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The Loft

Ghost Trains & Country Lanes Studio, Stage & Sessions 1984-2015

    Among the first crop of Creation Records bands in the mid-1980s, THE LOFT seemed the most likely to break through. Following the success of The Smiths, guitar-based independent pop was in vogue, Alan McGee’s Creation label was turning heads – its bands blending 60s psychedelia, the melodic end of punk and a new sound which would soon be immortalised on NME’s C86 cassette. And in this London quartet, Creation had their answer to bands like Television, The Only Ones or early Modern Lovers, offering taut, off-kilter songs with an irresistibly deadpan cool.

    Sadly, after just two singles, 1984’s downbeat debut ‘Why Does The Rain’ and the punchier sequel, ‘Up The Hill And Down The Slope’ – an indie hit which the band performed live on TV show The Oxford Road Show, The Loft dissolved, with various members founding new bands The Weather Prophets, The Caretaker Race and The Wishing Stones. They left behind seven studio tracks, a BBC Radio 1 session for Janice Long and one track from a Creation LP documenting the scene’s roots in small club The Living Room.

    However, The Loft’s legend endured, eventually prompting a reunion in the early 2000s with all four original members – singer/songwriter/guitarist Pete Astor, guitarist Andy Strickland, bassist Bill Prince and drummer Dave Morgan. Alongside various well-received live shows, that led to a new single, ‘Model Village’ (2006) and more recently a session for Gideon Coe on BBC 6 Music (2015). The Loft’s reputation as founding fathers of a new breed of mid-80s indie pop continues to grow to this day, with the band often cited as an influence.

    Compiled and coordinated by the band, Ghost Trains & Country Lanes expands on previous retrospectives of The Loft, adding those reunion recordings (including three previously unissued tracks), the Gideon Coe session and several live recordings from that historic performance at The Living Room back in 1984. (including many exclusive songs which were never recorded in the studio).

    With new sleeve-notes by Danny Kelly, this is the definite tribute to The Loft.


    The Creation Recordings
    Why Does The Rain
    Up The Hill And Down The Slope
    Your Door Shines Like Gold
    Lonely Street

    BBC Radio 1 Janice Long Session - 9/12/84
    On A Tuesday
    Skeleton Staircase
    The Canal And The Big Red Town
    Lonely Street

    Live At The Living Room - 8/6/84
    On A Tuesday
    Your Door Shines Like Gold
    Colours I See
    The Nothing Box
    The Canal And The Big Red Town
    Why Does The Rain
    Over The Hill And Down The Slope
    Day’s End

    Bark Studio Recordings - 5-7/12/05 Model Village
    Rickety Frame
    Mad Old Woman Mad Old Man

    BBC Radio 6 Music Gideon Coe Session – 24/9/15
    Why Does The Rain, I Can’t Keep My Mind Off You, Up The Hill And Down The Slope, Your Door Shines Like Gold

    The Gymslips

    Rocking With The Renees - 2022 Reissue

      East London’s The Gymslips, Paula Richards, Suzanne Scott and Karen Yarnell, barged their way onto the post punk scene in 1981. They openly embraced drinking, Pie & Mash, monkey boots and double denim right from the start. Often credited with being the first female Oi! band, but they brought so much more to the table with their punky 60s influenced girl pop.

      Formed in 1980, The Gymslips started playing live the following year, and opened for Dolly Mixture on a 1981 UK tour. The band referred to themselves as “Renees” a late 60s term for mod girls, the same subculture that named boys “Ronees”. Drummer Karen Yarnell told the NME that a “Renee was a girl who got as much shagging done as a bloke while also matching him for pint drinking, fag smoking, nose-picking, farting and the wearing of skinhead style double denim”.

      They recorded 5 sessions for the John Peel show, after signing to Abstract Records their first single was a cover of Suzi Quatros 48 Crash, which was released in 1982. The following year they released Their sole album Rocking With The Renees along with 2 further singles “Big Sister” & “Robot Man”

      After Karen Yarnell left to join Serious Drinking, this ended The Gymslips Mk 1. Although they were to return 2 years later with a new line up to release their final single “Evil Eye”.


      Side 1
      1 Renees
      2 Drink Problem
      3 Barbara Cartland
      4 Face Lifts
      5 Thinking Of You
      6 Angels
      7 Robot Man
      Side 2
      8 Dear Marje
      9 Wandering Stars
      10 Yo Yo
      11 Some Girls
      12 Complications
      13 Big Sister
      14 48 Crash
      15 Untitled
      Silly Egg E.P.
      1 Silly Egg
      2 Pie N’ Mash
      3 Multi-Coloured Sugar 4 Take Away


      I Am A Wallet - 2022 Reissue

        Double album set contains the original LP plus 13 bonus tracks taken from their first four singles and the re-recorded version of In Purgatory which originally appeared on the PINK compilation E.P “It sells or it smells” plus bonus 7” a reproduction colour vinyl copy of McCarthy’s first 7” “In Purgatory”
        All three tracks have been remastered from the original master tape and presented in a wraparound sleeve, just like the incredibly rare “Wall Of Salmon” original.

        Also Includes:
        20 page 12x12” full colour booklet containing all the lyrics and packed full with photos, many previously unpublished. Press clippings and other memorabilia. Introduction by Nicky Wire of the Manic Street Preachers and track by track commentary by Malcolm Eden.
        8 x 10 Black & White press photo.
        Reproduction European Tour poster “The Well Of Loneliness” Promo poster McCarthy sticker.

