Saturday, 27 October 2012


The Nosebleeds formed in Wythenshawe, Manchester, England in 1976 under the name of Wild Ram. They changed their name to Ed Banger and The Nosebleeds in early 1977 with the following line-up: Edmund "Ed Banger" Garrity (vocals), Vincent "Vini" Reilly (guitar), Phillip "Toby" Tomanov (drums) and Pete Crooks (bass).

On July 25, 1977, the band released their one and only single: "Ain't Bin To No Music School / Fascist Pigs". The record was released by Rabid Records and was available both with silver and blue labels; it is reported that 10.000 copies were pressed and sold in total. Both songs on the single were written by Banger/Reilly:

Sadly The Nosebleeds didn't release any album: when Banger and Reilly left, Morrissey (...yes, him!) and Billy Duffy replaced them, but the band survived just for a limited time and no releases came out of that later lineup.

Before dissolving in late May of 1978, The Nosebleeds performed two concerts, one at the Ritz (supporting Magazine) and one at the Manchester Polytechnic for a Rabid Records benefit.

After the group split up Banger released a few solo singles and joined Slaughter and the Dogs during their period as Slaughter, Morrissey went on to form The Smiths, Toby appeared with Ludus, Blue Orchids and Primal Scream, and Pete Crooks joined up with Vini Reilly in the first incarnation of The Durutti Column under the "guide" of Tony Wilson.

The Nosebleeds performing live in 1977

Well, at last I was able to lay my hands on this rare live recording of The Nosebleeds. Location and exact date of recording are unknown but since Ed Banger is on vocals and unmistakable Vini Reilly is on the guitar I guess that this is 1977.

Technically speaking, the recording in my possession is not in the best shape and there are a few cuts here and there. I tried to make my best to enhance the quality, but miracles are beyond me.

Oddly enough, the two tracks published on the "Ain't Bin To No Music School / Fascist Pigs" single are performed at the beginning of the concert... Seeing that usually bands don't play their strongest material as opening numbers, I speculate that maybe the tracklist has been changed and that the original running order may well have been different.

Two songs are specially worthy of being mentioned because they offer succulent curiosities: the guitar solo at the beginning of "Don't Know" is very similar to the one featured on the earlier versions of Joy Division's "Interzone", while "Middle Class Suburban Creep" offers the same riff that Vini Reilly will use a few years later on "Jazz", a track included on his debut album "The Return of the Durutti Column".

Ed Banger performing live with The Nosebleeds in 1977, picture by John Crumpton

Here's the complete tracklist of this precious live document:

01. Ain't Bin To No Music School (2:21)
02. Fascist Pigs (2:24)
03. Uptight (2:07)
04. Rich Kid (2:35)
05. Don't Know (1:00)
06. Middle Class Suburban Creep (1:20)
07. Blackpool Rock (2:18)
08. Another Ounce of Rock (1:31)

All tracks were remastered in October 2012, they are available as a single FLAC lossless format file or high-quality 320 Kbps MP3 file. Both formats include complete printable artwork as PDF files.

Before you burn this album on CD-R using the provided CUE file you will need to convert the original files to WAV format using an appropriate software. Here's an option for FLAC to WAV conversion and one for MP3 to WAV conversion.

As usual, please have a look at the comments for the download links.

The following video offers a rare chance to watch the band performing live on TV in 1977. Some sources mention this as being part of the "So It Goes" series hosted by Tony Wilson but I'm inclined to think that the programme was "Granada Report". Anyway, Tony appears several times in the video and we can see him receiving the warm attentions of Ed Banger... Horrible quality, but what a find!

More information about The Nosebleeds, Ed Banger and the Manchester Punk scene is available here:

If you have any other useful information concerning this post - or if you spot any dead links - please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


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 seventh Sheep Records release was the debut EP by The Men From S.P.E.C.T.R.E. This 7" contains four tracks and is limited to 700 copies on green vinyl; it was released in April 1998.

On offer here on most tracks are an adrenalinic fuzz guitar and a persistent organ backed with a solid bass/drum rhythm section. "From Las Vegas With Love" is stuffed with an unsettling radio message, while the quieter "Le Vaccum" alternates lounge moments and acid riffs; in my opinion these are the best cuts.

