Expandis – Rise Of Psychomouse

31st March – The Carlisle Hastings

To celebrate the launch of their new e.p. ‘Rise’ Expandis are back after a 30 year break.

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Now a two piece, the amazing ‘John Wilde’ aka ‘Psychomouse’ on vocals and multi talented ‘Phil Thornton’ on guitar, keyboards and any number of taped oddities. They take their influences from ‘Talking Heads’, ‘Kraftwerk’, ‘D.A.F.’ and ‘Yellow Magic Orchestra’. With a high energy mystic trippy throbbing sound that works its way into your brain and won’t go away, moving  you like nothing else. All eyes were transfixed on John, who was in full make up and Disney ears. Dancing around like a man possessed, with a nightmarish evil menacing grin and managing to contort his body in all manner of positions.  The stand out track for me is the more mellow ‘Prayer Mat’ from the new cd with John’s vocals at their very best. They also treated us to some covers ‘Prince’ ‘sign o the times’ , Pink Floyd’s ‘set the controls for the heart of the sun’ and Hawkwinds ‘master of the universe’.  Some old classics were played including the disturbing ‘everything stops for baby’  and ‘I don’t mind the noise’ which is always loved by the crowd. Expandis are back and stronger than ever. Don’t forget they will be playing  ‘The Big Green Cardigan Festival’ later in the year.

 Johnny Mason                                                                                     

Featured in Hastings Observer  19th April 2013                        

 

Die At 27!

Erics Fermented Thoughts…….. Die At 27

I was browsing my music collection the other night and thought I would point out how many of my favourite artist died at the age of 27, and how similar their deaths were. Going way back to Robert Johnson he died age 27, it is believed that he was poisoned by a jealous love rival. He died at a cross roads near Greenwood, Mississippi on August 16th 1938. Jimi Hendrix also died age 27 in London on April 5th 1994, he was reported to have drowned in his own vomit that mostly consisted of red wine. It was also reported that he had taken 9 of his girlfriends sleeping pills, this might have led to his inability to wake up and save himself. Kurt Cobain died April 5th 1994 age 27 his friends and family persuaded him to book in a detox center in L.A. on March 30th 1994, he discharged himself the next day and returned to Seattle. Less than 2 weeks later he was found dead with a shotgun wound to the head, no suicide note was found. Brian Jones died July 3rd 1969 aged 27, he was found at the bottom of a swimming pool in East Sussex. Official cause of death was ‘death by misadventure’. Coroners report stated that his heart and liver were enlarged due to drug and alcohol abuse. Jim Morrison died June 29th 1975 age 27. In Paris under French law no autopsy is required if foul play is not suspected. No autopsy was carried out. The most widely held theory is that he snorted his girlfriend’s heroin thinking it was cocaine and overdosed. Janis Joplin died October 4th 1970 age 27 again she was a part of the fast and furious style of the era relying on drugs and alcohol to maintain her image. The official cause of death is listed as an overdose of heroin.

It is hard to believe that all of these artists died at such an early age and achieved such status in the music world. With all these artist there is a raw vulnerability that shows in their music that is missing in most of today’s artists. The music business nowadays is exactly that, a business. Nicely packaged and pigeonholed so that we know what we are getting. The pioneers of pop music were in a very dangerous place. I think that shows in the legacy the have left us.

Eric Harmer.

 

Barry Bumps Into…. Mick Mepham

Barry Bumps into……………………MICK MEPHAM

Barry Taylor  I first came to Hastings in the 70’s and spent a summer promoting gigs on the pier – that’s how we met?

Mick Mepham Yes indeed, cos I always attended those famous old gigs, if I wasn’t playing somewhere.

BT You lived in an eccentric flat in St Leonards, the door to which always seemed open….?

MM Well, I was a young man who was always going out!

BT You had joined Die Laughing….and I got involved. We raised some money to make some recordings, a cassette in Bexhill, then vinyl in London. For those Chiswick sessions we travelled up in my old Jag!

MM There were some good gigs with that Die Laughing line up, especially supporting Saxon and Girlschool.

BT Yes the Folkestone gig(Girlschool) was a cracker, a big crowd and a good P.A.!

MM After Die Laughing, I formed Savage Hearts, including an interesting Pier gig supported D/L! A few years later we worked together again in the 90’s.

BT Yes, Ocean Artistes, when we scoured the local area for musical talent. You came into your own as a producer, in your little home studio…You did really well with people like Glenn Richardson and Tasha Sims. However we had no luck at all with record companies, it was a bad time to get a deal. So what are you up to now?

MM Well 90% Proof is working out really well and I still play some solo electric gigs.. At the other end of the spectrum are Titus. Folk music which I enjoy immensely.

BT Future ambitions?

MM My songwriting is very important to me and I would love to have one of my songs recorded by another artist.

Barry Taylor

 
Pipes (2)

SMART 2

Another very good and interesting afternoon. Thanks to everyone who came. Chat was about Alan Jensen and The Disc Jockey, The Witchdoctor, Cobweb,  Expandis at The Carlisle, Beatles Day, John Peel,  Pam Dor,  Kings Country Club, Jazz FM, Roberts dab radio, Liane Carroll at St Marys in The Castle , The Crypt to reopen under the name ‘West Exit’ , Girlschool, Die Laughing  etc etc  and didn’t you used to have hair!,   Barry had some interesting talk on when Steamhammer supported Led Zeppelin. Also showed us a rare Rolling Stones  book. Mark came up trumps again and had a large collection of laminated  classic pier posters on show. I took along a collage events group prices for June 1975 and you could book ‘Judas Priest’ then for £350, ‘Shakin Stevens’ for £250 & Thin Lizzy for £450.  Also talk about the next get together being on a Sunday afternoon. Anyone up for that let me know

SMART One!

15th February 2013

Thanks to everyone for turning up to the first coffee get together of SMART(Seventies Music And Retro Talk) and making it a great afternoon. Some excellent very rare pictures and cuttings were shown by Mark Rymell and hopefully the book about bands who have played the pier, is not too far from completion.  Some interesting chat about the Great  ‘John Martyn’ , missing out seeing Skunk Anansie, Pretty Things to play the Carlisle? and lots more. I will post details when a date is arrange for the next one.

SMART – Join Us

We have recently set up a coffee chat group called SMART(Seventies Music And Retro Talk).As long as you are music mad, all are welcome. We do not just talk about the 70’s but cover all era’s. Like minded people, chatting about music. groups, pier talk, records, Hastings bands etc and bringing along photos, cuttings, memorabilia to talk about. After two successful meet ups we all looking for more people to join us.

Delroy Williams

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I was manager  of Delroy Williams at Mecca Agency and organised  ‘The Soul Fever 78 tour’ with Mr Superbad ‘Freddie Mack’ and ‘The Satin Bells’. Delroy’s still going strong and performs more reggae nowadays, as well as various movie and tv work . Including a spot in the ‘Batman’ film.  Really nice guy.

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