Monday, 30 December 2013

Scared To Get Happy Disc 7

Part two of my theoretical additional discs for the Cherry Red Scared To Get Happy five CD box set of 1980s UK indie pop artists. As previously, the Youtube playlist above consists of 28 artists who missed the cut for the box set for one reason or another. The running order is approximately in release date order, although there may be some inconsistencies due to not being able to find the songs I wanted on Youtube and having to replace them with others off of different releases from different years. Harrumph, but at least this will be more complete than a Spotify playlist.

Play it if you want to whilst browsing the 'net...or not! I don't mind :-)

Tracklisting for my theoretical Disc 7, which runs from 1986-1989 (103 minutes):

  1. THE BELOVED - A Hundred Words
  2. THE SMITHS - The Queen Is Dead
  3. STUMP - Charlton Heston
  4. A WITNESS - Red Snake
  5. THE BLUE AEROPLANES - Tolerance
  6. HALF MAN HALF BISCUIT - All I Want For Xmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit
  7. THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD - A Peck On The Cheek
  8. BOGSHED - Champion Love Shoes
  9. MIAOW - When It All Comes Down
  10. ROTE KAPELLE - Sunday
  11. THE VASELINES - Dying For It
  12. MY BLOODY VALENTINE - Drive It All Over Me
  14. MOMUS - Hairstyle Of The Devil
  15. I, LUDICROUS - We're The Support Band
  16. THE MEKONS - Ghosts Of American Astronauts
  17. HEY PAULETTE - I Really Do Love Penelope
  18. JANE POW - That's My Girl
  19. THE CANDY DARLINGS - That's Where Caroline Lives
  20. BENNY PROFANE - Hey, Waste Of Space
  21. BOB - Convenience
  22. BAND OF HOLY JOY - What The Moon Saw
  23. THE MOTORCYCLE BOY - Big Rock Candy Mountain
  24. FAT TULIPS - Where's Clare Grogan Now?
  25. THE FAMILY CAT - Final Mistake
  26. KITCHENS OF DISTINCTION - The 3rd Time We Opened The Capsule
  27. THE MAYFIELDS - World Of Your Own
  28. THE SUNDAYS - Can't Be Sure

Friday, 27 December 2013

Scared To Get Happy Disc 6

I had the Scared To Get Happy 5 CD box set of 1980s UK indiepop for Christmas. Of course, it's terrific - 134 jolly pop songs - just what I always wanted - but as ever with these things, you get to thinking what was missed off, whether it was because bands were too popular, or too obscure, or too goth, or too punk, or because of licencing problems (and they admit that they couldn't agree terms for some of the big names - The Smiths and My Bloody Valentine stand out in particular).

So, I've just had a day off from everything else (bar fixing the back gate and piling up the wood from a storm-damaged fence - oh, and doing the washing up and a few other chores...). A day dedicated to thinking about what a disc six would have sounded like with all the missed artists. My favourites. After all, I was 15 on New Year's Day 1980, so this was my decade. The underground pop scene was all mine like it had never been before or ever has been since.

Inevitably, the bands piled up and I couldn't decide who to leave off, so I had to have a disc six and a disc seven. I've just created a 28 track Youtube mix for a theoretical disc six (theoretical partly because it's 90+ minutes long and wouldn't actually fit on a CD, but hey ho...). I'm going to play it whilst I'm browsing other web pages and enjoy it. If you wish to do so too, be my guest. "Disc seven" will follow when I've created a Youtube mix for it in a day or two.

Tracklisting for my very own Scared To Get Happy disc 6 (1980 - 1986):

  1. ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN - The Puppet
  2. MO-DETTES - Foolish Girl
  3. THE CHEFS - 24 Hours
  5. FAMILY FODDER - Debbie Harry
  6. ASSOCIATES - A Matter of Gender
  8. FAD GADGET - Fireside Favourite
  9. WAH! HEAT - Seven Minutes to Midnight
  10. YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS - Wurlitzer Jukebox
  11. THE ONLY ONES - Oh Lucinda (Love Becomes a Habit)
  12. THE PASSIONS - The Swimmer
  13. B-MOVIE - Remembrance Day
  14. ALTERED IMAGES - Real Toys
  15. ORANGE JUICE - Consolation Prize
  16. THE UNDERTONES - Julie Ocean
  17. THE THREE JOHNS - English White Boy Engineer
  18. TWA TOOTS - Please Don't Play 'A Rainy Night in Georgia'
  20. THE VERY THINGS - The Bushes Scream While My Daddy Prunes
  21. THE PASTELS - A Million Tears
  22. COCTEAU TWINS - The Spangle Maker
  23. THE MEMBRANES - I Am Fish Eye
  24. GEE! MR TRACEY - The Day the Shoes Bit Back
  25. GRAHAM FELLOWS - Seven Pints and a Suicide
  26. FELT - Ballad of the Band
  27. THE HOUSEMARTINS - Get Up Off of Our Knees
  28. THE FALL - Shoulder Pads

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Last Train to Eastleigh!

