Men on the Border

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2012-06-29

Men On The Border: full of guitars and no dust...

alien coaster from DSOTM
Alien coaster, from The Dark Side of the Moon Immersion set.

Summer time has come and this means it is time to take the plastic chairs and table into the garden and have an afternoon drink. The main problem always is: where are the coasters to put the glasses on? Surely you didn't pay 120 Euros for a Dark Side of the Moon Immersion box set to ruin its cheap (but expensive) content by putting a glass of Mojito on top of those exclusive carton collector's coasters, did you?

Thank god there is Mojo's Return to the Dark Side of The Moon - Wish You Were Here Again from a couple of months ago. I you have ever listened to it then you certainly would wish you were over there, praising that nobody can hear crap in a vacuum. My Wall Re-Built albums are still shrink-wrapped and will probably stay like that until eternity or till I finally have the nerve to make the final cut.

The Madcap Laughs Again treatment from 2010 was slightly better, probably because nobody tried to make too much of a fool out of the mad cat, but nevertheless I only gave the album a 4 out of 10 score. It does contain some interesting versions though, like Marc Almond's Late Night that has grown on me like a wart on a witches nose.

But for most of those covermount disks the only slightly ecological way to give them a purpose in life is to recycle them as beverage coasters. By the way, Mojo should realize that these CDs can be counter-productive as well. A while ago I saw the issue with Pet Sounds Revisited and because I didn't want to spoil my good mood I simply turned my back, deciding not to buy it. No way I was going to listen to the massacre of one of the finest albums in the world.

This just to say I am slightly grumpy when it comes to these tribute albums. But sometimes there are exceptions, like...

Men On The Border
Men On The Border.

Men On The Border

Swedish Men On The Border, so learns us the blurb, started as a project inspired by the music and art of Roger Keith ”Syd” Barrett. The power duo consists of Göran Nyström and Phil Etheridge and the result is Shine!, a CD of interpretations of songs by Syd Barrett.

And what interpretations they are, rather than dumbfoundedly mimicking Roger Keith they flavour their interpretations with power chords, contemporary sounds, odd humour and slightly hidden musical references.

I have a soft spot for track number 5 that starts as a Joy Division, Gary Numan or Blur inspired rendition of No Man's Land, seamlessly sliding into Golden Hair and retreating to No Man's Land again. The track is dark, a bit industrial with screaming guitars and probably a signature track for what Men On The Border really stand for. Göran Nyström:

(I'm) quite happy with it. As black as it should be. And yet with a little golden shimmer deep inside.
Shine!, art by Kajsa-Tuva Henriksson
Shine! cover by Kajsa-Tuva Henriksson.

The cool thing is that MOTB give an odd, unexpected, turn to the classics we know so well. Wined And Dined makes you think that the song will dive into Irish jig territory but the guitar that follows (not that far from Gilmour’s Raise My Rent, if you ask me) brings back happy memories from the music I liked in the seventies (those heavenly oohs and aaahs), ending with a Beatlesque streak. Göran Nyström:

I want to do this with great respect, yet not ending up imitating Syd and his weaknesses at the time. I always felt uncomfortable with cover artists trying to be the sick and poor Syd. I think his songs should shine.

Listening to Gigolo Aunt, that I have always found a bit simple as a song, it comes to me that some of the influences of MOTB lay in the pub-rock from Graham Parker & The Rumour, Rockpile (with Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds) and the cruelly under-appreciated The Motors (their Airport still is in my all times Top-20).

Opel, here renamed as Opal which is probably more correct, has an intro reminding me of a hungry Jaws swimming towards some EMI sales representatives who immediately devour the poor animal. First its intro made me think of an Emerson, Lake and Palmer thing... but at second thought some classic Deep Purple may be a bit closer to it. Anyway it is classic stuff. The song has glimpses of an all female string quartet, playing in the nude, but probably my imagination is having a go at me now.

Long Gone starts – literally - with an interstellar joke before jumping into Mark Bolan or David Bowie cockney territory , it's a totally loony, but irresistible version (and it has a fine moog-a-like outro as well).

Gigolo Aunt by JenniFire
Gigolo Aunt by JenniFire.

What did I forget so far:
Octopus, not as erratic as the original and larded with slight psychedelic effects...
Dark Globe, loving the crack in Göran's voice at the 'wouldn't you miss me at all' bit...,
No Good Trying, a straight forward rocky rendition with lots of reverb, oohs, aahs and nananananas...
Feel, well over seven minutes it starts with a slightly Floydian ambient intro and it further meanders into a pastoral Grantchester Meadows classic but at the four minutes mark a slightly brilliant Narrow Way guitar solo takes over...

Late Night must be one of the most beautiful songs that Syd Barrett ever wrote and Men On The Border also get this one right. Love, peace and understanding are omnipresent (not only on this track, but on the whole album) and, frankly, this is a quite moving version.

You may have deducted by now that the album is excellent and then we haven't said a word about the art department yet, one of the extra reasons you should buy this album for.

The cover art has been made by Kajsa-Tuva Henriksson and the booklet illustrates every song with a painting from Jennifer D'Andrea's (aka JenniFire) I.N.Spired series. Buying the CD will also financially help the Cambridge based Squeaky Gate organisation.

Men On The Border haven't set up a web-shop for their album yet, but you would be more than obliged to mail them at info@menontheborder.com and ask for a copy.

And if the above review didn't convince you, you can listen and watch their songs on the Men On The Border Sound & Vision pages (have a go at Feel with more intriguing art work from JenniFire).

Those Swedish surely have something I can't explain.


Many thanks to: Göran Nyström, Phil Etheridge & JenniFire.


2013-08-16

Men On The Border, Syd Swedish version

Shine! Men On The Border.
Shine! Men On The Border.

Is it already over a year ago that this blog reviewed the Men On The Border's Shine! CD? Lots of things happened meanwhile to the Reverend who was recently spotted at an Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical. Since then, when he sits in the evening in his comfy chair, a glass of Amontillado in his hand, you can hear him murmuring the immortal refrain...

Memory
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then...
Thinking that we're getting older and wiser
When we're just getting old
But I have grown older and
You have grown colder and
Nothing is very much fun any more.
(Taken from: Memory [Cats] / Near the End [David Gilmour] / One of my Turns [Roger Waters])

Roger Waters:

Andrew Lloyd Webber sickens me. He's in your face all the time and what he does is nonsense. It has no value. It is shallow, derivative rubbish, all of it... (Taken from: Who The Hell Does Roger Waters Think He Is?, Q Magazine, November 1992, hosted at: A Fleeting Glimpse.)

But it is not because the Reverend deliberately ignores Roger Waters' warnings that he can't recognise decent music any more.

Shine! from Men On The Border is a splendid album that shouldn't be ignored by the redneck Sydiots out there. Luckily, neither did the Spanish Syd Barrett blog Solo En Las Nubes and that's how the following self-interview came into place, an interview with some old friends...

Solo en les Nubes

Men On The Border, who or what are they? Are they men or myth? With an album, artwork and history myth-busting/building, they have rocked the psychedelic foundations of the Syd Barrett world with a pop mentality. Yes, pop. This sounds too cool to be true. We decided to find out more.

MOTB!
Men On The Border.

Men On The Border, Syd Swedish version

So who are these mystical Men On The Border?

Phil: Well, wouldn't you like to know! We're just a couple of sticky Swedes, except for me, because I'm just a Brit with Swedish tendencies.
Göran: And I am just a Swede with British tendencies.
Phil: I've now lived longer in Sweden than I did in Britland. I moved here because of my spiritual affinity with the elks and they're thin on the ground in London. Apart from that I've been a fanatic guitarist most of my life.
Göran: They are very thin is what I've heard.
Phil: Disappearingly thin.
Göran: Disappointingly thin.

How long have you been involved in music?

