Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Clear Light: Clear Light 1967. Reissue: 2002

Clear Light was an American psychedelic rock band that was formed in Los Angeles, California in 1966. The group released one studio album, Clear Light. It was met with moderate national success before the group disbanded.

In 1966, The Brain Train formed and was managed by Sunset Strip hipster Bud Mathis. They recorded one single – "Black Roses", written by Wolfe Dios, (aka: Wolfgang Dios, now residing and recording in Toronto, Canada) – before changing their name to Clear Light and signing to Elektra Records. Guitarist Bob Seal felt the name should be changed to coincide with the single. Clear Light shared its name with a potent form of LSD, although Seal states the name came from his studies of Eastern philosophy. The Doors' producer Paul A. Rothchild took over management of the band.

To say nineteen sixty-seven had been a good year for Elektra Records would be an understatement.
Their decision to diversify into the field of rock music after over a decade immersed in the world of esoteric folk music had really begun to reap rewards. Hit records by the likes of the Doors and Love had garnered them an enviable reputation and by the fall of that year they were about to release a slew of classic records. Amongst an embarrassment of riches, which included the Doors’ ‘Strange Days,’ Love’s ‘Forever Changes’ and Tim Buckley’s ‘Hello and Goodbye,’ was an underrated artefact of that heady summer of love? Featuring a motley collection of Sunset Strip long hairs flanking one of the freakiest freaks ever to grace a record sleeve, the cover of Clear Light’s debut album release was guaranteed to make the casual record buyer look twice.

Those turned on souls who were captivated enough to fork out the required cash must have been delighted when they put stylus to vinyl and unleashed the music pressed within. Featuring a mixture of delicate folk
rock musings coupled with bombastic psychedelia delivered with dramatic flair and more time changes than you could shake a leg to, Clear Light was clearly a product of the Elektra school of acid rock, evoking highly favourable comparisons with both Love and the Doors. Unfortunately for Clear Light they were overshadowed by the high profile successes of their Elektra stable mates and didn’t achieve the critical and popular recognition that they deserved.

The core members of Clear Light were Bob Seal, lead guitarist and vocals, Robbie "The Werewolf" Robison, rhythm guitar and vocals, Doug Lubahn bass and vocals, Dallas Taylor drums, and Michael Ney on an atypical second set of drums. The original line-up was featured in the 1967 motion picture The President's Analyst, with Barry McGuire cast as their leader and vocalist.[5] They soon added Cliff De Young on lead vocals[4] and this is the version of the band seen on their only album cover. However, sometime during the recording process, often described as "brutal", Paul Rothchild was not happy with Robison's guitar playing skills and pressured the group to remove him - he was replaced by keyboard player Ralph Schuckett.

In what has been called the band's finest hour, drunken customers in a Park Avenue club heckled them so brutally that Ralph Schuckett, the usually gentle organist, hurled a few choice words back at them. The band walked off the stage, retired to the Albert Hotel, and woke up in the morning to find that they had become underground heroes.
Clear Light was released in September 1967 and peaked at number 126 on the Billboard pop albums chart. It combined elements of folk, rock, psychedelic, and classical music. It is an AMG music pick. While the album was not a success at the time, it was creative, coherent and competent. The album featured the unique characteristic of including two leading drummers on their tracks. The album also includes three tracks written by guitarist Bob Seal.

A notable track from the Clear Light album, was "Mr. Blue," a psychedelic version of a folk song written by Tom Paxton and a popular request on underground radio at the time. Lasting over six minutes, the rather sinister, psychedelic song is considered a classic of the genre.[3] Its lyrics, which alternate between spoken word and song, include verses opening with such lines as, "Good morning, Mister Blue, we've got our eye on you," "Step softly, Mister Blue, we know what's best for you," and "Be careful, Mister Blue, this phase you're going through ...."

The album also included a reworked version of "Black Roses", released as a single, and some of guitarist Bob Seal's psychedelic folk-rock songs, namely "With All in Mind" and "They Who Have Nothing." It had some success in England, but was largely ignored in the U.S, reaching number 126 on the Billboard album chart. Paul Rothchild then pressured the other members of the band to fire Bob Seal" Seal was replaced by ex-Fug Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar; Cliff De Young was soon to follow, and after having started work on a second album the group disbanded in 1968. Two tracks from the sessions for the second album surfaced in 2006, "Darkness of Day" and "What a Difference Love Makes"; the latter showed the group moving into more commercial territory due to Kortchmar's influence.

