Monday, January 5, 2015

The PROMISE - rediscovered 80s POP gold!

Watching the latest run of ABC's RAGE RETRO MONTH (2015), I immediately noticed a very cool sounding band called 'The PROMISE'.

I decided to do a little research, and found absolutely nothing dedicated to them, apart from a handful of videos put up by one of the band-members.

Here's what I've found -

The PROMISE

Band founded: 1983 (or slightly earlier)
Band break-up: 1987 (or early 1988)

Record label: PAROLE RECORDS, which have some affiliation with FESTIVAL RECORDS

Reason for break-up - negotiations broke down whilst working up a USA record deal. Sounds a little like Moving Pictures situation... Also similar to Moving Pictures and MODELS, there was a band with an identical name in UK - this would've caused problems for the band, no doubt about it.

Members:

Greg Herbert - lead vocals / guitar
David Barraclough - guitar / vocals
Kerry Dunne - bass / vocals
Mark Ovenden - keyboards
Martin - drums (1983-1986)
Paul Blahuta - drums (1987-8)
Derek Lee - keyboards, guitars, sax, vocals (1987-8)

The PROMISE released one LP / CASS in 1987, which included all their previous singles, as follows -

One in every colour





Catalogue number: L38715 (LP), C38715 (CASS)
LP recorded between 1983 & 1984 by all accounts, in Festival Studios, Sydney, but only released in 1987 (!)

Track-list:

01. Lessons in love
02. Walking with a weight
03. Blue world
04. Show me
05. A heart to sell
06. Something in the air
07. One more day
08. Love is the hunter
09. Home for the Balmain boys
10. We've got it all
11. It's in your head she said
12. Will you come back

The PROMISE released five singles, as follows -

1. Heart to sell

(doesn't seem to have been sold in a picture sleeve...)





A-side: Heart to sell (2:41)
B-side: Next time (3:27)
Catalogue number: K9499 - 1984

Promo video:

'live' Hey Hey it's Saturday video:


2. Walking with a weight







A-side: Walking with a weight (3:19)
B-side: Abstract relations (2:29)
Catalogue number: K9644 - 1985

Promo video:



Music show (NightMoves?) 'live' performance:



3. Will you come back again?




A-side: Will you come back again? (3:19)
B-side: Paronomasia (3:38)
Catalogue number: K9811 - 1986 / MX-65235 (alternate)

Promo video:


4. Something in the air






A-side: Something in the air
B-side: Building Castles
Catalogue number: K128 - 1986 / MX-67265 / MX-67266

Promo video:

5. Lessons in love

A-side: Lessons in love
B-side: Watching the World
Catalogue number: K-246 - 1987

Promo video:


'live' appearance on 'A Country Practice', 1987:



The PROMISE trivia:

The track 'Something in the air' is the only cover version The PROMISE have recorded. It was originally recorded by Thunderclap Newman in the 1960s.

Some tracks from the LP were produced by Eddie Raynor, of Split Enz

There seems to be a line-up change sometime before the release of 'Something in the air' - a new drummer and keyboardist is substituted.

The PROMISE supported The Divinyls during their 1983 Australian Tour (including Festival Hall, VIC).

Bonus live track - a non-album track called 'Messages' was popular with the punters -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=987_3Or6SWQ










Monday, September 22, 2014

MODELS - AlphaBravoCharlieDeltaFoxtrotGolf / Cut Lunch re-mastered on CD

Well here it is at last. Models first LP re-mastered onto CD and doubled up with the follow-up EP Cut Lunch.

It arrived yesterday, and can I say 'IT IS AWESOME'.

Here's the scans (click to enlarge!) -





















Friday, August 29, 2014

MODELS - Rolling Stone article from September 1985

Thanks to the kind contribution of Ron (last name withheld), here we have the full Rolling Stone article from September, 1985 - direct from the video shoot of Out of Mind Out of Sight, in the Crystal Ballroom.





Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MODELS - article from UK magazine 24th October 1981

Article from page 28 of SNDSNP 24-10-1981

Please feel free to send any amendments to me at wjames@ccsaust.com. The original photo of the article is attached, but the watermarks obscure some sentences, and my eyes aren't what they used to be...

Article follows - 

It's not surprising that no-one's heard of the Models, this Melbourne band is so fiercely independent that they're even a mystery to native Australians. "Most people can't quite suss out what's going on" quips keyboardist Andrew Duffield.