Phil: All my life, actually from a very early age and my earliest memories are musical - banging on boxes, as I wanted to be a drummer.
Göran: I wanted to be an astronaut. The space age - and the music that came with it. Ahhh.
Phil: From age 10 and onwards, everything was guitars. My life is littered with musical tags which can take me back to specific events in seconds - like most people probably have.
Göran: Indeed. Some good events, some less good, some joyful, some simply embarrassing.
Phil: Music has also steered major life-choices, like my conscious decision to reject both schooling and religion in my teens.
Göran: My music universe imploded and exploded at the same time. I was a punk rocker, a prog rocker and a 60s pop fan – all at once. My first band was named Läder, the second one Yeah. Then I ditched music for education and... things.
Phil: My first band was at the age of 17. Unfortunately I was unable to also reject the other very basic family philosophy: you have to have a proper job! Getting a good education was obviously less important. If I'd put my energies into music instead of a string of shit jobs in my teens, maybe this album would have been made 20 years ago.
Göran: Maybe it WAS made 20 years ago in a time vortex kind of thingie.

Why did you make the album Shine!?

Phil: I love to make music, I love to play and I love to record in my studio. If it's my music or someone else's doesn't really matter as long as it has something to offer.
Göran: As it happened, Syd Barrett had something to offer.
Phil: I hadn't actually heard any of his solo material when we started. I was a Pink Floyd fan, but had completely missed out on Syd.
Göran: This helped to motivate me. I sent him a first primitive demo.
Phil: Making Octopus whetted my appetite for more.
Göran: And this in turn drove me further. To convince people like Phil! The joy of discovery. Squid for dinner!
Phil: Well, he was dead keen to continue, so to make a whole album was an easy decision.
Göran: We made an early promise to be ready for a festival the next summer.
Phil: Yes. The absolute deadline for mastering was June 8th 2012.

Men on the Border
Men On The Border.

Can you describe the creative process of making Shine!?

Phil: Göran made acoustic demos which he sent to me. Sometimes I made an initial draft recording, which I sent back for suggestions on how to proceed and a few times we sat together and played.
Göran: It was a case of working out some new types of arrangements that would fit Syd’s songs without losing too much of the feelings behind the songs. Some of them were “road tested” in some acoustic gigs and more.
Phil: And more?
Göran: Dreaming in a forest, Phil. Then I just recorded on my smartphone and mailed over to Phil and he sent me some new amazing twists back. Every time was such a joy!
Phil: As an example of the process my string quartet arrangement in the Golden Hair part of No Man's Land was axed by Göran.
Göran: Sorry!
Phil: He came up with another suggestion, the one that ended up on the album. I thought that was SUCH a good idea, but was actually easily persuaded by Göran to ditch the strings....
Göran: Creative conflicts. We bounced things between us to create the right blend. Those strings were brilliant, but did not work in the context of No Man’s Land. It would have worked as a stand-alone.
Phil: I also waited until all the Shine! recordings were completed before listening to the originals and was thus not influenced by them at all.
Göran: Well, there was one where you cheated.
Phil: Yes! I actually listened to Gigolo Aunt because I couldn't figure out the timing from Göran's demo -there's a half-bar in there.
Göran: The fun and beauty of Syd's songs.
Phil: All-in-all there was a LOT of bouncing back and forth.
Göran: Happy bouncing!

Which are your favourite songs on Shine!?

Phil: All of the songs have elements in them which I love. But if I had to choose one song it would be Opal, because it has everything. Poignant lyric, great vocals from Göran.
Göran: Well...
Phil: And also my best performance ever on a recording. 7 minutes of stark beauty.
Göran: Opal was always special and I knew it had to be on the album. We saved it for last really. It's tricky and I had to record my demo to Phil in several segments.
Phil: Oh yes. A bit of a puzzle really.
Göran: I am very pleased with how it turned out. Personally I like the duo of Long Gone and No Man’s Land, moving in that punk/prog territory. Feel is also such a wonderful melody and we stretched that to tell a bit of a story, but with sound only. Wonderful guitar work from Phil.

Which great Syd Barrett songs did not make it to be included on Shine!?

Phil: Terrapin, which we recorded a week after the album was released. I love that song, but because of the deadline we didn't have the spare week we needed to record it. We'd planned to include that with a string quartet, though fortunately the quartet idea wasn't included. I love the result on that. There may be others....
Göran: Terrapin works best as a bonus track really. There is a thematic structure to Shine! and I am not sure how it could have fitted in. We had some ideas to include obscure Pink Floyd stuff, like Scream Thy Last Scream. I am sure that would have been really interesting, but then again it was never a Syd solo song.

Octopus (Jennifer D Andrea)
Octopus. Artwork: Jennifer D Andrea.

What can you tell us about the artwork included with Shine!?

Göran: Back in March 1971, Syd admitted that at heart he was really a painter. We just felt we should try to reflect this in our little tribute.
Phil: But none of us can paint.
Göran: We tried sonically to bring more colour to his rather bleak songs and also to illustrate the whole album with colourful art.
Phil: The cover was specially made for us by a wonderful Swedish artist, Kajsa-Tuva Henriksson. You can read all sorts of things into that painting.
Göran: Yeah. I first met her at a festival and played some of the early demos for her and she really liked it. Then later, I described the overall ideas and parts of Syd’s life. She made that painting to reflect all of this.
Phil: The booklet has one painting for each song in a sort of an exhibition, where you move through different rooms actually. The paintings were made by a Syd Barrett fan in the USA, Jennifer D’Andrea.
Göran: I really love those. I have Octopus framed as a constant reminder in my working room.

Now honestly, what is really so great about Syd Barrett?

Göran: It's all great. You cannot easily separate the life and the art of Syd Barrett. It is all so interwoven, as indeed it is with many great artists through history. Van Gogh springs to mind, but also many more. Their art might not have reached their true audience during their life time, but would grow in importance.
Phil: For me it has been a bit of a discovery really.
Göran: So Syd made some great stuff with Pink Floyd and got that band on track for stardom, but I think he actually did his best work after Pink Floyd. In a similar way that John Lennon did his best work at a very vulnerable stage after The Beatles. Their respective music is so extremely honest, but also very unpredictable and full of layered meanings. Entering the “Syd universe” is very worthwhile. We just want to help more people find it.
Phil: Turn on, tune in, rock out!

OK, you've convinced us. Where and how can we buy Shine!?

Göran: We have a few hundred copies left still, stored in USA, UK and Sweden. Just visit our website and drop us a mail. We are quick to answer and will happily send the CD to wherever you are.
Phil: By interstellar overdrive. We have fans on our Facebook page from all over the planet, but no worries, we can mail the CD to all locations!

Last question! Where is the pussy willow that smiled on this leaf - and if it’s there will you go there too?

Phil: I've been advised by my lawyer not to answer this question, but Göran, being brave and foolhardy in equal parts, probably has an exclamation up the sleeve of his kaftan.
Göran: The pussy willow is in springtime Cambridge, and yes we will certainly go there one day to gig and make recordings. Right Phil?
Phil: You’ll have to talk to my manager……

Men on the Border
Men on the Border.

Göran Nyström and Phil Eheridge are preparing a new album called (at least for now) Jumpstart that will at least have two other Syd covers and own material. On the third of October 2013 they are billed at the Floydian Cruise gig in Sweden.

© 2013 Antonio Jesús, Solo en las Nubes. Pictures courtesy of Men on the Border & Solo en las Nubes.
Translation mistakes, typos and all possible errors are entirely the responsibility of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit.
The Holy Church review of the Men on the Border album can be found here: Men On The Border: full of guitars and no dust... 