Here's the track list and the personnel/credits list for this 7" single as they appear on the back cover:

01. Revenge of the Blind Man (2:30)
02. From Las Vegas With Love (2:22)
03. Le Vacuum (3:23)
04. Miniskirt (3:17)

Guitar: Gerry Germann
Bass: Rolf Keller
Organ: Mario Janser
Drums: Stefan Saurer

All songs written by The Men From S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

Cover by Rolf Keller

Recorded in 1998 at Spooky Sound

04.09.2015 Update: sorry guys, I recently received a DMCA complaint concerning another post I dedicated to The Men From S.P.E.C.T.R.E., download links are not available anymore...

The Men from S.P.E.C.T.R.E. have released three albums, the rest of their output on Sheep Records will be the subject of further posts in the future. Here's the group official biography as it appears on their own website:

The Men from S.P.E.C.T.R.E. (Winterthur, Switzerland) rush out of the speakers, straight through your living room, into your ears and move your pulse. The sound is fit for street races with perfectly tuned cars and at home in NASA promotional films. The rough edges and instrumental action sound echoes the space-rock-bands and soundtracks of the 70s. The catchy beat of Drums, Congas and Bass join the wild Hammond organ and fuzzy Guitar to mash-up the scenes.

"The Living Eye" is the third record of the S.P.E.C.T.R.E.'s and released on American label Hammondbeat Records. "The Living Eye" is more indulgent, more psychedelic, and hits the beat harder than the previous records. The songs "Purple Pill People" and "Black Tank", along with earlier productions, have been released on internationally revered labels like Acid Jazz Records (UK).

The Men from S.P.E.C.T.R.E. have toured Italy, Spain, UK, Germany, Belgium, France, and Switzerland. The Swiss quintet will be on stage with "The Living Eye" ...heading for lots of trouble.

The Men From S.P.E.C.T.R.E. in their former four-members lineup, circa 1999-2000.

More information about Sheep Records and The Men From S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is available here:

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!

Tuesday, 16 October 2012


Playgirl, why are you sleeping in tomorrow's world? Hey, playgirl
Playgirl, why are you dancing when you could be alone? Hey, playgirl
Playgirl, why are you sleeping in tomorrow's world? Hey, playgirl
Playgirl, choking on cigarettes won't get you along, hey, playgirl

Hey playgirl, hey playgirl
Northern lights catch you coming down
Sleep your way out of your hometown

Playgirl, why are you sleeping in tomorrow's world? Hey, playgirl
Playgirl, why are you dancing when you could be alone? Hey, playgirl
Playgirl, why are you sleeping in tomorrow's world? Hey, playgirl
Playgirl, choking on cigarettes won't get you along, hey, playgirl

Hey playgirl, hey playgirl
Northern lights catch you coming down
Sleep your way out of your hometown
Hey playgirl, hey playgirl
Northern lights catch you coming down
Sleep your way out of your hometown

Hey playgirl, hey playgirl
Northern lights catch you coming down
Sleep your way out of your hometown
Hey playgirl, hey playgirl
Hey playgirl, hey playgirl

Foreign coin on a telephone box
A question mark on a calendar
An empty seat on the alpha line
A sorting code, an account number

Hey playgirl, hey playgirl
Northern lights catch you coming down
Sleep your way out of your hometown

[From the lyrics of "Playgirl"]

Borrowing its name from Jacques Tricatel, a character portrayed by Louis de Funès in the 1976 movie "L'aile ou la cuisse" (The Wing and the Thigh) - this, in turn, ispired by Jacques Borel, father of the "Restoroute" restaurant chain - French label Tricatel was founded in 1996 by musician and producer Bertrand Burgalat.

Since its creation, the label has been focused on releasing music of a futuristic lounge, refined pop, downtempo easy-listening and retro-chic nature. Proudly independent, Tricatel payed homage to labels like The Compact Organisation and él Records, that have been a source of inspiration for Burgalat.

During the years the label has released music by April March, Eggstone, Count Indigo, The High Llamas, Etienne Charry and many other artists, including veteran composer André Popp, actress Valérie Lemercier, writers Michel Houellebecq and Jonathan Coe, and - of course - its founder and gran maestro Betrand Burgalat.

