....lukewarm off the presses new releases, special editions, festivals, gigs, cock-ups - whenever we have something vaguely interesting to share, we'll post it here, probably (and quite often when we don't)
SENDELICA 'AND MAN CREATED GOD' - TAKING PRE-ORDERS VERY SOON
FdM club members are busy placing their orders for the new Sendelica double LP (on sale mid-August) and in the next few days the FdM SHOP will be open to take orders from anyone in the UK, while Shiny Beast will be more than happy to take orders from non-UK customers. If you're not on the FdM mailing-list already, now is as good a time as any to join
CONTINUING DELAYS TO INTERNATIONAL COPIES OF HEAD RUSH - LATEST NEWS
A combination of courier problems and Dutch import issues has meant that Clear Spot/Shiny Beast are still waiting for most of their supplies of 'Head Rush' to arrive - 100 copies are stuck somewhere between UPS in the UK, Dutch Customs and Clear Spot/Shiny Beast (who are in no way responsible for any of the problems)
We were told that we would have some encouraging news by June 11th, but UPS continue to fail to communicate or deliver - I have now dispatched all my back-up copies to Shiny Beast in the hope they will arrive in the next few days and enable them to fulfil more FdM international club members' pre-orders, but it's hugely frustrating for everyone and I can only apologise to everyone who pre-ordered 'Head Rush' and are still waiting for their sets.
HANFORD TAPE SESSIONS - SOLD OUT AT FdM TOWERS
All our copies have been grabbed by FdM club members, but all is not lost - Josh and Holly now have their supply and are offering some copies via their bandcamp page CHECK THEIR BANDCAMP PAGE - CLICK HERE!
LOST TUESDAY SOCIETY - LIVE AT DR. SARDONICUS
Sendelica's Pete Bingham has put together the Lost Tuesday Society's set at the 17th Dream festival on CD and very, very limited run lathe-cut vinyl - get in quick, there were only two copies left when I last checked
ECLECTIC MUSIC LOVER
One more review of 'Head Rush' that I wanted to share is by Jeff Archuleta, who runs the Eclectic Music Lover blog; not only does Jeff really like the set (which always helps), he digs into some of the artists involved and gives his persepctive on them; excellent stuff - thank you, Jeff
THE RUSH IS ALMOST OVER
'Head Rush' is now on sale - and it's sold out at the same time. All pre-orders placed with us here at FdM Towers are now on their way to their new homes, while Shiny Beast, Heyday, Norman and Rough Trade should get their supplies in the next few days. Do join our waiting-list - email email@example.com - as we may get hold of a few extra copies, or you might still find a set available from an online store.
HANFORD TAPE SESSIONS
Holly and Josh from Hanford Flyover, who you may remember from our 'Sunny Spells' EP, have been locked in a studio with time on their hands. They have come up with an album's-worth of songs that would cheer up even a Sheffield United supporter. There'll be a very limited CD release by Fruits de Mer at the end of June - in highly inappropriate packaging; I suspect they'll be snapped up by FdM club members as they'll get priority, so if you're not one already, maybe you should join the secret society now?
OK, SO IT'S NOT EXACTLY NEWS
but someone has made and posted a video to the Orb remix track on last year's 'Windmill' 12" and I don't need much of an excuse to remind people that The Orb have appeared on Fruits de Mer Records.
The bloody Orb...on Fruits de Mer!
NOW WE ARE 13
Club member Phil Rogers has just pointed out that Fruits de Mer Records is (or are) now officially a teenager. This of course means that my future emails will consist entirely of acronyms and emojis, nothing will be my fault (it never was) and I will be spending most of my time in bed or down the park with a 2ltr bottle of cheap cider.
STOOPING AT THE SHRINE OF WEIRDOS
Always nice when a new review site gives an FdM release the thumbs-up, so thank you Weirdo Shrine's Jasper Hesselink for picking up on 'Head Rush'
18th DREAM POSTPONED - AGAIN!
We have had to admit defeat on the this year's Cardigan summer festival - we just have no way of knowing if or when the restrictions will be lifted on the Cellar Bar, which - it must be admitted - doesn't exactly lend itself to social distancing. But we'll be back - August 5-7, 2022 - and it'll be a good 'un.
COE IN FOR GOLD
Another medal for BBC 6music's Gideon Coe for flying the flag for FdM at Broadcasting House - he has now closed his show (not literally) by playing Son Of Ohm's 'Telefunken Baby' from 'Head Rush'. If only there were more BBC DJs like Gideon, less of my promo CDs would end up on eBay.
AROUND THE WORLD WITH FdM
Did you know that 'Head Rush' features artists from Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, Peru, Russia, Australia, Wales and England paying their dues to bands such as Can, Kraftwerk, Neu!, Harmonia and the motorik beat?
