Monday, May 4, 2009

Various Artists - Live at the 101: Warts'n'All

Here is one of a series of live albums released in the early 80s by the house label (via Polydor) of the 101 Club in St. John's Hill, Clapham. Each of the albums contained tracks by several up-and-coming bands recorded live at the club and was released at a budget price in a rough cardstock sleeve with tabloid-style graphics. From 1980, this compilation includes:

01 Album Intro
02 Thompson Twins - Physics & Chemistry
03 Thompson Twins - Slave Trade
04 Jane Kennaway & Strange Behaviour - Atmospheres of England
05 Philip Gayle - Hermaphrodite
06 Deaf Aids - Heroes
07 Local Heroes SW9 - Competition
08 Local Heroes SW9 - Stabbed in the Heart Again
09 Deaf Aids - Bristol Stomp
10 Jane Kennaway & Strange Behaviour - Scratching at the Surface
11 Philip Gayle - The Ambassadors
12 The Mechanics - If I Make My Own Bed
13 The Mechanics - Higher & Higher

Unless you have heard these early Thompson Twins tracks before, chances are you won't recognize them as the same band who performed "Doctor, Doctor", "Love On Your Side", or even "In the Name of Love"; they sound like a punk-influenced new wave band! David Bowie-ish singer Philip Gayle later achieved some chart success as Philip Jap with his Trevor Horn-produced single "Save Us" (and the Tony Mansfield-produced "Total Erasure"); his lone solo album is quite good and is available on the Off the Record blog. The third and final act on this record to have managed to put out an album is Local Heroes SW9, whose members included Kevin Armstrong (later of the Passions) and sometime Thompson Twin Matthew Seligman. Jane Kennaway put out a couple singles and appears to have a band now called A Different Kind of Honey; Deaf Aids also released just two singles; and I can find no mention of the Mechanics other than on this album. They are more bluesy than the rest of the bands, but work up a nice groove on the original "If I Make My Own Bed" and then encourage an audience singalong in the cover of "Higher and Higher." The only information I have on the band members is that the songwriting credit is for Terry Quinn.

About the rip: the pressing is not great: there is noticeable surface noise and an above-average amount of clicks and pops. I removed as many as I could, but some remain. Also, the sound quality on side 2 suffers from the 29-minute playing time; levels (and general sound quality) are lower than on side 1. I have normalized the levels, but the quality is what it is. It's no worse than FM radio, at least. New links: Get the vinyl rip here or here. More Live at the 101 albums to come.


Mikeyten said...

Wow I never knew Philip Jap was Philip Gayle thanx for info and link to my blog

neil kelly said...

Any chance of a re-up? NeilKelly 20/07/14

thrllskr said...

I too would greatly appreciate a re-up of this. It contains the only live performance of one of my favorite songs, Kevin Armstrongs's Competition.

pinkpressthreat said...

Maybe 3rd time lucky? I too would be much obliged if you could re-up this particular LP, for the same reason as thrllskr mostly - the Kevin Armstrong/Local Heroes SW9 tracks :D
Any chance? heheh