Here's the contents of #2. If anyone would like a paper copy then let me know...
‘LAST TRAIN TO EASTLEIGH!’ #2 – DECEMBER 2013
Welcome to the second issue of ‘Last Train To Eastleigh!’! Almost 4 years since #1! I have made several attempts to start this during that time & some bits from those have been recycled but the bulk of this issue was put together whilst I recovered from a hernia operation in October. Same format as last time, with the emphasis on the words. Further copies of this (& #1) are available on request. As you can see from the address below, I now live back in my hometown! Another positive change was starting ‘The Sun Shines Here!’ (see overleaf). If you’d like one of the badges Sam made for the first birthday night, get in touch! Likewise any feedback or comments gratefully received to the contact points below.
In addition to those explicitly written about here, there have been many great records released since the last issue. As well as reissues (ORANGE JUICE, SUGARGLIDERS, BRILLIANT CORNERS, GROOVE FARM, HURRAH!, BLUEBOY, the ‘Scared To Get Happy’ box), we’ve seen new ones by reformed giants (JUNE BRIDES, PRIMITIVES, WILD SWANS, THE WAKE) & (more vitally) new discs by PALE LIGHTS, ANDERSEN TAPES, DREAM DIARY, PASTELS, SOURPATCH, CAMERA OBSCURA, HEATHERS, LA SERA, BIG WAVE, VERONICA FALLS, BLEACHED etc. This is vibrant & happening now! I’d like to thank the Joiners & Cellar staff for all their friendly help with ‘The Sun Shines Here!’ & all who have supported it. R.I.P. Lou Reed - without THE VELVET UNDERGROUND pretty much none of the stuff written about here would exist. Finally, this is dedicated with love to Geraldine & Rhys for putting up with it all! Rich – December 2013…
17 Oak Tree Way,
Straight into the breach, direct from the bands/labels themselves aside, the best places to buy indiepop records in the U.K. are still Pebble Records (http://www.pebblerecords.co.uk
) & Norman (http://www.normanrecords.com
). Ben stopped his ‘Fire Escape Talking’ blog but started ‘Did Not Chart’ in a similar vein & he still has great taste! (http://www.didnotchart.blogspot.co.uk
) ‘The Sun Shines Here!’ regular Andy’s ‘Pleasure City Avenue’ blog covers indiepop, cats and football (http://www.pleasurecityavenue.blogspot.co.uk
) & his ‘Hopping Around Hampshire’ concentrates on non-league footie grounds in our fine county! (http://www.hoppingaroundhampshire.blogspot.co.uk
). Roque is an indiepop obsessive & as well as running the swell New York label Cloudberry, he also does an ace blog of the same name that has mined some of Southampton’s indiepop history! (http://www.cloudberryrecords.com
The Anorak forum remains the online focus of U.K. indiepop and one of the places where you can find the contents of this fanzine online, along with details of future ‘The Sun Shines Here!’ events (http://www.anorakforum.com
). The SoundsXP forum has more of a London focus (http://www.soundsxp.com
) & you can sometimes find punk kids talking about indiepop on the Collective board (http://www.collective-zine.co.uk
). Dandelion is an internet radio show inspired by the spirit of John Peel & Rocker from the reformed FLATMATES & THE ROSEHIPS does a great show (http://www.dandelionradio.com
). Was pleasantly surprised to hear the plasterer we had at our house last week, working to 6Music rather than the usual radio dross! Gideon Coe’s ace weekday evening show has recently aired old sessions by the likes of HEAVENLY, MCCARTHY & THE SERVANTS, as well as new records by JOANNA GRUESOME & THE FIREWORKS & Gideon read out a post-operation text I sent from my hospital bed last month! I also enjoy Marc Riley’s show too. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music
SOUTHAMPTON INDIEPOP CITY (PART 2)!...
One of the centrepieces of #1 was a look at Southampton’s indiepop heritage. It was always intended to be an evolving work in progress, so here goes with a bit of gap-filling and an update on some of the things that have happened in the area during the last 3+ years!...
An early gig I omitted to mention was the amazing DOLLY MIXTURE supporting BAD MANNERS at the Gaumont (now Mayflower) in November 1981. Sadly they had to avoid abuse, missiles & stiff right arms from boneheads there to see the headliners. On a happier note, 2010 saw the release of their brilliant ‘Everything & More’ CD boxset & hopefully Paul Kelly’s ‘Take 3 Girls’ documentary film will get a DVD release soon. The sleeve-notes to Cherry Red’s MIGHTY MIGHTY ‘Pop Can’ discography 2xCD (http://www.cherryred.co.uk
) talk about this ace Birmingham group playing the University in February 1987, with the John Peel Roadshow. I didn’t hear a thing about this gig, so I’m guessing it was a student-only affair – luckily for me I had seen them in London the year before.
