Fruits de Mer Records - Psychedelia, Krautrock, Progressive Rock, Acid-Folk, R&B, Spacerock and Vinyl Heaven

Other people's blogs are invariably as boring as hell - self-centred, random, rambling or just pointless
we don't like to break the pattern, so welcome to the Fruits de Mer Blog...

Here are FdM's most recent ramblings.... LATEST BLOGGINGS
....and now back to March 2016 and before...


We're starting work on what will be Fruits de Mer's official 100th vinyl release - due out just before Christmas; I say 'official' because I lost count a long time ago...what do box-sets count as, what about flexis and lathe-cuts, etc etc? i've decided it'll be the 100th and that's it! As you might expect, it's already turning into a bit of a monster - a double LP with some special guests calling in on the recording sessions - watch this space, I think you'll like it


After a long absence for reasons too dull to go into, I'm back running a Facebook group I set up many years ago; the name's a bit of a giveaway, but if it sounds like your kind of thing - and if you're reading this there's a fair chance it will be - do try to call in, check out what's there and post a few things of your own; the group is here


age 1. buy all new releases by your favourite band
age 2. buy all variants of all releases by your favourite band
age 3. find three more favourite bands; repeat 1-2
age 4, find favourite label; repeat 1-2
age 5. find three more favourite labels; repeat 1-2
age 6. buy reissues of all of the above
age 7. find you seem to have bought multiple copies of 6; all is now lost


I've been scanning Facebook and Youtube, hoping to find a hidden gem or two in the way of a cover that i can include on the 2016 year-end members club compilation CD, together with contributions from artists already known to FdM; sadly, although the cupboards are overflowing, i've not found anything in them yet that really excite me - anyone got any suggestions?


so i'll now drone on about it....although it seemed to start out with good intentions, I'm no longer a fan - for all the obvious reasons - and this year seems more 'excessive' than ever - more releases, many of them no more than a re-release that coincides with 'the day' and will no doubt be on sale longer after it, less creative/off-the-wall stuff than usual - I've come up with two singles and two LPs that I really want to get. I dunno - maybe the archives have been plundered to such an extent there's little left to offer?


About 2/3rds of the tickets are already sold for this year's festival, and in the next month there'll be ads in Record Collector (our official sponsors!) and in Shindig telling the world about the fact we have bands like Sendelica, Vibravoid and cult heroes Twink and Ax Genrich playing this year, along with FdM faves the Soft Hearted Scientists, Blue Giant Zeta Puppies, Curvey from The Luck Of Eden Hall, Jack Ellister and many more gracing the stages in Cardigan - if you haven't bought your tickets yet, you have been warned


Very early days, but i'm in discussion with a label that puts FdM to shame in pretty much every way about the possibility of a joint release later this year; keep your fingers crossed for me


Great interview with Cranium Pie by Italian website Plenirockium (there's an English translation if you scroll down to the bottom); it include some photos I've never seen before of the band playing live (if only....)


this is the first release from a new label launched by a Fruits de Mer club member - vinyl, naturally - find out more here


"woke up this morning, it still didn't have a bloody keyboard on it..."
My apologies to anyone and everyone if I'm even more grumpy with than usual for the next couple of weeks/months/years - Liz has bequeathed her cast-off i-phone to me; after using a Blackberry for knocking on for 20 years, I'm trying to come to terms with a phone that is clearly SO well-designed for someone with stubby fingers and failing eyesight; I'd add an exclamation-mark or two, if i could find it


There's a new radio show from FdM club member Martin Wright that's worth checking out.... here


FdM's favourite Spanish psych band have a new album out - do check it out (it's been a long time coming) here

"Did I ever tell you that my (half) brother used to play bass for the Mothers of Invention?"

Part of the fun of FdM is when you get an email from someone that starts like that - totally unexpected, wonderfully random, but I love it


At last, I can start promoting the April singles! It feels like months since I've had any new FdM records to talk about, probably because it's been months. But there's no stopping me now - three singles in April, soon to be followed by singles, and album and a lathe-cut in May - phew, we're back to our normal excesses


Crystal Jacqueline, Icarus Peel and The Honey Pot, with special guest Jack Ellister, are playing the Oakwood Centre, near Reading on February 27th as part of their 'Inside The Whale' tour. Liz and I are planning to be there - it's safe to come along, we'll not be selling anything - just enjoying the music! details and tickets here


Spotted by FdM club member, Ray Canham - it's the perfect Christmas gift for vinyl junkies and at least you'll never need to splash out on a lathe-cut ever again window-shop here


Well hard luck, I'm going to anyway. Here's an early list of highly-collectible vinyl releases that will be on ebay on April 16th - please note Justin Bieber pic disc (has it really come to this?).
I'm sure there's lots more to be added - including stuff that even an old git like me will do a passable impression of being excited over - and there's already a Goblin 7" that looks tempting - but there does seem to be a touch of throw-enough-of-it-at-the-wall about what I've seen so far read 'em and weep


I've just finished reading Mick Wall's book on the ins and outs of Black Sabbath; I'm reminded of Trigger's broom in 'Only Fools And Horses'...


...but their branding consultant was having a bad day


Quite a hefty price price paid recently for the second release on Fruits de Mer - Alison O'Donnell's single went for over £90 here
I've seen copies of the Bowie covers CD ('Fashion') sell for £30-£50, a couple of lathe-cut 7"s that sold in late-January for around £90 each and another reached over £250 here so maybe there's life in the old label yet.


The band are playing the Half Moon on Feb 12th - sadly i can't make it, but if you're anywhere near London that night, you really shouldn't miss it. Tickets available from Pretty tickets


By pure chance, Liz and I recently managed to see a gig by, and chat to, Fuchsia aka Tony Durant, who was playing a club in Sydney, Oz while we were down there. We flew in on a Saturday, I picked up a local music paper that day, saw Tony was playing the next night at Djangos in Marrickville and we had to be there! Great set and a lovely bloke too - who know where coincidences like this might lead?


There seem to be a bit of a rash of Fruits de Mer 'scarce items' listed on ebay at the moment; we're either becoming a focus for vinyl dealers/collectors or a few fans of the label are deserting a sinking ship.


I have no idea what that means, except that on the same night (Jan 18) Steve Lamacq and Gideon Coe ended their respective BBC 6 Music shows with tracks by The Chemistry Set and Michael Padilla, taken from their new FdM LPs; feeling a bit smug, or what?


Just got round to watching the BBC drama about the making of Dad's Army - intro music is The Pretty Things with, 'Don't Bring Me Down'...closely followed by 'S.F. Sorrow Is Born'!


I love/hate Norman - they always tell it like it is - they're not afraid to rip into new stocks, even though they're in the business of selling records. so it was a great relief to find they like the new Chemistry Set LP and love Michael Padilla's album; no doubt we're heading for a fall with the April singles


...and then we saw the 'new' Star Wars film; talk about a homage to the first three, it didn't do that much for me until Harrison Ford turned up - blimey, a real actor - and then HE buggered off before the end. I'm a bit concerned if Mark Hamill has to carry episode 8 in the way Ford carried episode 7 - but then again i'm in training to be a grumpy old man

LIKE PUTTING BAGS OF REVELS AT THE SUPERMARKET CHECK-OUT how I described seeing a stack of triple CDs called, 'The World's Best Guitar Riffs' on the counter at Fopp in London, for three quid - I didn't need them, I don't even like them, but for £3...; and, of course, the CDs are nigh-on unlistenable, compiled by someone who didn't know a riff from a solo, a lead guitar from a bass, etc, etc. I can see another members club competition coming on


We saw Booker T Jones at Ronnie Scott's earlier in the week - he's 70, surprisingly modest and engaging for a man who has no need to be, and my god he can still play the Hammond! He refused to stick to tracks he's best-known for, which meant the gig tended to be a bit uneven (to be honest, I didn't need Booker T singing Purple Rain or Hey Joe), but it was still a gig to remember


I mentioned Ronnie Scott's to Liz's wayward brother Richard, who casually replied that he used to go out with Dana Gillespie, and occasionally took Marsha Hunt to Ronnie Scott's with Keith Moon. Richard has dozens of similar stories (he used to work for Track Records), they're all true and he's remarkably underwhelmed by all of them!


..Top Cat, that is, of course. My Christmas DVD cup runneth over...the complete Top Cat plus 32 hours of Lou and Bud; then there's the Verve 'Sound Of America' vinyl box-set, a World guide to whisky...and no pairs of socks. I hope you got a little something that you didn't expect, but are pleased to have


...when you see a tree at Center Parcs with four animated furry elves singing, 'It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas', all doing Tommy Cooper impersonations


Just in case you want to know my ten favourite psych albums on one given day in December, dayzofpurpleandorange asked me to nominate them...
(Nick Saloman's list is also on the site)


It's a tempting offer - some of the best tracks from the Pretty Things' box-set 'Bouquets From A Cloudy Sky' on a single LP - but it's a bootleg. I'm a little bit flattered, to be honest - it's the first time a track that first appeared on a Fruits de Mer release has been bootlegged - but it's a rip-off from the box-set (and therefore, the band) and god knows what the quality is like

THERE'LL BE ANOTHER ONE ALONG IN A MINUTE...sometimes I really do think i should get a life - but then again, it keeps me off the streets


'Side Effects' is featured in the latest issue of Record Collector, appearing in its 'Most Wanted' section alongside The Beatles and The Fall, and just above Anti-Flag. Thanks to RC's Paul Rigby for giving it a plug.


