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Spring 2002

Well, Spring has sprung and we are in a natural mood here at the Trunk HQ. This does not mean we waltz around the place naked - no - we just embrace what is going on around us at this time of year, gaily skipping from record shop to boot fare sniffing flowers and looking at birds. In fact a duck has nested outside Trunk HQ. She likes wet bread in the mornings. And now we skip and hop to our Spring recommendations. These LPs make us feel happy, and glad to be alive. So glad in fact that there is a competition. If you can name all the birds on the LP cover shown below, We will send you a record. A good record. Promise.

A TAPESTRY OF BIRD SONG - VIC LEWIS. Aaah, the recordings of Vic Lewis. Hours and hours of taping just to hear a Dartford Warbler. A magnificent recording this - rumour has it that this LP was indeed the first ever LP of British bird song. Even with Vic's slightly hammy commentary betwixt the chips and chirps it's a masterpiece. And there's a duck on the cover. In fact there are many birds on the cover - a photo of the famous stained glass window in Selbourne church where the Rev. Gilbert White discovered that the Willow Warbler and the Wood Warbler had different songs. I think he was probably outside the church at the time, but I digress. If YOU can name all the birds on this cover (or can name more than anyone else) we will send you a fab LP. Or a box set or a single but whatever it is it will definitely be something sexy and relevant. And please don't just email and say "yes, I can name them all" or try and get round us by naming them all with silly names like Bill, and Orville. We want the bird names please. For example, I can see a Mallard Duck. That's one. Good luck...

FANTASY IN ORBIT - TOM DISSEVELT. A major progression in electronic music this one. Superb early exploration into space - even though it's all supposed to be silent out there. Beautifully orchestrated, wild noises, oh how I wish I still took acid. Any body got any?

POPPY SEEDS - THE POPPY FAMILY. Their first LP was mentioned in a previous episode, and now I've found the last LP they did, and boy is it crap. Except for one blissful and beautiful track called "I'll see you there" and every time I play it someone always asks who it is. It's a bit Wicker Manny but much more beautiful. I have a spare of this Lp if anyone is interested. There is a photo of Terry Jacks and his sexy sister Susan on the back in a farmyard. I'm sure the duck is just out of shot.

MARY MUNGO AND MIDGE. You lucky people. There's even a super nostalgic picture of the pompous Mungo for you to gorp at. Sadly I remember all this LP and do wish I was about three again watching it sometimes. However, time has been cruel to this motley crew and now I realise that they are all so posh it hurts. There are no ducks on the cover of this LP, however there is an elephant, a horse, four dogs and what looks like a Goldfinch.

SPINNING WHEEL BY THE ROUNDTABLE. A killer LP. Versions of Scarborough Fair, This Guys in Love With You and more all played in a jazzy style but on traditional instruments, like the Crumhorn and Sackbut. I mean this is way, way out. All the musicians (David Munroe et al) are all true masters of trad instrumentation and I think they probably decided that here, in the late sixties it was time to break free and go groovy. I don't think anyone bought this LP, so they went back to backing Shirley Collins doing C17th stuff. Talking of whom...

SHIRLEY AND DOLLY COLLINS - FOR AS MANY AS WILL. This is amazing. Beautiful folky thing that even has synth on it but where, I just don't know. This is a fine piece of folky working, amazing instrumentation, seminal arrangements and the voice of Shirley drifting through it all. Sublime. Please note the handcrafted dresses Shirley and her Sister are sporting on the front. These women mean business.

BATMAN AND ROBIN - DAN AND DALE. Before you skip this one it is not what you think. As Batman fever powed and zapped its way into American culture in the mid sixties, these two guitar twangers made a delightful Batman concept LP. It features Sun Ra on guitar and electric piano but there is no jazz to be heard. It's like a wonky R & B record and I think it is crazy. From further investigation I have been informed that this Lp has been bootlegged twice. There's one track called "Batman And Robin Swing" which really floats my Batboat. No ducks here, just a penguin.

THE WORLD OF THE NEW FACES. Now, you tell me. Do these three have new faces, or do they want new faces? A truly dreadful LP with one pleasing beat-based sort of vocal harmony / Free Design job on it which I quite liked. Do not pay more than £1 for this LP. Now looking at the picture do you reckon one of them was a duck in a former life, or will be a duck in the next?

