Here is the second volume of from the vaults six more tracks that have been on my laptop unreleased ,sometimes it is good to look back especially when there is not much left to look forward to , and as i am currently at a loose end ,i thought i would share the memories associated with these tracks ,all of course are free to download , so please feel free to do so 1/ Oscar This song is from 2014 i think recorded in the sessions for Ronco Revival sound album ,i think we recorded about 26 songs but only put 11 on the album , Ronco Revival sounds is my favourite Bordellos album ,i think it is sprinkled with magic and madness . and this song has a certain feel i like ,i like that it is short i like the lyrics that both poignant and hopeful, i like Dan played the lead guitar on his very cheap half sized guitar with only three strings and played drums on a plastic set of electronic drum pads .i like that after we had recorded it Ant turned up pissed handing out ,out of date sandwiches he had bought cheap from Asda then proceeded to add vodka to his coffee to help sober himself up. that is both the beauty and tragedy of the bordellos and the tracks recorded in the Ronco Revival Sessions capture that.2/ Elephant InstrumentalThis track actually features no current members of the Bordellos ,it is an instrumental version of a song i added vocals to ,and quite beautiful it was to , but it no longer exists .i never had a copy and when Geoff and Vinny left the bordellos they wiped all the things we had recorded from their hard drives ,probably to make room for far less genius like music they went on to record, Crystal Gayle covers and such like and middle of the road indie , or maybe they wanted memories of my cuntery wiped away . which is a shame as we recorded some pretty great stuff as our Debut album Songs For Swinging Stalkers and Meet The Bordellos show and this track is also beautiful even in instrumental form and is included on here to show off their genius .Vinny being one of the most musical people i have ever met and worked with. probably recorded about 2003/20043/I Never Dreamed This is a cover of the old Cookies song written by Goffin and King and the original is one of the great singles from the 60’s and one of my and Dan’s fave ever tracks ,our version is of course not a patch on the original ,but how on earth could it . this track was actually released as a track on a ep released by Daddy Tank records of artists who had released music on Daddy Tank doing covers of some of their favourite songs . Also on this track i play lead guitar which indeed is a bit of a rarity as it is not my fave thing to do with a guitar .recorded 2015 .4/ Teenage High This song was recorded one evening i spent around Geoff Parr’s house before Geoff joined the Bordellos , recording some of my songs with just a acoustic guitar onto his mini disc player , i recorded about an albums worth of stuff .some i have put out on past Bordellos releases ,other i have not yet . recorded in 1998 i think . or even 1997 either way it was a long time ago . 5/Speeding Train recorded for a album called Nobody Wants to Shag the Bordellos , recorded to issue as a prize draw on our Myspace page .we only made 5 copies and it has never been released since .i wonder if the people who won a copy still have it . all hand drawn covers , i remember Mark Barton had a copy and an American guy who won a copy was playing at Carnagie Hall that night as he was a classical musician and he was really pleased to win a copy i cannot remember who else , i quite like this version but prefer the 4-track version we recorded in our Onion King Days . this version has a different melody and tune. recorded in 2010 6/For A Hit [rehearsal version recorded on ghetto blaster]recorded after Geoff and Vinny left the band and our drummer Mike was not long behind them in fact this could have been the last time, he played with us . this is a raw, rough and ready version at this time we had not yet decided on what direction we would take and before we got offered a deal by Bomp records and before we signed the deal with Brutarian Records ,in fact it all started to fall together when Mike left and not long after hit on the idea of Debt Sounds . recorded in 2006
these tracks are the songs i sent off to record labels in the beginning days of the Bordellos , we where not yet called The Bordellos and no longer wanted to be called Onion King so i sent the tracks off under the name Grocer Jack inspired by the character in the Keith West hit Excerpts from A Teenage Opera. at the time we just wanted some feed back as these where the first recordings we did when Geoff and Vinny got involved and was not sure whether we were going to do any more recordings. The demo tape was well received with Chrysalis,Virgin, Rough Trade ,Honey records and Viper records all wanting to hear more we decided to carry on and that is when the fun started as we had no more recordings so had a rip roaring 2 years of recordings ,gigs ,converting a barn into a 32 track studio and many arguments and laughs in that order rthis line up recorded two albums but was only released after Geoff and Vinny had left taking our newly required drummer with them , we replaced them with my son Dan who was only 13 at the time , we where then offered a record deal with Bomp but only if i got the original band back together i turned them down and released the albums through the near legendary underground Washington based label Brutarian Records … but these are the tracks that started it all .