[ AllMusic Review by Matthew Greenwald

Kind of a minor league version of the Doors, Clear Light were a West Coast phenomenon, and although they didn't last too long, were an interesting group. A very good slice of Los Angeles psychedelia, Clear Light were a six-piece band that combined folk, rock, psychedelia, and even a touch of classical to their sound. The end result, though, is a little ponderous and pretentious, but strangely listenable. The big hit off this album (produced by Paul Rothchild and engineered by Bruce Botnick) was "Mr. Blue," a psychedelic folk song written by Tom Paxton.

It's over six-minutes long and a bit overbaked, but it does have an odd appeal. The finer moments are guitarist Bob Seal's psychedelic folk-rock songs, namely "With All in Mind" and "They Who Have
Nothing." Singer Cliff DeYoung went on to have a successful acting career, bass player Doug Lubahn played on the early Doors albums, Dallas Taylor went on to drum for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and John Sebastian, and keyboardist Ralph Schuckett became one of the more popular West Coast session players and arrangers. A lot of talent in a short-lived ensemble. Dated but charming West Coast psychedelia.]

Label: Collectors' Choice Music ‎– CCM-271-2
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
Country: US 1967
Released: 2002
Genre: Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock, Classic Rock


Cliff De Young - vocals
Bob Seal - guitar, vocals
Douglas Lubahn - bass
Ralph Schuckett - keyboards
Dallas Taylor - drums
Michael Ney - drums


01. Black Roses     2:08
02. Sand     2:37
03. A Child's Smile     1:33
04. Street Singer     3:15
05. The Ballad Of Freddie & Larry     2:00
06. With All In Mind     3:00
07. Mr. Blue     6:24
08. Think Again     1:37
09. They Who Have Nothing     2:33
10. How Many Days Have Passed     2:20
11..Night Sounds Loud     2:25

MP3 @ 320 Size: 74.3 MB
FLAC  Size: 220 MB

Friday, March 27, 2020

The Nomads: Showdown (1981 - 1993) 1994

The Nomads are a Swedish garage punk band founded in 1981 by Hans Östlund, Nick Vahlberg, Joakim Tärnström, and Ed Johnson. Today, Östlund and Vahlberg are the only members left of the original line-up.

The band plays music influenced by the MC5, The Stooges, Roky Erickson, The Cramps, The Ramones, New York Dolls, and other early garage rock and punk bands. The Nomads have been an influential band in the Scandinavian garage rock and punk scenes, inspiring bands such as The Hives, Hellacopters, Gluecifer, and many others.
After releasing a number of records in the 1980s the band toured extensively and built a large fanbase without any significant rotation on either radio or television. During the years, touring and recording have decreased but The Nomads still play a number of shows every year in the Scandinavian region.

In 2001 the band celebrated their 20th anniversary with a gig in Stockholm that included appearances by members from Bob Hund, Sator, The Flaming Sideburns, Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks, as well as members of the original line-up.

[Artist Biography by Todd Kristel

Based in Stockholm, the Nomads have stood out from other garage rock revivalists because of the intensity of their performances and the wide range of their influences, which extend beyond the usual
'60s bands to encompass '70s punk, heavy metal, rockabilly, and blues. Their first release was a crude remake of the Sonics' "Psycho"; the band pressed 500 copies of this self-financed single in 1981 but had to discard 50 copies because of defects.
They followed this with another single, a blistering rendition of "Night Time" by the Strangeloves, and received wider recognition with their first mini-album, Where the Wolf Bane Blooms.

In 1984, they conducted their first European tour and garnered attention in the United States for their Outburst album. Despite successful attempts to broaden their sound, such as using horns on a recording of Jeff Conolly's "She Pays the Rent" and a trashy synthesizer on the Suicide-influenced "My Deadly Game," they have not managed to gain more than a small cult following in the States; this may be because they have recorded only a limited number of original songs. Nonetheless, they have managed to create some genuinely exciting, if not particularly innovative, music.]

