This is a find from my junior cratedigging days in the eighties. I was in a phase where I had started listening to sixties garage rock (Nuggets…) and would pick up anything that seemed to fit into that. Magic Lanterns was promising by name, but did not deliver any fuzz. It took me several years and some expansion into other genres to discover that this was a gem. Well, at least this b-side, a funky soul rock number. The a side, Give me love, is pretty lame.
Apparently, this band had some well known artists passing through the roster, like Godley and Creme, and Albert Hammond. And they had one Oz Osborne on bass. No, not that Ozzy.
The Nomads have been the kings of the Swedish garage rock scene for more than thirty years now. I have seen them a number of times during the years, and even though their records have had their ups and downs, they have been a consistently excellent live act. They will play The Pipeline in London 11 Oct, catch them if you can.
This 45 from 1991 I found in a block sale, the kind where a number of people on the same street or block have joint garage sales. I have to say it’s one of their better songs. They started mainly covering 60s songs in Nuggets style, but went on to write originals. If you want to get into them, start with Outburst that collects their two first sixtrack MPs, and then first full-length album Hardware.
Ronno has been on my (not so short) list of artists-I-have-heard-but-want-to-get more-into for some time. So, when the discerning record digger finds a copy of Slaughter on 10th Avenue wedged between a crate of books and a table le at the Sunday marketg, no faffing about. Of course, the record is rattling about in the cover without an inner sleeve, and of course, it is suitably grimy, but not scratchy. So a deal of 10 kronor (around 1€ or £1, currency fluctuation notwithstanding) is struck. After cleaning up, it’s not a top copy, but a reasonable play copy.
I was thinking about not mentioning the B-word, but I just can’t help it. Bowie Bowie Bowie. So, I’ve done it, no going back. And there is a solid case:
- Mick arranged and played on Bowie’s 70-73 albums, including Ziggy.
- Three song credits to Bowie.
- Recorded with the Pinups lineup of Bolder, Dunbar, Garson.
- Managed by Bowies MainMan setup.
Mick’s vocal style is similar to the main man in Ziggy mode, but the range is not comparable. Overall, you get a feeling of outtakes from the Bowie camp. Love Me Tender does no do that much to me, I’m not even that much into it with Elvis, and here it is over-exploited. Maybe something that works in a live setting. The song that gets to me is Music Is Lethal, end of side one. Verse is Mick on vocals and guitar, and chorus is full orchestral arrangement, built up like an early Scott Walker song.
Finding a record by The Damned in a charity shop, what are the odds? Generally, you don’t find a lot punk related. The time for clearing out the belongings of old punks and punkettes has not come yet. The little you find, I have a theory about that. It happens that teenagers leave their old vinyl, along with the interest of music in general, at their parents house when they leave home for university. And the parents of punks seem to be just in the age when they are clearing out the house to move to a smaller place. Just a theory.
Anyway, this is the last single featuring Captain Sensible in the first run of The Damned, and it was not on any album. It sounds commercial, but has a really good drive to it, and the chorus is properly punched in. I stopped listening to The Damned after The Black Album, but I should look up the albums after that, like Anything, Strawberries, Phantasmagoria.
And, I am going to see The Damned in a month, when they come to my hometown, Malmö. What were the odds for that?
Nattkräm (night cream in English) was a Swedish power pop band in late 70s/early 80s. They recorded two self produced 45s which now turn up on comps in the KBD style.
This is their only album, found today on the Sunday fleamarket. They were compared to The Records in their time, but that has to be in the loosest sense. I hear some tight ringing guitars, but overall it’s let down by pretty lame vocals and lyrics. A few good songs though.
My other find today was a UK Subs album, Endangered Species from 82. They were a bit past their prime by then…
Got up early to go to two car boot sales today. First one was dry, barely any vinyl/seedees around and I clocked two semi-professional diggers that would scoop up anything remotely interesting. The kind that hang around newly arrived cars, rummaging in boxes as they are taken out of the trunk, generally over-protective like firmly blocking adjacent crates they have yet to dig with their elbows.
