Memory Tapes: Close of Bearded Prince Business
Ashley Team Laverne
Now...this is a Memory Tape! A story of friendship, learning and a tale of two sides. Here's Dom Egan from Trafford to tell all:
"Hello, 6 Music team!
I wanted to take the opportunity of Memory Tapes to pay tribute to these twin princes of my musical imagination, Darren - whom I met whilst on a graduate placement at the North Wales Weekly News - and Chris – who sweated alongside me in the basement of Borders in Bournemouth selling CDs, DVDs and books on English for Speakers of Other Languages.
Each of these gents swirled up like friendly cultural genies in wobbly new working environments. Darren in the musical swirls and eddies of 1995 before the teeth of the gale that was Britpop bit too hard; Chris at the turn of the millennium, as Britpop had ebbed away and everyone was generally left alone to get on with their tunes in peace.
The conversations (both face-to-face and via cassettes) were very one-sided as I tried to keep up with a deluge of lovely new sounds - krautrock, obscure independent releases, a lot of Beefheart, a lot of The Fall, some moody hip hop and leftfield classics. I tried to chip in with some Welsh language hip hop, some dimly remembered obscurities of my own, but the pleasure of finding like-minded lads endures to this day and more than made up for the sense of inferiority these magic, rattling little boxes sometimes gave me.
There is nothing like the thrill of finding out your selections hit the mark. And there is nothing like physically pushing your tunes onto the tape via jamming the pause and record buttons. Aaahhh, cassettes!
Chris made some great music himself at the time as the leader of True Swamp Neglect with their noisy US indie-inspired think-pop, and does the same as Yaaard. Darren was last encountered a couple of years ago presenting a typically eclectic and stimulating show on online radio in Anglesey, but he will no doubt resurface in a couple of years, as is his style.
Both chaps thought I would enjoy some Serge Gainsbourg (they were right). Darren educated me in the ways of the Rough Trade mail order catalogue, nudged me in the direction of dub and make sure I was fully stocked with weird 60s tunes. Chris also veered to the weird, pushing Songs from the Key of Z in my general direction, jazzy wanderings, unhinged garage rock and emotionally swollen classics like Macarthur Park.
These gents are princes both: generous with their spools of brown tape, their conversation and everything else. I salute them.
Close of Bearded Prince Business
Datblygu - Y Teimlad
Depth Charge - Shaolin Buddha Finger
Cornershop - Norwegian Wood
Huevos Rancheros - Rockin' in the Henhouse
The Dwarves - MF
Alfred E Newman - It's A Gas
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy - Paralyzed
Serge Gainsbourg/Brigitte Bardot - Bonny & Clyde
The Undertones - Mars Bars
The Impact All-Stars - Extraordinary Version
Doo Rag - Trudge
Tarwater - Warschau
Catatonia - Gyda Gwen
Nick Drake - Pink Moon
Quickspace Supersport - Quickspace Happy Song #1
The Joker - What Is A Fisterris?
Mick Jagger - Memo from Turner
William Burroughs - A Thanksgiving Prayer
Baby Huey - Mighty Mighty
The Preachers - Who Do You Love?
Jonathan Richman - Government Center
The Fall - Glam Racket (Peel Session)
Blue Jam - St. John's Dance News
The JAMMs - It's Grim Up North
Art Ensemble of Chicago - Theme de Yoyo
Dr Octagon - Blue Flowers
Richard Harris - Macarthur Park
Foggy Notions - Need A Little Lovin'
The Haunted - 1-2-5
Faust - Jennifer
Buck 65 - The Centaur
Luis Luis - El Touchy
The Tornados - Telstar
Ultramagnetic MCs - Traveling At The Speed of Thought
Captain Beefheart - Harry Irene