Links:

Kajsa-Tuva Henriksson

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kajsatuva/sets/

Jennifer D'Andrea

Deviant Art: http://missjennifyre.deviantart.com/
Flickr 1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/missjennifire/sets/
Flickr 2: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennyandbrett/sets/
Weebly: http://jennifiresart.weebly.com/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MissJenniFyre


2013-11-30

Men On The Border: Jumpstart

Men On The Border (photo: David Parkin)
Men On The Border (photo: David Parkin).

Men On The Border are a Swenglish duo (Göran Nyström & Phil Etheridge) who surprised the world around June 2012 with the release of their album Shine! (exclamation point included). The album consisted entirely of Syd Barrett covers that were, for a change, not meticulously cloned, but recreated following the weird musical rules from their Nordic universe. The album was (still is) a smasher, although that may not have resulted in a million selling mega success. Of course that is entirely their responsibility as they neglected to follow the Reverend's advice to make a video clip where bikini-clad ladies would have logistic problems with melting ice cream.

In an interview from this summer, originally published (in Spanish) on Sole En Las Nubes, and hosted at the Church as well (Men On The Border, Syd Swedish version, thanks Antonio!) they broke the news that a new album, called Jumpstart would see the light of day this year.

It made me wonder if MOTB would suffer from Second Album Syndrome, also know as Sophomore Slump in more academic circles, especially as the band would have no recourse to the effervescing work of Syd Barrett this time. How will their own work be received by the Barrett community, now that there is no more Syd to rely on... Well let's find out, shall we?

Jumpstart (art by Ian Barrett)
Jumpstart. Artwork: Ian Barrett.

Jumpstart

The album starts traditionally with the title track. An electric guitar mimics a starting motor, I remember that trick from Todd Rundgren's solo on Bad Out of Hell, yes the Reverend is that old, and the song further evolves into a pub rock tune that asks to be played very loud. As a starter it hardly sounds original, but who needs originality when it comes to having fun? The track digs into the rich history of rock'n roll, with prominent drums and riffs that nod slightly towards Run Like Hell. This is the kind of song that makes me think that I urgently need a beer. A Danish beer, close enough.

Those who feared there would be no Syd at all on the album are contradicted by track two. Baby Lemonade sounds as if the song has been put in a washing machine with punk rock fabric softener. Suddenly the song oozes sex and its pistols all over, and it makes me wonder how it could have sounded sung in a wild cockney accent by Sid. Yes, that Sid. Men On The Border keep it tidy though and even use a harpsichord that gently clashes with the loud guitars. They're such nice boys.

Pills immediately caught our attention with its keyboard line that has a certain Floydian feel.
I Don't Want To Be Your Man starts lennonesque with harrisonesque undertones until it changes after the mid-solo into signature MOTB with a couple of sweet oohs and aahs before the track turns somewhat bitter. Quite a crispy song.

Have You Got It Yet, another pub rocker that could be from a Status Quo record. Nice tune, nothing more, nothing less. A typical album track, with all the tricks from a fun rock track that could turn into one's live favourite...

The Public: one of Phil's tracks, bringing a change in tone and atmosphere and a more introspective tune.
Old Friends benefits from an El Condor Pasa treatment and is quite an earworm, actually.
Garden has a certain 60s beat feel in its 'no no no' refrain, but is one of the lesser tunes.

Destiny Today is a grower until it sticks in your mind like Velcro. It reminds me of those sweet pastoral hymns by the gentlemen Waters and Gilmour, that either are perfectly swell (Fat Old Sun) or complete duds (Smile). Its mid-piece adventure into prog-territory and backward tapes gives the track some extra panache. Of course I can't help to immediately associate the words 'endless' and ‘river’ with High Hopes, although the endless is linked to laughter here. That is the toll of 4 decades of Floydian obsession. The song's atmosphere makes me think of Where We Start (Gilmour), that I first found terribly boring (like almost everything from On An Island) but that grew on me like a wart on a witches nose.

Jumpstart CD. Artwork: Kajsa-Tuva Henriksson.

Warm From You starts a bit like a French pop tune and I more or less suspected Jane Birkin to join in. A very good song with some slight Bryan Ferry & Mick Ronson influences that gains some momentum near the end...

Terrapin, the second Barrett cover. A weird bend in my brain immediately links this to early Bowie in his Quicksand period and of course this tune immediately gets stuck in your mind like mental flypaper. Cool guitar stuff and a vintage Men On The Border quality treatment...

Something For The Waiting: what a weird and nice oddity. At the start it made me think of a toned down mashup of Mad World (Tears For Fears) and As Tears Go By (Rolling Stones), but after that the song wanders into its own folkish psychedelic territory...

Let's Party (Yeah Yeah) starts like a failed Sparks single and doesn't seem to go anywhere in the beginning (for over one and a half minute). Luckily it evolves into a cool rocker when the drums kick in. In a previous review we mentioned Graham Parker & The Rumour and the classic setup of Rockpile (with Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe) as possible influences on Men On The Border and in this case it results in a fucking good song, probably the best on the album.

The ambient end of the last track, a reprise of Jumpstart, has a surprise in the form of a friendly nod to Pink Floyd lovers...

Jumpstart @ Atagong mansion.

Conclusion

So have Men On The Border avoided the second album syndrome, I hear you ask. Well actually, it is not a bad attempt, not bad at all. I would have liked some of the tunes a bit messier, the singing a bit less polished but that is probably my education, not having grown up in a string quartet, you see...

Throughout this review I have been throwing song references and bands around, MOTB surely know their history and use it to their own benefit, turning the sounds of the sixties, seventies and eighties into something new-millennium-wise.

Don't worry about this, lads, Jumpstart is more than OK, it is quite excellent as a matter of fact, so you can start fearing the difficult third album now, and that is gonna be a real drag!


Just as with Shine! the packaging of this album is a feast for the eye.

The front cover has been designed by Ian Barrett.
Ian Barrett Art

Kajsa-Tuva Henrikkson, who was present on Shine! as well, made the CD art.
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kajsatuva/sets/


2013-12-14

Happy Birthday Iggy Rose!

One

There is a story how Iggy the Eskimo, Syd Barrett and a bunch of other musicians gatecrashed a Speakeasy gig from a band that would become rather famous in prog, rock, jazz and even techno circles. It is a hilarious anecdote, with rumours of mandrax-champagne cocktails and a lot of twist and shouts. We can imagine how Iggy's roaring laugh echoed through the club, once you have heard that laugh, it is imprinted in your memory forever.

The Church is still trying to get some information, tie some loose ends, interview some people, especially as this happened in the mid-summer of 1969, when everyone thought Iggy had disappeared from Syd's life. Perhaps she did, perhaps they just met by accident that day. But that is for later.

Little things that matter.

Two

Birdie Hopper Manzano Meza Cota posted a Mick Rock picture a couple of days ago, it is a new one of Syd and Iggy, which makes us think that this old geezer still has got some hidden gems in his archive.

Iggy and Syd, Mick Rock
Iggy & Syd. Picture: Mick Rock.

Three

In a couple of hours it will be Iggy's birthday. As usual we were too late posting our card as we only did it this afternoon...

Happy Birthday, Iggy!
Happy Birthday, Iggy!

Should you not know it by now, it is Iggy's birthday! So this is the time and place to shout:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IGGY ROSE!

Four

LET'S PARTY!!! Please enjoy this mix of visual extravaganza that comes straight out of the hidden vaults of the Church. Swedish band Men On The Border were so kind to let us use one of their songs from their latest album Jumpstart. Thanks guys, you rock!

Men On The Border
Let's Party (yeah yeah)
Jumpstart © 2013

Five

And now for the classics:

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card (2011) contains a few seconds from a super-secret mid-Seventies home movie (and we added a nice tune as well). Flash link (warning: 5 MB!): Happy Birthday Iggy Rose! or YouTube:

Crystal Blue Postcards

An electronic book of poems and art, dedicated to Syd and his muses, by Denis Combet, with a little help from his friends Constance Cartmill and Allison Star. Digital artwork by Jean Vouillon and some tinkering from Felix Atagong (more about Denis Combet and his Iggy poem(s): Catwoman).

