Zero Le Creche – Last Years Wife

I have just unearthed a classic that obviously has completely passed me by; then again, it was 32 years ago.zerolecreche01

Goth band ‘Zero le Creche’ released the Single ‘Last Years Wife’ (Flicknife) in 1984 hitting number 11 in the indie charts and was featured as runner up single of the week in the Melody Maker. Produced by Henry Padovani, it was their biggest hit in their short career and at the time was popular on the Goth scene.

I discovered this gem whilst reading the brilliant book ‘Sharp! Flicknife & Other Adventures’. On page 152 Zero Le Creche become Flicknife Records first Goth band signing and 32 years later, here I am searching them out on the Internet. I love the melodies and particularly the silky smooth vocals; the style is of the goth era, I’d say it has a commercial slant, sort of a ‘Psychedelic Furs’, early ‘Cure’ meets Bauhaus.

The band line up consisted of Andy Nakanza (vocals), Terry Miles (bass), Richard Ollie (drums) & Andy Mitchell (guitar). Not too long after this release Nakanza (real name Andy Manning & sometimes credited as Nkanza) quit the band and was replaced by vocalist Jamie Lord. In 1985 second single ‘Falling’ (Cherry Red) was released but without anything near the same success as their debut, soon after they disappeared from view. I suspect losing the original vocalist played a big part in this turn of misfortune which is a shame really.

They re-surfaced in 2008 with a 21 track album featuring all of the songs from the ‘Last Years Wife’ EP, second single ‘Falling’ and a host of previously unreleased studio recordings (plus one live). Another EP was released in 2010 entitled ‘Silence Speaks’.

Original vocalist Andy Nakanza resurfaced in 1986 fronting ‘Boom Boom Room’ releasing ‘Here Comes The Man’ (Epic) which peaked at 74 UK national charts in 1986.

Hindsight is always a better judge in life; for whatever reasons Andy Nakanza departed from the band, in my opinion, had he stayed, I think that both he and Zero Le Creche would have steered a much more successful direction and who knows! Maybe gone on to much bigger things.

Auto-Pilot – 8-Zero

Electronic music from the late 70’s to early 80’s is encapsulated in this latest release from Auto-Pilot. This album, with its retro sound & strong tracks really captures that magic era of Synth-pop. The early influences are all in there, Gary Numan, Japan, Human League, Kraftwerk etc

You can unearth this gem at the following links –

i-Tunes    Amazon     Junodownload

 

Japan – Gentlemen Take Polaroids

 

36 Years Ago Today…

Way back in the late 70’s to early 80’s a truly superb band existed making highly original music seemingly following no particular style. They were amongst a small numberjapan-gentlemen-take-polaroids-1 of similar bands that the press at the time labelled the New Romantics. Japan competed against the likes of Duran Duran, Visage & Spandau Ballet etc but being much less commercial in sound they tended to hover in the shadows. For me, Japan were, and still are, the true kings of the genre, the real leaders who deserved the crown purely for cool, originality and ability.

Exactly 36 years ago today, October 24th 1980, ‘Gentlemen Take Polaroids’ was the first Japan album released on Virgin. It received moderate success reaching 51 in the album charts and the single of the same name reaching 60. Two years later in 82, ‘Night Porter’ reached 29 in the UK singles chart.  For me, this album is one of the best there has ever been, admittedly, it is a matter of taste, all music is but something stirred real deep inside when I first listened. Something so refreshingly different, it really hit a nerve.

By 1983 the japan-gentlemen-take-polaroids-2band was no more, disintegrating into history. I had the real fortune of seeing them live not just once but twice during two different tours, the last of which was promoting their final album ‘Tin Drum’. Another great album and tour but that first gig, one year before remains to this day the best band & live experience I have ever seen and this album being amongst the best of the best.

If you have never heard Japan you could be in for a treat, maybe dive straight in and play ‘Night Porter’ with its haunting aura, just simply wow, what a song, a timeless classic beyond belief.

Track Listing –

  1. Gentlemen Take Polaroids
  2. Swing
  3. Burning Bridges
  4. My New Career
  5. Methods of Dance
  6. Ain’t The Peculiar
  7. Nightporter
  8. Taking Islands in Africa

Johnny Come Latelys – Messiah Complex Part 1 (EP)

Manchester, the sprawling metropolis of the north, home to so many of the coolest bands ever to have graced our music scene and within this melee of clambering talent sat Supajamma, fronted by ex Audioweb vocalist Sugar. Sadly the band with the wonderful fronting Sugar demised and dispersed into the world of ex band members.

Two of these ex band member, Simon Collier (bass) & Dan Adams (drumjcls), re-emerges in the form of ‘Johnny Come Latelys’ where Simon conceived, composed and performed almost all of this 4 track EP alone with a little help from Donna Marie Stevens (backing vocals). Take the vocals away and the overall sound still carries the ghost of Supajamma.

It oozes northern urban grit, harsh reality, just getting out of bed and trying to survive knowing you can see what others seemingly pass unnoticed.  It’s all rolled and mangled into one in this, the ‘Messiah Complex Part 1’…

Kicking off is ‘The Truth Behind The Lies’, with its harsh undercurrent of distortions and wavering vocals (aren’t pretty but suit to a T) washed in echo, its angry, its real and raw. A politically charged rant at the bad world we get spewing from our TV sets, the evil that men do, the lies that glorify and the possible bleak future facing us all etc. It’s a biting snarling track making its point very clearly and in the context of the whole offering is the ideal starter.

The following three tracks (from this 4 track EP), have more of the same subject wise but do vary the groove, being clever, well produced & interesting. The vocals are nowhere near sublime but suit the style and blend into this dark world of the Messiah Complex Part 1. For me, the stand out track has to be ‘Saved the Day’. A beautiful slow groove that drives on and on, the message remains the same but the feeling has dropped into a more acceptance of the World and society that we have no choice but to live within it.

It’s a solid EP, with a true message that’s delivered well, so head on over to Band Camp (links below) and downloads your copy of the Messiah Complex Part 1. Get mad about it!

Links – Band Camp

 

The Hermit – The Gate (broque.de 113)

Broque have a history or releasing superb electronic music covering the leftfield, fringe & ‘off the wall’ side of the style, all of which are totally free to download, latest offering being ‘the Gate’ from ‘The Hermit’, a spiritual theme & journey that does not disappoint. Soaked with an eerie feeling of post industrial electronica, laced with samples and drones, The Gate leaves the aftertaste of emotion long after playing.brq113

Almost a concept or is it full on, I don’t know but each track does bridge over
aiding your own mind to journey on through. Even the song titles suggest a journey or a mission of sorts arriving at the Gate after passing through the Gate Keeper we arrive at my first stand out track ‘Kumara’. This track with its deep driving drone bass really pulled me in there and made that connection.

Aftermath of ‘Kumara’ is ‘the Entrance’ so I take it I am about to leave the outside world and go inside. Well the sound and the mood certainly change at this point onward. Passing through ‘Mirrored’ & ‘Judge’ I now find my stand out number two in the form of ‘Totality’. This is a great synth sequence driven track with a real retro feel, like finding an old demo from the late 80’s and brushing it down with a new master. Final destination track ‘Sky Apokryphen’ (listed as a bonus track)  has that perfect end feeling.

Both weird and interesting in its audio designs and delivery, I like The Gate, I’ll leave it open and play some more when the mood takes me.

For more info and downloads go visit www.broque.de