Talking about THE MAYFIELDS last time, I overlooked their 1988 split 7” flexi with THE BADGEMAN? on Compact & Bijou & there has been talk of a retrospective CD & even some gigs to tie in with it! After THE MAYFIELDS, bassist Iain was in THE FIREKITES & their ace ‘Tears & Togetherness’ tape was reissued on a 3” CD by Cloudberry, with the packaging including a re-print of a 1991 ‘Due South’ article on the band by Ged Babey. More recently, Iain has played in more garage/mod bands in Portsmouth like VORTEX BUZZ & THE SUPERSONICS. MAYFIELDS drummer Mark is now playing in the Bristol based indiepop band THE HI-LIFE COMPANION, who are just about to release their 2nd album ‘Our Years In The Wilderness’ on their No Pudding Annie label (http://www.thehilifecompanionboy1971.wordpress.com
Another Southampton band from the early 90s were WHIRLPOOL HEART. Sounding to me like a more indiepop COCTEAU TWINS, they debuted on Ambition’s ‘Bobby Stokes Salutes The Fall Of Manchester’ tape. Their first gig at The Joiners sadly clashed with an England game during the Italia ’90 World Cup, which meant a very sparse crowd! Carol & Colin from the band are still around in Southampton & Roque has written about them on his Cloudberry blog (see Indiepop Resources section). Mentioned THE LOVE BUTTONS last time & I see drummer Pete from time to time at St Marys Stadium, as he sits near us at Saints’ games!
The American Hyped To Death label has issued a superb series of ‘Messthetics’ CDs covering regional UK D.I.Y. bands from the late 70s & early 80s. ‘Messthetics #108 South Coast D.I.Y. ’77-81’ features bands from Bournemouth to Brighton including THE CHEFS (their own ‘Records & Tea’ retrospective CD on Damaged Goods is essential!), POISON GIRLS, THE LILLETTES & from Southampton GREETING NO. 4 & CATHOLIC GIRLS/ ALMOST CRUELTY (http://www.hyped2death.com
). One band Chuck couldn’t get hold of for the CD were THE BITTER LEMMINGS but they have recently appeared on Dave Sharpe’s excellent ‘Boredom City – Southampton: The Punk Scene 1977-82’ CD (sharpproductATtiscaliDOTcoDOTuk).
From over the Solent in Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight, were the great TRIXIE’S BIG RED MOTORBIKE. Last year the band’s own Lobby Lud label released the ‘All Day Long In Bliss’ CD, compiling their brilliant indiepop minimalism, that anyone listening to John Peel in the early 80s couldn’t fail to have heard! The CD features sleeve-notes from fans like Amelia Fletcher & members of THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN. Now based in Japan, the band have played recent gigs and recorded a new single. (http://www.trixiesbigredmotorbike.bandcamp.com
Also faves of the late, lamented John Peel (their albums featured in his online record collection archive) were Southampton indiepop band ACCRINGTON STANLEY. They have been very active in the last few years with lots of gigs (some as part of the Sofa City Collective – I DJed at their ‘Kick Over The Statues!’ gig at The Cellar) and late last year they released a decent new album ‘Exactly’ Their back catalogue has been made available digitally too (http://www.accrington-stanley.com
The nicest surprise to come out of Southampton in recent years were THE NOTES. Backed by a drum machine were Lauren, Sam & Aaron (regulars at ‘The Sun Shines Here!’). Their 2010 double 10” ‘Wishing Well’ on San Diego’s Bleeding Gold label (http://www.bleedinggoldrecords.com
) looks gorgeous with its gatefold sleeve and coloured vinyl discs but even better the 12 songs within (mostly written in Greville Road, around the corner from my old Shirley flat!) are a glorious mix of SHOP ASSISTANTS & YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS. Although they mostly played abroad (France & Spain), I did get to see THE NOTES at London Popfest 11 before they faded away (http://www.myspace.com/wearethenotes