Well you do now
SUMMER SPECIAL - 1
We have our fingers crossed our summer frestival can go ahead - if it does, this will be the first of our Dr. Sardonicus exclusive 7" lathe-cuts - two tracks taken from the 'Bare Essentials' compilation CD. If we can't go ahead as planned, it'll become a members club exclusive - so everone's a winner (or not)
COE FOR IT
BBC 6music's Gideon Coe has now played the Silver Vials track on our 'Head Rush' set three times in the space of about 10 days - unheard of (for FdM, anyway!). He's described the set as "excellent" so I've got my fingers crossed he'll dig a bit deeper into it over the next couple of weeks.
Make that FOUR times in two weeks - he's just played it again!
MORE HOLD UPS
We had planned to release the new Sendelica double LP in late-July but the huge demand for new vinyl is putting pressing plants under increasing pressure so we're having to revise our projected launch date to August 13th (a Friday, naturally)
PINHDAR 'PARALLEL' SOLD OUT HERE, BUT...
FdM's very limited supply of digipak CDs have been snapped up by our club members, but it's worth checking the Pinhdar bandcamp page in case they still have any copies available
HEAD RUSH - SOLD OUT ALREADY? SURELY NOT
Well, maybe...we've had to declare an advance sell-out here at FdM Towers - orders from our regular customers have gone way over expectations. We're hoping to get an overdelivery from the pressing plant, so we've started a waiting-list (please email firstname.lastname@example.org to join it), but Shiny Beast, Norman and Rough Trade get their own supplies, so feel free to order direct from them (unless they run out too): SHINY BEAST NORMAN ROUGH TRADE
Over the last 12 months, I've been trying hard not to rely entirely on artists who've been battered into submission over the years and have become FdM inmates; the members club compilation CDs are great fun to put together, with lots of new names appearing, but 'Head Rush' has its fair share of new faces too, including Motor!k, David Oakes, Oslo Tapes, Psychic Lemon and Audio Cologne Project; Giacomo & Carolina and Sonic Trip Project might also qualify but in reality they feature artists who've graced FdM's grooves before and who still came back for more (even if they insisted on recording under assumed names)
...IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK
At last, I can start promoting and selling copies of a new release - 'Head Rush' (news on Pindhar's album very soon). It feels like months since I had a new release to talk about...mainly cause it's been months since I had a new release to talk about. Although it's going to be a relatively quiet year here at FdM Towers, I hope they'll be more than enough to keep you and your record-decks occupied
Here's a preview of Fruits de Mer's first release of the year - this is a track from the new album by the Italian trip hop/dream pop duo Pinhdar, called 'Parallel'.
The album will be available as a download from the band from late March, Fruits de Mer's main vinyl edition won't be on sale until late-summer...but we will have a very limited CD version for sale to coincide with the digital launch - more news soon.
REPRESSIVE MOON GEESE
Both their Fruits de Mer releases sold out sharpish, so the band have stepped in and organised their own re-presses - available direct from their bandcamp page
SENDELICA'S NEXT ALBUM
I am more than a bit pleased to say Fruits de Mer will be releasing Sendelica's next album - it's been two years in the making it's a double LP and it's very, very good indeed. It won't escape our clutches until late-July but it'll be well worth the wait.
MAY VINYL FROM FdM
Our first full-run vinyl release of the year will be 'Head Rush', a triple LP+bonus CD set of music that owes a debt to bands such as Can, Kraftwerk, Neuu! and the motorik beat - lots more news soon
VINYL PRESSING DEMAND AND FURTHER DELAYS
I've just been quoted 26 WEEKS turnround from supplying mastered tracks to delivery of finished vinyl for a new project - that's a further four weeks added to what were already unprecedented production timescales; so be prepared for a few delays to the usually bang-on-schedule Fruits de Mer programme of releases in 2021 (I am joking about our ability to keep to deadlines, of course).
FdM ON THE RADIO - AGAIN
Roger Nicholls is obviusly a sucker for punishment as he invited me back onto his Rock Radio 'Imaginarium' show, to have a bit of a chat during an hour-long Pretty Things special - all the way from their early 60s Sidcup beginnings through well over 50 years of great music - live and on record
LOUD CITIES INTERVIEW
Blackout Radio DJ Mike Pougounas interviewed Fruits de Mer late last year - a wide-ranging job covering the early days, what FdM is all about, plans for the future and a few episodes along the way. If you need a break from your copy of 'Where's Wally', you might want to give it a try.
OK, so it's still a long way away, the Welsh government is yet to announce its plans and all English dates are provisional/"at best", but there's now every chance of this August's festival in the Cellar Bar, Cardigan being on! More news as and when we have it.
SOUNDS FROM THE UNDERGROUND
Rene - a friend of the label from Clear Spot Distribution - has put the whole of our 'Sounds From The Underground' members club compilation CD up on youtube (I did check with all the artists that they were ok with this first!); I thought you might enjoy taking a listen to the sort of thing club members get free and for nothing from us when we're in a good mood...
FdM ON THE RADIO
If you can cope with my droning monologue as Roger Nicholls fought valiantly to interview me on his recent Rock Radio 'Imaginarium' show, you'll at least get to hear some great music, from the likes of Robyn Hitchcock, Egg, Touch, The American Breed, Julian Cope and Sendelica, among others.
