THE PRISONERS - A Taste Of Pink!

THE PRISONERS  A Taste Of Pink! lp 1982 cd 2003
Better in Black / A Taste of Pink / Maybe I Was Wrong / Creepy Crawlies / There Can't Be a Place / Pretend / Coming Home / Threw My Heart Away / Come to the Mushroom / Till the Morning Light / Say Your Prayers / Don't Call My Name / Baby Come Alive / Pretend / There's A Time / Lilac Reflections / Talking Bout My Baby / Don't Call My Name / Say Your Prayers / Somewhere / Love Changes.
The Prisoners: Graham Day: vocals, guitar / James Taylor: organ / Allan Crockford: bass / Johnny Symons: drums.
"There is something about a rock'n'roll band that appeals. I think it's the feeling that with a little effort we could all be up there, guitars in hand. It is this do it yourself" ethic that ensures that the popularity of guitar-based groups endures, and that even when the hot light of publicity is shining elsewhere those bands will still be formed. At the moment the classic garage band sound is very much back in vogue, coming from US bands such as the White Stripes from Detroit and their ilk. These bands and their members have been playing for years with little publicity and would have carried on doing so regardless of success. This is a similar situation to the scene that formed around the Medway towns just outside London, in the early 80s which produced many bands-.-notably the Milkshakes with leader Billy Childish, but also the Prisoners, whose rough-hewn take on 60s psych and garage made them one of the great "lost" bands of the 1980s. This unique re-issue of their debut album "A Taste Of Pink!" with additional tracks shows the band development from their earliest home demo through to their move outside their local area onto a wider audience.
The Prisoners formed in 1980 when Allan Crockford, Graham Day and Johnny Symons formed a band at school in Rochester. It was pretty basic stuff, Graham on guitar, Allan on bass and Johnny on drums, mixing punk and 60s influences, rehearsals at parents' homes and maybe the odd gig in between exams. 1981 saw the band take things more seriously, and the band expanded to a four piece with the addition of Bruce Brand from the Milkshakes as a second guitarist, which brought with it a stronger R&B flavour. This arrangement didn't last long and the far more important discovery for the year was Graham's voice as a songwriter.
Late in 1981 (Allan thinks November) the band recorded a home demo as a three piece. It's an interesting document which we present here for the first time. Obviously a little rough around the edges, the band is nonetheless a tight outfit with all the power you could want from a guitar trio. The songs include the previously unheard "Talking Bout My Baby", which is strongly marked by one of Graham's biggest influences at that time, the Pretty Things. Two of the other songs, "Don't Call My Name" and "Say Your Prayers", would be recorded again for "A Taste Of Pink!". The final song,"Lilac Reflections", is a bit of a discovery, an early live favourite, still liked by Allan and Graham. This is the first time you will have ever heard it unless you were at the early gigs. These demos once again showed the touch of the Milkshakes as that band's Russell Wilkins helped in the recording - something that he did on and off throughout the Prisoners' career.
The Prisoners became a four piece in early 1982 with the addition of Jamie Taylor on organ. James, like the others, was in the same year at Rochester Mathematical School - and was Johnny Symons' best mate. Originally he played a modern Casio keyboard, which was given a distinct sound by playing its organ sound - loud - through a valve amplifier. The organ and Graham's songs gave the Prisoners a distinctive sound, allowing them their own niche within the local scene. Throughout the first half of 1982 they played all the local venues, most notably the Medway Indian Club (MIC), where they would later record a live album with the Milkshakes.