They look great and they were a real novelty when they first came out (although there seem to be a lot of them about at the moment), but what about sound quality? I was very tempted to go the splatter route with 'Side Effects', but in the end, I was put off by:
1. the cost
2. a few negative comments I picked up about the quality of pressings I bottled it and stuck with 'ordinary' colour vinyl. But if you have experience - good or bad - of splatter vinyl and similar wild colour executions, I'd really appreciate your thoughts on the subject

NOTE TO SELF.......don't let FdM back-catalogue get out of hand

GRATUITOUS SEX...There's no room for that kind of thing on the Fruits de Mer website, so if you see any be sure to email me


... all crew members to your stations, prepare for landing! Such is the speech that begins Plankton, grooving into Theme One by Schizo Fun Addict"
That's how Record Collector's look back at their 'best of early Fruits de Mer' LP begins in this week's email newsletter, and then carries on as follows...
"This immensely fun compilation contained a smorgasbord of Fruits de Mer’s trademark acts together in a lush gatefold sleeve, performing covers of classic psych, prog, kraut, acid and space rock songs. The sounds are lush and as varied as the artists covered; everything from Nick Drake to Amon Duul II to Pink Floyd. The sleeve notes by label boss Keith Jones even say that they were encouraged to persevere after a difficult start by a review from RC’s Spencer Grady, and the label has gone on to be a great success. 500 copies sold in short order, and it even came with a bonus 7" single of The Pretty Things performing Midnight to Six Man' Live at the 100 Club in 2010"'


Liz and I would be doing a bit of backpacking next Spring, except there's not a backpack big enough to cope with everything Liz takes on holiday. anway...we're hoping to make it to Sydney, Singapore and Cape Town, maybe even Dubai at some point. So if any FdM fans can recommend record shops to call in on, please let me know. If you know of any good fashion shops, please keep it to yourself


Liz complained yesterday that my love of The Monkees was becoming a bit obsessive. I thought she was joking.
Then I saw her face...


Catching up on some classics and needed reminding just how good Todd Rundgren's albums was/still is. Can anyone who knows the LP NOT sing along when, 'Tik Tik Tik' comes in? I was always jealous of a mate who filled in the postcard that came with the album and thereby got his name incorporated into the poster given away with Todd's follow-up, 'Todd'


...also listened back-to-back to Randy Cailfornia's 'Future Games' and the Spirit reunion LP, 'Spirit of 84/13th Dream'; the former was either a West Coast version of KLF's 'Space' 20 years ahead of its time or a failed attempt to cover up for a lack of finished songs, while the reumion LP wass either a lacklustre chicken-in-a-basket rehash of old songs or a great way of appreciating some classic Spirit songs brilliantly re-recorded (except for Randy's well-intentioned but misguided new song, 'All Over The World', that is); discuss


'Vinyl' is a new Sky TV serial, due to begin next Spring, about the ups and downs of a record label - very clearly based on Fruits de Mer, except for the decade, the music, the country, the decadence, the characters and the storyline - here's a link to a trailer (thanks to Col Cannon for spotting this)


It's crazy as it's over two years away but I'm giving a bit of thought to what i should do, if anything, to mark Fruits de Mer's 10th anniversary - Schizo Fun Addict's 'Theme One' came out in May 2008, I think.
Maybe I should just get Liz to bake a cake.


Great to see Jack Ellister's debut LP picking up positive comments (see our 'reviews' page) and I'm even more pleased Jack has been able to release the LP as a 'Friend of the Fish' having had it in the can (as we record moguls say) for a while


The Chemistry Set have taken on a proper PR outfit to help spread the word regarding their new album, so fingers crossed we're going to get some coverage in places that wouldn't normally give an FdM release the time of day - the guys really deserve it; Q's the word.


I've received the artwork to the Spring 2016 Proud Peasant 7" gatefold sleeve - it has lovely 50s/60s sci-fi feel to it - the kind of illustration that paperbacks had when i was a kid - nice


FdM goes all charitable...well, to be honest Jet Wintzer from Schizo Fun Addict, Brain Shea from The Bordellos and Phil Reynolds from Small Bear Records have got together to produce a 100-run cassette with all proceeds going to Save The Children. And they've dragged one or two more people, like FdM, into it to make the package they've offering all the more irresistible - buyers of the cassette will also get bonus CDs from Small Bear Records artists and a promo CD of the FdM lathe-cut 7" featuring Ex Norwegian and Permanent Clear Light. More details soon.


If the 4CD/double cassette release of Cranium Pie's 'Mechanisms Tapes' wasn't bad enough, what about a special edition of the double cassette? Well, what about it? I haven't actually produced them yet but mentioning them here might force me to to get my finger out and do something about it


A phrase i didn't think i'd ever utter, but the day before i was heading off for a few days away, my PC battery decided to pack up. Same day delivery of a new battery to fit an old PC? No problem, it turned up 10pm that evening - i've got to admit i was impressed. (To be fair, i ordered a second battery as a future back-up and it was delivered a couple of days later to an estate agents a half-mile away, but nobody's perfect!)


I picked up a free copy (no, i didn't nick it) and felt very old as i tried to read a magazine designed by web designers - all boxes and icons and hardly any content. I also had a vague feeling of deja vu - the stuff was incredibly complex and initially impressive, but pretty bloody useless as far as i could make out....a bit like prog felt in 1975 to kids, perhaps? Maybe not.


The Pretty Things have kindly signed the inner sleeves of 100 advance copies of their new album for Fruits de Mer fans (they're all white label copies - it's an FdM exclusive); almost all of them have already been sold to club members, but i have a handful left. If you'd like a copy, before resorting to ebay (where a copy has already been sold for over £170!), drop me an email at and I'll try to sort one out for you - at a rather-more-bargain price!


"Can we borrow a couple of old t-shirts?", they said.....


My first visit since the VIP one-day fair moved back to the Horticultural Halls and, although it's nothing like the size of the Olympia two-dayers, it was a couple of hours well-spent (my wallet is certainly lighter, thanks especially to finding some unexpected Deep Distance releases just as i was about to head home).
I do wonder why some dealers can't be bothered to do even a basic pre-sort of albums - such as Elvis vs heavy metal vs jazz vs easy listening - or why others insist on cramming so many LPs in a box it's impossible to flick through them and a short-arse like me can't peer down on them


I was never the word's biggest fan of the band, and i reckon the deluxe box sets are disappointingly lacking in freshly-unearthed music (certainly so at £99 a time), so why do i find I've got five of them at home with another on the way? I think I've managed to control myself now, with the latest couple released having no real appeal, but i've recently picked up three of the sets for £60 a time or less, so i guess everything has a price


Why does every record fair have stacks of Led Zep and Floyd live bootlegs, but the bands themselves haven't put together some cleaned-up box-sets at sensible prices themselves to keep us obsessives happy? I'm sure the argument is that the sound quality is sorely lacking, but I'm equally sure there are a lot of fans who'd accept that limitation willingly for sets that are put together with a bit of care and attention


Probably not, although I'd be game, but it's interesting to see one of the less-sung bands of 70s progressive rock getting more publicity now than they probably did when they were at their peak. I love them, although I'm not sure that a remix by Mr Wilson is enough to get me to buy the albums all over again


Drove down to Falmouth for their annual oyster festival and happened upon the Sounds OK record shop in the high street. Nice little shop, 30 mins well-sent, picked up 'Guitar Explosion' by The Electric Underground, on the Premier label; looked great in a 60s psychexploitation way. turns out the best thing I can do is not play it as it was released in various guises over the late 50s/60s on tax-dodge labels and is actually a bunch of mediocre surf instrumentals. Ah well, I was happy when I bought it.


a label was establishing itself in Manchester with a very similar view of life to FdM. The label is Box Bedroom Rebels, and it's built up a really interesting back-catalogue without me even being aware of it (shame on me!). So take a look at and see if you get hooked - I think I am!


Well it isn't really, in facts it's nothing to do with mums, but I'm dying to tell you about someone who we really hope will be playing our '14th Dream' festival next year - i didn't think i'd ever see them live, let along playing in a cellar in Wales; I'm saying nothing until the festival boss - Pete Bingham - gives me the OK


There's a new issue out of one of the truly independent music magazines - although i hear a rumour that there might not be many more; it's tough out there for magazines - the once-mighty NME was selling less than 25,000 copies a week before it recently turned itself into a giveaway


...and it's not an FdM offshoot in disguise; Future Wizards looks like it could be very interesting - only one release to-date,it's pricey but very limited and it certainly intrigued me. Check out


Listening to ELO's album...synths-meet-strings-and-Jeff-Lynee-turns-everything-up-to-11...side one in particular does it for me - for some reason, it's the closest i can think of to a UK version of 'A Wizard, A True Star'


Once we'd stopped dreaming about cardboard and sellotape, and the local wine had time to kick in, Liz and I started bouncing ideas around for future FdM stuff and I've already got far too many 'things' to work on than we can possibly fit into the next 12 months - which basically means there's no escape from the label until the end of 2017, and 2018 will be the label's 10th anniversary so it would be churlish to stop before we've flogged that particular dead horse


I read a copy for the first time in years a couple of days ago - I really AM getting old - it's all fringe theatre, fusion food, and arthouse cinema - where have all the gigs gone???