...and you might get to hear more of me - next time doing my best to ruin a Pretty Things special from Roger - in a few weeks' time
AN UNEXPECTED EARLY ARRIVAL?
Just as I was settling down to a quiet start to the year, a new project comes along thanks to Kris Needs. We've got to find ways to move quickly on this one as it's an album that's due to be released digitally by the end of March - so it could be a limited CD release, a super-limited lathe-cut and a bigger run vinyl release in the summer; more news as soon as I can confirm things.
18th DREAM FESTIVAL - NO NEWS IS...
well, no news. A few people have rightly asked me about the 18th Dream Festival - all I can say is that we've got our fingers firmly crossed for this August but it's anyone's guess at the moment what the situation will be with regard to travel/pubs/live music in six months' time.
Pete Bingham and I discussed things a couple of days ago and we're going to make a decision in early May - we'll do our best to go ahead with the three-dayer as planned (virtually everyone we had lined up for 2020 says they'll be there this time round) but if there's too much uncertainty we'll look at options (for instance, postponing for 2-3 months to the autumn would be possible)
KICK A MAN WHEN HE'S DOWN
Postal problems/delays continue - I heard at the weekend that a small parcel I sent to the Netherlands in mid-November has finally arrived two months later; I can only apologise to anyone still waiting on their copies of 'Head Music 2' - I'm sure the Royal Mail are doing their best.
That said, it's felt like rubbing salt in the wounds to find that UK and overseas prices have increased by up to 10% from January 1st - and I didn't even get a forewarning.
GIDEON COE PLAYS STANLEY...AND (UN)WINS
Many thanks to Gideon Coe for playing 'Life of Stanley' by The Arthur Park and Stanley Unwin on his BBC 6Music show last night - you can listen in
it seems to be getting harder to get BBC airplay every year, thank god for Gideon!
THE PROFESSOR GOES ONLINE
If you missed out on the 'Life of Stanley' lathe-cut - and you probably did, The Arthur Park have now made it available as a download HERE
EASING GENTLY INTO 2021
After a hectic, maybe crazy, second half of 2020 we're slowing things down for a few months to give everyone some breathing space - but rest assured we'll be back in the spring with something suitably overblown to do some serious damage to your ears...but hopefully not wallets
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
...or it is in the case of deliveries of 'Head Music 2' - a combination of pandemic restrictions, pressure on the Royal Mail and Brexit has created some serious delays in delivery of parcels, especially from the UK to the rest of the world; supplies are gradually getting through, but it's slow!
IT'S ALL FOR CHARITY
The Arthur Park have auctioned one of their copies of the 'Life Of Stanley' lathe-cut on eBay for a local charity and it sold for an impressive £135 - nice work, lads!
THREE HEADS ARE BETTER THAN NONE
copies of 'Head Music 2' are on sale now - some are a sort of translucent 'Brain green', some are a slightly splattered white, but they are all full of lovely covers of classic krautrock. All orders placed direct with FdM are in the post - but do please be patient, the Royal Mail is overrun at the moment
SACRILEGE - FdM GOES DOWNLOADABLE
...or at least 'The Darkest Voyage' is - Astralasia and Chris Hillman at their main record label Magick Eye have organised everything - so whether your service of choice is Spotify, Deezer, itunes, or some other names that aren't Harvest, Vertigo or Charisma, you can listen to over 6 hours of music in the comfort of your inner ear. Proceeds go to the Red Cross, so it's all good - but don't except to see future FdM releases following suit - I wouldn't know where to start!
Find out more HERE
HEAD MUSIC 2 - TOO LATE?
'Head Music 2' is our somewhat-delayed follow-up to 2012's 'Head Music' - and we've sold out within a couple of weeks of starting to take pre-orders from our club members (what do you mean, you haven't joined the members club?); the triple LP set is due out on December 31st, please email me - email@example.com - if you'd like to join the waiting-list as I hope to get a few extras from the pressing plant, or do try Shiny Beast, Norman Records or Rough Trade as they will all get their own supplies
MASS PANDA SIGHTING
The latest issue of Electronic Sound magazine includes a rather splendid four page feature on The Lost Stoned Pandas, courtesy of legendary journo and honorary panda, Kris Needs; Kris even describes FdM as, "...the UK's foremost psychedelic imprint", which shows just how lost he is.
A LOAD OF...
A motley CD collection for BBC radio DJs of tracks from a Fruits de Mer year that on one hand seems to be never-ending and on the other has just flown by. I've just picked out a few recordings from 2020 that I think might have escaped their attention in the hope they give the artists responsible a bit of much-deserved airtime. The CDs are going out to DJs and their producers and few might find their way randomly into parcels I send out in December - but then again, you've got all the tracks already, haven't you?
Just one more Fruits de Mer release to go before the end of 2020 (unless you're a club member, in which case we'll be in touch very soon) and we're going out in style - or, more accurately in this bizarre year, we're staying in, in style, with a vinyl set that follows up on one of my favourite releases in 12 years of the label - Head Music; watch this website.
