Heston's Best'uns - SLF

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Heston
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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by Heston » 18 Apr 2010, 8:50pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
Heston wrote:3. Love of the Common People - 9. Great cover of the Nicky Thomas tune, later ruined by Paul Young.
Off the same album where he ruined "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (shut up, Hoy; the sensible people are talking). And yet, I really love "Wherever I Lay My Hat," so I can't totally write off Paul Young (even if he looks like he's always got a runny nose).
I must admit to a liking for "Wherever I Lay My Hat", the rest of his stuff leaves me cold.
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by Dr. Medulla » 18 Apr 2010, 8:54pm

Heston wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:
Heston wrote:3. Love of the Common People - 9. Great cover of the Nicky Thomas tune, later ruined by Paul Young.
Off the same album where he ruined "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (shut up, Hoy; the sensible people are talking). And yet, I really love "Wherever I Lay My Hat," so I can't totally write off Paul Young (even if he looks like he's always got a runny nose).
I must admit to a liking for "Wherever I Lay My Hat", the rest of his stuff leaves me cold.
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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by Heston » 18 Apr 2010, 9:04pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
Heston wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:
Heston wrote:3. Love of the Common People - 9. Great cover of the Nicky Thomas tune, later ruined by Paul Young.
Off the same album where he ruined "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (shut up, Hoy; the sensible people are talking). And yet, I really love "Wherever I Lay My Hat," so I can't totally write off Paul Young (even if he looks like he's always got a runny nose).
I must admit to a liking for "Wherever I Lay My Hat", the rest of his stuff leaves me cold.
Hestulla, a beast with Frehleyian DNA, spawns anew …
We must have been near each other when Gene Simmons ejaculated into the primordial soup.
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by Wolter » 18 Apr 2010, 9:21pm

Heston wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:
Heston wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:
Heston wrote:3. Love of the Common People - 9. Great cover of the Nicky Thomas tune, later ruined by Paul Young.
Off the same album where he ruined "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (shut up, Hoy; the sensible people are talking). And yet, I really love "Wherever I Lay My Hat," so I can't totally write off Paul Young (even if he looks like he's always got a runny nose).
I must admit to a liking for "Wherever I Lay My Hat", the rest of his stuff leaves me cold.
Hestulla, a beast with Frehleyian DNA, spawns anew …
We must have been near each other when Gene Simmons ejaculated into the primordial soup.
And now I have lost my appetite.
"There's something more honest, he believed, about traditional methods of mass starvation, labour camps, and machine gunning millions to death. Stalin was a vinyl guy who sneered at Truman converting everything to compact disc." - Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by Dr. Medulla » 18 Apr 2010, 9:23pm

Wolter wrote:
Heston wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:
Heston wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote: Off the same album where he ruined "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (shut up, Hoy; the sensible people are talking). And yet, I really love "Wherever I Lay My Hat," so I can't totally write off Paul Young (even if he looks like he's always got a runny nose).
I must admit to a liking for "Wherever I Lay My Hat", the rest of his stuff leaves me cold.
Hestulla, a beast with Frehleyian DNA, spawns anew …
We must have been near each other when Gene Simmons ejaculated into the primordial soup.
And now I have lost my appetite.
Irrelevant point for me as I've slit my throat …
Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by 101Walterton » 18 Apr 2010, 10:34pm

Heston wrote:
nowthen.jpg
I'll conclude my review of SLF's best albums with a report on my favourite album of theirs, Now Then. Looking at the ghastly cover, you'd be mistaken for thinking this was a dying whimper of a once important punk band, and evidently the masses did. Poor sales of the album and its attendant singles, coupled with low ticket sales, led to the band calling it a day. I'd say the main reason for the album's failure wasn't its tunes, but the fact that their audience had moved on. The kids who wanted the raucous punk anthems had bands like the Expoited to turn to, others were stroking their chins to the more progressive end of the punk market, New Romanticism was blossoming and SLF found themselves a band out of time. Right album, wrong year.

I'll just add that I got into SLF around 82/83 and I heard all their original albums at roughly the same time, so my lack of participation in the Punk Wars may colour my opinions.
Heston, I was lucky enough to be into SLF in 79 and saw them numerous times in 80-81 as well as meeting the band many times. I think your description of them above is spot on.