I thought that the world would be full of great Bowie covers when I decided to pull a CD compilation together for club members at the end of 2014, and that I'd discover lots of new artists along the way that i could fool into working with Fruits de Mer; well, that's not how it's turned out - every track that I've lined up so far, bar just one, features artists that have recorded for FdM in the past; if youtube is full of brilliant and undiscovered Bowie interpretations, I haven't discovered them yet - I guess I'm looking in the wrong places. Thank god for FdM regulars, who have delivered in style, as usual


How can i put this without Fruits de Mer losing any shread of credibility that remains after releasing covers of the theme to 'Fireball XL5' and 'Johnny Remember Me', and a boxful of flexidiscs but one of our near-future releases will have connections to the Bay City Rollers. I'll get me coat....


Keep up to date with the Soft Hearted Scientists on fb - check out their page, like it and you'll hear their latest news almost before they do...


There are three elusive releases scheduled for the end of 2015, a 10" lathe-cut from from Sendelica Acoustica, Jack Ellister's debut LP and a split 7" featuring Ex Norwegian and Permanent Clear Light; i would say blink and you'll miss them but you've already missed two of them and the 7" will only be available to club members; but never fear, there'll be more to come at the start of 2016 that won't be so restricted


...vinyl. A couple of days after we said goodbye to the Side Effects box-sets, waving them off in two Royal Mail vans, Big Tony turned up in his black Transit and dropped off 1,500 7" singles - looks like a busy weekend ahead for Liz!


This time at the Fopp store, in London; reissue of the Steve Hillage double LP 'Live Herald' for £3 - a small pile of them. One of the joys of buying vinyl the first time round was finding records in bargain bins for silly money and this is the first example I've seen of a decent prog reissue being offered dirt-cheap - hopefully there'll be a lot more to come.
Of course, you could argue that it's just an example of too much vinyl being pressed (especially reissues) when the demand's not really there - that could be true too, all I know is I'll be visiting Fopp a bit more often in future.


It's not on Fruits de Mer, but it IS a seriously chilled, synthesiser-swathed (good word!) recording and well-worth checking out. Vinyl-only, a real bootleg feel to the whole package.


I was beginning to doubt it myself, but there's definitely one box set of 'Side Effects' in existence...and I've got it


Blimey, there seems to be a bit of a momentum building up already for a return visit to Cardigan next year (perhaps we'll have to keep going back until we get it right?). VERY early days, but if you might be interested, pencil in the FIRST weekend of August for now - more news if/when i get some


...but i think that to say a good time was had by all would be a bit of an understatement. Great bands, a lovely bunch of people, brilliant organisation by Pete Bingham and the Cellar Bar team - incredibly friendly little town and the sun shone (most of the time).
I think the whole friendliness thing was summed up when we arrived on Friday and I methodically unlocked and locked the car each time we took a couple of boxes of stuff out to store in the Cellar Bar. Dave, who owns the club, looked at me, smiled and said, "you're not in London now".
don't know when, but i do know where, we'll be back


the wonderful LL broadcasts to Europe and now in the USA too - here's a recording of his recent show that showcased tracks from the festival CDs


Another couple of FdM promos on ebay - one of which was unsubtly numbered by me - just under the 'NOT for resale' message. Although i've not heard of the ebay seller, at least I DO know which BBC 6Music producer received the CD in the first place; that's one name knocked off my Christmas list


Facebook followers might have noticed one or two mentions from the bands of work-in-progress for new albums - hopefully we'll have more news in a few weeks time - although it'll be a long, long time before anything finds its way onto vinyl


One car is already on its way (my mate Kev in his old jag) - so full of stuff there's no room for him or his missus; we'll be setting off in a day or so - minus a few bits we really wanted to bring with us (clothes, car seats...) but hopefully with something for everyone - and what we can't take down to Cardigan, we'll make available after the event. Just don't expect me to post much - or respond to emails - while we're away!

Fell off the back of an FdM lorry, guv

All packed up and ready to go
- to Cardigan.
I reckon my mate Kev and I will be able to pack it all into our two long as we don't take wives, clothes, car seats, etc

13th DREAM CDs

I thought you might appreciate a few clips from the festival CDs....including The Bevis Frond, Zombies of the Stratosphere and The Alain Pire Experience...not to mention a few out-of-copyright and therefore perfectly legal cartoon characters (m'lord)


the final piece (or CD) in the '13th Dream' Fruits de Mer goodie-bag is Art of the Memory Palace's album 'This Life is But A Passing Dream' - originally released as a 100-run cassette by Static Caravan, but now made available by SC's Geoff Dolman as an exclusive CD edition for our festival.
a couple of reviews give you a hint of how good this album is...
"This came from Scotland, but you’ve gotta look at the bigger picture: it came from space." [Norman Records]
"It's an edition of 100, but this sort of approachable, upbeat and nonetheless experimental music really deserves to sell in the tens of thousand." [The Quietus]
...just one more reason to head to Cardigan on August 7th.


Is it me, or is there not a lot of interest to us 60s/70s music junkies being released this summer? I know July and August are traditionally pretty quiet but the silence is deafening at the moment; hell, I'm having to resort to ebay


FdM co-founder Andy Bracken has just published two new novels - Auditory Dreams Parts One & Two - available now from Amazon
- do check them out; available on Kindle and on REAL PAPER


Cranium Pie's latest offerings - double cassettes and 4CD sets comprising three hours of wild and crazy jams from the Baking Research Station bunker - have arrived at FdM Towers; visitors to the 13th Dream Festival will get first dibs on these specials - you won't know what's hit you.


A big thanks to Robert Camassa, demon DJ from Cyprus, who read my comment in Record Collector magazine about Eurovision song contest winner Dana and sent me a test pressing of her first-ever record! Quite possibly the maddest thing anyone has ever sent to me, but what i want to know is what the hell it was doing in the record collection of Cyprus' answer to John Peel in the first place?


...what the best-dressed (well, dressed anyway) Fruits de Mer fan will be wearing at the 13th Dream Of Dr. Sardonicus Festival....
(obviously not all four at the same time)
There'll be a mix of designs and sizes on sale over the three days - all at the bargain price of £5 a time. Please don't ask if you can pre-order - it'll be first-come-first-served at the festival - but if they go well, I'll produce some of the 'bands' shirts for sale by mail order later in the year


Podcast by Jay Daniels on the 13th Dream Festival - featuring lots of FdM music and the dulcet tones of Pete Bingham and yours truly...


PROG magazine reviews of Games For May in its latest issue - here's an extract...
"On arrival, there’s anticipation not just for the five bands set to play but also for the exclusive array of vinyl treats on offer. It’s like Record Store Day all over again with the first hour a frenzy of free posters, T-shirts (for a fiver!) and boxes of fantastic plastic from event-organising labels Fruits de Mer and Mega Dodo. An exclusive vinyl EP showcasing all the bands playing is included in a free goodie bag for all attendees, packed with nine CDs, a postcard and a unique board game, Crabs And Dodos, especially designed for the event. VFM indeed....".
(nice review, although I'd like to think it wasn't really like Record Store Day - we didn't charge inflated prices for stuff that was pressed up in the thousands - but i guess a handful of people DID come along just to buy things to list on ebay the next day - but they missed out on some great live music)


...and I reckoned producing records took a fair bit of fathoming out. I seem to have spent the last couple of days trying to make some sort of sense of all of these terms and more. Can't i just give someone a photo and magically it appears on a record cover? I thought not.


...what can that all mean?
All will be revealed here very soon - although it's likely that only people attending the 13th Dream Festival will get to hear any of it - at least for the foreseeable future - as quantities of whatever it is will be limited.
NB no vinyl will be harmed in the production of this release


Lord Snooty is hosting another Fruits de Mer special - this Sunday - July 5th - at 5pm (EDT)
He'll be including tracks from the forthcoming 'Side Effects' box-set
More details at
Listen in on


Eagle-eyed facebookers may have noticed Liz posted a photo of our Bacchanalian feasting while hiding from the paparazzi in Portugal - local oysters and not-very-local prosecco! I would use the excuse that the whelk stew at first restaurant we tried was sold out (true) and that this was just a brief dalliance with the high-life but, after the oysters, we hit the house white with a vengeance, together with a bloke in IT and his Hungarian model girlfriend - and we're still in recovery


Oh yes, or at least, oh yes probably. I've just placed an order for a batch of cassettes for a top-secret project that will possibly emerge around the time of the '13th Dream' gathering. As usual, it's been a long time a-comin', with one cassette supplier going bust between taking my money and sending me the tapes, so I'll believe this one when i see it - but i think it'll be worth it if/when it finally arrives.
Why cassettes? Well, CDs are a bit last year's thing (although I might produce some CD sets too, as decent cassette players are increasingly hard to find) and there's so much music recorded for this project we'd need to produce a 4LP box-set to contain it all - and that would be just bloody stupid, wouldn't it?


