talking about his life in music with David Eastaugh 

Mark Kramer  known professionally as Kramer, is a musician, composer, record producer and founder of the New York City record label Shimmy-Disc. He was a full-time member of the bands New York Gong, Shockabilly, Bongwater and Dogbowl & Kramer, has played on tour (usually on bass guitar) with bands such as Butthole Surfers, B.A.L.L., Ween, Half Japanese and The Fugs(1984 reunion tour), and has also performed regularly with John Zorn and other improvising musicians of New York City's so-called "downtown scene" of the 1980s.

Kramer's most notable work as a producer has been with bands such as Galaxie 500 (whose entire oeuvre he produced), Low (whom he discovered and produced), Half Japanese, White Zombie, GWAR, King Missile, Danielson Famile, Will Oldham, Daniel Johnston, and Urge Overkill, including their hit cover of "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon".

Age of Chance with Neil Howson

Age of Chance with Neil Howson

September 17, 2019

Age of Chance special with Neil Howson in conversation with David Eastaugh

Steve Elvidge was a Leeds native, and attended St Michael's College (R.C.); being the most notable musical alumnus of that school since Jake Thackray. Neil Howson, (guitar) also from Leeds studied at Jacob Kramer College of Art, Geoff Taylor (Liverpool) and Jan Perry (Stockport) were students at Leeds Polytechnic, now Leeds Beckett University.

Age of Chance first came to national attention in 1985, when their debut single, "Motorcity/ Everlasting Yeah" released on their own label, Riot Bible, was picked up and championed by BBC Radio 1 DJ, John Peel. A session followed, recorded at Maida vale studios and four songs, "Going, Going Gone Man", "Mob Hut", "The Morning After the Sixties" and "I Don't Know and I Don't Care" were recorded. "I Don't Know.." was re-recorded for Gunfire and Pianos, a compilation album released by Zigzag magazine.

They released their second self-funded single, "Bible of the Beats" / "Liquid Jungle" in January 1986, which led to an invitation to contribute a track, "From Now On, This Will Be Your God" on the NME C86 compilation tape. The band made their London debut at the ICA Rock week in July 1986. A second Peel session was recorded in June 1986, with "Be Fast, Be Clean, Be Cheap", "From Now On, This Will be Your God", "Kiss" and "How the West was Won". "Kiss" was recorded for the John Peel session while the Prince single was still in the charts.

The band then signed to the Sheffield independent record label, Fon, for "Kiss" and its remix 12"s and six track mini-LP Crush Collision. "Kiss" was No. 2 in John Peel's Festive Fifty for 1986.

The band signed to Virgin in January 1987, and embarked on a nationwide UK tour. They recorded a Janice Long session comprising "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Noise", "Hold On" and "Bible of the Motorcity Beats." They began recording their first single for Virgin with producer Howard Gray: "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Noise/Big Bad Rap" and then started their first Virgin album, One Thousand Years of Trouble. A second single "Don't Get Mad, Get Even" was released in October, followed by the album. In 1988, Channel 4 began using "Don't Get Mad..." as the music for the American Football programme, which ran over the next three years. The band began recording their second Virgin album in the summer at Rockfield in Wales.

Original singer Steven-E left in September 1988, during the recording of their second LP, forcing the rest of the band to recruit a new singer, Charles Hutchinson, in January 1989, and "re-vocal" the LP, which was released as Mecca in 1990. The main single from that collection, "Higher Than Heaven" reached No. 53 in the UK, despite being voted "record of the week" by BBC Radio 1's breakfast show listeners. When Hutchinson left, Perry took on vocal duties briefly before the band split in 1991.

 

C86 Show - Various

C86 Show - Various

September 17, 2019

Music by Girls At Our Best, The Primitives, The Chameleons, That Petrol Emotion and much much more

Galaxie 500 & Luna special with Dean Wareham

Galaxie 500 & Luna special with Dean Wareham

September 14, 2019

Galaxie 500 & Luna special with Dean Wareham in conversation

Guitarist Dean Wareham, drummer Damon Krukowski and bassist Naomi Yang had met at the Dalton School in New York City in 1981, but began playing together during their time as students at Harvard University.Wareham and Krukowski had formed a series of punk-influenced student bands, before Wareham returned to New York. When he returned in 1987 he and Krukowski formed a new band, with Yang joining the group on bass guitar, the new group deciding on the name Galaxie 500, after a friend's car, a Ford Galaxie 500.