        By the time McCarthy appeared on the NME’s C86 cassette they had already been playing together for a couple of years and released two excellent singles. Their debut “In Purgatory” and the indie masterpiece “Red Sleeping Beauty” (both included on this release). The following year McCarthy released the brilliant “Frans Hals” before unleashing their debut album “I Am A Wallet”

        Now recognised as an indie pop masterpiece it has gone on to achieve cult status, receiving praise from the likes of Nicky Wire (Manic Street Preachers) as one of the most important albums of the 80s. Known by today's indie acolytes as the band that spawned Tim Gane and Leititia Sadier (who of course went on to form Stereolab).

        It’s a seamless album reminiscent of the Byrds. Wonderful, if slightly twee, jangly guitars with complex and rarely rhyming lyrics, Malcolm Eden’s strident left wing political views are manifest on I Am A Wallet. Cloaked in pretty guitar and propulsive drums, Eden sets about attacking the pillars of the day, MPs, Prince Charles, Fleet Street, religion, the response to AIDS and on almost every song, capitalism. The horrors and inequalities of the capitalist system are laid bare for all the see. The system which enables some to get rich at the expense of others is reviled and attacked.


        An Mp Speaks
        The International Narcotics Traffic
        The Way Of The World
        Charles Windsor
        The Vision Of Peregrine Worsthorne
        The Well Of Loneliness
        The Wicked Palace Revolution
        God Made The Virus
        The Funeral
        A Child Soon In Chains
        In The Dark Times
        The Procession Of Popular
        In Purgatory (re-recorded Version)
        Comrade Era(re-recorded )
        Something Wrong Somewhere
        Red Sleeping Beauty
        From The Damned
        For The Fat Lady
        Frans Hals
        Kill Kill Kill Kill
        You’re Alive
        Bad Dreams
        Someone Worse Off Antiamericancretin

        In Purgatory
        Comrade Era
        Something Wrong Somewhere


        Pointless Walks To Dismal Places - 2022 Reissue

          Features the original LP plus a bonus disc with the Cherry Red E.P tracks, plus a 16-page booklet containing photos, reviews, and sleevenotes from Mick Derrick, Steve Mack & John Robb.

          Combining a metronomic krautrock beat played by a monster drummer, looping guitars and a boy/girl vocal that sounded like a bickering bed-sit argument turned into song, Prolapse had all the manic intensity of a nervous breakdown set against a backdrop of inventive guitar work and a really tough rhythm section. There were hints of the Fall, krautrock, PiL and a touch of the pure golden pop of Blondie along with the sense of restless dislocation shared by many of the post-punk bands.

          Prolapse arrived in the middle of the Britpop era and their tense, almost neurotic music clashed with the stadium-filling, jolly knees- up pop that dominated the indie mainstream of the time. By 1996 indie had become the mainstream in terms of record sales and sound and was strutting around at the opposite end of the cultural spectrum to the indie bands of the Eighties and their war against popular culture. Late arrivals Prolapse were the last gasp of this genuine independence.


          1. Serpico
          2. Headless In A Beat Motel
          3. Surreal Madrid
          4. Doorstep Rhythmic Bloc
          5. Burgundy Spine
          6. Black Death Ambulance
          7. Chill Blown
          8. Hungarian Suicide Song
          9. Tina This Is Matthew Stone
          10. Psychotic Now
          11. P.D.F
          12. Screws
          13. Kilometrica Banca
          14. Pull Thru Barker
          15. Dirge
          16. They Slept In Darkness
          17. E.O.P.O
          18. Pile Tent


          The Enraged Will Inherit The Earth - 2022 Repress

            Originally released in 1989. The Enraged Will Inherit the Earth is a musical molotov cocktail that’s a mixture of power chords and virile, virtuous lyrics.

            The songwriting is tightly forged and their knack for producing raw pop is at its finest here. The Enraged Will Inherit The Earth is a powerful weapon that didn’t get enough of a user base to make its intended impact. If the question was ever proposed, “can art be a weapon?” I think this album answers with a bold and resounding “yes.”

            Including the singles Boy Meets Girl, So What; Should The Bible Be Banned; Keep An Open Mind Or Else & This Nelson Rockerfeller. 

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: With poppy hooks and progressions hidden beneath a cover of driven politicism and anti-war sentiment, McCarthy presented a fascinating and enjoyable juxtaposition of styles and production techniques. This new remaster includes an extra LP AND an extra 7” too!

            TRACK LISTING

            A1 Boy Meets Girl So What
            A2 Governing Takes Brains
            A3 An Address To The Better Off
            A4 Hands Off Or Die
            A5 What Our Boys Are Fighting For
            B1 Keep An Open Mind Or Else
            B2 We Are All Born Creeps
            B3 The Home Secretary Briefs The Forces Of Law And Order
            B4 I’m Not A Patriot But
            B5 Throw Him Out He’s Breaking My Heart .

            A1 Should The Bible Be Banned
            A2 St Francis Among The Mortals
            A3 The Myth Of The North-South Divide
            A4 We Are All Bourgeois Now
            A5 Two Criminal Points Of View
            B1 This Nelson Rockefeller
            B2 The New Left Review #1
            B3 The Lion Will Lie Down With The Lamb
            B4 All Your Questions Answered
            B5 The New Left Review #2

            Side 1: Who Will Rid Me Of These Turbulent Proles?
            Side 2: You Had To Go And Open Your Big Mouth

            Religious Overdose

            Strung Out On Heavens High 1980-1982

              Religious Overdose formed in 1979 and alongside the likes of PIL, Joy Division and Bauhaus helped forge the sound that became to be known as post-punk. In just 2 years their experimental songs were pushing boundaries. From the hypnotizing drum machine led debut “25 minutes” and the krautrock influenced “I said go” to the synth infused new wave of “Blow The Back Off” and their final single. The sprawling 7 minute “The Girl With The Disappearing Head” This is a celebration of the much underrated and important Religious Overdose.