Andy Bracken's first book as been published! Now available via Amazon UK (both kindle and real), it's about as far from record collecting as you're likely to get but, as I've seen his record collection, do check it out
- the first of many, I hope.


Belated congratulations, thanks and/or abject apologies to Cary Grace, Crystal Jacqueline, The Bevis Frond, The Pretty Things, Astralasia and Damo Suzuki for having their photos used by Record Collector in the Fruits de Mer interview - at the very least, you are in interesting company


I never had a player, but what a great format it could have been - if only the record industry had adopted those instead of CDs; we could have kept 12" sleeves, had playable picture discs, burned our own discs (in theory)...just a thought


13th Dream goodie-bags will include a short story from Mr. Bracken that will give you just a taster of one of the things he's been up to since he bequeathed his half of FdM to me a few years ago.
Incidentally, we have a standing agreement that whoever dies second takes responsibility for the other's record collection. As Andy put it, "I just hope I die first".


Thanks to Ian McCann for doing the Fruits de Mer interview in the latest issue of Record Collector. He asked all the right questions and didn't take the piss out of my answers - you can't ask for more than that.


FdM gig goodie-bags seem to be getting a (new) life of their own, based on current ebay listing - four or five of them are looking for good homes - with bids ranging from £35 to £80; not quite the heady prices of earlier gigs, but I have a feeling a few vinyl widows from the gig have been persuaded to part with their giveaways


Dead-chuffed to hear Leo and Sonny on RTE1's breakfast radio show, playing a couple of tracks from their new album in the studio, and referring to FdM as "their record label". Don't think I've heard anyone refer to FdM as their record label on the radio before, let along Tir na nOg!


...from Andy Bracken's visit, along with his lovely missus Cathy. We managed to fit in Games For May, two trips round the record shops of central london, a pilgrimege to Langleys Records in Molesey for ritual abuse from the owner Geoff Langley and a visit to the Hastings Record Fair (although i missed a turn-off and we nearly ended up in France) as well as far too much beer for my ageing liver. See you again soon, mate.


a bit of a flurry of sales after the Half Moon gig, so Pete from Sendelica tells me we've only got 30 tickets left to sell. It doesn't sound like we'll have any left to sell on the door, so please don't take too long if you'd still like to come along


so, what exclusive Fruits de Mer vinyl goodies did ticket-holders at Games for May manage to snap up?
- all 20 sets of test pressings of Cranium Pie's 'Mechanisms Part Two' (produced as a favour by the pressing plant when we sold out of the main run on the first day of release)
- all 30 signed copies of US cult psych guitarist Simones' 7"
- a handful of sets of test pressings of 'Postcards From The Deep' and '7 and 7 is'
- about half of my copies of the momentary one and two Floyd/Syd covers 7" singles (there will still be plenty available at the '13th Dream' Festival)
- almost all of my copies of the Tor Peders CD (the remainder will be on sale at the '13th Dream')
- a boxful of odd colours/test pressings and the like from the FdM cellar (which is now virtually bare!)
- all 50 copies of the Tir na nOg lathe-cut 7"
- all but three of the Games For May t-shirts

Looks like i need to do some re-stocking in time for our festival in Wales! (although I DO have a few specials lined up already that will only be available to festival-goers)
PS The Half Moon want us back next year!!!


...has a cloud, and at 'Games for May' it was someone reading the 'please take one' sign next to the posters I'd produced for the gig and deciding to help himself to an armload of them. Of course, with FdM, there is no escape and the act was captured on 'FdM club member cam'!


...we had a gig. Many thanks to everyone who helped make 'Games for May' possible - the bands, the Half Moon, everyone who came along, everyone who helped on the stalls and especially John Blaney from Mega Dodo Records, who organised pretty much everything and took the financial risk (the swearing was early on and only muttered as the Half Moon struggled to let us set up the stalls we needed, but everything came together in the end).
I thought it was a great night - Liz and i got to meet lots of FdM club members (however briefly!), stacks of goodie-bags and vinyl found new homes and all the bands were in great form - we managed to fit everything from mod to rock to psych to prog to prog-folk and a record fair into the back room of a pub in Putney - and then they virtually ran out of beer!
Lots of great feedback already from the bands, and the Half Moon would like to make it an annual event!
And next. of course, there's 'The 13th Dream Of Dr. Sardonicus' - out three-day festival - if were able to get to the Half Moon, you'll know what to expect and it's not too late to book (although i know there are less than 50 tickets left)


...and editor Ian McCann in particular for taking an interest in Games for May and reviewing the singles that will be available at the gig in the latest issue (AND being positive about them!).


...called in on the Half Moon at the weekend, just to check everything is OK for Games For May and - oh what joy - they had Sambrooks 'Junction' best bitter on draft; it's a lovely pint, almost worth the price of admission just to sample it


...a bunch of FdM promo CDs on ebay, which look like they came from BBC 6Music in Manchester; least they could is give them some airplay first! Looks like I'll have to be more selective in who I send them to - maybe just people who can decipher the subtle 'not for resale' printed message on them


Interesting feature in Fact magazine on how the hype around the vinyl revival and, more specifically, the majors redicovering records, is not all good news; some good points are made in it - i guess it's a case of 'careful what you wish for'


Seance At Syd's - Dave Thompson's new book, 500 pages, featuring loads of Fruits de Mer-related bands, sleeve photos and the like - available in paperback now from Amazon


Cary Grace, who recorded a lovely version of Pink Floyd's 'Cirrus Minor' for the Fruits de Mer members club double CD set 'A Momentary Lapse Of Vinyl' (also featured on the 'Momentary One' limited-pressing 7") has a new CD available for pre-order - and it's well-worth checking out...


...or it will be as soon as the bags arrive - all the Games For May, goodies are here at FdM Towers, just waiting for the VIP Record Fair bags to arrive, to be well and truly stuffed


check out the Luck Of Eden Hall kickstarter campaign for a couple of last-minute Fruits de Mer specials, including the original artwork to the League Of Psychedelic Gentlemen 7"


Being a cynical old git, i take occasional perverse enjoyment from coming away from a record fair muttering. "nothin' new". So it was a bit of a shock to pick up a Small Faces LP on (German) the MFP label at the latest VIP Fair at Olympia; I assumed it would be the usual random selection of tracks - but no, it's 'Ogdens' in disguise - the tracks on each side being juggled around for no apparent reason; that, a very early Kraftwerk live DVD and the soundtrack LP to 'Young Frankestein' made for a good morning out (and no queuing!)


Well i woke up this morning, the pages on the FdM website wouldn't load,
Yeah, I woke up this....
enough of that, this is just a general apology if you find the FdM site especially unresponsive at the moment - i've been trying to update and simplify a few pages and i think i'm making things worse, not better. Please bear with me - and if you spot any glaring cock-ups, please email me - thanks


maybe not quite, but we're already putting plans together for two album releases in spring/summer next year - featuring Sendelica and The Luck Of Eden Hall; they will recorded live at the Mwnci Studio in Wales a few days before the '13th Dream' Festival, with the possibility of the bands guesting on each others' recordings and god knows what else might develop over the space of three days in the Welsh countryside.
It's a mystical place - The Mwnci Studio is home to the Megalithic Cromlech monument, hence the photo.


Great to see Phil, Dick, Frank, George and Jack at the Half Moon last night (April 10), including unveiling a couple of tracks that will be on their new studio album - due out in the summer. Jimmy Page was in the audience - shame he didn't join in the fun on-stage.


I know i've droned on about this before, but Fruits de Mer promo CDs are not for resale, they are produced for review/airplay only. As much as it's quite flattering in a way to see such high prices being achieved for auctions of FdM CDs, if you buy one on ebay - or anywhere else for that matter - you're paying for something that someone else has picked up for nothing, and doesn't have the rights to (I don't have the MCPS rights to sell promo CDs). If you'd like to tell me who is doing the selling, i'd be very grateful; although It doesn't affect my vinyl sales, it CAN impact on artists' ability to produce and sell CDs themselves, which in the end is just unfair on them


check out the exclusives that Curvey and the band are offering to help fund their trip over to Europe this summer...


