garage

Milkshakes (the)

The Milkshakes – It’s You

Milkshakes Records – BILK-0 [1982]  
 It’s You / Please Don’t Tell My Baby 

Mickey Hampshire (guitar and vocals) and Mark’ Banana Bertie’ Gilbert played with two friends in a band called Mickey and the Milkshakes. They also accompanied the Pop Rivets (featuring Billy Childish on vocals and Bruce Brand on guitar) during a tour of Europe as roadies. When half of the Milkshakes lost interest in the band, and the Pop Rivets broke up, the natural move was to merge both bands. Childish learned to play the guitar in the process, and Brand switched to drums.

Childish and Hampshire quickly began to pen minor classics one after another, becoming the Garage rock equivalent of Lennon & McCartney, Childish bringing the Punk energy and Hampshire the melodic side.

The career of the Milkshakes was placed under the double influence of the early Beatles and the Kinks (with always some Link Wray thrown in for good measure.) The A-side of this single is clearly on the Kinks’ side. It’s You bears more than one common point with the Kinks’ I Need You (B-side of Set Me Free.)

Sung in a husky voice, Please Don’t Tell My Baby is more desperate and shows the band’s Punkish side. But lyrics like “Please don’t tell my baby I saw her last night / I saw her kiss that boy / Please don’t tell her that I know / ’cause when I catch her gonna get it all / I’m gonna put it on the line / That I’ll take her…all her lying / She made me very mad / I’m gonna treat her bad / She gonna wish she never told the lie she had” remain close to the Beatles’ Run For Your Life.


The Milkshakes – Soldiers of Love

Milkshakes - Soldier of love

Upright records – UP-6 [1983]
Soldiers of Love / Shimmy Shimmy

By 1983, Russ Wilkins, formerly of the Pop Rivets, had replaced Mark Gilbert on bass, but that was the only change in the band since, stylistically-wise, the Milkshakes didn’t change their musical formula. Their second single was a vivid demonstration of their love for the Star Club days of the Beatles. If both songs weren’t from the pen of Lennon and McCartney (Soldiers of Love was an Arthur Alexander song and Shimmy Shimmy derivated from a traditional jazz tune), the Milkshakes versions were obviously inspired by the covers of the same songs made by the Beatles; they even got the same wrong credit as the Beatles for Shimmy Shimmy.
Soldiers of Love is also the first apparition by the Milk-Boilers who soon became the Delmonas.

Debbie & Jackie

Kyra

Kyra – Kyra sings Marieke

Vinyl Japan – PAD 38 [1998]
Marieke / Die Wonderlijke Dag (This Wond’rous Day)

In 1998, Kyra, without the Headcoatees, released one single titled Kyra Sings Marieke on Vinyl Japan. She was, of course, backed by Thee Headcoats, namely Billy Childish, Bruce Brand and Johnny Johnson.
Marieke, the title track was lifted from her solo album (Here I Am, Here I Always Am) and is a cover of Belgian singer Jacques Brel (Kyra comes from Belgium, by the way). She sings it with passion, and the tension goes crescendo until the end of the song.
The B-side is a Childish original (This Wondrous Day) that Kyra translated into Flemish (Die Wonderlijke Dag). It’s one of their best songs, both for Childish, the songwriter and Kyra, the singer. It’s sad and beautiful at the same time, a song that sounds like a traditional tune and seems to exist for decades. The musical saw reinforces the gloomy aspect, while the Flemish language adds a vernacular aspect. But most important, Kyra, who was too often reduced in Thee Headcoatees as the “Punk element”, can sing in a self-assured manner, without too much effect. Great!

Les Vierges

Les Vierges – Aux Mains Des Mongolo Boppers

Monsieur Vinyl Records – MVR 006 [1984]
Kill Kill Bop – Les Martiens Attaquent / Morte Ou Vive – Je Suis Cinglé – La Nochès De La Muertos Vivantès


Les Vierges formed in Montpellier in 1984 with Alain Picon (vocals), Gilles Picon (Bass), Stéphane Poisson (drums), and Philippe Rondeau (drums). Their first release was a split Ep with the Mongolo Boppers, an early incarnation of the band with Dom from OTH on guitar. OTH was a Punk-Rock band from the same town that covered the Meteors with French lyrics (Get Off My Cloud became Interdit Aux Chiens and You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down was turned into Ne Les laisse pas tomber.) Didier Banon, who played drums with OTH, also played bass with Les Vierges at the band’s beginning before Gilles came on board.
Les Vierges play Kill Kill Bop Bop and Les Martiens Attaquent. Both are a mix of Garage, Psychobilly with a bit of Twist that’ll become the band’s trademark.
The Mongolo Boppers play the remaining three tunes, which are a bit more Punkish, though one can hear the influence of the Meteors (Je Suis Cinglé sounding a bit like Get Off My Cloud.)
All five songs deal with zombies, necrophilia, Martians and boppin’ with chainsaws.
The single came in a beautiful silkscreened cover that perfectly sums up the spirit of the band. Only 500 copies were pressed.