              Formed in Barby (near Rugby) in 1979, original vocalist left, Alex Novak joined in 1980, producing three singles for Glass Records. Initially used a rhythm generator then replaced by drummer Pete Brownjohn. Played with Wheres Lisse / Fall / Eyeless In Gaza / Trance / Mystery Guests / Bauhaus / Dance Chapter / Ski Patrol /English Subtitles / Attrition / Theatre Of Hate... the last gig was in Northampton 1982, recorded and released as a tape by Adventures In Reality label and fanzine from Coventry.

              TRACK LISTING

              Side One:
              Control Addicts
              25 Minutes
              I Said Go
              Alien To You
              Side Two:
              Blow The Back Off It
              In This Century
              Girl With The Disappearing Head


              Bright And Guilty - 2022 Reissue

                In 1989, while the musical world was fêting serial-killer worshipping noise bands, white boys with dreadlocks and the first glimmers of techno, one band – The Wolfhounds – was describing the times and the country exactly as they were. Or at least as they saw it.

                Well, not exactly. The privations of finding enough money to live on, a semi-permanent roof over your head and perhaps the hope of real change were all there in the lyrics along with the multitudinous shards of ideas in the music, both raging and reflective – but there was also a sense of magical realism and authentic personal circumstance imbued in it all.

                Formed as a frantic noisy fusion of sixties garage and independent post-punk in Romford in 1984, by 1986 it was the band’s misfortunate to be corralled with the jangly and quirky bands of the era-defining C86 tape, given away free with the NME that year. The frustration of being lumped with the lumpen was already spilling over into a heightened creativity that would see the band release three LPs in 18 months, the first and perhaps most fully realised of which was Bright & Guilty.
                The band’s sense of melody saw three singles taken off it, and all received plentiful radio play that resulted in enthusiastic audience responses when the band toured with My Bloody Valentine and the House of Love shortly after the LP came out. This renewed attention also saw them being threatened with legal action by the food company satirically targeted by one of the singles – Happy Shopper.

                The band’s magpie listening habits also saw the first glimmers of an interest in sampling with the track Cottonmouth, hip hop in the drum rhythms of Invisible People and Son of Nothing, discordant post- hardcore in Non-specific Song and even percussive hints of Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs in Charterhouse.
                The album’s lyrical themes have sustained the relevance of these 30-something year-old songs. The dictatorship of the class system over the economy is touched on in Charterhouse, the unfairness of housing policy in Rent Act and Red Tape Red Light, the desperation of not having enough money to even seek employment in Useless Second Cousin. But there is contemplation and mystery, too: Rope Swing’s nostalgia for pre-teen childhood, Invisible People’s detailing of intangible weaknesses.

                Of all their peers, The Wolfhounds post-C86 output stands up straight and proud, and you’ll find echoes of their sound in Fontaines DC, Idles and many others – but not performed with the brashness, vigour and uniqueness of the originals.

                TRACK LISTING

                Non- Specific Song
                Happy Shopper
                Useless Second Cousin
                Ex- Cable Street Tomorrow Attacking
                Son Of Nothing
                Rent Act
                Invisible Peopl
                A Mess Of Paradise
                No Soap In A Dirty War
                Red Tape Red Light
                Natural Disasters
                Died The Small Death
                A Mess Of Paradise (scarf Demo)
                I’m Not Like Everybody Else
                Set Me Free
                Second Son

                The Hit Parade

                Pick Of The Pops Vol.1 - Vinyl Reissue

                  14 track vinyl version of the 2012 CD compilation. Pressed on pale blue vinyl, with printed lyric inner sleeve. First time on vinyl. Includes poster and postcard.

                  A swish compilation LP featuring fourteen of the most memorable songs in the career of the top notch indie band THE HIT PARADE.

                  Entitled ‘PICK OF THE POPS (VOL1)’ the LP collects together the most poignant moments in the career of THE HIT PARADE, and includes their thoughtful recording for Sarah Records “In Gunnersbury Park”, their tubthumping single for Minty Fresh USA “Hitomi” as well as other cuts, both cheerful and desolate in style, that feature CATH CARROLL (Factory Records), AMELIA FLETCHER (Heavenly and Talulah Gosh) and HARVEY WILLIAMS (Another Sunny Day and The Field Mice).

                  THE HIT PARADE was formed by JULIAN HENRY with his school friends MATT MOFFATT and RAYMOND WATTS in 1984 when they released their first single ‘Forever’ on JSH RECORDS. Since then they’ve clung to the sensibilities of pure pop and have become a curiosity item with their retro attitudes and songs about dead writers, disused swimming pools and failed love affairs.

