After 29 years with British indie/garage/beat/punk/psych-pop collective Comet Gain, singer/mastermind David Christian (Feck) is going “solo”. Under the sun of his new home in the South of France, exchanged for Brexit London, he created a folk-rock album with the kind help of numerous friends on numerous instruments. The LP was made in the middle of the french countryside in a barn/farm owned by Mike and Allison Targett of Heist where along with drummer Cosmic Neman (Zombie/Zombie, Herman Dune) they cut the record with Mike producing and both Targetts adding vocals, pianos etc. Then later, the group of friends known as The Pinecone Orchestra – James Horsey and Alasdair MacLean (The Clientele), Ben Phillipson (18th Day Of May/Trimdon Grange Explosion/Comet Gain), Gerry Love (Teenage Fan Club/Lightships), Anne-Laure Guillain (Comet Gain/Cinema Red And Blue) and Joe-Harvey Whyte (Hanging Stars) – coloured everything in with guitars, vocals, bass, pedal steel etc.. The result is called For Those We Met On The Way and is out now on German label Tapete Records.
LOCKETS,DROP-OUTS AND DRAGNETS
“(rolling out with the dawn) ambulance on a higher hill/ harvest for the haunted/ everyone worried and waiting like mothers in wartime/ isn’t that what you wanted?/ and you rolling out with the dawn/ see the churchyard staring/ and you sleeping on somebody’s lawn/ see the lighthouse glaring/ I’m gonna let everybody know/ Maybe its not time for you to go/ You came round to the flat/ I pretended i was gone/ but when I’d got to the station/ you’d been hit by a car/ silver poured out of your skull/ something flew out of your eyes with a sigh/ and you,/ You were never the same/ and my shame hangs on like a locket/ and you/ you only wanted a friend/ like a prize you could buy with a ticket/ like a feather but you can’t hold it/ I’m gonna let everybody know/ hope its not time for you to go/ we all choose who we get haunted by,/ we keep our phantoms fed/ and all those things will go when were gone/ like forgotten dreams in an unmade bed/ and you/ I knew how you felt/ but its too late to change that now/ and you/ your life drew out a different line/ thin walker how did i manage to forget ya/ and if your happy please take a bow/ and if your happy I’d see you now/ there’s UFOs on the colney hatch lane, Queen’s woods is burning/ the ashes of somebody’s beautiful dream/ We all got burned by our own longing/ and your wings fell scorched to the floor/ since you found out there was nothing/ and I’m going to let everybody know/ maybe its not time for us to go“
BALLAD FOR THE BUTTON-DOWNS
“just because you smell of kerosene doesn’t mean that you can burn/ on the floor picking up your teeth/ his heavy, heavy hands on your heavenly hair/ a hercules with weak wrists,/ a buccaneer with no ship/ and we are the psychos, pathetic, the quitters, all tilme losers/ we are the rejects, the lower class, we are the cretins, uncivilized minions, 2nd rate human beings,/ we are the heathens grab your spirits and head for the hills/ the heathens have won again/ button up its almost time to go/ and i will miss this when I’m gone/ walking in pairs with panthers preen/ Red, purple and flashed/t he smashed blocked scene/ I’ll miss the one-offs, outsiders/ out of timers, the chain breakers, immaculate losers, generations schmoozers/ You had the best records, the purest sneer, offered more than you would stealin’ the upstairs room in Kentish Town road-white jeans, black boots, a nod and a wink/ the names + the beat,/ what did you need to do, what did you look for?/ with magpie eyes you smiled and smiled and smiled and smiled/ goodbye to the mods, neat, pretty and obsessed/ goodbye to the punks, scared, scarred and intense/ you said “I’m only strong when I’m dreaming”/ and i will miss you when your gone/ you reject me, you forget me, you distort me, you disturb me, and everyone’s gone round to chrysanthemum janes/ to sunshine playrooms and lit arcades/ let it all go before the dream fades/ before you cascade :rejoining the heavenly wild/ hanging with the flash harry hip lids/ you strange street astronauts, you footstomping frankensteins, you supernatural fairytales/ a haven for weak hearts, razorblades and darts/ a heaven for the hurt/ yr diamonds in the dirt/ she died in her sleep at 75 they dimmed the city lights in tribute/ and every twinkle became a soft ghost shoe shuffle/ this is what you were, this is what you wanted to be/ a sweet mist, a uniform to be missed/ and I’m only real when I’m feeling/ and i will miss you when your gone/ I will remember this when it’s done/ this is the ballad for the button-downs“
David Christian’s Mixtape:
Margaret Mandolph – Something Beautiful
Start off with a sweet bang – a wonderful 45 with the equally great ‘penny gold’ on the flip-one of those soul songs that gently puts its arms around you while getting your feet tapping-makes me think of nights with friends huddled round a pile of 45s laughing and then all going queit while something beautiful plays.
