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Title: 23 SKIDOO: URBAN GAMELAN Page 12.
COLOURS CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK
23 Skidoo (1982-84) Fritz Catlin, Alex Turnbull, Johnny Turnbull, Sketch (P. Martin)
Tracks 1 to 4: FC drums, percussion; AT bass, percussion, trumpet; JT guitar, congas, tapes; PM bass tracks 5 to 11: JT kendang, water jug, conga, tapes; AT metal percussion, bamboo xylophone; FC metal percussion, bamboo xylophone track 12 and 13 FC drums; AT bass, timbales; JT guitar, congas, tambourine; PM bass; Eddie ‘Tan-Tan’ Thornton trumpet; Vin
Seven Songs (LTMCD 2528)
Gordon trombone; Steve Gregory sax tracks 14 and 15 FC percussion; JT guitar, percussion; AT percussion; PM bass; Simon Boswell glass piano.
Tracks 1 to 11 originally released on the album Urban Gamelan on Illuminated Records (JAMS 40) August 1984. Recorded at Foel Studios. Mixed by 23 Skidoo and Simon Boswell at The Clocktower. Tracks 12 and 13 originally released as a 12” single on Illuminated Records (ILL 2812) February 1984. Produced by 23 Skidoo and Simon Boswell. Tracks 14 and 15 originally
Just Like Everybody (LTMCD 2532)
released as a 12” single on Illuminated Records (ILL 3812) July 1984. Produced by 23 Skidoo, Simon Boswell and Sketch.
Tracks 1 to 4, 12 to 15 written by F Catlin, A Turnbull, J Turnbull, P Martin. Tracks 5 to 11 written by F Catlin, A Turnbull, J Turnbull. All songs published by Chrysalis Music.
The Culling Is Coming (BOUCD 6604)
2008 CD issue curated by James Nice. Mastered by Dominique Brethes at Wolf Studios, Brixton. Original design by Neville Body and 23 Skidoo. CD layout by Atomluft. Images courtesy of 23 Skidoo and Andrew Catlin. All tracks released under licence from 23 Skidoo. c + p 2008.
Nevertheless. COLOURS CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK tracks recorded between 1981 and 1986. A selection of 23 Skidoo and Ronin recordings from this period was later released as a slightly uneven album. Three years later Alex explained: ‘Everybody was like. Skidoo’s critical reputation continued to grow. Maybe I’ll refrain from saying any more.CTP Template: CD_DPS1 Compact Disc Booklet: Double Page Spread Customer: LTM Catalogue No: LTMCD 2530 Job Title: 23 SKIDOO: URBAN GAMELAN Page 2. Unfortunately Ronin subsequently ceased trading. although it would be four years before the tapes were delivered.R. F. Q magazine praised ‘muscular. Dawning was also released as a single.O. Mojo noted a ‘mildly nagging sense of a band slightly intoxicated with their own production finesse’ but overall judged the return of ‘one of the most influential bands of the 80s’ an eclectic and groovy exception to the prevailing rule of underwhelming comebacks.C. bouyed by appearances on landmark compilations such as Andrew Weatherall’s 9 O’Clock Drop (2000) and Soul Jazz collection In The Beginning There Was Rhythm (2001).. and high praise in Simon Reynolds 2005 book Rip It Up and Start Again.’ 23 Skidoo subsequently contracted to record a new album for Virgin. including a previously unreleased monitor mix of Coup. dub and jazz’. featuring jazz legend Pharoah Sanders on saxophone. releasing a raft of British hip-hop and breakbeat sides by Paradox. Reviewing the first new Skidoo album for sixteen years. which features Catlin. Skitz and Deckwrecka. A new track. These new expanded CD editions remind us again of the unique achievement of the utterly fearless 23 Skidoo. released by RealWorld and a substantial success (albeit much bootlegged) in India and Brick Lane. Sketch and the Turnbulls. Just Like Everybody (Part Two). as well as contributions from Pete Stern and Alan Gold. this delay due to the illness and death of Alex and Johnny’s mother Kim. In March 1997 Coup seemed finally to have broken into the British singles chart within the familiar-sounding bassline of the Chemical Brothers’ single Block Rockin’ Beats. However no deal materialised. and recorded three tracks with Sam Sever. But yes. 1986 Alex. was also released as a promo. was released in August 2000 on CD and double vinyl. 1986 . they’ve ripped off 23 Skidoo. the noirish Catch 23 – is thoroughly engaging’ and the ‘various mutations of hip hop. and this episode proved instrumental in the band’s metamorphosis into a production entity. ‘Oh shit.’ It’s not actually a straight sample. it’s been quite good for us. a subsidiary of Def Jam. James Nice September 2008 Sketch Sketch. but expressed overall disappointment. simply titled 23 Skidoo. In 1990 The Turnbulls also founded Ronin as a label. they replayed it. and the pair have also worked with Susheela Raman. Ronin. Skidoo were then invited to record in New York by Rush Management.E. with a limited edition triple album set also available. and these first CD reissues were soon unavailable. The album. motorik fare that at it’s best – the eerie Interzonal. Page 11. Magrehbi. The group re-released their back catalogue on CD through the Ronin label in 2001 and 2002. In 1997 Fritz Catlin and Sam Mills also used the Ronin studio to work on the album Real Sugar by Paban Das Baul.
