FN Obscurities compilation
Bobzilla by The Jessels
b/w The Worst Noel - 1982, 7", (xmas001)
recorded in the lounge at Jessel Street
(I was one of the massed and just-ok chorale)
FN Obscurities compilation?
Maybe it doesn't rate as obscure after the Matador re-release, but there was a time that listening to Nelsh by Bailter Space required a tape cassette player, or knowing someone with the Vinyl. I've always loved Separate Circles. Not online anywhere I could find. Yet.
I've had several email contributions to the brief, and I'll post them here, starting with this one from Brent Giblin:
Still Giving the Nun Love
So it was my Birthday on Saturday 19th where I turned something in my 40's (cough cough) . Nothing too unusal in that except I noticed that The Bats were playing. So I rounded up a few friends for a pre-match Flyining Nun vinyl only party and off we went full of bithday cake and Flying Nun IPA to the Kings Arms. While enjoying the strange pleasure that was Graeme Hill on the farfisa organ playing instrumental Nunhits lounge style (Pin Group, Gordons, Chills, Tall Dwarfs, Bats ) I decided it was time to see if I could get a momento of what was already a memorable gig.
In the old days i would have just ripped down a poster from the wall or cut through layers of posters on an outside billboard with a craft knife, but I decided I would be a bit more "good citizen' so I blagged one from the doorstaff.
Seeing my oportunity i asked Paul Kean if he would sign it since it was my birthday. Not only did he oblige he dragged me backstage got the rest of the band to inscribe and then proceeeded to play " By Night" during the gig expecially for my birthday.
Now this is the kind of awesomeness that got me excited about seeing flying nun bands live in the first place. None of this NME never tour here, too cool for school stuff.
Here were bands I could buy records from and then see them live the same week. Maybe even bump into them in the beer queue. This kind of access gave me a total buzz in 1981 and still does. Thanks Flying Nun and The Bats for helping to give me a legal birthday buzz and I return the good wishes for your month long celebration.
Another contribution, from Darren Hammond:
Needles and Plastic
I first heard 'Needles and Plastic' soon after it was released, on Radio U, in Chch (which was still an AM station back in those days!). Something about it just grabbed me, the goofy but insistent guitar riff, and the lyrics (which confirmed my feelings about nightclubs) connected with me. I had to own this record, and that day I went into a shop in Chch (it may have even been the shop Roger used to run...) and bought it.
A few weeks later, I played it to my friends, and they all laughed at how ridiculous it was. It stung a bit, but I still loved it ...
The song stayed with me over the years, and is still in my top 5 songs ever to this day. I saw the Straitjacket Fits live a number of times, and Dimmer also, but had never heard the song played live, and I was resigned to that fact. But early in 2011, I heard that Shayne was playing some shows where he was going to play stuff from right through his career! I was very excited, and booked tickets almost as soon as they went on sale.
Later, at the Kings Arms, Shayne announced the song I had always wanted to hear live, mentioning that it featured a swear word in the first line. I suddenly realised that I had always thought the lyric was 'Fat gut in a studded belt...', but realised it was 'Fat cunt...' Oops!
Anyway the song and the show were great, and Shayne is still making great music, as are all the Flying Nun bands I used to listen to back in 1985 on Radio U. If I believed in knighthoods, Roger Shepherd should have one!"
Graeme Hill on the farfisa organ playing instrumental
Nunhits lounge style
Was Graeme in The Heptocrats? My memory is now unsure...
I loved them live, keyboard and stand up bass, their Cassette release (on Paul Luker's excellent Industrial Tapes) was a long time fave - perfect for long drives - I can't find it! I think I musta loaned it to someone, Noooooo.....
Their only FNun appearance was on The Last Rumba compilation - which easily has the worst FNun cover (I know this, 'cos I did it...)
In the old days i would have just ripped down a poster from the wall or cut through layers of posters on an outside billboard with a craft knife, but I decided I would be a bit more “good citizen’ so I blagged one from the doorstaff.
I hope ya bought one of the poster postcard sets, too...