                  Their early vinyl singles were lauded by John Peel, the NME and Melody Maker, the now defunct weekly paper that published JULIAN HENRY’S writing. In the 1990s the band toured alongside Edwyn Collins, The Milkshakes and Sarah Records notables, and signed to Japanese and US labels, releasing a sequence of albums that have since become collectible.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  The First Time
                  You Didn’t Love Me Then
                  The Boy Who Loves Brighter
                  In Gunnersbury Park
                  The Sun Shines In Gerrards Cross
                  House Of Sarah
                  The Queen Of Mousehole
                  Huevos Mexicana
                  On The Road To Beaconsfield
                  My Favourite Girl
                  Hello Hannah Hello

                  The Times

                  I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape

                    Edward Ball was a member of cult band The Television Personalities alongside his school friend Dan Treacy before leaving to concentrate on The Times.
                    ‘I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape’ (inspired by cult TV series The Prisoner) Is probably the best known track from them, originally released on the Artpop! label in 1982.

                    The second single from The Times reissued here with an extra track from the 12” (released a year later in 1983). We have also decided to use the same sleeve that was used for the original 12”.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    A. I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape
                    B. Theme From Dangerman Big Painting

                    East Village

                    Back Between Places

                      Originally released on the Sub Aqua label in 1988. It appears here on 7” for the first time. This is a previously unreleased version of Back Between Places. The band were never really happy with the original single release and having discovered the master tape of a superior version, it is to be mixed and released here for the very first time.
                      From East Village

                      Both tracks were recorded at Greenhouse Studios at the same one day session in August 88 and are technically unreleased.

                      ‘Back Between Places’ is an alternate mix made at the time and better than the one we chose to release.

                      ‘Violin’ is a completely unreleased recording. It was planned as the original B-side but ended up being replaced by two early recordings ‘Her Fathers Son’ and ‘Precious Diamond Tears’ on the actual 12” release.

                      We rerecorded ‘Violin’ at few months later at Scruttocks along with ‘Freeze Out’, ‘Vibrato’ and a couple of others that have appeared on the ‘Hotrod Hotel’ LP.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      Side A Back Between Places (alternate Mix From August 1988)
                      Side B Violin (original Unreleased Version From August 1988)

                      The Wild Swans

                      Revolutionary Spirit

                        This version is A brand new band approved stereo mix of the only single by Liverpool cult legends The Wild Swans.

                        Due to studio inexperience, the single originally ended up being perhaps the only 12′′ in history with the A-side recorded in mono and the B-side, God Forbid, in stereo. Despite this , The 12′′ received rave reviews, becoming single of the week in numerous music papers. John Peel played it to death and it quickly gained cult status by ending up as the last record ever released on Bill Drummond’s cult label Zoo Records (Drummond himself went on to proclaim it “the best single we put out on Zoo”).

                        TRACK LISTING

                        Side A
                        REVOLUTIONARY SPIRIT
                        Side B
                        GOD FORBID

                        The Wake

                        On Our Honeymoon

                          The Wake formed in Glasgow (Scotland) in April 1981, after singer/ guitarist Caesar teamed up with drummer Steven Allen and a bassist, Joe Donnelly. Previously Caesar had played guitar in Altered Images, writing first single Dead Pop Stars and appearing on the first two John Peel sessions, but left the group shortly before they crashed into the mainstream pop charts with Happy Birthday.

                          With few opportunities to play large live shows the new group financed a single on their own Scan 45 label, coupling upbeat indiepop number On Our Honeymoon with Give Up, a darker song featuring a keyboard line picked out by band friend Robert ‘Bobby’ Gillespie.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          Side A
                          On Our Honeymoon
                          Side B
                          Give Up


                          Human Features

                            Colin Vearncombe may be forever associated with the worldwide hit ‘Wonderful Life’ but 6 years earlier Black released this incredible single.

                            Evocative of The Smiths (although this was released years earlier) it contains all the elements of a classic indie single.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            Side A
                            Human Features
                            Side B
                            Electric Church

                            The Monochrome Set

                            Volume, Contrast, Brilliance Vol.1

                              Originally released in 1983 this hugely rewarding record acted as a round up of the group’s career to date and was of immeasurable value to fans. It’s aged well, too.

                              Comprising of A and B sides from their Rough Trade released singles plus extracts from sessions for Radio 1, Capital Radio and EMI Records, this LP contains unique versions of such classic tracks as “The Jet Set Junta” and “He’s Frank (Slight Return)”.

                              Oddities, and jocular moments run through the album, including John Peel introducing “Fat Fun” and thinking aloud that those Monochrome boys might be having a pop at him. The fact that it includes a wish list of the band’s best songs to this point in their career is another reason to recommend it.

                              Previously they may have made a handful of slightly-off-target albums, but this 1983 compilation is a front-to-back joy, fast, restless and perfectly sequenced. It plays like a cohesive album.

                              Includes 2 bonus tracks from the February 1979 Peel Session ‘Love Goes Down The Drain’ & ‘Noise (Eine Kleine Symphonie)’.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              Side 1:
                              Eine Symphonie Des Grauens 
                              The Jet Set Junta
                              Love Zombies
                              Silicon Carne
                              The Ruling Class
                              Viva Death Row
                              The Man With The Black Moustache

                              Side 2:
                              He’s Frank (Slight Return)
                              Fun For All Of The Family
                              Lester Leaps In
                              ICI Les Enfants
                              Fat Run
                              Avanti (Ten Don’ts For Honeymooners) Love Goes Down The Drain
                              Noise (Eine Kleine Symphonie)

                              Article 58

                              Event To Come

                                Article 58, named after the Soviet classification for counter-revolutionaries, were formed in Scotland by Gerri McLaughlin (vocals), Douglas MacIntyre (guitars) and Ewan MacLennan (bass), with Stephen Lironi (drums) on these recordings. The group existed for a short period of time, burning brightly before burning out.

