Montag, 3. Februar 2014

Firestation Records in 2014 – Forthcoming Releases

As it seems 2014 will be another busy year for Firestation Records! Although we haven't put out anything in january i can promise you that we will have new releases out every other month over the whole year. First up there will be the long-awaited retrospective CD by south london-based The City Giants. “Provenance“ will include nearly everything the band has recorded between 1986 – 1988, 18 songs in total including all hits from their sole 7“ single. If you like bands as Hey Paulette, The Love Parade or The Desert Wolves you will love The City Giants! City Giants-guitarist Paul Davies will also have an solo retrospective out on his own label very soon! We are very excited about FST 108 which will be the first longplayer by ultragreat indiedarlings The Understudies. After releases on Cloudberry and Odd Box Records the band signed up to Firestation. And what a great debut-album it is, perfect in every way! “Let Desire Guide Your Hand“ will be out on 12“ vinyl! 12 songs, 12 hits!! Without a doubt one of the first highlights in 2014! Release date will be the 24th of march! On FST 109 we will return to the “200 copies serie“. We started this serie in 2012 with the now legendary Close Lobsters 7“ and continued it with the Electroscopes single in early 2013. Do you remember? Nearly sure you will! This time it will be a split release by two bands which has a lot in common, most important of all, they share most of their bandmembers. I'm talking about The Splang Monkeys and Jack Cryer. Look out for both bands, you will notice that their members played in the mighty Playing For Time, whose retrospective album was released from us three years ago. “Drifting“ by Jack Cryer will let you think on great classic jazzy indiepop from the 1980's. Think on bands as Bluetrain, The Beautiful South or Explained Emma and you will get an idea what i'm talking about. The Splang Monkeys shows their love for bands as Teenage Fanclub, Velvet Crush or Big Star on their great tune “Other People“. Once again this white label 7“ single will come in handmade, handnumbered sleeves!! It's in the plan to have the single out in april. Around the same time we will have some more retrospective releases ready! Yeah, you are looking forward to such releases, right? At this stage we nearly finish the work on the compilation by A Riot Of Colour. It will contain 19 tracks, including the bands lost second single which only reached the testpressing-status back then. I just listen to those four tracks from it and can tell you that they all sound absolute amazing, i promise you that the album will become a classic, no doubt! Longtime followers will remember that there were already plans to release the backcatalogue from Isle Of Sheppey-based outfit Newsflash many years ago. Finally we will have their retrospective album out soon! Around at the end of the 1980's – early 1990's the band released one sole 12“, a flexidisc and a couple of demotapes. Most of you will know “An Englishman“ from The Sound Of Leamington Spa Vol. 2. This song became some kind of classic among the indiepop-collectors. I was always in love with the band's 12“ single. I first bought it from the long gone Record and Tape Exchange at Shepherds Bush in 1991. Those three songs from it let me popdreams come true! During the last two weeks i've been through the band's whole recordings and compiled a tracklist with 21 songs from it! If things will go as planned we can master the album later this month, so finger crossed for it! Also at the final stage is the retrospective-release by Penelope's Web. We received the master CD from Dominic a couple of weeks ago. 19 tracks in total, most of them unheard until today!! Watch out for this great compilation! Of course we had to let out the songs from their second 12“ single, released on Cherry Red, but i promise you that will love every song from the album! The band still works on the artwork but they promised that it will be ready this month! Ah, cataloguenumber will be FST 107. For those of you who still wonder what was planned for cataloguenumber FST 096 will be happy to find out that this release will be also out soon. It took a while but now the artwork and master for it is ready. I'm talking about the long planned retrospective release by The Gits (UK). “Eventually – A Retrospective“ will contain 23 songs, including both tracks from the band's sole 7“ and “JK Rant“, first heard on the seventh part of Sound Of Leamington Spa. It will be the perfect release, full of jangly guitars, hit after hit! You will think on bands as The Close Lobsters, This Poison, The Big Gun or early Wedding Present while listening to all those great tunes from an very special band! There are some more retrospective releases we are working on at the moment, so watch out for further infos on them soon! In May we will release the debut-album by one of the most unique and special bands around these days: Fire Island Pines. I'm in love with this band since the moment i first heard the songs from their second ep, the “Rickie Lee Jones“ 7“ in 2012. From that moment on i wanted to work with them! When they played Berlin Popfest last october a lot of people came over to me and told me how much they enjoyed their show. I can' wait to release their album, i'm pretty sure that this release will be one of the best and most important records in the year 2014! As it seems it will be good year for Firestation! Will you agree? We also busy to create another fab line-up for this years Berlin Popfest which will took place at the end of september. I'm looking forward to it very very much!

