Two things for an Organ Thing of The Day today, Cranes and details of a John Peel Sessions album are down there, further down the page, first we have The March Violets and some release and tour news as well as a review of the just to be released properly Made Glorious album
“The March Violets release their album Made Glorious on CD, streaming and double-LP, to coincide with a series of dates across five countries so far announced” read the press release headline, it goes on to tell us that “The March Violets ‘difficult’ debut album Made Glorious, originally self-released to subscribers in 2013 is now on vinyl for the first time as a purple double LP”. The vinyl was released for this year’s Record Store day. We’re told that on May 26, the eve of their UK and Europe tour (dates below), it’ll also be out on CD and as a digital release (although it has been out as digital release dfor some time).
“Coming to prominence in the 1980’s, the band’s six indie singles made a big impact on the indie chart, a prelude to the major-label deal they signed. The singles were compiled for successful LPs in the UK and USA – but they split before making the actual album they promised”.
Hang on, didn’t The March Violets sign to London records? Oh the tales we could tell of meetings at London Wreckords, how many exciting British bands did they sign and that never got to the point of releasing an album by said exciting band on the label? Some of the conversions we had with London Records during the Atom Seed days would never be believed if we actually wrote them down, we begged Back To The Planet not to make the same mistake, they wouldn’t listen. You could make a great compilation of bands hindered by the clueless egos and the lines of white powder at London Records
“Twenty-five years later, original band-members reconvened for tours of the UK and USA. A single and video of Dandelion King was issued in 2011 and finally the album Made Glorious was given a release in 2013. However, DIY economics and events intervened to restrict it to subscribers, much to the disappointment of many”.
And so, the not very widely Made Glorious album is now to be widely available via Jungle Records, it just landed here….
The March Violets – Made Glorious (Jungle Records) – Tales of psycho killers living next door mowing the lawn and taking dogs for walks, that and needing a million to be a millionaire and standing on a runway waiting to take off while firework fuses are lit in Tokyo. Tales, that’s what those March Violets dealt in. Made Glorious is a fine opening track of a song, glorious indeed, a classic from back there, elsewhere there’s sea shanties performed at piratical Ramming Speed – a kind of Adam Ant at Gentleman Jack walking speed rather than actual ramming speed and sometimes these Goths did have fun (ramming speed always brings a smile and an image of Conflict’s much missed Drummer Paco who would yell at the start of most songs he was about to pound on, that “this one is at ramming speed!” while the band tried to jump on to his lead).
Coming #round here in designer gear, what yer gonna do? Lie like a what, Little Punk Thing – Goths? Punks? Post Punks? Who cares, the key to March Violets was the character, the attitude, the sheer we’re ahead of our timeness of it all and everyone’s DNA coming out to play. No, no, no no no, no! The sheer fuck offness of it all, the buzz, the cavemen, the spacemen, the Bowie bits – nothing wrong with a Bowie flavour or two, March Violets always had, and probably still have, their own distinctive finger print. Mind the gap – London rats in business suits – London’s Drowning‘s a good one, actually they’re all good, all sixteen tracks.
Does anyone here think the same as me? Rather enjoying this long overdue revisit, all the killing jokes and the barbed bits, we’re all Goths (or maybe they sang gods? We’re all gods). Discoboy Must Die is where things get funky (in a demonic way), there was always a curveball or two, a dress worn just for you, a fight back, they were always far more than just The Sisters’ little sisters, far more than just the ones with the label on them, the one that said poison.
There is no antidote, there is no cure, on they drive, on they go, drum machine driven goodness, when your head is in the right place, it does sound good. Those drum machine driven bands from Leeds, these are their demons, go get your own, black bats and spiders, lock up your thoughts, they’re coming to town – they are actually, got some tour dates, we’ll post them down there, did they mention new material as well? “The current line-up of Rosie Garland, Tom Ashton and William Faith recorded a new album earlier this year. Possibly the band will preview teasers around the tour dates”.
What we have here is a fine collection of drum machine driven left field alternative (almost) pop songs, pop songs in the best possible sense, never pop songs but you know what I mean, that twist The Marcgh Violets, they never relaly repeated themselves, kind of did it their own way. Fine drum machine driven alternative pop songs from a bunch of goth flavoured post punk rockers who knew the score back there (and hopefully still do), it maybe an acquired taste, but then aren’t most things? Made Glorious still sound fresh, maybe this is their time. (sw)
The album is released on CD and as a download May 26th 2023 on Jungle, it jsut came put on (purple) vinyl.