                                A single, ‘Event To Come’, was produced by Postcard Records’ Alan Horne and Malcolm Ross and released on Josef K manager Allan Campbell’s Rational label.

                                Article 58 were the opening group on many bills in Scotland, including support slots circa 1981 with A Certain Ratio, Scars, Josef K, Delmontes, Bauhaus, Restricted Code, among others.

                                Josef K invited Article 58 to support them on some dates in England to promote their only album, ’The Only Fun In Town’, after which Article 58 recorded tracks for an as-yet unreleased album. One track, ‘Reflection’, did surface on a cassette/ zine product (‘Irrational’) released by Rational Records. However the teenage tension and strain of all that accompanies being in a group proved too much and Article 58 split up at the end of 1981.

                                ‘Event To Come’ was to be the only single released by Article 58. The B side, ‘Icon’, is a previously unreleased recording. Both tracks are presented in a brand new sleeve designed by The Creeping Bent Organisation for release on the Optic Nerve label. 

                                TRACK LISTING

                                Side A
                                Event To Come
                                Side B

                                The Suede Crocodiles

                                Stop The Rain - 2022 Reissue

                                  Formed in post-Postcard Glasgow as Popgun, Kevin McDermott (vocals/ guitar), Davie McCormick (drums), and Ross Drummond (bass/vocals) were joined by Roddy Johnson (guitar/vocals). In 1983, they changed their name to The Suede Crocodiles and released ‘Stop the Rain’ on the NoStrings label.

                                  Single of the Week in both NME and Melody Maker, this jagged-edged, spiky pop-punk single caught the ear of many. The Suede Crocodiles went on to tour the UK with Nick Heyward.

                                  The band split before releasing their second single, ‘Paint Yourself A Rainbow’ with songwriter and lead vocalist Kevin McDermott going on to form the Kevin McDermott Orchestra and having a successful solo career.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  Side A
                                  Stop The Rain
                                  Side B
                                  Pleasant Dreamer

                                  Josef K

                                  Sorry For Laughing - 2022 Reissue

                                    For two brief years at the dawn of the 1980s Josef K provided iconic Scots indie label Postcard Records with its sharpest cutting edge.

                                    Although outlived - and outsold - by labelmates Orange Juice and Aztec Camera, Josef K perfected a prescient blend of skinny funk and leftfield pop, an artful combination of style and substance that continues to exert an influence out of all proportion to the brevity of their career

                                    When Les Disque Du Crépuscule issued Sorry For Laughing on single in April 1981 it was widely hailed as the group’s best offering to date, and established the definitive Jokay style of looping rhythms paired with incisive, angular guitar.

                                    Like Postcard itself, the best band in Edinburgh might have had the lifespan of a mayfly, yet they remain a revered icon of an indie golden age.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    Side A
                                    Sorry For Laughing
                                    Side B

                                    The Bluebells

                                    Everybody's Somebody's Fool - 2022 Reissue

                                      The Bluebells have dug deep into their archive to give us the earliest recordings of these tracks, which have never been released before and are exclusive to this 7”

                                      ‘Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool’ is longer and more vibrant containing an extra verse and guitar solo which are not on previous versions. This is the closest recording to the one that was originally intended to be released on Postcard in 1981. The sleeve, designed by Bobby Bluebell features 2 of the earliest photos of the band.

                                      THE BLUEBELLS were formed by songwriter / guitarist Robert Hodgens aka Bobby Bluebell in 1980. When deciding to form a group to start performing his songs, Hodgens remembered two punk musicians from Bothwell (brothers Ken and David McCluskey) he had interviewed for his fanzine, 10 Commandments. David (drums/ backing vocals) and Ken (vocals / harmonica) joined Robert and The Bluebells started performing live in and around Glasgow.

                                      The Bluebells were soon involved in the burgeoning scene coalescing around Postcard Records in Glasgow (Orange Juice, Josef K, Go Betweens, Aztec Camera, Jazzateers), and it wasn’t long before The Bluebells were sharing stages throughout the UK with some of the Postcard groups. A single (Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool) was scheduled for release on Postcard, however after appearing on the front page on Melody Maker and in NME / Sounds etc, major record companies started making serious offers to sign the group. The Bluebells appeared on BBC music program The Old Grey Whistle Test, the first unsigned group to do so, and it wasn’t long after this television appearance that the group signed a major record contract with London Records.

                                      The Bluebells were soon in the studio working on songs for their debut album, with Elvis Costello producing. They were invited to open on UK tours for Haircut 100 and Elvis Costello & The Attractions, and started releasing singles to critical acclaim (Forevermore, Cath, Sugar Bridge). However it was their fourth single I’m Falling (co-written by Robert and Ken) that finally resulted in commercial success, chart success, and appearances on Top of the Pops.

                                      The Bluebells released their debut album, Sisters, in 1984 to further commercial chart success, which was continued when their next single, Young At Heart, gave the group their second big hit single. However, when Young At Heart was reissued in 1993, it reached number 1 in the chart for a month, making The Bluebells regular fixtures on Top Of The Pops.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      Side A
                                      Everybody's Somebody's Fool

                                      Side B
                                      Some Sweet Day

                                      The Nivens


                                        Indie pop sensations The Nivens from Northumberland existed between 1987 to 1990. Recording for the excellent Woosh label, Their debut ‘Yesterday’ hit the indie top ten in January 1989.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        Side A

                                        Side B
                                        I Hope You’ll Always Be My Friend

                                        The Cigarettes

                                        You Were So Young - White Vinyl Reissue

                                          It was at the tale end of what would later be loosely termed ‘The Seventies’, in Lincoln, Merry England, that three teenagers formed, the consequencies of ther actions are captured here.

