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NEXT YEAR’S NOSTALGIA FEST (Postscript 1)

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There’s a cracking 10-track compilation LP sitting in the cupboard;  actually there’s a few but for today there’s just the one under the microscope.

It’s called A Different Kind of Tension – and it’s not to be confused with the LP of the same name  by Buzzcocks – that was released in 1986 on the Pressure Of The Real World label. It has the prefix PRLP1. I have no idea at all whether there was ever a PRLP2 or any other release at all on the label. Google search came up with nowt.

It was an album I picked up back in 2008 while temporarily living in Toronto and it cost me the equivalent of £3.  As it turns out, two of the tracks on the album were also included on the CD86 compilation and were part of that recent 48-part series.  The idea of today and next Sunday is to offer up the other eight songs as a postscript or perhaps more appropriately, an encore to the series.

Here’s side A of the album:-

1. The Mighty Lemon Drops – Like An Angel
2. Soup Dragons – Whole Wide World
3. One Thousand Violins – Like One Thousand Violins
4. The Wolfhounds – Cut The Cake
5. The June Brides – Every Conversation

Songs 1 and 2 were on CD 86 as too were different songs by the bands performing songs 4 and 5.

Here’s some relevant info on the three ‘new’ songs:-

One Thousand Violins formed in Sheffield, and the featured track is a b-side from their debut single Halcyon Days on Dreamworld Records which was released in 1985. However, it proved more popular and so enduring that it ended up gathering enough votes to make John Peel’s Festive 50 the same year. Further singles and an album soon followed, but before long musical and artistic differences led to them breaking up.

mp3 : One Thousand Violins – Like One Thousand Violins

The Wolfhounds rather splendid ditty Anti-Midas Touch was on CD86.  This however, is their 1986 debut single on Pink Records.

mp3 : The Wolfhounds – Cut The Cake

I’ve already said everything before about The June Brides and have recommended that you pick up this compilation album. Their debut single was on CD 86. This was the wonderful follow-up:-

mp3 : The June Brides – Every Conversation

Enjoy

PS

Quick reminder that I’m looking for readers to e-mail me lists of their Top 10 LPs for 2015 so that I can submit a collective entry for the BAMS 2015.  Click on this post for more background.

NEXT YEAR’S NOSTALGIA FEST (Part 47 of 48)

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So here are about to finish off a series that I think has been well received.

CD86 has given us an excuse to look back at all sorts of bands, some far better-known than others, some who had no right to be lumped into a so-called movement and some who probably hadn’t been thought of by any of you in decades until prompted by a particular posting. What is for sure is that with the 30th Anniversary now just a few weeks away, you can count on many of the bands that have been in this series, along with many other contemporaries, getting more airings than normal.

I’ve left two of the best and most enduring till the last, starting off with The June Brides.

Again, there’s a case to be made that this lot had no right to be part of CD86. They had formed in London back in 1983 and the following year saw two cracking singles released on Pink Records. Twelve months later the debut LP (albeit it only had 8 tracks including the two old songs and a cover version) came out, again on Pink Records, and went to the top of the indie charts and was one of the best-selling and most popular of the genre in 1985.

Come 1986, the year that saw the birth of indie-pop according to one OTT statement on the sleeve of CD 86, The June Brides had moved to a new label called In-Tape on which there were two further singles as well as the honour of opening for The Smiths on their tour of Ireland. However, before the year was out the band had decided to call it a day with lead singer and songwriter Phil Wilson shortly afterwards embarking on a solo career.

The June Brides had an unusual and distinctive sound, making use of viola and trumpet as well as the usual guitars, bass and drums, and in Wilson they had a very talented songwriter albeit his vocal delivery was a bit of an acquired taste.

There’s this readily available compilation double CD out there, released in 2006 on Cherry Red Records which not only brings together all the June Brides tracks ever recorded, including the Peel Sessions and other material recorded for the BBC plus the solo work from Phil Wilson which followed the break up of the band, together with detailed sleeve-notes, rare pictures and a complete discography. No serious record collection is complete without it.

The song on CD 86 was one half of the double-A debut single:-

mp3 : The June Brides – Sunday to Saturday

While this equally unique number was on the other side:-

mp3 : The June Brides – In The Rain

Oh and for those of you with good memories…..you’re right to say that I did write about the band and this single back in February 2014.  Click here if you dare.

