Dienstag, 31. März 2009

Firestation Records - Withdrawn & Unreleased

People asked me recently what's the story behind the “lost“ cataloguenumbers from Firestation Records. Back in the early years (1998 – 2001) there were three records which never made into the pressing plant.
First up we have FST 010. We started the Sound Of Leamington Spa serie back in 1998. One of the first band's we've been in touch with back then were Manchester based ASIA FIELDS. The band just released their third single a couple of months earlier, so it was no bigger problem to contact them. After a couple of e-mails the group agreed to include “Dazed“ on the compilation serie. Beside this they sent over three demo-tapes full of amazing songs. We offers a 7“ release and everythings seems to work well until the day we lost contact to the band some months later. What a shame ! Believe me, it would have made an brilliant release ! Listen to the songs again makes my day ! Full of jangly guitars and funky rhythms, how wonderful ! This band was so special and i feel sad this moment again that the release never happens.
Please find the demo tapes tracklists as follows:

Demo 1:

Know Who You Are
Waking Up

Demo 2:

Know Who You Are

Demo 3:

That Feelin
Humming Bird

As far as i know all these tracks remain unreleased elsewhere.

Next up we have FST 022 which was reserved for London-based indiepopstars BOB. It was in the plan to co-release an compilation-album by the band with Clarendon Records (then still called TweeNet). Peter met the band a couple of times back in 2000 and things looks good for an great release. I have to say honest that i can't remember why this release remains to be unreleased.

The tracklist for that unreleased album looks as follows:

Extension Bob Please
It Was Kevin
What A Performance
Come Winter
You To Me
Tour Song
Who You Are
Say You're Alone
Queen Of Sheba
You Can't Stop For A Start
On Your Side
Plastered In Paris
Don't Know

All of these songs were recorded in Banwell as the band wrote on the tape sleeve's. Without a doubt this collection feat. some of the finest tracks the band has written in their career. Highlights including an early version of “Leave The Straight Life Behind“ (then called “Was It Kevin“), the acoustic based “Come Winter“ or the mighty “Queen Of Sheeba“. Hopefully the band will include all these songs on their website soon, so look out for it !

Back in the early days of the year 2001 i heard some tracks by spain-based band FINE. The group released a wonderful 4 track EP in 2000 on spanish label Strange Ones. Beside this EP the label provides us with an live-tape which i believe was recorded at the band's hometown Barcelona. My heart was beats fast and faster while listening to all these great tunes. I was thinking about about early Cardigans or songs by my alltime faves Cloudberry Jam, so i put on my computer and wrote over a mail to the label before the tape was finished. There was no doubt, i wanted to release a record by them as fast as possible. The label's owner shows interested in our plans, so we decided on a two track 7“ release. I told my designer to create a cover and the work was done within a week or so. Not much happens after, simple because i found out that the label did not want us to sell copies of the records to Japan. So it was clear for us to withdrawn this release, although we already gave it the cataloguenumber FST 025. It would have made one of the few records i would have agreed on even without hearing studioversions of the songs. I can't remember which track we had in mind for side B, but the titletrack for this unreleased release was called “The Ones That Smoke Are Fool“.

Please find the live-tape tracklist as follows:

Summer Revisited
The Big Issue
He Smile Sometimes
Fishing For Birds
The One That Smoke Are Fool

Although there is no cataloguenumber given for it, there was a plan back in 2001 to release a compilation by Kent-based NEWSFLASH. Conversation went down soon after The Sound Of Leamington Spa 2 came out. No working title was given to this release as well, but the tracklist would have looked as follows:

An Englishman
Wherever I Go
The Hand That Stangles
Sam The Bland
Mundane Me And You
Nobody's Home
The Tale Of Nothing In Particular
Real Horror Show
Brought To Light

Although the album would have contain the band's flexi and 7“ singles tracks, the songs from their sole 12“ release would have been missing. Hopefully the band will come by one day again, as i still would love to put out these great tunes !