 AllMusic Review by Todd Kristel

This 42-song, two-CD box set features material recorded by the Nomads from 1981 through 1993. The first CD features the best tracks from the band's albums and singles, while the second CD consists primarily of rarities, outtakes, and live performances.
Most of their songs are remakes, and even the originals are indebted to other musicians; for example, "Where the Wolf Bane Blooms" borrows the guitar line from "Borderline" by DMZ, "Call off Your Dogs" was written for the band by Jeffrey Lee Pierce of the Gun Club and Peter Case of the Plimsouls, and "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" features guest lead guitar by Johnny Thunders. While the group may not be innovative or original, they are a very good garage punk cover band, as proven by their fiery renditions of songs by the Strangeloves ("Night Time," Standells ("Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White"), Tommy Bell ("Swamp Gal"), and others. Overall this is a solid, entertaining collection, but it's probably too extensive for someone who isn't already a dedicated fan.

This record full of singles and rarities from their period 1981-1993 was released in 1994 only on double CD format, and now finally sees the light on remastered deluxe edition. Triple LP with trifold cover, full of awesome photos, interviews texts, etc.

Here we find their own tracks as well as amazing covers from such a wide range of artists... and it even includes the track Jeffrey Lee Pierce from The Gun Club wrote for The Nomads, as well as the cooperation of Johnny Thunders in the studio with them. A brutal exposure of the variety and extreme sound of this legendary and seminal band which is still alive and kicking and delivering killer records and concerts.

The Nomads: Showdown (1981 - 1993)
Label: Sympathy For The Record Industry ‎– SFTRI 333
Format: 2 × CD, Album, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 1994
Genre: Rock
Style: Garage Rock


01. The Way (You Touch My Hand) [3:21]
02. I'm 5 Years Ahead Of My Time [2:33]
03. Lowdown Shakin' Chills [3:39]
04. Milkcow Blues [4:17]
05. Rat Fink A Boo-Boo [1:35]
06. Real Gone Lover [2:24]
07. Where The Wolf Bane Blooms [2:17]
08. Bangkok [2:47]
09. Don't Tread On Me [3:21]
10. She Pays The Rent [2:04]
11. 16 Forever [3:29]
12. Call Off Your Dogs [2:49]
13. Knowledge Comes With Death's Release [2:49]
14. Surfin' In The Bars [2:56]
15. Temptation Pays Double [2:23]
16. Swamp Gal [4:31]
17. Fire And Brimstone [5:07]
18. Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls [3:22]
19. My Deadly Game [4:29]
20. Wimp [2:56]


01. Psycho [2:21]
02. Night Time [3:44]
03. Boss Hoss [2:15]
04. Rockin' All Through The Night [1:51]
05. Have Love Will Travel [2:44]
06. Showdown [2:23]
07. Real Cool Time [5:08]
08. Sometimes Good Guys Don'T Wear White [2:36]
09. I'm A Ding Dong Daddy [2:02]
10. Teenage Letter [2:46]
11. Red Cadillac And A Black Moustache [3:16]
12. Driving Sideways On A Oneway Street [2:02]
13. You're Gonna Miss Me [3:38]
14. Stranded On A Dateless Night [2:32]
15. Big Sandy [1:34]
16. This Ain't The Summer Of Love [2:18]
17. Frying Pan [2:33]
18. Salvation By Damnation [3:01]
19. The Next Big Thing [4:17]
20. I Have Always Been Here Before [3:55]
21. Cinderella [2:52]
22. Motorhead [2:21]


    Backing Vocals – Ebba Forsberg (tracks: 1-17, 1-19), Gustaf-Adolf Krantz (tracks: 2-16), Kissettes (tracks: 1-11), Mats Ernström (tracks: 1- 9), Per Ahlen (tracks: 1-17)
    Bass – Joakim Tarnström (tracks: 1-10 to 1-16, 2-13 to 2-18), Nick VahlBerg (tracks: 2-1 to 2-4)
    Bass, Backing Vocals – Björne Fröberg (tracks: 1-17 to 1-20, 2-19 to 2-22)
    Drums – J. Ericson (tracks: 1-17 to 1-20, 2-19 to 2-22)
    Guitar – Joakim Tarnström (tracks: 2-1), Johnny Thunders (tracks: 1-18)
    Guitar, Vocals – Hans Östlund (tracks: 1-14, 1-18, 1-19, 2-4, 2-18)
    Organ, Percussion – Frank Minarik (tracks: 1-1 to 1-19, 2-6 to 2-21)
    Saxophone – Peder Carlsson (tracks: 2-1)
    Synthesizer – Magnus Gehlin (tracks: 1-17)
    Trumpet – Helperin (tracks: 1-10)
    Vocals, Guitar – Nick Vahlberg

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Clearlight: Les Contes Du Singes Fou 1977 - Forever Blowing Bubbles 1975


Clearlight is a French progressive rock band from the 1970s, although their best known work was produced in England, and released by a major British record company. While progressive rock is an appropriate overall genre for the band, much of their work delves into other genres including psychedelic music, jam band music, symphonic rock, space rock, jazz fusion, and new-age music.