Aaron from THE NOTES also recorded under THE PIPERS moniker & had a split 7” with the French MARC DESSE also on Bleeding Gold Records (http://www.thepipers.bandcamp.com
). After Sam moved to London, he formed FLOWERS continuing in a similar vein but even more prolific than THE NOTES, touring Europe with THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, playing NYC Popfest & releasing 3 great 7”s in 2013 on Cloudberry, Odd Box (http://www.oddboxrecords.com
) & Fortuna Pop. Early on, Rachel & Sam sent me a CD of FLOWERS songs to play at ‘The Sun Shines Here!’, with a drawing of me on the handmade cover! Hopefully I’ll get the chance to DJ at one of their gigs soon. (http://www.flowersdomusic.bandcamp.com
Formed in Southampton but now based in Winchester WILD SMILES play superb fuzzed out pop songs & this year had the ‘Tangled Hair’ 7” & ‘Take Me Away’ 12” on Invada (http://www.wildsmiles.co.uk
). Following their ‘Something Or Nothing’ (Fear & Records) & ‘Bodies’ (Communion) singles, PALE SEAS have rightly garnered BEACH HOUSE & FELT comparisons, with a debut album soon (http://www.soundcloud.com/paleseas
). MONTAGE POPULAIRE (http://www.myspace.com/montagepopulaire
) split in 2011 but main-man Luke has teamed up with Jimmy from THOMAS TANTRUM (they too called it a day after the release of their ‘Mad By Moonlight’ album in 2011 http://www.thomastantrum.co.uk
) in SPECTRAL PARK. There’s more of a 60s psych-pop feel than previous bands with a debut album out on Mexican Summer (http://www.mexicansummer.com
) & they have just toured Italy!
In 2010, my old S.T.E. friend/DE VLINDERS bandmate Ross formed SCALE MODELS in Melbourne, Australia. My time and space here is too precious for nepotism, so I can truthfully say their self-released/titled 2012 CD is a fine blend of TSUNAMI & SLEATER-KINNEY, sometimes featuring trumpet that evokes the best of BELLE & SEBASTIAN, JUNE BRIDES or THE PALE FOUNTAINS. Sadly moves across Australia ended the band not long after the album came out. (http://www.scalemodels.bandcamp.com
Gig-wise since #1, The Joiners has hosted the likes of THE PRIMITIVES (x2), BEST COAST (the CD version of their ace ‘Crazy For You’ debut has photos from their 2010 Joiners gig!), THE PIPETTES, FUZZBOX (R.I.P. Jo), CRYSTAL STILTS, HERMAN DUNE, WAVE PICTURES (also played The Cellar), SUMMER CAMP, THE HISTORY OF APPLE PIE, THE CROOKES (from Sheffield but I think one of them is originally from here & they also played Hamptons, The Cellar & Lennons), DUTCH UNCLES & SWEET BABOO. Club Psychedelia (http://www.psychedelialimited.co.uk
) have been putting on gigs/club nights at Lennons & The Cellar for a while, featuring a number of the locals written about here. Their Saturday nights at Lennons have also included notable sets by STANDARD FARE (won over an initially disinterested crowd) & BLACK TAMBOURINES (I resisted the temptation to shout for ‘Throw Aggi Off The Bridge’!). Following SHRAG’s 2009 Joiners gig supporting THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART (after which we introduced them to the delights of Hammy’s night at the Dorchester!), they supported THE CRIBS at The Guildhall & were due to play at Talking Heads before they split. Talking Heads also hosted THE NIGHTINGALES.
Up the M3 in Winchester, the Railway Inn is one of my favourite venues & has had gigs by I, LUDICROUS, BEARSUIT, THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO, WILD SMILES & MISTY’S BIG ADVENTURE. This summer, Seattle’s fantastic SEAPONY were due to end their first European tour at the Railway but sadly had to cancel the gig due to throat problems. To say I was gutted would be an understatement (Geraldine said I’ve got over girlfriends quicker than this!) and have had to console myself with their splendid ‘Go With Me’ & ‘Falling’ albums on Hardly Art (http://www.hardlyart.com
). Emily from BETTY & THE WEREWOLVES (their Damaged Goods album ‘Teatime Favourites’ is a fine one!) & TENDER TRAP is originally from Winchester too!
