Thursday, 22 August 2013

From the Top Drawer LVI - Back To The Planet

Feeling lazy today so I'm gonna let Wikipedia introduce this band to you, as if you don't know who they are already -
'Back To The Planet (BTTP) formed while squatting together in Peckham, London in 1989, and attracted a following throughout the early 1990s. They played four consecutive Glastonbury Festivals and played many free festivals, including the Deptford Urban Free Festival and the Castlemorton Common Festival in 1992. BTTP were vociferous in their resistance to the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
Their music blended elements of ska, dub, punk, and dance music.
Their first album, 'Warning the Public', was released on their own record label, Arthur Mix Records, based in Hither Green. In 1993, the band signed to Parallel Records, and released a chain of singles. BTTP split not long after the release of 'Messages After The Bleep' in 1995, to pursue personal music projects.
 BTTP performed a reunion gig at the Red Star Bar in Camberwell on 10 December 2006. They also played at the Endorse It In Dorset Festival on 12 August 2007, and the main stage at the 2007 Beautiful Days festival, but to a smaller than expected crowd owing to them clashing with Bill Bailey. BTTP played the Paradise Gardens free festival, London on 25 May 2008, and at the Endorse It In Dorset, SolFest and Shambala festivals in summer 2008. 
Back to the Planet appeared at Glastonbury, and EnDorset in Dorset during the summer of 2009. Back to the Planet played the Wickerman festival in 2010. They played the Levelling the Land Part II tour, along with The Levellers and Dreadzone, in December 2011, headlined Rogues Picnic in May 2012, and played Bearded Theory festival in May 2012.

Back to the Planet made a late-night appearance at The Bimble Inn at Beautiful Days Festival on Friday 17 August 2012 and are confirmed to play Alchemy Festival 20-22 September 2013.'

Side One: Teenage Turtles / London City / You're The Judge / Starved By Ignorance
Side Two: Misunderstood / Human Error / Daydream
Ripped @320kbps as two side-long tracks
Get yer copy HERE
Just gonna add a personal reminiscence which in the light of later projects by a couple of members of the band seems somewhat ironic - I think it was from the band stage at Castlemorton Festival in May 1992 that I heard singer Fil slagging off the new-to-the-festival-scene 'cheesy-quavers/ravers' (probably more because of their lack of outdoor toilet etiquette than anything else - 'if you shit in the woods take a shovel mate') - keyboard player Guy McAffer went on to become Guy 'The Geezer', a well-known acid techno producer, and drummer Henry Cullen went on to become 'D.A.V.E the Drummer', a techno producer and DJ. Hohoho...

(Couldn't resist posting on it for a larger view)

Part Two can be found HERE

BTTP's own website is HERE

Saturday, 3 August 2013

From the Top Drawer LV - Wooden Baby

A double dose of live Wooden Baby from Club Dog at the Sir George Robey pub in London - one set from late 1989 and one from early 1990. The two sets, although only a few months apart, show some differences in sound and attitude, with the first more of a live expression of their studio sound including vocals at that time and the second showing more of an influence of the burgeoning acid house/rave dance scene.

Wooden Baby of course would soon reshuffle their personnel, losing founder member/singer Charlie Daniel and adding the talents of Joie Hinton and on occasion Steve Everett, renaming themselves Eat Static to become one of the cutting-edge pioneers of the electronic dance and ambient scene of today. So this is a chance to hear them on the cusp of a tranceformation.

(Yep, it's that same flyer again...I don't have any pics of the band from this era.)

'In its later guise, Wooden Baby produced some of the most incredible music of the late 1980s, hinting at and fusing elements of goth, punk, techno, acid house, ambient, industrial and space rock. However, not only did they hint at these genres, they excelled at them. 'Exorcism of Anu' could easily be a Sisters of Mercy track; 'Impossible Maze' sounds like the Sex Pistols with an electronic backing track; Hawkwind would be proud of tracks like 'The Birds' and 'Execution', while 'Bath Scum' sounds like an improved version of 'Theme from S-Express', and is an early example of the dance music themes that Eat Static would explore in the 1990s.

Despite Pepler's prowess as a drummer, Wooden Baby employed a drum machine which immediately gave their sound the feel of electronic music rather than that of a conventional band set-up. Many of the tracks featured vocals, from either Pepler's goth-tinged singing or the at-times-crazed wailing and shouting of Daniel. The lyrical themes were often dark and ominous, lending an extra "edge" to what was already very darkly psychedelic music.'

Sets are audience recordings from the back of the Main Room at the Sir George Robey pub in Finsbury Park, North London, using two PZM microphones onto chrome cassettes. Unfortunately they seem to be incomplete.
1) Friday 8th December 1989
2) Friday 16th February 1990
No track list or personnel info available but almost certainly Merv Pepler and Charlie Daniel were involved.
(CORRECTION - Charlie has let me know that he was not involved with these live recordings and the personnel for these sets was - Merv Pepler, Joie Hinton, Nick Timberlake & Clive Browne)

Download HERE