Some fresh electric from Thumpermonkey and more of those rabbit holes full up with what was it? A band we’ve rather enjoyed (and indeed covered lots, especially in those early days) around these parts for a good few years now, the London band have just posted a taste of something new, a track from their forthcoming album I do believe. Always like the way Thumpermonkey songs talk to their listener, they like H.G Wells or good train journey adventures, they’re of a time and place of their own, delightfully English in the best of ways, the new piece is there on their Bandcamp page and I do believe they play East London’s Hoxton Bar and Grill tomorrow, tomorrow being August 24th with Rob Crow.
Rob Crow, the founder of bands like Pinback, Goblin Cock, Heavy Vegetable and more, playing his first London show in what seems like a billion years! Seriously brilliant band joining Rob Crow on the stage with Kavus Torabi (Knifeworld & Gong) on second guitar, Craig Fortnam North Sea Radio Orchestra & The Shrubbies) on bass, Rhodri Marsden (Scritti Politti & Dream Themes) on keyboards and Loz Bozenge on drums.
Here’s the new Thumpermonkey thing
Here’s what they, Thumpermonkey, have to say about rabbit holes and the new electricity and such
The voice of the genius was heard again: “See, O mortal, what the efforts of man can accomplish. He has known how to employ the forces of nature, and prosperity has promptly taken the place of desolation. I shall reveal to thee the secret of the power of this people. Science has made them free. They live comfortably to the laws of reason. Impregnated with all noble ideas, they have become the most civilised people on earth. They have known how to avail themselves of the greatest force of the universe – electricity. This has increased the forces of man a hundredfold. This small corner of Asia shows thee what later on the surface of the globe will become.”
From ‘Babylon Electrified’ – recounted by Albert Bleunard (1889).
So begins this lost tale of human misadventure; the story of Victorian MP and visionary Lord James Badger, who, under divine instruction almost two hundred years ago, set out to conquer nature and “restore” the civilisations of Mesopotamia with the new power of Electricity.
…fast-forward 140 years…
…to a chance encounter with an illustration from Bleunard’s forgotten book, preserved in the digital archives of The British Library. It beguiles and intrigues our own modern explorer and musical adventurer, Michael Woodman, who has stumbled across it quite by chance while looking for his own spark of inspiration.
In the image, a pith-helmeted Englishman is atomized by technology he hoped would transform the canals of the Euphrates, all because he followed the instructions of an angelic visitation.
In this promethean moment, Michael and his accomplices in Thumpermonkey are irresistibly propelled forward on their own epic musical journey, The theme of the songs that make up Thumpermonkey’s new EP ‘Electricity’ echo’s that of the distant past – the luminous magnificence of human foolishness Pith helmets remain optional. Little else has changed”.
Meanwhile, Rob Crow’s gloomy thing that really doesn’t sound that gloomy does it? Here’s the album from last year…
” You’re Doomed. Be Nice. is Rob Crow’s first album (released in March 2016) since his heavily- publicized withdrawal from music – specifically the toxic byproducts of the lifestyle of a touring professional musician attempting to survive in an industry of diminishing returns. Rather than perform, record, and mix every note himself – a trademark of his previous solo endeavors – Crow formed Gloomy Place, a band made up of close friends that includes another member of the beloved Heavy Vegetable. Recorded and mixed by Ben Moore (Hot Snakes), You’re Doomed presents a fascinating dichotomy: dynamic, eclectic prog-pop backing alarmingly confessional, often acerbic lyrical themes. This juxtaposition makes for an album of confrontational yet accessible songs filled with wry wit and emotional depth. You’re Doomed. Be Nice. is the diamond carved out of a particularly rough chunk of Rob Crow’s life – one that’s either the first gem of an inspired second act, or the culmination of an undeniably influential career. In either case, the quality of its cut will last a lifetime”.
Rob Crow and his band are on a UK tour right now that includes that previously mentioned London gig as well as that Cardiacs gathering in Salisbury this coming weekend
Someone reminded us of Cay this cold grey August morning, thanks Ed, I haven’t listen to this for a good few years, always love this piece of music and especially this recording, a very raw and pretty much live in a rehearsal studio recording and the b-side of the very first Cay single back there at the end of the last century. Had to really push to get that one on the b-side. for awhile back there Cay were a fine fine band, a sometimes difficult band but a fine band all the same (R.I.P Anet). Running a record label was a thankless task and if I had the chance to do it all over again I almost certainly wouldn’t but there are a few moments like that first Cay single that were more than worth it. We haven’t released anything on the label music wise for almost ten years now, that last Cardiacs single Ditzy Scene was the last thing, someone tried talking us into a best of vinyl set recently, an ORG retrospective, but no, I don’t think we can be talked into that… (sw)
“The much missed Cay performing at Reading Festival in 2000. I think they were the first band on, they performed an awesome set! Here are three songs shown on ITV:
Princes and Princesses, Cheap Talk, Neurons Like Brandy”