AUNTIE AUBREY'S EXCURSIONS VOLUME 3
The Orb are releasing a new compilation of the band's tracks and LX's mix of 'Windmill' from last year is on it. Having The Orb feature on an FdM release was pretty amazing, but having an FdM track on an Orb release comes close!
SHINDIG REVIEWS THE NEW FUCHSIA SINGLE
Jeff Penczak runs his diamond stylus over Tony Durant and co's tribute to the late, great Syd.......
...AND SHINDIG ALSO REVIEWS THE SUPERSTARS' EP
more kind words from Jeff as he gets to grips with some rather glorious Italian prog....
OUR NOVEMBER RELEASES
It's been a bit hectic here at FdM Towers as we've packed and posted all the November release pre-orders. The Fuchsia 7" is long-gone here, although it's worth trying Norman Records, Rough Trade or Shiny Beast.
We've just sold out of both the 'Darkest Voyage' 6CD sets and double LP 'edited version', but do try Astralasia via their facebook page, or Shny Beast.
But the good news is that we DO still have some copies of The Superstars 7" - get in quick!
TALKING OF THE SUPERSTARS...
...here's Ian McCann's review of it in the latest issue of Record Collector - and he knows his stuff!
US and THEM - ANNABEL LEE
'The Darkest Voyage' 6CD set explores some wild places, perhaps none more so than this wonderful retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's 'Annabel Lee' by Us and Them...
...and to think all the music across this set is based on the same original backing track from Swordfish. We're already running short of copies, based on pre-orders, even though the set isn't due on sale until late-November - so don't wait too long before visiting the FdM SHOP page
WHAT ARE NON-CLUB MEMBERS MISSING?
The next members club exclusive CD compilation - 'Sounds From The Underground' - is another 60+ minutes mix of great music from artists new to FdM plus a few more familiar ones. Here are just a few examples...
...joining the members clubs is pretty painless - as long as you can put up with all the irritating emails - find out more on the members club page and then click on the 'mailing list' tab
Classic Italian progressive rock - except these are brand new recordings, on a 7" EP from Fruits de Mer - and we're already having to create a waiting list with the actual release date still a month away...
. Read all about it HERE
a sneak preview of a track from 'The Darkest Voyage' - the Blue Giant Zeta Puppies take Marc Swordfish's source tracks and do something unexpected to them...
...just one of the journeys taken by friends of Fruits de Mer and Astralasia in a huge 6CD, six-hour set that will be on sale soon. Read all about it HERE
THANK YOU TO TODD AND JET
Many thanks to US artist Todd DiCiurcio and Schizo Fun Addict's Jet Wintzer for the super-limited, handsparayed cover to the Schizos' latest LP' 'The Last Wave' - taking pride of place in the record collection here at FdM Towers
FdM's NOVEMBER RELEASES
If you're in the UK, you can now pre-order our November releases - a 7" EP of classic Italian prog rock by The Superstars and a huge SIX-HOUR, six CD set by Astralasia together with friends of their family and FdM's - 'The Darkest Voyage' - it's huge!
IF YOU MISSED OUT ON 'HEAD IN THE CLOUDS'...
check out the new (November) issue of Record Collector for a chance to win a copy!
OK I've used that line before - and I'll no doubt use it again - but we've sold out of the Fuchsia 'Barrett's Allsorts' 7" here at FdM Towers on club member pre-orders alone. But all is not lost - head over to the Shiny Beast website (the retail arm of our distributor 'Clear Spot') and you should be able to order a copy from them
Our late-September releases - 'The Continuing Escapades Of The Soft Hearted Scientists' and 'Head in the Clouds' - are on sale now - or at least they were - we're already sold out of both releases, although it's worth checking out places like Norman Records, Shiny Beast and Those Old Records.
I'd like to offer the opinion that they've sold out so quickly because they're both a bit good, but I might be biased.
MORE CLOUDED JUDGEMENTS?
Timeloard Michalis is an FdM club member so he might not be entirely unbiased in his views, but he has an encyclopedic knowledge of music and when he kicks off his review with, "...Wow! This is absolutely bloody stunning! A FANTASTIC COMPILATION of 2 LPs plus 2 CDs with 3 hours 54 minutes and 26 seconds of Electronic Music...", it means rather a lot. You can read the complete, unvarnished truth in his Time Machine Productions review
DJ Astro in his Astral Zone blog is waxing lyrical about it too - another guy whose musical taste is pretty impressive.
SCHIZO FUN ADDICT VIDEO
I somehow managed not to post this rather fine video by Jet Wintzer and co, taken from their latest album, 'The Last Wave'...until now
SINGLED OUT FOR NOVEMBER
We'll have two 7" singles for your listening pleasure in November - a Syd Barrett tribute from prog/folk cult heroes Fuchsia and some original but wonderfully retro instrumental prog rock from Italy's The Superstars. More news soon - but please bear in mind FdM club members get first chance to pre-order them
ALL ABOARD FOR A VERY DARK VOYAGE
also in early November (I hope), there'll be a double LP and 6CD set from Astralasia and friends that I'd suggest is out-of-the-ordinary, even for FdM; both sets will be very limited and of course club members are at the front of the queue - more news soon
OUR AUGUST RELEASES WERE DELAYED BY ABOUT THREE WEEKS - BUT THEY'RE NOW ON SALE!
