WHY JOIN THE FdM MEMBERS CLUB?
...and HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU'RE A CLUB MEMBER ALREADY? that bit's easy - you keep getting emails that refer to you as a club member.
In the words of the late, great Vivian Stanshall, "now read on dot dot dot...DOT"
If you only ever get FdM emails via mailchimp, then you're not yet a club member; if you're not a member and you're buying (or planning to buy) most Fruits de Mer releases that come out, email me today (firstname.lastname@example.org) - there's no financial commitment, just a bit of trust on both sides and an ability to put up with more emails from me than you ever thought possible - 'benefits' include a chance to pre-order new releases before anyone else, competitions to win white label test pressings, the odd freebie/bonus item during the year AND - if you really do buy regularly from me (or from Heyday Mail Order if you're not based in the UK) - a members-only something-or-other at year-end. All that said, if you ARE in, this needed no introduction and you'll be getting bored by now - sorry
THE GOLD FISH AWARDS
10 years of Fruits de Mer are over (did I hear, "thank god"?) and if there's ever a good moment for some self-congratulatory awards, this must be it - the chance for FdM club members to cast their votes in a thankfully short list of categories, so I can hand out a few trophies (that I bought on ebay and then spray-painted) to some of your favourite musicians from well over 100 releases on various FdM labels from 2008-2018; I'm sure the winners will treasure them for ever........
if you haven't received an email from me with details of how to enter, you're either not yet a Fruits de Mer club member or your email service provider is treating my emails as spam (good call) - either way, you can always email me
to all the FdM club members for your support, emails, comments, ideas - and yes, cash...in 2018 - you keep the label going and you're a big part of what makes it fun for me to run it. Here's to 2019!
DID YOU GET SHIRTY FOR CHRISTMAS?
Much to my surprise, a new batch of FdM shirts arrived at FdM Towers in mid-December - I didn't expect them to turn up until 2019. I only ordered 60 of each and I sold them in sets of four - club members got first refusal and they all went rather quickly, but I might order some more in a few months time.
The new members club competition asked for suggestions for festive songs that are an alternative to the usual Christmas fare; here's a song from Permanent Clear Light that appeared on our 2010 members club year-end freebie, to kick things off...
....there are loads more on our 'FESTIVE 50' and 'FESTIVE 50 Pt.2' pages
TIME FOR THE LEMON CLOCKS
An FdM members club exclusive to kick-off 2019 - a VERY limited 7" pic disc from the prolific US pop-sike band The Lemon Clocks, who have an innocent charm to their recordings that's part 1967, part Todd Dillingham, part something else. There'll be maybe 50 copies for sale, no more than that; more news soon.
There's been a members club competition running to win a set of 'Three Seasons' test pressings, with members asked to provide suitable photos/images to grace the FdM SIGHTS pages on our website - but you probably knew that already; anyway, I've uploaded a bunch of the entries....
TAKING THE COASTAL PATH
I hope club members enjoyed the recent 60 minute journey on CD through our archives, courtesy of Astralasia's Marc Swordfish - with visits to The Bevis Frond, The Seventh Ring Of Saturn, Soft Hearted Scientists, King Penguin, Vibravoid, Schizo Fun Addict, The Chemistry Set, Cranium Pie, Anton Barbeau, Us and Them, The Honey Pot and Sendelica along the way...because there are more trips to come!
THE BEST VINYL REISSUES OF 2018
I've been asking club members to suggest the best vinyl reissues of the year, for a little project that probably won't materialise, but has been interesting and illuminating for me. I've been posting a bunch of the recommendations on the FdM facebook page, not to mention checking some that completely passed me by when they came out.
They seem to fit into one of four groups...
- amazing, kitchen-sink box-sets of legendary albums
- unearthed cult/rare/long-lost albums
- colour vinyl + bonus cuts of classic LPs
...which leaves an awful lot of 'straight' reissues of albums that either weren't special in the first place, or can be picked up in decent second-hand record shops for half the price.
One of these days, HMV are going to have a proper vinyl sale again - not £17.99 knocked down to £15.99 - but all the albums that are currently filling up warehouses somewhere being knocked out at a fiver a time.