Dienstag, 26. März 2013

THE FRIDAY CLUB - DEMO TAPE

It must have been the year 1992 when Jan (Firestation Records co-founder) told me about The Friday Club and their classic "Window Shopping" 12" single. i have to say honest that the band was unknown for me until then. it took another while before i had the chance to listen to "Window Shopping". i fell in love with the song within the first 30 seconds. since that day the single became an absolute alltime fave of mine. back then it was hard to believe that the band never released any other material apart from the 7"/12"-release on Two-Tone Records back in 1985. many moons later i found out about the band's first (withdrawn) 7" release "what is soul"/"tissue of lies". it came out on the band's own label and never made it into the shops, so i heard that there were no more than 100 copies pressed back then. it took me years to track down a copy of it. this record is another lost classic which makes it even harder to believe that the band never became more famous. later on i had a short conversation with one of the bandmembers when trying to get an song by them for the sound of leamington spa compilation serie. i can't remember what went wrong back then but in the end i lost all contact details to the band. i was nearly sure that i would never get the chance to hear any other recordings by them until a week ago when i found out about one of the band's demo-tapes. no idea if this is the same demo-tape which was mentioned on the internet a couple of times before. The tape-owner got it from Adele Winter in the mid 80's just before the band signed to Two-Tone and went on tour with label-mates Madness. There is no sleeve or tracklist, just a standard cassette! The 6-track demo kicks of with an jazzy/swing-kind of song. Next up we have an early take on “Window Shopping“. This version sounds just like gold to me. While the later version has Adele Winter on vocals only (apart from backing vocals) this one saws Andrew Brooks (at least i think it is him) on co-vocals as well! As much as i love the single-version of this track, this version sounds even more amazing to me, although it misses my favourite line at the end of the track - “standing at the counter with the pocket full of nothing“. Song three is another northern soul meets indiepop-monster and would have made the classic follow-up single to “Window Shopping“. This track sees the band on the highest level, what a dancer!! The same goes for “What Is Soul?“, the band's withdrawn debut 7“. absolute no idea if this version here is a demo-take or if it is even an re-recording. The following track is pure 80's indiepop which sounds to me like a mix of Ala Pana Fuzo and Everything But The Girl (Idlewild-period)! Wow!! The tape closes with a Swing meets Northern Soul-number. This track is my least favourite song from this fantastic collection. I am such an happy boy to got the chance to listen to more material by this unique band, so a big thanks to the tape-owner for sharing the material with me! No question that i would love to release this material, so maybe there will be a chance to get in contact with the band again to ask them about it or to least to tell them how much their music means to me!!

