Sunday, June 5, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter C, Part 8)

It was only about six weeks ago I featured the Chesterf!elds to tout their impending appearance at NYC Popfest, but the C86-era vets happen to be next on the shelf. So, let's call this a second stab at convincing you there is much more to this band than "Ask Johnny Dee." Here are the four songs they recorded on Dec. 17, 1986, for Janice Long's BBC Radio 1 program. "What's Your Perversion?" and "Love Mountain" first appeared on the "A Guitar in Your Bath EP," released by Subway Organization earlier that year. "Two Girls and a Treehouse" and "Oh Mr. Wilson" would come out on the band's first LP, 'Kettle," also via Subway, in 1987. Both of those pieces of vinyl are highly recommended. Enough. Time to spin that jangle!

"Two Girls and a Treehouse"
"What's Your Perversion?"
"Oh Mr. Wilson!"
"Love Mountain"

If, by chance, there is someone out there that saw the Chesterf!elds in New York a couple of weeks ago, please give me your impressions. I have caught two clips online and was most pleased, but it's certainly not like being there.


kevinpat said...

Not quite Morrissey & Marr but a good approximation! I don't believe I've ever heard this band before, but I like the jangle, the guitar that strums and the hiccupy voice. I especially like the songs. I immediately took to "Two Girls in a Treehouse" (maybe it was what I thought the title was suggesting that lured me) and I liked the title "Oh Mr Wilson". I could hear that song before I played it. Hmm. That's a good thing, right? Short and sweet. Kinda perfect for this old rabid Smiths fan. Now Sheila, take a bow.

Hey where did everybody go?? You no like Chesterfields???

Brian said...

No, not the Smiths, Kevinpat, but an underrated member of the C86 scene, especially when they were on Subway. Completely and Utterly is an all-time favorite, but it's cool to spin this session every once in a while too. Thought there might be some fans out there that hadn't heard these versions before.

The Swede said...

The last time you posted something by The Chesterfields it reminded me that they were one of the bands for whom I promoted a gig, back when I had my shop in the late 1980's. The reason I didn't mention it earlier was I figured that somewhere amongst all my accumulated crap, I'd find a poster, ticket or something, (anything!) that I'd kept from the night, too flesh out the details - but nothing! The support was a Subway band too (though I think Chesterfields had moved on by then, or am I misremembering that?), but for the life of me I can't remember who it was. It's a very vague and tenuous claim to fame, but there it is! If anything more concrete crops up in the archives, I'll let you know.

Brian said...

That's really cool, Swede. You are correct that the Chesterf!elds moved from Subway. They were more or less just on the label in '86 and '87. They used to tour with the Flatmates quite a bit, but I'm not sure if they did after leaving Subway. Frankly, if the mystery band was the Flatmates, I suspect you would remember it. I may need to do some digging... very curious.

The Swede said...

Definitely not The Flatmates Brian. Trying to remember a year, 1988, 1989? It's all a blur! I seem to recall that we simply wrote to an address on the back of a single and invited them to play. We probably sent loads of letters out, but The Chesterfields (& later The Shamen) actually replied. Life was so innocent in those days wasn't it?

Brett Alan said...

The Chesterfields Popfest set was a ton of fun. Granted, it's not quite the original lineup, and it's particularly odd to have prominent female vocals now. But not odd in a bad way.

I went to most of the Saturday/Sunday events of Popfest and had a wonderful time. The first time I saw The Railway Children, I asked Stephen Hull if they would add "Railroad Side" to the setlist; almost 30 years later, I finally got to hear them play it! Primitives and Chills were wonderful. Of the newer bands, my favorite was Bent Shapes, and Even As We Speak was good too.

Brian said...

Thanks for checking in, Bret Alan. Yes, the revamped lineup was a bit of a shock to me as well, but Davy is no longer with us and changes had to be made. I'm guessing Helen is Andy's wife... was that apparent? Anyway, I did enjoy the clips. Did you pick up a copy of that souvenir CD they had at the show? I'm going to make it to NYC Popfest one of these days. The lineups always blow me away. I find myself saying, "What? In America?" every year.

Brett Alan said...

Helen is indeed Andy's wife, but I don't know that it was apparent at the show if you didn't know it. No, I didn't get the EP. Really wanted a Railway Children t-shirt, but they didn't have any.