After local gigs in North London. ‘It’s certainly more accessible. live performance of their more commercial tracks remained problematic.CTP Template: CD_DPS1 Compact Disc Booklet: Double Page Spread Customer: LTM Catalogue No: LTMCD 2530 Job Title: 23 SKIDOO: URBAN GAMELAN Page 10.’ revealed Johnny. This same philosophy – cut. We’ve radically changed since the old single. although the American slang phrase is much older and also features in the work of William S. and instead the core trio practised chops of a different kind through extensive martial arts training. The Sound and Repetition on 30 January 1981.’ With Skidoo still essentially a trio of Fritz. including the University of London Union with The Associates. and no chart hit. (Thoughts of You). Sam Mills on guitar. Skidoo were wary of fleeting hip credibility. but in different ways. electronics and saxophone. A different version of Assassin also appeared as Shugyosha Step on several compilations. joined by Alex Turnbull (percussion. Although eagerly anticipated by many. The single GI. though I don’t think it’s bad for what it is. the scratchy punk-funk on offer was already unrepresentative. and horns courtesy of Aswad. I don’t think. including Funky Alternatives (Vol 1). OK. Eno and This Heat. COLOURS CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK The move towards more commercial music outlined to Sketch bore fruit in February 1984 with the release of Coup. By 1980. Their chosen name. ‘We’ve been dumped in with the funk thing. a compilation of Skidoo The Gospel Language Urban Gamelan 23 Skidoo. It’s the idea that you just use what works for you at any given time. The following year Catlin returned to the fold. although the group shortly afterwards expanded into a sextet. Parliament and Fela Kuti to Can. with Aswad’s horn section blazing away in hot pursuit… A pity there’s nothing half so much fun on Urban Gamelan. but never quite completed. A mighty 45. Alex and Johnny. ‘We could do a whole new interview about Bruce Lee. and featuring co-producer Simon Boswell on glass piano. Having impressed Colin Faver of London promoters Final Solution. we’ll have the 23 Skidoo backlash. translating loosely as move it. until Coup thundered over the horizon earlier this year. Indeed the expanded Skidoo were coming on in leaps and bounds. including several art colleges and the Scala Cinema. Johnny Turnbull on guitar and Patrick Griffiths on bass. Coup is a vinyl TV cop show car chase driven by Sketch Martin’s bass. ‘We really like funk music. the singles were omitted. ‘He was the greatest. drums and guitar. The aside version had been recorded the previous year. You should mention the importance of Jeet Kune Do – that’s his fighting system and philosophy. This outstanding funk single featured a classic bassline from Sketch. so this is just a different application that allows us to move on and not be restricted by playing bass. a tight dance version of a track that had been around for some time in various forms. Ethics was recorded as a four-piece by Sam. The developing buzz around the group saw their live shows constantly reviewed. the landmark North London Poly show also earned them their first major feature. and North London Polytechnic with A Certain Ratio and Bush Tetras on 27 March. ‘because we’re justifying the use of backing tapes. written by Paul Morley and published in NME in April. run and confound – would become a guiding principle for this extraordinary and highly influential group. and for a series of dates in Spain and London the group relied on tapes. their influences ranging from The Pop Group. the last of the warriors. That is.’ Fritz and Alex. You know. As well as being the band’s driver-cum-manager. although the absence of a 7” version meant no radio airplay. Page 3. and released on 7” by Pineapple Records. backed with Ooze and neo-soul track T. and Skidoo rehearsed. and the Turnbulls devoted their energies to their chosen martial arts. including Coup In the Palace and GI Fuck You. Wilkinson was one of the owners of the Honky Tonk record shop in Kentish Town where Fritz worked. Burroughs and Aleister Crowley. ‘but we’ve always allowed ourselves the space to do what we want. the sextet played several high-profile shows. the group recorded their first single in October 1980. and Language in sparse percussive form. 23 Skidoo were a quartet. who Skidoo had supported at the Dublin Castle in Camden. a small indie set up by Nigel Wilkinson and Dave Henderson. we’re ever going to get really big audiences anyway. By now live performances were enhanced by visuals provided by Richard Heslop. Johnny and Patrick. so we’ve always used a lot of tapes. 1984 23 SKIDOO tearing up the plans The origins of 23 Skidoo lie in a punk-inspired schoolboy trio formed in North London in 1979.O. 23 Skidoo. which is what we are doing. Mat Snow recalled: ‘Back in 1981 I walked out of the 23 Skidoo experience. but there’s a lot of other things there. had no legitimate link to the group. the track cocreated with Sketch Martin. Reviewing it for NME. The next Skidoo single would not emerge until 1986. Perversely. 1984 . or get out while the going is good. This meant that by the time the single appeared in February 1981. released on Saderal in 1986 and credited to 400 Blows/23 Skidoo Assemblage. comprising Fritz Catlin on drums. although even at this early stage. with Coup appearing in radically different form as GI Fuck You. During this period 23 Skidoo did not play live.’ Soon after the Spanish dates in Granada and Mercia. drums and bass) and Tom Heslop on vocals. a film student at St Martins. and Illuminated (as Bleeding Chin) released Just Like Everybody. The session was financed and produced by Mark Bedford of Madness.’ Johnny told Sean O’Hagan of NME. Fritz.’ Fritz told Pacemaker fanzine. with the music we’re playing. when Illuminated released the hip-hop informed Assassin. In July Skidoo followed Coup with Language. Maybe it will all fall through in three months.’ Alex told Sounds. and it’s the longer dub version on the flipside that works best. the album was less accessible that either of the 45s. Fritz Catlin took a sabbatical from the group. As well as enthusiastic reviews.Y. absorb what we need and move about in different directions.’ In fact Coup had undoubted commercial potential. was borrowed from the experimental Illuminati trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea. ‘It’s funny. I thought never to return. coupling Ethics with Another Baby’s Face. things we’ve tended to scoff at in the past.’ The album Urban Gamelan was finally released by Illuminated in August 1984.
