Dead Captain – EP

Once upon a time there were a few friends that got together and decided to form a band because of… naaa that’s been done before, try this one… Dan Adams (Cornelius Crane) along with writer/illustrator friend Dunstan Carter find a shoe box outside a pub in Ashton-Under-Lyne filled with a mix mash of scribbled notes, drawings and grainy old VHS tapes. Beneath the box is a message simply stating “Do something with this”.

Dead Captain

So the Dead Captain released their 4 track EP on the 17th of July drawing influence from discarded shoe boxes, classic Americana & the 90’s college rock scene.

First up is ‘This Old Village’, a micro glance over a northern village traditional event i.e. Morris dancing, stalls, kids with ice creams etc , yeah why do these things happen, I remember such things but now I have grown I truly do not know why (as a kid) I bought into this. Sure it still happens, it has a purpose and a public face but I still don’t get it. Beautiful meandering track, laid back rift with perfect lyrics to such a memory, thanks for that.

We’re out of the village and into the suburbs with ‘Looming Moon’, not so much as painting a picture in the mind but more like a walk through the dark streets with a paranoid tour guide. It’s a slight shift in style too, I’m loving the distortion guitar that’s slowly grinding away throughout the track.

‘Who Knows’ follows on in every way and by now I’m getting a real feel for the Captain and their general vibe, a sort of Northern abandonment which we up north tend to accept and in part don’t give a shit about anyway. Just the odd gripe but hey it’s grim up North mate. ‘Finale ‘Toddler Democracy. Is more up front with this theme and I completely agree, we live in echo chambers & democracy is spoon fed to us all.

I have to say I really like The Captain, it sounds fresh yet familiar, a ramble inside the mind of a Northern enigma. Back to that shoe box with the note that simply read “Do something with this”. Well they did something and here it is. Now your turn to do something after reading this article, get yourself a copy of this excellent EP, it’s here for a reason.

Out 17th July 2017 (Stereo Kill records)

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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.