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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by Marky Dread » 19 Apr 2010, 8:25am

Heston wrote:
nowthen.jpg
I'll conclude my review of SLF's best albums with a report on my favourite album of theirs, Now Then. Looking at the ghastly cover, you'd be mistaken for thinking this was a dying whimper of a once important punk band, and evidently the masses did. Poor sales of the album and its attendant singles, coupled with low ticket sales, led to the band calling it a day. I'd say the main reason for the album's failure wasn't its tunes, but the fact that their audience had moved on. The kids who wanted the raucous punk anthems had bands like the Expoited to turn to, others were stroking their chins to the more progressive end of the punk market, New Romanticism was blossoming and SLF found themselves a band out of time. Right album, wrong year.

I'll just add that I got into SLF around 82/83 and I heard all their original albums at roughly the same time, so my lack of participation in the Punk Wars may colour my opinions.

1. Falling Down - 8. I'm sure the Edge was taking notes, the intro guitar figure is very U2ish. Superb melody, ultra-tight band performance and some nice vocal harmonies.
2. Won't Be Told - 8. If I'm not mistaken, the first sighting of an acoustic guitar on an SLF song. This is probably the point where the Mohicans went running back to the record shop for their money back. It actually kicks arse once the song kicks in properly.
3. Love of the Common People - 9. Great cover of the Nicky Thomas tune, later ruined by Paul Young. I'm convinced if they'd released this song as single it would have gave them the hit single they needed and maybe opened a new audience for them. Young (who was a good mate of Jake's) later took it to no.2 in the British charts with an admittedly fluffier version.
4. Price of Admission - 7. The acoustic guitar comes out again for a nice ballad which is let down by its slightly monotonous chorus. Good lyrics though, nice twist at the end.
5. Touch and Go - 10. Always been one of my favourite SLF songs, Green Day would have cleaned up with this in the '90s. Poptastic!
6. Stands To Reason - 9. Another favourite of mine, props to Ali McMordie on this one, the bass is superb. More great lyrics turning stereotypes on their heads.
7. Bits of Kids - 9. Still a live favourite, a song which is lyrically more relevant than ever. Nice sitar too.
8. Welcome To the Whole Week - 8. New drummer Dolphin Taylor wasn't just a pretty face, he wrote and sang this catchy little number, a song about how fantastic it is being unemployed. A bit rich coming from a Rock Star you may say, but it's done tongue in cheek and is a nice "fuck you" to the bastards who were running the country at the time.
9. Big City Nights - 7. Henry Cluney's only vocal on the album, and it's a strange one. Very eerie and half-spoken, it makes for a nice change of mood.
10. Talkback - 8. I'm a bit surprised this wasn't a hit at the time, horn-driven and very reminiscent of late period Jam. Very catchy chorus and when you're starting to expect a bit filler towards the end of the album, this keeps things trundling along nicely.
11. Is That What You Fought the War For? - 8. They saved the punkiest for last, though the presence of Timpani drums and synths later in the song shows they were trying to move on, what a shame not many chose to go with them.
Heston it's a vastly underrated album. I agree about the Nicky Thomas cover would've been a hit, didn't the horn section from Paul Young's Q Tips play on a SLF track my minds going now.

First sighting of an acoustic may have been on "Two Guitars Clash" from the £1.10 or Less EP.

Don't worry about your so called lack of participation in the so called Punk Wars they were fought in the Playground and the Classroom. I couldn't give a shit about bands like The Exploited shitty back to basics street punk sound. It's obvious you admire bands that can actually play well and serve up a decent tune it's a shame the band spent their time arguing and ending up fighting each other when this album was recorded they could've continued with a more pop punk sound look at the The Stranglers for example.

All the greatest punk records had been made by 1980 and it was time to move on and expand the bands sound the horns on "Silver Lining" for example fitted in perfectly with the likes of The Redskins, Dexy's, Teardrop Explodes etc. Anyway define what's punk it's certainly not leather jackets and mohicans.