CTP Template: CD_DPS1 Compact Disc Booklet: Double Page Spread Customer: LTM Catalogue No: LTMCD 2530 Job Title: 23 SKIDOO: URBAN GAMELAN Page 4. On this tour Catlin also performed with Laibach. a real collision of modern and tribal that somehow worked more effectively in the predigital period. and in the 1970s both were teenage skateboard stars. and played drums on the recordings that formed their first single. Alex and Fritz. 1981 swept clear of form or relationship… They have missed the point of improvised music. Brighton and Los Angeles. Alex on drums. and in 1986 performed again with Laibach behind choreographer Michael Clark for his show No Fire Escape in Hell. staged in London. The group insisted on recording and repeating the dialogue as it went along. In mid 1983 Skidoo filmed an interview for BBC arts programme Riverside with Fetish cohort and i-D magazine publisher Perry Haines. Both tracks were recorded in July at Western Works. the dark. or in Skidoo publicity. not least because Johnny and Alex were of Singapore-Chinese descent. tape loops and hard sonic barrages. SPK and Test Department. The Gospel Comes To New Guinea. 8 Eyed Spy and The Bongos. Mallinder recalls: ‘Cabaret Voltaire played quite a few shows with Skidoo and I’d personally gotten to know them well through Neville Brody and the TG collective prior to my going into the studio with them and Ken Thomas.’ Johnny Caxton Hall 23 Skidoo. For their debut Fetish single. the concept of urban gamelan remained the backbone of (and title for) their album in progress. funk and Burundi drumming. brooding ten minute instrumental which opened live sets. Kier Fraser and Si Joyce. before recording a raft of leading British ‘industrial’ experimentalists. The track also featured a cassette loop of the band chanting a Chinese phrase and Johnny playing clarinet. and increasingly the group abandoned fixed instrumental roles. Skidoo recorded one of their most funky and commercial songs. the Sheffield studio owned by Cabaret Voltaire. and their ethnicity one of several factors which underlined Skidoo’s essential otherness.’ While Skidoo continued to explore a variety of musical and rhythmic forms. but in fact Skidoo shared more in common with the avant-garde wing of the Fetish roster. several early interviews seemed to overlook the Turnbull brothers. LFD returned to Europe for a lengthy tour with Laibach at the end of the year. but they were very focused on what elements worked and what they wanted. COLOURS CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK At this stage Patrick Griffiths left to move to Paris. TG Coup For the remainder of 1983. with Fritz on bass. winning the UK championship competitions in 1976. including hard reggae. recordings from which were later edited into the album Pure Spit & Saliva. Throbbing Gristle and Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire. and after a while a whole range of tonal relationships became apparent between the different shapes and types of metal. one unforeseen consequence was that The Culling Is Coming made it hard for Skidoo to find a new label. including Clock DVA. Throbbing Gristle provided rehearsal space at 10 Martello Street in Hackney. This was unusual. I just remember they were always long sessions over a few days. the latter a Fetish regular who would go on to produce the Sugarcubes and Sigur Ros. Indeed the brothers came from a creative background (their father William Turnbull and mother Kim Lim were both highly regarded visual artists). 1983 The North London Poly gig in March impressed Rod Pearce of Fetish Records sufficiently to offer to record the group. In Sounds Johnny explained: ‘Sketch told us he’d been involved in commercial music and wanted to move out of that area. LFD avoided making records. a deliberately esoteric collective centred around Daniel Landin. and difficult to persuade some shops to stock their next record. However. Fetish had commenced operations with a series of New York funk and no wave releases by Snatch. everything cutting and folding. and the first thing he did was ask if he could hire us as a rhythm section to record a single he had planned. Months later. and instead performed infrequent concerts featuring megaphones. It was a full contingent with pretty fluid roles for everyone. Page 9. using ideas borne of gamelan traditions. and produced by the band together with Stephen Mallinder and Ken Thomas. That said. Stimulin or even Haircut 100. Skidoo activity was restricted to occasional gigs at home and abroad. So we went to work for him on his project and it ended up as Language. No less impressive was the flipside. and Genesis P-Orridge and Peter Christopherson would replace Mallinder as co-producers. using instruments and studio equipment pretty loosely. much fun with brief breaks for a bit of sleep and breakfasts back at my old gothic house that seemed as anarchically organised as the studio sessions. Bush Tetras. Skidoo also performed at the Tone und Gegentone festival in Vienna in May. none of these background details were aired in the press. By happy coincidence. the band were keen to distance themselves from metal-bashers such as Die Krupps. Established in 1980 and run from Pearce’s flat at Denbigh Street. Fetish perhaps imagined they had signed a more edgy version of Funkapolitan. previously a member of Britfunk chart duo Linx. more organic. Ken was perfect for getting that across with structure but without diluting that live dynamic. of minds and instruments fusing and sparring to create a new world… Why bother with Skidoo?’ Public puzzlement aside. Everyone was breaking the anchors of analogue. In April 1983 LFD and 23 Skidoo were invited by Laibach to play at Zagreb’s prestigious new music Biennale. for at the studio the band met virtuoso bass player Peter ‘Sketch’ Martin. who had a huge metal structure in his room. 23 Skidoo. However all was not lost. Tom Heslop had also shared a squat with Fetish design director Neville Brody. During 1981 Catlin had begun performing with Last Few Days. and we told him we hadn’t been involved in commercial music but wanted to move towards it. Another early LFD contributor was none other than Sam Mills. 1982 . with the result that the interview was not broadcast. They were capturing that moment better than any other band. Catlin also collaborated on the first Current 93 release. We spent hours hitting it. Strangely. Fritz explained: ‘We stayed with Remko Scha in Eindhoven once. It’s this we’ve been developing in our own music. we got him over for a rehearsal. Last Words. made for the 12 inch format. Sam on guitar and Johnny on percussion.