What does one do in 2021 with all the albums i have already recorded over the last nine months ,i have 58 songs recorded but currently unmixed for the Idiot Blur Fanboy follow up to Oasis Are The Enemy , do i release it as one long sprawling lp or three separate albums ,i want to release it as a physical release as well as digital and streaming as i have found out in 2020 releasing digital releases only lead to general shoulder shrugging and looking the other way by blog writers and the general public ,is there a label willing to release a double or maybe even triple cd lp. on vinyl it would have to be a boxset , so that is out of the question. .i also still have the Bordello and Clark album Atlantic Crossing to find an home for recorded in 2018 and after being messed around by a number of labels who say they want to release but then proceed to not to do so ,again an album that deserves a physical release and when released i am sure will do very well. We then come to The Bordellos new album ,recorded in lockdown on the trusty old 4 track tape recorder ,a album of lo-fi pop in all its strange glory with songs concerning drugging fish in a fish race ,the boredom of life in a nine to five job with only a k tel mix tape to keep you sane , pedophile Tory ministers and many other subjects the Bordellos like to cover . eleven songs in 29 lovely minutes would make a lovely vinyl album . Then there is my solo lp The Cardboard Box Beatle a album that is shambolic very lo-fi once again recorded on just one track of my 4 track and is quite a difficult listen, an album so dark and fried sounding makes Pink Moon sound like The Smurfs Go Pop album ,but any album with songtitles such as” Here Comes Eric With His Dead Child Song ” and “On the scrapheap Again” is not going to make many DJ’S playlists .in fact an album so dark i am a bit wary of releasing ,After i released my King Of No-FI lp this year i got a lovely message off someone who told me he loved the album but was worried about my mental health after listening to it and was i okay as he was a bit concerned ,after listening to The Cardboard Box Beatle album even i am concerned about my mental health . I also want to record a solo ep of acoustic love songs and two more Bordellos eps this year one being a ep of Paul Mccartney songs the other simply being the greatest ep ever recorded [i like to set my sights low] and record another Idiot Blur Fanboy lp , i may as well have four unreleased unmixed lps instead of three, so 2021 looks to be an interesting musical year for myself ,full of annoyances and frustrations but also one hopefully of many musical adventures.
So, the Poundland Pete Best is back with his eyes on the coveted Christmas number one spot ,he must have his eyes on a new swimming pool or maybe even singing lessons ,or is that just wishful thinking on my part , he may of course fancy a new invisible hobby horse for the one he has been riding all these years must be getting tired . Yes, the non-thinking always a teenager at heart middle aged geezer’s favourite is back with another 4-minute dirge of aural shit ,this song is so soppy and gooey that it makes Gilbert O Sullivan look and sound like Jerry Lee Lewis when he was at his wild best. in fact, this song does indeed sound like the Great Gilbert O Sullivan if he had forgotten how to write songs with intelligence and wit , for let’s be honest “All Your Dreaming” is a bit of a dog of a single in fact it puts the dog into doggerel in fact it should be taken to the RSCPA and be put out of its misery for misery is all this song can inspire , for fucks sake has 2020 not been bad enough without the diapered one shoving this down our throats through the medium of the radio , the radio in fact should refuse to play it like they did when Cliff Richard released his monstrosity of a single way back in 1999 with the “Millenium Prayer” not that “All Your Dreaming” is as good as that it is not that rock n roll or relevant to anything maybe apart from a Christmas advert for Hovis Bread or a musical hallmark card which you open and this limps out at you like Barry Manilow wrapped in cotton wool whispering.
Dan Shea – vocalist /songwriter/multi-instrumentalist with three of the finest bands currently Vukovar https://vukovarbrutalisthouse.bandcamp.com/music Beauty Stab – https://beautystab.bandcamp.com/ and the Bordellos – https://bordellos.bandcamp.com/
Vukovar’s new album can be heard here https://othervoicesrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-colossalist-vox-61-cd
chooses ten albums that mean a great deal to him .