SUGARBUSH RECORDS COMPETITION
our latest members club competition has been to win one of four mini-collections of albums from those fine purveyors of vinyl, Sugarbush Records - but if you're a club member you knew this already
A GATHERING OF THE FISH
a bit of background on the free CD compilation Fruits de Mer's club members get if you order both the Fuchsia double LP set and Sendelica's 3x10" 'Cromlech Chronicles III' set from the FdM SHOP - or form www.heyday-mo.com if you live outside the UK...
'A Gathering Of The Fish' is an hour or so of instrumental tracks that I've discovered in the last six months and thought that club members would enjoy; you'll already know artists such as Black Tempest, Nathan Hall and The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies, but some names will be new to you (they were to me, anyway!).
The range of musical styles is wide enough for there to be at least a few tracks that I think will have you investigating further; I want to keep a few surprises for when you receive the CD, but here are three tasters...Man & Machine, Delphini and Vespero...
...and the sleeve photo is courtesy of club member Brad Bell, just to keep things in the family!
full track details at http://www.fruitsdemerrecords.com/agatheringofthefish.html
RAQUEL WOULD JOIN IN THE GAME...
Raquel would have a go in the Fruits de Mer's 2018 World Cup competition - if only she knew about it.
OK, so she probably wouldn't, but that shouldn't stop you - after all there's a set of test pressings of the Fuchsia reissue double LP to be won. If you haven't already heard from me about the rules, then please email me asap as you only have until 7pm (UK time) June 14 to enter
LATEST MEMBERS CLUB COMPETITION
You should have received at least a couple of emails from me telling you about a competition to win an advance edition of 'The Incomplete Angler' (it's the print equivalent to a vinyl test pressing!). If you haven't received details, please drop me a line asap as the competition is now closed and some of the entries are already posted on the 'You Can't Judge A Book' page of the website
INCOMPLETE ANGLER MEMBERS CLUB EDITION
Nick Leese at Heyday Mail Order has a limited number of the members club version of Dave Thompson's book, so if you're not in the UK and you'd like to buy a copy, please let Nick know. I've emailed UK club members about how you can register an interest in buying a copy - I really don't know how much interest there will be in getting hold of them, so at this stage I can't be sure that I'll be able to meet all orders - but I'll try to give everyone a fair chance of claiming one.
There are two rather lovely 7" transparent lathe-cut pic-disc versions of 'the little goldfish' to be won in a new members club competition - only 12 produced in total, so serious collectors items (well, not that serious). Once again, if you've not received an email from me about this, you're either not in the club or your web server doesn't like my emails.
Club members have been coming up with recommendations from 3LP sets to help deflect interest in the FdM 'Goldfish' 3LP set. Prizes are signed prints by The Pretty Things, Tir na nOg and nick nicely. If you didn't received any emails about this, it must be because you're not in the club! Lots of the entries are now posted on the FdM site, under 'I Don't Believe It' and 'IDBI2'
I'm currently putting together two CD compilations for club members who order our April and then July vinyl releases...artists that you know, artists that are probably new to you, classic and obscure covers and a bunch of original songs - you know the pattern of these things...both will run to around an hour each, which is not bad value - not least because they're both free-of-charge (and none of the songs have appeared on an FdM release before)
Artists appearing include The Chemistry Set, Vespero, Nathan Hall, Ex-Norwegian, Kris Gietkowski and Dear Mr. Time and covers include songs originally recorded by Todd Rundgren, Manfred Mann, Egg, Joe Meek and The Shadows!
very sorry if you weren't one of the club members who were able to buy a copy of Moloko+'s new single from me or Nick at Heyday (they really are cut individually in real-time, so quantities are always going to be painfully limited); it was kind of Record Collector's Ian McCann to give the single a glowing review in his last page of singles reviews before his retirement
the plan is that Nick Leese and I will post out the Cromlech II box-sets to lucky members club recipents early in January - subject to the albums turning up on time, of course (everything else has now arrived)
MOLOKO+ - BITE THE HAND
Here's a preview of one of the Moloko+ tracks that will be on their new FdM lathe-cut 7" - only 50 copies for sale from us and only available to club members...