Crystal Blue Postcards (Flash pageFlip presentation, 2011).

Guitars and Dust Dancing by Rescue Rangers

Pascal Mascheroni, from the stoner power trio Rescue Rangers donated the haunting (& slightly psychedelic) power ballad Guitars and Dust Dancing from the album with the same name (buy your copy at iTunes: Guitars and Dust Dancing). In the meanwhile enjoy this Youtube clip with the smashing artwork from Jean Vouillon.

WHY DON'T YOU WISH IGGY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

Instead of reading and watching all this you should be heading at Facebook where you can leave your messages, poems, songs and images at: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and of course on Iggy's personal page as well.

Let's make this a birthday to remember, brethren and sistren and don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't do!


The Church wishes to thank Men On The Border (Phil Etheridge & Goeran Nystroem), Bruce Fleming, Mick Rock, Anthony Stern, Storm Thorgerson, Iggy Rose, unknown & anonymous..., Denis Combet, Pascal Mascheroni (Rescue Rangers), Manzano Meza Cota, Christopher Farmer & the nice people at Birdie Hop, Late Night and all the others that we seem to have forgotten...

Men On The Border
http://menontheborder.com/
http://www.facebook.com/MenOnTheBorder

Birdie Hop
http://www.facebook.com/groups/birdiehop

♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


2014-01-01

Love, Pain & Sorrow

Lindsay Corner, 1969
Lindsay Corner, 1969.

Happy New Year, sistren and brethren of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit. Another year has passed by, with ups and downs, with happiness and grief, with joy and pain... In our Inuit realm some people passed away unfortunately, and luckily some new ones were born... welcome Vasilisa Alla... to this world of magnets and miracles...

Browsing through our scrapbook with unfinished articles, pictures and movies for the Church we noted this report from our fashion department. It is a 1969 documentary about Ossie Clarke with Lindsay Corner as one of the models.

To quote our fashion specialist:

In the first bit Lindsey Corner is on the left, then in the yellow dress with the blonde in blue, then in the middle with a long pink thing, then again in yellow with the blonde. She's the one with darker blonde wavy hair basically.

And yes we are aware of the rumours that circle about Lindsay Corner and Gala Pinion since a year or two. And no, we don't know when this will see the light of day...

2013

2013 was a weird year for the Church and its Reverend. Again we thought we would not be able to write anything for our lustrum, but in the end we clocked down at 20 slightly stupendous articles.

We started anoraky enough with an article about Syd's hair-length in the early Seventies, this to please the female audience of our little cult: Hairy Mess. Sometimes the Reverend regressed into Brian Eno mood and then he wrote some ditty texts about sweet nothings: King's Road Chic(k).

For Easter Iggy and the Reverend were remembered in a song from Rich Hall (Songs of Praise) whose concept album Birdie Hop and The Sydiots was released around the Church’s fifth birthday: Reverends and Sydiots. Thanks Rich!

Among the monks

The Church's biggest scoop this year was made in collaboration with the Spanish Sole En Las Nubes blog. Not only did Antonio Jesús find back the article that started the infamous Oseira rumours, but he also managed to interview the author of the hoax, Jose Ángel González. The Church merely harvested Antonio's excellent work, like churches mostly do: Spanishgrass.

Facebook's thriving Syd Barrett community, Birdie Hop, organised a meeting in Cambridge with several young and less younger Barrett fans, friends and lovers. It was a most amazing meeting in remembrance of a man who wrote the most peculiar kind of tunes: Birdie Hop: wasn't it the most amazing meeting? 

Did Syd leave us a message in a letter from a decade ago? Sometimes the truth is more beautiful than the legend: Making it clear... 

2014

And that is what we will continue to do in 2014, make it a fantastic year, boys and girls! And everything seems so much brighter... Let's party! Thanks Men On The Border!


Many thanks to Alexander, Amy Funstar, Anonymous, Antonio Jesús, Babylemonade Aleph, Baron Wolman, Birdie Hop, Bob Archer, Brett Wilson, Cambridge News, Christopher Farmer, Col Turner, Dion Johnson, Elizabeth Voigt-Walter, Stanislav, Euryale, Göran Nyström, Herman van Gaal, HYGIY, Joanne 'Charley' Milne, Joe Perry, Jon Felix, Jonathan Charles, Jose Ángel González, Julia, Kiloh Smith, Kirsty Whalley, Late Night, Laughing Madcaps, Lori Haines, Mark Blake, MAY, Men On The Border, Michael Rawding, MvB, No Man's Land, Phil Etheridge, Psych62, Radharani Krishna, Rich Hall, Rod Harris, Ron Cooper, Simon Hendy, Stefan Mühle, USA National Register off Historic Places, Viper, Vita, Wolfpack, Younglight, Yves Leclerc... Love you Swoonies!

And if I go insane,
And they lock me away,
Will you still let me join in the game?

♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥ Rich ♥ Alexander ♥ Liza ♥


2014-03-28

An innerview with Men on the Border

When Jumpstart from Men On The Border was released end of November 2013 we didn't suspect that the tracks would be haunting us for weeks to come. Slowly it dawned to us that this record was not just a simple collection of rock songs, but that there was a certain flow in the music, a well hidden concept that was the direct result of their previous album that solely existed of Syd Barrett covers.

We (FA) invited Göran Nyström (GN) and Phil Etheridge (PE) to Atagong mansion where we had the following, Guinness induced, conversation.

Why don't you listen to the Jumpstart album on Spotify while reading this interview? (A Spotify membership is probably needed, but this is free. There is no need to download and install the Spotify player, the music will (hopefully) play in your browser.)
An innerview with Men on the Border
Jumpstart (cover: Ian Barrett)
Jumpstart! Artwork: Ian Barrett.

An innerview with Men On The Border (1)

FA: Shine! was an album with Syd Barrett, so to speak, but Jumpstart is about him, right?

PE: Yes! Jumpstart takes over where Shine! left off. On that album we explored Syd's solo songs. It was fun and it gave us the appetite for more. Then we started to wonder: what happened next in Syd's life?

GN: We tried to send a message by the sequencing of our first album, telling a story of the period 1968-1972-ish and using a fair sprinkling of licentia poetica. On the new album we have stretched that poetic license much further. Jumpstart is all about Syd, but more of a fantasy, a speculation even. The premise is simple. What if Syd, at age 50, would have had an epiphany. A lightning strike, a jumpstart. A reverse perhaps of that electric shock he received in Santa Monica?

FA: Maybe all that Syd needed was a second electrical shock to get him on the rails again? Just like in the comics where the main character regains his memory by a second blow on the head.

GN: That's it. That's the Jumpstart. The kick in the behind. How we used to fix our old TV sets.

PE: Or how my school teachers used to fix me...

GN: The two Jumpstart songs on the album are the fantasy bookends. They speak of that very moment, the awakening in fantasy-land, anno 1996. In-between, 12 songs spread over four "seasons", telling the inner story of the years from 1972 till 1996. It speaks of the fantasy journey of a tormented soul and of reminiscence.

PE: We used only two of Syd's songs and the rest are not trying to be typical Syd songs either. They speak about him, or some sort of fantasy Syd. The song 'Jumpstart' is about fixing your heart, about kicking it into action again and about life over death.

Phil Etheridge by David Parkin
Phil Etheridge by David Parkin.

Autumn

FA: The first season, or song trilogy, starts with 'Baby Lemonade'...

PE: 'Baby Lemonade' is pure Syd of course. We wanted to give it a good solid punk rock drive with psychedelic sonic explorations - the elements that Syd did so well in his heyday. This is when we dive back in time to 1972, through Syd's own reflections on his life, which I found kind of shocking.