1. Rowland S Howard – Teenage Snuff Film An album I’ve written about in various forms all over the place and have played more than any other, probably. It opens up with Morricone guitars and “You’re bad for me like cigarettes but I haven’t sucked enough of you yet”, arguably the great opening line. It closes with walls of feedback, Louis Celine and the saddest voice in the world singing “Now I can sleep alone”. I’ve kicked people out of my flat for saying it was boring. The rest of the list is to some extent unranked but this is Number One.
2. Ceramic Hobs – Shergar Home Safe and Well I’d played Psychiatric Underground to death long before Simon became one of my best friends. This has supplanted it (I, Supplanter) as my favourite Hobs album for a few reasons. Most obviously being that this has Pro-Ana Tips’n’Tricks and Safe To Heaven on, two of the greatest songs ever written. During Pro Ana his voice drips with empathy, here was a man born with one skin too few. Grief has taken me from not being able to listen to his stuff to playing it constantly, in awe of the fact he once walked among us. How many other deathless masterpieces with artwork by Peter Sutcliffe can you think of?
3. PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love Whenever this album is playing I am sexy and indestructible. When PJ sings “You know he’s gonna be here” and her voice cracks on the title track, I feel it. Many times in days now sadly gone I’d paint my nails ready to go out to Long Snake Moan alternating red and black. Whenever I listen to this album I wish I was PJ, and I wish I had the power I imagine she has.
4. Xiu Xiu – Girl With A Basket of Fruit Narrowing it down to one Xiu Xiu album was difficult, but since this came out I have played it on a weekly basis. The word genius is overused but Jamie Stewart is a genius. As an unbalanced individual myself the ability he has to channel profoundly unhealthy impulses into something this beautiful is an inspiration. This is a masterpiece.
5. Tom Waits – Alice Depending on the day it could be this or Bone Machine. Today it’s all about Alice, maybe it’s because I’m feeling particularly melancholy. Song for song it’s a great singer’s album: the way he phrases “I disappear in your name” on the title song I could write a book about. Chet Baker after the smack wore away his matinee idol looks, in a voice. Fish & Bird is the theme song for every romance between people who’re totally ill matched but who tried anyway.
6. Kanye West – Life of Pablo The greatest album about mental illness ever made. Imagine Skip Spence’s Oar with a budget of millions and the world watching. FML samples Section 25 and contains Kanye shouting “You ain’t seen nothin’ crazier than this n***a off his Lexapro”. Not even the craziest song on the album. He kept editing it, adding tracks and transitions even after the album was actually out. A totally understandable artistic impulse as the work is never done. If you told me it was a Ceramic Hobs album and played it to me blind I’d believe you.
7. David Bowie – Low Similarly, the greatest album ever made about depression. I remember, deep in the fug of a depression that makes you wonder whether the walk to the bathroom is worth it, Subterraneans playing and me seeing a light mist soaking my surroundings. A fog filling my living room. “I will sit right down, waiting for the gift of sound and vision” is the kind of lyric only an artist unhealthily wrestling with their muse can write.
8. OMD – Dazzle Ships There’s a cigarette paper between this and Architecture and Morality but this wins out just by being such an insane album, and for the point on International where Andy McCluskey becomes so emotional he sounds like he’s speaking in tongues. Of All The Things We’ve Made sounds like a lullaby for the human race as we all die.
9. Lou Reed and John Cale – Songs For Drella Picking my favourite thing related to Lou Reed is a real Sophie’s choice as I love Lou Reed more than makes any sense and relate more to Lou Reed than any healthy person should. I’ve picked this as it ends with Hello, It’s Me which is to me the ultimate song about grieving for a close friend and mentor. “I really miss you, I really miss your mind”. Also, Style It Takes is one of his best lyrics.
10. Sinead O’Connor – Universal Mother Just a stupidly intense album. Another singer’s album, and one I struggle to talk about.
Honorary mentions – Swans – Soundtracks For The Blind; Iggy Pop – The Idiot; The Stooges – Fun House; Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Your Funeral, My Trial; The Birthday Party – Junkyard; Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner; Tori Amos – Little Earthquakes.
The Cure should be in there but it was just written as one spur of the moment thing.