SCHIZOS' 'SUN YARD' REVIEWS
Jet Wintzer and I only sent out a few copies for review as it's a vinyl-only release - no promo CDs - but it's been getting some great feedback from the likes of Shindig (a 5 star review, no less), Dave Thompson at Goldmine, Jake Barnard at Strange Brew and Losing Today's Mark Barton - and it's only going to be available via FdM, to club members and people who come along to our Glastonbury birthday bash (oh, and a few competition prizes!)
UNDER THE COUNTER
new members club competition now on - with a chance to win a Pretty Things test pressing - dust down your best/worst record shop stories and email them to me
ON THE BOX
bit of a surprise to find six huge boxes from the Tiny Box Company waiting on the doorstep this morning - turns out they contain the rather large boxes that the special editions of Sendelica's Cromlech II will be going in - now all I need are the albums, t-shirts, DVDs and various other things that will go in them...there are only going to be 110 sets - Sendelica have already pre-sold their 55 copies, my 55 will be offered to FdM club members only - full details soon. Quick update...all gone!
THE PRETTY THINGS, THE ROLLING STONES, THE BEATLES, THE HOLLIES, PINK FLOYD
The latest members club competition looked for lesser-known examples on youtube of psych-tinged tracks by any of these vaguely popular bands; here are a first few examples...from David Smith, Tom Roche, Luke Lands and Dr. Floyd
...while Andy Pernet, Gunter Theberath, Dave Lovatt and Wayland Workman contributed...
...more to come in a few days
SF SORROW LIVE TEST PRESSING
I'm celebrating The Pretty Things' return to FdM with a new single, by running a competition to win one of two test pressings of their 'Live In London' FdM 7" - if you haven't received an email from me on the subject, it's either because you're not a club member or something's gone wrong with my mailing-list!
SCHIZO FUN ADDICT CELEBRATE 10 YEARS OF FdM
Without SFA, there'd simply have been no FdM - and that's enough acronyms for now...because thanks to Jet Wintzer's lunacy and generosity, club members who order our Jan releases early enough (from me, or from Nick and Heyday) will get an exclusive pressing of the band's 'Sun Yard' album for absolutely nothing - never been on vinyl before, it'll never be offered for sale (by us or the band, anyway!) - a rather cool way to see our way into our 10th anniversary year, I think.
...and a few copies will be sent out in glow-in-the-dark sleeves handsprayed by Jet!
There'll be another very limited Moloko+ lathe-cut at the end of the year that only club members will have a chance of buying, but this one is a little different as it will be released simultaneously by the cassette label Eggs In Aspic. you'll have to get in touch with Eggs In Aspic direct if you want to grab a copy....
15th DREAM OF Dr. SARDONICUS FESTIVAL QUIZ
anyone want to have a go at the 15th Dream festival Fruits de Mer music quiz?
On Friday night, we had a quick quiz to kick off the festival, with a first prize of over £200s-worth of Record Collector magazine vinyl LPs.
DJ Wally Stagg played excerpts from 10 tracks released by FdM - and we asked teams to identify each song, the Fruits de Mer artist who recorded it and the artists who originally recorded it.
The winning team ('The Advisors') scored 20 out of 30 (1 point for each song/ FdM artist/original artist) and I thought club members might like to have a go - just for fun!
The answers are below...
...go on, give it a listen...
1. International Feel - Jay Tausig/Todd Rundgren
2. Psychotic Reaction - The Luck Of Eden Hall/Count Five
3. Scary Monsters - Anton Barbeau/David Bowie
4. Hard Hard Year - The Bevis Frond/The Hollies
5. Helter Skelter - The Pretty Things/The Beatles
6. Venus In Furs - Sendelica/The Velvet Underground
7. Four Horsemen - Arcade Messiah/Aphrodite's Child
8. Fluff - White Sails/Black Sabbath
9. Hilly Fields - nick nicely/nick nicely
10.Theme To The Avengers - Icarus Peel/Laurie Johnson
15th DREAM OF Dr. SARDONICUS FESTIVAL QUIZ - THE ANSWERS...
play the link above this post and see how many tracks and artists you recognize...