The label had an high profile in France and many of its releases received huge critical acclaims both there and abroad, sadly this was not matched by commercial success and sales. Coupled with distribution problems, Tricatel was forced to slow down its release schedule after a few years of frenetic activity.

Tricatel has turned fifteen in April 2011, the following is an excerpt taken from a feature/interview by David McKenna taken from The Quietus website, the complete version is available here.

Bertrand Burgalat in the late 90s / early 00s

What does it mean to have kept Tricatel going for 15 years?

"Not much really - I am not good with numbers. I'm starting to realize that I may spend the rest of my life doing the same things: struggling to finance projects and to release them, getting discouraged then trying again."

How have you responded to changes in the music industry over the past 15 years?

"The situation for Tricatel is much better now than 15 years ago. The crisis in music industry has been an excellent thing for people in the margins like us. Now that record sales are disappointing for everyone and not only for us it's more useless than ever to be calculating. You have to do the music you'd like to listen to - even if your music is super opportunistic it may fail too. A lot of people are not used to making records with low budgets while paying musicians and technicians decently, whereas it has always been our main concern.

In fact, the only thing that I don't like here in France is that most records that sell are not catchy, they are more fake quality for bobos [bohemians], and I have always preferred a good song from Britney Spears to a boring album from Björk."

Modelled more on él Records (which in the 80s was a home to Momus, regular Burgalat collaborator Louis Philippe, Shock Headed Peters and Marden Hill amongst others) than Factory, Tricatel was set up, in Burgalat's own words, as a "fantasy" label with its cast of backroom boys, muses (American singer April March, French comedy actress Valérie Lemercier) and even a proper house band in the shape of AS Dragon. Undoubtedly a post-modern project, it seemed as though it was trying to establish an alternative variété: an idea of what modern mainstream French pop could be if it was Boris Vian, Yé-Yé, Pierre Henry, Gainsbourg, Michel Polnareff, cool 60s film music, uncool 70s MOR, Marc Cerrone, the soundtrack to La Boum and French Touch all mixed up.

Daniel Hunt

In 1999 Tricatel launched a succulent initiative in the form a vinyl-only series aptly named "Tricatel 25cm Club". Initially, these 10" releases were only available by post and had to be ordered directly from the label, but sometimes later they also received a wider distribution through independent music stores.

Most of these records were pressed on clear vinyl; probably published in a limited edition, it is unclear how many copies of each release exist... The second issue in this series was "Commodore Rock" by Ladytron.

Liverpool-based producers and DJs Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu met in the late 90s; mixing Synth-Pop, Shoegaze, and Indie-Pop into a sound all their own, they formed Ladytron taking their name from the famous Roxy Music song. Using this moniker, Hunt and Wu recorded their debut single "He Took Her To a Movie" with guest vocalist Lisa Eriksson.

"He Took Her To a Movie" was released on Invicta Hi-Fi in 1999 and was quickly picked up by British national radio, MTV2, and championed by the NME and other English magazines like Select, Melody Maker, and Sleaze Nation calling Ladytron "the most exciting new English band in years, by a long way".

Reuben Wu

Later that year Hunt and Wu met Scottish Helen Marnie through various DJ gigs, and Bulgarian Mira Aroyo through Helen. Marnie and Aroyo joined the band as vocalists and keyboard players.

Ignoring London to play their debut show in a Paris bowling alley, strange European dates followed in temporary spaces in east Berlin and to frenzied electrokids in Barcelona, slowly building a reputation as one of the most interesting new acts around, for lovers of the sounds and the songs alike. This skewed approach to crafting pop music has rewarded the group with overwhelming critical acclaim.

Previously, Daniel Hunt founded the record label Invicta Hi-Fi and a nightclub. Reuben Wu trained in Industrial Design at Sheffield Hallam University, before becoming a successful designer in a consultancy until finally going full time with the band. Helen Marnie studied music at the University of Liverpool where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Pop Music. Mira Aroyo was a postgraduate research geneticist in the Oxford University's Biochemistry Department.

Helen Marnie

In late 1999, Japanese label Bambini released the long EP "Miss Black and Her Friends", soon followed in 2000 by the "Mu-Tron EP" published by Invicta Hi-Fi. Most of the songs included on these EPs were later included on their first full-length album entitled "604" in 2001.

