Friday, 13 November 2009

My long lost indie past - C86

In my first year at poly the nme issued the infamous tape "C86" showcasing all things indie. It has been credited with shoving indie guitar bands into the limelight and kick starting a movement. As with most things hindsight tends to have over inflated its importance, but at the time the bands who featured and others with a similar sound tended to dominate the singles i bought (a majority with some spectacular exceptions couldn't keep the quality going over an lp)

The full track listing was as follows

Side one
1.Primal Scream - "Velocity Girl"
2.The Mighty Lemon Drops - "Happy Head"
3.The Soup Dragons - "Pleasantly Surprised"
4.The Wolfhounds - "Feeling So Strange Again"
5.The Bodines - "Therese"
6.Mighty Mighty - "Law"
7.Stump - "Buffalo"
8.Bogshed - "Run to the Temple"
9.A Witness - "Sharpened Sticks"
10.The Pastels - "Breaking Lines"
11.Age of Chance - "From Now On, This Will Be Your God"
Side two
1.The Shop Assistants - "It's Up to You"
2.Close Lobsters - "Firestation Towers"
3.Miaow - "Sport Most Royal"
4.Half Man Half Biscuit - "I Hate Nerys Hughes (From The Heart)"
5.The Servants - "Transparent"
6.The Mackenzies - "Big Jim (There's no pubs in Heaven)"
7.Big Flame - "New Way (Quick Wash And Brush Up With Liberation Theology)"
8.Fuzzbox - "Console Me"
9.McCarthy - "Celestial City"
10.The Shrubs - "Bullfighter's Bones"
11.The Wedding Present - "This Boy Can Wait"

Most have disappeared to the world of occasional appearances at inflated prices on ebay. Some's influence outlived them and some are still going (although in the case of Primal Scream a million miles away from this sound.)

A few of the blogs I've been reading recently has reignited my love for some of these singles so I'm going to start posting a few

I'll start with 3 bands that featured on C86 and for me sum up 3 different categories

1) Patchy in the extreme - Mighty Mighty were a Birmingham band who released 1 lp and 6 singles. They summed up some of the bands from this era in that they had moments of brilliance and moments that just passed me by. I've posted what i think is their best track -

Once its gone so far there is only one way to go

2) The ones that Got Away - Bodines released a fantastic lp produced by Ian Broudie called "played" which the record company spent a load on , failed to sell and then saw the band dropped. I've posted their best single "Therese". It reminds me a bit of Orange Juice's Felicity (okay its got a girl's name as a title but it does jangle along at a great pace)

And I've found that it knocks me to the ground

It scares the health out of me

3) The Start of something Brilliant - The Wedding Present became the best known of the C86 bands (until Primal Scream blissed out) and are still going strong. David Gedge's lyrics are always great almost conversational in style and Favourite Dress are among his best

To see it all in a drunken kiss, a strangers hand on my favourite dress


  1. I was lucky enough to find an LP copy of this here in the US wayyyyy back in like '92 or something. Stumbled upon this here blog indirectly through I Was A Teenage Shoegazer by way of Madchester Rave On. Currently listening to That Uncertain Feeling - "Sunriser" ep. Cheers!

  2. Thanks for the comment J-Ro. Uncertain Feeling - great name for a band I'll see if I can get a listen to them

  3. oh, please please please post McCarthy, Celestial City. Love it even though it is only half remembered! Tried to see them live in Glasgow a couple of times but they never showed.
    Do you have the Mighty Mighty one with the lyric 'suedette and suntanned legs"

  4. Hi Rf
    I'm afraid my copy of C86 is just a very stretched tape so dont have the McCarthy track - I suggest you try "there and back again lane" (link under blog heaven on the side bar) I know thcCarthy tracks posted. I've got a bit of Mighty Mighty so will listen and post if i have it

  5. thanks!
    I'd given up on finding any of these long lost tracks pretty much - here in Australia the chances of actually buying the original vinyl is vanishingly small unfortunately. They were all listening to Cold Chisel and Midnight Oil back when Dave Gedge was singing about "some rare delight in Manchester town" (it took me years to decipher that lyric!)

  6. The Bodines single is one of the best from that era.


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