Donnerstag, 20. September 2012

BACK AND SOME WORDS ON OUR FORTHCOMING RELEASES

This evening i took a break from listening records on discogs for the first time since more than a week. Instead of it i thought that it would be nice to write again some words on the blog which we didn't update since nearly 18 months. What a shame! To be honest, i became tired of writing and also lost insterest in Indiepop over the last two years. There are various reasons for it, first of all there are no current bands from that scene which i like and i don't think that there will be new faces around soon which i will fall in love with. I mostly listening to different music these days or spend my time to listen to re-issues-cds from my favourite bands. It's the biggest thrill for me to buy deluxe-boxes from Everything But The Girl, Swing Out Sister or Beautiful South. And there is so much to come out within the next weeks in the likes of editions from Aztec Camera, Kirsty MacColl, Blow Monkeys or The Servants. I cant wait!! I wanted to escape from all this indiepop-nonsens, labels which are releasing cd-r compilations by bands they have only found out a month before on the internet or labels which are selling cd-r copies for high prices of their sold out cd-r releases on places as discogs or ebay. I also noticed about “fans“ posting on facebbok to let their friends known that they sold cds which are still available from the label for a lot of on ebay. Congratulation to those sellers and to all those fools which even click the “like“-button on facebook for it. No doubt, it will be the same in other scenes as well, but i dont care about it. I grew up with Indiepop, it became the most important thing in my life for a very, very long time. It was life! I still love all those wonderful bands which were around in the 80s and 90s and it still kicks me to find out about an “new“ obscure band. The last month i bought a large collection of demo-tapes from an british indiepoplabel which was around in the 80s. The lot contains some great stuff. Besides tapes from well known bands it contains demos from bands i never heard before of. I will write about these in the “Something To Look Out For“-column the next month. I am sure you will enjoy, apart you are already familiar with bands as A BOY & A PRAYER, STREAMLINES, SCARED OF HEIGHT or NORVAL.Watch out for it! Over the last weekend i worked hard to put together the tracklist for our forthcoming retrospective-release by RESERVE. Most of you will remember their fantastic 12“ which was released back in 1988 on Sombreo Records or their shared flexi-disc with The Siddeleys which came out an year earlier. We are still working on the artwork and linernotes for it but as it looks the album will contain 24 songs. We are more than happy to release the album finally!!Thanks to Torquil for the great cooperation on it!! Still to come in 2012 will be the first 7“ vinyl by Northampton-based THE ELECTROSCOPES. I fell in love with them the first time i heard their song “Made A Mistake“. It brings back memories of fave bands as Sensation or Orlando. Amazing stuff!!! we will release the 7“ again as a limited run of 200 copies, handwritten numbers – of course!! i am really looking forward to it very much!!! Thanks to Paul for the great music and for getting contact again!! We are also working on an reissue of the BELFAST COWBOYS sole album “Relief“. For those who dont know, this superb short-lived band feat. the wonderful voice of Hugh Harkin, singer with MIGHTY MIGHTY and great guitars by Pete Byrchmore (ex Rumblefish, The Capitols, Nightingales etc.). There are more plans on reissues, so look out for news on it soon! What we will NOT put out anymore is the long planed retrospective by a band we can find on the sound of leamington spa vol. 1. We get the ok from the singer for it first more than 12 years ago, but never received the material to put together the album. We discussed things with him again and again and again. A while ago i found out on the internet that the album will be finally out on another label. I wrote the singer to find out what happens, i never received an reply from him. His band was in my alltime favourite list. Now the band means nothing to me anymore , and i don't care if the album will be out someday or not. I will never ever listen again to these great songs. FACT!

Dienstag, 3. Mai 2011

SOMETHING TO LOOK OUT FOR (PART 4)




Tired as me of todays indiepop but still in love with jangle guitars?
Check out these, some more obscure british bands from the past. as always, any futher infos about them are more than welcome. enjoy!


3 BOYS & A GIRL


Hailed from Northumberland, this very obscure four-piece played wonderful girl/boy-vocal summerpop in the style of bands as The Siddeleys, Great Scott or Girl Of My Best Friend. Once had two tracks on a compilation LP with the strange name “Zscheisch“. It also contains two early songs by The Nivens. No sure if 3 BOYS & A GIRL ever released more material but if so, i would love to hear these songs!

RECRUITS

I once found their 7“ single at Utrecht Record Fair. Recorded at Ha! Bloody Ha! Studios and released on band's own label in 1989. “See My Face“ is superb male vocal indiepop which let me think on bands as Rumblefish, The Jeremiahs or This Final Frame. Cataloguenumber was RE 2, so what was RE1?

BLAM! BLAM! Y.C.

Not so much my cup of tea but everyone who is into bands like Motorcycle Boy, Fat Tulips or The Rosehips should check out their sole 12“ single which called “Rollercoasting Barbie and the Dumb Angels“, released 1988 on Middlesex-based “Pussy Records“.

BOP SH BAM

Short-lived band put together by John Robinson, once songwriter and guitarist of mighty Respond Records-act THE QUESTIONS, in 1987. Band recorded songs as “How Can I Tell You“ or “Painful World“, but as it seems never released any records. Anyone out there who can play me those tunes?

THE AUCTIONEERS

Classic male vocal guitarpop somewhere between Hurrah! and Onionhead. Around the late 80's.


LIBERTY VALANCE

Once shared the stage with such great bands as Bradford or Raintree County.

THE FLEX

To be honest, this band was unknown for me until the last year. No idea why i never heard their single, “You Lose“, before. This song is one of those tracks which you fall in love with from the start. Think about the moment you first heard songs by Hey Paulette (“Penelope“), 35 Summers (“Really Down“) or Ala Pana Fuzo (“Friend) and you will get an idea about it's greatness. Not to be confused with another band called Flex which was on the road around the same time and which put's out the fine “Whatever Happend To Small Talk“ EP.

RED MONEY

WOW, WOW, WOW, that's what i thought when i first heard the band's 7“ single, “My Erstwhile Companion“. I have to think of early Aztec Camera, The Man Upstairs, The Trash Can Sinatras or The Man From Delmonte while listening to their songs. Band hailed from Croydon and played their first gig in the early days of 1990. Not much more is known about them.

