is a cover vinyl album of The Who's Tommy by Gambler
[all titles P.Townsend]
Released on Spaceward records in 1972 cat no.SRS
The sleeve is plain on reverse
It's A Boy
You Didn't Hear It
Go To The Mirror
Tommy Can You Hear Me?
We're Not Going To Make It
See Me, Feel Me
Listening To You
This LP was recorded in 1977 at Spaceward Studios
in Cambridge and issued on the Spaceward label.
(SRS 20) the same year. All of the tracks are
self composed and the LP was/is an excellent UK
electric fok/rock private pressing. Thr musicians
are Mick Stevens - Lead and Backing Vocals, Guitars
and Percussion, Warne Livesey - Bass, Congas,
String Synthesizer, Backing Vocals, Percussion,
Stewart Booth - Electric Piano, Organ, Synthesizers,
Backing Vocals, Colin Woolway - Drums, Jim Livesey
- Sax, Della Thompson - Flutes.
Track Listing, Side 1 - No Survivors Now, The
Girl Came To Our Town, Book Eight, 77, Crazy For
Your Love. Side 2 - Suite (To A Seagull), The
here to read a personal recollection of Mick Stevens
by friend and musical collaborator, John Theedom
images below are from the first River session
- many thanks to Andrew Stevens and Thomas Hartlage
here to read a personal recollection of Mick Stevens
by friend and musical collaborator, John Theedom
Curious & The Strangers
excerpts below are from an
interview with John Phillips, vocalist and
guitarist with Johnny Curious & The Strangers, from
"I was idly searching around on the net the other
day when I came across your entertaining site. I was particularly
taken by a paragraph from the Lee Wood interview as he
pretty much sums up the very small history of a combo
I was once a member of, and which has all but disappeared
from history. Lee remembers: ""The one regret
I have. I visited Spaceward studios one day and they played
me a tape of a band called ""(sorry, I've had
a mental block on their name. I'll let you know)"".
The recordings were STUNNING. Especially ""Back
In Pissheadsville Again. I approached them but they had
a manager called Sue Black who only wanted them signed
to a big label. In the end they re-recorded the four songs
and released in on Miles Copelands label. The re-recordings
are total shit compared to the originals.""
The name that Lee has justifiably forgotten is ""Johnny
Curious and the Strangers."" By the spring of
1977 we had saved up enough money--two of us worked in
an MFI furniture warehouse--to book a couple of day's
recording. I cannot remember why we chose spaceward but
the four tracks we recorded sounded pretty good to us
too. Sue Black worked for Click Records (who at the time
had distribution rights for the great Tappa Zukie amongst
others) and we signed with them and took her on as manager.
We never found out how Miles Copeland got hold of the
re-recorded tracks we made at Spaceward (again) at Click's
expense (or rather Spaceward's as I don't think the billsgot
paid--Click went bankrupt and disappeared soon afterwards
as did we). We played a lot in London, memorably for me
at the Roxy and the Vortex, and did two gigs with the
Stranglers--Dunstable and somewhere else. When we played
in the provinces things tended towards violence. The regrets
I have (though I don't really regret anything):
became Johnny Curious and the Strangers sometime in 1976
after we had got together (with several name changes)
in the horrendous new town Welwyn Garden City. Alan was
still at school at the time, the youngest of us but by
far the most musically advanced thanks to hours of playing
along to Phil Manzanera, Mick Ronson and (he was young!)
