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Cherry Red LP Reviews by Colin Bryce

Dustonthe Nettles

Dust on the Nettles

A Journey through the British underground folk scene 1967-1972
(Grapefruit/Cherry Red -3 CD Set)

Y’know, I like me a bit of folk. I’m a Canadian who grew up living without cable TV in the 60’s and 70’s. If any of you out there have any real clue as to what that was like on a Saturday night out here in the middle of the country then please send in your cards and letters c/o Eyeplug. Tommy Hunter (with many folk guests), Irish Rovers TV show, Don Messer and etc. And not forgetting the truly dreadful “Pig and Whistle” show with the excruciating “Pig and Whistle Dancers.”
Please kill me.

Our “Irish” folk groups hit the charts. Country and western flavoured folk classics from charming couples in sateen were commonplace. Folk singers were tripping over themselves for freedom to make it big and experiment with their “sound” maaan. And, and that is no small AND by them way, we had indigenous roots music that stimulated, galvanized and revolutionized the world. So yeah I like me a bit of folk but just watch where the wobbly quavers go.

This new set from Grapefruit/Cherry Red of the exploding and expanding UK folk and folk-rock scene circa ’67-’72 is about pushing the musical boundaries of traditional forms and sometimes embracing the envelope of drug influenced vision quests. Fair enough I suppose. All manner of unorthodox behaviours were upon us. Religions, drugs, political boundaries trounced. Wild, strange and tense times they were. If you were a kid back then you will know that very well indeed.

There is a lot of material here. This is a triple disc labour of love with sixty-three tracks, beautifully packaged and including a 35-page booklet detailing the artists and recordings, as expertly selected by David Wells. And I mean detailing. You’ll need your specs for sure but it is so much more than you would hope for. David (Wells) manages to get the story told in the briefest amount of characters. Amazing actually and I’m not just being smart. It is very difficult to do and yet he manages to squeeze and deliver the very true essence in every short bio. Thank you David. (Special mention to Andy Morton of Pepperbox for the package design and layout.)

The heavies, or at least some of the most well known (in folk/rock circles etc) include the Pentangle, Joan Armatrading, Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention and Dando Shaft. We also get Bolan and Steve Took as the acoustic duo Tyrannosaurus Rex back in ’67. The academically trained are here too. Duncan Browne’s Immediate label era “Gabilan” is not very much a roaring guitar piece but a whole lot more “damsels and ladies” if you catch my drift.

Please pardon my ignorance of the most obscure and incredible included amongst the recordings compiled here but that is why good people at labels like Grapefruit/Cherry Red do collections like this; so that those poor mis- or un-informed record buyers such as I can learn a thing or two. I am now far more learned and enlightened for having spent time with this wee thing of beauty. Thank you good record label folks. (3 CD Box. 63 tracks and booklet.) BUY HERE!

Friends_Friend

 

Audience

Audience

Audience & Friend’s, Friend’s, Friend
(Esoteric Recordings/Cherry Red)

These are the single disc first and second album reissues with bonus tracks. Esoteric’s Mark Powell has done a great job sorting out these recordings and Sid Smith’s liner notes tie it together nicely.

These albums are true gems. Their unique blend of Howard Werth’s nylon string guitar and the woodwind and sax accompaniment complement each other previously unimagined. I came to Audience late and while House on the Hill was massive on radio and in collections in my part of the world they somehow passed me by. So it goes. But I am firmly in the camp now and must admit my savage 60s rock’n’roll tastes lay just ever so slightly more with Audience s/t than Friend’s.

Thematically the band’s work visits elements of spirituality, mysticism, traditional folk tales (robbery, murder, enslavement) and styles – is in jazz – and, surprisingly enough the odd good ol’ western (Ireland?) hoedown.

Again, admittedly I am late. My measly “nice one!” review is hardly gonna tie in to the band’s legendary status that has preceded my recent discovery by decades.

But I still gotta say it, nice one! Buy ‘em both. BUY HERE! & BUY HERE!

