Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Ghools - I't Will Be Fine (7") - Nr. 235

Ghools - I't Will Be Fine (7")

I found the Ghools 7" from 1966 in one of my local record shops today. It has been on my want list for forever and a day:


This is a case of desiring the item because it's rare and not because it is any good. Truth be told, this is a rather mediocre piece of two sides of 1966 Beat music. The slab of plastic was released in 1966 on the now very collectable Layola imprint.


I don't know anything about the Ghools and I believe this was their only release back then. The band seems to have hailed from Basel/Switzerland and you'd be hard pressed to find  any substantial information on the www. Well, I didn't. Except that the two tracks seem to be in great regard with critics. Who said I understand anything about music? I can tell for free, I didn't make this claim.


The track "I't Will Be Fine" is a typical typo and quite funny. Some bands in Germany, Switzerland and Austria were aping their stars (and this is what they were, stars to them) and that didn't hold them back to write lyrics in "English", although they barely understood the language. It was all about playing a role and it didn't matter if the clothes didn't fit, noone in rural Switzerland would have a clue anyway. Liverpool, Manchester and London were worlds away and those local bands were trying to live their dream.

As a piece of Beat history in the Northwestern part of Switzerland, this is priceless. But it comes with a price (pun intended), don't even think for a minute you can have this for chump change. As with a lot of other rare stuff, the asking rate is solely determined by the almost total absence of this item from the market. As such, this 7" is certainly a talking piece.

Cheers

Roland

Friday, April 24, 2020

flector - Interview With Cedy - No. 234

flector - Interview With Cedy

And here we are, the last installment of the interview series (before a shortened translation comes up). This time it's Cedy, lead guitarist and responsible for some great licks. I hate to admit it, but by listening to recorded flector tracks, sometimes I couldn't make out who is who. Carlo or Cedy, Cedy or Carlo. Glad this has been settled ... sort of.

There are certain telltale signs that make you realize it's either Cedy or Carlo. Just by rereading this interview, it finally dawned on me, but don't ask. I'm telling you anyway. When the guitar opens up to widescreen, it's Cedy. When it gets lyrical and at the same time pompous, it's Cedy. And if it's solid and in the service of the song, you're talking Carlo. But we don't do shootouts, it's about the final result.



Cheers

Roland

Sunday, April 12, 2020

flector - Interview With Manu - No. 233

flector - Interview With Manu

And here's the interview with Manu (bass). You know, once upon a time I really thought a bass player made dumdumdum all night long and he/she was best pal with the drummer who went bambambam (or thereabouts). Well, I changed my view on drummers a long way back, especially with my Jazz leanings and realised, there's more to the noble art of drumming than hammering a drumset through the floor. Although I do admit, I saw Apocalyptica once in concert (Montreux Jazzfestival) and their drummer, I swear, I don't exaggerate, actually hammered his equipment through the stage floor. O.k., maybe a bit! It was wonderful, it was great and a marvellous sight and sound.

Bass players with their dum dum dum are an altogether different beast. It was also a long time ago that I realised, it's not what it appears to be. Take Norman Watt-Roy (The Greatest Show On Earth, Ian Dury or the Wilko Johnson Band) and you know what a bass guitarist can do. Granted, Norman is not your typical bassist and rather extroverted when playing his instrument, but what a performer he is. Another is Mellow who I've seen only once at a gig and he seems to be a "free form" bass player as well and Teppo who is more structured, but this comes with the terrain. Btw, the coolest bass solo? Definitely the Siegel-Schwall Band on their "Same" album during the "Next To You" track. Wonderful, just wonderful and I kid you not, especially the bits he doesn't play. I still get goosebumps listening to this.

But I digress, this is about Manu and his views on life, playing bass in flector and the general pitfalls of life (the latter is going to be part 2 😎).




Cheers

Roland






Sunday, April 5, 2020

Mick Clarke - Big Wheel - No. 232

Mick Clarke - Big Wheel

I've downloaded(!) (thunder and lightning!!!) Mick Clarke's latest opus "Big Wheel". You can get it for free on Bandcamp and he's only asking for your working e-mail address.  I know, I know, requests for e-mail addresses are soon followed by spam, but I don't fear the like from Mick Clarke. A message every now and then, that's o.k. with me.

Normally I don't do downloads, I'm old-fashioned this way and I want to hold a physical object in my hand, be it CD or LP (and no, a USB stick doesn't count as physical object where music is concerned). The bad news first, there's no CD available so don't go searching. The good news, it's free, but I hope you retaliate in kind and buy some of his releases.

