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30 Jan
Virgin Dance – Are You Ready (For That Feeling)?

Liverpool’s Virgin Dance released their debut 7″ “Are You Ready (For That Feeling)?” b/w “Facts” on Probe Plus and Spartan (an Irish subsidiary of Rough Trade) in 1983. This song is a bit of a guilty pleasure, fitting somewhere between my A Flock of Seagulls and Modern English records, and sounding like a song The Ocean Blue could have released a decade later. The band featured the drummer of Modern Eon, Cliff Hewitt with Edwin Hind (vocals), Kenny Duggan (guitar), Dave Knowles (keyboards) and Graham McMaster (bass). Knowles left in ’84 to join Here’s Johnny and was replaced by Dixie. McMaster was replaced by Bernie Putt in ’84 and Putt replaced by Barry Cowell in ’85.

They re-recorded a somewhat insane 12″ mix (released a month later), and then a lifeless, but more commercial version in 1984 (with the re-release of the single). Obviously you can tell which I prefer, but I’ll post all the versions so you can decide for yourself.

“Are You Ready (For That Feeling)?” 7″

“Are You Ready (For That Feeling)?” 12″

“Are You Ready (For That Feeling)?” 12″ 1984 re-release

“Are You Ready?” b/w “Facts” 7″, Probe Plus (PP 5), 1983
“Are You Ready?” b/w “Facts” 7″, Spartan (SP 5), 1983
“Are You Ready?” (new) b/w “Are You Ready?” & “Facts” 12″, Spartan (12 SP 5), 1983
“No Disguise” b/w “Against the Tide” 7″ & 12″, Spartan (SP 8 / 12 SP 8), 1983
“Desire” b/w “Make Love” 7″, Spartan (SP 8), 1984
“Desire” b/w “Make Love & Farewell Clare” 12″, Spartan (12 SP 10), 1984
“The Dream is Over” b/w “Rainy Days” 7″, Spartan (SP 14), 1984
“The Dream is Over (ext)” b/w “Rainy Days” 12″, Spartan (12 SP 14), 1984
“Are You Ready? (re-release)” b/w “Night Call” 7″, Spartan (SP 16), 1984
“Are You Ready? (ext)” b/w “Night Call” 12″, Spartan (12 SP 16), 1984
“Against The Tide” LP, Spartan (SPMP 102), 1985 (collected all singles and b-sides except for “Facts”)

More on Virgin Dance from Music-isms

28 Jan
Snow In Mexico – Velvet

Snow In Mexico is a dream pop/shoegaze group from Rome, Italy featuring Massimiliano Cruciani and Andrea Novelli. Their songs at times remind me of The Radio Dept., Auburn Lull and M83, so this is right up my alley. They released their debut EP on Italy’s Raise Records and it’s currently available as a free digital download on the band’s website, I’m definitely a fan!

Listen to Snow In Mexico – Velvet

Download the EP here.

27 Jan
Jim’s Twenty-One – Map of the World

Jim’s Twenty-One released one 7″ single in 1987 called “Throwaway Friend” on the Tulip label (tulip 1). The group consisted of Max on guitar & vocals, Andy on guitar & vocals, Sean on bass & vocals, Kevin on drums, and Janey on backing vocals. “Map of the World” is their stand out track in my opinion. You can listen to the other tracks from the single on their MySpace page.

Listen to Jim’s Twenty-One – Map of the World

26 Jan
The Cat’s Miaow – I Really Don’t Know

The Cat’s Miaow “I Really Don’t Know” was released as part of the Contrast label’s split 7″ single series, vol 1 in 1993. I especially love Cat’s Miaow songs when Bart took on vocal duties. …And that bass line still kills me.

Listen to The Cat’s Miaow – I Really Don’t Know

23 Jan
Blue Siege – Into The Swing

This Blue Siege single has been on my want list for a while and I finally won a copy off eBay. I had high hopes based on the band’s time period (1985/86) and some comparisons I read (Lloyd Cole, REM, The Smiths, etc). It’s not quite to my taste. Really “dreary” for lack of a better term. I like the B-side over the A-side as it has a decent strum part in the chorus. Is it me or does it sound older than it should be? More ’81 than ’86 I think.

“Waiting River” 7″ was released on Pride Communications (Pride 001), produced by Chris Layhe (The Icicle Works).

Listen to Blue Siege – Into The Swing

21 Jan
The Cherry Boys – Kardomah Café

Liverpool’s Cherry Boys were a brilliant sixties band stuck in the eighties. They saw little success in the UK, but “Kardomah Café” made the top 50 chart in Spain. The band consisted of John Byrne (aka John Cherry) on vocals & guitar, Keith Gunson on vocals & bass, James Hughes on vocals & keyboards, and Howie Minns on drums. Icicle Works drummer Chris Sharrock was part of the band early on and appeared on their first single “Man to Man.” Hughes and Minns went on to form Exhibit B (most famous for their “It’s Hypothetical” single).

Listen to The Cherry Boys – Kardomah Café (12″ version)

“Man To Man” b/w “So Much Confusion” 7″, Open Eye (1981)
“Only Fools Die” b/w “Come That Day” 7″, Cherryoza (1982)
“Kardomah Café” b/w “Airs and Graces” 7″/12″, Crash (1983)
“Shoot The Big Shot” b/w “Falling” 7″, Crash (1983)
“Shoot The Big Shot” b/w “Falling” & “Dont Leave Me That Way” 12″, Crash (1983)
“Kardomah Café” b/w “Airs and Graces” & “Plead Sanity” 12″, Satril, (1984)

20 Jan
eBay auctions

We just completed a massive cd organization project at Shelflife, merging together two large indie pop collections. Now we have a lot of doubles (or triples) that are looking for new homes. There’s a bunch of out-of-print Shelflife releases up as well as other rarities.

Check out our eBay auctions

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