THE FLAT STANLEYS

Oxford-based and once friends with bands as The Anyways, Razorcuts and Heavenly. No further description needed!

CARY GRANT'S WEDDING

It's said that they were one of the original jangle pop darlings of Norwich. While listening to their song “Skid Chicane“ it's easy to see why. Fast jangly indiepop, somewhere between Talulah Gosh and early Wedding Present. Fun Fun Fun!!

LONG WEEKEND

Amazing blue-eyed soul indiepop. Once had a track on the Abstract Compilation-LP, released back in 1984. Somewhere between The Rage, Reflection A.O.B. And Friday Club.

LIBRA

Appeared on the same compilation and nearly as great as Long Weekend. “Only You“ is a fine song which will let you think on Orange Juice during their “Rip It Up“-phase.

THE ASTRIDS

Early 90's outfit which had some fun while playing some kind of Lloyd Cole-style indiepop.

BOOTLESS

Ex MEN OF WESTENESSE! One 7“ single,“The Nineteen Eighty-Hero From The Bikeshead“, released on own label back in the early 90's. Don't look out for it, it's impossible to locate these days!

THE MONK BOUGHT LUNCH

One 7“ single, private release back in 1991. Just two bandmembers, a boy and a girl, three cool songs, a great sleeve, that's all i know about them!

Sonntag, 16. Januar 2011

NEW RELEASE


Finally out January 31th:

FST 089 THE SOULBOY COLLECTIVE – Clique Tragedy

"DIE große Pophoffnung aus Deutschland" (soundmag.de)

PRE- ORDER your copy at www.firestation-records.de NOW!

Tracklist:
It’s All Because Of You
Let’s Stay Undecided
It Will Never Be Over For Me
I’m Glad She’s Not My Girlfriend
You Can Do Magic
I Wish She’d Asked Me Out
It Must Be You
I’m Not In Love But I Could Be
Casino Action
What’s The Point To Start Anew
Don’t Worry About Me

New CDs from THE CHERRY ORCHARD and PLAYING FOR TIME out in February! More infos soon...

Donnerstag, 23. September 2010

SOMETHING TO LOOK OUT FOR (PART 3)

Last weekend's record fair went well and i had good sales which gave me some room for having a day without recordshopping or e-mail correspondence. Instead i took some beer and had a look at my tape and 7“ boxes which i haven't been through since more than a year both.
Here is what i found:


THE LATE BOYS
Hailed from Sheffield and around the early 90's. Unfortunately i have no further infos about them. “Got This Feelings“ let my popdreams come true! Soulful male vocal indiepop with great chorus let me hope for more, but no surprise, nothing happend (as far as i know).

WHERE'S JULES
One self-released 7“ single in 1987. On “Nothing At All“ they mixed the soul of Fruits Of Passion, the guitars of Aztec Camera and vocals ala Andy Pawlak. A lost classic!!!

ANOTHER TWIN
Not much is known about this very obscure band. Released one fine album, “The Dying Bloom“, in the mid 80's.
Songs as “Simple Chin“ or “Retracing Steps“ will make fans of Felt, Orange Juice or Josef K very happy.

REBECCA FISHPOND
Does this band really existed or was it just a dream? Can't remember where i get their track from, but tell you what, this (for me) untitled song is one of the best 20 indiepoptunes ever written and even more it comes with some of the best lyrics i've ever heard. The line “You thought it was the end of the world when the rain ruined your head“ was stolen from it to name FST 016 after it. Never told that to anyone before, but now it's time to share. If you ask me this song should have become Sarah 001.

AND SO TO BED
Amazing London-based band which was around the late 80's. One 7“ single, released on Timebox Records, simply named “The EP“. Four tracks, four hits, full of jangly guitars somewhere between the first two singles by Laugh and The Close Lobsters.

MAGNIFICO
Some songs from the band's 7 track demotape let me think on Jazz Butcher. Should be hailed from Reading. No further infos.

THAT STRANGE DESIRE
It took me 10 years or so to find a copy of the band's sole 7“ single, “By My Side“, finally in 2002. Both songs are great fun with wonderful female vocals and jazzy guitars.


THE FAMOUS FIVE CLUB
No idea about them. Released a tape on Leeds-based Swell cassette recordings back in the late 80's. It came with a nice poster but without any infos on tracklist or credits. Very minimal indiepop somewhere between early Pastels, Grab Grab The Haddock and Trixie's Big Red Motorbike.