After some manufacturing problems with these sets, for which we can only apologise (but we simply couldn't send out cases that weren't up to scratch), we've now shipped out all UK pre-orders and the supplies for Heyday Mail Order and Shiny Beast havecreached them too, so they can start to fulfil their orders.
THE WAX MONSTER IS STAYING IN HIDING A LITTLE LONGER
I've just heard from the band that production delays mean they're now aiming to start shipping out pre-orders from early/mid-October; apologies for the delay, more news as I get it
NEW RELEASES UNVEILED SOON
I was looking for an excuse to use this cartoon as a teaser for our November releases, but forgot all about it until I'd already posted the cover shots on the website. Never mind...
MORE CLOUD HEADS
...so much great music to share from this set - but you'll have to buy it to really appreciate it! Read all about it HERE
HEAD IN THE CLOUDS
A massive 2LP+2CD set will be unleashed in late-September - with 200 minutes of music influenced by German synthesiser/kosmische artists from the early 70s; you can read about it HERE ...and sample a few of the tracks here...
THE CONTINUING ESCAPADES OF THE SOFT HEARTED SCIENTISTS
...and the Soft Hearted Scientists return with an equally enormous release - this time a 4LP set! - including 2LPs of tracks taken mainly from their most recent albums plus 2LPs of instrumentals by the band mised into sidelong suites by Astralasia's Marc Swordfish. Read all about it HERE
LATEST NEWS : WE'RE NOW SOLD OUT ON PRE-ORDERS, BUT HOPE TO GET A FEW EXTRA COPIES IN - MORE DETAILS ON THE SHOP PAGE...
THE CELLAR BAR RESTORATION FUND GROWS
Thanks to your pre-orders of the 'Cellar Bar Restoration Society' double CD, I've been able to add another £1,250 to the 'Justgiving' campaign, which now stands at just short of £4,000. The Bar's guv'nor Steve tells me he'll be asking for planning permission for the first phase of the redevelopment work very soon.
Check out the fund and feel free to make your own contribution... HERE!
VIRTUALLY THE 18th DREAM FESTIVAL
Right now, we should be in the Cellar Bar - selling records, giving away goodie-bags, catching up with old friends, drinking Mantle bitter, listening to some great music.
But we're not.
We've rescheduled the festival for summer 2021 and we can't wait to get back to Cardigan, but meanwhile I've put together a page of videos by the artists who would have been playing as a reminder of what we're missing and what a great line-up we had - and Will have next year.Check it out
WHAT'S GOOD FOR THE GOOSE
...is good for Fruits de Mer, Moon Goose have a new 12" + CD package out in September - it's a joint release with FdM (Friends of the Fish 42, if you're counting), and the band are handling all pre-orders and sending out copies - you can get your order in by clicking HERE
It's called 'The Wax Monster Lives Behind The First Row Of Trees' - the orange vinyl 12" runs to over 30 minutes and the bonus CD is their set from last summer's Dr. Sardonicus festival; there are only 300 sets being produced and there are less than 60 left already!
FdM's LATE-JULY RELEASES...NOT QUITE SO LATE AFTER ALL
copies of all three albums have now arrived at FdM Towers and we'll have all UK pre-orders in the post by first-thing Monday; Nick at Heyday and the Shiny Beast team should have their copies by Monday and Norman, Tor and Rough Trade will get their supplies early next week.
If you're on the waiting list for copies direct from FdM, I should know whether I have copies available by the end of next week
CELLAR BAR RESTORATION SOCIETY T-SHIRTS
We're also in the process of packing and posting the Cellar Bar Restoration Society t-shirts; we're already sold out at FdM Towers but the Cellar Bar have a batch and you might be able to buy one by post from the guv'nor Steve. Check out Cardigan's Cellar Bar on facebook for details.
SNAKE IN THE GRASS
Stray Owls have put together a video to accompany their track, 'Snake In The Grass', which is on the new members club CD 'The World Is Our Lobster'...
GENTLY AS YOU FEEL
and I've just received a video from LoveyDove of their tracks from the 'Band for All Seasons' set - a great take on a lovely song...
YOU ARE THE CELLAR BAR RESTORATION SOCIETY
thanks to Fruits de Mer Records' club members, the Cellar Bar crowdfunding appeal is now £1,500 better off, from advance sales of the Cellar Bar Restoration Society LP. We've got a waiting list in case we get a few extras from the pressing plant, but there will be a limited number for sale at the Cellar Bar itself - hopefully in August.
Check out the fund and make a contribution HERE
SCHIZO FUN ADDICT - SPECIAL EDITION
Starting to put together the FdM copies of the Schizos' new album - i'll have 50 copies on vinyl, all of which will include hand-numbered inserts from the band's Jet Wintzer.