THE WEDDING PRESENT have played gigs as part of their ‘Bizarro’ & ‘Seamonsters’ anniversary tours at the Wedgwood Rooms in Portsmouth, which is also where CRYSTAL STILTS supported WARPAINT. Glasgow’s GOLDEN GRRRLS played at the Nell Gwynne in Southsea a couple of years ago & this year’s Southsea Fest had a very indiepop-friendly slant to it with sets by VERONICA FALLS, BLACK TAMBOURINES, DIGNAN PORCH & TYRANNOSAURUS DEAD. Bournemouth has had BELLE & SEBASTIAN & THE WEDDING PRESENT at the Academy & the likes of BLACK TAMBOURINES & THE HISTORY OF APPLE PIE at the delightfully-named 60 Million Postcards. Apologies if I have missed anything worth mentioning – omissions will be rectified next time…
‘THE SUN SHINES HERE!’…
My friend Ben said that every town should have an indiepop night & of course he’s spot on! Taking these words to heart, I started ‘The Sun Shines Here!’ in January 2011 at the (Soul) Cellar (http://www.southamptoncellar.com
), after a one-off ‘Monday Social’ at Goblets in November 2010. The by-line on the flyers says: “Indiepop/C86, Punk Rock & 60s Girl Groups” but that’s only part of the story and basically the premise was/is to air songs that weren’t being played elsewhere in Southampton. Songs that I would want to hear! This is a manifesto of sorts…
Inspired, influenced & informed by a lifetime of D.I.Y. organising & punk rock ethics. DJ Hammy, Gnome & Angus & Southampton’s indiepop history from THE MAYFIELDS to THE NOTES. Postcard, Rough Trade, Subway, Kent, Creation, 53rd & 3rd, Sarah, Flying Nun, K, Slampt & Kill Rock Stars. ‘Where The Girls Are’, ‘One Kiss Can Lead To Another’, ‘Rubble’, ‘Nuggets’, ‘Nederbeat’, ‘Messthetics’ & ‘Do The Pop!’ compilations. The incendiary call to arms of ‘Are You Scared To Get Happy?’ fanzine – Matt got me into HURRAH! (from whose great debut 7” our name comes from) & I loved the way he also extolled the brilliance of THE JAM’s ‘When You’re Young’ & noisier masterpieces by SQUIRREL BAIT, MEAT PUPPETS & HUSKER DU, as well as the more obvious indiepop. Vic Godard, Mark P, Saints Julian & Edwyn. 60s strum & jangle masters (VELVETS, LOVE, THE BYRDS & THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL). 70s mavericks (MODERN LOVERS & BIG STAR). ‘How Does It Feel To Be Loved’ (their LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS & TENDER TRAP Brixton gigs were pivotal for me) & London Popfests!...
As the VIVIAN GIRLS put it: “Dance If You Want To” but if you like to come out & just enjoy the tunes, that’s great too. Request driven as long as it’s within the remit of what I want to play – ask for THE COURTEENERS, you’ll get THE CORTINAS! As likely to play current greats like PALE LIGHTS or THE SPOOK SCHOOL as THE POPGUNS or THE FIELD MICE. The aim is to vary the set list each time but I will always find room for SHOP ASSISTANTS’ ‘Safety Net’ & THE HONEYBEES’ ‘She Don’t Deserve You’.
Been quiet of late because of working on this summer’s S.T.E. 25th Birthday bash and then I had my hernia but hoping to kick-start ‘The Sun Shines Here!’ off again very soon. Sometimes I have a dedicated night downstairs at The Cellar, other times I play sets between bands upstairs there or at The Joiners. I love both scenarios – it’s great to play to a crowd of indiepop regulars but I also got a buzz from playing THE ORCHIDS’ ‘Caveman’ or JEAN WELLS to a virgin audience when THE VACCINES did a fundraiser for/at The Joiners (http://www.joinerslive.co.uk
) earlier this year.
To sum up, ‘The Sun Shines Here!’ is the poignancy of THE WEDDING PRESENT’s ‘My Favourite Dress’’; the excitement of BUZZCOCKS’ ‘Get On Our Own’; how VERONICA FALLS’ ‘Bad Feeling’ gives me goose bumps; the 3 line beauty of ‘Poppy Day’ by BRIGHTER; the unaffected cool of SUBWAY SECT’s ‘Ambition’; the sweeping majesty of THE WILD SWANS’ ‘The Revolutionary Spirit’; how certain lines from THE COOKIES’ ‘I Never Dreamed’ make me melt; the sheer joy of THE GO-BETWEENS’ ‘Lee Remick’; that ‘Single Girl’ by LUSH or SPIZZ ENERGI’s ‘Where’s Captain Kirk?’ never fail to get a reaction. Above all it’s the music…
‘(I’M ALWAYS TOUCHED BY YOUR) PRESENCE, DEAR’…
You find fans of good music in the oddest places! On holiday at Croyde Bay, was walking on a quiet headland & as we passed a couple, my TEENAGE FANCLUB t-shirt elicited a “great band!” from the woman! However, it hasn’t been the delights of ‘Sparky’s Dream’ that has been the in-car soundtrack to summer drives along narrow Devon lanes – that honour falls to 2 old tapes I made for Geraldine, with the pop perfection of the first 4 BLONDIE albums.