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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August 29, 2015 By : Category : Features Front page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
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Easy Action LP Reviews by Colin Bryce

thunderscold

Johnny Thunders

In Cold Blood (Easy Action – 2 Disc Set)

I miss Johnny Thunders. I would have loved to have seen him beat it all. I think we all would have liked to have seen that. I imagine those moments when he – and the Heartbreakers, and the Dolls – were at the top of their game. Those gigs when he felt good, was confident and was interacting in positive ways with band mates, family and friends. We know there were times like those. But when it wasn’t like that it was, by all accounts, a challenge to be in the orbit of Mr. Thunders. Things go haywire. Things break for a seemingly endless variety of reasons. Directions change. Necessities change. Addresses change, but eventually something happens. Nothing short of miraculous I suppose.

Easy Action’s new Johnny Thunders double-disc release In Cold Blood is a collection of varying quality sessions with noted producer Jimmy Miller and other regular JT cohorts, with the second disc a live gig at London’s Marquee Club recorded in June 1982.

The Jimmy Miller session’s material is both acoustic and electric work. The acoustic bits sometimes float and seem unfinished or forced. The electric work while always loud also varies from inspired to, uh, not so much. Fair dues, he was seldom in “great” shape at this point in time.

On disc two we find Mr. Thunders in league with arguably the greatest drummer ever to wear Cuban heels, the late Jerry Nolan. London scenesters and otherwise notable and downright groovy rock’n’roll cool cats (the late, much lauded guitarist) Steve New, and bassist Tony James who fill in and do duty live at this Marquee Club date in June 1982. Little or no rehearsal for the new guys as usual. They needn’t have worried though coz it’s basically the soundman who ruins this gig. I’m guessing some communication issues between Mr. T and the sound person. I’m guessing of course, but when John asks for more echo I think he really meant reverb (which is something an old school guy would more than likely want on his vocal) as opposed to the delay type effect known as echo. It ends up sounding like the Heartbreakers being dubbed by Lee Perry.

Surely to god someone was half ways sober and could have toned it down at least. No rock’n’roll guy ever wanted that kinda “reverb” even if actually got reverb. Whaddya gonna do? You’re gonna listen to it anyway. Warts and all. It is a bit messy of course. I had a challenge the first few attempts to make it through this disc I will admit. It felt like a long night for the crowd. Available time was part of the problem coz you really wanna kind of immerse yourself with Mr. Thunders on recordings like this. It ain’t casual. Claimed or otherwise. Eventually I made it through. Sadly not everybody did. BUY HERE!

hydromaticspower

The Hydromatics

Powerglide High Octane (Easy Action – Double CD)

The Hydromatics were easily one of the best hard rocking, high-energy bands of the last 30 years.

Fronted by Ann Arbor, Michigan’s finest upstanding rock and roll catalyst, songwriter and vocalist, Scott Morgan, the Hydromatics tone and attitude is pure sonic literature. Scott Morgan wrote the book on this stuff over his multi-decade career of trying to make the rent and do a record. The fact’s are here. Even by the time he was making these recordings and he was in his early 50s, he was still kicking ass and takin’ names.

The original edition of the mighty s/t Powerglide was out for but a brief while. If you blinked? Oh yeah, gone buddy. Thankfully this reissue includes the album, five bonus tracks and a second CD of rehearsals with the band rehearsing and sounding fantastic and ready to ball. These recordings are what had been crowned “The Perry Como” tape. You see the session was the night of his passing. Scott mentions it here on the recording.

The actual Powerglide album has a bit more time for groove than the previous release Parts Unknown. But it has also has some of the same seriously hard time rock and roll numbers and includes a couple of largely under-exposed Sonics Rendezvous Band classics re-told. The hard hitting drums of newcomer and fellow Michigander Andy Frost with Theo Brouwer on bass and Tony Slug on both lead and rhythm guitars make the noise alongside Scott’s own ripping guitar and vocals to do the songs proud.

Big, bold, righteous, and rigorous. Or if need be, smooth, rumbling and soulful. Get your grease on HERE!

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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August 29, 2015 By : Category : Features Front page Music Reviews Tags:, , , ,
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The Only Ones (Peter Perret): Book Review by Colin Bryce

A brief Eyeplug Interview with Nina Antonia

Eyeplug: Congratulations on having the One and Only book back out again. I was wondering how many times a month you got asked where someone could get a copy of the One and Only before it finally came to being re-released?

Nina: I was getting at least two requests a month which might not sound much but people have been asking where they could get reasonably priced copies from for at least a decade. One of the issues was that ‘The One & Only’ was being sold through specialist dealers at ridiculous prices and it didn’t seem right that people were paying £50 upwards for a copy, one guy on ABE books had it listed for £190! It’s outrageous, I heard from a woman on Facebook who told me she’d been working two jobs so she could afford a copy. I love books but they really shouldn’t just be the province of the wealthy or the specialist collector.

