Friday 25 February 2011

Burning Tree

A quick doff of the velvet cap to Dave at Green Man Music for mentioning this album on Facebook yesterday, leading to a chorus of approving remarks and for me, a quick search in my unpublished posts for something I started writing in March 2009 ... 

Maybe it was a sign of desperation by Epic, but they took the weird decision to release nine (very different) 'rock' albums on the same day as part of a promotion whereby if you bought eight of them you could get the ninth free. Prong, Shark Island, Johnny Crash & Nuclear Valdez were amongst the fairly random selection of releases - most, if not all, sunk without trace.

Burning Tree would possibly be long-forgotten, but were able to rise above many of the other eight bands involved in this ill-feted marketing exercise by a) releasing an album that was actually rather good, and b) their singer/guitarist Marc Ford later joining the Black Crowes.

If this album had been given the push it deserved Ford may well have stayed put, which itself leads to thoughts as to what would have become of the Black Crowes, but with the LA glam scene still holding some sway while the sound of Seattle nibbled away at its territory, an album harking back to the likes of Cream and Hendrix was always going to struggle to find its place.

One bonus with returning to this post after almost two years is the discovery that the album was re-released at the tail-end of 2010. Indeed Rock Candy records have also reissued Circus Of Power's Vices as well as lost albums by the Throbs and the Sea Hags. Maybe the Four Horsemen might see the light of day again ...

Friday 18 February 2011

Troubleshooters and Waterbratz - demo tapes

More eBay demo tape madness - this time The Troubleshooters, a band that I was in prior to this tape being made. £10.50 and counting; foolishly I think I threw away my copy years ago!

Also from the same seller, amongst many other items, one, and two demo tapes by The Waterbratz. Memories ...

(NB: the listings include links through to samples, so if you've never heard these bands now's your chance!)

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Gunfire Dance demo

One for completists (having the Archway Of Thorns CD myself I'm going to pass on this), someone's put up an early Gunfire Dance demo for sale on eBay.

Quite a sweet listing:

'I think this is either late 80s or early 90s, not quite sure but remember i was around 19! Sound a bit like The Dogs D Amour but (i think) better!'

I haven't seen one of these come up for sale for a while so guess it may be of interest! And if nothing else it's an excuse to post about Gunfire Dance for the nth time ...

Previous posts:
Gunfire Dance
Interview with Ozzie from Gunfire Dance
Suicide Blonde and the Birmingham scene
Gunfire Dance - Continental Bar NYC 1994

Monday 7 February 2011

Miles Hunt - Man On The Moon, Cambridge 05/02/11

On November 3rd 1991, The Wonderstuff (in conjunction with Vic Reeves) sat at number one in the British singles chart with 'Dizzy'. Fast forward almost twenty years and I find myself watching Miles Hunt at a 150-capacity venue (albeit in the run-up to a national tour with the Levellers that will culminate with a show at the Brixton Academy).

If this was the mid-90s then I'm sure this would have been a very depressing, angst-ridden show, however it's fair to say that Miles Hunt seems comfortable with his lot these days. I have memories of the first time I saw Tyla solo, post-Dogs D'Amour, and it was dreadful. He insisted on only playing new material, responded with disdain to any requests for the 'hits' and was generally a moody bastard. I saw him again a few years later and he'd clearly moved on (or cleaned up), churning out whatever the audience wanted and cracking jokes between songs.

Hunt's on-stage banter tallied with that latter experience, with fond references made to touring in the early 90s as well as current project 'Shared'. Although the first half of the set comprised solely of recent material, the second half was a happy run through the older Wonderstuff back catalogue, with specific focus on songs which leant themselves to the simple guitar/vocal/violin set-up (he was joined by partner Erica Nockalls) such as 'Circle Square', 'Golden Green' and, with a nod to Kirtsy MacColl's contribution, 'Welcome To The Cheap Seats'. Although they garnered more dancers, the Wonderstuff hits didn't wholly overshadow the less-familiar material, which retained some of Hunt's characteristic barbs (I'm guessing he's not a fan of Bono).

A slightly sarcastic comment about Strawberry Fair, the local free festival this gig was a fundraiser for, appeared to bring about a small disagreement with the promoter, suggesting that Hunt is still capable of getting people's backs up. Some things never change.