It's been a long and painful process, but the Fruits de Mer Records page is live again...
...and i have a new profile page...
- please call in and send me a 'friend' request, so i can start irritating the hell out of you again


I went to the latest fair - at Spitalfields market on March 28th - and was very pleasantly surprised. It's like a record fair, but with stalls run by the labels themselves. Now to honest, i didn't actually know most of the labels that were represented (too young and modern - them, not me), but the atmosphere was really friendly and positive and I WANTED to buy lots of records, if only I'd had a clue what was contained within the grooves! It didn't do any harm that there was a real ale fair running alongside, and the first person i got to chat to was Paul Hammond from Ultramarine, who were largely responsible, along with The Orb, Orbital and Jake Stephenson, for rekindling my interest in music, after a pretty barren 80s. I'll definitely be back

if you follow Fruits de Mer on facebook, for the time being at least you can't! Facebook decided to do something very odd to my pages and - short of starting again - i can't see a way to retrieve the situation. Bloody marvellous


Andy Bracken and his long-suffering wife Cathy, will be over in the UK for 'Games In May'! Andy will be the guy at the bar complaing about the lack of a "session beer" and constantly nipping outside for a "chuffing fag"; be understanding - without him, Fruits de Mer would never have happened


Thanks for the feedback i've already had - general feeling so far seems to be, "it's OK, but don't get too carried away, and don't expect us to pay a lot for them". All fair comment - and I'll definitely keep prices low (for instance, the Tor Peders CDs will be £5 each); bizarrely, the more I think about this, the more I get the first pangs of nostalgia for CDs, now they're becoming an endangered species - the new vinyl, perhaps?


April 10th - The Half Moon, Putney....Dec 11th - Borderline, London - no need to say more, surely?


I've been listening to Aphrodite's Child's double LP on repeat - and what a wonderful, out-there album it is. Weird in parts, embarrassing in parts (the voice-overs are a touch 'dated', Harry Potter came to mind!), but there's something exceptional about it - it could only be turn of the 70s Greek prog. And if you'd like to know what it might sound like if it was re-recorded 45 years later, well just wait until you hear what Arcade Messiah has done to the classic 'Four Horsemen' on 'Side Effects'


We'll have 100 copies of the Tor Peders LP on CD available for sale at 'Games for May', and we're working on a similarly ridiculously-limited CD release of something from the Fruits de Mer back-catalogue at the '13th Dream' Festival. But is this a good idea, or does it fly in the face of what FdM is all about?
I had hoped a proper label or two would show an interest in one or two CD releases by now, but it's not happened so i thought i'd try it myself. If you feel strongly it's a bad move, do please let me know.


after great reviews of the Cranium Pie double Lp in Shindig, PROG and Record Collector, I'm waiting with baited breath for a review in Classic Rock, as they've asked for a photo of the band (a good sign, even though we don't have any photos). Nothing so far from Mojo, while Uncut hasn't deigned to mention Fruits de Mer once in its pages in the 7 years we've been around (but then again, neither have Amateur Gardening or New Scientist)


just in case you weren't aware, Fruits de Mer has a page on facebook...
...and I post stuff there like ebay listings you might have missed, news of releases and gigs by Fruits de Mer-related artists, that sort of thing; worth a look, anyway

Tir na nOg - reasons to be at Games for May

Not only are Leo and Sonny headlining, they're also lauching their first studio album in 40 years at the gig (you got a taster of the album with their Fruits de Mer single last year) - it's called 'the Dark Dance'; AND for those of you who get to the gig really early, there might just be a VERY limited 'extra' available for sale to the first bunch of people who buy the album - i can say no more...yet

Magic Bus, Magic Bus

Spurred on by the Shindig feature on the band and wildly ostentatious outside back cover ad, I've been listening again to my copies of Magic Bus' two albums to-date - 'Magic Bus' and 'Transmission from Sogmore's Garden'; if you love the Canterbury sound, as exemplified by early 70s Caravan, you HAVE to won these albums - they sound like you wish a lot of the albums from that period did - beautifully played and produced

Independent Label Market

Maybe this is an alternative to RSD - March 28 at Old Spitalfields market in London - a bunch of indie labels taking stalls to sell their stuff. It looks a bit heavy on dance music for FdM, and renting a stall is pretty expensive, so my trip will be a scouting mission to see what I'm missing out on.

Is it me...?

..or are picture disc designs getting out of hand?

RSD 2015, anyone?

I've now seen the full list of releases - 592 of them! OK so I'm pretty cynical/negative about the whole thing - for me, whatever it once had, it's lost - so maybe i'm looking for reasons not to be cheerful, but I read that Robert Plant's strictly-limited RSD 10" is strictly limited to 10,000 copies - I mean, come on.
Many/most of the releases look to me like coming out on RSD is just a coincidence; that said, the Pullman LPs on Thrill Jockey are being reissued - with bonus tracks, i think - if so, i've got to get them! The Small Faces, Fotheringay, Alex Harvey and Pretty Things singles look interesting but, give or take a few mono LP reissues (which i'll bet good money will still be widely available six months after RSD 2015 has been and gone), I just can't get excited about joining a queue at 6am behind a bunch of ebay dealers. As for Christmas, Easter, Mothers Day.....

wanna win a set of Cranium Pie test pressings?

Record Collector have a set on offer via their weekly email newsletter - you really should sign up, but here's the link to the competition (scroll down towards the bottom)


As club members know, I like to compare war-wounds with other labels occasionally, so here's a short list of labels that I've come across lately that i reckon are well-worth checking out; it's not meant to be comprehensive, but the people who run the labels seem to have the same sort of DIY philosophy as Fruits de Mer (I'm know there are many more):
You Are The Cosmos
Totally Punk
Reverb Worship
State Records
Static Caravan
Those Old Records (TOR)

Now That's What I Call Fishy

I don't know whether to be flattered, annoyed or just gobsmacked that a copy of a compilation CD i put together at the end of 2014 and sent to BBC 6Music DJs and producers has appeared on ebay and is currently up to£150+. I produced less than 20, so there aren't many about, but they have nothing exclusive on them - they are a pick'n'mix of tracks from FdM eleases during the previous 12 months, in the hope of getting a bit of yuletide airplay for the artists. Seek out and buy the vinyl, I say.

Seasoned drinkers wanted for our '13th Dream' Festival

If you're coming along to our summer festival in Cardigan (good call) and you're aprtial to a decent pint of bitter, please drop me an email - we're planning a little visit to the town's Mantle Brewery over the weekend - they are going to be producing a special edition '13th Dream' best bitter for the event - oh yes!

The Bevis Frond live - rarer than a Villa goal

FdM's resident Bevis Frond expert, Sean Gibbins, tells me Nick Saloman has played in the UK about five times since 2010, which makes the fact he's headlining our '13th Dream' summer festival all-the-more of a coup (and probably a lapse of judgement by Nick - too late now)

Strange Brew run out of people to talk to... poor old Jason Barnard had to resort to talking to me - but there's some great music in between my grating tones

Sendelica rarities

all manner of Fruits de Mer and Sendelica rarities are being offered by the band as contributions towards their 2015 touring fighting fund - well-worth a look

Astralasia test pressing charity auction

Well-worth a look; i know the seller, so i can vouch that it's genuine (although i can't explain how Marc Swordfish's signature went missing - but then again, this IS Fruits de Mer)

Shindig! 2015 festival guide

you can check out Fruits de Mer's 2015 gigs, along with a few more(!) in the new Shindig! festival guide...

Sidelong excursions and excesses

Did you always get an extra buzz out of finding an album with a side-long track on it, promising some kind of epic, instrumentally-led psych/prog/kosmische suite, ranging far and wide in musical over-the-topness?
(oh, maybe it was just me, then)
Well, if you did, stay tuned to Fruits de Mer over the next couple of months, because you're going to be in aural heaven.
If you didn't, errr......sorry

Fopp flop

Fopp Records in Earlham St in central London always used to be worth a visit for cheap/odd CDs and the odd, very odd box-set. Sadly it seems to be more and more just another HMV outlet, primarily DVDs and books, with the CDs turning over very slowly and the (admittedly pretty substantial) vinyl section offering little or nothing under £13. Where are cheap CDs and vinyl being dumped and displayed these days?

The Worst Condition Record I've Ever Paid Good Money For...

...and i've just paid it - about £60 for a knackered copy of 'Touch' on the Deram label.'s a mono copy and I don't think i've ever seen one advertised - and the vinyl looks slightly less knackered than the sleeve. Will the mono mix be better? God knows, I don't think it can be as i love a bit of stereo madness but I recently bought a mono copy of Family's 'Music In A Doll's House' after searching for one for years because i read somewhere the mix is much better - and now i have to convince myself that it is (since posting this blog, i saw another copy, in better condition, at the Spitalfields Friday fair, so i bought that one as well - perhaps if i play them both at once i can produce an 'electronically created stereo' version, which i seem to recall being a feature of shoddy Marble Arch compilations of kinks tracks back in the 60s)

Records Are Better Than People

A nice little piece on some FdM releases from the owner of Specific Records in France - as long as your French is better than mine...

Counting down to 'Games for May'

Less than five months to go to the first FdM gig of 2015 - and our first with Mega Dodo Records. I'm about to send everything off to the pressing plant for the 7" single that's part of the £15 ticket price - including an exclusive track by Schnauser and a live version of the classic 'Time Is Like A Promise' by Tir na nOg, while The Past Tense nipped into the studio to record a two-minute cracker especially for the single. But of course, the live music is the thing - five bands, my favourite London venue - you've got to be there!