The Milkshakes were a discernable influence on the Prisoners' attitudes and it was their "get up and get on with it yourself" ethos that convinced the band that they could just go and record an album. So with money saved from their gigs - looked after by Allan's then girlfriend - and the spur of Jamie's impending exodus to university in Newcastle, the band recorded "A Taste Of Pink!". The album was recorded in two days at a studio in Herne Bay. The first day - a Sunday - saw the putting down of backing tracks and guide vocals recorded live to tape. The following Sunday the lead vocals and any lead instrumental parts were overdubbed. Due to the imminent birth of the engineer's daughter the whole thing was mixed down in an hour.
It is this album that announced the band to the world outside the Medway. The album was pressed at Mayking Records in the Portobello Road, West London after Allan and Graham had made up the sleeve the previous night at Graham's kitchen table. They had scraped enough money together to press 500 copies - not that they could really have expected to sell many more. They only had two or three weeks to sell the album at gigs before James left and they all thought that would be that.
Two things happened to change it all. Firstly, James lasted a mere three days at university before he returned and re-joined. Secondly, the album started to build a following for its blend of exuberant 60s influenced garage rock. It may well be a highly primitive recording, but from the opening blast of Better In Black to the undisguised snarl of "Don't Call My Name" a mere 30 odd minutes later, this is dirty, adrenaline-fuelled guitar music, short, sharp and aimed straight for the jugular. John Peel played "Better In Black" and Rough Trade ordered a couple of hundred copies. The Prisoners were starting to make a mark in the wider world. Those 200 copies sold out and Rough Trade ordered 500 more, a process that repeated itself for the next few years.
When we were trawling the tape archive for this CD we discovered a track that for some reason hadn't made the final album. Allan thinks that the band may have thought it was too Jam-like at the time. Today, "Baby Come Alive" sounds like a great rush of energy and it makes a fine addition to the album. Due to the non-availability of the mixed master, this is a monitor mix with Graham's guide vocal.
The next two tracks are both recorded live, but in recording studios. "There's A Time"  is a song that appeared as a French 45 on the Skydog label in 1983. This version is an out-take from the split album recorded with the Milkshakes at Oakwood Studio. The "A Taste Of Pink" track "Pretend"  is taken from a Belgium radio performance that also saw the band doing "One Mint Julep" and the Small Faces' "Grow Your Own". The session ended with Johnny Symons pushing over the speaker stacks and the bands (the Prisoners shared the session with the Milkshakes) having to hand back their gig money to pay for the damage.
Once James Taylor re-joined, the band continued playing gigs around Kent. They didn't play their first London gig until January 1983, at the Moonlight Club in Hampstead with the Barracudas. This was on the same night that BBC Radio Kent broadcast a session with the band recorded at the station's studios. From this session we have lifted the earliest version of a new song "Somewhere", that would appear on the band's second album "Wisermiserdemelza". January 1983 was also when the early version of "Love Changes" was performed at a gig at Quines in Canterbury. The night in question was nearly empty due to some atrocious snowy weather.
1983's live work and the small but dedicated crowd of people who had discovered "A Taste Of Pink!" represented an upward curve for the band. This would be confirmed by signing to the Big Beat label and national TV appearances in the following year. It was an exciting time for an exciting band. D. Rudland (Source)
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JESSE HECTOR - Gorilla Garage: The Jesse Hector Story

JESSE HECTOR  Gorilla Garage: The Jesse Hector Story  cd  2005
J. Hector & The Gatecrashers: Carolina / In My Soul / Summertime Blues // J. Hector & The Sound: Leavin Town / Running Wild // The Gorillas: Foxy Lady / Outa My Brain / I'm a Liar / New York Groover / Last Train / Message To The World / Gatecrasher / She's My Gal / The Hammersmith Gorillas: You Really Got Me / Leavin' Home // Helter Skelter: I Need You / Goodbye Baby // Crushed Butler: Factory Crime / Love Is All Around Me // J. Hector & The Rock 'n' Roll Trio: Fact Train To Memphis.
Jesse Hector was born in 1947, in Kilburn, northwest London, England. He played in bands from the age of 11, first the Rock and Roll Trio, and then the R&B-influenced band The Cravats.Cravats bassist Adrian Stambach joined mod outfit The Clique in 1963. Hector reformed the Rock and Roll Trio before starting two more short-lived bands, The Way of Life and the Mod Section. Then he went on to form the proto-punk band Crushed Butler in 1969 with drummer Darryl Read and bassist Alan Butler. After a brief flirtation with EMI Records, the band was renamed Tiger, until Darryl left to join the glam rock group Dizzy. After Darryl's departure they changed name again to Helter Skelter. With the addition of drummer Gary Anderson, the band became The Hammersmith Gorillas, taking their name from London's pro-Castro activist group the Hammersmith Guerillas.