Clearlight consists of pianist and composer Cyrille Verdeaux alongside other musicians, who are usually guest participants with no compositional input, except on a couple of occasions, like the second album Forever Blowing Bubbles, where bassist Joël Dugrenot had virtual co-leader status, composing two of the tracks, or Visions, which prominently featured Didier Malherbe (formerly of Gong) and Didier Lockwood (formerly of Magma and Zao) as soloists. 

Clearlight has rarely performed live. In 1975, Virgin sent a variation of the Forever Blowing Bubbles band on the road supporting Gong, but it broke up soon afterwards following Verdeaux's decision not to relocate to England as Virgin insisted he did - which ended his relationship with the label.
Les Contes du Singe Fou (roughly translated, Tales of the Mad Monkey) is a progressive rock album by Clearlight, released in 1977 on Isadora Records in France.

Returning again to France, Clearlight turned to conceptual space rock with science fiction lyrics. (The lyrics do not have anything to do with a mad monkey, however.) Les Contes du Singe Fou is the only Clearlight album in which vocals and lyrics play a significant role. In reverse of the previous album, the title is in French, but all lyrics are in English. This is not apparent from the cover, which contains no song titles on the outside. English Lyrics with French translations are printed on the cover's gatefold. Musically, the album contains psychedelic, new age, and jazz fusion elements.

In April 1978, a new version of the band was unveiled at the Olympia in Paris, a performance intended to be followed by a proper tour to promote Visions, but lack of interest from promoters dictated otherwise. In the 1980s, the name was largely retired as Verdeaux concentrated on albums released under his own name, although there was another one-off performance at an electronic music festival in 1988 featuring Verdeaux and regular collaborators Christian Boulé and Tim Blake. In the 1990s, Verdeaux began recording under the Clearlight name again.

His latest release, 2014's Impressionist Symphony, again features all three Gong members who had appeared on Clearlight Symphony.


01. The Key - The Outsider     [0:05:17.49]
02. The Key - A Trip To The Orient     [0:05:45.04]
03. The Key - Lightsleeper's Despair     [0:02:40.06]
04. Solioque    [0:05:21.09]
05. Time Skater - Prelude    [0:01:50.44]
06. Time Skater - Countdown To Eternity    [0:04:28.73]
07. Time Skater - The Cosmic Crusaders    [0:09:11.66]
08. Stargazer    [0:02:32.42]
09. Return To The Source    [0:03:41.13]


Cyrille Verdeaux – piano, harpsichord, organ, ARP Odyssey, timbales
Ian Bellamy – vocals
Didier Lockwood – violin, bass violin
Yves Chouard – guitars
Francis Mandin – ARP Odyssey
Tim Blake – EMS and VCS3 synthesizers
Joël Dugrenot – bass
Serge Aouzi – drums, percussion
Produced by Joël Dugrenot

Flac Size: 241 MB
MP3 @ 320 Size: 97.8MB


Forever Blowing Bubbles ditched the Gong members of Clearlight Symphony and now included a bunch of new musicians, who I'm not familiar with. But there are guests, including none other than King Crimson violinist David Cross, plus the Northettes (Amanda Parsons, Ann Rosenthal), some female vocalists, Bruno Verdeaux (presumably Cyrille's brother), Christian Boule, Gilbert Artman (Lard Free, he also appeared on Clearlight Symphony, as well as Boule) etc.

Clearlight  was mainly a project of keyboardist Cyrille Verdeaux. Forever Blowing Bubbles ditched the Gong members of Clearlight Symphony and now included a bunch of new musicians, who I'm not familiar with. But there are guests, including none other than King Crimson violinist David Cross, plus the Northettes (Amanda Parsons, Ann Rosenthal), some female vocalists, Bruno Verdeaux (presumably Cyrille's brother), Christian Boule, Gilbert Artman (Lard Free, he also appeared on Clearlight Symphony, as well as Boule) etc. 