Del Shannon - The Further Adventures of Charles Westover - first essential LP of 2015

Reissued by the great reissue label 'Trouble in Mind', thise is is orchestral psychedelia at its very best. If you've heard the epic 'Silver Birch' by The Chemistry Set on FdM, you'll know what to expect; if you haven't, check out 'Colour Flashing Hair' or 'silver Birch' on youtube, then get hold of the album - on vinyl, of course

HMV - neither fish nor fowl

I tried working through the vinyl racks at the local HMV earlier in the week - it was very frustrating, it's reached a point where there's enough there to be impossible for a vinyl junkie to ignore, but too little for there to be any chance of finding something 'unexpected', and then it's been organised by someone who knows 'A' goes before 'B' but that's about it - so Led Zeppelin rub shoulders with Lana Del Ray and London Grammar, while Goat and Henry Cow are nowhere to be seen.
Maybe I'll try again in a year's time

An early sighting of the first record-decks of spring

a couple of years ago, I called in on Sevenoaks Hi Fi in Kingston..."Do you sell record-decks?""Yes." "Great, what do you have?" "Well, we don't actually stock any...."
This time i called in, looking for an amp, but I noticed THREE new decks proudly displayed - god, i hope someone buys them, the shop needs encouraging - but this was a good sign for the vinyl revival, to my mind anyway

'Coltrane' in black?

I have a few copies available on black vinyl - please email me if you'd like to beat the Christmas rush
(that's Christmas 2015, of course)

12" vs 7"? Which is best? There's only one way to find out...

...and that's to keep following Fruits de Mer over the next 12 months. Our year is going to start with a series of albums - not yer standard 12" albums, of course - oh no, nothing so straightforward, but there'll be plenty of singles too as the year progresses, including some short-run specials to tie-in with our 2015 gigs

2015 - our 7th anniversary

no, doesn't have much of a ring to it, does it? Wool and copper are the traditional gifts associated with a 7th anniversary, so that's out of the window, but 2015 at FdM Towers already means:
- our first gig at the famous Half Moon pub
- our first festival
- the return of Cranium Pie
- the first appearances on the label by Trojan Horse and Wreaths
- bizarre seeds, more beer, more goodie-bags and a board game (what?)
- covers of songs originally by Marc Bolan, Miles Davis and Motorhead
...and 2014 isn't even over yet

I hope there'll be enough to keep you checking out the website, and maybe parting with a few quid along the way

What a way to end the year...

..Liz with the kind of cough and cold that put manflu to shame and me going downhill faster than a fat santa on a baking-tray. So much for seeing in the New Year in Cornwall, we haven't even got the energy for a trip to see Senrab Mendips (remember him?) playing a gig in a local pub

A few highlights of 2014, for me anyway...

Villa getting into Europe (a cheap package deal to Benidorm, with wives and loved ones - booked through Thomas Cook - but it’s a start)
Finally being able to release the Tor Peders LP
Giving a few club members the chance to buy signed test pressings of The Pretty Things' brilliant new live album
Getting Andy Bracken to write the short story to the Crystal Jacqueline and the Honey Pot release
Compiling the Soft Hearted Scientists demos CDs from a mammoth batch of WAV files provided by Nathan Hall
Persevering with the Astralasia screenprinted cover – a folly if ever there was one – but dear god it came out well in the end
The ‘7 and 7 is’ box-set – perhaps the classiest thing yet on the label
Gideon Coe's support on BBC 6Music
‘Postcards From The Deep’ – definitely the daftest thing yet on the label, although the ‘Coltrane’ single comes pretty close
‘Crabstock’ in its many guises, including Mantle Brewery's Crabsotck best bitter and a great trip to Helsinki – not least standing outside Club Darkside with Santtu!
Working for the first time with Leo and Sonny aka Tir na nOg, and Al Simones – all lovely guys
Getting Jet Wintzer and Schizo Fun Addict back onto the label after 6 years away (even if it did mean cutting and pasting 700 pieces of 8mm film to 700 postcards)
A bumper crop of silly giveaways - cassette-rewinders, honey seeds, stamps....
Cardigan – FdM’s new second home
ALL the artists who've worked with Fruits de Mer during 2014 (without you, the series of John Cage tribute releases would be wearing pretty thin by now)
..and loads more...

Regrets, I’ve had a few...
the Tor Peders and Astralasia albums not getting the standing ovations from the mainstream music press that I thought they deserved
my cock-ups during the year – usually in print, but occasionally worse than that. My thanks to FdM fans for not pointing them all out, to artists for putting up with them, and to suppliers for covering at least a few of them up
and not a disappointment but a sadness – the death of another long-time club member; no need for details here, it’s just very bloody sad.

I hope you get something nice in your stocking this Christmas...

Me, I’m getting the Led Zeppelin IV mega box-set – i know because i bought it and gave it to Liz to wrap up for me. I’m also getting the Small Faces box-set – actually i got that LAST Christmas thanks to Andy Bracken (it was half the price in the USA of the UK rip-off prices quoted a year ago), but he never got round to sending it to me. And then – if my aunts and uncles all put tenners in my Christmas cards - I might have enough to buy the Pretty Things box-set in February.

The demise of the CD?

Could 2014 go down in history as the year that CDs bit the dust, and the vinyl revival proved itself to be more than a passing fad? It’s just possible.
it certainly feels like CDs are finding a new home as the cheap and cheerful way to buy reissues ‘in bulk’...£10 box-sets of old albums, that sort of thing; i personally like some of the really creative compilations of obscure stuff that people such as Piccadilly and Heyday stock, perhaps there could also be more in the way of series of radio/gig recordings, by the bands and labels that can’t justify the £100 boxed-set extravaganzas? Will vinyl establish a sustained place for itself second time around? I don’t have a clue, but i’ll feel more confident if sales of record-desks rise steadily – and if one or two ‘name’ manufacturers launch new decks and really promote them (I know Steepletone is a name, but so is Iceland, i mean someone like Sony or Pioneer – mainstream but with some credibility...)
On my first trip to the USA – to Chicago in 1992 – serious record shops were clearing their racks of vinyl at 25c a time to make way for CDs (I naturally filled my suitcase and had another boxful shipped home); what are the odds they’ll be doing the same with CDs in a year’s time – or will there be mountains of unwanted ‘new’ vinyl dumped on the market instead?

2014 – a quiet year at FdM Towers

I’ve counted up 29 releases during the year – that’s if you include the Coltrane bonus CD, Soft Hearted Scientists demos compilations, ‘Friends of the Fish’ CD, Sendelica’s ‘Crabstock live’ album and The Pretty Things new album test pressings; OK, I’m cheating a bit there, but sod me.
I’ve promised Liz that 2015 will be quieter – but I’ve a strange feeling that it won’t be – there are vague details of a double LP, four singles and a members club free CD already mentioned elsewhere on the site, and there are three more LPs and at least four more singles and four more free CDs coming along nicely – not to mention ‘Games for May’ and the ‘13th Dream’ festival...I hope Liz doesn’t read this.

Who Do You Love?

I probably send out more promos than i should - to DJs, print and online magazine reviewers and bloggers – but I’m always looking to contact people ‘in the business’ who are genuinely interested in the kind of music FdM puts out – and who reach an audience of like-minded music fans. So if you particularly rate a DJ (who isn’t on BBC 6Music) or a writer/reviewer who doesn’t work for the mainstream magazines, or a magazine/website that doesn’t seem to give coverage to Fruits de Mer releases at the moment, but looks like it ought to, please let me know – I try to spring-clean the FdM PR list every year and it’s time to get the mop-and-bucket out. I’m also keen to find new shops to stock FdM releases; i can supply direct within the UK, or via Clear Spot internationally; again, good leads would be greatly appreciated.


Phil Macy, a long-time FdM club member and man about town in Brighton, has set up a new vinyl lathe-cutting service. It’s very much an arts & crafts thing, with each side of each record cut in real time. It’s not cheap – but that’s hardly a surprise given the way the records are cut, but it sounds very interesting and it’s something i’m definitely going to check out; if you want to do likewise.


Yes, I AM an Amazon user, I admit it. If i can’t get it from Heyday, Sister Ray, Rough Trade, Piccadilly or Juno I’ll have a search through amazon – usually the marketplace sellers. But why is postage so cheap, like £2.80 to ship an LP from the US to the UK – it cost me that to ship an LP from Walton on Thames to Hersham, and that’s with me recycling someone else’s packaging.

Reading the BANDS

I’m gradually updating the BANDS page on the site to give you at least a bit of information on non-FdM releases by some of the artists that have appeared on FdM, forthcoming gigs and links to their own pages. At the moment it gives the word ‘incomplete’ a bad name, but it’s worth a quick look

Astralasia and Sendelica form new supergroup

(I should be writing for Kerrang) Pete Bingham from Sendelica is going to be guesting for Astralasia at the 13th Dream Festival, playing lead guitar on a live version of Pink Floyd's 'Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun' (a new studio version of which just so happens to also feature on the 7" single 'Momentary Three', available for the first time at the festival.

Jeff Lynne - good bloke

Well, he might not be, but i loved reading in Shindig! his response to a cheering Hyde Park gig audience, "Thankyow, yow've bin grayte, this is joost the best thing oi've sin ever".
Yow c'n tek the Brummie outer Bermingum, but yow car tek Bermingum outer the Brummie.

