I first discovered the majestic music on the B side of a Spacemen 3 flexi in the late ‘80s and, to be honest, I thought they were a bit shit – noise for noise sake and, as a huge fan of Swans, they sounded like pretenders to the noise throne.
It was the 4th single that blew my tiny mind though. ‘Scum’ was a 21-minute-long track where very little happens for a very long time, and where the acoustics of the crypt (where it was recorded) are as important as the sparse instrumentation. It remains, to this day, one of my all-time favourite pieces of music.
I saw them live only once, just after their sublime debut album (‘Hex’) and it was on the sad day that Labour’s John Smith died (I remember distinctly that that they introduced ‘Blue’ as ‘Blues for John Smith’). They played by the light of a Super-8 projector and made a huge noise that sounded nothing like the LP they were promoting. They were outstanding.
This record was released 11 years after the aforementioned gig, when the band were mostly a solo project of Graham Sutton, but still displays how utterly inventive they/he was – trumpets and jazz drumming and half-heard vocals. Limited to 500 copies, and I’ve got 3 of ‘em…