OUR INSEKT FRIENDS
I'm really pleased to be working with The Insektlife Cycle and Phil at 345rpm again on a 'Friends of the Fish' project in August/September - a new 7" lathe-cut single that Phil will be releasing on his new label, alongside Friends of the Fish. And - as with all the best FOTF projects, someone else will be doing all the work - in this case, Phil will be cutting the records, taking the orders and sending them out, while I....er, I'll my coat. More news soon.
FdM HALF-TERM REPORT - BACK STRONGER
Not your typical six months in the life of Fruits de Mer Records...
Things started well with the first appearance of the Lost Stoned Pandas on the label and the release of possibly the biggest blast of music that's ever escaped from FdM Towers in the shape of 'A Band For All Seasons' - a sprawling 4CD set (4CDs? Ha, you ain't seen nothing yet).
As I was planning the May release schedule, the pandemic took control and everything went on-hold; the result is the May releases are now coming out in July, everything following that is running about three months late and our annual festival has had to be put into a large refrigerated storage container (bands, beer, goodie-bags, FdM's stall team) with a 'not to be opened until August 2021' label attached.
The limited-edition releases that would have appeared on our stall in the Cellar Bar are being offered to club members by mail order - and the festival tickets are valid for next August.
We were starting to look at the possibility of a European gig later in the year, but that is something we'll have to revisit when life gets back to normal-ish, but the Cellar Bar Restoration Society project that looked a worthy cause at the start of the year has become even more 'current' as our festival venue is having to cope with months of no customers, no events and no money on top of the much-needed building work to the cellar itself (and yes, I know many clubs and pubs face similar problems, but the Cellar Bar is our home-from-home).
As usual, unexpected projects have come along, and the good response to 'Band for All Seasons' has encouraged me to look at CDs for more 'big' outpourings of music where vinyl would weigh a ton and cost a bloody fortune - there are a couple of whoppas in the pipeline that mean the second half of 2020 will probably see more music being unleashed by FdM's friends and family than ever before!
I promised myself that I'd try to involve more new artists in FdM projects this year than I have in the last couple (it's called sharing the pain) - and that's how it's working out - the 4CD set brought in about a dozen new artists, the 'Friends of the Fish' projects have introduced a dozen more to our endearingly-shambolic approach to the music business (well, I like it anyway), and our September releases will rope in a dozen more.
And I hope FdM is still springing the odd surprise along the way, sharing some terrific artists and music (new and not-so-new, well-known and underrated) that you might otherwise have missed out on and having some fun along the way.
WE ARE THE CELLAR BAR RESTORATION SOCIETY T-SHIRTS
As well as the members club LP, we're raising more money for rebuilding work on Cardigan's home to our summer festival with a highly fashionable range of t-shirts. If you're in the UK, email me - firstname.lastname@example.org - for more details. If you live outside the UK, please contact Nick Leese at Heyday Mail Order via the Heyday website.
POSTAL COST HIKE TO THE USA
Nick Leese at Heyday has alerted to me to a big increase in Royal Mail prices from the UK to the US, starting July 1st; it's due to a 95% fall in the number of flights and resulting increase in their freight costs. You have been warned!
SHINDIG REVIEWS 'THE LAST WAVE'
**** Despite being saddled with a godawful name more suggestive of adolescent skate metal, Schizo Fun Addict hark back to the dreamy guitars and stoned vocals of ’80s indie psych, that point where Byrdsian jangle bands discovered more interesting drugs. It’s an enticing sound, if overplayed. ‘Peace Walks By My Side’ sets the scene nicely, Perfect Prescription-era Spacemen 3 on pep pills, while ‘Dream It All’ suggests that MGMT circa Congratulations is also a key reference, Ilona V’s child-like vocals fringed by echoing guitar. The come down gently psych of ‘Crossing Over’ approaches the ecstatic shoegaze of Slowdive – similarly, the West Coast flashback of ‘Sun Daze’ floats downstream with mind turned off. Sameness threatens to creep in, but the infinite tremolo and cosmic angel vibes of ‘Expressway’ move things onto a higher plane, before the swell of ‘Shadow Mantra’ brings a little darkness to the party
This is a joint release with Flicknife Records - their CD version is sold out, we'll have a limited supply on vinyl in early August - club members will get first chance to pre-order, so if you're not already a member, maybe you should click on the MAILING LIST tab and do something about it
SCOTT WILLIAM URQUART/GIDEON COE
many thanks to Gideon for playing Scott's 'Ballet Dancer' on his BBC 6Music show last night.
it's taken from his album 'A Recipe For Reverie’ and is a track on the new Fruits de Mer Records members club CD 'The World Is Our Lobster'
There's a link to Scott's album HERE
and one to Gideon's show HERE
JAMES MCKEOWN/GIDEON COE
and thanks also to Gideon for playing James' 'Life Aboard the International space Station' on BBC 6Music last night; it's from James' album 'English Dream' and again is a track on our 'The World Is Our Lobster' CD.