Just imagine what would happed if Steve Hillage's albums had a more symphonic bent and included piano and Mellotron. The first cut, "Chanson" is a vocal track, but the next piece, "Without Words" features some nice use of electric piano and ARP 2600 synth, before going in to a Hillage-like jam. At the end it ends with some Hammond organ that makes me think of Pink Floyd. "Way" starts off with Mellotron and wordless voices, before the piano and David Cross' violin kicks in. I really love how those synths kick in near the end and everything starts speeding up (thanks to speeding up the tape).

Just imagine what would happed if Steve Hillage's albums had a more symphonic bent and included piano and Mellotron. The first cut, "Chanson" is a vocal track, but the next piece, "Without Words" features some nice use of electric piano and ARP 2600 synth, before going in to a Hillage-like jam. At the end it ends with some Hammond organ that makes me think of Pink Floyd. "Way" starts off with Mellotron and wordless voices, before the piano and David Cross' violin kicks in. I really love how those synths kick in near the end and everything starts speeding up (thanks to speeding up the tape).

The second half of the album don't quite live up to the greatness of the first half, still not bad. "Et Pendant Ce Temps La" seems to be a Clearlight theme that gets recycles, because I heard that theme used on the Delired Cameleon Family album (which is basically another Clearlight album, which is a no-brainer, if you enjoy Clearlight, you'll enjoy Delired Cameleon Family, simple as that). "Narcisse et Goldmund" finds the band exploring a chanson style of music, with female vocals (in French), but what serparates this song from real French chanson is the presence of Mellotron. The last cut, "Jungle Bubbles" is basically synth bubble sounds.


01. Chanson
02. Without Words
03. Way
04. Ergotrip
05. Et Pendant Ce Temps La
06. Narcisse et Goldmund
07. Jungle Bubbles
08. Sweet Abisinthe (Bonus Track)
09. Without Words (Melotron Remix) (Bonus Track)
10. Flute Aquatique (Bonus Track)

Import reissue of keyboardist Cyrille Verdeaux's second album as Clearlight Symphony, originally released in 1975. Forever Blowing Bubbles release in the UK gave Clearlight the international recognition they deserved. Featuring Joel Dugrenot (ex-Zao), violinist David Cross (King Crimson) & guitarist/flutist Jean Claude d'Agostini (Magic Circus).
 Featuring the bonus tracks 'Sweet Absinthe', 'Without Words' (Mellotron Remix) & 'Flute Aquatique'. 2001.


Cyrille Verdeaux – grand piano, harpsichord, synthesizer, organ, glockenspiel, Mellotron, gongs, congas
Joël Dugrenot (ex-Zao) – bass, lead vocals
Jean-Claude d'Agostini ( Magic Circus) – electric guitar, 12-string guitar, flute in C
François Jeanneau – saxophones, flutes
Bob Boisadan – electric piano, organ, synthesizer
Chris Stassinopoulos – drums, congas
David Cross ( King Krimson) – violin, electric violin
Christian Boulé – cosmic guitar
Gilbert Artman – percussion, drums, maracas, vibraphone
Amanda (Parsons) and Ann (Rosenthal, of the Northettes who are mentioned in the thank-yous; see Hatfield and the North) – celestial choir
Bruno Verdeaux – synthesizer, aquatic congas
Brigitte Roy – vocals (on "Narcisse et Goldmund")

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

V.A - Another Splash Of Colour - New Psychedelia In Britain 1980 - 1985 (2016)

[ ANOTHER SPLASH OF COLOUR is the first compilation to document the Psychedelic Revival which hit the British music scene in the first half of the Eighties.

Label: RPM Records (2) ‎– RPMBX530
Format: 3 × CD, Compilation
Box Set, Compilation
Country: UK
Released: 29 Apr 2016
Genre: Rock, Pop
Style: Psychedelic Rock

This 3-CD set expands upon an original V/A LP, A Splash Of Colour, issued by WEA at the start of 1982 and including many of the Nu Psych scene’s major players: Mood Six, High Tide, Miles Over Matter, The Barracudas and The Times. All the musical tracks from this landmark album now appear on CD for the very first time!
Originally released as a 13-track LP in 1981, this compilation documents the fruits of New
Psychedelia, which set the scene for glammy Britpop, nerdy twee pop, playful college rock, and more.