Paragon is a compilation album ,a sampler of what will be coming from the brand new label Dream Society records ,a label that hopes to bring some of the musical underground slightly more into view, a label that will deal with creatives who plough their own furrow through life, ignoring trends and flavour of the month sounds to make music they enjoy firstly and hope others will also if they get to hear it . As with most sampler albums the genre’s are scattered far and wide the album kicking off with the beautifully sublime “Flying Carpenters ” by Bloom De Wilde a song that is embraced by a spirititual melancholy ,a flowing grace that could melt the hardest of hearts, a love song to be held close by all life’s outsiders and the ideal way to kick off a album that celebrates this merry band of outsider’s creative musical outpourings. As i have already mentioned the music comes in all shapes sizes and styles from the moody mellow moody slight jazz synth pop influenced of Absolute State that reminds me of those days when Colin’s Vearncombe’s Black used to grace the charts to the quirky dub beats of “Milk” by Homosampliens & The Toxic chicken .Acoustic troubadours are supplied by myself with my lo-fi ode to a a mythical and mystical artistic soulmate”bloom Of The Wild” and the rather excellent Timo de la Mar with two songs of acoustic beauty “psychomind ” and is joined by Bloom de Wilde for the aptly named “Sparkle” a seven minute plus song that indeed sparkles and shines like a jewel encrusted moonbeam .we also have the sultry purr of constance and “You Can’t Handle This” and a song of Bjork like adventure by Polichinelle . The remaining two tracks are fine example of experimental electronica with the adventurous and becoming chime of 4 Fists with the track “sweat & Bray and the wonderfully named The Snoppjes and the equally wonderfully named track “Polipo”This is indeed a rather fine compilation that does not include one duff track on it which is a rare affair when a comp explores so many different avenues taking one on a journey full of twists and turns through an awe inspiring musical wonderland and one that promises great things and great music from Dream Society Records.
The Dandy’s Boutique -Stay Away DIY disco music is there anything quite as charming and joyful ,well not when it is done with such charm. groove and humour ,part Blur Girl and Boys bass tomfoolery and pure get down and boogie addiction ,certainly one of the magic of pure pop moments of 2020 https://open.spotify.com/track/7vCjcOvYiDdc4q7kNOXFSX
Vukovar -The Double Cross The band that should be kings are back with a world weary trawl of Scott Walker in leather trousers and shades like goth synth pop .all down at heel glamour , a song worthy of a Wim Wenders wide screen shot a song to evoke many emotions all of them steeped in tear stained melancholia .https://vukovareeh.bandcamp.com/album/vukovar-the-double-cross?fbclid=IwAR23uPvQzYGjAXx22Tb9jnQNPjBR-eSAO_1g2Nt0mI2s5I-UloSmfX_XNcg
Julian Cope – Immortal what can i say ,i love julian Cope the worlds greatest living Mother fucker and what we have here is a lovely pop gem from the great man ,a man blessed with the gift of snatching just beautiful simple melodies and weaving magical moments of heart stopping beauty. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAwCMd54WA0&list=PLvobchtLEm6NTSWmfLsHH_pZRJm3P_IQf&index=4
Fish tuck – Rest In PizzaThis has not been officially released but that does not mean it is not brilliant as it is a fine piece of rock n roll and rock n roll it certainly is and does,can you imagine Johnny Marr joining early Rem in a jam of epic propotions a jam to celebrate both Michael Stibe and Morrissey being picked up by the seat of their pants and flung from a tall building and this is the track they play as they watch them plummet.https://hearthis.at/fishtruck/01-rest-in-pizza/?fbclid=IwAR0hOsBS31gpW180UnM654_VH00EHwIlrq2YUgeUJ2AZ3snUeIUxjLSPAUs
Bloom de Wild – Flying CarpentersBloom has a wonderful voice ,do i need really say anymore and when she is singing such a song of hearfelt grace and beauty one can only sit back and melt when she sings the line “when the morning rises up above and i know that i’m alone ,just a weirdo” if you listen carefully you can hear the sound of likeminded souls hearts breaking .https://dreamsocietyrecords.bandcamp.com/track/flying-carpenters
The Legless Crabs -Redneck Scott MccloudSo the best band from the USA since the Bannana Splits are back with a crunching piece of basic rock n roll originality a track from their rather marvellous “no way no wave ” album an album that proves rock n roll is not dead it is alve and well and living in Texas and this track just one of the many highlights. https://metalpostcard.bandcamp.com/track/redneck-scott-mccloud
Lounge Bar Orchestra – Fresh Laundry [From Washing Lines]The sounds of 70’s Saturday night television brought to one and all with the opening track from the spellbindingly timetravel inducing Pilot Episodes album an album that will have the ghosts of Brucie and Sammy Davies Jnr haunting the corridoes of British Broadcasting house yearning for the days of innocent wholesom family entertainment .