GN: And the starting point is the thematic Autumn. A new energy injected into that fading autumn. In the afterglow of a glorious summer comes a season of neglect and departure. In the inescapable poetry of Led Zeppelin: "Leaves are falling all around. It's time I was on my way. Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay. But now it's time for me to go." (2)

FA: And rain falls in gray far away... The next track 'Pills' really is a great track, instrument wise.

GN: Yeah. The guitar-work is Phil magic. Sinister. The song is about addiction and relapses. But also about love and hunger. It's all weirdly poetic and ambivalent. How to resist a temptation. A constant inner monologue, very much about pills of course and how that addiction is ended. “Your place by my bed, no more”. Or is it properly ended?

FA: In 'I Don't Want To Be Your Man' one can picture Syd who almost begs to the fans to be left alone, and who is slowly getting more and more angry about being disturbed all the time.

PE: Good point! And that theme appears in a couple of the songs. I think it's partly that but also memories of a time waiting outside a studio and really wanting to contribute. “No more waiting on your steps”. But what the fuck - reaching a conclusion that he never wanted it anyway. At the end it reverts to the question of 'Pills', those that keep wanting him back.

FA: The maniacal Floyd anorak in me also sees a certain lyrical familiarity to Gilmour's plea to the fans 'What Do You Want From Me', which was a more civilised way to show his frustration over the years than Roger Waters did who spat in the face of a fan. Or am I just over-analysing?

GN: It's about dependency and ending a dependency. Whether that is in sex or drugs or rock'n roll. All three components play into most of the songs on Jumpstart. But I guess you just took it one step further! The dependency between the artist and the fan base. Yeah, interesting.

Göran Nyström by David Parkin
Göran Nyström by David Parkin.

Winter

FA: 'Have You Got It Yet', declares the cold winter in Syd's life.

GN: This is the start of the Winter trilogy. "I've felt the coldness of my winter. I never thought, it would ever go. I cursed the gloom that set upon us." (3) The title has an obvious Syd reference. We debated that for a while. In the end we wanted to bring out an element of anger and bitterness.

PE: Riding buses and going into pubs. Never quite able to drown out memories and thoughts. And quite a lot of debate over the title. There’s some tongue in cheek in the lyrics though. As a matter of fact it’s not all dark…

FA: I hear in the frantic guitar solo near the end a glimpse of what really happened between Syd Barrett and Roger Waters on that day he wanted them not to learn 'Have You Got It Yet'.

PE: Could well be. Who knows? Still, the starting point of this song is from a far distance.

GN: Yeah. An alternative title was 'Have You Still Not Got It?'

PE: And we're back in the debate again!

FA: After the mild anarchy of 'Have You Got It Yet' 'The Public' really is a breath of fresh air.

GN: That song is sung by Phil. All other songs are from a Syd perspective, but this one is from the troubadour at the pub watching Syd. That's why it's a kind of Irish pub song, the sort you would hear at the pub. And different in style to everything else on the album.

PE: The lead character joins in for the second half of the last verse. That's the moment when it's becoming clear to him that he absolutely must leave things behind. A song partly about a pub existence, but definitely not Irish. Well, maybe London Irish. 'The Public' does of course carry a dual meaning and the middle verse should make that clear. I'm sure they don't even have public bars in London pubs anymore, but dual meaning was too good to give up.

FA: 'Old Friends' is also one of these earworms, a bit childlike with that 'El Condor Pasa' flute and the 'Effervescing Elephant' nod.

GN: Syd meets ABBA. You will note some sonic references to 'Wish You Were Here'. A song about how old friends always remain a support. Don't they?

PE: Benny Andersson was a conscious musical starting point for this, with the flute and oboe melodies in the middle and the end just a bit longer than you’d expect, typical for ABBA. Lyrically the song is miles from them though and at least for me was one of the darker moments on the album.

FA: I have always been enchanted by the ABBA song 'The Piper' that was the B-side of 'Super Trouper'. I even suspected it contained a hidden message for early Pink Floyd fans: "We're following the piper and we dance beneath the moon..."

GN: The dark side of that moon surely!

Phil Etheridge
Phil Etheridge.

Spring

FA: 'Garden' is the place where one notices spring at first. Syd had a gardener's job once, given to him by an old Cambridge friend...

GN: 'Garden' is about finding solace. Walking with buttercups. Inner monologues. Dwelling on love lost. Rather despairing and probably half crazy. Botanical garden walks. Not gardening. This is also when he starts to realize how deep the love was that he walked away from. "You are the sunlight in my growing. So little warmth, I've felt before. It isn't hard to feel me glowing. I watched the fire that grew so low." (4)

PE: The mid-section with the focus on garden and garden walk is that moment of staring point blank at the essence of existence, the core of the brain of our lead character. The garden and the garden walk. One bite of an apple and then a long walk out.

GN: Or back in again.

FA: 'Destiny Today' is about Syd's long walks along the river Cam?

GN: That is true but it’s more than that. The river symbolises life, as it does in many Floyd songs, and the walk is about finding your destiny. And accepting the fact for what it is. It's a strange warm feeling of peace when you can finally come to terms with what your life became.

PE: And what remains, which is the killer. It's a turning point. Of the album too. This was one of the first songs we recorded for Jumpstart. It set the mood for a kind of reconciliation. Of coming to terms with life and to make the best of whatever it is that remains. Of accepting your destiny, and doing that today.

FA: I hope I don't embarrass you by saying that the atmosphere of this song reminds me of Gilmour's mesmerizing hymns, like 'The Blue' and 'Where We Start'.

GN: That is indeed a great compliment. David lived in his youth close to Grantchester Meadows. I was there in June 2013 and played an early demo of the song right there. Just by the river. To a friend who had been there at the time. It's that kind of soothing chord structure to it. Plus the repetitive lyrics. And Phil plays some of his best guitar ever on it.

PE: I'm blushing. Nah, just kidding. Everything on these two albums is my best stuff ever.

FA: 'Warm From You' starts like a warm spring day... but what is it about, a lost love or the growing expectation for Syd to finally do something with his life...

GN: Love mainly. The purpose of living, I guess. Live to love. It tells a story of first failing and then picking up again. The sun and that revolution can mean many things though. In the case of Syd, we fantasize that love and love lost continued to mean a lot to him. Shining through occasionally. How it "will always be a very special thing to me". 

PE: Like most things in life there’s ambiguity throughout and that’s reflected in most of the songs actually. I unambiguously borrowed a bit from Jimi Hendrix on this and it was a real pleasure to have an opportunity to do that. The end has ‘Hey Joe’ stamped all over it. The sounds at the end are drummer Björn Hammarberg scraping a drumstick over his hi-hat - just a fun detail.

FA: So that was the tune that haunted me and that I couldn't place, shame on me. I also find that the intro has a certain French aspect, I can't stop thinking of Petula Clark's Coeur Blessé...

PE: And strangely enough that leads me to "pour encourager les autres", which is a nice reference a friend of mine used just the other day and possibly the title of a new song, unless it's already been done a whole lot.

Göran Nyström
Göran Nyström.

Summer

FA: 'Terrapin' starts a new summer of love? Physical love or is it the love for music?

PE: The summer of love was very physical, and that’s what 'Terrapin' is about for me. It also reads like an acid trip, which was the other end of the summer of love. 'Terrapin' is also the only track on the album which doesn’t have a keyboard of any sort, only guitars, bass and drums. There are lots of guitars though. There must be a hundred versions of this song on YouTube, mostly live in someone’s bedroom, which says something about its popularity.

GN: "It is the summer of my smiles. Flee from me, keepers of the gloom. Speak to me only with your eyes. It is to you I give this tune." (5) It’s an essential song in the Barrett cannon. It speaks of love very directly. We wanted it to be euphoric rather than subdued. It's the moment of calling out for what all that yearning was about.