Second one was more rewarding, at least six crates of vinyl to dig in. And I came home with three records, courtesy of Eva who had carefully named the records with a marker.
Best of the lot was definitely Open by Brian Auger, Julie Driscoll and the Trinity. Soul jazz with the right groove. They have one side each, with Auge’s being mostly instrumental, but I think they are equally enjoyable. It appears Eva bought it in the UK, as there is a small £2 price sticker. If I had noticed, I would have asked Eva.
It’s a UK mono press on the gorgeous Marmalade label. Came with no inner sleeve, and some light marks but plays very good. These 60’s pressings can really take a beating, compared to newer records which can look NM but play F. I can see myself playing this tonight with a cocktail in my hand.
I didn’t have anything by John Fahey, so I was thrilled when I found this compilation at a car boot sale, 5 or 10 kronor, I don’t remember. It’s a Swedish compilation on the Sonet label, basically a Swedish label, but this one is curiously issued by Sonet UK. The orange seal with a price is a classic 70s/80s bargain bin price tag. You would see these on records in large overstock bins in supermarkets, electronic stores, gas stations…
Overstock bins could sometimes be treasure troves. You would find obscure records that had been sitting in the large distributor warehouse (there was basically just one big distributor at the time, apart from a few tiny indies), unsold or returned from stores.
John Fahey? This is seriously good stuff. Acoustic blues-folk picking at its best. I don’t hold my breath waiting to find more by him in a crate, but if I do, don’t mind if I do.
Today I made a field trip to an out-of-bounds village with two objectives:
1. Picking mushrooms (no, not that kind, just ordinary ceps). I didn’t find any, too little rain I guess.
2. The local charity shop. The village is a bit out of the way from just about anywhere. This means that if you get there the same day they put out some new stuff, there’s a reasonable chance to get something good. Usually, either you find the same box of records that was there two months ago, or on a good day, a fresh new box to dig.
Today was not that day. But flipping through the 45s, I found this one cool item. Blodwyn Pig – Dear Jill/Sweet Caroline. Pink Island label, Swedish pressing and picture cover, the kind that is folded into a plastic sleeve. Usually, these are in better condition than 45s in regular paper sleeves. Many of these picture covers are not that professionally designed, in this one you can see some shoddy lettering work around the y in Blodwyn.
This is the first thing I’ve heard from Blodwyn Pig, blues rock with some jazzy interludes. Promising, but a bit blues rock by the numbers.
Condition-wise, OK-ish. No big issue, could do with a good clean up. All in all, a good 5 kronor (50 p/cent) spent.
So, introduction needed perhaps. I have always been a crate digger, from the mid 70’s and on. I paused in the late 90’s and early noughties on account of getting a house, family, jobs, haircuts and so on, but lately the disease has struck again. So, now I’m back to haunting the car boot sales, charity shops and yard sales of south Sweden.
I’ll post both recent finds and not so recent finds.
My header picture is actually two items dug up from crates. On the left, you see a “Spisarbox”, a handy case for storing your prized 45 collection, also handy when taking them over to your friend to listen. You can lock it with the keys to avoid undesired handling of the records, and there is an index card included. The Spisarbox was produced in the 50’s and 60’s by Alstermo Bruk, a Swedish fibreboard case/box factory, but they have re-introduced an upgraded version. Available in both LP and 45 format, a small box is around 40€. I picked up my red box in a flea market in the mid-80’s.
On the right you see a Swedish issue of Deep Purple’s Fireball. Cover in tatters, and the vinyl is all crackle and pop, no snap. I found it in a pile of records at a garage sale. When the owner saw the condition, she wanted to give it to me, but I handed over a nominal sum (a small coin). I put it in a frame, because it has little use for playing while the cover is very distinct for Swedish late 60’s/early 70’s picture sleeves.