There is something quite magnificent about this single is has a rare grace and eloquence that one does not come across every day ,i suppose it is what you get when a band has true song writing talent and one of the finest vocalists in the underground music scene today. Double Cross is a song the has a strange kind of wanderlust a young Scott Walker retracing the steps and journeys of jack Kerouac with the radio dial stuck to a station spewing out the hits of OMD and Duran Duran .if this single had been released on 4AD or one of those other labels BBC 6music fawn over , Vukovar would no doubt be one of the biggest and popular alternative bands today , but instead this fine piece of musical pop art is released on the tiny Russian based indie Other Voices Records maybe against the odds both Vukovar and other Voices Records will get the success they both deserve.
So i think the start of the hunt for a record label is once again about to commence ,for the new Bordellos album myself and Dan recorded in lock down a label that not only release as download and streaming sites but one willing to release as a physical thing also , personally i listen to most of my music nowadays through a laptop so streaming and download is fine for me .but i want it to reach as many people as possible ,so a physical release is also a must ,for some reason people do not take albums as seriously as if only released as download and stream ,i get so many comments when i/we have released music in the past as are you releasing it on vinyl ,is it coming out on cd ,but never cassette for some reason ,or as in the case of my Idiot Blur Fanboy album ,which was released as a very ltd cd and available to download from the wormhole world records i was being asked was it going on spotify ,so for this next beautiful strange little 4 track recorded album which could well be the last Bordellos album who knows i am going to try and find a label to cover all bases ,one that actually wants to release it and not says it does but messes you about so much that you really think it their heart is not in it ,i have worked with some wonderful labels in the past and and currently working with one Metal Postcard Records ,but they do not do physical releases . There are plenty of labels of course out there that does indeed cover all bases it is just finding one that wants to release an album by this lovely tinpot lo-fi band ..so if anyone out there knows of such a label or in fact runs such a label please get in contact . send me an email email@example.com
Do we take other people’s opinions on music to seriously ,is there a point in making lists of the greatest albums ever for it is all just opinions? the new greatest 500 albums list in Rolling Stone is just an example ,people getting uppity because Sgt Pepper is not number one or that there are not enough Doors albums in the list or that Hairy Stys is in there at all . People all have different taste i much prefer the Wombles to Joy Division for instance, but that like i said is personal taste , Kraftwerk leave me cold to me is has the aural appeal of standing at traffic lights on a wet day or sunny day even, they just bore me rigid , i am not saying they are not a great band as i am sure they are but not just for me , i know people who honestly do not like the Beatles and they are my favourite ever band ,but i can understand why they do not like them ,maybe for the same reason as i don’t like Oasis and post Syd Barrett Pink Floyd because i think they are shit. It is all down to personal taste .The Clash another good band but are they really that great to me they are just like Showaddywaddy but without the colourful jackets and brothel creeper shoes ,which again is no insult as i like Showaddywaddy they are a fun time pop band and The Clash are just the same just painted by banksy and not Rolf Harris they are both influenced by 50.s rock n roll after all.That is what is so magical about music it moves people in different ways songs that can move me tears can make my wife want to move to another room , my latest album in the space of 10 minutes one person told me it was a raw and beautiful another told me it should have been called The King Of Crap as it is seriously terrible and do you know what both people were completely right as that is there opinions ,do we really need people telling us what is good as what is not , have we not got ears and minds of our own to decide what we like and what we do not like. do we need people to tell us that one was not as good as such and such? and who on earth has the right to say that if you like something you are wrong to like it ,does it matter that i think New Order are at times laughably bad and that at times Shakin Stevens is laughably genius like ,it does not matter at all ..just use your ears hearts and minds and like what you like there should not be a phrase guilty secrets as you should never feel guilty about liking what you like.