Flags and Emblems was the follow up to this album and is a little more rock sounding released in '91 could've easily been released in '83.
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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by Heston » 19 Apr 2010, 10:52am

Marky Dread wrote:Heston it's a vastly underrated album. I agree about the Nicky Thomas cover would've been a hit, didn't the horn section from Paul Young's Q Tips play on a SLF track my minds going now.

First sighting of an acoustic may have been on "Two Guitars Clash" from the £1.10 or Less EP.

Don't worry about your so called lack of participation in the so called Punk Wars they were fought in the Playground and the Classroom. I couldn't give a shit about bands like The Exploited shitty back to basics street punk sound. It's obvious you admire bands that can actually play well and serve up a decent tune it's a shame the band spent their time arguing and ending up fighting each other when this album was recorded they could've continued with a more pop punk sound look at the The Stranglers for example.

All the greatest punk records had been made by 1980 and it was time to move on and expand the bands sound the horns on "Silver Lining" for example fitted in perfectly with the likes of The Redskins, Dexy's, Teardrop Explodes etc. Anyway define what's punk it's certainly not leather jackets and mohicans.

Flags and Emblems was the follow up to this album and is a little more rock sounding released in '91 could've easily been released in '83.
Yeah Marky, that was the Q-tips playing on Silver Lining.

And yes, I forgot about the acoustic guitar on Two Guitars Clash, I love that £1.10 or Less EP.

I thought Flags and Emblems had its moments, songs like "Each Dollar A Bullet" and "No Surrender" are up there with their best, but I found it a bit patchy.
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by Marky Dread » 19 Apr 2010, 1:05pm

Heston wrote:
Marky Dread wrote:Heston it's a vastly underrated album. I agree about the Nicky Thomas cover would've been a hit, didn't the horn section from Paul Young's Q Tips play on a SLF track my minds going now.

First sighting of an acoustic may have been on "Two Guitars Clash" from the £1.10 or Less EP.

Don't worry about your so called lack of participation in the so called Punk Wars they were fought in the Playground and the Classroom. I couldn't give a shit about bands like The Exploited shitty back to basics street punk sound. It's obvious you admire bands that can actually play well and serve up a decent tune it's a shame the band spent their time arguing and ending up fighting each other when this album was recorded they could've continued with a more pop punk sound look at the The Stranglers for example.

All the greatest punk records had been made by 1980 and it was time to move on and expand the bands sound the horns on "Silver Lining" for example fitted in perfectly with the likes of The Redskins, Dexy's, Teardrop Explodes etc. Anyway define what's punk it's certainly not leather jackets and mohicans.

Flags and Emblems was the follow up to this album and is a little more rock sounding released in '91 could've easily been released in '83.
Yeah Marky, that was the Q-tips playing on Silver Lining.

And yes, I forgot about the acoustic guitar on Two Guitars Clash, I love that £1.10 or Less EP.

I thought Flags and Emblems had its moments, songs like "Each Dollar A Bullet" and "No Surrender" are up there with their best, but I found it a bit patchy.
Yeah I too love that EP.

Flags and Emblems was indeed patchy but I was so chuffed they were back together and the lead off single Beirut Moon with the John Mcarthy intro was ace.
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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by muppet hi fi » 12 Mar 2017, 12:51am

Just re-ordered the five original albums on CD, had them all on vinyl along with 'All the Best'), had them when they first came out but sold them during a dire time. Been listening non-stop, and here's some observations:

Like Heston, I got into them and all the albums at the same time (mid '83); started with the live 'Hanx!', then 'Inflammable Material', then everything else in short order.

I've realized I don't like Jake's early vocals - sounds like how Hoy described Strummers vocals on the Clash debut (Hoy's wrong here): affected and put on. As he later proved, Jake actually had a very good voice, and his early barking now sounds to me mannered and trying too hard. It's nothing like and nowhere near the expansive emotional spectrum of Strummer on Clash s/t (never mind his latter singing).

