Monday, 28 May 2012

THE SHEEP RECORDS STORY #4: THE TREBLE SPANKERS "ENOLA GAY" (1997)



Sheep Records was a Swiss underground label specialized in Garage-Rock, Surf, Lounge and other Rock'n'Roll oddities. Run by Christian Müller from Zürich, along with friends Andi Frick and Andreas Egi, it was active from 1996 to 2004 and published about 30 releases, mostly on 7" vinyl singles.



In october 2006, after about two years of hiatus, all the contents of the now defunct Sheep Records website were deleted from the Internet, and replaced with a blank page announcing that "Der Kebab ist gegessen" ("The kebab is eaten"), a last goodbye and a reference to the label's cataloguing system that included the prefix "kebab" for vinyl releases and "gigot" for CD releases.



The fourth Sheep Records release was a 7" by Amsterdam-based The Treble Spankers, a surf band centered around charismatic leader guitarist "Phantom" Frank Gerritsen. The single was limited to 1000 copies, 500 on orange vinyl and 500 on blue vinyl.

We can not but agree with the short Sheep Records' press-release: "The Treble Spankers prove that 80's pop sounds much better when it's played with surf guitars!". Their cover of the OMD classic "Enola Gay" - an exclusive track that appear only on this vinyl release - is simply wonderful. "Vahim", the B-side of the single, is taken straight from their second album "Hasheeda" released by Polydor in 1995; this is a must have for all fans of Surf Music.





Here's the track list for this 7" single:

01. Enola Gay (2:02)
02. Vahim (3:54)

Both tracks were remastered from vinyl in May 2012 and are available in FLAC lossless format or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 files, both formats include scans of the original item in PDF format. Please have a look at the comments for the download links.


Here's The Treble Spankers history according to their MySpace page:

The history of The Treble Spankers dates back to 1989 when Marcel Kruup (ex-The Other Side, -The Comedown, -The Kliek) starts trash combo Ouke Baas. After gaining a live reputation in the Amsterdam underground the band undergoes some lineup changes and finally renames to The Treble Spankers in 1993. At that point the band consists of Marcel Kruup, "Phantom" Frank Gerritsen (ex-The String Phantoms), Maarten Heijblok and Frank Sloos (ex-The Kliek). The band starts playing as opening act for The Kliek but soon they become more popular than the headliners.

September 1994 sees the release of "Araban". The album gets a lot of airplay on Dutch national radio, various university stations in the US and at John Peel's program on BBC Radio. Due to the bankruptcy of Semaphore - their record label - the album gets sold out in no time. Following impressive live performances at the Lowlands festival and Crossing Border festival The Treble Spankers sign a record deal with Polydor Records in 1995 after which they go into the studio to record their follow up album.

In 1996 "Hasheeda" gets released. Following the success of Pulp Fiction and an "easy tune" hype The Treble Spankers get massive airplay with the single "Red Hot Navigator" on Dutch national radio. The band plays a packed Roskilde tent at the Pinkpop festival in front of 10.000 jumping kids and the album "Hasheeda" ends up selling an impressive 20.000 copies. The band tours Belgium, Germany, Spain, Switserland and The UK extensively. In december 1996 Polydor re-releases "Araban" with three extra tracks.

Early 1997 finds the band in the Toe Ragstudio in London to record mainly covers for b-sides and bonus tracks of foreign releases. In the summer of 1997 the band goes back into the studio to record their third album. During the recordings Phantom Frank's RSI disease becomes unbearable and the band has to call it a day. In the short five years of their existence The Treble Spankers did over 500 shows and left behind two classic albums in the history of surf music.


Members:
"Phantom" Frank Gerritsen - Lead Guitar
Marcel Kruup - Rhythm Guitar
Maarten Heijblok - Bass
Frank Sloos - Drums



The Treble Spankers, from left to right: "Phantom" Frank Gerritsen, Frank Sloos, Maarten Heijblok and Marcel Kruup

After years of rest and rehabilitation Phantom Frank slowly picked up the guitar again and returned with a solo album in 2004. Later that year he formed The Phantom Four, an instrumental surfband, with which he started playing live regularly from early 2005. In late 2005 Marcel Kruup and Maarten Heijblok  formed Los Tiki Boys, an instrumental surf / rock&roll band.


"Phantom" Frank Gerritsen, lead guitarist of The Treble Spankers


More information about Sheep Records, The Treble Spankers and "Phantom" Frank is available here:

http://www.surfnroll.de/interviews/sheep/sheep.html

http://www.phantomfrank.nl/The%20Treble%20Spankers.htm

http://www.phantomfrank.nl/

http://www.thephantomfour.com/

http://www.treblespankers.nl/

http://www.myspace.com/thetreblespankers

http://www.instromania.net/D2/ART/ART_T/TREBLE%20SPANKERS%20The.php

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Treble+Spankers%2C+The


The Sheep Records story will continue in the next months. All your inputs are more than welcome, if you want to get in touch please write to stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

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