Nov 15, 2005

BIRD - Alive 05 CD

After the second demise of The Chameleons in 2003, Mark Burgess joins efforts again with his old friend Yves Altana.

Some gigs in 2005 result in the recordings of a rehearsal in October of 2005 in front of a specially invited audience. No new material is played on this gig; just a brief look at the past with live versions of tunes belongig to The Chameleons, The Sun and the Moon, MB & The Sons of God and Invincible.

This rehearsal, recorded in a 8 Track Equipment has been edited in a CD which is called Alive '05, and shows the live sound of the band as it is, without further postproductions. This is the tracklist

Spooks / Gethsemene / Looking Inwardly / Happy New Life / Perfume Garden / Kinks / Elected / Second Skin / Only You Could Save Me / Think (it’s gonna happen) / Dangerous / This Passionate Breed

BIRD is formed by

Mark Burgess - Bass guitar and vocals
Yves Altana - Guitarras and synths
Achim Färber - Drums

On the following note, Mark hilmself tells us about the reasons to record this rehearsal, and points out that all the benefits from the sellings of this CD will we invested in the tour they want to perform in a very independent way, without the aid of tour managements:


I've been asked to write a few words regarding the latest CD 'Alive 05. Originally we did plan to record a live album at a venue in the UK as a prelude to a national tour supporting the New Model Army during October 2005. However the logistics were rather complicated due to timing and finance and so in the end I hit upon the idea of inviting a number of our regular audience to one of the band's rehearsal sessions in Manchester and recording that instead.

I thought it might be interesting for people to see and hear how a band prepares for a major tour and at the same time hear the material performed in as raw a way as possible. The event was a total success and we found ourselves rehearsing in front of around 40 or so people. What was interesting for me was that I found the live rehearsal to be a completely new and unique experience and after 25 years of performing live, new and unique experiences tend to be quite rare.

What was also interesting was the manner in which we chose to record the session, totally live to 8-track equipment, no overdubs. Recording in this manner is also very rare these days, in fact bands haven't generally made a record that way since the early sixties and the result is a tension in the recordings that one doesn't generally come across, harkening back to the early days of the John Peel Sessions at the old 8-track recording studio at Langham House, where I recorded my first BBC session with the Chameleons back in 81.

We were so impressed actually that we went back to the studio the following day to record a few additional tracks, which is why you can only hear applause on around half of the tracks presented here. One other thing I'd like to mention, by buying this CD you're not only getting something special in terms of what has been captured, but you're also helping support my work in a very vital and practical way. I'm trying to remain as independent of the mainstream music business as possible. I was about to embark on a major tour without the usual kinds of help that record labels and such like are apt to provide, such as tour support. The entire tour was personally financed and the production of Alive 05 is meant to subsidise these costs. Therefore by purchasing it you are directly aiding the artists, another rarity in this business. So for that, you have my profound thanks.

Hope to see you on the road somewhere, in the meantime, take care.”

Mark Burgess November 1, 2005, Hamburg Germany..

Guaranteed not a bootleg, but a genuine, unplayed CD obtained direct from the band.

Aug 19, 2005

COCONUT DOG FUCK: New Project from D.Fielding

Dave Fielding, one of the guitarrists of The Chameleons, has recently created a new band called Coconut Dog Fuck.

They have released a new EP called Northern Stars, with 4 instrumental songs, which can only be bought at their gigs.
They mix electric sound with trance techno rythms.

The band is formed by:

Dave Fielding - Guitars,Keyboards, Dulcimer,
Paul Didge - Didgeridoo
Ralph Harris - Percussion

Some pics from their Summer05 gigs are available in the Photoalbum by Blackout.

More information about Coconut Dog Fuck and the rest of projects by Dave Fielding on The Reegs Fan Web Site, which is managed by our friend Pedro.

Jul 13, 2005


Andy Clegg has sent us an interesting biography of MUSIC for ABORIGINES, and some photos we proudly present here. For too long there has been a lack of information regarding this fantastic group, which was (like The Chameleons) totally underated by the entire world. Although too many years have passed since this group disbanded, let´s try to do some justice. Here is all the info for those who will be interested in knowing more about MUSIC for ABORIGINES:

In November 1979 Andy Whitaker and Andy Clegg who were friends from school, decided to get together and record improvisations in song form with verse, chorus etc. Guitar parts vocal melodies and lyrics were all improvised and recorded live on to a tape deck with no overdubs etc. The ideas were the length a typical song and were given titles and an album title. They would treat the improvisations as a finished product and would enjoy listening to them later, as if it was a new album by a new band. Gradually other instruments would be used, drum machine, keyboards, and bass.

In 1983, Dave Booth a friend of Andy Whit would join on guitar. It was at this time that they decided to give themselves a band name. Andy W came up with the name Music for Aborigines and began to choose a selection of songs from the improvised albums to play live.

They played a few local gigs using a drum machine then decided to look for a venue in Manchester for which they could sell tickets and create a live venue for bands. They discovered The Star and Garter and the venue is still hosting live music today. Their first gig at the Star and Garter was very successful. It was at this gig that Chameleons drummer John Lever who had been friends with both Andy's, advertised the gig on a Chameleons radio interview and Mark, Reg and Dave had all agreed they would help out, by collecting the tickets on the door.

In 1986 a mutual school friend of both Andy's Col Smith joined MFA on keyboards. Their next gig would be at a local pub for charity and John Lever would join on drums. As John was officially with the Chameleons, MFA needed a permanent drummer and Mike Simms who was the drummer for Manchester band BFG (who supported New Order) became MFA drummer. After many gigs, some being supported by Eskimos and Egypt and with the Chameleons at Middleton Civic Hall the band decided to go in the studio to record some demos. "When You Were A Child" and "Ragbone Man" were the first demos to be recorded in Didsbury M/C and were used to get a record deal.

Later, Col, Dave and Mike departed from the band and John Lever introduced the 2 Andys to guitarist Aky who was a member of a local punk band The Hoax that featured Mike Joyce of The Smiths on drums. Then they decided to go in suite 16 studios owned by Peter Hook of New Order where Script of the Bridge was recorded. They chose more songs to record from the improvised albums and purposely wrote new material with the intention of releasing a 3 track 12 inch single. They asked John Lever to play drums for them. Due to Aky only just joining, he only played guitar on "Sitting on a Biscuit" and came up with the idea for "The End of Tracey Smith". The 2 Andy's played all of Col and Dave's parts, initially written for the songs. The 10 songs were recorded in 2 days and 3 of the songs were chosen for the single. The majority of the songs were taken and reworked from the improvised albums created by Andy W, Andy C, Dave Booth and Col Smith.A 12" single was released. Chris Cundy (a local artist and friend of the band) created the artwork. Chris also became the creator of the visuals the band used in their live sets.

Sadly for MFA, John rejoined the Chameleons. Later when the Chameleons eventually disbanded Mark and John approached Andy W and Andy C to form The Sun and the Moon, which Aky also would be involved with. The track "Faith" would become a regular live feature in the SATM concerts and many ideas that were created through the improvisation albums became SATM album tracks.

(Thanks a lot for this biography to Andy Clegg)