Obscure Gems

The First Lame Bunny Album (1973)

 

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Gambler

"Tommy"

This 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 24
The sleeve is plain on reverse

Overture
It's A Boy
You Didn't Hear It
Sparks
Christmas
Acid Queen
Pinball wizard
Go To The Mirror
Tommy Can You Hear Me?
SmashThe Mirror
I'm Free
Miracle Cure
We're Not Going To Make It
See Me, Feel Me
Listening To You


Mick Stevens

"The River"

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 River.

Click here to read a personal recollection of Mick Stevens by friend and musical collaborator, John Theedom

The images below are from the first River session - many thanks to Andrew Stevens and Thomas Hartlage for these.


Mick Stevens

"The Englishman"

 

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Click here to read a personal recollection of Mick Stevens by friend and musical collaborator, John Theedom


Snakehips

"snakehips arnold & the king of boogie"

The website 'somewhere there is music' recently posted a review of the Snakehips LP and a history of the album here:
http://www.somewherethereismusic.com/article-snakehips-snakehips-arnold-and-the-king-of-boogie-1974-86351608.html

 

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Gigymen

 

 


Johnny Curious & The Strangers

The excerpts below are from an interview with John Phillips, vocalist and guitarist with Johnny Curious & The Strangers, from November 2000.

~

"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):

~

We 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.

~

Klick 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.

~

I 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.

~


Pretty Paedophihiles - "Raped"
Cat No: PAROLE RECORDS KNIT
23/09/77

TRACKLISTING:

MOVING TARGET

RAPED

ESCALATOR HATER

NORMAL

 

PERSONNEL:

FABIAN KWEST-GUITAR

SEAN PURCELL-VOCALS

TONY BAGGETT-BASS GUITAR

PADDY-DRUMS

 


The Wibbley Brothers - "Go Weird"

Cat No: ABOUT 11
1981

Click to see rear of sleeve

Hello all!


Just come across the Spaceward site and thought I'd add some rambling comments to my experiences there.

The 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..

Later 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 with leaves.

A 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.

The 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.

Thanks for a great site - if you want I'll upload scans of the album and e.p.

Cheers
Ronnie Wibbleywww.wibbley.com

 

Click to see rear of sleeve


 

Sean Wright aka International Heroes

STRANGE SITUATION / SILENT DREAMS

First released in 1978 by Sean Wright on Ellie Jay Records (EJSP 8624) - 500 were pressed, 50 with fold-over picture sleeve.
Re-released under the name International Heroes on Heavy Weather Records in1982.

"Hi - 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 !!!


 

Somtow Sucharitkul
by Mike Kemp

This concerns two related orchestral recordings we made in 1975.

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.

We 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 to them.

references:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._William_Middendorf
http://www.iri.org/boardbio.asp?id=5692409498
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.P._Somtow
http://www.somtow.com/home.html
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/s/somtow-sucharitkul/

 

Mike Kemp
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 Band

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.


Hooknorton


 

Yutaka Fukuda

Yutaka Fukuda - The First One But The last One

Yutaka Fukuda - The First One But The last One

Yutaka Fukuda - The First One But The last One

 

Yutaka Fukuda - The First One But The last One

Yutaka Fukuda - The First One But The last One


The Rochdale Fairies

'THREE GREEN BOTTLES / EDELWEISS" (SNT 116).

Listen

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 nigelward@btconnect.com