FA: But 'Something For the Waiting' is rather introspective again... with a glimpse of misery and despair... begging to god to invent "some kind of help to carry on"....

GN: It was the last song we added. I am not 100% sure if it is a happy or sad song. Obviously it is very desperate. But it also shows a realization and stamina. That there is something worth the waiting for. Unfortunately, as the song goes, the rights to happiness “fell into the hands of Paul McCartney”.

FA: It's the Men On The Border's 'As Tears Go By', so to speak?

PE: Yeah. Olle Ljungström has never given me happy vibes, so I’d go with sad.

GN: It's not a very faithful cover though!

PE: Göran was a bit concerned that I wouldn’t like this when he sent me the acoustic demo, but I loved it right away and it fits. Working on the arrangement was a blast. I used a thumb piano (a birthday present from my sister) at the beginning of the song. I started out playing a sort of non-tune, but Göran suggested the song melody, which focused the whole thing. I also got to use the string quartet idea (Lennart Östblom doing a number of overdubs) which Göran thankfully vetoed on 'No Man’s Land'. This will be more electric live and we’ll debut that in May.

FA: And that is when 'Let's Party' kicks in... which is (for me) the highlight of the album...

PE: That’s great to hear! Jan Stumsner from P-Floyd makes a much appreciated guest appearance on this track. Göran and I each wrote our own parts for 'Let’s Party', basically two separate songs which we melded. Göran’s lyrics are mostly poetic, whereas mine are more about realism, like in 'The Public'. In this case the scenes were experienced by me in 1973 courtesy of Eich Erzmoneit, a German drummer I was playing bass with at the time, who did enjoy his acid and beer.

GN: In the context of the Jumpstart story, this is when Syd in the end is shrugging his shoulders. Saying fuck this and let's party. It's the best we can do. Something like the conclusion of the book 'Candide: or, All for the best'. Playing the cards we are given. It's also a sort of nod to the art rockers saying that there is real life to be enjoyed behind the eyeliners and pretence. Voltaire concludes with Candide saying that "we must cultivate our garden". That garden link again. The heart at the center.

Shine!
Shine!

The Next Year

FA: So that wraps up the Jumpstart journey then? Bringing it all back to the Jumpstart moment with a reprise of the first song and full speed towards the future? Can I bore you once again with a quote from someone else: "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!" (6)

GN: Indeed. Supersonic fighting cocks and all. You have an inner view now. And who knows what the future will bring. One thing is clear, Men On The Border was always about more than the music. We wanted to bring back that old fashioned album experience. That is probably something we will explore further in the future.

Jumpstart (CD graphics)
Jumpstart (CD graphics).

PE: Kajsa-Tuva Henriksson (now Werner), did the previous cover and made justice to the Syd Barrett early story in an amazing way. You can read many things into that picture. She also contributed with an original piece for Jumpstart, that takes the earlier picture – that life of Syd – into the tumbler. It is a fabulous illustration of a Jumpstart, and of a broken but vividly red heart at the center.

GN: Yes indeed. We were also thrilled to have Ian Barrett on board, Syd's nephew and by now a good friend. He contributed to the whole concept in no small way. He took the whole thing one step further by adding the symbolism of Syd’s mirrored guitar and reflections.

Jumpstart by Ian Barrett (early sketch)
Jumpstart by Ian Barrett (early sketch).

PE: That concept is so perfectly in tune with the whole idea of Jumpstart, which is really a concept album about reflections and new energy, and about Syd of course. Maybe that electric bolt in Santa Monica that we started out discussing?

GN: Yes! Maybe that's where that guitar originally got lost? Burnt out by the electric shock? And now we bring it full circle.

PE: Ian made a linoleum cut of those guitar mirrors and then painted this in the famous floorboard colours. He actually made a whole series of prints for us.

GN: We then used the idea of mirrors and reflections and energy in a little photo session we did, courtesy of David Parkin. Our combined photographer and bass player! We are forming a live band now. Band On The Border!

FA: So what is going on with that? What happens next?

PE: We will try out some live gigs and see how it goes. Rehearsals have been ongoing for a few months. It is all very fun and energizing.

GN: Ideas are developing continuously. Check out our Facebook site to be updated. If all goes well, and there is a demand, there could be something unique in the works. It feels like we can see pieces of a big puzzle, a collage if you will.

FA: A collage?

PE: Hey Felix, do you have any more of that Guinness?

© Birdie Hop & The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, 2014.


Many thanks: Ian Barrett (Ian Barrett Art), Phil Etheridge, Göran Nyström.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥ Birdie Hop

Notes and quotes
(1) During the immensely difficult negotiations to have this interview ("Do you mean any colour you like, except blue M&M's or only blue M&M's and no others?") the word 'interview' was wrongly written as 'innerview' on one document, but it stuck. Back to text.
(2) Led Zeppelin - Ramble On. Back to text.
(3) Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song. Back to text.
(4) Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song. Back to text.
(5) Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song. Back to text.
(6) Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Karn Evil 9, 1st impression, part 2. Back to text.


2014-12-13

Happy Birthday Iggy Rose!

Magical Iggy

A couple of weeks ago Iggy and the Reverend browsed through a stash of mid-seventies photos and selected nearly 60. They have been (and will still be for quite a while) simultaneously published at Iggy's Facebook page and at the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Tumblr site under the Magical Iggy flag.

How, you didn't know that existed? Here it is again, you ignorant people:
The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Tumblr blog, its Magical Iggy section and the Archive.

Magnetic Iggy

Have you seen our latest post about the Syd & Iggy magnet: The perfect Xmas gift: put Iggy on your fridge! To get one, please email anthony@anthonysternglass.com. We assure you that, for once, the money will be well spent.

Iggy magnet
Iggy the eskimo magnet. Picture: Anthony Stern.

Birthday Iggy -14th of December 2014

In less than an hour it will be Iggy's birthday. The Reverend fought blizzards, storms and packs of hungry wolves to go to Louvain's postal station to find out, then, that he had forgotten Iggy's birthday card at home.

Happy Birthday Iggy Rose!

Should you not know it by now, it is Iggy's birthday! So this is the time and place to shout:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IGGY ROSE!

Partytime Iggy

LET'S PARTY!!! Please enjoy this mix of tracks that have been made the past few years to celebrate our goddess. Swedish band Men On The Border were so kind to let us use one of their songs from their latest album Jumpstart. Thanks guys, you rock!

Men On The Border
Let's Party (yeah yeah)
Jumpstart © 2013

Reverends & Eskimos

In 2013 Rich hall made a concept album that has this fine pearl... (click on the image below for the hi-res Flash version)

The Reverend by Rich Hall (hi-res, Flash)
The Reverend by Rich Hall (hi-res, Flash).

For those who haven't got a Flash-enabled webbrowser, let's try it another way. Here is a, somewhat downgraded, version on Youtube, but don't let that spoil the fun.

Rich Hall
The Reverend
Birdie Hop © 2013.

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card (2011) contains a few seconds from a super-secret mid-Seventies home movie (and we added a nice tune as well). Flash link (warning: 5 MB!): Happy Birthday Iggy Rose! or YouTube:

Crystal Blue Postcards

An electronic book of poems and art, dedicated to Syd and his muses, by Denis Combet, with a little help from his friends Constance Cartmill and Allison Star. Digital artwork by Jean Vouillon and some tinkering from Felix Atagong (more about Denis Combet and his Iggy poem(s): Catwoman).

Crystal Blue Postcards
Crystal Blue Postcards, Denis Combet (Flash pageFlip presentation, 2011).

Guitars and Dust Dancing by Rescue Rangers

In 2011, Pascal Mascheroni, from the stoner power trio Rescue Rangers donated the haunting (& slightly psychedelic) power ballad Guitars and Dust Dancing from the album with the same name (buy your copy at iTunes: Guitars and Dust Dancing). In the meanwhile enjoy this Youtube clip with the smashing artwork from Jean Vouillon.