It's also on his album 'English Dream’ - there's a link to it on bandcamp HERE
and there's one to Gideon's show HERE
FdM's LATE-JULY RELEASES ...ALL THREE ALBUMS SOLD-OUT ALREADY?
With the summer festival on ice for a year and the coronavirus here to stay, at least for many months to come, it's time I got focused back on the day-job - releasing vinyl records.
I'm being cautious about pressing numbers for the rest of this year as I appreciate money is tight for everyone and record shops in the UK still have their shutters up, but in July we'll have a double LP AND a single LP of live recordings from the 17th Dream festival (no duplication between them!) and an LP called 'The Cellar Bar Restoration Society' - FdM club members get priority and they've already claimed almost all of the copies of all three! I've started waiting-lists for '17th Dream Live' and 'Cellar Bar' as I may get more than I bargained for (if you're not in the UK, please contact Nick Leese at Heyday). NB Shiny Beast and Norman Records will get their own supplies of the '17th Dream Live' double LP, so it's worth trying their websites.
Club members who ordered the July LPs early will also get a free compilation CD for their trouble, It's called 'the World Is Our Lobster' - and here are just a few of the tracks on it....
'A BAND FOR ALL SEASONS' EXPOSED
Our 4CD set has been reviewed by Henry Schneider for Expose online.
"...the high points for me are Bhopal’s Flowers’ excellent raga rock cover of Cream’s “I Feel Free,” complete with tamboura and sitar, The Mysterious Cloud featuring Your Friend’s cover of H.P. Lovecraft’s “Mobius Trip,” Echo Train’s cover of the Hunger’s “Portland ’69” that starts out repetitious and grows to a fantastic psych jam, Elfin Bow’s beautiful acid folk rendition of The Small Faces’ “Autumn Stone,” The Telephones’ jangly psych pop cover of The Move’s “I Can Hear the Grass Grow,” Mr. Armageddon and The Suicide Society’s superb cover of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band’s “We Are Normal,” Nathan Hall’s cover of the Bee Gees’ “Please Read Me,” the Alain Pire Experience’s cover of The Beatles’ “Only a Northern Song,” and Crystal Jacqueline’s exquisite reading of Pink Floyd’s “Grantchester Meadows.” But the pièce de resistance of the entire set is The Lemon Clocks’ 17-minute extended psychedelic journey cover of Tommy James and the Shondells’ “Crimson and Clover.” If you were not one of the fortunate few who snagged a copy of The Three Seasons, make absolutely sure that you invest in A Band for All Seasons. FdM has certainly outdone themselves this time."
Kind words, to read Henry's full review, click
INSPECTOR YOOHOO CALLS / MIRIAM and ROGER
Here's the Lounge Bar Orchestra - a loose group of journeymen musicians who recorded the music of composer Reg Omeroyd for Ousewater Television between 1968 and 1975 (perhaps) - with two tracks from 'Pilot Episodes', the LP that's being released on Fruits de Mer's 'Friends of the Fish' label
Library music, from a library that never quite opened, the LP hit some production difficulties but is now in-stock and available direct from the artists - just click
MARK McDOWELL 'STARSTREAMER'
and here's a new video to a track taken from Mark's new album, 'Breakthrough'.
The LP is released on Fruits de Mer's sub-label 'Friends of the Fish' and is available now - on lovely blue vinyl - direct from Mark HERE
"THE GREATEST MUSICAL SECRET OF THE 21st CENTURY"
Schizo Fun Addict’s album ‘The Last Wave’, reviewed by Dave Thompson for Goldmine Magazine...this is a joint project between Flicknife Records and Fruits de Mer; Flicknife's CD release has sold out, but you can download the album HERE and Fruits de Mer will have a limited number of copies on vinyl for sale in the summer - but they'll all get snapped up by our club members, for sure (so maybe you should be checking out the members club page and considering joining?)
THE FINAL BOW
Very sad news that The Pretty Things’ Phil May has died.
A great singer, songwriter and frontman, who was still in fine voice after more than 50 years of leading the UK’s finest psych/R&B band.
There’s one more studio album from the band in the can, although seeing them in brilliant form at the O2 in London at the end of 2018 was a great way for me to remember Phil, with Dick Taylor and co.
They happen to be my all-time favourite band, so being able to release some of their music on Fruits de Mer was unbelievable
18th DREAM FESTIVAL POSTPONED TO SUMMER 2021
Much as we all hated to do it, postponing the 18th Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival to August 2021 has become our only option as the UK lockdown is being maintained (more or less), thousands of people in the UK continue to pick up the virus, hundreds die every day and the Cellar Bar is not exactly designed for social distancing... Our apologies to everyone who was planning to come along, Pete Bingham is doing his best to keep the 2021 line-up as close to this year's intended line-up as possible - in fact, seven of the bands have already confirmed they'll be there!
There's a bit more background on the FdM website HERE
CD OR NOT CD?