Of course, I had to download the wav-file and burn it to disc (I'm not seriously listening to some speaker integrated into the laptop-/desktopsystem. I might check a 30 second clip, but that's the extend of my listening online). CDr done and dusted, this is now playing for the second time on my second standalone HiFi setup (this one a smaller Yamaha Network one) on my working station. I've found, however, if I switch to my main one, this is going to be like day and night. A while ago I started on a CD on the Yamaha and halfway through I went over to the living room stereo (because I was done on the laptop) and lo and behold, the sun went up,  the curtains were drawn and a former average sounding CD shone bright (and I'm not talking about a cheapo setup on my desk). However, I believe, these Yamaha speakers are not made for nearfield listening. I'm sitting practically inside these things and that's not the pure audiophile idea of HiFi.


The recording sounds a bit muffled on the Yamaha, but I bet it'll all change when I take it to the main stereo. What you get is almost 60 minutes (and exactly 14 tracks) of prime Mick Clarke. Naturally, Mr. Clarke is not going to reinvent the wheel, but he's doing here again what I like him best for, churning out his brand of Rock and Blues. And this is the point, listening to these songs, they are like old acquaintances, the kind you've never really lost sight of. The ones you don't have to ask "Sorry, btw, I forgot your name, who are you?". Fact is, I'm at home (in the proverbial and literal sense) with these songs. Mick Clarke is on my heels for at least a couple of decades. And I'm grateful for guys like him.

I've no intention of analyzing this bunch of songs to death, I'm really enjoying it much too much. Mr. Clarke, keep on going, the world needs people like you.

Cheers

Roland

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Bootlegs And (More) Stuff - No. 231

Bootlegs and (More) Stuff

The Saturday before the lockdown came into effect around here (announced by the government the next day - Sunday), I paid a visit to a record shop (little did I know that it should be my last in-person visit to such a place for the foreseeable future) and bagged me a bunch of Rolling Stones Bootlegs (plus a few "official" LPs - a misnomer if I ever heard one, there's nothing "official" about any record release).

I'm quite into this stuff. Do I listen to it? Hell no! I'm having it up to here (pointing above my head), having listened to, uh, questionable recordings where you can't hear wether it's a steamroller in action, the fast train Hamburg to Paris in a tunnel or the industrial rebuilding of postwar Germany. No, I'm buying this stuff for the collection only and it's stuck there forever.

The Trident Mixes, well, I didn't pay attention, as this is one record only and it should be a double LP. Worse things have happened and I'll get over it.


Cheers

Roland

P.S.:
April  18, 2020
Just realised that this blog has been censored inasmuch as most scans in this number 231 contribution have been deleted. Not sure why, but there you go. The sole survivor can be seen above, but I don't expect this to be here for very long either.

flector - Interview with Steve - No. 230

flector - Interview with Steve

Here's the next installment of the ongoing series about flector and the heads behind it. This time it's Steve in his capacity as drummer and percussionist. The funny thing with drummers, they always mention some influence leaning in from the Jazz genre and Steve does so with his mention of Frank Zappa. Makes me think, why do so many drummers have such a bond with Jazz musicians, although probably not with the music itself. Is it the way an instrument is played in Jazz? Ask a Death Metal drummer and don't surprised if he/she mentions Max Roach or Art Blakey.

Well, not for me to say. As with the previous installments, this interview lets you have a glimpse of a band with full bodied statements and something you can sink your teeth into.




I'll have a shortened translation up within the next one or two weeks. Check back.

Cheers

Roland

Sunday, March 29, 2020

flector - Interview With Rukey - No. 229

flector - Interview With Rukey

And here's Rukey (keyboards) speaking about flector, his role in the band and his influences. And he doesn't even mention Uriah Heep with a single nod in their direction, which did surprise me a bit, if not to say a lot. Because, frankly, his keyboards playing cries the Heep. Anyway, here we go and again, shortened translation to follow soon (hopefully).



Cheers

Roland

flector - Interview With Carlo - No. 228

flector - Interview With Carlo

As a follow-up to my review of flector's CD/EP below, I'll have a series of interviews with the members of the band. In full, there's going to be a whole set (one for each member of the band). I have this ready as the full German version (see attachment) and fully intent to translate this at least in parts, as I'm aware, that not many who read this blog will be fluent in the german language.

Let's start with Carlo (guitar/vocals) and what he's saying about flector, the idea behind it and what makes flector tick. Click the files for bigger size.



Give me some time to get the translation online. It'll show eventually at the bottom of this post.

Cheers

Roland