While the thrills of ‘In The Sun’ & ’11:59’ will now be indelibly linked in my mind with sunny Woolacombe, previously whenever I heard ‘Denis’ I was transported back to Quilley school discos circa 1978! BLONDIE’s first big hit (a cover of 60s doo wop group RANDY & THE RAINBOWS’ ‘Denise’) was my initial exposure to this amazing band, although I’m sure I recall a school friend buying the 12” of the earlier ‘X Offender’ single from Eastleigh’s legendary Jack Hobbs. That was also where I bought my first BLONDIE album – a tape of ‘Parallel Lines’ but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.
As this is more of a personal recollection, I won’t go too much into the BLONDIE back story but Debbie Harry had gone through the hippy era in WIND IN THE WILLOWS and then the grittier STILLETTOS with partner Chris Stein, before BLONDIE emerged from New York’s mid-70s punk scene. They first arrived here in May 1977 supporting TELEVISION & their first U.K. gig was a tour warm-up at the Bournemouth Village Bowl (with SQUEEZE). Their self-titled debut LP had come out at the end of 1976 on Private Stock, later reissued by Chrysalis & my vinyl copy is a cheap Music For Pleasure version that I bought in the mid-80s from Eastleigh’s Mr G’s, after reading Tony Parsons & Julie Burchill’s praise for it in their punk demolition book ‘The Boy Looked At Johnny’. The album set the BLONDIE template - a brilliant mix of 60s Girl Group charm (the CD version has a demo of THE SHANGRI-LAS’ ‘Out In The Streets’) & 70s suss, with killer tunes like ‘Rifle Range’, ‘In The Flesh’ (a hit in Australia) & ‘Kung Fu Girls’.
Their debut wasn’t a big seller but the success of ‘Denis’ meant its early 1978 follow up ‘Plastic Letters’ made the top 10. I again bought this album in the mid-80s (starting work then meant I could buy more records!). I used to think it was the weakest of the first 4 albums (the classic singles ‘Denis’ & ‘(I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear’ aside) but that Croyde holiday taught me how great cuts like ‘Youth Nabbed As Sniper’, ‘Contact In Red Square’ & ‘I Didn’t Have The Nerve To Say No’ are. BLONDIE really hit the big time with their 3rd LP ‘Parallel Lines’ in Autumn 1978. It is a peerless record from start to finish! ‘Hanging On The Telephone’, ‘Picture This’, ‘Heart Of Glass’ & the sublime ‘Sunday Girl’ may have been huge hits (last 2 were No. 1s!) but you shouldn’t overlook gems like ‘Will Anything Happen?’, ‘I’m Gonna Love You Too’, or the truly wonderful ‘Pretty Baby’.
I may (like many teenage boys then!) have had a Debbie Harry poster on my wall but it was my sister who first bought the vinyl copy of ‘Eat To The Beat’ on its release at the end of 1979. The hits ‘Dreaming’ & the superb ‘Union City Blue’ set the standard but ‘Shayla’ & ‘Accidents Never Happen’ are ace too. BLONDIE made 2 more patchy albums after this, split in 1982, reformed in 1997 (‘Maria’ was a fine single!) and continued to record and tour.
With regard to indiepop, BLONDIE were part of the punk pop sensibility (see also BUZZCOCKS, THE RAMONES & THE UNDERTONES) that informed the C86 era - THE PRIMITIVES & DARLING BUDS are obvious examples. JESSE GARON & THE DESPERADOES covered the song that gave this article its title on the flip of their joyous ‘Splashing Along’ 7”. Fellow Scots THE DRAGSTERS put out their ace singles on the Union City label & Sean Forbes who compiled the ‘Rough Trade Shops –Indie Pop 1’ 2xCD (one of the keys to me getting back into this stuff!) loves BLONDIE! I normally play BLONDIE at ‘The Sun Shines Here!’ & they always go down well!
You can find 2nd hand vinyl copies of the LPs easily and the CD reissues are cheap with bonus extra tracks. The ‘At The BBC’ CD/DVD is also well worth checking out, with some essential ‘Top Of The Pop’ & ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ performances. It may seem obvious to write about a band that sold millions of records & had number 1 hits but these first 4 BLONDIE records are timeless masterpieces that every home needs!...