FdM is a vinyl label, so was 'A Band for All Seasons' an aberration? I'd like to think there's room for both, I've had a lots of great feedback to the music and 8LP sets might be seen to be a bit of an extravagance in these difficult times. I have to admit to loving how the CD set came out - thanks to John Hurford and Dale Simpson for the art and design - and I'm looking at two more 'big' projects at the moment that will go down a similar route, if they happen.
So, if it's vinyl-only for you, please bear with me - there'll still be plenty of vinyl releases in the second half of 2020 and, in the end, the music comes first, right?
WHO NEEDS A SIX-STAR REVIEW, WHEN YOU CAN HAVE TWO?
I think Kev Rowland at the Progressor website rather likes the Sunny Spells 7" and 'Band For All Seasons' set, "... sheer joy from the beginning to the very end". We still have a few copies of 'Sunny Spells'in-stock, but the CD set sold out a while ago - his reviews are a bit late arriving, but to be fair, Kev lives in New Zealand and we send everything by pigeon post. Read 'em and weep
PAST IS BEST
Kev also took quite a shine to the Past Tense 7" EP + CD set..."something any lover of great psychedelic rock really needs to track down"; I've sold out but you ought to be able to pick them up from a decent mail order service. Check the reviews out
Many thanks to Stuart Maconie for playing Anton Barbeau's version of Donovan's 'Sunshine Superman' - taken from 'A Band For All Seasons' - on BBC 6Music's 'Freakzone. You can check it out HERE
GRAB A GREEN PANDA
I'm down to my last 20 sets - the lesser-spotted green vinyl variety; just saying...
CUSTARD FLUX 'ECHO' - ON SALE NOW
The Custard Flux LP 'Echo' - a Friends of the Fish exclusive - is on sale now from the Custard Flux bandcamp page - but don't take long in ordering - the two-colour vinyl copies are sold out, and there are only a few deep blue ones available
THE SECRETS OF 'TOMMY' REVEALED
Tommy Histon, that is - Andy Bracken's new novel about the ground-breaking musician that no-one has ever heard of (other than Andy) is on sale now via Amazon - but if you're on a Fruits de Mer mailing list, Andy is running a competition to win a free copy; if you already know about this, then you're presumably on one of our mailing-lists; if you didn't, you're not - and maybe you should ...?
I OWE JEFF PENCZAC
many, many thanks to Jeff for a cracking review of 'A Band For All Seasons' for Terrascope...
Jeff heaped praise on many of the artists involved and ended with, "...A Band For All Seasons is an historical and instructive overview of the psychedelic ‘60s heyday some 50 years removed, featuring 21st century approaches to an excellent and eclectic mix of the usual suspects (Cream, Stones, Donovan, Small Faces, Traffic, Yardbirds, et.al.) and beloved underground unknowns (H.P. Lovecraft, July, Simon Dupree, Marc Brierley, Neon Pearl, Kaleidoscope and many others). In fact, a companion 4xCD set of the originals would rival or surpass any Rubbles, Nuggets, Perfumed Garden, or Chocolate Soup For Diabetics box as a definitive overview of what the UK/US psychedelic, acid folk, progressive, garage ‘60s music scene was all about"
After being a bit gutted to get a rather lukewarm review for the set in Shindig!, I really felt that Jeff took the time to get under the skin of the whole project for Terrascope and appreciated the huge amount of work that the 50+ artists involved put into their contributions.
read all about it HERE
A BRIEF RESPITE
For fairly obvious reasons, this isn't the best time to be announcing more releases - shops closed, magazines struggling to get distribution, everyone with more pressing issues to focus on - so we'll be taking a short break until July and we'll then be back with a vengeance (and a double LP). Meanwhile, the FdM SHOP is still very much open for business if you'd like to take a look around....
A BAND FOR ALL SEASONS - THE SEASON HAS ENDED
I've put up the 'sold out' sign at FdM Towers, but you should still be able to get a set from Shiny Beast, Norman Records or Rough Trade
I FEEL FREE
...but it's worn off already.
That said, Canada's Bhopal's Flowers have posted their version of Cream's 'I Feel Free' on youtube - and you can hear the whole track for free (but if you want a physical copy of it, you'll only be able to find it on the 'Band for All Seasons' 4CD set)
BAND FOR ALL SEASONS + LOST STONED PANDAS ...ON SALE NOW
We've now taken delivery of our stocks of 'A Band For All Seasons' and The Lost Stoned Pandas, and all pre-orders that were placed direct with FdM are now in the post. Nick Leese at Heyday and Shiny Beast should receive their supplies before the end of March - ie we're on schedule for once.
We're already sold out of orange vinyl vinyl copies of the Pandas, but we still have a few sets on green vinyl.
We're waiting on a final delivery of 60 'Band For All Seasons' sets, so any new orders will be delayed for a few days, but once they've gone, that's it!
18th DREAM UPDATE
Obviously, the future is uncertain for all events over the next few months, but we're currently all pressing ahead in the hope that, by August, life will be returning to something approaching normality and we'll be able to celebrate with the annual meeting of the clans. We'll keep you posted, meanwhile the FdM goodie-bags are growing by the day!