Les Vierges – Sur La Planète De La Terreur

Les Vierges - sur la planète de la terreur

Monsieur Vinyl Records – MVR 007 [1984]
Le Jour Où Les Vierges Envahirent La Terre – L’Homme Fourmi Atomique / Surf Survie

That very same year, a three-song single (Sur la Planète de la Terreur) followed. Like the previous one, it comes in a beautiful package.
Musically it showed no significant changes in terms of style. Le Jour Où Les Vierges Envahirent La Terre is a superb instrumental with surf influences. Surf Survie also has a surf vibe, but with some Country and a bit of Twist thrown in for good measure, and L’Homme Fourmi Atomique is closer to the Nigel Lewis period of the Meteors.
All that in less than five minutes, that’s what I call a lesson of concision.
1000 copies were pressed.


Les Vierges – Pas La Peine D’En Faire Trop Pour Se Faire Remarquer

Les Vierges - Pas La Peine D’En Faire Trop Pour Se Faire Remarquer

Virga 4 – 001 [1986]
J’En Fais Trop – Mongolo Stomp – La Créature Des Mondes Extérieurs – Les Martiens Attaquent – Déplaire / A Quoi Bon – Majorette – Je Pense A Toi – Les Mauvaises Filles Venues De Mars

Shortly after that, the band worked on a split 10“ with Les Shériffs. Some test copies were pressed, but it never saw the light of the day. The songs that the band recorded were Vittel, La Créature des Mondes Extérieur, A Quoi Bon, Je pense à toi, and Mongolo Stomp.
In 1986, they re-recorded these five songs for Pas La Peine D’En Faire Trop Pour Se Faire Remarquer. This excellent album, still entirely sung in French, is a superb collection of nine tunes in a general spirit close to the first Meteors and the Sting Rays, while some songs draw more towards the Cramps. The band invited some guests like Spi (OTH) and Pascal Comelade, whose organ brings a welcome Psychedelic touch in places.


Les Vierges – Detresse

Les Vierges - Detresse

Virga 4 – 002 [1987]
Detresse – Supplice / C’est ça / Sais Tu Pourquoi Lorsque Tu Poses La Main Sur Le Zip De Mon Jean Je Deviens Hystérique

Released in 1987, Détresse, the band’s third single, shows a slight change in their sound. The band added a healthy dose of Country music to their Garage, especially on side A. C’est Ça is more Rockabilly, whereas Sais Tu Pourquoi Lorsque Tu Poses La Main Sur Le Zip De Mon Jean Je Deviens Hystérique (whose title is almost longer than the song itself) is full throttle Garage.


Les Vierges – Les Vierges

Les Vierges - Les Vierges

Gougnaf Mouvement – GM 023 [1987]
Kill Kill Bop – Les Martiens Attaquent – Morte Ou Vive – Je Suis Cinglé – La Nuits Des Morts-Vivants / Surf Survie – Le Jour Où Les Vierges Envahirent La Terre – L’Homme Fourmi Atomique

Also in 1987, Gougnaf Records gathered the first two singles on one beautiful 10”, with one side playing at 33rpm and the other at 45.


Les Vierges – Guitares… Et Petites Pépés

Les Vierges - Guitares… Et Petites Pépés

Virga 5 – 090058 [1994]
Mon Jardin Est Un Paradis – Virga Stroll – Le Cubain – Elvis Zombies – Cimetiere – Je T’aime Encore – Plaire

Fans had to wait until 1994 to see another album from Les Vierges titled Guitares… Et Petites Pépées. It picks things up pretty much where the previous one left off. The sound is perhaps a little cleaner and tamer than their earlier releases and the whole is less unbridled. Musically speaking, the album leans more towards Twist and Country music than Garage. There’s also more variety in the instruments and one can hear a mandolin on Le Cubain and a banjo on Cimetière. But Les Vierges remain Les Vierges and their verve and humour are still present.

