Popular group powered by the charming presence of singer Bea Van Der Maat.
Won Ton Ton is the successor to the group Chow-Chow that had a short but beautiful span of new-wave attention in the years 1984-1985.
After the split, Bea had started a career on television and continues to sing in the LSP-band (a changing group of musicians that perform mainly covers). Her popularity gets the group a new record contract. In 1987 the group reforms - under the name Won Ton Ton - and release the single "I lie and I cheat".
This splendid and emotional song becomes a big hit, both in Belgium (n° 10) and in Holland (n° 13). The successors, "Hey Marlene" and the intimist "Can I come near you" fair less well.
As Oor put it "The album debut, very poorly produced by Luc Van Acker disappoints many : weak songs that lack the tension of I lie and I cheat".
The group doesn't let it's spirits drop after that, but continues to record. However, Bea Van Der Maat is only willing to give part of her attention to the band : it is shared by her television career (she makes the move to VTM and presents "Tien om te zien" - a program carrying the more commercially oriented Flemish music) and her personal life (she gives birth to two children). Perhaps it's this that prevents Won Ton Ton from going the extra mile and becoming a big group.
In 1996 Bea Van Der Maat releases a solo album with trip-hop music "Thin skinned" that gets very good reviews but sells poorly. The press on this : "After her job as a presenter of Tien om te Zien Bea Van der Maat has a hard time being taken seriously as an artist. That hurts. Rightly so, 'cause thin skinned is a more than convincing comeback for the former singer of Won Ton Ton. She is closer to Patti Smith than to Dana Winner and she feels her music is more in place on Studio Brussel than on Tien om te Zien. The question is : will she get a fair chance ?".
Why a solo record ? : "Because the songs are mine and mine alone and they had to sound the way I wanted. In Won Ton Ton I wrote part of the lyrics but didn't have an impact on the musical course. Won Ton Ton has never split. Never have I said "Okay guys, that was that, thanks, I quit". I just hadn't the time to record and give concerts when my children came."
The Tearjerkers were a superb powerpop band formed in Portadown in October 1978 by local boys Paul Maxwell AKA Paul West (ex Speed and Midnite Cruiser) (vocals), Brian Rawson (guitar), Nigel Hamilton (ex Cobra) (drums) and from Belfast Paul 'Groover' McIlwaine (ex Detonators) (guitar) and Howard Ingram (ex Detonators) (bass). They proved to be an excellent powerpop band with several songwriters producing strong material. Howard Ingram & Paul McIlwaine wrote together while Nigel Hamilton provided the music for Paul Maxwell's lyrics, though various permutations of those arrangements also operated.
They began gigging a few months later, their live debut being at the Rockin' Chair in Derry on 23 February 1979. They played the usual N.IRL haunts of the time including the legendary Belfast punk venue The Harp Bar in March. This proved to be an eventful gig as there was some trouble from certain members of the crowd and the band was pelted with bottles and cans. Two members suffered minor injuries, though some of these may have been the result of retaliating against their attackers (better say allegedly here, just in case!). The reason for this unpleasantness remains unclear. The authors of It Makes You Want To Spit! speculate that it may have been due to rivalry or jealousy or because The Tearjerkers were not 'punk' enough for The Harp. In any case the band never played there again.
They recorded a demo tape which was given to Terri Hooley and he offered them a deal with his Good Vibrationslabel. A recording session for the debut took place on March 8th at Keystone Studios in Dublin during which several (four?) tracks were recorded. Two of these ("Love Affair" and "Bus Stop") were selected for the single which was released in July. Two more tracks ("Chit Chat" and "Don't Blame Me", possibly recorded on a second visit to Keystone) were earmarked for a second Good Vibrations single but this would be cancelled when the band signed to Phonogram. A piece in Hot Press in 1979 quotes the band as saying that one of these tracks was planned for a projected Good Vibrations compilation called "It Takes All Sorts" but like many Good Vibes projects it never came to pass.
In April the band set out on the two week "Good Vibes Spring Irish Tour" with The Outcasts and Rudi. The tour was organised by Nigel Hamilton and included a couple of gigs south of the border. That same month the A-side "Love Affair" was performed on Good Evening Ulster broadcast on UTV on the 5th, making the Tearjerkers the first Good Vibes band to appear on TV.
In June the band recorded a Downtown Radio (BBC Northern Ireland) session for the Monday night rock show Have You Heard. Four of the seven(?) tracks recorded were also broadcast by John Peel on his show on 23 November: "Dressing Up", "Heart On The Line", "Murder Mystery" and "Comic Book Heroes". Plans to perform one of these tracks on RTE were hampered by the BBC rules governing the use of such tapes. The performance was filmed for RTE's Our Times show and was scheduled for inclusion in the show broadcast on Monday October 8th, but I'm unsure if it actually happened. I was 15 and glued to this show presented by Dave Heffernan every week, and I don't recall The Tearjerkers performance.