"We’re a reaction against the violence of London. Here you can be what you want to be. We’re carrying on where the '60s left off. We put jelly on the floor and ask people to eat it. The fact that they do shows that there is still hope for the world." These are the words of the Doctor, a glammed-up, pylon-haired oddball, speaking to the UK’s Observer magazine in 1981. The Doctor’s heady proclamations, made in the wake of punk and postpunk and at the dawn of Thatcherism, were typical of an idealistic new movement rooted in the mod revival. It antagonized both dreary realists, who were unforgivably bland, and the reigning New Romantics, whose pop-futurist stylings were considered elitist and played-out, stuck in front of the bedroom mirror. New Psychedelia, fomented in early-80s England, peered instead into the kaleidoscope of psych-rock—13th Floor Elevators, Traffic, the Nuggets compilations—and saw something momentarily more appealing.

A Splash of Colour, originally released as a 13-track LP in '81, documented the scattershot fruits of that vision, just as it began to spread beyond clubs and second-hand clothes stores in London’s Soho
and Kensington. Reissued as Another Splash of Colour, the set has now expanded to three discs, comprising 64 songs recorded between '80 and '85. Ancestors of glammy Britpop, nerdy twee pop, playful college rock, and prime-era Creation Records rub shoulders, jostling for attention as each song pulls the rug from under the last.
What connects the groups is their investment in a collective, '60s-themed imaginarium, from Robyn Hitchcock’s inspired nonsense

("It’s a Mystic Trip") to the straight-faced period pieces of groups like Pink Umbrellas ("Raspberry Rainbow"). Though genre revivalism was hardly novel, New Psychedelia—which, besides this compilation, left few footprints in the British underground—was the first scene since punk to observe the widespread rejection of '60s Britrock, and to reject that rejection. Thanks in part to the "second Cold War," as well as the severity of Margaret Thatcher’s conservative politics, many would-be dissidents had drifted into a state of woozy social escapism. That musical response, writes one-time NME scribe Neil Taylor in Another Splash of Colour’s liner notes, "made a curious contrast, as the inimitable Dan Treacy was to later point out on 'She Was Only a Grocer’s Daughter': 'Relax your mind and float downstream/Pretend it’s all a very bad dream.'"

    by Jazz Monroe
    Associate Staff Writer

For New Psychedelia’s frontmen (and it’s curious to note that no group represented here had a frontwoman), those bad dreams were a creative goldmine. The compilation’s second track, "Just Like a Dream" by the High Tide, is a grim fantasy of nuclear apocalypse. It’s joined by escapist head-ventures from the Marble Staircase ("Still Dreaming"), Treacy’s TV Personalities ("The Dream Naz Nomad & the Nightmares, who cover the Electric Prunes’ "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)." Rather than dream up a new world, the artists were scavenging and inhabiting the recent past—in this case the late '60s, already established as the unimpeachable golden age—because they considered their copious imagination an end in itself, rather than a weapon. Like their siblings in twee pop, the scene’s aggrieved youngsters saw no contradiction in protesting neoliberalist austerity by reviving the '60s idealism that failed to prevent it.
Inspires"), and

There’s much to enjoy in the free-spirited music that impulse wrought, even if it proved a bit of a dead-end. "Just 'cos the blank generation blew it/Don’t mean we have to," is a typically feisty missive from Miles Over Matter, whose kaleidoscopic "Something’s Happening Here" is the record’s closest thing to a manifesto. The Barracudas, who applied their psych fripperies and lyrical polemic more sparingly, contribute a neat, jangly anthem called "Watching the World Go By," which rallies disenchanted dreamers who believe "The world is just too crazy" and who "prefer being left behind." Cleaners From Venus, led by the great Martin Newell, offer "Wivenhoe Bells II," a more pastoral and poetic social commentary that could slide onto XTC’s Skylarking, with a reverb-heavy, alienated vocal that clambers over tumbling arrangements, like a child across beach rocks.

While wimpy eccentrics characterized the scene, the highlights here are diffuse. The militant urgency of Blue Orchids’ "Work," a hit on John Peel’s radio show, isn’t far off that of the group’s The Soft Boys' "Only the Stones Remain" and Julian Cope’s brilliantly haughty "Sunspots" are neo-psych heavyweights that have swaggered through the decades, while Glasgow band the Chicanes, on "Further Thoughts," identify and triangulate the best bits of all of it, corralling dingy postpunk, breezy Postcard pop, psych mystique, and post-hardcore dissonance into something surprisingly forward-facing.
transatlantic contemporaries Mission of Burma and the Wipers.