WHY DON'T YOU WISH IGGY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

Instead of reading and watching all this you should be heading at Facebook where you can leave your messages, poems, songs and images at: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and of course on Iggy's personal page as well.

Let's make this a birthday to remember, brethren and sistren and don't do anything that Iggy wouldn't do!


The Church wishes to thank Constance Cartmill, Denis Combet, Phil Etheridge, Amy Funstar, Rich Hall, Pascal Mascheroni, MAY, Goeran Nystroem, Allison Star, Anthony Stern, Jean Vouillon, Brett Wilson and all the others that we seem to have forgotten...
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


2015-06-14

Iggy Rose in Cambridge

Iggy Rose by Vic Singh
Iggy Rose by the legendary Vic Singh.

The second weekend of June has the second Cambridge biennial Birdie Hop meeting, with special guest stars: Viv Brans, Vic Singh, Peter Gilmour, Men On The Border, Jenny Spires, Warren Dosanjh, Libby Gausden, Dave 'Dean' Parker & Iggy Rose (and some more).

Unfortunately the Facebook group for this event has been closed for prying eyes, but some pictures and videos have already leaked out.

Iggy Rose and Goran Nystrom
Iggy Rose, in great shape, & Göran Nyström from Men on the Border.

Pictures and videos will be regularly uploaded to the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit Tumblr page, as soon as the Holy Igquisiton gets hold of them.

Iggy Rose admiring a record cover
Iggy Rose admiring a record cover. Picture: Mick Brown.

For the latest (public) pictures and videos of the 2015 Birdie Hop event, please check: http://iggyinuit.tumblr.com/tagged/june-2015.
Our review of the first Birdie Hop meeting in 2013: Birdie Hop: wasn't it the most amazing meeting? 


Many thanks to: Sandra Blickem, Mick Brown, Warren Dosanjh, Vanessa Flores, Tim Greenhall, Alex Hoffmann, Antonio Jesus (Solo En Las Nubes), Douglas Milne, Göran Nyström (Men On The Border), Vic Singh, Abigail Thomson-Smith, Eva Wijkniet...
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2015-11-14

Men On The Border: Live in Brighton

Live in Brighton
Live in Brighton, Men On The Border.

June had the second (and if rumours are correct: last) Birdie Hop meeting in Cambridge with Syd Barrett fans having an informal drink with some of the early-sixties Cambridge beatniks we know and love so dearly: Jenny Spires, Libby Gausden, Mick Brown, Peter Gilmour, Sandra Blickem, Vic Singh, Warren Dosanjh and others...

Special guest star was none other than Iggy Rose who left, if we may believe the natives, an everlasting impression. You can read all about it at: Iggy Rose in Cambridge.

Men On The Border came especially over from the northern parts of Europe, leaving their igloo, so to speak, to gig at the Rathmore Club where they not only jammed with other Syd-aficionados, but also with Redcaps frontman Dave Parker. (For the history of those sixties Cambridge bands check the excellent: The Music Scene of 1960s Cambridge.)

The night before however, on Friday June 12th, Men On The Border played the legendary Prince Albert (that name always make us chuckle) music pub in Brighton. This gig was recorded and is now the third album of Men On The Border, after ShinE! (2012) that consisted of Barrett covers and Jumpstart (2013) that mainly had original songs but with a slightly concealed madcap theme.

This live release shows that Men On The Border is a tight band and that they can play their material without having to revert to digitally wizardry. In a previous review we already remarked that:

...some of the influences of MOTB lay in the pub-rock from Graham Parker & The Rumour, Rockpile (with Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds) and the cruelly under-appreciated The Motors...
Men On The Border. Picture: Vic Singh.
Men On The Border. Picture: Vic Singh.

This live album certainly proves that. The versions are pretty close to the recorded versions and singer Göran Nystrom manages once again to give us goosebumps on Late Night and their own Warm From You that is a pretty ingenious song if you ask us (with a sly nod to Jimi Hendrix)...

So give them a warm hand of applause and make them feel welcome in this mad cat world of random precision.
 

Tracklist:

01 Terrapin (Jumpstart)
02 No Good Trying (ShinE!)

03 Scream Thy Last Scream (2015 single)
04 Long Gone (ShinE!)

05 Gigolo Aunt (ShinE!)
06 Late Night (ShinE!)

07 Octopus (ShinE!)

08 Warm From You (Jumpstart)
09 Baby Lemonade (ShinE!)

Digital release only, people don't buy plastic any more, unfortunately.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017WFLEH8/ref=dm_ws_sp_ps_dp
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/6MStF6YtxCYNY7FTIoeNzq


Many thanks: Göran Nystrom, Vic Singh.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥


2015-12-13

Happy Birthday Iggy Rose!

Lost for words. That is what we are this year, with only a few hours left to celebrate Iggy’s birthday, on the fourteenth of December. Next to a legend, she is also a good personal friend and an incorrigible prankster. Today as well she managed to confuse us with one of her practical jokes that made us shake our head in disbelief. She’s a real sweetie, our Ig.

So, dear sistren and brethren, followers of the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit, let us raise our glasses high to the Eskimo, because without her this earth would be quite a dreary place.

Birthday Greetings, Felix Atagong
Birthday Greetings, Felix Atagong.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IGGY ROSE!

And because traditions are traditions, and meant to be kept alive, we will continue with our annual sing-along and poetry reading that turn this birthday into a real birthday bash.

Partytime Iggy

LET'S PARTY!!! Please enjoy this mix of tracks that have been made the past few years to celebrate our goddess. Swedish band Men On The Border were so kind to let us use one of their songs from their latest (studio) album Jumpstart. Thanks guys, you rock!

Men On The Border
Let's Party (yeah yeah)
Jumpstart © 2013

Reverends & Eskimos

In 2013 Rich hall made a concept album that has this fine pearl... (click on the image below for the hi-res Flash version)

The Reverend by Rich Hall.
The Reverend. Sound: Rich Hall. Vision: Felix Atagong. (hi-res, Flash)

For those who haven't got a Flash-enabled webbrowser, let's try it another way. Here is a, somewhat downgraded, version on Youtube, but don't let that spoil the fun.

Rich Hall
The Reverend
Birdie Hop © 2013.

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card (2011) contains a few seconds from a super-secret mid-Seventies home movie (and we added a nice tune as well). Flash link (warning: 5 MB!): Happy Birthday Iggy Rose! or YouTube:

Crystal Blue Postcards

An electronic book of poems and art, dedicated to Syd and his muses, by Denis Combet, with a little help from his friends Constance Cartmill and Allison Star. Digital artwork by Jean Vouillon and some tinkering from Felix Atagong (more about Denis Combet and his Iggy poem(s): Catwoman).

Crystal Blue Postcards, Denis Combet.

Link: Crystal Blue Postcards (Flash pageFlip presentation, 2011).

Guitars and Dust Dancing by Rescue Rangers

In 2011, Pascal Mascheroni, from the stoner power trio Rescue Rangers donated the haunting (& slightly psychedelic) power ballad Guitars and Dust Dancing from the album with the same name (buy your copy at iTunes: Guitars and Dust Dancing). In the meanwhile enjoy this Youtube clip with the smashing artwork from Jean Vouillon.

WHY DON'T YOU WISH IGGY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

Instead of reading and watching all this you should be heading at Facebook where you can leave your messages, poems, songs and images at: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and of course on Iggy's personal page as well.


The Church wishes to thank Constance Cartmill, Denis Combet, Phil Etheridge, Amy Funstar, Rich Hall, Pascal Mascheroni, MAY, Goeran Nystroem, Allison Star, Anthony Stern, Jean Vouillon, Brett Wilson and all the others that we seem to have forgotten...
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥


2016-05-27

Floyd Gestapo Strikes Again

Floyd gestapo strikes again
Syd Barrett (tripping)
Syd Barrett (tripping). Picture: Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon.