In September the band signed a 5 year contract with Phonogram Records in the UK (Mercury worldwide). They choose Phonogram's Back Door imprint, home of new wave outfits The Donkeys, Dalek I Love You and Agony Column). This ended plans for a second Good Vibrations single.
The recording session for the planned Phonogram debut took place at Downtown Studios in November. "Murder Mystery" and "Heart On The Line" were re-recorded (they'd already recorded both at the same location back in June) and the single was released on January 18th 1980. It was released in the UK, where it peaked at #74 in the charts, France, Sweden and the Benelux.
March 1980 was a busy month for the band. They played some dates in the UK and continued to recorded. On the 15th they recorded their second Peel session which included a new recording of "Comic Book Heroes" plus "Is It Art?", "Jenny Jenny" and "I'm Sorry". The following day on Sunday 16th they played the opening night of the Sense of Ireland festival at the Venue in London, with the Rudi and Ruefrex (and not the Moondogs as the poster advertised). The festival ran for 4 nights and also included bands like DC Nien, the Virgin Prunes and U2. There's an apocryphal story that Bono once asked Nigel Hamilton to join U2 as they were unsure about Larry; this may be true but it appears to have been a tactic used regularly by the rest of U2 to get Larry to commit seriously to the band as other drummers were asked the same question.
March also saw the recording session for the second Phonogram single. Three tracks were recorded at Parkgate Studios "Comic Book Heroes", "Can't You See" and "Fingers" for a maxi-single scheduled for release on May 30th. This would be cancelled though some tracks would emerge on vinyl in May on a US only compilation of Back Door artists (and The Who!).
Thin Lizzy invited the Tearjerkers to support them on their 10 date Irish tour during April 2-13. At least three gigs were recorded (I suspect all were in fact recorded). Recordings from two shows yielded the "Everybody Wants To Shag..." bootleg tape (later on CD) while a third show recorded in Sligo on April 6th was issued as the "Good Evening Sligo" CDR. There's another live tape in circulation which was recorded at the Barrel & Basket in Omagh but I haven't heard it.
In retrospect the cancelled single so soon in their relationship with Phonogram was an ominous sign. Communication with the label was obviously not as good as it should have been. Plans for an LP provisionally titled "Grey" were still on course with the release date moved from August to later in the year (or early 1981). It would include some of the recordings already completed, including the cancelled "Comic Book Heroes" single, plus newly recorded tracks. The band contined to work on new material and to record at Downtown Studios in Belfast with Stephen 'Rasta's' Nelson at the controls.
By May Nigel Hamilton had left the band over musical differences (and perhaps the lack of communication with Phonogram). Johnny Lee (of Blue Steam) and Greg Lindsay would fill in for him off and on over the coming months. Lee played on a short UK tour in the autumn. Lindsay was a more permanent replacement.
In June "Where's Julie" and "Lip Gloss Factor" were recorded at DTR with Greg Lindsay on drums (both tracks would emerge two years later on a single credited to Paul West -- see discography below).
In July the band played several dates in the UK, including a gig at Dingwalls on the 15th, which was recorded. Further sessions on July 20-24th at Radio Luxembourg Studio yielded the tracks "I'm Sorry", "True Love Stories" and "Jenny Jenny". These were considered as a replacement single for the cancelled "Comic Book Heroes" with a new release date of September 1980, to coincide with an autumn tour, but it never came to pass.
By September the band has split in two. Maxwell, McIlwaine & occasional drummer Greg Lindsay form Etc Etc with Stephen Mallaghan. Ingram & Rawson with the help of John Lee (switched to guitar) and new singer Dave Huntley (ex P45) continue as The Tearjerkers for a short period, including the autumn tour of the UK, originally intended to concide with the now cancelled "True Love Stories" maxi-single. They also record a final session for DTR ("Teenage Love Song", "Holiday Romances" and "Hong Kong Maiden") and almost complete the "Grey" LP but they split and the Tearjerkers are no more.
Ingram joined Maxwell and McIlwaine in ETC ETC who existed up until 1982 approx. Ingram founded the Blue Rhythm Audio label (see links below) which released two June 1980 Tearjerkers tracks under the name Paul West in 1982. The same year Nigel Hamilton (now on guitar) revived the band with guitarist Brian Rawson and a female singer, Janine Mullawley, and re-recorded two Tearjerksers tracks for a single on the Vixen label, "Comic Book Heroes" and "Fool". They also recorded a four song session for Dave Fanning's Rock SHow on RTE Radio 1. Rawson later emigrated to the USA. Nigel Hamilton recorded as a solo artist and as Radio City.
