Monday, June 12, 2017

The Church Grims Come Out of the Shadows

About a month ago, I shined the spotlight on the jangle of Scottish band Remember Fun. A couple of names were bandied about in comparison to help you, dear reader, understand their sound. It was brought to my attention one of those bands was a bit obscure and may not have been heard by you. Let's remedy that today.

This will be short and sweet because the Church Grims don't have much history. That's unfortunate, too, because when they did make it to wax (well, cassette, in most cases), each artifact turned out to be a perfect piece of indie pop. Like Remember Fun, the Paisley band was signed to Egg Records out of Glasgow, along with groups like the Prayers, Even as We Speak, the Hardy Boys, the Bachelor Pad, Baby Lemonade and several others. There was never an album during their five years together. In fact, the Church Grims' officially released discography was only four songs, all on compilations. As you'll hear in a moment, that's a travesty.

The Church Grims may have been forgotten all together, but a resurgent interest in bands influenced by the 'C86' sound that began at the turn of the century prompted Egg founder Jim Kavanagh to dig up the long out of print music from his roster with the goal of getting it out there. In 2003, many years after the band called it a day, the Church Grims finally had a somewhat proper release with 'Plaster Saints: The Church Grims Basement Tapes 1987-1988.'

"Mr. Watt Said" was the only song from the Church Grims that ever made it to vinyl. It appeared on the four-song Egg sampler "A Lighthouse in the Desert" in 1989. If you only hear one song by them, this should be the one. You know I'm a sucker for trumpet with my pop, and there is plenty of that here. Within seconds, you will think of the June Brides. I can't give a better compliment.

"Mr. Watt Said"

4 comments:

The Swede said...

The trumpet lends an engagingly melancholy edge to the song, which I enjoyed a great deal. I definitely get the June Brides vibe too. I played the tune and downloaded it, all without issue. Thanks for changing your method of delivery Brian. I considered mentioning my Zippy woes to you for several weeks, but thought the problem might lay at my end as no-one else had said anything. It's all good now though!

Howard (@indiepopSML) said...

Brian,

Great entry!

I vaguely remember how I got it -- but I have the 2006 CD "Souvenirs From Egg Records" with The Church Grims among them -- but I think I ordered it from Egg Records directly as it was possible then.

I think This Poison! was the only band I knew at the time but so much gold on that CD.

--Howard

Brian said...

Hi Howard. Good to hear from you. Cubs are 31-31. Don't want to complain after last season, but they have been shockingly mediocre in an ugly division.

I have that CD too. Of all the archive material Egg put out a decade ago, that's the one to have. The bands are so good. Something in the water over there. Sad how little info there is on many of them. A few of them got some pub during the Leamington Spa series, but those are preaching to the choir. Not going to earn many new fans. Hope all is well with you. I check in with Indie Pop Saved My Life daily. I have something coming up in the next day or two I think you might find interesting. Pretty excited about it. Take care. Go Cubs!

JC said...

I'm local and this lot are totally new to me!! Your knowledge should qualify you for dual citizenship at the very least.....