In recent years, the band reformed. They published one live album titled En Concert… Et En Quelque Sorte (that also includes some studio tracks) and a new album has just been released.

Les Vierges on facebook.

Sting Rays (the)

Sting Rays (the) – On Self Destruct

Sting Rays

Big Beat Records SW82 [1983]
Dinosaur – Math of trend / Another Cup Of Coffee – You’re Gonna Miss Me

With On Self Destruct, the Sting Rays released an impressive debut EP. What made their sound so peculiar was using a double bass to play Garage and Psychedelic influenced stuff. One could say that this single made the bridge between the early Psychobilly scene and the Garage scene. Dinosaurs opens with the Sting Ray theme played backwards then erupt into a wild form of Psychobilly, a bit like a raucous version of the Ricochets. The same can be said about Another Cup Of Coffee. Math Of Trend is Psychedelic with a dash of sixties pop. This excellent and essential piece of vinyl ends with a frantic cover of You’re Gonna Miss Me, the Thirteen Floor Elevator’s hit.

Debbie & Jackie

Clapham South Escalators (the)

Clapham South Escalators – Leave Me Alone

Clapham South Escalators

Upright Records – UP YOUR 1 [1981]
Leave Me Alone / Get Me To The World On Time – Cardboard Cutout

The Clapham South Escalators were, as you probably already know, an alias for the Meteors. After the recording session of their debut album, Lewis, Fenech and Robertson had some spare time and recorded three tracks in a garage/psychedelic mould.
One side features a Fenech original which borrows its bass line from the Jam’s Funeral Pyre (see how far we are from the Meteors frantic Rockabilly) with Nigel on electric bass. But, there’s no mistake, the lyrics are 100% Fenech.
The other one is the Lewis side. Get Me to The World On Time is a cover of the Electric Prunes, a Psychedelic band from the 60’s that the Meteors played live at the time. Cardboard Cutout is an original more in a Garage-Punk vein. Both announce the forthcoming releases of the Escalators.
Retrospectively, one can see in this single the seeds of the future split of the band, with Lewis choosing to pursue in that direction.

Debbie and Jackie

Delmonas (the)

Delmonas (the) – Hello, We Love You! The Big Beat EPs

Delmonas

Big Beat Records 10WIK 348 [2021]
Comin’ Home Baby – Chains – Woa’s Now – He Tells Me He Loves me / Hello ,I Love You – I’m The One For You – Peter Gunn Locomotion – I Want You

When they recorded After School Session in early 1983, The Milkshakes asked two of their girlfriends (Hillary and Sarah) to provide backing vocals on three songs (Cadillac, Soldier Of Love and Goodbye Girl.) It worked very well, and after adding a third member, Louise, The Delmonas were born. Of course, the Milkshakes provided the backing band.
Their debut on records took the form of two EPs on Big Beat Records in 1984.
The first one featured two covers, Mel Torme’s I’m Coming Home and The Cookies’Chains. A pair of two Hampshire/Childish originals completed the set: Woa’ Now (that the Milkshakes recorded on Fourteen Rhythm & Beat Greats) and He Tells Me Loves Me (that later appeared on the Milkshakes’The Milkshakes’ Revenge!).
Louise takes the lead on Comin’ Home in a very voluptuous manner. By comparison, Chains is very lighthearted and pure fun. Woa Now brings back a touch of Garage and Beatles’ Hamburg days feel. The best track has been kept for the end: He Tells Me He Loves Me sounds like an instant Girl Groups classic in the style of the Shangri-Las.
The second single is based upon the same pattern: two covers and two originals. Hello, I Love You is the Doors song played on the music of the Kinks’ All Day And All Of The Night. Peter Gunn Locomotion owes more to Freddie Starr’s version than the original one. The two originals (I’m The One For You and I Want You) had previously been recorded by the Milkshakes. Still, the girls added a brand new dimension to these songs, with their (dangerous) charms and sensibility, especially on I Want You, which sounds like a lost gem from Laurie records.
Both singles are now reissued by Ace/Big Beat records on this superb 10” album.

Available here

Delmonas (the) – Comin’ Home Baby (Volume 1)

Big Beat Records SW 101 [1984]
Comin’ Home Baby – Chains – Woa’s Now – He Tells Me He Loves me


Delmonas (the) – Hello We Love You (Volume 2)

Big Beat Records SW102 [1984]
Hello ,I Love You – I’m The One For You – Peter Gunn Locomotion – I Want You

Debbie & Jackie