In recent times, various Tearjerkers recordings have emerged. Nigel Hamilton appears to be the source of various live tapes and a bootleg singles compilation judging by the catalogue numbers (NHM = Nigel Hamilton Music?) but I should stress this is speculation on my part!
Maxwell, Ingram, McIlwaine and Lindsay continue to play and record together and are instrumental in attempts to issue the long lost Tearjerkers LP (simultaneously resisting the temptation to alter the original recordings in any way, eh lads?) now re-titled "Comic Book Heroes". It's been imminent since 2005 but yet to see the light of day.
At present The Tearjerkers recordings are now scattered across various dodgy/bootleg CDRs of varying quality (see discography). It's a shame that such a great band have yet to have their original studio recordings issued on CD.
The Hugh Beaumont Experience was a punk rock band from Fort Worth, Texas. The band's original lineup was Brad Stiles on vocals, Tommie Duncan on guitar, Clay Carlisle on bass, and Carter Kolba on drums. Formed in 1980 by members of the private school, Fort Worth Country Day School, in Fort Worth, they toured throughout Texas in 1981-82, including dates with MDC and The Dead Kennedys. Their nascent success was short-lived, however; the band had broken up by 1983, having released just one 7-inch called Cone Johnson EP (now a collector's item) and a cassette called Virgin Killers. (This material was re-released in 1993 on Existential Vacuum Records; They also did a recording session with Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü.)
The band included King Coffey as one of its members, who would later become a member of Butthole Surfers; the group's notoriety increased significantly when the Surfers became a widely known alternative rock group.
Formed while the members were all under the drinking age (then 18 years, in Texas), the band initially had some difficulty securing gigs, and often played small local arcades and other places that would ignore ages, such as DJ's in Dallas. Despite only existing for three years, the band went through numerous lineup changes, with a corresponding diversity of styles; their earlier work is Sex Pistols-indebted punk (complete with British-accented vocals), their middle work is more hardcore / thrash influenced, and their later style flirts with psychedelic rock and experimental rock techniques.
Old 97s' bassist Murray Hammond is rumoured to have contributed to some of The Experience's earliest recordings.
This is a limited edition (Pressing of 1000, 800 on black vinyl and 200 on red vinyl) with a Live Side recorded in Fort Worth, TX 30th April & 1st May 1982 and a Studio Side produced by Bob Mould.
Minimal Man was an industrial and experimental rock project formed in 1979 in San Francisco, California. The group was founded and led by Patrick Miller, a visual and sound artist who moved to San Francisco in the late 1970s. The band often changed members featuring at different times members of bands such as Tuxedomoon, Factrix and others active in the then thriving San Francisco experimental post punk and industrial scenes.
Minimal Man remained active in San Francisco recording on the Subterranean Records label till the mid 1980s after which Patrick Miller relocated to Europe, often working with compatriots Tuxedomoon who had made a similar move previously.
The Minimal Man output ceased after the 1980s, and Patrick Miller returned to Los Angeles where he worked as a set dresser.
Patrick Miller died at his home in Eagle Rock, California on 14 December, 2003.
The band was started in Leuven in 1981 by Dirk Da Davo and TB Frank.
The band briefly stopped performing in 1998, but reformed in 2004 and started playing live again to promote a series of remixes and rereleases of their material. The touring continues into 2006, with the band promising on their homepage that, "Live, The Neon Judgement will continue to give art terrorism a good name, finding new ways of marrying noise and beauty, machines and magic."
Nowadays Dirk Da Davo is also active in the side project Neon Electronics, for which he started his own record label Dancedelic-D and he both reworks old classics and composes new material. Both Neon Electronics and the original band have also joined Belgian community Je m'en fish.
Out on September 10 via Pias is The Neon Judgement's Redbox. The release comes after the success of the 100% vintage "Box" 2cd released back in October 2005. The Redbox audio work mainly contains the band's work during the second part of the 80s. This time the cd gets flavored with remix work from such acts as David Carretta (Awful Day rmx), Blackstrobe (13.13 rmx), Lifelike (Miss Brown rmx) and Helmut Kraft (Chinese black rmx). The Redbox release also holds a brand new recording, namely a cover version of "Heroes" (David Bowie/Brian Eno). The song will be released as a cd single around the end of August. In related news the band will perform its first full album ever (the entire album 1981-1984 in the same running order as on the album) exclusively on September 21, 2007 in the Brussels (Belgium) venue Ancienne Belgique.