Jimmy Page. We were supposed to play a gig with the Sex
Pistols early in 1976 when they came to WGC but I was
away in New York at the time so we couldn't do it. We
sat out that long hot boring summer playing stupid gigs,
double bookings with cabaret artists and pubs a million
miles away with two punters in the audience and the classic
request, ""can you turn it down a bit--we can't
hear ourselves talk"". We turned it up, of course--a
horrible noise probably. Proper gigs were out of our reach,
a ceiling that only ""chart"" or ""established""
acts could touch. When punk began to hit the headlines
people started booing and throwing glasses at us, very
nasty. We knew we were a part of it without ever having
talked to anyone else associated with it. I think that's
how it was all over the country. Three of us sang and
wrote songs and we got quite a good set together. We were
probably at our peak when we recorded a 4 song demo at
Spaceward in Cambridge with ""Back in Pissheadsville,""
""Stainless Steel Rat,"" and two others
(the titles of which I cannot remember for now--one was
definitely inspired by our discovery of the Television
album). It was all downhill from there for lots of reasons
but summer 1977 was the moment for us. Chas de Whalley
from Sounds gave us two very good write ups and some guy
from the Melody Maker fell in love with Alan's guitar
playing after hearing the second lot of Spaceward tapes.
We were featured in Sounds, their ""On the Crest
of the Wave"" double-feature, the other act
being XTC, who we supported later on at the Red Cow.
had planned on putting the EP out in 1977 but never got
to the release stage (because of bankruptcy). They had,
however, hired a photographer (I bet he never got paid
either) to capture our punky image. He took us down under
the Westway and got us drunk but when that didn't produce
the required effect he took us out to a canal somewhere
and photographed us looking delinquent and snotty in front
of some old warehouses. The EP contained four tracks from
the horrible Spaceward ""album"" tapes
but for some reason was cut at 33rpm--which shook John
Peel only a little when he played it on his show. Total
disaster. In addition to ""Pissheadsville""
there was ""Jennifer,"" a two minute
chainsaw massacre, and on the other side Bob's ""In
Tune,"" which perhaps rather pointlessly had
a go at the hippy generation (his ""out Tune""
on the demo a much dirtier punk manifesto) but had great
guitar (as usual) at the end, and my ""Road
to Cheltenham,"" which was all echoing jangly
guitars and a pastiche of borrowed (stolen?) pop tunes
with lyrics moaning about those 1976 gigs. That's the
one John Peel played, bless 'im.
can't remember who else played at the Roxy when we were
there--I remember someone playing Smoke on the Water in
the dressing room--we sprayed our name on the dressing
room wall (we did that everywhere, of course, the marquee,
the Nashville, the Red Cow, the Vortex, Hope and Wanker,
Roundhouse, streets all over England--we got hauled in
by police for it one night in Cambridge when we were recording
at Spaceward) and when the Roxy live album came out with
the picture of the dressing room wall on the back, there
was ""Johnny Curious and the Strangers""
written across it. The name made it but the music didn't.
Paedophihiles - "Raped"
No: PAROLE RECORDS KNIT
Wibbley Brothers - "Go Weird"
No: ABOUT 11
come across the Spaceward site and thought I'd
add some rambling comments to my experiences there.
Wibbley Brothers, Ronnie and Terry, first came
to Stretham in 1981 to record the 4 tracks which
would appear on our e.p. "Dark Side of the
Mune" (sic). For some reason we were signed
to a Midlands label which specialised in punk
and thrash stuff; I don't think they knew what
to make of our more... er... individual approach
to music-making, but I persuaded them to book
Spaceward as I'd been a great Soft Boys fan. The
tracks were engineered by Gary Lucas and "Dan"
(according to the sleeve) and produced by Guy
Jackson and the band. I think I realised I was
entering an unfamiliar world when I was stopped
on the platform at Ely station by a porter, helpless
with laughter because I was carrying a Walkman.
"Look at him; 'e's wearing headphones!"
he shouted in disbelief to everyone in sight..
on in the year we came back to do the album "Go
Weird" (with Joe Bull engineering, and making
a vocal apperance at the start of side 2) and
were generously allotted 40 hours to do everything
- slightly tricky as I was playing all the instruments,
overdubbed one at a time in these pre-sequencer
days. Amazingly we managed to record and mix about
an hour's worth of material in that time, but
the real story of the week was the accomodation
we enjoyed. This was before the studio had residential
facilities, and we were put up in the guest house
across the road. It was October and freezing cold
yet our hostess refused to put the heating on
because "it's too expensive this time of
year". We slept every night shivering, fully
dressed, with coats over the bedspreads. There
was also a yappy little dog that would take chunks
out of your ankles given half the chance. Consequently
we did everything possible to put off our return
until bedtime, which normally meant darts in the
nearby pub, even joining in with a women's darts
league match on one particularly desperate night.