In fact, listening through the comp, there’s a sense New Psychedelia’s weak link was maybe the psychedelia: When Another Splash of Colour drags, it’s thanks to emboldened hammer-ons, zealous chorus pedals, or stray jam passages—many of the fineries that another psych descendant, the shoegaze scene, ditched a few years later. Still, the cluttered, trove-like format suits the record. As is customary for sprawling retrospectives, listeners enter an unspoken pact in which they’ll persevere with, say, Firmament & the Elements’ "The Festival of Frothy Muggament" (sample lyric: "We played and they paid/And was it good?/Mmm, yay, verily, it was good") because forays into absurd theatricality are part and parcel of any scene sustained by LSD-fuelled boat parties and a fondness for shirts with Edwardian frills. Not only does the record’s scrappy, lived-in ambiance reflect the DIY necessities of that scene—it creates an intimate, densely packed time-capsule, in which strange aromas have mingled until even the minor curios are a source of wonder.

ANOTHER SPLASH OF COLOUR transforms the LP into a 64-track compendium spanning the years 1980-1985, from the roots of the psychedelic revival in post-punk and the mod revival through to the much-publicised London scene based around club nights like the Groovy Cellar and onto its second revival of sorts in 1984/85 with the early releases on Creation Records and the popularity of the Alice In Wonderland club.

All the key artists are included, from Nick Nicely to the Liverpool contingent (Icicle Works, Julian Cope) to The Soft Boys and solo (Robyn Hitchcock, Kimberley Rew), the Whaam! camp (TV
Personalities, The Times, Direct Hits, Marble Staircase, Le Mat), early Creation Records tunes (the Revolving Paint Dream, the Jasmine Minks, Biff Bang Pow!) and the Psych scene’s eventual chart-toppers Doctor & The Medics (with a previously unreleased track!).
Many of the Mod Revival bands who evolved into Psychedelia are represented: Purple Hearts, Squire, The Jetset, The Heartbeats, The Onlookers and The Vandells. ASOC even boasts a bona fide hit single in Scarlet Party’s Byrdsy favourite ‘101 Dam-Nations’.
Punk/new wave artists also turned their hand to making Psych records: The UK Subs’ Charlie Harper, The Damned under the guise of Naz Nomad & The Nightmares (and Captain Sensible solo), Elvis Costello’s backing band The Attractions.
The deluxe clamshell package includes a weighty booklet with a 9,000-word sleeve-note by ex-NME journalist and author Neil Taylor.

As well as boasting many rarities new to CD (The Third Eye, Firmament & The Elements, Pink Umbrellas, Magic Mushroom Band, etc.), some tracks are previously unissued.

ANOTHER SPLASH OF COLOUR follows other acclaimed Cherry Red genre box sets which have attracted enthusiastic reviews and healthy sales: Looking Back/Keep Lookin’, Dust On The Nettles, Scared To Get Happy, C86, Millions Like Us, Love Poetry & Revolution, etc.

[ For regulars at Alice in Wonderland and the Bat Cave some of Londons more obscure 80`s nightclubs the Psychedelic scene in the mids 80`s was thriving, many bands featured on the Cherry
Red box Another Splash Of Colour Psychedelia in Britian 1980-1985 frequented and played at these clubs, as were other small clubs all over the UK.
Taking from predecessors such as The Electric Prunes, and The Seeds scene, the 3 cd box set covers a wide range of bands playing Psyche inspired music during this period.
One could argue it was a time a limbo for some bands that seemed to fall into this scene, the likes of Robyn Hitchcock, Julian Cope and the Icicle Works, and some old flames of the Punk scene also, Charlie Harper, Captain Sensible, also bands from the Creation Records stable, The Jasmine Minks and Biff Bang Pow, who themselves featured Creation Records guru Alan Mcgee.
Listening through this box set, its quite remarkable the mixture of songs and quality of the music of a period sometimes overlooked, from the start of disc 1, Mood Six Just Like A Dream, points the way to the changes from late New Romantic to a more cutting edge sound… The Barracudas Watching The World Go By, is great, its indie pre indie… an unknown term just round the corner.
For many in the Music press , New Psychedelia didn’t have legs and got knocked by many however
this 3 cd proves them wrong, to me it was a wrong name given to a scene that deserved more, In fact was it a scene at all, perhaps a natural music progression at times where the charts were particularly poor.
More follows on CD2/3, The Dream Factory and the Jet Set, Julian COPE himself and The Purple Hearts who were associated with the Mod scene, it all goes to prove it was a time for new experimental pop with an edge.
Fortunate to see some of the bands from this set live during this period it’s a great reminder of a not forgotten period of underground music but one which pushed us into a better time, a truly interested and pleasurable listen.