BUBBLEGUM LEMONADE ‘Have You Seen Faith?’ 7” – Matinee.
Glasgow’s BUBBLEGUM LEMONADE may appear to be the product of an indiepop name generator (likewise main-man Laz’s other combo STRAWBERRY WHIPLASH!), but the music they make is way beyond pastiche. Whilst STRAWBERRY WHIPLASH update THE PRIMITIVES/ DARLING BUDS’ template – 2012’s ‘Hits In The Car’ album (Matinee) is a modern indiepop classic, BUBBLEGUM LEMONADE take early PRIMAL SCREAM as a starting point. Following 2 fine albums & some singles (also all Matinee), comes this swell new pink vinyl 7”. The lead song sparkles with guitar breaks that THE BYRDS or JASMINE MINKS would be proud of & flipping over, ‘Cool Guitar Girl’ is presumably a riposte to HEAVENLY’s male counterpart. Lovely & a new album is imminent. (http://www.matineerecordings.com
THE CLEAN ‘Vehicle’ CD – Flying Nun/Captured Tracks.
My first exposure to New Zealand’s wonderful Flying Nun label came via Creation’s CHILLS’ ‘Kaleidoscope World’ LP in the mid-80s. This led me to Flying Nun UK releases like THE BATS’ ‘Made Up In Blue’ 12” & THE CLEAN’s ‘Compilation’ LP. Whilst I bought other CLEAN records, strangely I never picked up this 1990 gem, which makes its reissue (with the ‘In-A-Live’ 12” tracks as a bonus) all the more timely. Powerful songs that are both simple & quirky - a tune like ‘Dunes’ worms its way into your head so that you wake up humming it! A very influential record – PAVEMENT are fans for sure (they invited THE CLEAN to support them on their 2010 reunion tour) & you’d be a goon to overlook this one now. (http://www.flyingnun.co.nz
THE GARLANDS CD – Shelflife.
These Swedes’ debut album came out at the end of last year but it is far too great to overlook. Fulfilling all the promise of THE GARLANDS’ earlier singles & gigs, this album truly is a masterpiece that stands up against those from any indiepop era. Wonderful, jangly guitars complement Christin’s great voice to perfection. I raved about the split 7” version of ‘The Sun Shines Here!’ staple ‘Open Arms’ last time but the one here is even speedier & new songs like ‘Don’t Cry’ & ‘Things Just Sound So Easy For You’ have quickly attained classic status with me. Listening to this on my Walkman striding home washes away the stresses of the working day & I may be grey-haired & in my late 40s but I have to admit I sniggered like a schoolboy at the “GARLNADS” misprint on the digipak spine! (http://www.shelflife.com
JOANNA GRUESOME ‘Weird Sister’ LP – Fortuna Pop/Slumberland.
Have to admit I was initially put off checking out this Cardiff group due to the punning nature of their name. More fool I because this is a cracking debut. Take the best bits of VERONICA FALLS, THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, HUGGY BEAR & the intensity of hardcore punk & you’re almost there. The guitar sound is righteous & the hooks capable of standing up to constant plays (& they certainly have!). My current favourites are ‘Graveyard’ & ‘Do You Really Wanna Know Why Yr Still In Love With Me?’ but there truly isn’t a dud on this outstanding album. JOANNA GRUESOME have been my washing up music of choice for the last few weeks & even Geraldine likes this! Album of 2013 for me & Southampton gig soon please! (http://www.fortunapop.com
ZIPPER ‘Punk’ 7” – 7iete Pulgadas & ‘La Casa Rural’ 7” – Elefant
When I saw this Madrid trio at 2009’s inaugural London Popfest I was blown away by their punk rock energy and tuneful charm. I bought their debut album at that Buffalo Bar gig & then subsequent singles, all of which replicated that live thrill. These latest 7”s (white & orange vinyl respectively) continue the 100% hit rate. Like SWEATER GIRLS (their 2012 Happy Happy Birthday To Me LP ‘…Were Here’ is sublime!), ZIPPER delve into TALULAH GOSH/GO SAILOR/AISLERS SET territory but throw in heaps of their own personality. The ‘Punk’ tracks have English lyrics, whilst the words to the Elefant 7” are in Spanish. ‘La Casa Rural’ has an ace SHANGRI-LAS intro before racing away in trademark ZIPPER fashion. Possibly the planet’s best! (http://www.grupozipper.bandcamp.com