The band's debut release was a cover version of The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" on the Penny Farthing label, produced by Larry Page, and timed to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the original release. They then signed to Chiswick Records, recording two singles for the label, and building a loyal fanbase, before moving on to Raw Records.In 1976, they played at the Mont-de-Marsan Punk Festival in the south of France along with The Damned and Eddie and the Hot Rods. After two more singles in 1978, the band's debut (and only) studio album "Message to the World" was issued on Damaged Good Records. Hector was noted for his extravagant sideburns, and was a keen self-publicist, declaring The Gorillas to be "the future of rock music". He was influenced by several dead rock stars, and several tracks on the band's album were performed in the style of his heroes, including a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" and "Going Fishing" performed in the style of Marc Bolan. They returned to Chiswick in the early 1980s for the "Move It" single, before splitting up after Butler died. Hector continued to regularly perform live around London, working with a new band, The Jesse Hector Sound, in the early 1990s, with bassist Kevin White and drummer Gilles Baillarguet. The band issued a single in 1991, "Leavin' Town" on the Clawfist label. When the group split in 1993, Hector assembled a new band, The Gatecrashers, named after a Gorillas single, contributing to several retro-garage rock compilations and releasing an EP in 2000, "Keep on Moving".
Hector now works as a cleaner at The Royal Geographical Society, and was the subject of a documentary film in 2008, A Message To The World, directed by Caroline Catz, which was shown as part of the Raindance festival, and at the Barbican as part of its "Pop Mavericks" season.


THE RIFFS - Underground Kicks

THE RIFFS  Underground Kicks  cd  2000
Throwin' It All Away / Johnny Johnny / Don't Wanna Die This Way / It's Too Late / Streets Of Tomorrow / Underground Kicks / Motorvator / Kamikaze / Gun In Your Back / In The City / Waitin' For The Man.
The Riffs: Tony Mengis: vocals / Amphetamine Blue: guitars, backup vocals / Saigon Shakes: guitar / Dogs Body: guitars and vocals / Toni Transmission: drums.
In the early 2000s, there were at least three bands calling themselves the Riffs. One was a British ska band, another was a New Jersey band that had a retro '70s outlook and cited Grand Funk Railroad, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Rod Stewart as primary influences. The focus of this bio, however, is a punk band from Portland, OR. Influenced by both American and British bands, Portland's Riffs are a snarling, in-your-face outfit that recalls the classic punk bands of the late '70s and early '80s. The Portland, OR-based residents are totally unaffected by the emocore bands that were all over alternative rock radio in the '90s and early 2000s and their music is a passionate, unapologetic throwback to the old school punk of the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Dead Boys, and Sham 69. The Riffs' sound isn't entirely American or entirely British, although pioneering British punks like the Sex Pistols, Sham 69, and the Clash have greatly influenced the band and their sound has also been affected by American bands such as the Dead Boys. The Riffs, which formed in the '90s, have also claimed some pre-punk bands as influences, most notably T. Rex (as in "Bang a Gong"). The Riffs' lineup consists of lead singer Tony Mengis, Dogsbody, Amphetamine Blue, Saigon Shakes, and drummer Carl. Before the Riffs, these artists belonged to other Portland punk bands: The Riffs includes former members of the Champions, Deathcharge, Defiance, and Resist. The Riffs' first full-length album, "Underground Kicks", was released on the Pelado label in 1999. In 2001, the Riffs signed with TKO, a Richmond, VA-based indie that has specialized in hardcore punk. In March 2002, TKO released their second ("Dead End Dream") and their third album ("Death Or Glory") in 2003, on both CD and LP. Source
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Saving Norton Records after Hurricane Sandy from Dust & Grooves on Vimeo.


Your help is still desperately needed here at Norton HQ to assist in our recovery from the destruction of Norton’s Red Hook warehouse at the hands of Hurricane Sandy. There are more records that can be saved, but we are still racing the clock to salvage them before they dry. If you want to help with Norton Records salvaging effort at our office in Prospect Heights (Brooklyn, NY), please contact us ASAP at nortonrec@aol.com with VOLUNTEER in the subject line or call 917 671-7185 (Billy) or 718 789-4438 (office). We will reply with info.

Please alert NY friends. We have had a great deal of help but we can use much more!!