Apart from "Suspect Device", "Alternative Ulster" and "Barbed Wire Love", there aren't many good actual songs on 'Inflammable Material'. This is 2nd or even 3rd tier punk-by-numbers. And the lyrics are largely simple minded enough for a 10 year old to have written (even though the heart's in the right place; Gordon Oglive was a journalist, and this is the cement-headed stuff he comes up with?). The sound is intense and immediate but Brian Falloon was a faceless drummer and is properly down-mixed. My least fave SLF album.

'Nobody's Heroes' is a vast improvement: new drummer Jim Reilly can play reggae pretty well, the tunes are all catchy, the songs concise, the sound compact.

The downside: Jakes vocal affectations (the 'bark') sound more affected then ever, especially in contrast to what his natural voice sounds like; Jim is a clipped and un-groovy enough drummer so as to make Terry Chimes sound like...well, Topper. The lyrics, while still righteous and even more personal in nature, are still D-U-M-B in the writing/imagination/poetry department.

'Go For It' is sort of their 'London Calling'. The tune craft is really high and diverse; Burns is singing more and barking less; the band has really learned how to stretch out together more - Ali is wonderfully fluid and inventive bassist, Jake gives his Mick Jones-esque muso tendencies full reign, there's a great warmth and empathy (and dare I say, friendliness) to most of these songs. Their best album of the originals. But...

'Now Then'. The much maligned break-up album. Stellar playing - taut, economical, catchy hooks everywhere - lyrics that actually break ground (heavy Springsteen social realism vibe going on I reckon), a sparkling, glossy pop-tastic mix, and the secret ingredient: new drummer Dolphin Taylor, from the might Tom Robinson Band. The mans a beast, in both the manic fills and the groove departments. And every single one of his fills - flams, rolls, off-beats - means something. They're as catchy as any other hook in any song. He's one of the main reasons this album works as pure socially aware power pop instead of just a weak attempt at going more "pop". Never, ever underrate the value of a great drummer in a band, especially one as great as SLF.

So as I maintained decades ago - and still think now - 'Go For It' and 'Now Then' (and the attendant singles, b-sides, EPs) are finest albums of this (still?) mighty little band.

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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by 101Walterton » 12 Mar 2017, 1:24am

Your review lost credibility with 'apart from Suspect Device, Barbed Wire Love and Alternative Ulster there aren't many good actual songs on Inflamable Material'.

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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by muppet hi fi » 12 Mar 2017, 1:34am

101Walterton wrote:
12 Mar 2017, 1:24am
Your review lost credibility with 'apart from Suspect Device, Barbed Wire Love and Alternative Ulster there aren't many good actual songs on Inflamable Material'.
Oh yeah - "Wasted Life" and the "Johnny Was" cover are good, though the live 'Hanx!' Johnny Was is vastly superior. Good (not great) album when you're 18, just doesn't interest me much at 52, whereas the other three mostly do.

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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by Low Down Low » 12 Mar 2017, 5:52am

I've said it before, I'd like the album to kick off with Alternative Ulster, its the bands mission statement and has that classic, unforgettable opening riff to boot. But all told, this is just a relatively minor caveat.

The debt to The Clash is unmistakable but I would heartily contend that no punk album, not s/t or even Bollocks, carries the sense of urgency and danger that Inflammable does. That was the record that shook me and my mates out of our lethargy and disinterest concerning the N.Ireland troubles. Easy now to forget the impact of writing songs like that in the war zone that was Belfast, what a radical thing it was - even for a punk band - to cross the political divide. Much easier to keep your head down and write about silly boys chasing girls and chocolate treats (not knocking the Undertones, that's just the reality).

Wouldn't mean much without the powerful, melodic tunes, of course, and Inflammable is packed with those too.

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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by Heston » 12 Mar 2017, 6:02am

muppet hi fi wrote:
12 Mar 2017, 12:51am
Just re-ordered the five original albums on CD, had them all on vinyl along with 'All the Best'), had them when they first came out but sold them during a dire time. Been listening non-stop, and here's some observations:

Like Heston, I got into them and all the albums at the same time (mid '83); started with the live 'Hanx!', then 'Inflammable Material', then everything else in short order.