                                          “You Were So Young” consists of everything that The Cigarettes ever recorded in what was their two year life span. From the very beginnings in the rehearsal room through to tracks recorded for an unreleased third single. It includes the two singles and their ip sides, some tracks that were included on a local compilation album, and their solitary John Peel session along with a handful that never found their way onto a record.

                                          Their debut single ‘They’re Back Again, Here They Come’ , exchanges hands from upwards of £100 and ‘You Were So Young’ has been viewed on Youtube over 1.3m times.

                                          The vinyl inner sleeves include an in depth interview with Rob and Steve, answering pretty much all there is to know about The Cigarettes

                                          Over the years The Cigarettes have gained a wealth of interest, leaving many to scratch their heads and wonder how they slipped under the radar for so long. 

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          Side 1
                                          1. They’re Back Again, Here They Come
                                          2. I’ve Forgot My Number (Now I’m Telling You My Name)
                                          3. All We Want Is Your Money
                                          4. Can’t Sleep At Night
                                          5. It’s The Only Way To Live (Die)
                                          6. Stay Inside

                                          Side 2
                                          7. Looking At You
                                          8. Frivolous Disguises
                                          9. Run
                                          10. After All
                                          11. Don’t
                                          12. Screaming Dreaming

                                          Side 3
                                          13. You Were So Young
                                          14. Damage Your Health
                                          15. Miranda
                                          16. Media Menia
                                          17. Surrender
                                          18. Valium World

                                          Side 4
                                          19. Can’t Sleep At Night (John Peel Session)
                                          20. Frivolous Disguises (John Peel Session)
                                          21. It’s The Only Way To Live (Die) (John Peel Session)
                                          22. Valium World (John Peel Session)

                                          Folk Devils

                                          Forever EP

                                            The 3-track “Forever” E.P. on Transluscent Red 10” Vinyl is limited to 250 copies and features two new compositions, the title track “Forever” and “My Slum Soul”, plus an incendiary new version of an old live favourite “Ink Runs Dry”. FOLK DEVILS, the London group that took their name from a well-known academic text on social scapegoating, and who blazed a trail across the UK’s independent music scene of the mid-80s with their unique brand of post-punk energy, have returned with their first new music in 35 years.

                                            Recorded at London’s famous Konk Studios in North London and mixed and co- produced by Grammy Award-winning engineer Rik Simpson, the re-born Folk Devils drew inspiration from the release of their 2016 career retrospective “Beautiful Monsters” and the reactions at subsequent live shows around the UK with kindred spirits Membranes, Inca Babies and The Cravats. Founder members, guitarist Kris Jozajtis and bassist Mark Whiteley, reformed the group by recruiting members of a short-lived 1987 version of Folk Devils; guitarist Nick Clift and drummer John Hamilton. Together with singer Dave Hodgson they soon discovered they had created a well-oiled twin-guitar juggernaut that brimmed with the same restless, twisted blues that characterized the first and second iterations of the band from 1983-87 when they were fronted by the highly underrated and now sadlydeparted singer/songwriter Ian Lowery.

                                            Hodgson, a fellow transplant from the North-East, had known Lowery in the early 80s prior to Folk Devils, when the two were in their respective post-punk bands Ski Patrol and Parting Shots. On the re-recording of “Ink Runs Dry” Kris Jozajtis notes...”It’s a classic Folk Devils song with a brilliant lyric by Ian. So it’s an acknowledgment of the debt we owe him, a nod of respect to one of the great unsung talents of rock’n’roll. It always felt like a ‘BIG’ tune to us; Yet despite there being two pretty decent radio session versions of it available, there’s always been a sense of unfinished business because “Ink” had never received the full studio treatment the song deserved.

                                            I think the new, turbo-charged twin guitar version puts that right.” ”the songs will hopefully still speak to malcontents like ourselves, who are both fascinated and appalled by what we might encapsulate as ‘the human condition’. The dark humour and mordant wit that characterized Lowery’s lyrics is still intact I think, and despite the inevitable encroachments of age we haven’t really lost the dissatisfaction and anger that we tried to articulate in words and music back in the ‘80s. So we’re likely to continue making a mighty and righteous racket, both live and on record, as long as anyone cares to listen.”


                                            You Can Stop That For A Start

                                              The album is accompanied by a selection of some of the band’s favourite demo recordings made between 1988 and 1994.

                                              The long awaited and eagerly anticipated new album by BOB captures the band at their peak and includes some of their best material ever committed to vinyl and CD. A 12-track vinyl record is available in coloured and black vinyl and includes digital download of all 28 tracks contained on the double CD version. ‘You Can Stop That For A Start’ is an exclusive album of previously unheard material written and recorded by BOB over a five day period in 1992. The almost legendary archive of unreleased professional and demo recordings by BOB is a rich one, and this release showcases some of the band’s best work.

                                              All the recordings in the set have been newly mixed by songwriters Simon Armstrong and Richard Blackborow, and come packaged in artwork conceived by the band and accompanied by period images and new sleeve notes. 