International Feel - Jay Tausig/Todd Rundgren
Psychotic Reaction - The Luck Of Eden Hall/Count Five
Scary Monsters - Anton Barbeau/David Bowie
Hard Hard Year - The Bevis Frond/The Hollies
Helter Skelter - The Pretty Things/The Beatles
Venus In Furs - Sendelica/The Velvet Underground
Four Horsemen - Arcade Messiah/Aphrodite's Child
Fluff - White Sails/Black Sabbath
Hilly Fields - nick nicely/nick nicely
Theme To The Avengers - Icarus Peel/Laurie Johnson
MORE FAINT PRAISE...
club members struggled to be polite about some of the biggest names in rock in our latest competition - but that was the point, so good work! I pushed Jon Hampstead to find something by Led Zep he liked, Steve Hallam volunteered Iron Butterfly's epic (ie very long) song, John Sewell wasn't the only person to prefer Curved Air with the sound turned down most of the time, Dave Smith reckoned Leicester's finest weren't that good, except for...
Andy Bracken kicked the whole thing off with Robert Palmer, Wayland Workman ripped into Faust, Robert Musgrove and Ray Collins both dug deep to came up with Sopwith Camel and The Savage Resurrection, respectively...
EXCEPTIONS TO THE RULE
The club members competition looked for exceptional tracks from unexceptional bands - bands that produced just one knockout track in the eyes and ears of a club member, while the rest of their catalogue left them unmoved.
The competition has "thrown up" a few surprises, including Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk, VDGG, The Grateful Dead, XTC and Magma amongst the nominations - here are a few to kick things off (remember, the tracks nominated are highly rated, it's just the band that isn't!)...
Ian Roper came up with VDGG, TimeLord Michalis chose Ash Ra Tempel, Dr Floyd went for Edgar Winter, while Dave Lovatt may already be regretting suggesting The Carpenters...
Mark Colwill says, "not Brand X", Craig Palmer chose a Wishbone Ash moment by Def Leppard, Chris Majewicz was one of several club members to name-and-shame Kraftwerk and Roy Bennett picked on Julian Cope
Till Wolff forgave Isaac Hayes and Tangerine Dream for their sins based on these tracks, Henry Schneider found everything else SAC did to be pretty tasteless and Kelvin Bowen could only find this to praise from Julie Felix...
SEPTEMBER WIN BONUSES
club members who buy our September vinyl releases early will get two CD specials for their trouble - one containing three exclusive Marc Swordfish remixes of The Chemistry Set track 'Fountains of Neptune', the other a sampler containing two Crazy World Of Arthur Brown covers by Kris Gietkowski from his 'Three Of A Kind' 3CD set - I know, we're generous to a fault
I KNEW THIS WAS A MISTAKE...
...trying to find suggestions from the members club captions competition that won't get the site shut down is the first challenge. I have to admit to liking the first one, courtesy of Dave Lovatt, while Ray Canham managed to make light of the UK's latest attempt to self-destruct; Andy Pernet managed to namecheck a band and Ernie Oakley showed that wit is not dead (although it's not very well at FdM Towers); more to come
YOU WIN SOME...
Chris Dale was doing so well with his first competition entry and I'd swear Liz was about to draw his name out of the virtual hat when i remembered he'd made two suggestions; andy Pernet showed much better taste with his caption, while Henry Schneider spoke for most of us with his jukebox plea,(well, maybe not) and Richard Schofield ended with a nice plug for the 15th Dream festival
ROB GOULD - ONE LABEL'S SCREW-UP...
...is an FdM club member's bonus. Thanks to yours truly screwing up in style in producing Rob's 15th Dream festival compilation CDs (now sorted), we're going to include a two-track sampler from it along with the Bevis Frond demos CD with orders placed by club members who order all three of our July vinyl releases early - we'll begin taking orders from early June. (Sometimes it pays to be a club member of a record label that doesn't know what it's doing)
The latest members club competition has a bunch of LPs on Markus Holler's Sugarbush label as prizes (hard to believe, but there ARE other record labels)
So what's the perfect add-on for club members who bought the Sendelica/Superfjord 'Zappa' 7" nice and early from FdM or Heyday? No, I had no idea either, so that's why you're getting something that's up to our usual standard of pointless stupidity Club member Dave Lovatt saw the funny side and posted this drawing on facebook (at least I hope he did - it could be his new look for 2018, of course)
Not quite, but as we edge closer to FdM's 10th anniversary year, the band that started it all - Schizo Fun Addict - have come up with a rather special way to kick things off at the end of 2017, an exclusive vinyl release that only club members (and a handful of reviewers) will get - AND you'll get it for free - if you continue to buy Fruits de Mer releases during 2017; more news soon.