The band began playing gigs in Boston and New York City, and recorded a demo which they sent to Shimmy Disc label boss and producer Mark Kramer, who agreed to produce the band. With Kramer at the controls, the band recorded the "Tugboat" single in February 1988, and the "Oblivious" flexi-disc, and moved on to record their debut album, Today, which was released on the small Aurora label. The band toured the United Kingdom in late 1988 and in 1989, then signed to Rough Trade and released their second album, On Fire, which has been described as "lo-fi psychedelia reminiscent of Jonathan Richman being backed by The Velvet Underground", and is considered the band's defining moment.On Fire reached number 7 in the UK Indie Chart, and met with much critical acclaim in the United Kingdom, but was less well received by the US music press, who cited Wareham's 'vocal limitations' as a weakness.

Galaxie 500 recorded two sessions for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 programme, these later released on the Peel Sessions album. Their cover of Jonathan Richman's "Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste" was also voted into number 41 in 1989's Festive 50 by listeners to the show.

The band split up in the spring of 1991 after the release of their third album, This Is Our Music. Wareham, who had already moved back to New York, quit the band after a lengthy American tour.

Galaxie 500's records were released in the US and UK on the independent Rough Trade label. When Rough Trade went bankrupt in 1991, Krukowski and Yang purchased the masters at auction, reissuing them on Rykodisc in 1996 as a box set containing all three albums and another disc of rarities.

The Pooh Sticks with Hue Williams

The Pooh Sticks with Hue Williams

September 14, 2019

The Pooh Sticks special with Hue Williams in conversation with David Eastaugh

The Pooh Sticks were an indie pop band from Swansea, Wales recording between 1988 and 1995. They were notable for their jangly melodiousness and lyrics gently mocking the indie scene of the time such as on "On Tape", "Indiepop Ain't Noise Pollution" and "I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well". The band changed direction on their 1991 U.S breakthrough The Great White Wonder, eschewing the 'twee' British indie pop sound for a more American-styled power pop sound, akin to bands like Jellyfish and Redd Kross. Subsequent albums Million Seller, released on 11 January 1993, considered by some power pop fans to be the band's best work, and Optimistic Fool, released on 24 April 1995, followed in this style.

The Searchers with Frank Allen

The Searchers with Frank Allen

September 13, 2019

The Searchers special with Frank Allen talking about their career and recent tour - with David Eastaugh 

Dweezil Zappa

Dweezil Zappa

September 13, 2019

Dweezil Zappa discussing his life in music, Frank Zappa and performing the classic 1974 album Apostrophe - with David Eastaugh 

Dweezil commented “Not only will we be performing with Frank once again via the technological wonderment of enhanced video during the live performance, but we will also be performing the works from one of his most well known albums. That’s right, ‘Apostrophe’, played in it’s album running order. It’s always been one of my favourites and it’s certainly a fan favourite as well. My very first experience playing to a large audience took place in the UK. I played at the Hammersmith Odeon with my dad when I was 12 years old. All these years later I still feel a connection to the UK because it’s part of a touchstone type of memory for me. One day I would love to come full circle and play at that venue again with my band. I know the venue now lives on under a different name but there’s a parallel there. My father’s music is also living on under a slightly different name, Dweezil Zappa Plays Zappa.”

“I’m really looking forward to this upcoming tour especially on the heels of the Roundhouse Zappa festival. That was such a great experience. We’ll be playing the entire Apostrophe album on tour and that really is a lot of fun. We’ll have some other surprises in the set as well. We always strive to learn new material each time we tour and this time we’re going to dig deep

Sam Knee talking about Memories of a Free Festival

Sam Knee talking about Memories of a Free Festival

September 13, 2019

Author Sam Knee discussing Memories of a Free Festival: The Golden Era of the British Underground Festival Scene - with David Eastaugh

Free music festivals were at the epicentre of counterculture in Britain during the latter half of the 20th Century. With roots deeply embedded in the social history of British folklore, they evolved from embryonic jazz festivals through the anti-nuclear protest marches of the early ‘60s, to the Rock Against Racism and Jobs for a Change gigs of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. They encapsulated the most radical voices of generations of young people, as they responded to the political schisms and social unrest that surrounded them. Memory of a Free Festival celebrates this wondrous world of bohe - mia. Hundreds of previously unpublished period photos capture jazz-loving beatniks, flower power hippies and post punk indie kids in all their festival finery.