Age is only relative...

..and i've realised i'm an old relative ("hello, silly granddad"). I feel even older today after reading that George Martin was rejected as a possible producer of a Jam LP because he was 53, i then saw Annie Lennox on the cover of Liz's copy of 'Woman and Home'. Help.

Pretty Things huge box-set - due February 2015

'Bouquets From A Cloudy Sky' will be a hefty £125, but it comprises all their albums (many with extra tracks), a double CD of rarities, a 10" EP...oooh and lots more stuff. Due on sale Feb 23rd, so a perfect way of spending all your aunts' £10 notes in your Christmas cards, check it out at

Why don't more bands take ELP and Tangerine Dream's lead...?

A line i didn't think i'd ever type, but as bands delve ever-deeper into their archives to find listenable new/old stuff to add to their reissues, (The Pretty Things being an honorable exception to this as their box-set is their first serious dig) I'm reminded of the 'bootleg' box sets that Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Tangerine Dream, released a few years back; what about a Led Zeppelin live box, chosen by Mr Page from the hundreds of bootleg recordings that are out there (with some sonic tidying up along the way), or the same from Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes....? Just a thought

Shiny Beast chart action

good to see all three of Fruits de Mer's November releases in the Shiny Beast top 20:
...thanks to Johan and Judith for all your support

Promo CDs on ebay and discogs

for the avoidance of doubt, i NEVER sell promo CDs - on ebay or discogs or anywhere else. I send out advance promo CDs to reviewers and DJs in the hope they'll like them, maybe review or play them on air; the idea ISN'T that they sell them on. Once in a while, i might send one out as a competition prize and recipients of those can, of course, do what they want with them. If you buy a promo CD from someone and you'd like to tell me who you've bought it from, well it would be nice to know.
(I don't sell 'normal' releases at anything other than the 'normal' retail price, either).

The sound of KAOS

KAOS Sound - the UK Floyd-only radio station.- are going to devote a two-hour show on Christmas Day to 'A Momentary Lapse Of Vinyl' the Fruits de Mer club members-only 2-CD set of early Floyd/Syd Barrett covers (they plan to play the two CDs in their entirety. They will then repeat everything as a two-parter the next day).
I thought you'd like to know - of course, you might already have other plans for Christmas.... - we get mentioned after the 'new' Floyd album, but before the new Roger Waters album!

Picc a different record shop for FdM...

sadly i've had to take Piccadilly Records off the list of FdM stockists on our 'links' page, as the only FdM release they've chosen to stock in the last six months was the Astralasia album, and they've not replied to my emails and letters since then. A real shame as they were one of the first shops to stock our singles, but they've moved on, so i guess FdM has to; they still stock loads of good stuff, I'm a regular customer, but if you're looking for a shop that supports FdM there are plenty of others to choose from - just check out the links page.

Good reviews aren't everything...

on a tough day, it can feel a bit like a failing to get to the loo in time on a night on the beer, you get a nice warm feeling inside for a while...; BUT I've got to admit the positive reactions to all three November releases is helping no-end as Liz and I put those 'Postcards' box-sets together - hard work but all worthwhile!

Blue Giant Zeta Puppies to sell invisible album...

"12 Theories of Time Travel" - The best of The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies' self-released output can now be found as a convenient and hygienic name-your-own-price download album from The Active Listener net-label!! This gluten free release contains no artificial colouring or preservatives.

Hicks plays the sticks...

Saw Tony Hicks and The Hollies playing a Woking Theatre the other night. Very mixed emotions watching the whole thing - all slick and professional and Tony played some blistering guitar (and guitar sitar!) when he was given the chance - but it was all very polite - what I'd give to see Tony play the 100 Club and be given some real space to show how vastly-underrated he is (i guess there's still time, he looks about 40!)

Feeling very clammy...

That's possibly because 750 clamboxes are currently sitting quietly in out backroom, patiently waiting for 7,500 flexidiscs and 7,500 postcards to be put inside them - by Liz and me - rock'n'roll, eh?

Leo and Sonny do Cardigan...

Tir na nOg played The Cellar Bar in Cardigan on the 10th and played for the best part of two hours - a mix of classic and new songs, including all the tracks from their recent Fruits de Mer single AND their Nick Drake cover (which, Leo explained, they thought was the first cover of a Nick Drake song when they released it, only to find Millie Small (yes, that Millie Small) had beaten them to it. Great evening, lovely blokes and a perfect venue for the gig

Kind words from messrs Radcliffe and Maconie...

..on their Oct 6 BBC 6Music Show, suggesting listeners should check out Fruits de Mer - as indeed they should - and, i hope, are doing right now

It's No.1, it's Top Of The Pops...

...just for a short while, '7 and 7 is' has been Clear Spot Distribution's best-seller; and it might still be, if you've happened upon this posting at the start of the month...remember FdM this way!

7 and 7 is....

...finally here - last spotted in a pressing-plant in Holland (see photos), the box-sets landed and flew off the shelves at FdM Towers (not literally) within a few days - so I'm already down to a handful of copies - it's a bit good, this one

Any vinyl labels looking for new releases?

Right now, i'm getting approached by more artists regarding possible FdM releases than i could ever cope with - especially bands looking to put out newly-written songs. Most releases on Fruits de Mer are covers of songs from the 60s/70s, so if there are any vinyl labels out there who'd like to be suggested by me when i'm trying to be helpful to artists looking for outlets for their songs, please get in touch

When will Fruits de Mer Records be 100?

I can't believe I've been asking myself that question - it's only six years ago that Andy and i were wondering what we were going to do with the unsold copies of Crustacean 1, which we'd allowed to escape in early summer 2008 (we managed to sell them in the end, before you ask). I'm sort of thinking that it will be when we get to the 100th release on the FdM(Crustacean)/Regal Crabomophone(Winkle)/strange fish labels, excluding all promos, but including members club releases (are you still with me?).
By the end of this year, we'll have released:
60 Fruits de Mers
19 Regal Crabomophones
6 strange fish
- which would mean the 100th release will be around the end of 2015.
Then again, there are five CD or cassette releases within the total so far - maybe they ought not to be counted, after all FdM is a vinyl label. I dunno - and i also dunno what to do about the 100th release in any case

The source of Tesco's declining fortunes...

...their own-brand rich tea fingers; tasteless and too thin - they are impossible to dunk successfully in a cup of hot tea. i reckon they were designed by the same person who came up with the idea of downloads.

Jack White 'Ultra'

now I'm not a Jack White fan in terms of music, but he does have a nice vinyl fetish. his new album, 'Lazaretto' is released in an 'utlra' vinyl version with all manner of gimmicks and extras that make a Fruits de Mer release seem like something from Music For Pleasure - I've got to get a copy just so I can be impressed/sneeringly jealous


Liz and i are off to see the Astralasia spin-off Astral Travellers on Friday at Whirl-y-Fayre - not far from Glastonbury, but altogether more fun, we're assured!

Tir na blOg

Oh god, i'm getting worse...
Tir na nOg are playing the Cellar Bar in Cardigan on October 10th. Not only do you get to see the great Irish duo in a cracking little venue (home of this year's Crabstock) but, if you book early enough, you'll also get a free and exclusive four-track CD, including songs from their current Fruits de Mer 7" EP AND a live version of the classic. 'Strong In The Sun'; we'll be there, for sure

Dublin yer money

Who let the Daily Mirror sub in? We had a fantastic few days over there last week - lovely people, cracking bars; bloody expensive though, couldn't find a decent record shop (found a few that have closed!) and managed a lose-lose of coming home two days before Ian McLagen was playing a local bar and Dublin was holding its big record fair. i really couldn't organise my way out of a paper bag.

News from the Cranium Pie bunker

Rob Appleton has given an interview to the 'It's Psychedelic Baby' website, talking about the origins of the Pie and giving a few hints about what late-2014 might have in store for FdM the interview - - and then watch this space

as recommended by ....Stacia

I got an order through from someone who'd had one of my youtube clips of an Astralasia track added as a twitter feed by the one and only Stacia! The memories (and blood) came flooding back to seeing Hawkwind in the early 70s - ah, happy days

The Pretty Things - just bloody brilliant

The guys launched their '1st Album Live' LP at the 100 Club on July 4th (appropriate as that's where they'd recorded it at the end of 2010). I don't think I've seen them play better - two sets, first the new album, then a storming run-through Mr. Evasion, Alexander, LSD and much more besides. A great night - as my lad Chris said, "this has to be the coolest gig anywhere tonight" (and he's into drum'n'bass)

(June is bought to you by Alex Seldon, who came up with the jpg when i lost mine)

No.3 in the Mojo playlist!

thanks to Mojo ed Phil Alexander, Schizo Fun Addict's version of the theme to 'Suspiria' has made it to No.3 in the latest issue of the magazine - not bad at all!