Possibly the worst picture I've ever made. Sorry Rich!
What a lovely surprise I had this morning! I woke up to find a fanzine on my doormat! A paper one at that, just like it was the 1980s all over again and I'd taped a 20p to a piece of cardboard and sent it off with a stamped addressed envelope to Claire Wadd or John Robb or Everett True and they'd sent me back an A4 pamphlet full of badly typed, but essential ravings on the latest Bogshed record. With hand drawn cartoons.

Last Train To Eastleigh! is written by my pal Rich, who lives in...Eastleigh. It's a folded leaflet, like a pizza advert but without the pizzas. Instead, he writes about the local indiepop scene - the gigs that he's been to, the places he's spun his headspinningly great tunes at for his "The Sun Shines Here!" indiepop/girl group nights. He pretty much plays my own record collection at these nights, so I'll be sitting on a comfy sofa at The Cellar in Southampton, drinking beer and tapping my toes to Dolly Mixture, Veronica Falls, The Shangri-Las, whilst chewing the cud with similar-minded friends. Happy times!

In this latest edition, Rich talks about his love for Blondie, reviews some of the latest indiepop releases with his usual enthusiasm, and says nice things about his friends! One of the regulars at The Sun Shines Here! was Sam (along with the other members of The Notes). Sam has since moved back to London after completing his course at the local uni and has formed a new band called Flowers. I love Flowers! Here they are...just the sort of music that Rich raves about!

If you want a free copy of Last Train To Eastleigh!, contact Rich at:

17 Oak Tree Way
SO50 4JN

Or e-mail him at:

He'll be pleased to hear from you!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Alderney Butterflies

Alderney train and lighthouse.
I've just come back from holidaying on the Channel Island of Alderney. It's an island that hasn't suffered from excessive use of insecticides, and therefore it was alive with insects - bees and butterflies being especially abundant. Of course, I had to take some photographs, and here they are, in the form of a quiz. Get your Butterfly Guides out and see if you can identify all five...

Rusty old crane/train - puts my non-league rusty rollers to shame.
Butterfly number 1 was abundant all over the island, mostly in meadows. This is the female of the species. This is possibly a local colour variation:

Alderney butterfly 1.
Number 2 is a species I've never knowingly seen on the British mainland. It rests with its wings shut. When it flies, it is a glorious orangey-yellow with black markings:

Alderney butterfly 2.
Number 3 was possibly the most widespread of all the species on the island. It turned up just about everywhere:

Alderney butterfly 3.
Number 4 was another common species. It particularly liked the brambly and ferny areas, of which there are many on Alderney:

Alderney butterfly 4.
Number 5 is another of the brown species. When I heard that there were Glanville Fritillaries on the island, I became especially excited when I saw these - until I noticed the black spots on the upper wings:

Alderney butterfly 5.
That's enough butterflies. I'll post the answers in the comments in a week or two.

Alderney's football ground.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Garden Wildlife (Summer)

A late stag beetle (male).
I've recently been attempting to take photos of insects in the garden, sometimes successfully, usually not. The most successful photo shoot involved this male stag beetle, who obligingly stayed still long enough for me to get the camera set up properly in order to take a decent shot. Stag beetles usually appear in the garden in early June, but presumably because of the cold Spring, they were a month late this year. Three males and one female have been spotted so far. I doubt if there will be any more this year, as they only survive in their adult stage for around three weeks. It's mate, lay eggs and die for the adult beetles. I'm not even sure the males are able to eat. Impressive beasts though.

A hard-working bee.
Flying insects have proved particularly tricky to photograph. They rarely stay still long enough to be able to point the camera, get focussed properly and SNAP! It took many attempts to produce the picture of this bee feeding upon blackberry flowers (above). Got it eventually! I might invest in a macro lens when I have some spare cash. Do it properly.

Some sad catnip.
Whilst I'm here, I have to report that the two catnip plants that were planted in the garden earlier in the summer have suffered terribly. The one above has started to grow back, but the other one is just a mass of brown sticks - so beautiful when it flowered as well. No idea what happened to the catnip plants - some disease or other, I suppose...

An innocent face.
It couldn't possibly have had anything to do with this innocent-looking fellow. Could it?