The first Volume magazine of 1992 continues with the black artwork. The contributors: Keith Cameron, David Cavanagh, Tommy Cooper, John Harris, Sam King, Graham Linehan, Arthur Mathews, Mick Mercer, Paul Mathur, Neil Perry, Ronnie Relevant, Simon Reynolds, John Robb, Dave Simpson, Andrew Smith, Mr Spencer, Tommy Udo, Cathi Unworth, Jon Wilde. There’s also an impressive spiky fish photo. “Have a banana.”
“Your friend, your teacher, the guy next door”
Therapy? were a permanent fixture on my turntable during the 1991-1993 period. Their first two mini-LPs, Baby Teeth and Pleasure Death were seriously thrilling records, intense lyrics, hooks galore and some really cool samples. As a live act, they rocked completely. Memorable gigs included a classic in McGonagles towards the end of 1991, an afternoon performance at Féile ’92 and a triumphant SFX show that December. The latter saw the band supported by Silverfish and we got a free 7″ called Have A Merry Fucking Christmas which had cover versions of The Undertones’ Teenage Kicks and U2’s With Or Without You. That was the Nurse tour, their first album for a major label – A&M – which resulted in some of their fanbase deserting them because they sold out, Maaan. Yes, back then there were idiots who proudly declared that “I never buy records released by major labels.” In 1993, Therapy? released three impressive singles: Shortsharpshock EP (lead track Screamager), Face The Strange EP (headed up by Turn) and Opal Mantra. But the wheels came off in 1994 with the weak Nowhere, lead single from Troublegum and I rapidly looked elsewhere. A driving remix of Innocent X is the second track on this edition of Volume while the interview sees Andy namecheck Dennis Hopper’s Out Of The Blue.
“I don’t believe I’ll ever get old” states Daisy Chainsaw’s Katie Jane in the A to Z of Modern Living. Street urchin chic being a logical progression from living on a yacht for four years. A live version of I Feel Insane sets the scene, a rather confused and ragged performance. A Sony D303 discman is up for grabs in the competition section before we bask in the heady dub grooves of Depth Charge’s Daughters Of Darkness. And then from one of the year’s most remarkable LPs, an astounding cover of the Dead Kennedys’ California Uber Alles from the Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy. The punk fury has been replaced by rap anger and it turns out that Jerry Brown wasn’t so bad after all. Their heroes: Martin Luther King, Ron Dellums, Tahan K Jones, Jello Biafra, Alex Haley, Spike Lee, Magic Johnson, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Bob Marley. After a humorous piece on press officers, Levitation drop the self-explanatory Cloud Shine. Elsewhere there’s an interesting instrumental take on The Charlatans’ Over Rising. Between 10th & 11th is so good: “We’re not from Manchester.”
Six steps time. The one-off Jesus Timeshare Experience was recorded by Psychotronic Vibration which had Phil Parfitt on vocals. It’s a brilliant lost diamond, euphoric and so catchy with a fantastic outro. Both Phil and Josephine Wiggs were in The Perfect Disaster while Josephine also did a stint in The Breeders whose Safari appears next in a searing alternative mix. They also supported Nirvana in Dublin that year, along with Teenage Fanclub. Check out the lists of cool things to do – including smoking! And Ms Wiggs pops up again on the next number, Honey Tongue’s mournful Let’s Sail Away. +Terrorvision with the no-nonsense rock of My House before Public Image Ltd’s spiky Criminal. The accompanying interview is great plus a handy career overview. Lydon castigates Steve Jones for guesting on Megadeth’s cover of Anarchy In The UK. Back to the magazine, a year’s subscription is offered – £40 for four issues – while there’s an amusing feature on houses and summer holidays. Sweet Jesus – Sisterfly is the original version of a track that was released on the Rough Trade Singles Club (B-Side of Honey Loving Honey).
Just step sideways, it’s Orbital. And Belfast. With vocals! Home at 3.00am and turn on the Chill Out Zone. Belfast uses a sample of soprano Emily Van Evera performing O Euchari from the Gothic Voices album A Feather On The Breath Of God. The same sample had appeared on The Beloved’s hit The Sun Rising but had not been credited. Some history: promoter David Holmes booked Orbital for the Art College, Belfast, 12 May, 1990. Despite the duo’s fears about the city’s reputation during the conflict, it was a phenomenal night and the grateful Hartnoll brothers left behind a demo cassette with another magnificent tune. Eventually, this would see a public release as Belfast, a homage to the bliss and the blossoming dance community that the act had discovered on their visit. This version eventually came out as a single in 1995; a promotional vehicle for The Best Of Volume EP.
The aptly-titled Subliminal Mix of Moby Go’s is another dawn tune; a glorious version. Jarren says “It injects a very early trance feeling, with beautiful synth refrains alongside warm pads and a lovely little understated bassline.” It’s followed by the long-forgotten Natural Life and Find Our Direction, a top proto-baggy beast. Volume T-shirts are also offered – £21 for long sleeve, £18 for short. Next is another lost gem, LFO’s Slow Down Speedy that plays like a Chicago house tune. Meanwhile the most welcome reviews section covers Brian’s Understand, The Fall’s Code: Selfish, Spiritualized’s Lazer Guided Melodies & many more. Over to Sheep On Drugs for the journey Motorbike – “Numbers. Houston, TX. 1990s. Nickel beers. Cheap drugs. Take a trip and hold on tight.” End: another live tune, Interference’s nihilistic Overload. Keith LeBlanc on drums. Road to nowhere.
Orbital – Belfast/Wasted
Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy – California Uber Alles
Lest we forget
Psychotronic Vibration – Jesus Timeshare Experience