Back in November, 2005, the Belgian duo The Neon Judgement did a show at the Machina Festival at the Broadway Club in São Paulo. Machine Festival celebrated the first eight years of the site FiberOnline and the launch of the label Fiber Records. The event gathered about 1.300 people. Fiber Records released the DVD "The Neon Judgement – Live at Machina Festival" in 200 including the whole concert or 13 songs.
This live set was recorded at Kid Airac Hall on 3/27/1979, and the copy I have is a one-sided bootleg on 33 rpm. The MRR reviews included (as a transparent insert!) indicate that it was originally a 45 rpm two-sider. Except for the lo-lo-fi recording, this does not really bare resemblance to later Japanese hardcore like GAUZE or S.O.B. (although I have not heard THE STALIN, so maybe them?), and instead comes across as super-charged garage rock a la THE MIDDLE CLASS ("Out of Vogue" or "Love Is Just a Tool," especially) or later THE GERMS. The first half of the record probably will remind one of HÜSKER DÜ's Land Speed Record, while the second half opens with an incredibly catchy mid-tempo song that may or may not get fast, depending on when you think that particular song ends. They also have a song that sounds like 60's surf anthems like "Tequila" or "Wipe Out," if you can believe that. And, yes, there is an absolutely astounding cover of THE RAMONES "Blitzkrieg Bop" as an encore. Someone said it is faster than the SOB version, but I don't know about that. Anyways, this band was as fast or faster than any other band in the US or Britain at the time, and probably would have blown the minds of critics who were saying THE CLASH were "the only band that mattered" that very year. Unfortunately one cannot say this record was too influential, because it was released six years after the fact, but as a document of our punk heritage, and a fucking good time, it's hard to beat.
One of those bands that I had a very vague recollection of despite probably never having heard anything by them that I can recall until now, Pointed Sticks were one of the movers and shakers in the early Canadian punk scene, forming in 1978 and disbanding just three years later in 1981.
Canadian bands with few exceptions have the odds of achieving success overseas stacked against them and little has changed in the almost 30 years since the Pointed Sticks were in their heyday. For them that lucky break, despite a golden opportunity, would prove even more illusive than even they could have anticipated, of which more later.
Formed in the summer of 1978, when singer and principal songwriter Nick Jones returned to Vancouver from London, England that is rather than Ontario, where he’d been working in a record store, it’s clear that Jones had been paying attention to what had been going on around him.
Conjuring a winning formula of punk’s energy and no small amount of pop sensibility, the band churned out three cracking singles between 1978 and 1979. Sounding quintessentially English – the band even took their name from a Monty Python sketch! – the band should have gone down a storm in the UK. Stiff Records, one of the great record labels thought so as well, signing the band and releasing the Brinsley Schwartz-produced single ‘Out Of Luck’ backed with ‘What Do You Want Me To Do?’ and ‘Somebody’s Girl’ in 1979. Re-recordings of tracks featured on their first two Canadian singles, the original versions are included here, but whether the re-recordings captured the band’s energetic punk-pop hybrid as successfully as the originals had done, I don’t know. Had they done so, I’d have certainly bought a copy at the time, assuming I’d even known of its existence. Despite the lack of increased UK profile from the single, the hook-up with Stiff did succeed in gaining the band increased visibility and credibility nearer to home where they began to get regular shows and resulting acclaim from regular stints up and down the US West coast from where they ventured increasingly from their Vancouver base.
Stiff then invited the band to England to record their debut album which was when things began to go awry. Produced by Nigel Gray (The Police, Siouxsie And The Banshees), for reasons not entirely clear Stiff decided not to release the finished album, the band returning to Canada, very disappointed though not quite defeated, soon afterwards. Re-recording the album with producer Bob Rock upon their return, the band's debut album ‘Perfect Youth’ was finally released in Canada in 1981. Unfortunately though the band’s momentum, by now diminished on the international stage following the unsatisfactory conclusion to the Stiff deal, eventually saw the band stutter to a halt later that year.
‘Waiting For The Real Thing’ collates all six sides of their three original Canadian singles, a slew of compilation appearances, some unreleased material, including a number of tracks from the aborted Stiff album, and a live radio session from 1979.
Essential for the inclusion of the singles anyway, elsewhere though, perhaps lacking in fidelity at times, most noticeably on the radio session, this excellent set reveals a band fully deserving of their not even fifteen minutes in the spotlight and who deserved much more. For anyone enamoured of the punk/new wave scene of the late 1970’s, this retrospective reveals a band far too good to be forgotten.