Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Flowerpot Men (Part 1 of 2)

Ben Watkins and Adam Peters first recorded together on the sessions for Watkins' first album with Martin "Youth" Glover, The Empty Quarter, in 1983. Thereafter they began recording together as The Flowerpot Men, releasing their first single (on 12" only), "Jo's So Mean (to Josephine)", in 1984 on their own Compost Records label. It's an odd song, carrying over the sequencer from The Empty Quarter, adding lyrics and a drum machine with an undanceable beat and a general goth feel. The B-side contains two songs, "Rapids," which mostly duplicates the A-side's formula but with a slightly more conventional beat, and the odd atmospheric instrumental "UG", which is built around a repeating guttural growl. For their follow-up single in 1985 they recorded an epic cover of Dr. John's "Walk On Gilded Splinters," with a guest vocal from Dr. John himself! The Flowerpot Men's high-octane synth-based version is a far cry from Dr. John's spooky original (check it out here), but its energy is irresistible and there are some striking beat changes sprinkled throughout. The B-side, "Melting Down On Motor Angel" (later to be the title of their Polydor album as Sunsonic, although not actually on the album) returns to the style of their first record, which now that I think about it is pretty close to early Nitzer Ebb, but more arty than aggressive. Get both records here or here.


mug said...

Great! Many, many thanks! Fantod... Just curious: Are you a fan of Edward Gorey?

Fantod said...

Indeed I am. Well spotted!