A BEVIS BONUS
Club members who order all three of FdM's 'full-blown' July releases (that's the Sidewalk Society LP, Fuchsia double 7" and Ant Barbeau 7"EP) will get a little extra of a Frond-like persuasion for their troubles.
CHEMISTRY SET vs SWORDFISH
...not only that, club members who order all of FdM's late-September releases (which I haven't even finalised yet) will get something exclusive from our good friends Dave McLean and Marc Swordfish. Sometimes it pays to be a club member...
KRIS GIETKOWSKI ALBUM
I had to declare a sell-out on this release before even listing it for sale to non-members; Heyday, Clear Spot and Rough Trade will have some copies but Nick at Heyday will use almost all of his up on international club members and Rough Trade/Clear Spot will have very limited supplies (I AM trying to get a short re-press sorted, waiting for news on this); club members who got their April orders in quick will also be getting a couple of small/silly freebies for their trouble.
NATHAN HALL SOLO EXCLUSIVE
Club members had to move quickly to claim one of 100 special editions of Soft Herted Scientists' Nathan Hall and the Sinister Locals' debut CD - the special editions include a 5" lathe-cut vinyl single and a signed postcard from Nathan.
DWINDLING PIC DISC
The first members club competition of 2017 had two first prizes - lathe-cut pic discs featuring two tracks from Us and Them's new 10"; only around a dozen were pressed in total, so they are what you might call 'collectible'; even if you didn't win, at least you had a chance - which is more than non-members had
OUR LAST COMPETITIONS OF 2016
our last club competition of the year was in two parts - starting with tracks that are based on a classical theme...
Trev Faull set the bar high with Mandrake Paddle Steamer, several club members went for the Jethro Tull classic, Andy Butler recommended King Crimson's take on Holst and of course lots of members couldn't fail to ELP it...
Simon Clarke recalled the wonderful Deodato track, Simon Clarke chose an ancestor of Liz. Colin Consterdine voted for the overlooked/rather maligned Ekseption and Andy Young came up with a new one on me in Cailyn Lloyd reinterpreting Vaughan Williams...
Martin Wright recommended the unclassifiable Moondog, John Sewell countered this with.....The Wombles; Steve Hallam came up with Liquid Tension Experiment and Henry Schneider put a word in for Frank Zappa...
...moving onto prog instrumentals under six minutes long (which could have made the side of a single, even if they didn't)
Dave Lovatt suggested Bo Hansson, Robert Simpson chose Focus; meanwhile Trev Faull and Jez cox ventured to the outer edges of prog...
Alan Pearson started things gently and let them build with Chou Pahrot, Matthew Wright goes for the teasmade kings from Italy, Matthew Breach proves that progressice rock was alive and kicking in the 80s and lots of members suggested VDGG's version of Theme One, including this live version recommended by William Smith...
Zil Bareisis gave Stan Tracey his first moments on the FdM site, Mark Colwill and Dale Simpson went for the Keith Mansfield classic (played here by Arzachel), John Sewell stretched a prog point with The Who, Stephen Young hit the nail on the head with Happy The Man..
Clive Williams and Matthias Lang both set phasers to prog, while Till Wolff recommended Gryphon and Greenslade
Iain Davie turned to the strangely-overlooked Genesis double album, Craig Palmer launched The Dillinger Escape Plan and Zappa's Peaches En Regalia (along with Glen Howell), but it was down to Ken Halsey to recommend my funeral song of choice (and no, yodelling and whistling aren't singing, not in my book anyway)
click here for earlier members club postings from 2016...
check out earlier members club missives at www.fruitsdemerrecords.com/membersclubrecentarchive.html
older members club stuff at www.fruitsdemerrecords.com/membersclubarchive.html
and even older ones at www.fruitsdemerrecords.com/membersclubancientarchive.html