Talulah Gosh – 7” Demo’s EP on Damaged Goods

Talulah Gosh – Demo’s EP will be released as a limited 7” single only on Damaged Goods on 16th April 2011.
Talulah Gosh – Demo’s EP

Talulah Gosh, gawd’ bless ‘em. – the band that launched thousands of floppy fringes and hundreds of scratchy indie pop bands. If there’s one group that sum up the mid-eighties for me, it’s Talulah Gosh.

Their happy brand of high-tempo trash-pop rarely failed to make me smile and want to leap frantically up and down in a most unflattering way. Well, it was a combination of Talulah Gosh and many pints of beer together really. Given the right set of circumstances and similar stimulants today, I’d be taken straight back there and quite possibly attempt to recreate those moves. It’s probably best avoided though, as the collateral damage could be quite severe these days.

Listening to the ‘new’ Talulah Gosh limited-edition 7” single though, I can still see the attraction that my younger self saw. Although the initial impression of the tracks is ‘wow – that sounds really rough’, it’s entirely understandable as they were the first songs that the band ever recorded, which was done in Gregory Webster’s house in early 1986.

However, once my ears got attuned to the low-fi sound, I could again hear the appeal. Wonderful, Ramones-style catchy pop songs with simple melodies and limited chord changes but always played with high-levels of conviction and enthusiasm; things that go a long way with me every time.

So, here we get original versions of “Steaming Train”, “I Told You So”, “Mmm, Mmm, He’s so Dreamy” and “Sunny Inside” in all their rough and ready glory.

The guitar sounds like a banjo on “I Told You So”, the vocals aren’t quite the joy they later became, the drums sound a tad mechanical and the bass is not always on the beat but these recordings do have an undoubted charm of their own. While I’m very glad to have heard them, they leave me excitedly looking forward to getting hold of the forthcoming complete recordings, which I may have to listen to with a few beers and some paramedics in attendance. Bring it on!

Talulah GoshDemo’s EP will be released as a limited 7” single only on Damaged Goods on 16th April 2011.



Be-Bop Deluxe and Beyond – Bill Nelson ITV Legends Concert, March 26, London

Bill Nelson, leader of pop art bands Be-Bop Deluxe and Red Noise
Bill Nelson photo: Martin Bostock

On March 26th ITV films a special concert at Metropolis Studios in London, featuring guitar legend Bill Nelson, leader of pop art bands Be-Bop Deluxe and Red Noise.

Bill Nelson left high profile music some years back, due to his dislike of the music industry machine.  However, his influence is immense.  Admired by Paul McCartney, Brian May, David Bowie, Kate Bush, Eno, Prince, The Foo Fighters, The Darkness, My Chemical Romance among others.

Through conversations with Bill I’ve put this beginners’ guide to the enigma that is Bill Nelson together, as a prelude to this unique concert which still has a few seats available.

Bill Nelson’s celebrity career started with 1970’s Art School band Be-Bop Deluxe, where he had considerable success with classic albums like Futurama, Sunburst Finish and Drastic Plastic.  By the mid 1970’s Be-Bop Deluxe were conquering America although Bill’s dislike for the Rock’n’Roll lifestyle was revealed in his lyrics:

“This jet age life is getting worse, I feel I’m half a universe away…, I left my home some time ago, To fight the creatures of the U.S.A…, You tell me that this neon world is free…, You say this is the place I ought to be…, The time has come for me to go…, You say it’s fast but it’s feeling slow today…”
(Lost in the Neon World – from the album Modern Music).

It was time for a change and Bill disbanded Be-Bop Deluxe and formed Red Noise, a synth / new age band that was considered way ahead of its time, paving the way for 1980’s acts like Gary Numan, A Flock of Seagulls and many others.

Red Noise’s music was jagged and edgy and EMI dropped Bill Nelson at this point since he refused to perform ‘more of the same’.  It was shortly after this time that Bill was a pioneer in what we would now call Indie music, releasing albums made in his own studio on his own ‘Cocteau’ record label.  Many of these home-made creations were of superior quality to what others have created in the most professional of recording studios.

At various points since this, Nelson has dabbled with the music industry, having had recording deals with Mercury and CBS, but his heart is more within the inventor’s domain, locked in his home studio.   He has produced a more or less continuous stream of music in several different genres over the last twenty years.  Much of it can be accessed through Bill Nelson’s website ‘Dreamsville’.

His latest works are mostly lush ambient soundscapes although he is still not averse to churning out a 3 minute pop classic that would leave any of the X Factor great pretenders in the shade.  He will be mixing old with new at the ITV Legends concert in London on Saturday March 26th, performing a set which includes a wide range of Be-Bop Deluxe material, Red Noise and his later collaborations with the late Mick Karn of Japan, plus a few hedonistic sonic soundscapes from his more recent work.

Check out the concert details if you want to be a part of this once in a lifetime experience.  I wrote a personal cameo about Bill Nelson in the book Sex, Leadership and Rock’n’Roll, as he is a master of continuous creativity and reinvention.