Dean Leggett ]

CD 1.

01. The High Tide: Dancing In My Mind     4:21
02. Mood Six: Just Like A Dream     4:02
03. Miles Over Matter: Something's Happening Here     2:52
04. Robyn Hitchcock: It's A Mystic Trip     2:58
05. Barracudas: Watching The World Go By     4:35
06. Nick Nicely: 49 Cigars     2:40
07. The Times: I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape (Single Version) 3:08
08. The Attractions: Slow Patience     2:16
09. The Earwigs: Keep Your Voice Down     3:31
10. Charlie Harper: Night Of The Jackal     2:42
11. The Marble Staircase: The Long Weekend     3:11
12. Blue Orchids: Work     4:02
13. The Silence: Love Letters     3:43
14. Knox: Gigolo Aunt     3:13
15. The Chicanes: Further Thoughts     3:44
16. The Vandells: I See Everything     2:54
17. Kimberley Rew: Stomping All Over The World     2:20
18. Delmontes: Don't Cry Your Tears     3:43
19. The Monochrome Set: On The Thirteenth Day     3:08
20. Future Daze: Connect     3:41
21. The Soft Boys: Only The Stones Remain     2:51
22. Firmament & the Elements: The Festival Of Frothy Muggament 3:24   
23. The Von Trap Family: No Reflexes     6:14

CD 2.

01. Nick Nicely: Hilly Fields (1892)     3:32
02. The High Tide: Electric Blue     5:31
03. The Third Eye: Pass Myself     4:13
04. Miles Over Matter: Park My Car     3:03
05. Squire:  No Time Tomorrow     3:56
06. The Marble Staircase: Still Dreaming     4:06
07. Barracudas: Inside Mind     3:30
08. Deep Freeze Mice: Red Light For The Greens     4:12
09. Paul Roland: Dr. Strange     2:57
10. Michael Moorcock's Deep Fix: Brothel In Rosenstrasse     3:44
11. Cleaners From Venus: Wivenhoe Bells II     4:24
12. Scarlet Party: 101 Dam-Nations     3:37
13. Le Mat: Waltz Of The Fool     3:34
14. The Dream Factory: The Haze     2:47
15. The Legendary Pink Dots: Waving At The Aeroplanes     3:09
16. Modern Art: Fiction & Literature     3:17
17. The Jetset: And We Dance On     4:14
18. The Heartbeats: Forever     4:36
19. Purple Hearts: Hazy Darkness...     2:49
20. Pink Umbrellas: Raspberry Rainbow     3:22
21. The TV Personalities: The Dream Inspires (Live)     2:58

CD 3.

01. The Revolving Paint Dream: Flowers In The Sky     2:27
02. Naz Nomad & The Nightmares: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) 2:50
03. Julian Cope: Sunspots     3:51
04. The Jasmine Minks: Mr. Magic     2:28
05. The Icicle Works: Nirvana     5:09
06. The Way Out: Do I Have To Be Here?     4:41
07. The Prisoners: Reaching My Head     2:54
08. Playn Jayn: In Your Eyes (Live)     4:58
09. The Primevals: Where Are You?     3:20
10. The Dentists: Strawberries Are Growing In My Garden (And It's Wintertime)     3:22
11. Doctor & The Medics: Barbara Can't Dance (Demo)     3:07
12. Biff Bang Pow!: A Day Out With Jeremy Chester     4:06
13. Mood Six: Plastic Flowers (Psycho Version)     4:05
14. Freight Train: Man's Laughter     3:29
15. The Onlookers: You Know Everything     3:26
16. Direct Hits: Doctor Ben     2:39
17. The Green Telescope: Two By Two     3:16
18. Magic Mushroom Band: Wide Eyed And Electrick     4:10
19. The Brainiac Five: Endless River     6:39
20. Captain Sensible: The 4 Marys Go Go Dance All Night At The Groovy Cellar     6:26