The singles "Commodore Rock" and "Playgirl" were released in 2000, pre-empting the nascent Electroclash movement, and drawing acclaim from the likes of Felix Da Housecat, who declared that Ladytron were a major influence on his hugely popular "Kittenz and Thee Glitz" album.

Ladytron soon enjoyed international success, thanks also to their extensive live tours, and their discography is an ever-growing galaxy of  electronic gems that incorporate pop instinct and melodic inspiration sometimes reminding of Blondie, Joy Division, My Bloody Valentine, Young Marble Giants and early Massive Attack.

According to Brian Eno, Ladytron are "the best of English pop music".

Mira Aroyo

The following text is excerpted from an interview conducted in November 2000 by Alexander Laurence with Daniel Hunt for The Portable Infinite online music and arts magazine. This is one of the earliest Ladytron interviews, the full-lenght version is available here.


AL: How did you meet the other members of the band? Are they all from Liverpool?

Daniel: Reuben has always been from Liverpool. I've known him for a long time. Mira is Bulgarian and she lives in Oxford. Helena is Scottish and didn't live in Liverpool till very recently. Helena introduced Mira to the band. It was all quite organic. We didn't put up any adverts. We just met people. We fell over each other at a bar. I was working on stuff with Reuben anyway, so it sort of became a band about two years ago. We started working as a band.

AL: Did you write all the songs on this album?

Daniel: I wrote most of this album because I was working on it first and I had built up quite a lot of material. So that everyone has equal input we will make the next album more evenly. It strikes me now why people's second albums are so difficult. The first album has been long since finished. Now there's a bunch of stuff we have to do, and there's a barrier for us before we can record again. We have stuff ready and I want to get on with it. The live shows are not that important to the band.


AL: Ladytron got the attention of the NME right away. How did that happen?

Daniel: It was the single of the week. It had actually been around for six months. It had been sent out and it didn't get reviewed or anything. It was sitting on the shelves for six months and it was re-promoted. Then it landed on the right person's desk, and it became single of the week. That got a lot of attention and we had a load of major labels chasing us. At first we were tempted because it would be an easy thing to explain to my mum and dad. They understand signing to a big label, but wouldn't know what an indie label is. So we resisted that temptation and hooked up with Emperor Norton. I think that if we went with a major label and a worldwide deal, they wouldn't have done as good a job.

AL: Are you more interested in the DJ scene or in being a pop group?

Daniel: Ladytron is supposed to be a pop group. I'm into the idea of subverting things from within. We want to make pop records and not records for pure collectors. The music were into will never come out straight. I think that you can make pop music out of anything. Any instruments. As long as it has a good melody and is regular, then it's pop music.


The "Commodore Rock" vinyl EP contains the following tracks:

01. Playgirl (3:51)
02. Commodore Rock (4:46)
03. He Took Her To a Movie (Bertrand Mix) (3:44)
04. Olivetti Jerk (3:24)

All tracks were remastered from the original 10" vinyl and are available in FLAC lossless format, along with scans of the original item.

Please have a look at the comments for the download links.

Side A offers "Playgirl" and "Commodore Rock" which are better described in a review written by Mark Richard-San for Pitchwork in 2000:

"Ladytron are working the retro angle. They're two guys and two girls in love with the early 80s, a time when several flavors of pop music discovered electricity all over again and began to channel the machine pulse of Kraftwerk. And who can blame Ladytron for this love affair? We came of age in the 80s, after all, so we can expect the sounds from this era to cycle through our lives continuously until we all bite the dust. The 1980s were our 1950s, a statement that makes a lot more sense if you grew up watching "Happy Days" with your pre-Baby Boomer parents. So we may as well get used to it.

Fortunately, there's more to Ladytron than a moonwalk down memory lane. They slavishly ape ancient production techniques on Commodore Rock, but also apply them in the service of catchy pop songs. So while "Play Girl" cops the instrumental signifiers of early New Order (cheap drum machine, sweeping faux-string synth washes, prominent, bouncing bass), it also measures up in melody, and that's saying something. Helen Marnie's voice is perfect for the song; inviting and warm, yet just bored enough for new wave.