23 Skidoo had delivered their most unambiguous public rejection of mainstream commercial concerns. and although we didn’t know what we wanted to do. Macaw Gungah. metallic noise. We tend to all work on things separately and then fuse them together. especially African.’ At the end of November Skidoo entered Jacob’s Studio in Farnham to record a new EP. Just twelve months on from the recording of Last Words. albeit in a less extravagant pantone sleeve. because Alex and Tom weren’t even in the group before that. Culling was released on 4 February 1983. and signing deals with major labels. The middle of the month saw Skidoo record an impressive session for John Peel. fluid percussion. The eight tracks were recorded over three days. but you can only use tradition as a starting point to move on to something more adventurous. and spent the next three days and nights improvising and recording rhythms. These shows also featured performances by a variety of writers. Seven Songs still sounds contemporary today. which were later taken to Jacobs Studio to edit and mix with Ken Thomas. Z’ev. This irked Rod Pearce. and Fetish wound down soon after. Tuxedomoon and The Pale Fountains. Skidoo performed as a trio at the Brixton Ritzy show on 29 September. Live. We’ve immersed ourselves in a lot of black music. and side one featured a stylus-hostile lock groove midway. Having seen the Balinese Gamelan Ensemble perform at WOMAD in July. groups such as Cabaret Voltaire. NME reviewer Richard Cook blasted an album that ‘traipses disconsolately across an arid terrain Fritz. and a form of gamelan performed on conventional percussion and scrap metal. Peter Christopherson and Ken Thomas. featuring thumb piano and pygmy pipe on Martin Denny pastiche Quiet Pillage. Terry and David’ disguised the identities of Genesis P-Orridge. and Skidoo’s 27 minute loopbased performance at Tielt on 8 October was later issued as a bonus track on the CD version of The Culling Is Coming. combining grooves. Our approach tends to change frequently. a lock groove. a season of readings by William S. cut-ups. the Dartington sessions then became side two of the second (and secondary) 23 Skidoo album. 23 Skidoo abandoned the commercial zone entirely. September also saw the release of Last Words. Every bit as trailblazing as the scholarly My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. the revamped Clock DVA and even Psychic TV began to step cautiously towards the mainstream. In stark contrast.’ Johnny Turnbull later told Blast magazine: ‘At the time we were trying to get into Eastern and African rhythms and the album seemed a good blend of what was happening at that time. but we have a concrete agreement that we don’t want to be conventional musicians. the latter including Cabaret Voltaire. and played two nights with Defunkt at The Venue the following month. supported Cabaret Voltaire at North London Poly on the 25th. and it angers me that The Culling Is Coming Seven Songs .’ explained Johnny. which expanded to become a mini album with the addition of several spontaneous. meditative side of Skidoo… We travelled down to Devon for the weekend with a mobile eight-track studio. so we’ve had to make our own. Several of the shows were professionally recorded. with only the last subsequently appearing on record (as Porno Base). organised by Genesis P-Orridge and others. Page 5. decrying the pernicious influence of pop music. Indeed listeners tended to react in much the same way as the original audience at WOMAD. Johnny and Fritz now embracing tape effects. the core trio of Alex. the humorous pseudonym being adopted to play down associations with TG. which also included Cabaret Voltaire. industrial ambiance. the band avoided regular rock clubs such as the Rock Garden. Last Few Days and 23 Skidoo. View From Here and Four Note Bass. Everything was a process of experience. streamlining their music and membership. and gave us the impetus to explore non-musical mediums. and judged the performance very good. we did know what we didn’t want. Skidoo came up with the concept of ‘urban’ gamelan. Adding their own slant.’ The featured instruments included gamelan and kendang drums. Both sides lasted 23 minutes. The cryptic production credit for ‘Tony. featuring a dub version on the flip. As the matt textures of post-punk gave way to the gloss finish of new pop. Marquee.’ The Fetish/Some Bizarre avant-garde allowed themselves a last hurrah at the Final Academy. Skidoo arranged a recording session using authentic gamelan instruments at Dartington College on 22 and 23 October. The following month the group also took part in a short Crepuscule package tour in Belgium billed as Move Back-Bite Harder. artists and music groups. each time you make a record you make a statement. Gamelan is a ceremonial style in which light yet insistent percussion forms a rhythmic base. It was the first record that meant anything to us. most ethnic music in the Third World has been ignored because of Western tradition. it was also a lot more fun. experimental tracks. comprising Retain Control. preferring alternative venues including the London Filmmakers’ Co-op. The result was the seminal Seven Songs. Johnny Turnbull confirmed in Blast magazine: ‘We tend now to think of The Gospel as our first single. 1986 soundman Daniel Landin (aka Stan Bingo) was also involved with the live mix at shows and travelled with the band extensively. In September 1981 the fast-rising group appeared at the Futurama 3 festival in Stafford. ‘Real Gamelan instruments are made from bronze and wood and elaborately carved. Antena. and anticipating world music and sample culture. gongs and bamboo flutes. Psychic TV. Alex Turnbull recalls of the session: ‘It shows the other. COLOURS CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK audience. 101 and Moonlight Club. To me. Tom told Melody Maker: ‘We don’t listen to much music from this country apart from Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle. like using films. initially on Operation Twilight.CTP Template: CD_DPS1 Compact Disc Booklet: Double Page Spread Customer: LTM Catalogue No: LTMCD 2530 Job Title: 23 SKIDOO: URBAN GAMELAN Page 8. Hence the cylinders. So far. Paired with a recording of the WOMAD performance. Burroughs in London and Manchester. which was to play conventional songs. Parent label Crepuscule also released the album in Europe. The Culling Is Coming. the extended 12” also joined by a promotional 7” edit. and like Skidoo live shows were half funk (IY. ‘which makes them very expensive. to which chiming melodies by gongs and bells are added. Cabaret Futura and the Action Space in Kentish Town. Vegas El Bandito and Kundalini) and half experimental. It’s very attractive as an idea. simply because it’s an available source of music. and within Porno Base the refined voice of Diana Mitford.
Page 7. With guitar and bass entirely absent. Cabaret Voltaire. flicking super speed images of the band's recent bombed-out arrest for graffiti-ing the Berlin wall. or a funky dance band like Pigbag… To be quite honest. Still as 23 Skidoo. the title of the new EP featuring the ‘reduced personnel’ of Fritz. We’re fortunate in that we don’t all have to live off the band. Skidoo elected to perform a ritual to ‘banish’ their previous incarnation as hip press darlings. Skidoo played a menacing set to an appreciative audience. while Just Like Everybody. COLOURS CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK people can make that same statement over and over again. were wholly perplexed.’’ Immediately after the recording. the group played dates in Scotland with the Virgin Prunes. Skidoo’s radical mid-morning gesture was missed by the music weeklies. It tears away deceptive dramatic or sentimental gloss and mixes a neutral type of documentary candour with thrilling regenerative abstraction. a collaboration with Tim Soar. Back in the UK. In an NME interview with Barney Hoskyns. the polycultural festival also offered a wealth of world music. held at Shepton Mallet in Somerset in July. priced at £15 and packaged in a plastic bag which also included a boiled sweet. Indeed this cycle of renewal is something very basic to the concept of 23 Skidoo. And I think there’s a danger in making a real lot of money. Fetish. Reviews were ecstatic. At 11 am on a sunny summer morning Skidoo . literally looped sections of tape. Some fled. Christopherson and Thomas again producing. and thus passed unreported at the time. uncommon… rather solitary. Throbbing Gristle and A Certain Ratio. When Fetish wired Johnny and me to come back WOMAD from Singapore ‘coz the album had gone in at number one. obstinate. Seven Songs was released at the beginning of February 1982. though to their great credit both still performed that night. but those that remained witnessed Skidoo at their most confrontational.’ Certainly the group brooked no compromise.’ explained Alex. and at the newly-opened Hacienda club in Manchester on the 29th. I don’t think we’ve ever really been a dance band’ While dismissing New Pop as ‘just so much bullshit’. it really was a case of Tearing up the Plans – ironically enough. it was even more experimental than Seven Songs. we thought Rod was winding us up. The 12” was eventually released as Tearing Up The Plans in June. and dates by the full band hastily arranged. The ritual of banishing. Sam Mills and Tom Heslop were dismissed from the band.' By April a VHS video version of Seven Songs was available from Fetish. but peaked just above Sextet. who also provided Skidoo’s live visuals. incomplete.heads shaven. Shortly before going onstage. but sacking the guitarist and singer appeared perverse. It was held off the top spot only by Pigbag's Dr Heckle & Mr Jive. Adam Sweeting wrote that 'Primed by a day of Fela Kuti and William Burroughs.CTP Template: CD_DPS1 Compact Disc Booklet: Double Page Spread Customer: LTM Catalogue No: LTMCD 2530 Job Title: 23 SKIDOO: URBAN GAMELAN Page 6. the remaining three members performed at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) on 3 January 1982 along with Dislocation Dance and former Pop Group man Mark Springer. where the group attracted unwanted police attention by applying graffiti to the Wall. The departure of Sam and Tom was not reported in the press. Very appropriate. and spurning overtures from labels such as Island and EMI.99. These included shows in Eindhoven (Holland) and Berlin early in March. the Turnbull brothers did not discount making a pop record. and were even joined by David Tibet of Psychic TV on thigh bone trumpet. and shortly afterwards the group were announced as a late addition to the WOMAD festival. joujouka and Gregorian chant were combined on Gregouka. There are so many bands who mind what people say about them because they’re so anxious to get famous and make money. I think that’s why we try to make every record different. Intoxicating. Their slide show shoulders all the subversion. Paul Morley describing it as ‘one of the most exciting records I’ve heard since Unknown Pleasures… A variably energetic and stimulating addition to that collection of perceptions. ‘It would be hard to come up with something commercially feasible. But beneath all this anti-theory. Challenging audiences and spurning major label deals was subversive enough. ‘Definitely. It’s candid. So many bands find a formula and then don’t let go of it in case they lose their audience. intimate. extracts from which were broadcast on Capital Radio. Alex confessed that the success of Seven Songs had taken the band by surprise. and #2 by mid-March. Skidoo thrive on making a great bloody row. For Fritz and the Turnbull brothers. organized by Peter Gabriel and others as a celebration of world music. among others.’ This unexpected success meant that the Turnbull brothers were hurriedly recalled from Singapore. Sam and Tom.’ While expectations were shattered. elastoplast and a coloured condom. invocation and healing mirrored the changes that had occurred within the group. The clips were shot and edited by Richard Heslop. Profiling the band for Melody Maker from Edinburgh. On 16 June Skidoo headlined a prestige London show at The Venue. For their set on 17 July. On 26 and 27 January the same ‘reduced personnel’ trio of Fritz. including the Drummers of Burundi and the Balinese Gamelan Ensemble. Ironically. Alex Turnbull: ‘Skidoo elected not to use traditional instruments. so we don’t have to think of it as a commercial proposition. the second album by A Certain Ratio. arts and dance. I think it’s because a lot of people thought we were like ABC or Stimulin. were greeted by a wall of noise. but instead to improvise a performance with instruments made of scrap metal and tape loops – at this time. Skidoo headlined at London University Union on 14 May. ‘It would have to be a one-off. Alex and Johnny left to travel in the Far East for three months. As well as orthodox rock acts such as Echo & the Bunnymen and Simple Minds. Retailing at a buyer-friendly £2. featured a cut-up tape of CIA operative Frank Turpel. with support from Mark Stewart and Palais Shaumberg. rising to #14 the following week. hallucinations and associations brought into play by Joy Division. Sam and Tom also recorded an aleatory EP with P-Orridge. The bleary-eyed festival crowd. generated by three slide projectors and one 8mm film. and again at a final booking in Leicester. faces camouflaged – took to the stage. Sam Mills was in the Tearing Up The Plans . expecting a trendy funk band. it debuted at #20 on the NME independent charts at the end of the month.
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