For more information about Peter Cook:  The Rock’n’Roll Business Guru, visit The Academy Of Rock.



Conflict – The Ungovernable Force, album re-issue

The Ungovernable Force by Conflict is re-issued on Mortarhate Records through Cherry Red Records.
The Ungovernable Force by Conflict

I first saw Conflict play the Red Lion in Gravesend (actually Northfleet) on 5th November, 1981.  They played several times over the next year and became a firm favourite of the Gravesend Punks.  With their strong anti-government protest songs they promoted anarchy and peace as well as animal rights.

Their lo-fi garage punk music followed in the style of Crass, and in 1982 they released their debut single, the ‘House That Man Built’ EP on Crass Records. Their first album was released a year later (It’s Time To See Who’s Who) on the Corpus Christi record label and in 1984 Conflict, led by Colin Jerwood released their second album (Increase The Pressure) on their own label, Motorhate Records.

By this time the popularity of the second wave of punk music had peaked and Conflict and others were heading deeper into the underground of UK independent music. And by the time they released their third album, The Ungovernable Force in 1986 I, along with many other fans from 1981 had moved on for whatever reason to pastures new.

I lost touch with Conflict and their music and was therefore unfamiliar with this album on its original release and its initial re-release, complete with extra tracks, in 2006.  The Ungovernable Force is fast, furious, aggressive and packs a powerful punch.  The music and messages still resemble those made popular by Crass but I was pleasantly surprised how powerful this album sounds 21 years after its original release; much of which is down to good songs and great production.

I can’t believe it is 30 years since I first saw Conflict play The Red Lion to a small, smelly crowd on a wet Tuesday night.  But I can still remember the long walk home was well worth it.

This re-issue of The Ungovernable Force comes is a gatefold sleeve complete with a booklet of photos and words to all the original album tracks except This is the ALF, the lyrics of which are censored and still banned from reproduction!

The CD includes extra songs including two extra tracks (Mighty & Superior To Whom It May Concern and) from ‘The Battle Continues‘ single and alternative mixes of Custom Rock, Statement and two versions of This is the ALF.


The Ungovernable Force

You Cannot Win
Ungovernable Farce
Piss in the Ocean
Custom Rock
1986, the Battle Continues
Mental Mania
Ungovernable Force
They Said That …..
Force or Service
Day Before
This Is the ALF
To Be Continued.…

Bonus Tracks

Mighty & Superior
To Whom It May Concern
This is the ALF (2x alternative mixes)
Custom Rock (alternative mix)
Statement (alternative mix)

The Ungovernable Force by Conflict is re-issued on Mortarhate Records through Cherry Red Records.



The Primitives release new EP, Never Kill A Secret

The Primitives release new EP, Never Kill A Secret
The Primitives release new EP, Never Kill A Secret

The Primitives release new EP, Never Kill A Secret, their first new recordings since 1992.  This follows a handful of well received live performances in 2010.

The four tracks on the new EP include both their trademark saccharine coated buzz-guitar indie pop music on the lead track, Rattle My Cage and less fuzz more 1960’s girl pop on a cover version of the Lee Hazlewood song Need All the Help I can Get.  The EP also includes a cover version of Toni Basil’s Northern Soul classic Breakaway and the stripped back, tambourine-tapping titles track, Never Kill A Secret.

The Primitives emerged in the wake of feedbacking, buzzsaw sixties-flavoured pop left by The Jesus & MaryChain, along with My Bloody Valentine & Primal Scream with their excellent 1986 noisy lo-fi pop classic Really Stupid.  Further singles, Stop Killing Me & Thru The Flowers followed in 1987 but it was in 1988 they became a household name and tasted commercial success with Crash, Out Of Reach and Way Behind Me.

After three albums, Lovely, Pure and Galore, The Primitives decided to split up in 1992. Guitarist Paul Court and drummer Tig Williams continued to work together on various musical projects throughout most of 1990s, while Tracy Tracy contributed vocals to Band of Holy Joy amongst others, and also recorded with several outfits working in the dance music field. In 2008, Mojo Magazine voted The Primitives’ second single Really Stupid one of the Top 40 UK indie singles of all time.

The Primitives were reunited in 2009 by the untimely passing of their original bass player Steve Dullaghan, reforming to play a show in his memory later that year in their home town of Coventry; their first show together for 17 years. Bolstered by its success they went on to tour the UK in April 2010, receiving a rapturous response, followed by a headline slot at the Indietracks festival and shows in the US and Spain.

To promote the release of Never Kill A Secret EP they will be playing a headline tour in March 2011 before flying to Spain to appear at the Qfestival in Valencia on 2nd April.

The Primitives 2011 UK Tour Dates:

Wed 16 March
Joiners Arms, Southampton

Thu 17 March
Haymakers, Cambridge

Fri 18 March
Start the Bus, Bristol

Sat 19 March
Fibbers, York

Sun 20 March
The Arches, Glasgow

Mon 21 March
Moho, Manchester

Wed 23 March
Academy, Birmingham

Thu 24 March
Garage, London

The Primitives release Never Kill A Secret EP on Fortuna POP!