Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Things I forgot to remember
I first heard The Sugargliders on the now legendary International Pop EP way back in around 1991, I think. I am pretty sure I ordered it from the infamous Steve Biscuit along with some other items. I miss my posts about Steve Biscuit. He was a real character. I absolutely loved Everday Supermarket but in those times it was difficult to find much information about bands, unless you stumbled across a piece in a fanzine. Consequently, I quite often think of songs as just entities on their own and forget that the group who recorded the song would ever go on to write more songs. I guessed that they might be Australian from the sound of the vocals and was aware that a burgeoning scene was developing with some great bands recording songs for fun with no thought of commercial success. I didn't quite realise how prolific The Sugargliders were until I saw the tracklisting of the compilation now available from the wonderful Matinee Records. An impressive body of work. Here is what Matinee say about the band: matcd062 THE SUGARGLIDERS – A NEST WITH A VIEW 1990-1994 Tracklisting: 1. Ahprahran 2. 90 Days of Moths and Rust 3. Seventeen 4. Trumpet Play 5. Reinventing Penicillin 6. Letter from a Lifeboat 7. Yr Jacket 8. Fruitloopin' 9. Unkind 10. Give Me Some Confidence 11. Police Me 12. Aloha Street 13. Will We Ever Learn? 14. Beloved 15. Corn Circles 16. What We Had Hoped 17. Everybody Supermarket 18. Another Faux Pas 19. Sway 20. Top 40 Sculpture Brilliant 20-song retrospective compilation from the much loved and sorely missed Australian indie pop band The Sugargliders. Based around brothers Josh and Joel Meadows, the band released ten singles and one album between 1990 and 1994 on legendary pop imprints Summershine Records in Australia and Sarah Records in England. Just 19 and 16 when they started, these boys from Melbourne’s far eastern suburbs wrote simple, original pop songs, brimming with an unpolished emotional honesty that earned the band an international following. Mostly self-taught, they aimed to create something new, something true, from the world as they experienced it, complete with its beauty and its injustice. It was not entertainment as much as something they knew they had to do. Whether they were singing about girls, property developers, or police car chases, you could tell they were singing what they believed, from deep in their hearts. The brothers were joined, at different times, by Marc Fulker on drums and Robert Cooper (The Earthmen) on bass. Their recordings improved under the guidance of Mark Murphy (Ripe) and Adam Dennis (The Jordans). Summershine released the early vinyl singles, before they found a home at Sarah Records. It was a good match. Both label and band believed in changing the world, one duo-tone sleeved perfect pop 7” at a time. They went to England. They returned to Melbourne. Ten singles in four years and they were gone. A Nest with a View, released in collaboration with Popboomerang Records in Australia, collects the finest moments from these long out-of-print and highly cherished vinyl singles. What was the Sugargliders’ essence? Perhaps a stark honesty or lack of pretention. They were also deeply idealistic – so much so that it couldn’t last. But perhaps something did last. These 20 songs, lovingly remastered, capture the sparkle, the tenderness, the exuberance, the idealism and the honesty of The Sugargliders. A flawed but beautiful collection to touch the conscience and rekindle our fickle hearts. The compilation album is available now from Matinee Recordings along with many more great releases.