Our Lady Of The Stars – The Bee Keeper
My old friend and often collabarator john mckeown has spent about as long as me fighting the obscure punk rock wars and i’m amazed at how he alwyas manages to be interesting,erudite and angular whilst making total pop either with yummy fur,1990s or this current endeavour which is pretty much just him and its always nice to hear your friends singing.
Charles Douglas – Minkey Island
He’s one of these eccentric weirdo-in-his-parents-basement guys who took too many drugs and thought his low fi home recordings where gonna make him a star-i love how honest and carefree his madness is with a song you’d love as a 6 year old and can still dance around to now-he would probably have made great novelty songs about monsters if he was recording in the 50s that the cramps would do covers of-my favourite is this demented hot rod song ‘drivin’ around’ but its not on you tube.
Holiday Ghosts – Off Grid
A new group though one with a nice scuffed foot in some familiar(to this old guy)sounds-its very hard for an old recluse who is baffled by modern tech to find out about new music but i spy on what everyone else is going on about and some i find and there great like dry cleaning, rolling blackouts etc -this lot have a nice flying nun rolling loose sound with that swirly organ sound i can’t ever ever resist-the kind of thing I’d like to try more often-good weird pop with a swirly organ.
Jimmy Campbell – Mother’s Boy
I adore Jimmy Campbell – his songs remind me of things but i can never quite place them – an early evening melancholic but warm feeling-his songs are so simple and direct a bit like Bill Fay who has many similarities and his Liverpool accent is quite prominent which is always nice-so this song makes me feel close to something but i don’t know what it is-if that makes sense
Maxine Funke – Moody Relish
A perfectly titled sparse thing-i have no idea how i heard it but here it is-makes me think of the process of making a song that has a place in time- something ephemeral that drifts quietly above you but that you can get lost in-like certain people, certain places, certain times and then just fades back into mist or memory or wherever it came from.
The Exceptions -The Eagle Flies On Friday
Something i did… I cycle around through the forest by the lake and hum songs in my head and every now and then I’ll stumble stupidly like a drunk looking for keys on a tune or words that sounds good and then try clumsily to replicate that and make a ‘song’ – I’m doing a new bandcamp LP of short pop/punk/grarage etc. songs and had this killer freakbeat song with a nice groovy riff- I was very happy – then a few days later I realised whilst lovingly looking at my box of 60s UK psychedelic pop 45s that someone had already done that exact song over 50 years ago and that I’d been humming it all this time.
Crack Cloud – Swish Swash
I’ll end the mix on a long art punk scrrabbbababrrangg jagged riff- the aforementioned J.McKeown turned me onto this so this reminds me of him – I believe they are Canadian and they have made a few records – none of which I’ve heard for this song is enough – it’s almost funny how total post-punk it is with that soft boys/beefheart/fire engines/wire/gang of 4 thing but then the riff just keeps going – spiralling and pounding and scratching and building- I love that shit even though, like i say, they could be taking the piss or really many be some messthetics type group but its a good way to end it.
What David Says: “I could have added songs forever – there’s always a million new best songs ever – me and Emile (my son) go on the internet and just play songs and love them, so we just make endless playlists for each other to listen to when we eat etc. – I would have added songs by East Village/Dry Cleaning/Ben Phillipson/John Cale/Clinic/ etc. but there’s never enough time for all the beautiful music“.
For Those We Met On The Way is out now on Tapete Records. Look HERE for more information on David Christian and The Pinecone Orchestra.