                                              Potted BOB History:
                                              BOB’s initial line-up was Richard Blackborow (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Simon Armstrong (guitar, vocals).
                                              Jem Morris (bass guitar), joined the duo in 1986 and, augmented with a drum machine, they recorded the band’s first release, a flexi disc, released in 1986 on their own House Of Teeth label, and containing three short songs: “Prune (Your Tree)”, “Groove” and “Brian Wilson’s Bed”. The band gave a copy to John Peel in a fortuitous encounter in the Rough Trade record shop, and he played it many times.
                                              The drum machine was replaced by drummer Gary Connors in 1987, and this line-up recorded 1987’s What a Performance single and the first of three John Peel sessions. The band were now able to take to the UK’s motorway network in their newly acquired ‘vintage’ Transit van, and begin a series of tours that eventually saw them play hundreds of gigs the length of the country and beyond.

                                              Early in 1988, Gary Connors was replaced by former Jamie Wednesday drummer Dean Leggett, and the band recorded their second single, Kirsty, a session for BBC Radio One’s Simon Mayo, and their second John Peel session. Both singles received heavy play by John Peel. The two singles were brought together with the earlier flexi disc as the compilation LP Swag Sack, which was their final release on the Sombrero label. All later records were on their own House Of Teeth label.

                                              In 1989, the band released a single Convenience, which charted well in the NME and Melody Maker indie charts and, more importantly, reached no.31 in John Peel’s Festive Fifty at the end of the year. This was followed by a limited edition/fan club release containing three songs: “Esmerelda Brooklyn”, “I Don’t Know” and “Sink”. After their third and final John Peel session, Morris was replaced by ex-Caretaker Race bassist Stephen ‘Henry’ Hersom, and this final line-up recorded the Stride Up EP in 1990, an LP Leave The Straight Life Behind, the single Tired in 1991, and one last 12”, the Nothing For Something EP in 1992.
                                              BOB became one of the victims of the demise of Rough Trade’s distribution arm, which limited sales of the album and forced the band to tour for an extended period to recoup the album’s costs. A feeling of disillusionment with the ‘business’ side of the music caused a drop in morale, and despite having produced a large body of unreleased work, they disbanded early in 1995.

                                              In February 2014, “Leave the Straight Life Behind” was re-released by British independent label 3 Loop Music as a 2CD expanded edition which included the remastered album plus a bonus CD of all the John Peel and BBC sessions, as well as extra tracks.

                                              In 2015, “The Singles and EPs” was released by 3 Loop Music as a 2CD compilation of remastered tracks from Swag Sack and all vinyl Sombrero and House of Teeth releases.

                                              In 2019, the band announced six final concerts in England and Germany featuring Blackborow, Armstrong, and Leggett with newly recruited old friend Arthur Tapp on bass. A limited edition 7” of Convenience with an unreleased B-side from 1992 was released on Optic Nerve. The single reached number 18 on the official UK vinyl sales chart.

                                              BOB on the new album You Can Stop That For A Start:
                                              “The tracks that make up You Can Stop That For A Start were recorded over a five day period in our final years, as the hectic touring schedule that had kept us financially viable began to tail off. What funds the band could glean from occasional publishing deals were spent on studio time, with the hope of creating work that would eventually attract more substantial financial investment. As this never materialised, the songs have largely remained unheard since the early nineties. 

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              TRACKLIST LP
                                              SIDE ONE
                                              01 Telepathy
                                              02 Say You’re Alone
                                              03 That’s What Tomorrow Brings
                                              04 Round
                                              05 Now
                                              06 Sundown

                                              SIDE TWO
                                              01 Plastic
                                              02 She’s Something Like Me
                                              03 Green Pepper Feast
                                              04 Queen Of Sheba
                                              05 Plastered In Paris
                                              06 Don’t Kid

                                              TRACKLIST 2CD
                                              01 Telepathy
                                              02 Say You’re Alone
                                              03 That’s What Tomorrow Brings
                                              04 Round
                                              05 Now
                                              06 Sundown
                                              07 Plastic
                                              08 She’s Something Like Me
                                              09 Green Pepper Feast
                                              10 Queen Of Sheba
                                              11 Plastered In Paris
                                              12 Don’t Kid
                                              13 I Must Need Some Sleep

                                              01 Long May We Increase
                                              02 Too Far Down
                                              03 STP
                                              04 When The Saints
                                              05 Helvetia
                                              06 On Your Side
                                              07 Buy Me A Barstool
                                              08 There She Was
                                              09 Shoot
                                              10 207
                                              11 Jehovah
                                              12 Hanging On
                                              13 Thunderfeet
                                              14 Turn That Racket Down
                                              15 Before A Fall

                                              The Wee Cherubs

                                              The Merry Makers

                                                Before The Bachelor Pad, there was The Wee Cherubs.
                                                A collection of lost recordings made in Glasgow between 1982 & 1985. Restored and remastered especially for this release.

                                                Formed in 1982 by Martin Cotter, Christine Gibson and Graham Adam & part of the Glasgow indie scene of the early 80’s.

                                                The Wee Cherubs only released one single. The recently reissued Dreaming, (which is included in this set) before calling it a day in 1985. Their range of influences are on show here, and although some tracks are redolent of Orange Juice and Aztec Camera there is no definitive Wee Cherubs sound, which makes this collection an exciting and rewarding discovery

                                                Cotter went on to The Bachelor Pad a psyche fuelled head on collision between The Buzzcocks & Syd Barrett. 