Formed in 1978, the Models have seen two line-up changes, a near fatal split in 1979, and have achieved cult status in their home town largely through the sheer innovative, quirky quality of their work and fiercely fought for independence, which has kept a cackle of major labels at arm's length. They've gigged extensively - "up to five nights a week for two or three years" - supporting Dr Feelgood, the Stranglers, and the Police, they've produced and financed two singles, an album and a six track EP, yet as far as the rest of the world is concerned, the Models haven't even happened.

I caught them quite by accident several weeks ago, having staggered into Dingwalls far too early one night to see Doll by Doll. As soon as they launched themselves into a superb version of "Telstar" it was pretty obvious that they were new only to the London scene.

Driving rhythms, fine pop melodies, distinctively powerful electronics and an edgy guitar may be familiar enough ingredients but in a unique shake-up in the highly original material and vocals to match, marked the Models out from the chaff. (NB: suspect line after 'ingredients' not quite correct). Songs like "Pate Pedestrians", 'Man O' Action" and "Subterranean Fist Truck" whizzed over my head. I was hooked. Some elementary detective work and a couple of weeks later I managed to corner the elusive buggers locked away in the wilds of Little Chalfont just two days before they were due to leave the Farmyard Studios where A&M had installed them to cut an album.

Bassist Mark Ferrie had disappeared to London, leaving Sean Kelly, Andrew Duffield and Kiwi drummer Buster Stiggs to take turns at the inquisition. After five weeks concentrated work, the Models were smashed.

"We think it's electronic music with soul" opined Andrew.

<unidentified line> Get Down electronic music.
(NB: can anyone help identify this line?)

"We can border between being a really good band or an absolutely dire band, which I think is a winning combination... in Australia, we've always managed to maintain some charisma by our inconsistency".

Smashed but serious, the Models simply refuse to be controlled. "We were really careful about the way we negotiated with A&M", he continued. "The band is into the idea of working for itself and having its ideas translated properly by the record company".

Perversely, doing it their own way for so long has meant some difficulties in re-adjusting to the luxurious excesses afforded by a major (record) company.

"When we recorded the first album", he continued, "we were paying for it before it was picked up by Mushroom Records. And so we had to work live to pay the bills. It meant we were doing live gigs and then going into the studio from midnight to dawn. And, having access to the studio for a non-stop period is slightly unique in that we've all the freedom in the world, and perhaps", he added with a smile, "too much".

That first album, the ridiculously titled "AlphaBravoCharlieDeltaEchoFoxtrotGolf", was felt by the band to be a pretty awful record. It's far from perfect but it demonstrates what a unique force the band can muster. What it fails to deliver, it promises.

"It's ours though, in the sense that we made the balls-ups on it rather than a producer", explained Andrew.

Their cult status in Australia seems to stem from the fact that they don't get played in the national AM stations but reach the large student audience glued to the local FM stations. With many bands releasing independent singles, the Models planned a little higher - for an independent record.
(NB: this line may not be correct)

"We thought that'd be a suitably different thing to do", laughed Andrew.

When someone sitting opposite you articulates his thoughts in off-key English between sips of Fosters, it's not hard to forget that he is essentially foreign. A fact which Andrew was well aware of.

"We are sensitive about the fact that we're Australian", he protested. "it's not an unusual thing, particularly when you read about other Australian bands that have attempted to break through. There's a very humble attitude in Australia towards England as far as where its head is at musically. We expected to be really quite intimidated by the place, or at least I did, and I'm not, because I think we can hold our own. It's probably because we've had the opportunity to play a lot more than most local bands here have.

"One of the unusual things in Australia, which I think is an asset, is that we get both American and English music on exactly the same level. So we treat them totally on the same plane and we're able to look a lot more objectively at things that are happening than you can. English music is so categorised and we just can't afford those kind of liberties. We don't like to restrict ourselves anyway, so we try to take the best of both worlds".

It's striking that A&M seem to be treated the Models fragile talent with previous care, bringing them half-way across the world to the best facilities and operatives, a fact viewed by Sean Kelly with healthy disrespect. "Contracts", said Sean, "always have things in them like ...'as we agree to to all this for you, we have the right to tell you where to perform...' and stuff like that, which I find really interesting. Because if A&M put a whole load of money into recording an album they naturally want a group to tour... back it up. And if someone was to say 'Well no that's not what I want to do' they'd say 'ah but look, clause blahblahblah says that you have to do it'. Then it would become good fun because I would just say 'Well I'm not going to. And what can you really do about it?'. And there's nothing they can do".

