Saturday, June 15, 2019

Summer of Subway: Korova Milk Bar

If you don't like the fuzz and pop of the Flatmates, the Rosehips or the Chesterf!elds, perhaps today's selection will be your gateway to the sounds of the Subway Organization. Korova Milk Bar doesn't fit easily into the label's aesthetic. Even the sleeve for the album 'Talkings Boring' seems out of place. Why didn't the Terrible Hildas do the artwork like on most Subway releases?

Korova Milk Bar formed in Birmingham on the heels of Surf Drums, a band that released a couple of singles in the mid-'80s on Joe Foster's Kaleidoscope Sound label. You know Foster as Alan McGee's mate and a co-founder of Creation and Rev-Ola. Confession time. Surf Drums get more than a passing mention because I actually like that band more than Korova Milk Bar. They wore their affinity for the Byrds on their sleeves, and even when they didn't sounded oh-so C86. For you trivia buffs, Richard March of Pop Will Eat Itself (which we will hear later in this series) produced their work.

When Surf Drums dissolved, Ann-Marie Taylor, Colin Packwood and Paul Tibbits joined Martin Whitehead's stable of stars as Korova Milk Bar. It was as if the band had hopped into a time machine set for 1981. The jangle was gone, and the post-punk sounds of the Sound and Echo and the Bunnymen were in its place. Korova Milk Bar had two releases for Subway, long player 'Talkings Boring' (SUBORG 13) and 12" single "Do It Again" (Subway 25T), both released in 1989. In the early '90s, there would be three more singles for the mighty Chapter 22 label, home to the likes of Mighty Mighty and the aforementioned Pop Will Eat Itself. One more connection to PWEI to mention, and this one seems most important. Annie Taylor and Richard March tied the knot. Ain't love grand? Here's the opener from 'Talkings Boring.'

Something Missing

Bonus: Here is a B-side from Surf Drums, circa 1987.

All There Is

1 comment:

Stuart H said...

thanks for this. I loved Korova Milkbar and thier '83 bunnymen and new order feel. Ive a poster and ticket stubs squireled away somewhere.

Cool website