CULT CLASSICS : IN THE RAIN and EVERY CONVERSATION by THE JUNE BRIDES

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This is a last-minute change of cult classic.  I had something else lined-up but it’s now going to have to wait a few weeks.  Blame it on the demands of the customer base…and specifically that of Jacke from Stockholm who just 48 hours ago asked for some June Brides in the next post.

I’ll confess that I initially missed out on The June Brides.  They formed in 1983 and by the following year had released two singles on The Pink Label.  This was an era when I was listening to a lot of music and I can only guess that the reason that TJB passed me by was that I was too busy getting lost in the music of The Smiths, New Order, Lloyd Cole & The Commotions, Friends Again,  Orange Juice, Go-Betweens,  etc to pick up on everything.  It wasn’t till the early 90s, some five years after TJB had broken-up, that I became aware of some of the songs they had recorded and released in their all too brief a career.

More fool me.

I think it’s best therefore, to allow someone who did fall in love with them right away to express what it is that makes this band so special.  I’m pinching the following words from a great piece put together by Andy Wood in a piece he posted on the great blog Manic Pop Thrills:-

I was still at school, struggling along and trying to find some kind of identity for myself. A friend gave me a cassette of sessions that he’d taped recently from the John Peel show and there was a session by The June Brides which really struck a chord with me and that was it, I was hooked. The four songs on that session really stuck out for me, there was a sense of beauty and lovely melodies, there was the mix between that loveliness and a sense of regret, even worldly-weariness but also a sense of the possibility of change and a defiance that things could be better, no matter how small the change. The words and music became very special to me. I began to get quite interested in the sounds being produced by independent bands and labels and discovered a whole world which influenced me and this got me into playing, putting on live gigs and producing fanzines as part of a D.I.Y. culture that seemed so vibrant and interesting and diametrically opposed to the world of the polished, dull mainstream.

I tracked down everything I could find by the band and looked forward to new records and the possibility of seeing them live. Alas, although they played Dundee once I had no chance of being admitted to a strictly over 18’s only show in Fat Sams. I hated being young, I couldn’t wait to grow up, I was impatient to taste this world of gigs and music, to be free from the strictures of school and my parents but I was stuck, as The June Brides suggested, simply waiting for a change.

Fate is a cruel thing. Despite having seemed to have been on an unstoppable rise, releasing an album and several great singles and touring incessantly – including with The Smiths (on an Irish tour) – the band called it a day.  Those who added the lush viola and trumpet to the June Brides sound would go on to play sessions with a number of bands including while frontman Phil Wilson signed to Creation as a solo artist.

The influence of the band remained though, at times noticeable and at other points less so. I think it can be heard in the music of a number of bands, not necessarily in an obvious way but it’s there. Belle and Sebastian would be one band I’d say shared my love for The June Brides. Their Peel session was issued in 1987 which finally allowed me to replace my hissy second generation cassette. A best of followed a few years later then there was an album of covers put out.  Cherry Red issued the double CD “Every Conversation. The Story of The June Brides and Phil Wilson” which collected everything the band and Wilson had ever recorded. It’s an essential album for anyone I think…..

And it’s thanks to that Cherry Red compilation that I really discovered just how  good the June Brides had been and indeed how equally rich the Phil Wilson solo material was in quality.  It is, without question, as Andy says, an essential compilation. It also led me to get a hold of a vinyl copy of their one proper studio LP, There Are Eight Million Stories…. which was scheduled for a posting on this blog in a couple of weeks time, but Jacke’s prompting has brought things forward.

With this being the cult singles series, I’m going back to 1984 to the earliest material. I really couldn’t make my mind up which of the two singles from that year to select, so I’m cheating and featuring both.

mp3 : The June Brides – In The Rain
mp3 : The June Brides – Sunday To Saturday

(catalogue # Pinky1, released March 1984)

mp3 : The June Brides – Every Conversation
mp3 : The June Brides – Disneyland

(catalogue # Pinky 2, released September 1984)

The b-sides are also from the top drawer.

30 years on and the band have reformed and are playing live. They came to Glasgow in late November 2013, but alas I was out of the country on holiday. I hope they come back again soon….

Everything you want to know can be found at www.junebridesmusic.com

Enjoy!!!!