An evening out to Ely was like the bright lights
of New York. The whole experience is related in
a song on our forthcoming album "Mornin'
Jack", together with a description of the
fabled Stretham telephone box piled six feet high
few months later, the album still unreleased,
we somehow got agreement to return for 2 8-hour
days to remix and do a couple of new songs. Fortunately
this time there was a room at the studio we could
sleep in, although most of the night was spent
with the first Roland TR606 and TB303s I'd ever
seen, and their instruction manuals. This creative
frenzy produced "The Wonderful World of Terry
Wibbley" the following morning, along with
hours of fun with yards of tape loops running
round the control room supported by pencils held
aloft. Samplers? Who needs 'em? Then we got our
bicycles and pedalled back to Cambridge to catch
the train home.
album eventually came out about a year later,
by which time the record company was about to
go bust... I noticed a copy sold on Ebay last
month for £104, which is exactly £104
more than I ever saw from it.
for a great site - if you want I'll upload scans
of the album and e.p.
Wright aka International Heroes
SITUATION / SILENT DREAMS
released in 1978 by Sean Wright on Ellie Jay Records
(EJSP 8624) - 500 were pressed, 50 with fold-over
Re-released under the name International Heroes
on Heavy Weather Records in1982.
- My name is Sean Wright. Nice one - my past has
finally caught up with me. You may also be interested
to know that I am now an award-winning bestselling
international author. There were 500 copies of Strange
Situation pressed back in 1978, only about 50 with
the picture sleeve. John Peel played it and so too
did Kid Jenson on Radio 1. My band, International
Heroes, was named after a Kim Fowley song, recorded
by the British Lions (once Mott the Hoople without
Ian Hunter). Fowley - a legend from Hollywood -
ended up managing International Heroes and in 1986
I signed a songwriting publishing deal with Peer-Sothern,
Denmark St, London (Tin Pan Alley. The Strange Situation
record was recorded at Spaceward Studios in Cambridge
at the same time (a few months I think) that the
Undertones did their first album, Gary Numan, and
others of that punk/New wave of Brit HM. Here's
little known fact: Marillion supported the Heroes
on a British Tour. The single was recorded on the
day that Keith Moon of the Who died. If you listen
carefully, you'll hear the drummer on Strange Situation
paying a kind of Moon-like homage to the great man."
Thanks Sean !!!
by Mike Kemp
concerns two related orchestral recordings we made in
Both were the result of meeting Somtow Sucharitkul, then
in Cambridge doing a music degree. He is now famous as
founder of the Siam Philharmonic Orchestra, director of
the Bangkok Opera, and also, incidentally, a science fiction
author under the pseudonym S.P.Somtow.
recorded a symphonic piece of his entitled "Fragments
from a Wooden Horse", a theme he has returned
to in some of his science fiction work I notice.
He had also been commissioned to orchestrate a
symphony by the a Mr J William Middendorf II, then
secretary of the US navy. Apparently Mr JWM would hum
the tunes to him, and he would score it out for orchestra
- at least that is what we are told, but seeing Mr JWM's
impressive catalogue I now wonder if this was true!
To do the recording we assembled a "Cambridge Symphony
Orchestra" of impressive size in the old Music School
theatre in Downing Street,Cambridge. Somtow conducted
and directed. The recording went well, and after it was
all over we had to phone the US Pentagon to tell Mr JWM
about it. Naturally we reversed the charge as in those
days transatlantic calls were beyond the budget of a fledgeling
recording studio. After dialling the Pentagon and nervously
asking to speak to the secretary for the Navy, we were
put through rapidly. We were surprised when he asked us
to play the symphony to him over the phone, but of course
we did. When it was over (some 25 minutes later) there
was a breathless silence over the line, then he said "That
was great, play it again". So we did. Anyway we finally
pressed 1,000 vinyl disks of the performance for him,
and later we were again impressed when he when he sent
the US navy to the door of 19 VIctoria Street to collect
the disks. This was in the form of a cavalcade of military
limos, with a high ranking officer emerging and hammering
on the door, followed by him and his underlings trying
to fit into our tiny office. Together they sat at the
desk and counted each of the disks. There were a few more
than 1,000 pressed and they of course refused to take
these. I think they regarded us rather suspiciously over
the excess number, maybe supecting a subtle plot. Orders
were after all to collect 1,000 disks, and I guess you
don't mess with orders from the secretary to the US navy!
