Archive for the ‘Pence Eleven’ Tag

Radioactive Sparrow   Leave a comment

One day I will write about Pence Eleven, perhaps thee great Lost Group, but not today because it’s a very long story and I haven’t got time. It was through the weird influence of PE that I got to know of Radioactive Sparrow, also perhaps thee great Lost Group. I will never write about them because that story is so long and complicated and makes such demands on one’s powers of descriptivity that even Gwilly can’t keep up with it, try as he may. I suppose they were a Improv unit that was also a rock group that was also a joke. I only saw them once, at the pub at the end of the street where I now live, where there’s a sign up that says John Otway, but I was struck by the VIOLENCE of their creation, a permanent revolution of music. I think if Mark E Smith had a different postcode and male siblings he would have probably become Sparrow and not The Fall. Good job I suppose. Anyway, talking out my arse a bit but check ’em out if you have a spare lifetime.



Doomed Shop.   2 comments


I love Stu like a communist brother I only know a bit. One day I will write a big thing about Pence Eleven and why they are a great lost band. Someone should do the world a favour and put Rats! out on 6XLP or whatever.

A particularly elegant translation from Nathan Blunt, sometime Um road manager.   Leave a comment


Pete Um – No Pressure.

24. July 2008 by Chrissie

If one reads this record’s press-release, one can only shake one’s head in wonder. Pete Um, claiming to be more un-musician than musician, fiddled around on this new music for more than 7 years and in this time brought out an album with just 35 minutes in length, but which has 18 songs. But, cockeyed as this picture is, it fits the psychedelic kind of music – and even un-music – which one gets to hear on “No Pressure”.

“Sometimes, when the north wind blows, you have to turn your back to the south.”

Pete has already recorded a great deal of music, albeit on limited CD-Rs at home or on vinyl. However, his heart always belongs to the tape recorder – thus his early recordings would always go the lo-fi route, he made music just for himself and was too shy to admit to anyone that was his dream to make music. In 1996 he finally got himself a computer and matters got considerably more serious.

And so the actual record “No Pressure” is now one of these umpteen thousand recordings. What number it is in the list of official recordings can’t really be worked out from the complete discography. However, what is clear is this: he’s been making music for a long time, and one notices it. Pete knows what he’s doing, even if it isn’t accessible always or for everyone.

The music is a long way away from lo-fi; almost perfect recordings, diverse sound experiments and distorted vocals are the results, among other things. If it’s necessary to find a category for unidentifiable music, then one would file this somewhere between minimal electro, experimental, freak folk and psychedelic. Computer genertated music which doesn’t skimp on melody but never takes the direct route.

And then there’s the length of the tracks. At the start of the record there’s still proper songs, fractionally over 3 minutes in length, with lyrics and the whole business. And then, in the middle of the record: 3 songs, none longer than a minute, one experimental sound lined up after the next, the creation of confusion as a deliberate device. All that just to bring back order with the next track and almost churn out a ballad. That’s the way it is in many places on the album, as the number of tracks and the total length will explain. His experimentation does credit to his self-promotion.

Of course it fits in with this scheme that the vocals are only set in the background and often distorted. But then when one catches one of the tatters, there’s no skimping on the wisdom and the pain of life.

“See, nobody lives forever
and nobdy ever is free.”

All in all with “No Pressure” one has an album, which surely won’t appeal to everyone. A certain openness and a weakness for experimental electronic music is a necessity. And Pete doesn’t want to use force, that much it says in the title. But get involved with Mr Um, he’s delivered a truly polished album – you don’t get seven years’ worth of work from nothing!