Monday, 19 December 2011

Two Bristol Greats...Glaxo Babies and The Pop Group

Glaxo Babies - Put Me On The Guest List.

This was originally released in August 1980 as a mid priced (£2.95) LP containing B-sides, Alternate versions and hard to find tracks from a prior incarnation of the band. Of all the Glaxo Babies releases I think this is my favourite. It holds together better than the follow up,  'Nine Months To The Disco'  and is head and shoulders above the later art rock leaning of the release. Falling squarely within the political post punk/agit pop leanings of better known bands like Gang of Four, The Au Pairs and The Mekons. On first listen 'Put Me on The Guest List' doesn't stray far from the formula. Edgy, spartan shards of guitar work of funk/dub bass-lines and regular/ metronomic drum with howled/screamed/ shouted vocals. For me though, they had that mystery X-Factor  that took them beyond their better known bretheran. And, in a cyclical twist that occurs regularly in music, the themes touched upon in the songs are oddly prescient of our life and times.

If you fancy a listen, Here it is.

The Pop Group - Assorted Live 1980

This falls squarely within the bootleg quotant, but is no the less enjoyable for it, and has a fair to good sound quality considering the tapes age.

The Pop Group were one of the oddest bands to form in the post punk era, eschewing the stripped down D.I.Y. leanings of many artists in favour of avant jazz leanings, hard funk rhythms and hard left political leanings they were not the easiest band to connect with on initial spins of their records.
Releasing two official albums 'Y', and 'For How Much Longer Will We Tolerate Mass Murder  and a hand full of bootlegs and semi official LP's which covered much of the same ground as the official releases.
Upon finally fragmenting due to internal tensions in 1981, their musical legacy continued on in bands such as Rip, Rig & Panic, Pigbag, Maximum Joy, Head Mark Stewart & The Mafia and the afor mentioned Glaxo Babies.

If you fancy a listen to this erratic and exhilarating band live, you can Here.

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