Anyway, they finally departed happily with the disks and
that's the last we heard. For the record I guess this
was his Symphony Number 1. There was a box of spare disks
around for a number of years - not sure what happened
Friday, August 04, 2006 9:03 AM
MIDDENDORF: THE CRUSADES SYMPHONY/WOLF TRAP SYMPHONY
J.William Middendorf II has written several symphonies and concerti while having a prominent public role as US Ambassador to Holland, and later, as Secretary to the US Navy. This extremely rare recording features two of Middendorf's symphonies - No2 in A minor "The Crusades" and No4 in D minor "Wolf Trap".
The Crusades is not so much a formal symphonic structure as a four-movement symphonic poem inspired by the English king Richard The Lionheart and the many attempts to capture Jerusalem from the Turks during the Middle Ages. The atmosphere of the medieval world is recreated by combining an ensemble of rebecs, lute, nakers, and recorders with a large symphony orchestra, and by incorporating a few genuine medieval melodies into the musical texture.
In comparison, the later Wolf Trap Symphony is a more formal and disciplined work, relying on purely musical ideas, and working through some elegant tunes to a final magnificent climax.
This recording (3SLP5) by The Cambridge Symphony Orchestra under conductor Somtow Sucharitkul was made in 1975 by Parallax Productions for a very limited release, mastered and pressed by EMI.
Bob Hughes recorded a total of 3 albums at Spaceward: "My Old Man", "The Kids Are OK" plus "In For A Penny" by Hooknorton (unreleased). Bob has recently returned the master tapes of these sessions to the Spaceward tape archive - any record labels interested in releasing this material please contact Bob or the webmaster.
The Rochdale Fairies
'THREE GREEN BOTTLES / EDELWEISS" (SNT 116).
Rosie Geary (voc)
Wendy Glock (voc)
Steve Kane (guitar)
Simon Lague (bass)
Nigel Bee (Browning)(drums)
According to: http://www.amazingtunes.com/users/therochdalefairies/biography...
1979 and 'Rock Against Racism' ask a bunch of Amersham based musicians to put a band together for a fund raising gig in 2 weeks time!
Above Strings N Things Music shop the 3 get together and scratch their heads, Nigel Browning (Drums) Simon Lague (Bass) & Steve Kane (Guitar). No songs, no singer and not a lot of time. They are companied by friends Wendy Glock & Rosie Geary, aah they'll do as singers, so the Rochdale Fairies were formed. An idea arose, lets cover some otherwise different songs at 90mph. There followed these two tracks, plus Waterloo by Abba and I can't remember what else. About 5 in total I think.
Brian Connolly of 'The Sweet' fame, did a bit of production in rehearsals and before the gig, these two tracks were recorded at Spaceward Studios in Cambridge, pressed onto 7" vinyl to be sold at the gig. That was some going for those days!
The gig came, the band did their 4 numbers, got encored, so did them again, they did a second gig at 'Whispers' night club in Chesham with the addition of Cliff Levens on guitar, Steve left, Mick joined and the band split!
The single was picked up by Carrere Records and was intended as a Christmas release but the A&R man doing the signing got seriously injured in a car crash and the deal fell apart.
It was great fun to do, but the magic only flowed for a few weeks and the buzz died and we all went and did different things. It was Wendy & Rose's only ever band, the others are all still involved in music one way or another.
It was all done in fun, and fun was had!
More info, licensing etc from Nigel Ward email firstname.lastname@example.org