Eyeplug: I’ve noticed a couple of very recent photos of you with Peter. He looks so much healthier than when the Only Ones got back together a few years back.

Nina: If you’ve read the last chapter of the newly revised book then you will understand why, as Peter is now totally drug free, a huge achievement after so many years. His creative energy has returned and it shows. He’s been back in the studio and there are some UK gigs lined up as well for this year. We are also going to be doing an ‘In Conversation’ as part of the Louder Than Words literary and music festival on July 15th, in the Elgar Room of the Albert Hall, after which Peter will also be performing some songs.

Eyeplug: Anything coming up you feel free to talk about?

Nina: It’s been a pretty busy year so far but one of the highlights was co-writing a song with Neal X, formerly of Sigue Sigue Sputnik. I originally met Neal via Johnny Thunders and Tony James many years ago. Neal’s got a great new band together called The Montecristos and he asked me if I’d like to help with the lyrics on one particular track, ‘Born to Rock n’ Roll’ which is the title of the album (available through Easy Action) the song has had some radio play and hopefully we’ll be doing some more stuff together. I’m also permanently on call for the proposed Johnny Thunders bio-pic based on the authorized biography ‘In Cold Blood’ which is in the pre-production phase. These things take a while – but progress is being made!!

THE BOOK REVIEW

Nina Antonia: The One and Only – Peter Perrett, Homme Fatale
(Thin Man Press)

The 2015 updated and revised version of Nina Antonia’s extraordinary The One and Only is finally here! Of all the great rock’n’roll biographies this is indeed one of the very best. It is both wonderfully written and diligently researched by Ms. Antonia. Nina’s close ties with the Perrett family, the Only Ones band themselves and various members of their camp, enables her to closely and most eloquently define the important relationships, health struggles and old-fashioned rock’n’roll debauchery of Mr. Perrett and those closest to him. Not only has Perrett spent some considerable time in the drug wilderness and crafted some of the greatest rock’n’roll that is still cherished the world over but he has been able to finally emerge from the mists and shadows of his addictions-led lifestyle. Damaged a bit to be sure, but determined to enjoy his creativity, his family and to be able to provide us fans again some memorable musical times courtesy his unique lyrical vision and sound. This fresh off the press edition features a 2015 Epilogue, a brand new interview with Peter Perrett dated February 2015, and some re-named and revised chapters.

The One and Only has been out of print for well over a decade now with used copies in high demand Thin Man Press wisely saw to get it back on the street and into the hands of the fans of the legendary Only Ones front man Peter Perrett and the Only Ones band themselves. Many thanks for that!

Antonia’s previous works include; the definitive Johnny Thunders bio In Cold Blood, Too Much Too Soon which chronicles the rise and fall of the New York Dolls, The Prettiest Star which focuses on the glam-era coulda/shoulda been artist Brett Smiley and Nina’s own thoughts and feelings during those glittering days. All of which are well worth investigating further. (ISBN-10: 0993014119)

Web Links

GRAB A COPY HERE

Nina Antonia Info

 

 

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Cult Culture Eyeplugs Front page Interviews Literature Punk Reviews Tags:, , , , , , ,
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Brian James: LP Review by Colin Bryce

Brian James: The Guitar That Dripped Blood (Easy Action)

Brian James’ distinctive guitar tone, riff-craft and sonic song-writing style is on full alert here on this new one from Easy Action. Ten top tracks that echo the Damned, Stooges and James’ own previous solo classics (Tanz Der Youth, Brains etc) and that push this one hard. James doesn’t handle all the lead vocals here though – it makes little or no sense to me that James would have anyone other than himself sing. His charismatic drawl is everything that these songs need. Guest vocalist Adam Becvar (4 tunes) sounds similar enough to be unnecessary and but different enough to want to hear James back taking the lead. This is a rough and ready release and guest guitarist Cheetah Chrome grinds it out with James on ‘Becoming a Nuisance’ just to add that little bit more Stoogey-grind so beloved by both guitarists. (10 tracks.)

GRAB A COPY HERE!