THE PLEASURE MEN
Based in Sheffield. Cool jangly indiepop which let me think on bands as The Love Buttons or Girl Of My Best Friend.

THE GALLEY SLAVES
I was never into their 7“ single that much, but some years ago i received an very nice rehearsal demo-tape by them recorded in 1991 which i think contains some superb songs. I have to think on the Clamheads or Carpenter Joe while listening to such tunes as “Don't Hold A Torch For Me“ or “Sarah Smith“. Cool!!

CANDID BENCH
Wow! Once heard a track by them called “How Embarassing For You“. I was blown away 'cos this tune sounded sooo much like The Brilliant Corners at their best! Would love to hear more!! Band was around the late 80's, no further infos.

TELL HIM HE'S PELE
I once wrote them just because of the great bandname. Didn't listening to their demo-tape since years, but now i've spent the last hour with their tune “Too Much Jesus“, singing all along the chorus and the ba-ba-ba's at the end. Without a doubt, this song would have make an perfect Sha-La-La-release, just next to the Poppyheads!
Band later turned into another group. Shame on me for forgetting about it's name.

SUMMIT UP
One 7“ release. Both tracks from it let me think on bands as The Man Upstairs, Aztec Camera or Raintree County. Another lost classic! “All Right In The End“ was released on band's own label in 1990,

MICHAEL SOMETIMES
ex JOHNNY SAYS YEAH. One sleeve-less 7“ single and lots of demotracks. Nearly as brilliant as their former's band!

Mittwoch, 23. Juni 2010

Montag, 7. Juni 2010

THE PAINTED WORD – UNIVERSAL “LOST SECOND ALBUM“



Alan McCusker-Thompson's THE PAINTED WORD released the perfect piece of pop in 1986. This jewel was called “Independence Day“ and saw the day of light as 7“ and 12“ on Mother Records. Around the same time the band appeared on legendary tape-only compilation “Honey At The Core“ with an early take of the amazing “Worldwide“. It took three years before signed up to RCA and put out two ep's and the mighty longplayer “Lovelife“. This album became one of my alltime faves from the start, it's scottish pop in it's perfection, somewhere between “High Land, Hard Rain“, “Trapped And Unwrapped“, “Swimmer“ and Fruits Of Passion sole album. Not so sure what happend after “Lovelife“, i was looking out for them year after year. Nearly sure that they called it the day. Gladly i found out about the band's second album “Universal“ back in the late 90's. Released in the year 1995 i was wondering why the hell i never heard about it before. “Universal“ was released on EMI but seems to be withdrawn before copies made it into the shops. I really would love to find out about the reasons for it. After all those years i only saw this cd a couple of times on ebay where it went for 200+. Gladly a good friend from Japan once passed me a cd-r copy of it years ago. “Universal“ starts where “Lovelife“ has ended six years before. Another perfect album done by Alan and i still wonder today why the band never made it onto the top. “My Song“ made my day today, i really think that it's time now for an retrospective by one of the most finest band's ever!!! I don't have the original issue of “Universal“, so i can't include the sleeve of it. Sorry for that!
Anyone out there who can help me out on this?


Universal - Tracklist

Somewhere In The World Tonight
I Dream
Universal
Breathless
The Blues In Your Eyes
Night After Night
Smile
Starlight
Life
This Is My Song

Mittwoch, 19. Mai 2010

FST 088 THE CHERRY ORCHARD



The next release on our small label will be a collection of the first three records of the wonderful CHERRY ORCHARD, plus eight previously unreleased exta-tracks. The working title is "These Restless Days". The 21-track CD will be out at the POPFEST BERLIN in late july. More infos to come...

TRACKLIST:

So Blind

Build It Up

This Big Love

These Times We Cried

Pennies Made Of Gold

Heartbreak Town

Baby Don't Cry

Lay Your Hands On Me

This Could Be Love

Healing Faith Like Fire

Heaven In Blue Eyes

Build It Up

The Right Train

Deep In The Heart Of Me
All Of This Pain
HighRise
The East Parade
Love Comes To Town
Love Parade
These Times We Cried (demo version)
The Bell

Freitag, 26. März 2010

TRAMWAY Interview 1991





I found these sheets at my parents place yesterday. The interview was planned to release in SMUF-fanzine no.2. in summer 1991. I also found some unreleased articles, photos and live- and record reviews.