Brit Box Week ends (finally) with just a few more bands. This is it I swear. I really meant to include The Frank & Walters on Disc 6 but realized I’d left them off after I’d published. One might think I could’ve just tacked it onto the end, but I bothered to not only put the songs in rough chronological order on the page but also changed the mp3 tags so that they would be in that order as an "album." That I stopped short of making album art shows I know I’m a bit obsessive sometimes… and also general restraint on my part.
So six more tracks from bands who coulda shoulda been on Rhino’s fine four-disc Brit Box. (Any more songs and it would’ve moved into mini-LP territory.) Together with the tracks post here this week you’ve got a pretty complete picture of guitar-based indie-ish music made in the UK from 1985 – 2000 that I would consider worth hearing. Could there be more qualifiers in that sentence? But you need it to figure out the what connects the Shop Assistants, Birdland, Nick Heyward and Hurricane #1. Even that doesn’t explain the dance pop of Saint Etienne, given the criteria the rest of the box seems to be made from, apart from they really exude British-ness and are brilliant. Which I guess is reason enough to break the rules.
MP3: The Dentists – Strawberries are Growing in My Garden
Quintessential cult indie band with their first and best-known song. Find a Dentists’ CD (or 7" single) in someone’s collection and you know they’re more than you’re average music fan. It also probably means they’re over 30.
MP3: Close Lobsters – Let’s Make Some Plans
This song might be better known for the Wedding Present’s cover (b-side to "California," compiled on Hit Parade 1) but the Close Lobsters were one of the best "C-86" bands and if you come across any of their three releases, you should pick them up.
MP3: The Mock Turtles – Can You Dig It?
The other well-known group on Imaginary Records along with Cud, who appeared on nearly all the label’s many tribute records of that time. (There were a lot of them.) The Mock Turtles were also lumped in with the Madchester scene, though they were more of the earlier jangly side than the rave-y groups. Factoid: Singer Martin is the older brother of comedian Steve Coogan.
MP3: World of Twist – The Storm
I first heard of these Mancunians because they’re namechecked in Saint Etienne’s "London Belongs to Me." I bought their sole album, Quality Street, on that alone and I can’t say that I loved the album (I sold it at some point when I was poor) but "The Storm" is probably World of Twist’s highpoint.
MP3: The Frank and Walters – Fashion Crisis Hits New York
Irish trio signed to Setanta Records, home of Edwyn Collins, the Divine Comedy and A House. Barely got anything released in America but they remain tuneful, charming and unassuming to this day. This was their first single, rerecorded and released more than twice, but I prefer the original.
MP3: Salad – Motorbike to Heaven
I know very little about Salad, apart from their singer, Marijne van der Vlugt, was Dutch. But I’ve always liked their single "Motorbike to Heaven." Thanks to Heather for hooking me up with this.
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