October 5, 2020
The Fabulous Poodles special with Bobby Valentino in conversation with David Eastaugh
Valentino's first success was as a founding member of The Fabulous Poodles, but he is most often recognised as the violinist and co-writer of the hit single "Young at Heart", by The Bluebells.
After leaving the Fabulous Poodles in the early 1980s, Valentino was a member of the Electric Bluebirds before joining the Hank Wangford Band at the beginning of 1984: the British country band already included pedal steel guitarist B. J. Cole (Cochise) and former Liverpool Scene/Scaffold/ guitarist Andy Roberts.
October 5, 2020
The Verlaines special with Graeme Downes in conversation with David Eastaugh
The Verlaines were noted for their angular, "difficult" song structures, wordy and downbeat lyrics, unusual subject matter, which was all contained in often frantic up-tempo playing. The Verlaines were led by songwriter and vocalist/guitarist Graeme Downes, although many other New Zealand musicians played guitar, bass, drums and brass instruments during the different stages of the band. Downes is an academic at the University of Otago, where he is head of the Department of Music. He teaches contemporary music and has research interests in Mahler and Shostakovich. He has released one solo album, Hammers and Anvils, which came out on Matador Records in 2001.
Their signature songs include "Death and the Maiden", "C.D. Jimmy Jazz & Me", "Bird-dog" and "Ballad of Harry Noryb."
The band's recorded debut was on the seminal Dunedin Double EP, which was released by Flying Nun Records and was the debut of several bands who would go on to be central to the mythology of the Dunedin sound.
In 2003, a career retrospective, You're Just Too Obscure for Me, was released.
The Verlaines contributed the soundtrack to the film Eden, collaborating with actor Adetokunbo Adu, and screenwriter Rebecca Tansley. A song from Eden, What Sound is This? appeared on their album Untimely Meditations in 2012.
October 3, 2020
New Fast Automatic Daffodils special with Andy Spearpoint in conversation with David Eastaugh
The band was formed in 1988 by former members of the punk rock group Pariah. Dolan Hewison, Justin Crawford, Perry Saunders and Icarus Wilson-Wright were former students at Manchester Polytechnic, while Andy Spearpoint attended drama school. The name comes from a poem by Adrian Henri that mixed an advertisement for a yellow Dutch car with a Wordsworth poem. Often associated with the 'Madchester' scene of the late 1980s, but never really part of that scene, the band's debut single, "Lions" was released in 1989 on Playtime records (then home to Inspiral Carpets), followed the same year by the Music Is Shit EP. In 1990, they signed to Play It Again Sam (record label)|Play It Again Sam Records, September of that year seeing the release of "Fishes Eyes", and debut album Pigeonhole appearing in November, which reached the UK top 50.
October 3, 2020
Bush Tetras special with Cynthia Sley in conversation with David Eastaugh
Bush Tetras are an American post-punk band from New York City, formed in 1979. They are best known for the 1980 song "Too Many Creeps", which exemplified the band's sound of "jagged rhythms, slicing guitars, and sniping vocals". Although they did not achieve mainstream success, the Bush Tetras were influential and popular in the Manhattan club scene and college radio in the early 1980s. New York's post-punk revival of the 2000s was accompanied by a resurgence of interest in the genre, with the Tetras' influence heard in many of that scene's bands.
October 2, 2020
Spike Williams in conversation with David Eastaugh
Welsh guitarist and co-founder of South Wales' record label, Z Block Records. In May 1979, Z Block set up a base in Splott, Cardiff, where they set about organising the city's first DIY compilation LP. Titled Is The War Over?, this seminal compilation was released in October 1979 and its release brought The Young Marble Giants to Rough Trade's attention. It also showcased many of Cardiff's best post punk bands of the period. Reptile Ranch disbanded in 1980.
After the split of Young Marble Giants in 1980, Spike started writing with their vocalist, Alison Statton. Later that year, Alison merged this work with a London-based project which brought in Simon Emmerson to create a new band named Weekend. At the same time Spike was working in Cardiff with Lewis Mottram and Debbie Debris as Table Table. When Weekend split in 1983, Spike returned to Splott and formed Bomb and Dagger with singer Debbie Debris and a handful of Cardiff musicians - the original line-up included both Alison Statton and Phil Moxham, and Andrew Moxham.
Bomb and Dagger performed regularly throughout South Wales including the Brecon Jazz Festival before splitting up in 1989 following a gruelling European tour.
Spike moved to London in 1990 and worked with folk musician Charlotte Grieg. After an eight-year break, Spike and Alison Statton returned to the studio thanks to the support of Rough Trade founder, Geoff Travis. Between 1991 and 1997 Statton and Spike produced Weekend in Wales (EP) and two home made studio albums, Tidal Blues and The Shady Tree for Vinyl Japan.
In 2006, the Alison Statton & Spike material was re-released by LTM while the Weekend material was re-released by the Cherry Red record label.