Tag Archives: The Castle

Rocks In The Attic #221: Super Furry Animals – ‘Outspaced’ (1998)

RITA#221With many thanks to my university housemates of my third year, Ferg and Kaj, this album was my introduction to the Super Furries. Most other people found the band through their debut, Fuzzy Logic, which I turned to next, but this b-sides and rarities album was an ample introduction to one of the best – and most enduring – bands to have emerged during the ‘90s.

There’s nothing to dislike on this album – the Welsh songs from their Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyndrobwllantysiliogogogochynygofod (In Space) EP (a reissue of which I have in my 7” collection), their Moog Droog EP, and numerous b-sides from their first couple of albums. The jewel in the crown is The Man Don’t Give A Fuck – a 1996 single built around an obscene lyric from Steely Dan’s Show Biz Kids.

That song followed me around for a while – not only was it always one of my fall-back songs to play when DJing after I left university, but a poster for the single adorned the living room of a later shared house, thanks to fellow SFA-fan Moo.

Some b-sides albums by bands can be very patchy affairs, without the coherence of a studio-album’s structure to pull it together. SFA are such an odd band – playing across so many different musical styles, and making huge left turns at every single point in time – that this album gels just as well as their studio albums from around the same time. Because of that, I’ve always regarded it as album number three proper, due to the place it falls in their chronology.

This album holds some very nice memories – Ferg endlessly singing Guacamole to himself when the album was first released, seeing SFA play live at Glastonbury a year later and watching them encore with The Man Don’t Give A Fuck as a van drove slowly into the crowd assembled at The Other Stage (when people started to climb onto the van, a large black fellow, presumably the driver, looking like B.A. Baracus, also got up there and started throwing people off into the crowd – this whole bizarre scenario was captured in the film of the clip available on their Songbook DVD), playing songs from the album during my DJ sets at 38 Bar / The Castle in Oldham, and generally just coming back to these songs time and time again.

Hit: The Man Don’t Give A Fuck

Hidden Gem: Dim Brys: Dim Chwys

Rocks In The Attic #141: Herman Kelly & Life – ‘Percussion Explosion’ (1978)

This is another throwback to my days DJing in and around Manchester. When I started DJing on Friday nights at 38 Bar / The Castle in Oldham, I initially wondered how I was going to fill so much time, from 7:30pm to midnight every week.

I’d heard that a friend of a friend, Danny Buckley – who we would rechristen Danny Beetle – was an aspiring DJ, so I roped him into playing for an hour or so each week. It was probably very good for me that I did this. Danny opened my ears to many different types of music that I never would have unearthed myself.

One such example is Dance To The Drummer’s Beat, by the ‘70s Miami band Herman Kelly & Life. This track really grooves, punctuated throughout by an overdose of cowbell which, to borrow a phrase from the liner notes, sounds like a ‘beautiful, twitching, ticking musical time bomb’.

Hit: Dance To The Drummer’s Beat

Hidden Gem: Do The Handbone

Rocks In The Attic #103: The Clint Boon Experience – ‘The Compact Guide To Pop Music & Space Travel’ (1999)

Rocks In The Attic #103: The Clint Boon Experience - ‘The Compact Guide To Pop Music & Space Travel’ (1999)Ex-Inspiral Carpet and local boy done good Clint Boon started this band as I was playing in a band in Oldham at the same time. They even used to use the same rehearsal rooms as we did (but then again so did Thin Lizzy, but that’s a story for another day). Being the only venue in Oldham dedicated to Indie and Britpop, the band also used to come into 38 Bar / The Castle on weekends, where I would DJ. One such evening got me Clint’s autograph on this record.

I think I only bought this album on the strength of White No Sugar, which really is a decent tune (although the mix on the re-release version of the single is far superior to the mix on this album). The rest of the album isn’t that great – it’s exactly as you would imagine an organ-based Britpop album to sound like.

The most grating thing about this album is the opening track – an eight minute poem about Oldham recited by Boon’s American wife against a jazz inflected background. Sheer indulgence and a track that immediately turns you off the album as soon as you’ve turned it on.

I remember DJing once, and in the bar that night was Richard Stubbs – bass player in The Clint Boon Experience, and a bit of a prick thinking he was the local rock star (although I later found out that only Clint was signed to a record contract – the rest of the band was simply hired help). Stubbsy’s girlfriend walked over to my booth and asked me: “Can you play a song for Stubbsy. It’s his birthday. You know, Stubbsy – from The Clint Boon Experience.” “Who?” I replied, “Ken Boon? Never heard of him.”

Hit: White No Sugar

Hidden Gem: You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down

Rocks In The Attic #90: JJ72 – ‘JJ72’ (2000)

Rocks In The Attic #90: JJ72 - ‘JJ72’ (2000)This album is much better than I remember. I must have liked the band enough to go out and buy the album, but I haven’t listened to it for about 10 years.

JJ72 were a band that was small enough to be playing The Castle in Oldham when I used to DJ, but still big enough (and talented enough) to be signed and to be releasing albums like this. I remember DJing the night they played – which means I probably also did their lights – but I don’t think I met them because if memory serves, they didn’t stick around to meet anybody after their set.

Hit: October Swimmer

Hidden Gem: Long Way South

Rocks In The Attic #33: Dark Star – ‘Twenty Twenty Sound’ (1999)

Rocks In The Attic #33: Dark Star - ‘Twenty Twenty Sound’ (1999)I bought this during the time I used to DJ on Saturday nights at 38 Bar / The Castle, in Oldham. I remember this came out very close to the time that Muse’s first album came out and, to me at least, both bands sound very similar. At least Dark Star sound like the incarnation of Muse on their first album.

It’s odd – I had my money on both bands at the time, but when I think about it, I bought this on vinyl – not Muse’s Showbiz. Looking back, of the two records, Showbiz is the better album, although I would put Twenty Twenty Sound’s lead single I Am The Sun is just as good as anything on Showbiz.

It’s a shame that the band didn’t really go anywhere – I Am The Sun is a fantastic song, and the album was produced by Steve Lillywhite of all people. Wikipedia says they did a second album, but that it remains unreleased.

Hit: I Am The Sun

Hidden Gem: Vertigo