Thursday, June 18, 2009


Masturbating demons spurting molten sperm and felching zitty-arsed, worthless, human scum - just HAS to be a Coil 7", no? Do bear in mind I grew up a Catholic and this sort of shit was incendiary. If my mum had ever seen this, she'd have smashed it and attempted to assault me. PURE FILTH. Anyway, this is Wrong Eye b/w Scope, and I'm pretty sure it came out just before their amazing Love's Secret Domain LP, though I got my mitts on it afterwards.

The A-side is trancey electro with a funky bassline and plenty of varispeed fuckery, with Rose McDowall moaning like a Hindu goddess over the top. The B-side's more like a slowed down demonic voice gurgling over what sounds like a dub version of a Ramleh instrumental being played backwards. Very nice it is too. Fire up a couple of black candles, plonk this on the deck and you're sorted for the best sacrificial soak in the bath since Marat decided to 'give it another 10 minutes'.

Still, for records least likely to amuse your Catholic parents, few beat this:

Just look at the state of it! The Coil 7" cover's actually yellow, Reality Asylum b/w Shaved Women - the record that calls Jesus all sorts of vile names - was pressed with a black and white sleeve! My sister bought both of these at the time they came out, and I can only presume this is one of the original covers, reportedly folded by hand in the Crass commune, as the paper's completely flimsy. The cover is literally disintegrating; if I open it up to reveal the poster of Christ crucified above the prostrate peasants and the bloke with the gun, it feels like it's going to crumble into little flakes.

Nagasaki Nightmare b/w Big A Little A is faring slightly better, but it's got a very pungent smell - a bit like a cross between corroded metal and dry rot. I suppose their decrepit conditions add to the overall feeling of desolation and annihilation the band were always attempting to conjure up. I haven't heard Crass on CD, I find it a bit difficult to imagine a version of Nagasaki Nightmare without a loud constant popping during the spoken intro. I once played this to K***** (yeah, her) at 4am and the intro alone really freaked her out, I had to take it off. I hadn't heard anything by Yoko Ono or Nurse With Wound back then, this was the closest I'd got to having an 'avant garde' record at the time.

When I was 8, my brother and his mate decided to break into the Barbican to catch a Stockhausen performance one Saturday night, thinking it was going to be a riot. So the story goes, he took some acid, got thrown out of a bar for laughing, and rang my mum, demanding she tape the simultaneous live broadcast off Radio 3. In the meantime, he and his friend snuck into the auditorium through a fire door and fell asleep in the seats.

What freaked him out, he later told me, was that when he woke up an hour later, he was surrounded by outraged old blokes in dickie-bows and their fur coat-clad, pinched-faced wives, glaring at the couple of dishevelled punks spread out across the seats. He'd thought the place would fill up with beatniks and weirdos - not the Hampstead set, eager to gobble up culture. When the performance of Stimmung began, my brother and his mate necked some more acid and began laughing hysterically. When one of the performers in the group Sing Circle chanted, "I LIKE TO PEE - PEE ON A TREE", security were called to eject the two punks, who were now howling their heads off and knocking against rich old biddies' haircuts.

Anyway, oblivious to all this, I went into the kitchen to nick some food from the fridge, and heard this...noise coming out of the radio. I seriously thought I'd gone insane, just couldn't believe that a radio station was actually broadcasting a load of psychobabble by a bunch of atonal ghosts. This was my first real brush with the 'avant garde', and I wanted to hear more, even though I didn't understand what the hell was going on. The thought of being able to buy records that sounded like that was baffling, but very appealing. To me, Stockhausen's quite entertaining - sorry to sound like a philistine, but I've never read anything more serious into his pranks. Conducting a symphony in four helicopters sounds like a fun way to blow an arts grant to me.

So, anyway, Nagasaki Nightmare was my second brush, and I'll always be quite fond of it for that reason. Not sure about the B-side anymore, though. Actually, I haven't been sure about it since my 20th birthday.

The Flux of Pink Indians 7" was my brother's, and is in good condition, considering - not a tear or split in sight. Tube Disaster is great, and pretty much the only track on the EP I listen to anymore. As for DIRT, I love this EP, especially the Democracy / Dolls of Destruction side, which I bought for £3 in the sadly defunct High St Kensington Market, think I was 17? I'd managed to coax a friend into coming down to London to check out this venue. It was a superb place to hang out on a Saturday afternoon, provided you didn't mind a lungful of heavy joss-stick fumes and weren't claustrophobic. For a start, there were loads of punk and goth girls, just hanging around, pretending to be bored and eating katsu curry. The place sold interesting clobber and obscure records by bands you all know now, Mr and Mrs Connoisseur, but which we'd never heard of before.

Then there was the barber shack, where the hairdressers were all on drugs and turning crops into a violent art form. If you had a spare £100, they'd literally dye a snarling panther's face into the back of your head. Fucking hell, we both wanted one of those. The hairdressers would be wasted, playing Nutbush City Limits at full blast, and pouring toxic blue bleach over customers' barnets. The customers were allowed to smoke too. We couldn't afford tattoos either, so had to make do with haggling with the Asian storekeepers over £1.50 studded wristbands and shit like that.

High St Ken is a prosperous zone, packed with overpriced fashion boutiques and houses with windows that cost more than your entire year's rent, but the market was a beacon of hope in the mire. I bought my first ever copies of 'Vague' magazine there, stole a pile of unattended 7"s from the basement one day (all of which were rubbish and which I flogged down MVE - for a pittance of what the adrenaline rush cost me) and built up my immune resistance to joss sticks. Goa Trancers can't phase me.

In '94-'95, the place was shifting load of jungle 12"s - I liked the way it kept adapting to whatever I was seemingly into. Then, a few years later, it closed down to make way for some development, and I've never felt the need to go back. High St Ken is actually a hellish, boring craphole without streams of punks or raggamuffins lolling around at the zebra crossings. The day I bought the DIRT 7", we walked into Kensington College, just roaming the corridors, undisturbed, and checking out random rooms.

Anyway, what does the DIRT EP sound like? Try 'Sham 69 meets Crass with very high-pitched female vocals'. I love it - I'm getting a joss stick rush just glancing at the cover. Though, if I'd bought it in Crewe and had spent the day hanging round Platform 3, waiting for a train back to London, I probably wouldn't have kept it.
creepy how many similar memories in the blogworld... the same records, same places, same memories of the same places... loved the Coil 7inch obv. (though got mine in Sister Ray - travelled all the way from Yeovil to get it - these young uns with their interweb...); was kinda annoyed when LSD came out that the oddly recorded dirtybits of the single wasn't matched by the, er, cleaner murk of the album... even though i LSD later became my favourite Coil romp.... and as for Kensington Market - i used to spend ages staring at goth girls dragging themselves into rubber catsuits and getting their hair backcombed into infinity - sure i saw Danielle Dax there once, which was way too much luck for a young lad to take...
I saw a Danielle hanging out nearby there too - unfortunately it was Dani Behr though....
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