Web Links
easyaction.co.uk

 
 

 

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Eyeplugs Front page Garage Music Picks Post-punk Punk Reviews Tags:, , , ,
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The Montecristos: LP Review by Colin Bryce

The Montecristos: Born to Rock‘n’Roll (Easy Action)

Its rock‘n’roll fetish time! Big ‘ol guitars! A blazing (all gal) horn section with a stand-up bass pumping the bottom of that primitive rockin’ rhythm to get ‘em out on the floor. Add a pile of peroxide and pomade, a little bit of leopard on your strides and some suggestive late-night ideas from vocalist/guitarist and front man Neal X and you’ll have a pretty good idea where London’s Montecristos are coming from. Fronted by former Sigue Sigue Sputnick and Marc Almond guitarist Neal X this six piece outfit has got the show going. Plenty of 50s glitz and gonzo with the occasional nod to the swingin’ 60s (the Rascal’s “Good Lovin’”) and with Marc Almond as featured guest vocalist on Vince Taylor’s well-known classic “Brand New Cadillac”. Like “Good Lovin’” it could probably have been swapped out for one of the band’s originals or something a little more uncommon but they may very well help with getting some friendly radio play. I was very pleased to see the great rock writer Nina Antonia listed as co-writer on the title track “Born to Rock’n’Roll”. No doubts here – the Montecristos are rockin’ it. (14 tracks.)

GRAB A COPY HERE!

Web Links
themontecristos.com

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Blues Eyeplugs Front page Garage Modernist Music Picks Reviews Soul Tags:, , , , ,
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The Fuse Review – Colin Bryce May 2015

The Fuse: Brilliant Sun (3ampfuse/unherdmusic.com)First of all let me provide you – the international readership – with a bit of the history of this Western Canadian roots-rock outfit.Back during the explosion of new music in the late 70s the Fuse, as they were then known, were a popular local attraction in their hometown of Winnipeg. The line-up then (and now) consisted of brothers Jeff, Don and Paul Hatcher, and their close friend David Briggs. Alongside their many original tunes the band performed classics by the Kinks, Stones, Chuck Berry and the likes of Graham Parker, Nils Lofgren and Elvis Costello. A couple of name and line-up changes (The Six, Jeffrey Hatcher and the Big Beat) followed and eldest brother Jeff ends up in Vancouver in a line-up featuring pop legend Billy Cowsill. Calling themselves the Blue Shadows they released two critically acclaimed – though not very well-known – albums. My recommendation to you here now is that you track those two albums down.

After the demise of the Blue Shadows, eldest brother Jeff returns to his hometown and the gang (brothers Don, Paul and David Briggs) get back together to do some new music. Augmented by bassist John Neal and multi-instrumentalist/songwriter extraordinaire Ken Pinchin the line-up becomes known as Hatcher/Briggs and release the Getting There from Here CD (2010). Turns out that was just a teaser and the sold-out local gigs (infrequent but always stellar) were encouraging enough to re-christen themselves the Fuse and get another long player under their belts.

So, here we are now in 2015 with the latest by the re-christened Fuse. The rusted out car on the cover is hardly reflective of the music within. A fully restored El Camino might have been more appropriate in this instance. The band’s mature blend of countrified roots-rock, funky Band-esque bomp, psyche and baroque pop, and track after track of harmony-fuelled lyrical splendour place them head and shoulders over countless pretenders and if all goes well this carefully crafted gem should find itself in regular rotation on any number of radio programs and music players still dedicated to real people playing real music with all their heart and soul.

Grab a Copy Here!

Facebook Page Here!

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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May 19, 2015 By : Category : Articles Features Front page Music Pop Reviews Rock Tags:, , ,
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Jesse Hector Review – Feb 2015 by Colin Bryce


jesscover

Jesse Hector

Running Wild/Message to the World DVD (RPM/Cherry Red)  

In the early 1990s, a decade on after Jesse Hector – he of (Hammersmith) Gorillas fame – had retired from the music scene he discovered that the (then) newest version of the “garage/mod” scene considered him to be one of the founding fathers and true legends of their musical and stylistic world. It took a bit of convincing by some of his new-found pals but eventually he had recruited a bassist and drummer from the new mod crowd and was blowing out the back walls in the clubs of London again. The quality of the new material and the band’s tightness (known as Jesse Hector and the Sound at this point) quickly led to a new single (old pal Roger Armstrong of Ace/Chiswick lending a hand) and while it was far from a hit, the mighty “Leavin’ Town/I Need Lovin’” is considered by many of his fans to be some of his very best work. A couple of line-up and drummer changes (as the band soon became known as the Gatecrashers) follow and so do more rave review gigs, French tours, recording sessions and interviews.