The Norton staff



VA - Bande de France Vol. 1

VA  Bande De France Vol. 1 lp  1981
TICKET (Nantes): Howard Hughes /  LES STANDARDS (Bordeaux): Les Avions Pirates / VINYL STREET (Le Havre): (Live On) Fire / PATRICK EUDELINE (Paris): Dernière Danse / ROBERTO & THE PAPARAZZI (Le Havre): She's Heartbreaker/ ROUGE BAISER: Folie Robotique / JEROME SOLIGNY (Le Havre): A Song For Ziggy / PRIVATE JOKES (Nantes): Flux / LES STAGIAIRES (Bordeaux): Conduite Intérieure / ROCK CRITIC ON FLAME WITH R'n'R / LES TRICHEURS (Juvisy): Repose Beethoven.
"Bande (s?) de France Vol. 1" est une compilation de groupes de rock français sortie en 1981. Le punk et son "Do It Yourself" ont fait des émules et de nombreux groupes s'activent en France à cette époque-là. Les compilations s'enchaînent plus ou moins bonnes: "Weekend à Nice", "Rock'n'Rennes", "Fireball","Studios W.W. - 91 quai de la gare" etc.
"Bande de France Vol.1" (il n'y eu pas de Vol. 2 à ma connaissance) propose des groupes de différentes villes. De Nantes, nous viennent Ticket avec un "Howard Hughes" tranchant que n'auraient pas renié les Stilettos. Patrick Eudeline malgré toute l'admiration que je lui porte, nous titube une "Dernière Danse" pas très convaincante. Les Standards et les Stagiaires portent haut les couleurs de Bordeaux mais je suis souvent peu objectif avec les goupes en "St". Jérôme Soligny, plus connu comme journaliste et écrivain propose son premier titre en solo "A song for Ziggy": une chanson pour Ziggy , normal de la part de Soligny grand fan de Bowie devant l'éternel mais à laquelle on préfèrera n'importe quel titre de "Two Years Old" son premier long jeu sorti chez Closer en 1985. Je préfère ne rien dire de Private Jokes et encore moins de Rouge Baiser sinon que ce n'est pas ma tasse de thé !
En fait les chansons de "Bande de France" enregistrées ou mixées "dans les meilleures conditions précaires possibles" souffrent d'un son plutôt léger voire limite !
Oui mais voilà, à l'époque les fans complétistes de Bijou et de Little Bob ne pouvaient pas laisser passer l'objet sans l'acheter. Pour des raisons contractuelles, leurs groupes préférés avançaient masqués...

Les Tricheurs balancent un fougueux "Repose Beethoven" adaptation  française de "Roll Over Beethoven" que n'aurait pas reniée Eddy lui-même! Ces Tricheurs trichant sur leur nom c'est BIJOU accompagné de Chris Spedding et enregistré live au Palais des Sports de Paris, en Juin 1979. Roberto & The Paparazzi  vient du Havre où il est plus connu sous le nom de Little Bob. Little Bob dont Guy Georges Gremy fut le fulgurant guitariste! On le retrouve ici dans Vinyl Street dont "(Live On) Fire" est le seul témoignage d'un groupe éphémère.
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TEENAGE KNOCKOUTS - Japanese, Murdercycles, Guitar's and Gun's

TEENAGE KNOCKOUTS  Japanese, Murdercycles, Guitar's and Gun's 10'' 1999
Flip, Twist And Shout / South Side Shuffle / Don't Get Close To Me / Blvd. / School Girl Desire / Time + Time Again / Too Far Gone / Chainsaw Love.
Produced by Teenage Knockouts.
Teenage Knockouts: Buddy Boy: lead guitar, vox / Chic Dagger: vox / Michael Amour: bass, vox / Kevin Kamikaze: drums / Flip Jaguar: guitar, vox.
The TKO's (or the Teenage Knockouts) were a 90's punk rock band from Cleveland, Ohio like The Dead Boys. And like them they know how to do it ! Pure punk with a big touch of rock'n'roll !!!

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Thanks to Franck.


TICKET - Coup de Bol à Marrakech

TICKET Coup de bol à Marrakech LP 1985
Ramdam des tam-tams / Toutes les filles / Top models / Candy Annie / Jamais pour toujours / Les monte-en-l'air / New York à Shangaï / Coup de bol à Marrakech.
Produced by Jean-William Thoury.
"...Les pop modèles… (1979-1986)
Chez eux, pas de cuirs, pas de jeans, pas de "tiags" mais des costards bien propres, des Creepers, des coupes de cheveux trop "nickel" et des gueules trop polies pour être honnêtes… Pas non plus d’histoires de galères, de voitures ou de pessimisme politique mais des textes graves, cyniques, optimistes et parfois drôles…
Aujourd’hui encore, de nombreux musiciens nantais avouent avoir eu envie de monter sur scène grâce à Ticket, à leur rock-pop différente, leurs mélodies imparables et les chœurs et refrains qui tuent… C’est le cas notamment des Elmer Food Beat qui vouaient un culte sans faille à Ticket.
Leur rock moderne, qu’ils situent "Entre Starshooter, Bob Marley et le rock anglais…" est inspiré des Graham Parker, Costello, Clash ou XTC.
Le groupe séduit Patrice Blanc Francard qui passe leur concert de mai 1981 à Rennes en direct sur France Inter, dans son émission "Loup-garou".
La formation comprend à l'époque Kelu, Yves Le Rolland, Cyril Wiet et Jean-Michel Daniau.
Ces trois derniers sont alors sollicités par Kent qui vient de quitter Starshooter pour participer à un album et une tournée. Le groupe suit, part vivre à Paris, affirmant ne pas être séparé mais juste en stand-by pour quelques mois.
En 1985 sort l’album "Coup de bol à Marrakech" produit par Jean-William Thoury (Bijou) sur le label Surfin‘bird.
Ticket fera ses adieux lors d'un concert à Rezé en 1986.
On retrouvera à de très nombreuses reprises les membres de Ticket dans d’autres aventures musicales au fil des années 80 et 90 : Kelu avec Elmer Food Beat et Ternil, Jean-Michel aux côtés de Gilles Tandy… Quant à Yves Le Rolland, il est, depuis pas mal d'années maintenant, producteur de l’émission des Guignols sur Canal plus..." Source
A noter qu'on trouve sur You Tube certaines videos dans lesquelles on peut constater le potentiel de Ticket en concert.