THE GORDON BECK QUARTET - EXPERIMENTS IN POP. This is a little sod to track down. Versions of all yer fave hits from the sixties done in a super British jazz fashion. I like this LP because I still can't work out what they are doing but it all sounds great to me.

BATHROOM SKANK / WASHROOM SKANK - UPSETTERS. Blimey, some reggae. This is a very cool little 7". Ska with a washroom / bathroom feel. No really long enough to listen to in the bath. Ahah! I have a rubber duck in the bath! Great.

PRINCE LASHA - INSIGHT. I have always said his name by the way its spelt, but now I'm told it has to be "lashay". Well fuck that. Great LP, jazz flute and harp with one track called Body and Soul which took much of both to make and play by the sound of it. Superb.

OTILLE PATTERSON - SPRING SONG. I had to put this in because even though I listen to this about once a week it's even more relevant now. You'll have to read the info about it on a previous page.

BOOGALOO - EL COMBO NACIONAL. This is most excellent. This is bouncing latin boogaloo that is highly original, wonderfully authentic and incredibly funny. I have been listening to one track in particular called "Senor Boogaloo" where they are just rambling on about this ficticious guy called Senor Boogaloo all because this happened to be fashionable dance of the time. A bit like singing about "Mr Garage" at the moment. It's even funnier when you realise they are reading it all out in English and none of them can speak a word of it. And this is a whole Lp like this. Fantastic.

SWEET THAMES FLOW SOFTLY - THE CRITICS GROUP. Early recording by John Faulkner, Sandra Kerr and friends of early London Street Cries and songs. So they sing things like "who wants to buy this dead sheep" - "Buy my pickled onions" - "anyone for Duck" etc. And right at the end is the song "Sweet Thames Flow Softly" which has to be one of the most wonderful, meandering love songs I have ever heard. I mean that as well.

MOTORHEAD - BOMBER. I remember seeing this cover when I was a child and getting very scared. Now I listen to the record and I get very scared.

KING MONKEY - JOHN DANKWORTH. One of those listen and move education records with a crazy monkey theme. This ep is a producers dream cos it's funky, but in the most unfunky fashion.

BLIMEY A MODERN RECORD. Those lovely people at Rephlex Records sent me this LP. Actually they sent me two LPs, but this one I really like. MY LOVE I LOVE by Bogdan Raczynski. Sort of techno folky, and very charming indeed. And the vinyl is a lovely strawberry jelly colour. You might find out more at

VOX POPULI - legendary latin vocal harmony madness gets re-issued. Think Sergio Mendes but without the saccharine. This is a great LP and you or I will never ever find an original so we may as well get on with this one.

DIRTY FAN MALE - THE LP!! As the release of this unique and disturbing LP draws ever nearer I have to keep listening to all 39 tracks to make sure I'm doing the wrong thing. More news will follow.

ON PLEASURE BENT - KENNETH WILLIAMS. There are loads of Kenneth Williams LPs about, but this is the one you want, and you'll probably find it last. Brilliant songs performed by Kenneth at the height of his powers. He seems like he's in a world of his own here and enjoying every minute of it. And when he's not putting on a voice his own is stunning. My favourite song is the one about the Hippopotamus. And you are not going to believe it but the words "Pleasure Bent" on the cover are written in the shape of a duck. And I've only just realised. How weird is that.

SISTER WOO / MR HAND: Yes, it's a shameless plug for the next teeny tiny trunk 7" single. This one is soooo good it even got played at the Pucci Fashion show in Milan darling. It's difficult to explain exactly what's going on here but it's young girls singing over the top of funky stuff. And the B side sounds like a choir singing at some kind of sacrifice. Nice. Well we like it here and there are only 285 copies. And it has already been played on the radio. So hurry up and order it now.

..and finally, a small new section: The Trunk Sound Burger Award: Every now and again we come across a record that looks alright but when we listened to it on ye olde Sound Burger it showed a huge amount of charisma and charm. This months Burger Award therefore goes to:

WALTZ IN ORBIT by RAY CATHODE. This is a BBC Radiophonic Workshop thing, pressed on Columbia. You will definately see this dinky little cheap single about and it seems like a bit of a lost gem to me. It's early (1962) but hugely progressive, with like a fat and catchy electronic waah-waah thing going off at the same time as a waltz. Only available on a single this sounds great very loud, most intense and thoroughly satisfying. I can liken it to being pissed in a microwave oven. So well done the workshop.