Donnerstag, 26. März 2009

The Sound Of Leamington Spa 7

Believe it or not, we're still working on the artwork for it. The good news is that we have done the master a couple of weeks ago. I have to say honest that i'm very proud about the result. If everythings goes as planed The Sound Of Leamington Spa 7should be ready at the beginning of june.
I have compiled the tracks for it between early 2007 – late 2008, so it took more than two years finish work on it. I can't remember that any other release on Firestation took such a long time.
Ala Pana Fuzo's “Friend“ became an alltime favourite the first time i heard this special song some years ago, so the choice became easy to start the new part of the serie with it.
Not much is known about Huge Big Massive (see picture). This great short-lived band was around the early 90s and put out two 12“ singles.
“Here To Stay“ was taken from the band's “Out Of My Mind“ EP released back in 1992. Needless to look out for it, 'cos it never comes by !
Whirpool Guest House has just released a compilation album on always wonderful Summerhouse Records. “The Plumber's Daughter“ was the first song on their sole album which was released in 1988.
“Same Old Story“ by Screaming Silence became a favourite among collectors over the last years. Check out their Myspace for more wonderful songs.
Wee Cherubs “Dreaming“ makes it's CD-debut on Spa 7. Without a doubt one of the greatest songs in indiepop-history ever written !
I was wondering a lot once i found out about Endless Bob Brown a couple of years ago. Why the hell have i never heard about them before ? Their music is so special and i was surprised even more to find out that they never put out any records while they were around. What a shame ! Believe me, they would have made it on many people's favourite lists ! I heard a rumour that there are plans for a compilation, so finger crossed !!
Not so sure what should i write about Mighty Mighty. This band is one of my alltime faves and became a lifetime friend since more than 20 years. They are one of the few bands all of my friends agree on. My mates and me played their songs to death at the Ship Shape Club. They should be the most played band at our club beside The Smiths. Would you believe ? I just love them and i have to say thank you for all the great songs ! Needless to say that i'm the most happiest
man around to have them on the compilation. “Emile“ remains unreleased until now.
Home And Abroad released some fine singles around the late 80s which should made it to any serious indiepop-collector's home. We're hope that their unreleased album will be see the light of day soon !
Another collectors-fave comes from Fire Hydrant Men. “Baby I'm A U-Boot“ was taken from the band's split 12“ singles which they once shared with the Railway Children and Screen 3.
I bought The Dadas 12“ back in 1992 for 10 p from Record and Tape Exchange. It became a big favourite of mine, so i was glad to find out about them finally. “Mercy Mercy“ was released on Mickey Rourkes Fridge (home of Hey Paulette) back in 1992 and it's still relative unknown among collectors.
The Irony Board were around the early 90s and recorded some wonderful songs. Members of the band are now based in such cool bands as Broken Down Lorry or Charlie Big Time. More then worth to check them out both !
Have to say honest that i was blown away the first time i heard songs by The Gits. Their music makes my day and let me think of alltimes faves as The Close Lobsters or The Aurbisons. Only one 7“ was released but lot's of songs were recorded. I should ask them to release their backcatalogue. This would make the perfect pop-record !
I remember the day when i first the EP by Reflection AOB at a friends place. It took me ages to find it finally in a shop nearby. “Only In My Dreams“ was produced by Ed Ball of The Times fame and was taken from the band's sole record released back the late 80s. It's still an amazing seller on ebay.
My friends from Borgine released some wonderful music with various bands since the early 80s. The band's members are familiar with our compilation serie, pre Borgnine bands, The Shrew Kings and The Clamheads can be found on earlier parts of the serie.
Hookline & Silverfish released one fantastic 7“ single back in 1986 which became a regular on many wantlists over the years. Bandmembers once appeard one the legendary C86-Compilation LP “Beyond The Fence Begins The Sky“. They called themself The Thin Line back then.
Next up we have some wonderful female vocal indiepop from Feline Jive. The band released one 7“ single around 20 years ago.
The Ferrymen just released their compilation album on Firestation Records a couple of weeks ago. “Summertime“ is another exclusive to this compilation !
Hailed from Sailsbury, Don't Feed The Animals released one superb piece of vinyl in 1985. “Wealthy Man“ can be also heard on the band's 7“ single, although it's nearly impossible to locate a copy of it these days.
Another's collector's dream is the first 12“ release by Penelope's Web. “The Gap“ EP was self-released back in the mid 80's and shows the band on the highest level. The band recorded a second
superb EP for Cherry Red in 1990 before call it the day.
It took me ages to track down the members of Elephant Noise. The band's sole EP became one the most-after records in indiepop-history over the last couple of years. What a great band ! “New Town Tom“ is a demo and remains unreleased until today !
We close the compilation with the great Kevin McGrother who just released his debut album. I can recommend this record to anyone ! There is also a split EP out now on Cloudberry Records which contains an new version of the old Tickety-Boo classic “Riverside Heaven“. Tickety-Boo are another story and i will make sure to tell you some facts about them soon !

Ala Pana Fuzo – Friend

Huge Big Massive – Here To Stay

Whirlpool Guest House – The Plumber’s Daughter

Screaming Silence – Same Old Story

Wee Cherubs – Dreaming

Endless Bob Brown - Be Good To Your Blood

Mighty Mighty – Emile

Home & Abroad – Back Were I Belong

Fire Hydrant Men – Baby I’m A U-Boat

The Dadas – Mercy Mercy

Irony Board – No Ties

The Gits – JK Rent

Reflection AOB – Only In My Dreams

Borgnine – Everything You Need

Hookling & Silverfish – Christine

Feline Jive – Blue Dawn

The Ferrymen – Summertime

Don’t Feed The Animals – Wealthy Man

Penelope’s Web – The Gap

Elephant Noise – New Town Tom

Kevin McGrother – You'll Never Know

Mittwoch, 25. März 2009

First steps into the music biz..

This is me (left) buying 50% of Firestation Records. Annikki and Jan are now very rich.

Mittwoch, 18. März 2009

the new one

Hey, hello, I am the new 2nd man at Firestation Records. Today I bought me a new turntable system including an USB port, great thing! Altough I have no time I will record some of the old stuff in the next weeks to enjoy the music on my walkman. I started with the Bodines “Played” and “This is our art” from the Soup Dragons, great album (haven’t heard for years).

OK, enough of these things. In the future you will read here some news about our releases on FST, some stories from the so called “good old days” of Indie-Pop and some other things and thoughts.

Ahh, Side A is finished, I have to turn the record…