"C'est en 1977 que le groupe se forme, et c'est courant 1979 qu'ils optent pour Ticket, en hommage au "Ticket To Ride" des Beatles.Cette même année sort le premier titre "Howard Hugues" sur la compilation "Bande de France. vol 1". Originaires de Nantes, le groupe fait de nombreux concerts, courant 1980, joue au Globe, aux Transmusicales à Rennes. En 1981, ils jouent à Bobino avec Les Stagiares et Valérie Lagrange, puis enregistrent sur la compilation"Rock'n'Rennes" le titre "Nettoyage". En 1982, parait leur premier 45 tours "Funanbule/Pourquoi moi?" un auto produit tiré à 2000 exemplaires. Pendant l'année 1984, la formation se compose de Luc Boisseau "Kelu", Yves Le Roland, Cyril Wiet et de Jean-Michel Daniau. Ils partent à la conquête de Paris et jouent au Rose Bonbon où ils font de belles rencontres puisque ce soir là Kent, Vincent Palmer et Olive sont dans la salle. De retour à Nantes, ils participent à la comédie musicale "Wouap dou Wouap" crée par le Théatre de Nuit. Yves, Cyril et Jean-Michel sont sollicités par Kent (qui vient de quitter Starshooter) pour participer à son premier album "Amours Propres" puis à la tournée qui suit la sortie du lp. Yves Le Rolland (batteur et futur producteur des Guignols sur Canal +) quitte le combo pour rentrer à Radio France, et c'est Patrice Lequesne qui le remplace.
C'est cette formation qui enregistre en 1985, sur le label parisien Surfin'Bird, l'excellent album "Coup de bol à Marrakech". Produit par Jean-William Thoury qui lui concocte un son clair mais puissant qui s'apparente parfois à celui des Valentinos, ce mini lp de huit titres propose quelques perles powerpop dont l'imparable "Toutes les filles" qui a tout du hit instantané.Ticket fait partie de ces groupes français à guitares des années 80 (Valentinos, Snipers, Surrenders, Stilettos...) adeptes d'une "ligne claire" en provenance directe des Groovies de "Shake Some Action", des Barracudas de "Mean Time" et plus loin des Byrds. Pour ne rien gâcher le groupe sait trousser de véritables chansons dotées de bons textes (Les monte-en-l'air).
La promotion restera trop confidentielle par manque de moyens et devant le peu de succès, le groupe se séparera en 1986. Un véritable gâchis !  Source
Ticket was a french powerpop band from Nantes. If you like other french bands like les Valentinos, The Snipers, Les Calamités or les Stilettos check this one,  you will not be disappointed !
Thanks to Mr D. & Fabien !
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THE POP MODELS  King Of Love / Listen To Him (Baby She Loves You)  7'' 1984
The Pop Models: Luc Ovlof: vocals, whistles / John Stid: bass / Dr Broc: guitars / Les Gaufrettes: backing vocals / Bert Darin: keyboards / Charles Benaroch: drums, percussions.
It seems that under the name of The Pop Models were some members of  the band Ticket !
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TICKET - Funambule

TICKET  Funambule / Pourquoi moi  7'' 1982
Produced by Ticket & J.P. Boyer.
plus "Howard Hughes" from the lp "Bande de France Vol. 1" and "Nettoyage" from the lp "Rock 'N' Rennes"

Ticket: Jean-Michel Daniau: guitar, vocals / Cyril Wiet: bass / Yves Le Roland: drums.
Ticket was a good french power pop band from Nantes...


DIG IT! N° 56

DIG IT! N° 56 out NOW!
Buy it or subscribe HERE!