Fruits de Mer - live and kicking in 2015?

i hope so - we're looking at three or four ideas for gigs next year already, maybe a different angle or two but basically the same mix of great music, a few exclusives, and a freebie or two added in to make the journey all worthwhile

Something in PVC, sir?

yes, but not yet...the Astralasia sleeve is determined to take longer than the England football team to arrive back in the UK; the vinyl is pressed, the card sleeve is printed, it's just a matter of getting the PVC sleeve to deliver the desired optical effect when everything comes together. At the moment, if we'd printed 11 1/2" card sleeves, we'd be laughing; or as Bob Monkhouse put it, "they laughed when i said i was going to be a comedian, well they're not laughing now"

The next time it leaves the house, it'll be in a box...

a pathetic introduction to one of Fruits de Mer's early autumn releases - a box-set of eight 7" singles - excessive? surely not. More news soon-ish

Bernie Winter's dog....

( have to over a certain age); the Schnauser single has been disappearing fast and I'm already down to a handful of copies, so don't take too long if you're toying with the idea of buying a copy - you know what those eBay chappies are like

one for sorrow, two for sleeve junkies

I've had a sneak preview of the sleeves to the forthcoming Tor Peders and Tir na nOg releases - and they are rather lovely...the tir na nOg sleeve is printed on a sort of linen-effect card, while the Tor Peders album has a raised embossing pattern all over the front, back and centrespread of the gatefold sleeve; of course it's the music that matters, but part of the joy of vinyl is in the presentation - and i've got to say these are pretty damn-good - now all we have crack is the Astralasia PVC outer sleeve...

Goldmine digs out an interview with Icarus Peel

well-worth a read for some back ground on Icarus, Crystal Jacqueline and The Honey Pot...

Stranglers In The Night

an FdM club member shared a great story with me, which i have to share with you...

His daughter was walking through their local town the other day, wearing a FdM 'Roqueting Through Space' t-shirt when a guy came up to her and said, "cool label".
It was JJ Burnel.
Now, Andy Bracken and I are seriously impressed and a bit pleased with ourselves, given that 'Golden Brown' is one of the best 45s ever released (Andy would say THE best) although the young lass had to go home to ask her dad whether he'd ever heard of a band called The Stranglers!
If you have any good/bad/weird/unbelievable Fruits de Mer-related stories please let me have them!

Fishy leftovers

I've just about run out of 'specials' that we took along to Crabstock in Wales, but if you'd like to buy a t-shirt or maybe an odd-coloured copy of one of the March releases, please email me and i'll see what i can do

We came, we saw, we Crabstock'd...

Thank you to everyone for making Crabstock in Cardigan a fantastic evening - the artists, the venue, the brewery and of course all the FdM fans who came along, picked up their goodie-bags, raided the merchandising stalls, drank the bar dry (true!) and enjoyed some great music; and a special mention the whole town, which organised a carnival through the town centre just to celebrate Crabstock (well, it felt like it!)
Crabstock On Ice is this Saturday - after which we'll be taking a bit of a break and then starting to think about the next live event - and we've already got two or three ideas brewing!

Crabstock here we come

- goodie-bags packed, white label test pressings, odd coloured vinyl and t-shirts labeled up, Crabstock exclusive CDs all sorted - we can't actually get in the car now, but that's a minor issue

FdM on BBC TV...

...if you look very hard - hats off to Chris Bembridge for spotting the Fruits de Mer 7" sleeve during this BBC piece on Record Store Day...

A record label with legs...

perhaps the oddest FdM auction i've seen on ebay so far, a bunch of postcards and a Christmas card sold for £30 - we'll be on 'Bargain Hunt' next

In Limbo

very frustrating for everyone waiting for their new singles from Fruits de Mer, I'm sure; it's equally frustrating for me, not to mention the artists who have been waiting for many, many months for their copies to arrive. Not only do i want to PLAY the records for myself, i want to tell you all about the next series of records that will be coming out on the label at the end of May - but first things first - and soon, i hope. Meanwhile, thank you for your patience.

Biggest price yet on ebay - for a carrier-bag

a Borderline goodie-bag sold for £599 on ebay recently - what makes me think the Crabstock bags will be getting extra-special attention in a couple of weeks' time?

Danger Man/Dept S/Jason King/Randall & Hopkirk and more...

For anyone over the age of 30 (maybe 40!), there's an amazing series of CD collections available at the moment - themes and incidental music from Danger Man, Man In A Suitcase, Jason King, Department S - the list goes on - 2CD sets to 5CD extravanganzas - even a couple of vinyl releases.
And they'll all available from Nick Leese at Heyday Mail Order
- got to be worth checking out.

The Schnauser story

Schnauser's Alan Strawbridge and Duncan Gammon talk about their choice of tracks on their new FdM single, and lots more besides, on the Strange Brew website

RSD 2014

no, FdM won't be releasing anything - i haven't got the sense or foresight to plan anything like that but i DID have a quick look at what's been announced so far as exclusives for RSD 2014 and....well, it's a bit underwhleming so far to my mind. A 7" box set based on the sounds of the Voyager space probes sounds like it's worth a punt, but I was struggling a bit after that; still, early days

Will we see the return of the vinyl bargain bins?

I could bore for England about the great Woolworths LP sales of the 70s, but with the resurgence of interest in vinyl, I'm beginning to wonder whether the resurgence in pressing vinyl might be outpacing the interest in buying it - and could that mean some serious offloading is going to need to be done over the next couple of years? I noticed some ropey compilations going for a couple of quid each in FOPP in London recently, who knows where that might lead? Bloody hell, it might even be worth checking out car boot sales about 5 years time

A Cranium Pie sighting?

Rarer than seeing the northern lights in Norfolk, but reports have reached FdM Towers that a new (or old?) track has been unearthed and will be making an appearance on the 'Crabstock On Ice' CD - so 100 lucky Helsinkians(?) will get to hear Cranium Pie's last or latest recording - who knows?

suck on it

the third and final sponsor of Crabstock in Wales is......Fisherman's Friend, the world-(in)famous throat lozenge. No, it's not a strange dream, the UK factory is in Fleetwood, Lancs, which just happens to be the home town of Earthling Society, and it turns out the team at Fisherman's Friend are game for a laugh - so every one of the FdM goodie-bags at the gig will include a packet

No more plankton

not a global warming warning, just the Record Collector LP compilation of early Fruits de Mer tracks is now officially sold out - and as the only place you could buy a copy was direct from Record Collector's own shop, i don't think there'll be any dealers with copies available

Surely not...?

...well, stranger things have happened round the time Andy told a young band they'd never make it and then five years later...nah, I'll tell you over a pint some time...anyway, YES it IS true - The Mantle Brewery (Cardigan's microbrewery) are producing special-edition bottles of their best bitter to celebrate the Fruits de Mer Festival of Psychedelia. Available at the Cellar Bar, Cardigan from early April and from the brewery's on-site shop (but not by mail order at the moment)

FdM Promo CDs - again

There have been quite a few advertised on ebay lately - selling for anything from a few quid to over £100. I have no problem with people selling the 'bonus' CDs I occasionally produce and slip into parcel of vinyl I send out, but selling promo CDs that I've paid good money to produce and mail out in good faith to reviewers and DJs is another matter, And listing them as "unplayed" is the ultimate insult. You know who you are.

a box-set of record fairs

or whatever the collective noun is...I've been to three in the last two weeks - Olympia, Westminster and Reading - and they've all been a bit quiet (Olympia was about half the size I expected, Westminster was very small, Reading bigger but lacking in buyers). I picked up some nice items - 'Court Of The Crimson King' Japanese re-press, TD 'Electronic Meditation' original Japanese pressing, Floyd 'Tea-Set' bootleg (all vinyl, naturally), but I've come away thinking there's a serious rut here that needs climbing out of - especially when you look at the success of RCD. And yes, i do have the answer (smug git that i am).

Olympia Record Fair

I missed the last fair thanks to British Rail, but I'll be there on saturday (that's Jan 2014!), with a few quid burning a hole in my pocket (maybe one day i'll take a stand there - it'll stop me buying records anyway)
...quick update - it was a bit quiet there - stalls and buyers - but i did manage to pick up a couple of the Nick Drake boxed reissues for sensible prices, 'elpea' in the original,"here's a novel way of screwing up your vinyl" sleeve format and a dirt-cheap CD of the Christopher US 60s acid-rock album

Magick Eye

met up with Chris Hillman, the man behind the Magick Eye label, at the weekend; great guy, very helpful; hopefully there'll be an opportunity or two for us to do something with Astralasia this year that will work for everyone

Strange things could be happening in the USA soon....

nothing confirmed yet, but watch this space...or another one on this site, it's so disorganised

It's been a long, long time....

...since I've been able to talk about new vinyl releases on FdM, or at least it feels that way to me, but I've been checking WAV files, artwork, silly giveaways, and i reckon I'm nearly bthere - late March releases, more news before the end of January for sure

Shindig 2013 Awards

and Fruits de Mer Records is Shindig's 5th-favourite record label! (OK, so last year we were 2nd-favourite, this time next year we'll be in the 'where are they now?' section, but it's still pretty cool given that another year under our uncomfortablyly-tight belts and we still haven't got a clue what we're doing)

Here are FdM's ramblings from 2013.... those were the days
check out even earlier FdM blog postings at:

All copyrights reserved 2015
...hear the tracks.. the vinyl.. ..smell the fish...