Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Draft article about the Plimptons part 1

Hi, name's Chris, I used to manage The Plimptons. They're a band from Motherwell who've been going on and off since December 1999. I didn't know them back then, I was too busy slashing my arms at uni.

It wasn't until I graduated and discovered the joys of AudioGalaxy on the internet, where you could download music for free in 2001. I'd tried searching for the names of local venues, hoping to get some live tracks, when I discovered a song called "When the Supernaturals Went to the 13th Note" by The Hector Collectors. The 13th Note was this cafe/venue in Glasgow, it was a weird lo-fi tune, sounding like a bunch of schoolies crouched round a tape recorder with out of tune instruments. Luckily later that week the Hector Collectors were playing a gig, so I took the girlfriend along to sample their delights.

A ramshackle bunch, I can't remember the precise lineup of the Hector Collectors that night, but Adam the lead singer came and spoke to me after the gig, not cos he recognised me as a popular local music journalist, that came later, but becuase I was the only person at the gig who wasn't friend or family, I was a fan.

The Hectors lineup changed a lot over the years, always revolving round Adam and Iain Smith, but sometimes including folk like Big Gav on drums, Big Duncan on bass, Paul McDermot on bass, Chris Elkin on guitar, Joe Kane and Paul McGaz on backing vocals, Paul Kelly on keyboards or maybe drums and on one occasion Alex Huntley on keyboards. They had a warm fuzzy sound, of the amateur, songs about local fanzines, local crap music venues, staying in at night and surfing the internet. John Peel played them a few times.

Late 2003, Adam gets me to go along to a gig by his other band The Plimptons, playing at The Tchai Ovna. The Plimptons were different, less evolved, more surreal. Songs about not returning video tapes to dead people, and the epic Captain August rock opera. There was just two of them that first night, Adam and Martin. Martin had a red mohawk and piercings, looks like a drunk Big Issue seller. The Plimptons weren't as popular as The Hector Collectors, I wasn't sure why.

Months later my gran had passed away and I'd used her inheritance to buy a CD burner and CD printer, and set up a bedroom record label, Ivan Lendil Music, the first release was my arm slashing music from uni. It was a little crap. I needed a proper band, and so when Adam and Martin dragged me to Strathclyde Uni's Student's Union one night and asked if I'd release their album, I jumped at the opportunity.

The two piece became a three-piece with the addition of Andrew Soares on keyboards, a demo single was made up and sent to local radio and press, a debut album The Songs of Ignorance and of Inexperience was made up and stocked in the local music shops, copies were mailed out to all the music bloggers we knew. A tour was booked in a handful of Motherwell, Glasgow and Edinburgh venues. We had tour t-shirts!!

Andrew Soares was kicked out of the band one night at the Tchai, only to return briefly the following night at Edinburgh Student's Union. my flatmate Alan Wolfknuckle Patterson joined playing bass, Rowan Hackett on drums, and a new keyboard player Craig Pulsar was recruited. Craig lived in Edinburgh, but he had a car, and his keyboard skills were formidable. Adam had known him from the Littlest Album project years before.

My constant pimping of the Plimps was alienating me from internet communities and girlfriends. I got booted off the love of my life Bowlie, disavowing me and my label from an indiepop market.

Ivan Lendil Music had two more bands, The Owsley Sunshine and The Just Joans. The Owsleys were Glasgow psychedelic legends, lead by Joe Kane, they were up to their third or fourth album, it had been recorded and lost and rerecorded countless times before Adam got involved to get it to market. The Just Joans were like the missing link between The Hector Collectors and BallBoy. Bedsit soundtracks that made the hairs on the back of yer neck stand on end. When Adam first passed me their demo tape and I listen to it in my car. I had to stop in a layby, blinded by the tears.

The Just Joans ablum sold out the first run of twenty copies at their debut gig. The Owsley album, I still have a few hundred copies under my bed.

part 2 to follow

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