THE MARCH VIOLETS tour dates:
DE: 27th May LEIPZIG – Wave Gotik Treffen – Sat. night headline at Taubchenthal
UK: 31st May BIRMINGHAM * – The Castle & Falcon
UK: 1st June LEEDS * – Old Woollen
UK: 2nd June MANCHESTER * – Academy 3
UK: 3rd June GLASGOW * – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
UK: 4th June NEWCASTLE * – The Cluny
UK: 6th June NOTTINGHAM * – Rescue Rooms
UK: 7th June BRISTOL * – Thekla
UK: 8th June LONDON * – The Garage
* Support from Vision Video and Kristeen Young
US: 1st September NEW YORK – The Bowery Ballroom ‘A Murder of Crows’ headline
BE: 7th October LIEGE – The Garage + The Bellwether Syndicate
FR: 21st October PARIS – La Boule Noire
UK: 28th October WHITBY – Tomorrow’s Ghosts Festival – Saturday night special guest slot
The March Violets links – Jungle Records / TheMarchViolets.com / Bandcamp
And rather like those March Violets, Cranes always came with edge, a rather different edge, both bands were originally around at the same time, a mini album from Cranes early days is just about to emerge, they feel like comfortable bedfellows on this page…
Cranes – John Peel Sessions 1989-1990 (Dadaphonic) – Cranes always came with an edge, there were lots of bands like them back there, that slightly dar dream pop thing, there was no one quite like Cranes. They had a way all o their own, a drama, a mystery. From what I remember Cranes production was always lush, warn, these recordings, as Peel sessions often did, come with a raw, almost primitive feel, it is often (correctly) argued that Peel session recordings were better than the originals studio versions, not sure if that argument stands here, more a case of complimenting the band’s own studio releases with the intimate immediacy of these fine versions.
“Cranes have announced they will be releasing a new mini album, John Peel Sessions 1989 – 1990 on 2nd June, via their own Dadaphonic label. The album will be available on vinyl, CD and as a digital download. Formed in mid-1980’s in Portsmouth by the brother and sister duo of Jim Shaw (drummer, keyboardist, guitarist, programmer) and Alison Shaw (vocalist, guitarist, bassist), Cranes first appeared in 1986 with Fuse, a self-released and now highly sought-after cassette album. Their debut album Self-Non-Self followed in 1989, and, with the addition of Mark Francombe (guitarist, keyboardist, bassist) and Matt Cope (guitarist) they caught the attention of legendary DJ John Peel, who invited them to record two sessions for his show in 1989 and 1990. These sessions were recorded at BBC Maida Vale and mastered at Abbey Road. Full tracklisting as follows: 1. EG Shining, 2. Focus Breathe, 3. Starblood, 4. Til Tomorrow, 5. Da Da 331, 6. Give, 7. Inescapable”
“With their unique blend of art rock and ethereal dream pop, Cranes have recorded nine critically acclaimed albums since 1986. Notably, Robert Smith (The Cure) is a fan. He remixed the single “Jewel” from Forever after inviting Cranes to join him on the 1992 Wish tour”.
So, what to make of these recording all these years on? Give is particularly sky touching in a slightly menacing kind of way, Cranes always felt kind of nice, sensual in that Dream Pop way, almost seductive but there was an undercurrent, a menace, a bite, a kind invite to come in but not to get too comfortable. Always did like Cranes, feels like we wrote a number of positive reviews of albums and singles back there in the last century, we, like many others might be accused of taking them a little for granted there in the 90s though, and here, thirty odd years later they’re sounding rather refreshing. Feels rather like we should go dig out that old vinyl and go and bathe in it all again and maybe appreciate it all a little more this time (no I’m sure we did appreciate it at the time, it just feels like maybe they should have been bigger, should have reached more ears). Here in 2023 these session tracks feel warm, they feel inviting, they feel as valid now as they did then, as relevant now as they ever were, and yes, if this was a new release from a new band we and quite a few others would, I suspect, be raving about it, if you’ve never heard (or heard of) Cranes do go check them out. this is art rock with an edge, a dark edge, a bite, full bodied yet deliciously minimalist, slightly disturbing in just the right way, always did rate those Cranes.. (sw)
John Peel Sessions 1989 – 1990 is on 2nd June via their own Dadaphonic label. The album will be available on vinyl, CDand as a digital download. More details via their Bandcamp
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of their much loved album, Forever, Cranes will be playing a SOLD OUT gig at the EarTH Theatre, Hackney, London on Saturday 14th October. Cranes are Alison Shaw / Jim Shaw / Mark Francombe / Matt Cope.
Here’s some classic Snub TV footage (did we really have things like this on mainstream TV back there?)