                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                Side 1 
                                                1. Dreaming
                                                2. Pastures New
                                                3. Waiting
                                                4. Two Things At One Time

                                                Side 2
                                                6 Poor Little Lost Soul
                                                7 Painless
                                                8 Goodbye
                                                9 Theme
                                                10 Waiting For My Man 

                                                Meat Whiplash

                                                Don't Slip Up

                                                  Their one and only single was originally released in 1985 on Creation and spent 19 weeks in the independent chart. From East Kilbride in Scotland, they morphed into Motorcycle Boy.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  Side A
                                                  Don’t Slip Up

                                                  Side B
                                                  Here It Comes

                                                  Metro Trinity

                                                  Die Young

                                                    The Die Young EP was released on the group’s own Cafeteria label, released early 1987. Michael Fury was inspired by James Joyce’s short story The Dead. Only previously available on a 4 track12” .This 7” version comprises 3 of those 4 tracks. 

                                                    Metro Trinity were a short lived Manchester based indie band that included Jon Male, later of Soul Family Sensation and Republica fame. Drummer Colin Rocks, bass player Tim Whiteley and Doves guitarist Jez Williams.
                                                    Metro Trinity only other release came on a split with the Inspiral Carpets on Dave Haslam’s Debris fanzine. Which featured the track “Stupid Friends”.

                                                    Andy Williams of Doves joined the band later on, but does not feature on this EP. The band split up shortly after. 

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Andy says: Stunning song writing. The b-side " Michael Fury" is unbelievable. A proper heartbreaker.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    Side A
                                                    Spend My Whole Life Loving You Just Go
                                                    Side B
                                                    Michael Fury 

                                                    The Wake

                                                    Pale Spectre / Plastic Flowers

                                                      Part of The Optic Sevens Reissue Series. 
                                                      Limited to 500 copies on splatter vinyl Includes Poster & Postcard.

                                                      Originally released on Factory Records in 1987 on a 4 track 12” EP entitled “Something That No One Else Could Bring” These 2 tracks make their first appearance as a 7” single. 

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      Side 1
                                                      PALE SPECTRE

                                                      Side 2
                                                      PLASTIC FLOWERS

                                                      Folk Devils

                                                      Beautiful Monsters (Singles And Demo Recordings 1984-1986)

                                                      First time ever on CD. Digitally restored audio. The complete Folk Devils singles collection plus bonus unreleased demo recordings. Limited edition 180 gram double vinyl. 

                                                      Initially managed by Ray Gange, star of The Clash's film Rude Boy, the Folk Devils first single "Hank Turns Blue" recorded for £180 (allegedly the bands combined dole money) and released on the label Ganges Records and distributed through Rough Trade resided at number three in the indie charts for six weeks being kept off the top spot only by New Order and Depeche Mode.

                                                      Luminaries such as Jason Pierce of Spiritualized still regard the Folk Devils as a highly influential musical force.

                                                      Named after Stanley Cohen’s book on youth subcultures “Folk Devils and Moral Panics”, this highly underrated British band was as far as one could get from ‘folk music’ at the time. They were formed by Co. Durham native Ian Lowery (formerly of The Wall and Ski Patrol) in late 1983 with a line up that consisted of Whiteley (Bass), Kris Jozajtis (Guitar) and Alan Cole (Drums). Throughout their short lifespan, the band released several acclaimed independent singles including “Hank Turns Blue”, “Beautiful Monster”, 1985’s intense “Fire And Chrome” EP, and recorded three sessions for BBC Radio’s John Peel Show.

                                                      By early 1984, their heady brew of swampy rock on a bed of bastardized blues had created a vehicle for Lowery’s increasingly misanthropic worldview. A well-honed gutter poet since the early days of punk, Ian developed an idiosyncratic style, fusing a natural gift for sly wordplay and a well-turned snarky phrase with his often vitriolic and poignant lyrics channeled through an explosive onstage persona.

                                                      By 1985, their sound was becoming sharp, ominous, brooding and urgent, and had taken shape with the help of producer Richard Mazda, with whom they collaborated several times. The band moved label and management duties to Nick Jones’ KARBON operation, gigging constantly, most memorably opening for the likes of The Fall, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Gun Club and Spacemen 3. They also toured extensively throughout Europe and were featured prominently in the UK music press. Sadly, by early 1986 frustration within their ranks had created a point of no return, and the band imploded.

                                                      These newly digitally re-mastered recordings have been painstakingly restored from the original master tapes, which had spent 30 years languishing in Nick Jones’ archives Never before released on CD, the re-mastered sound captures the ragged fury and adrenalized energy that uniquely characterized the Folk Devils oeuvre. Also included here are eight demo recordings that feature some of their best unreleased material, both musically and lyrically.

                                                      Listening again to the ferocious sonic snarl of Whiteley’s Rickenbacker, Kris Joz’s rhythmic wall of sound and sparse, blues-inflected guitar figures, Al’s crisp, metronomic drumming, and Ian’s artful, grimy tales of love, loss, loathing and libation, one can’t help but think it was becoming a sound unto itself, an insatiable and yes, beautiful, monster. We hope you enjoy these resurrected gems, and in doing so, join us in honouring the band’s legacy and paying tribute to the twisted genius of Ian Lowery, who died in 2001, age 45.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      01. Hank Turns Blue
                                                      02. Chewing The Flesh
                                                      03. Beautiful Monster
                                                      04. Art Ghetto
                                                      05. Brian Jones’ Bastard Son
                                                      06. Nice People
                                                      07. English Disease
                                                      08. Where The Buffalo Roam
                                                      09. Wail
                                                      10. Evil Eye
                                                      11. Illiterati
                                                      12. Tight Sleep
                                                      13. Broken Head
                                                      14. Albino
                                                      15. Nicotine Tan
                                                      16. It Drags On
                                                      17. Belly Up
                                                      18. Happy Face

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