Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mixed Feelings - Another Place (1982-1984)

Tonight's post is the kind that doesn't happen often, and I'm very excited to be sharing this with all of you. I hope you'll enjoy the contents as much as I have.

If you've been following the Crispy Nuggets compilations, you'll probably remember one of the standout bands from Vol. 1, Mixed Feelings, and their instantly catchy minimal synth diamond "Another Place (Like Home)". Well, I've had the pleasure of meeting the song-writer of the band, Mr. Sean Cooper, and he's been kind enough to make the band's other recordings available.

Aside from the fact that I really think these songs are great, I'm most impressed by how young they were at the time (which you can see clearly in the photos). The band was from Basildon, which if you think hard enough might bring another synthpop band to mind... I'm going to quote Sean directly here, because he tells it better than I ever could:

"We started in the band in 1981 whilst still at school, Nicholas Comprehensive in Basildon which is the same school that the Mode boys went to...i recall seeing their first gig at our school disco ( i hassled martin about his synth after the "gig") and quite often we would watch them rehearse in one of the school classrooms. I had wanted to be a synth player in a band for some time cos as a young kid i was into early League, Numan, Kraftwerk and had "auditioned" with a couple of "new romantic" and even a rockabilly band (armed with only a cheap electric organ), but it wasn't until a childhood friend said "lets start a band" that I really took the idea we asked a couple of other mates to join, saved up some money, bought a couple of cheap synths and a drum machine and off we went...

We were (and i still am!) heavily influenced by Mode. And yeah I got to meet them numerous times, I would often bump into Martin and he was always interested to see how the band was going (somehow he knew that i had been expelled from school...)...we also knocked on Daves front door one night and invited him to a gig we were doing just down the road from him...

photo taken on the same street where Fletch lived

As a huge DM fan myself, I found that story to be absolutely amazing. If you like this blog, you probably like DM too, which will come in handy as a few of these songs are DM covers :-)

Most of these tracks were recorded in 1982 under the main core group, but roles varied out through '84. Sean Cooper always on the task of song-writer and synths, Mark Robinson was the vocalist, but unfortunately suffered a voice break later on. Pete Reynolds and Alan Stone also took on synth duties, while Geoff Conner manned the drum machine. Last and certainly not least is Lorraine Olson, who provided guest vocals on tracks 01, 05, 06, and 08.

I can honestly say there isn't a song here I don't like, this is a prime example of pure DIY minimal synth, at it's best. I hope you'll feel the same. Enjoy!

Track List:

01 - Another Place (Like Home)
02 - Because Of You
03 - Fate
04 - Final Demand
05 - Fun
06 - The Captain
07 - Told You So
08 - Stand Up High
09 - Holding On
10 - Ice Machine (Cover)
11 - Photographic (Cover)