"I'm not saying that what I would do... that's just what I think of contracts. In fact there's nothing they can do because I care too much about the fact that the songs are recorded. Because in a sense a song's immortal, just like the Psalms of David".

Monday, July 28, 2014

Pure Gold Live - October 2014 - DRAGON, MOVING PICTURES, PSEUDO ECHO, MACHINATIONS, SWANEE (+others)





CELEBRATES THE BEST OF THE 70s, 80s & 90s AND WISHES THE HORDERN PAVILION A HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY!

 1 NIGHT, 12 ARTISTS, 36 MASSIVE HITS

Featuring: Dragon, Eurogliders, GANGgajang, Jon Stevens, Machinations, Mi-Sex, Moving Pictures, 1927, Pseudo Echo, Rose Tattoo, Swanee, & Wendy Matthews.

WS FM101.7 and iHeartRadio are excited to announce the inaugural PURE GOLD LIVE concert featuring twelve of the biggest acts of the 70s, 80s and 90s to help celebrate the 90th birthday of Sydney’s historic Hordern Pavilion.

WS FM101.7, Sydney’s No. 1 FM Radio Station, entertain over 700,000 listeners across the Harbour city and surrounds with a mix of Pure Gold hits and engaging talent led by the No. 1 breakfast team of Brendan ‘Jonesy’ Jones and Amanda Keller who will MC the PURE GOLD LIVE concert event at the Hordern Pavilion on Saturday, 25 October, 2014.

PURE GOLD LIVE will be three hours of hits and memories with twelve of Australia’s most well-loved 70s, 80s and 90s hit makers gracing the stage and taking a whole generation back to a time when rock ‘n roll was a way of life and there wasn’t a camera phone in sight. WS FM101.7’s Jonesy and Amanda said they were thrilled to be taking audiences on this rockin’ trip listening to music that they know and love.

Tickets go on sale as follows -

4th August - AMEX card-holders only
7th August - Ticketek members only
11th August - General Public

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

James Freud - China Crimes (unreleased Gary Numan-produced LP)

It's high time this album got listened to by all the James Freud fans out there!

I found this link which contains the LP, remastered to digital some 8-10 years ago. I do notice that the track-names are incorrect, and that they've taken an image off the 80sdreamer website to put the cd together - cute!

Now your mileage may vary, but here is the track-list as I believe it to be -

1. China Crimes (also the name of the LP)
2. Head in Hand
3. Receiving me
4. Rooms to Rent
5. Central
6. Over my Head
7. Search and Rescue
8. Suspicious of the Night
9. Automatic Crazy

(you'll see when you open the archive that whoever put it together just guesses the names of the tracks based on the repeated chorus. In most cases, that assumption is correct, but many of these tracks were performed live in 1980 PRIOR to James Freud going to the UK with Gary Numan to record the LP)

According to Inner City Sound (who has live recordings of both gigs - one of which was uploaded here in years past), the track-names are as reported on the set-list.

Anyway, for your listening pleasure, please enjoy - CHINA CRIMES, the unreleased (some call 'demo') LP recorded in late 1980 and early 1981 -

Download link

ps: be REALLY careful to close any pop-ups that appear, and only click on the green box that says 'download'. All the other links are fake.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

James Freud's Breaking Silence to be released to CD and iTunes!

Breaking Silence re-released -news direct from Sally Freud

To be released by Sandman Records, and the CD release will be available to international fans.

The CD will include bonus tracks, to be advised. I'd assume iTunes will have the same content.

Sandman Records have a history of releasing great bonus content, including liner notes and as many bonus tracks as they can physically fit on a CD. Sandman also sometimes release 2-CD sets, so maybe we'll see some of the 'China Crimes' unreleased LP - the aborted Gary Numan-produced one? CD releases are typically done as digipack releases.

Sandman Records also release in LP (vinyl) format, so maybe we'll see this content on there as well.

Sandman have only been around since 2013, but in that time they've released a dozen good re-releases including The Numbers and Billy Field, all with bonus tracks.

Time will tell - exciting news either way!







http://www.sandmanrecords.com.au/


Classic Australian Albums - 

Lovingly restored, remastered and repackaged

"If this label's rockin', don't bother knocking"