Another one, from reader Mike O'Connell:
Aah, Flying Nun 30 year's old, hard to believe. My best moments would have to be seeing the DoubleHappys in their prime with Shayne (sans the P then) Carter at his caustic best, especially a show at the Zanzibar in Chch (a long defunct venue close to where the new Dux will emerge) where (as per Needles and Plastic) he ripped into the fat c*#ts in studded (and flashing light) belts, 'hanging out' on the dance floor for the Blue Monday, etc disco that followed in the same venue, Carter relishing the opportunity to have a crack - as he often did in those days. Wayne was quieter but his guitar was no less meaner!
The sad news from the N Island soon after meant no long anticipated return gig at the Zetland (also long defunct - scene of another fab double header round the same time from the Chills and Bird Nest Roys).
And they were just like that, no more. But there songs remain relevant - I still drag out the famous double B-side Anyone Else Would/ The Other's Way 7" and give it a blast when the opportunity arises! RIP Wayne Elsey.
Actually, here's a challenge: can we work up a theoretical track listing for a FN Obscurities compilation?
Here's a few …
Flak: St Tropez. Flak and 8 Living Legs were each to have three tracks on the shared 1984 Emigration EP. The smart and spiky St Tropez was mysteriously left off the Flak side, but the lyrics remained on the insert.
This Kind Of Punishment: After The Fact. Maybe not so obscure, but this song is perfect for those moments when the world is grey, and not even bright grey.
The Clean: Point That Thing (Dub). It really is a dub version. From the Oddities tape, a masterpiece of hiss and lo-fi. Cassettes are big again, apparently. What am I bid for my copy of this hipster classic? Oh wait, I'll have to find it first.
Able Tasmans: Close Up Theme. The instrumental theme from a TV1 current affairs show. Early Tasmans: organ, bass & drums. Unrecorded as far as I know.
Children's Hour: How Is The Air Up There? Again, Unrecorded as far as I know. I heard them play the all-time version at their final show at the Windsor.
Part two, brought to you in defiance of the irritating error message ...
Bailterspace: I’m In Love With These Times. The Bailterspace who recorded the Nelsh EP were quite different from what came later, and this one has the Clean all over it, because it was one of their songs and Hamish Kilgour drums and sings.
Headless Chickens: Crash Hot (12” version). The version of Crash Hot on the Body Blow LP didn’t match the earlier version on the flipside of the Gaskrankenstation single, which sounds far more accusing, aggressive, and plain loud.
Straitjacket Fits: So Long Marianne. This cover was a highlight of their 1987-88 live sets and was preserved on a beautifully huge and warm sounding 12” B side.
Fetus Productions: Halocast. From their first LP (1980-81?) which wasn’t strictly speaking a Flying Nun release … but Halocast is one of the best things they did. I love it when the guitar squeal and feedback kicks in to the first ringing riff ... hear also Flies from the Self-Manipulation cassette, recommended listening on the walkman while walking around Albert Park.
perfect for those moments when the world is grey
Grey Parade by JPSE. Not a rarity but rarely played, and haunting.
Children’s Hour: How Is The Air Up There? Again, Unrecorded as far as I know. I heard them play the all-time version at their final show at the Windsor.
Blazing version. But Chris was very firmly of the view that it was stupid to record cover versions.
For their last tour they worked on a cover of 'Wichita Lineman', but couldn't get it down.
Straitjacket Fits: So Long Marianne.
Straitjacket Fits: So Long Marianne
I'll drink to that.
Builders 'Ginger Jar'/'What a Hoombah' single.
Coupla utterly geekish ones: Able Tasmans 'Nelson the Cat' off 'The Tired Sun' EP, and 'Do the Glandy' by the Eric Glandy Big Time something or other Band.
and ‘Do the Glandy’ by the Eric Glandy Big Time
something or other Band
The Eric Glandy Memorial Big Band
What do you remember about making the only LP ever recorded by the Eric Glandy Memorial Big Band, ‘Adrenal Glandy: Songs of Love, Hate and Revenge’ ?
“Eric Glandy was the most important artist of his era, although you wouldn’t know that from the band’s live shows, recordings, or rehearsals. We hit our peak before our first practice, actually. Before we even thought about having a first practice, in fact — and from then on it was a sickening spiral downhill into recording industry hell and substance abuse. Those we influenced will certainly say that we didn’t influence them, but deep Jungian therapy will reveal that we did.”
from five minutes with Don McGlashan
on the excellent words shift minds site.
You can also see Derek Ward making a dick of himself in this article... while fellow Glandy member Sally Hollis-Mcleod is a complete c**t...