one faint deluded smile

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Some Things That Simon Didn't Mention

The Work, London, 1980

Even with a book as wide ranging as "Rip It Up and Start Again" there's always going to be some little known artist or other that he either missed or chose to ignore.

And I've got a couple right here, right now:

First off is the band that Tim Hodgkinson formed after Henry Cow ceased to exist:

Mp3: The Work - Fingers and Toes

This one shows pretty much the whole style of the band - a brittle, jagged guitar, off-kilter drums and heavy, compressed bass, topped off by Hodgkinson's strangled cat vocals and fuzzed organ chords. All with a bit of This Heat proggishness thrown on top. Weirdly, I always assumed it was Gilonis who sung, probably because Tim H. never raised his head above the keyboards in Henry Cow. It's a voice that, frankly, only his mother could love but it can fit in nicely sometimes. This recording is available on the "Woof 7 inches" CD which compiles all of the singles and EPs released by this tiny label in the early 80s. Get it at ReR or Ad Hoc Records.

Next is from another ex-Cow, saxophonist Geoff Leigh:

Mp3: Kontakt Microfoon Orkest - Do The Residue

Leigh was in a few bands from 78 onwards including Black Sheep, Red Balune and this short lived trio. Most of his stuff from this time has a sort of street cabaret feel with a mildly amusing tone, costumes aplenty, humorous japes and an obvious willingness to please that can be a bit irksome at times. But this one's easy enough to like with it's loping bass line and nursery rhyme sax. The pictures in the "…Things From The Past" CD which compiles all of his "MMCD" releases also confirms that he obviously left Henry Cow because their fairly humourless agendas were probably not where his heart lay. Likewise get this from ReR or Ad Hoc Records.

BTW, Chris Cutler's site has lots of stuff on these people.

And for no other reason than we've just because we've been "doing' some weird dance or other:

Mp3: The Table - Do The Standing Still

Very, very new wave with herky-jerky rhythms and propulsive guitar and with a big middle section where the pogo-ing would stop as they took it right down and then start all over again in a frenzy when the power chords crashed, increasing to mammoth proportions (no doubt). We used to love this 7" in our Darlinghurst and Surry Hills share house parties. There's a small page on them here. This track is available on the "1-2-3-4 Punk and New Wave" box set - no idea if it's still available.


  • "Do the Standing Still" is a great title, and the song's even better. Nervynervystopgopop, lovely! Thanks a lot for that one.

    By Blogger willem, at 3:52 am  

  • I think the Thought Criminals used to cover this and I think it was also extremely er 'influential' on their own songwriting :^)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:06 pm  

  • hmmm, that's quite possibly true. all of their songs sounded so similar that one of them very well could have been this track. btw, bass player roger grierson has resigned as ceo of festival mushroom music (right hand man to the murdochs) and is basically retired. lucky him.

    By Blogger Phil, at 8:21 am  

  • You, sir, are a star. I've been looking for Do The Standing Still for way too long. Thanks.

    By Blogger brendan, at 11:49 pm  

  • That link regarding The Table is pretty inaccurate. A more detailed (and accurate) one can be found here :

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:39 am  

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