Sadly, the financial compensation for all the hard work doesn’t and Jesse becomes disillusioned with the music business once again. As a long-time fan I can understand his frustration and no matter how much I would love to see him gigging I get where he’s coming from – and even more so now as he is in his late sixties. It’s a lot more work being in a band than people think and spilling your guts night after night for chump change gets old real quick – no matter how much you love the music! Thankfully the good folks at RPM/Cherry Red have collected Jesse’s incredible work from the 90s period for us all to enjoy. Singles, radio sessions, alt-versions and previously unreleased monster tracks sit here alongside the FINALLY released DVD documentary A Message to the World, Whatever Happened to Jesse Hector? Famed actor Caroline Catz directed this forty-odd minute gem that follows Jesse on his daily routine as he discusses his love for rock’n’roll, his reasons for staying out of the game and his past as main-man in the legendary (Hammersmith) Gorillas and how, as a youth, he first became a performer and rock and roll obsessive.

Possibly one of the most important items now included in the long-delayed documentary is the inclusion of impossibly rare footage of the Gorillas (Alan Butler, Matt McIntyre, Jesse version) in the studio with Ted Carroll (Ace/Chiswick) at the mixing desk. Taken from an episode of LWT’s London Weekend Show it is the only known footage (to many of us faithful at least) of the Gorillas during their heyday. A truly superb collection for Jesse Hector fans and with the documentary now included for British rock and roll music fans in general. (14 tracks plus DVD) BUY HERE!

jessedvd

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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February 23, 2015 By : Category : Front page Music Reviews Rock Tags:, , ,
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Metal Gear Solid Madonnas (MGSM) Review – Feb 2015 by Colin Bryce

MetalGearSolidMadonnas (MGSM)

Reload/Viking Queen/Supreme
(Dig the Fuzz Singles Club 7 inch, Ltd. Edition of 250)

Dig the Fuzz returns! The little Nottingham based label that brought us the first Embrooks recordings, the now legendary International Sound Show Stories series, the Game LP, the first version of the Action’s Rolled Gold collection, Crushed Butler, the Amphetamine Generation compilations and many others is now back, based in Spain, and hitting us hard with the new Dig the Fuzz Singles Club and a great deal else!

First up in the Singles Club series is a heavy hitting slab of in-your-face sludge-core that is seemingly miles removed from the 60s and early 70s and garage/freakbeat rarities Dig the Fuzz is probably best known for. Fact of the matter is the Dig the Fuzz crew have always had an eye and hand in a wide variety of things. X-Rays anyone? This is definitely walking that path though MGSM is far heavier, and to borrow a quote from the Fuzz folks themselves, and “volcanic” than anything else I have ever heard from Dig the Fuzz. Limited to a run of 250 this hand cut little gem also will include free downloads and videos for you if you join up to the Singles Club. It’s cheap, you get lots of goodies and you’re first in line for any of the releases. BUY HERE!

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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February 23, 2015 By : Category : Front page Music Reviews Rock Tags:, , ,
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Scott Morgan Review – Feb 2015 by Colin Bryce

Scott Morgan

Revolutionary Action (Easy Action)

I first heard of Scott Morgan and his band the Rationals back in the late 70s. It was around this time too that he had become part of, what I consider at least, the greatest rock quartet ever to emerge out of the Detroit/Ann Arbor scene – the mighty Sonics Rendezvous Band.

As it happens a good buddy of mine happened to run into Scott at a party in Los Angeles in the late 80s and made sure to grab his contact info. A year or so later I ended up moving to southern Ontario, Canada and lived a mere fifteen minute drive to Detroit and a further forty-five minutes to Ann Arbor. Once we had settled it wasn’t but a minute before I was scouring the local rags for news of Scott’s gigs and then used my connection to contact him and get directions and info to the first show I could attend. I must admit to being pretty dang nervous phoning up one of my long-time musical heroes at home and asking for directions! They couldn’t have been more helpful.