The slightly more original title track features the appropriately Rhinelandish speaking voice of Bulgarian Mira Aroyo. Somewhere behind a fuzzy 303 bassline and choppy electrified drums, Aroyo wields her commanding tongue in a way that will remind Krautrock aficionados of Kluster's 1970 debut, Klopfzeichen. But the oddest moment of this compelling track comes at the three-minute mark, when beautiful, ghostly sheets of feedback drift in and overtake the song completely, transforming it into epic drone music with cheap beats. I don't remember hearing that fusion on the early days of MTV. Bravo."

Side B opens with a superb remix of "He Took Her To a Movie" created by Tricatel genius Bertrand Burgalat, which is notable for the massive electric bass line and dreamy synths installed on the original. The instrumental and repetitive "Olivetti Jerk" is the last track on the EP, oddly enough it seems to be a mono recording...

The "Commodore Rock" EP was also released in the U.S. - both as CD and vinyl - by Emperor Norton replacing "He Took Her To a Movie (Bertrand Mix)" and "Olivetti Jerk" with the tracks "Miss Black" and "Paco", which had already appeared on the Japanese EP "Miss Black and Her Friends".

Another version of the EP, retitled "Playgirl / Commodore Rock", was released in the U.K. by Invicta Hi-Fi, also offering "He Took Her To a Movie (Bertrand Mix)" but omitting "Olivetti Jerk".

Ladytron, circa 2000, from left to right: Mira Aroyo, Helen Marnie, Daniel Hunt and Reuben Wu

The following credits appear on the back cover of the "Commodore Rock" EP:

Produced by Lance Thomas and Ladytron.
Recorded at Olivetti. Mix and additional production at the Motor Museum, Liverpool.

All instruments on B1 by Bertrand Burgalat, guitar by Peter Von Poehl.
Recorded and mixed at Tricatel Dome, Paris.

Artwork: Manel

Mastering: Alex Gopher (Translab)

Two videoclips of "Playgirl" are available here below, courtesy of YouTube, along with a live version of "He Took Her To a Movie" performed in August 2001 during La route du Rock festival in Saint-Malo, France.

More information about Tricatel and Ladytron is available here:

If you have any other useful information about Tricatel and Ladytron - especially corrections and improvements to this post - or if you spot any dead links, please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you!

Monday, 15 October 2012


Here's a collection of pictures of Hong Kong singer Pancy Lau (劉鳳屏). Some of them were sourced from the Internet, some are from my own collection and are made available here for the first time.

This post is a work-in-progress, I will add more pictures and other memorabilia at a later date.

[last update: 20.01.2018]

Pancy Lau as she appears on the front cover of FHLP 1001, circa 1968

Teresa Teng, Pancy Lau and the big bosses of Life Records, circa 1971 [Original image here]

Pancy Lau and Teresa Teng, circa 1970 [Original image here]

Pancy Lau as she appears on the front cover of LSP 9051, circa 1970

Pancy Lau portrait, circa 1970

Pancy Lau as she appears on the front cover of FHEP 623, circa 1969

Pancy Lau as she appears on the front cover of FHEP 1007, circa 1969

Pancy Lau as she appears on the front cover of FHEP 1001 (version 1), circa 1969

Pancy Lau as she appears on the front cover of FHLP 608, circa 1969

Pancy Lau as she appears on the front cover of FHEP 611, circa 1968

Pancy Lau as she appears on the front cover of FHEP 610, circa 1968

Pancy Lau as she appears on the front cover of FHEP 1001 (version 2), circa 1968

A very young Pancy Lau, this picture was probably taken in the early '60s [Original image here]

More information about Pancy Lau is available here:

I'm currently trying to compile a Pancy Lau exhaustive discography, my work-in-progress is available here.

All my posts dedicated to Pancy Lau on this blog are available here.

In the next months I will post more Hong Kong/Taiwan/Singapore/etc. Pop/Instrumental records released in the late-60s / mid-70s. As usual, I would like to provide information about these releases and their authors.

Unfortunately the Internet doesn't offer much information - written in English - about these artists and this is the reason why I need help: if you can translate from Chinese to English please get in touch with me at stereocandies [at] hotmail [dot] com or leave a comment in the box below, thank you so much!

It's been difficult to obtain these vinyls, some are not in the best conditions and I'm currently working hard to properly master them. It seems that these artists and their music are poorly known in the West, of course it's a real pity because they made stunning releases: I'd like to share them with you with a proper presentation, hope that someone will be able to help.

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