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The Cravats in session on BBC 6 Music

Posted on August 8, 2012
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It's only up there for a week, so pop over to Marc Riley's show and listen to The Cravats perform three rather splendid tracks live in session, which were: XMP, I Am The Dreg, Who's In Here With Me?

 

The Cravats ‘In Toytown’ 2xCD

Posted on August 7, 2012
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John Peel: "I hate Toyah records and they all go whizzing into the charts, and I love The Cravats and play all their records and nobody buys them. Whenever I start to feel important I think, 'Well, I never did much for The Cravats and I didn't stop Toyah'..." – Smash Hits, 1982

‘The Cravats In Toytown’
45 track 2xCD (Overground OVER129 CD)

The complete Small Wonder recordings: The Cravats In Toytown album and five singles, newly remastered, plus a bonus disc of In Toytown remixed from the original multi-track tapes by Penny Rimbaud.
132 minutes total. Release date: 6th August 2012

Mick Mercer [1980 review of ‘Precinct’]: "Single of the Month … A strange bunch of girls [he’s putting us on, okay?] who are all set to be one of the finest bands ever, an uncanny resemblance to no-one else, strange noises...a liking of strange things” Panache fanzine #12.

The Cravats’ one, great musical handicap was that they were indescribable. Incisive, innovative musicianship was everywhere, yet the songs themselves defied comparison to anyone else's. The lyrics, meanwhile, were uncommon, vivid, and forcefully-delivered, so reviewers (both friendly and hostile) focused on those. But the part that burrowed straight for the wee chunk of your brain marked “fight or flight” on the meat-cutters’ chart was the unsettling throb and lurch of the massively-amplified sax, guitars, bass, drums, and whatever other alien sound-forms and distortions The Cravats felt like heaving into the mix.

Their devoted record-company, Small Wonder, had no idea how to present them, either, but they kept on releasing Cravats records long after they'd bid adieu to the rest of their visionary catalog (among them The Cure, Patrik Fitzgerald, Crass, Poison Girls, Menace, Bauhaus, and Fatal Microbes). Peel played and played them, recording four Cravats Peel sessions 1979-82.

The Cravats formed after a Stranglers show in Birmingham in 1977: they borrowed £400 from Shend’s mum and self-released their debut 7” Gordon in July 1978. Small Wonder liked the single so much that they picked up 500 copies and booked the band into the studio with producer Bob Sargeant; the result was the Burning Bridges single, soon followed by Precinct. Next, the band relocated to Torquay for a full week in 1980 to record their first album – on an 8-track in a hotel basement: The Cravats In Toytown made it into the Top 20 in the independent charts. Two more Small Wonder 45s followed, You’re Driving Me  and  Off The Beach, sandwiched around their first project with Penny Rimbaud (who succeeded in making them even darker with ‘Rub Me Out’).

Despite their collectability, the Small Wonder records remained un-reissued until Penny Rimbaud obtained the recently discovered multi-track Toytown masters and re-interpreted and remixed them in his own unique, eccentric style, as Alice’s Adventures In Toytown.
The singles and the ‘original’ LP mix are fully remastered here as well.

Label: Overground / OVER 129 CD / barcode 689492121020 / double CD at single CD price.
For more information: www.thecravats.com or http://www.myspace.com/cravatsmusic

Track Listing:
Still/ In Your Eyes/ Welcome/ Dralon/ Pressure Sellers/ One In A Thousand/ Spoons/ X.M.P./ All Around The Corner/ Ceasing To Be/ Gordon/ Streets/ Live For Now/ Tears On My Machine/ The Hole/ All On Standby/ Triplex Zone/ Training Aid/ Gordon/ Situations Vacant/ Burning Bridges/ I Hate The Universe/ The End/ Precinct/ Who’s In Here With Me/ You’re Driving Me/ I Am The Dreg/ Off The Beach/ And The Sun Shone/ Still/ In Your Eyes/ Welcome/ Pressure Sellers/ One In A Thousand/ X.M.P./ All Around The Corner/ Ceasing To Be/ Gordon/ Streets/ Live For Now/ Tears On My Machine/ The Hole/ All On Standby/ Triplex Zone/ When Will We Fall/ Who’s In Here With Me

The Trial Of Pussy Riot In Russia

Posted on July 31, 2012
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I have the utmost admiration for Pussy Riot, who have taken the spirit of Punk Rock and Riot Grrrls and organised anti-Putin protests, including the now infamous performance in a church that lead to them being arrested and put on trial.

This is unquestionably a great injustice and typical of the increasing authoritarianism that Putin and his cronies are inflicting on the Russian people. Once KGB, always KGB.

However, as tragic as this is for the poor girls and Russian society in general, I think there's a positive to be taken from this. Their protest and trial will become legendary and I'm sure in years to come one of the definining moments in punk rock and the music protest movement. What would have passed un-noticed by virtually everyone has now gone global.

Pussy Riot you are the Crass of Russia, you have scared the establishment - I salute you!

For a great article by Sydney Brownstone here.

Please support them, there's campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, petitions etc. and a protest website which if you're inclined you can donate to their legal fees.

This is an image in support of Pussy Riot created by Jamie Reid.

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