The first Scott Morgan Band album Rock Action (included here) had been out for a year or so before I made my move but that was largely the material his band at the time – which included Gary Rasmussen and Scott Asheton from Sonics Rendezvous band as well as guitarist Brian Delaney and vocalist Kathy Deschaine – were performing. The volume and guitar driven vibe of Sonics Rendezvous was for the most part absent in favour of a stronger focus on the songs themselves. Long-time Morgan favorites like Johnnie Taylor’s “Hijackin’ Love”, his own incredible “Josie’s Well”, “16 with a Bullet,” “Pirate Music” and Rendezvous Band era “Heaven and Earth” sound as fresh now as they did back when they were recorded and performed by what was then known as the Scott Morgan Band. Kathy Deschaine’s back-up vocals (and occasional lead) complimented Scott’s gravelly tone nicely and the music itself should easily have found its way into regular rotation on radio in the US. Sadly it didn’t. It certainly didn’t stop me and countless other local fans to pack his shows and rave to our friends and families about Scott and the band’s talents however.

It was around this time too (1991) that the original Rationals line-up reunited and then collapsed and re-configured into a bigger, badder, bolder and hornier monster. I went to every one of those gigs I could and they were incredible. By the time the re-vamped line-up of the Rationals had called it quits Scott’s band (now renamed Scot’s Pirates) had a new album ready to roll on the tiny Schoolkids label out of Ann Arbor. When not doing Rationals gigs the Pirates line-up had been doing shows with the new material regularly showcased. Great tracks like “Dante,” “Running Away” and “First Step” were sure-fire showstoppers. Add to that covers of the Dynamics’ “Misery” (Who fans will know the “Zoot Suit” rip) and “I’m the Man” and you’re doin’ alright. Just before I moved back west I attended a gig Scott was playing in Greektown. He laid a promo cassette of the Scots Pirates album on me and I played the beejeezus out of it until the CD finally arrived in ’93.

In 1995 Scott and the Pirates released the mighty Revolutionary Means, again on the tiny Schoolkids imprint out of Ann Arbor. Guitarists Mike Katon and Bobby East lend their rockin’ hands here and the album is definitely a heavier, darker affair than the previous two. Cover versions of Jimmy Johnson’s “I Need Some Easy Money” and Ike and Tina’s “You Got What You Wanted” easily out-do the original versions in my opinion and Morgan’s own “88” (a tribute to a local Ann Arbor station) is another one that Scott’s fans rate highly in a back catalogue of tunes and recordings most artists would love to call their own.

This double-disc set from Easy Action includes the three albums recorded as Scott Morgan and Scots Pirates in the 1980’s and 1990’s and while the tracks don’t follow the order of the original releases, the new revised sequencing works remarkably well and any production differences smoothed out by the
mastering process.

A couple of tracks I must mention that I think remain criminally overlooked in Morgan’s back catalogue are the funky “Dear Dream Diary” where Scott and the band definitely bring the funk and vocalist Kathy Deschaine gets to strut her stuff and from the Rock Action album the smokin’ duet “Say Yeah”. Had “Say Yeah” been recorded in the 60s and not in the 80s I am convinced that we’d be declaring it one of the greats of the era. As it stands now I am declaring it one of the greats of the 80s and waiting for the day that someone like Sharon Jones finds a duet partner – Scott maybe? – and gives it the exposure it deserves. Kinda like the rest of the tracks on this collection. (Double CD, 38 tracks.) BUY HERE!

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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February 17, 2015 By : Category : Front page Music Reviews Rock Tags:, , ,
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Cherry Red Album Reviews – Jan 2015 by Colin Bryce

Alternative TV

The Image Has Cracked

The Alternative TV Collection (Anagram Punk Collectors Series/Cherry Red)

For a while there back in the late 70s Mark Perry and his Sniffin’ Glue zine were ground zero in the UK “punk” scene. After leaving the zine world behind Mark P. and Alex (“Nobody”) Fergusson begin to make waves as Alternative TV. The duo were definitely not interested in becoming one of the now clichéd chainsaw brigade and so Perry and Fergusson mashed up their enjoyment of all things weird (Can, Beefheart and the like) to reggae forms and other avant-style treatments. I wouldn’t say that everything included here in this extended version of the original Image Has Cracked LP release has aged that well but for my money I would easily rank  the “How Much Longer” 45, it’s flipside  “You Bastard” and the fantastic “Life” as genuine classics of “punk” during the ’76-’77 period.
(20 tracks) BUY HERE!

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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January 3, 2015 By : Category : Music Reviews Tags:, ,
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