I've realized I don't like Jake's early vocals - sounds like how Hoy described Strummers vocals on the Clash debut (Hoy's wrong here): affected and put on. As he later proved, Jake actually had a very good voice, and his early barking now sounds to me mannered and trying too hard. It's nothing like and nowhere near the expansive emotional spectrum of Strummer on Clash s/t (never mind his latter singing).

Apart from "Suspect Device", "Alternative Ulster" and "Barbed Wire Love", there aren't many good actual songs on 'Inflammable Material'. This is 2nd or even 3rd tier punk-by-numbers. And the lyrics are largely simple minded enough for a 10 year old to have written (even though the heart's in the right place; Gordon Oglive was a journalist, and this is the cement-headed stuff he comes up with?). The sound is intense and immediate but Brian Falloon was a faceless drummer and is properly down-mixed. My least fave SLF album.

'Nobody's Heroes' is a vast improvement: new drummer Jim Reilly can play reggae pretty well, the tunes are all catchy, the songs concise, the sound compact.

The downside: Jakes vocal affectations (the 'bark') sound more affected then ever, especially in contrast to what his natural voice sounds like; Jim is a clipped and un-groovy enough drummer so as to make Terry Chimes sound like...well, Topper. The lyrics, while still righteous and even more personal in nature, are still D-U-M-B in the writing/imagination/poetry department.

'Go For It' is sort of their 'London Calling'. The tune craft is really high and diverse; Burns is singing more and barking less; the band has really learned how to stretch out together more - Ali is wonderfully fluid and inventive bassist, Jake gives his Mick Jones-esque muso tendencies full reign, there's a great warmth and empathy (and dare I say, friendliness) to most of these songs. Their best album of the originals. But...

'Now Then'. The much maligned break-up album. Stellar playing - taut, economical, catchy hooks everywhere - lyrics that actually break ground (heavy Springsteen social realism vibe going on I reckon), a sparkling, glossy pop-tastic mix, and the secret ingredient: new drummer Dolphin Taylor, from the might Tom Robinson Band. The mans a beast, in both the manic fills and the groove departments. And every single one of his fills - flams, rolls, off-beats - means something. They're as catchy as any other hook in any song. He's one of the main reasons this album works as pure socially aware power pop instead of just a weak attempt at going more "pop". Never, ever underrate the value of a great drummer in a band, especially one as great as SLF.

So as I maintained decades ago - and still think now - 'Go For It' and 'Now Then' (and the attendant singles, b-sides, EPs) are finest albums of this (still?) mighty little band.
Interesting reading. I mostly agree but wouldn't be as harsh as you towards IM. I think the production lets it down rather than the songs, and it becomes harder to listen to as the years roll on.

Spot on about Go For It and Now Then, Dolphin is fantastic on the latter.
So what does Marconi playing the mamba mean? "Marconi" is referring to the radio itself. It plays a deadly snake. The snake - the mamba - is slithering from the speakers. Ready to kill greedy corporations. Ready to free the world of all that is evil, and to leave behind only the youthful idealism encompassed by the tenets of rock and roll.

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Re: Heston's Best'uns - SLF

Post by Marky Dread » 12 Mar 2017, 8:21am

Low Down Low wrote:
12 Mar 2017, 5:52am
I've said it before, I'd like the album to kick off with Alternative Ulster, its the bands mission statement and has that classic, unforgettable opening riff to boot. But all told, this is just a relatively minor caveat.

The debt to The Clash is unmistakable but I would heartily contend that no punk album, not s/t or even Bollocks, carries the sense of urgency and danger that Inflammable does. That was the record that shook me and my mates out of our lethargy and disinterest concerning the N.Ireland troubles. Easy now to forget the impact of writing songs like that in the war zone that was Belfast, what a radical thing it was - even for a punk band - to cross the political divide. Much easier to keep your head down and write about silly boys chasing girls and chocolate treats (not knocking the Undertones, that's just the reality).

Wouldn't mean much without the powerful, melodic tunes, of course, and Inflammable is packed with those too.
I understand that punk was about getting real and dealing with issues that surround you. It was easy for the English bands to sing about anarchy and riots but SLF were in the real war zone. However I completely understand the stance The Undertones took also. When you are witnessing people being shot and blown up daily then you just might want some escapism.
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