For the second time in its career Swedish based Men On The Border has a YouTube video censored by the Pink Floyd management. This time not because they are interpreting a Syd Barrett song, which is something of a condicio sine qua non if you are a Syd Barrett cover-band but because they use Barrett imagery in the video-collage of their latest song To The Promised Land.

To The Promised Land is the B-side of their latest single Dominoes, a dreamlike evocation with friendly nods to early Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the eerie minimalism of Mike Oldfield and The Beatles’ I Am The Walrus, performed in their typical cool Nordic style. The song certainly is a grower for those who can hear and watch it.

Update 2016 05 29: A reworked version of the videoclip, with Syd Barrett cut out, has been released on YouTube: Men On The Border - To The Promised Land.

Men On The Border have been invited to Cambridge to play on the Syd Barrett celebration on the 27th of October, something Pink Floyd and its geriatric members are probably not aware of. That there is a touch of senility roaming through the Pink Floyd ranks was already suspected when they managed to censor a David Gilmour track on his own website.

Just another example, now we're on it. On the 24th of April 2016, David Gilmour added a tribute to Prince's Purple Rain in Comfortably Numb. Fan-made recordings were quickly removed from YouTube and then added to Gilmour's own channel, claiming to be 'official'...

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy?
We call it Riding the Gravy Train.

Some screenshots of the deleted video can be found on our supergastic IggyInuit Tumblr page.


(The above article is entirely based upon facts, some situations may have been enlarged for satirical purposes.)

Many thanks to Göran Nyström.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

The Anchor is the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit's satirical division, intended for people with a good heart, but a rather bad character.
More info: The Anchor.
Read our legal stuff: Legal Stuff.


2016-08-29

Miraculous Magnets

Sydge
Sydge, by Anthony Stern.

Get All From That Ant

About two years after the Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit came with the news of an Anthony Stern anthology, showing an overview of his work, including unseen Pink Floyd footage and our own Iggy the Eskimo, it might finally get a release to the general public. Well, sort of. (See: Magnets & Miracles)

Get All From That Ant will be shown at a Syd Barrett (mini) festival that will be held in October in Cambridge when also a Syd Barrett memorial artwork will be unveiled. Men On The Border will interpret the mad cat’s wacko music with the Sandviken symphony orchestra, some mystery guests and a groovy lightshow from Peter Wynne Wilson.

Have You Got It Yet

Although not confirmed (yet) the Barrett movie festival may also feature Storm Thorgerson’s legendary Have You Got It Yet. This movie is being finalised by Roddy Bogawa, whom you might know from the excellent documentary Taken By Storm, that any Hipgnosis fan needs to have in his / her collection. We had a chat earlier this year with the movie maker and here is what he had to say.

I can answer some of the rumours! Yes, we are hoping the film will be released this year - it is in the editing stage - and yes, Lindsay [Corner] and Gayla [Pinion] are interviewed in it as well as Jenny Spires and Libby Gausden... I think it is ok to make that public...
Also Roger, David and Nick appear in new interviews which I think are quite different than most of the ones they've done before because Storm was present and he grew up with Syd, David and Roger.
So...it's exciting and once the film gets closer to completion, we'll talk it up more!
(Source: Facebook Chat, 2016 06 03)

Surely a release to be yearning for, even when Iggy wasn't interviewed, due to unforeseen circumstances.

Sydge and Iggnet

It is not certain if Stern’s anthology will get the DVD release as promised a couple of years ago. Our efforts to ask Anthony stayed unanswered. Artists, huh…

In 2014 some extremely lucky people received a Syd magnet, aka Sydge, for a Stern project that had to culminate in a book. Unfortunately all the relevant pages on the Anthony Stern Films blog have been removed, so we fear it has been shelved.

In December 2014 an Iggy the Eskimo magnet was announced (see: Iggy on your fridge!), but although the Holy Church ordered about a dozen that project was indefinitely postponed as well. Until now…

Iggnet by Anthony Stern
Iggnet by Anthony Stern.

Syd Barrett and Iggy Photo Art Collectable Fridge Magnets.

2 Magnets in total.
Taken from original photos by Anthony Stern are these fantastic, practical and groovy fridge magnets featuring both Syd Barrret playing live and Iggy during a creative photoshoot with Anthony.
Both images can also be found in the new and upcoming GATA? Get ALL That Ant? .....biographical film of Anthony Stern's youth when he was friends with the infamous couple at the start of the Pink Floyd band creation.
An original piece of Uk Rock History documentation and a great gift idea for the Syd Barrett and Iggy fans.

The Syd and Iggy magnets are now for sale at Anthony Stern’s Etsy page. Get them while you still can…
(The Church is not affiliated with or endorsed by Mr. Stern's company.)


Many thanks to: Roddy Bogawa, Anthony Stern.
♥ Iggy ♥ Libby ♥

Tumblr pages:

Anthony Stern:
Iggnet
Sydge

Roddy Bogawa:
Taken By Storm

Felix Atagong:
Sydge (Atagong Mansion)


2016-12-14

Happy Birthday, Iggy!

Happy Birthday, Iggy!
Happy Birthday, Iggy!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY IGGY ROSE!

And because traditions are traditions, and meant to be kept alive, we will continue with our annual sing-along and poetry reading that turn this birthday into a real birthday bash.

Partytime Iggy

LET'S PARTY!!! Please enjoy this mix of tracks that have been made the past few years to celebrate our goddess. Swedish band Men On The Border were so kind to let us use one of their songs from their latest (studio) album Jumpstart. Thanks guys, you rock!

Men On The Border
Let's Party (yeah yeah)
Jumpstart © 2013

Reverends & Eskimos

In 2013 Rich hall made a concept album that has this fine pearl... (click on the image below for the hi-res Flash version)

The Reverend by Rich Hall (hi-res, Flash)
The Reverend. Sound: Rich Hall. Vision: felix Atagong (hi-res, Flash).

For those who haven't got a Flash-enabled webbrowser, let's try it another way. Here is a, somewhat downgraded, version on Youtube, but don't let that spoil the fun.

Rich Hall
The Reverend
Birdie Hop © 2013.

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card

Iggy's Electronic Birthday Card (2011) contains a few seconds from a super-secret mid-Seventies home movie (and we added a nice tune as well). Flash link (warning: 5 MB!): Happy Birthday Iggy Rose! or YouTube:

Crystal Blue Postcards

An electronic book of poems and art, dedicated to Syd and his muses, by Denis Combet, with a little help from his friends Constance Cartmill and Allison Star. Digital artwork by Jean Vouillon and some tinkering from Felix Atagong (more about Denis Combet and his Iggy poem(s): Catwoman).

Crystal Blue Postcards, Denis Combet.

Crystal Blue Postcards (Flash pageFlip presentation, 2011).

Guitars and Dust Dancing by Rescue Rangers

In 2011, Pascal Mascheroni, from the stoner power trio Rescue Rangers donated the haunting (& slightly psychedelic) power ballad Guitars and Dust Dancing from the album with the same name (buy your copy at iTunes: Guitars and Dust Dancing). In the meanwhile enjoy this Youtube clip with the smashing artwork from Jean Vouillon.

WHY DON'T YOU WISH IGGY A HAPPY BIRTHDAY?

Instead of reading and watching all this you should be heading at Facebook where you can leave your messages, poems, songs and images at: The Holy Church of Iggy the Inuit and of course on Iggy's personal page as well.


The Church wishes to thank Constance Cartmill, Denis Combet, Phil Etheridge, Amy Funstar, Rich Hall, Pascal Mascheroni, MAY, Goeran Nystroem, Allison Star, Anthony Stern, Jean Vouillon, Brett Wilson and all the others that we seem to have forgotten...
♥ Libby ♥ Iggy ♥