Simon Elvin – Apart From Me

Simon Elvin
Apart From Me
1985 Broken Records
Plymouth, Devonshire, England

Simon Elvin – Lead vocals, piano, synthesizers, clarinet, acoustic guitar, drums, rhythm programmes

Dave Wellington – Backing vocals
Linda Nicols – Backing vocals, duet on “The Need in Me”
Steve Wheeler – Lead guitar, backing vocals on “Warriors”

Side 1:

  1. Feeling the Love
  2. Party
  3. Years Go By
  4. The Need in Me
  5. Little Star

Side 2:

  1. Can’t Waste Another Day
  2. Every Day
  3. One in a Million
  4. Suddenly
  5. Warriors
  6. His Love

Another tape that seems to have been lost to the sands of time. The sound on this one is early/mid 80s rock, kind of somewhere between Billy Joel and Elton John. If you have ever thought the song “My Life” could rock out a bit more, then this is the tape for you. Songs like “Party” and others rip out some killer guitar leads – so this is more than your average pop rock wanna-be. I can’t find much more information about Elvin online, other than he had at least one follow up to this tape called Somewhere in Time on Myrrh Records in 1987. Also, this tape notes that it was engineered by *the* Famous Gnome I have wondered about in the past – Julian Payne. But no Famous Gnome logo on this one, unfortunately.

Mark 2 – The Documentary

Mark 2
The Documentary
1984? Broken Records
Plymouth, England, United Kingdom

Steve Wheeler – Vocals, guitars
Steve Cooper – Bass
Steve Smith – Drums
Simon Elwin – Keyboards

Joss Cook – Interviewer

  1. The Documentary

Wasn’t sure what this was going to be going in to it, especially once a Larry Norman song started playing. However, that song was a set-up to start this audio documentary of the Mark 2 band. Mark 2 is a new wave band led by Steve Wheeler of Broken Records (UK) fame. This documentary is mainly interviews with the band and various people involved with the band. There is also a section that follows the band through problems they have setting up a gig, complete with live recordings of conversations. It really sounds like a documentary, only an audio-only one. The only downside is that there are just snippets of songs that play here and there – no full songs, or really even long enough parts to give you a good idea of their sound. Norman Barratt even makes an appearance on the tape when Mark 2 opens for his band.

Missing Information: When was this released?

Steve Wheeler – Low Flying for Beginners

Steve Wheeler
Low Flying for Beginners
1984 Broken Records (UK) (BRS 014)
Plymouth, England, United Kingdom

Written, Performed, and Produced by Steve Wheeler
Steve Hemlock – Old Soldier
Louise Sturtridge – Girl
Wheeler, Nick Wilkes, Gavin Ranford, and Gnome – ‘Coff Chorus’

Low Side:

  1. Suffer, Little Children
  2. My Uncle Said
  3. Video Games
  4. Belfast Photographs
  5. Disco Floor
  6. Methylated Spiritists
  7. The Accident
  8. The Coffin Fit
  9. All This Must Go
  10. You’re Never Alone with Schizophrenia
  11. Paint Me Red
  12. I Did My Best

Flying Side:

  1. Low Voltage Prayer
  2. Key
  3. Newspaper Man
  4. Blood Transfusion
  5. Return to Boyhood
  6. Creative Genius
  7. Thoughts
  8. Nun Today, Thankyou!
  9. Eyes
  10. D-Day
  11. Honest Poem
  12. Crosspurpose

This is a pretty cool album of most spoken word performances. Kind of like Steve Scott, but Wheeler uses sound effects and tape manipulation more than found sound loops. For example, “Video Games” uses a bit of Noise percussion and video game sound effects. Also, don’t let the number of songs fool you – this is a short album, with some tracks under 30 seconds long (and only a few going over a minute and a couple going over 2 minutes). A couple of tracks are musical in nature – “Disco Floor” is pretty much a song (and a cool indie Crazed Bunnyz-esque one at that), and “Creative Genius” has some experimental noise/indie sounds interjected like you hear on Marc Plainguet or other projects influenced by that scene. The poems are sometimes obvious, sometimes deep in thought – a good mix if you ask me. This is the same Broken Records (UK) label that The Barking Dogs were on, and a quick search reveals two albums by Mark 2 (Stranger 7″ and Wrong Sida Life 7″) that feature Steven Wheeler fronting a band – both also on Broken Records. After doing some searching, I found a Steve Wheeler in Plymouth, UK (the mailing address for Broken Records) that is actually a big deal in my field of study (Educational Technology). Interesting. Maybe Broken Records was his label all along? But weird connection that he went into academia and is now known for a non-music related field.

The Barking Dogs – New Material

The Barking Dogs
New Material
1984 Broken Records (UK) (BRS 012)
Plymouth, England, United Kingdom

John Bradshaw – keyboards
Alistair Coles – All guitar & vocals
Any Day – Drums

Side A

  1. New Material
  2. So Good
  3. Feelin’ Alright
  4. Alone
  5. In Silence

Side B

  1. I’m Like a Bomb
  2. Just a Man
  3. I’ve Been Falling
  4. The Garden
  5. Revelation

I brought this up as a “band with a weird name” and Doug pointed out they are not bad. Decided to throw them in. This is the kind of stuff that showcases why I love digitizing tapes. I guess the best way is to describe it as alternative, kind of keyboard and bass guitar heavy. Some rough edges, but they are definitely a “diamond in the rough” kind of band. Not the most awesome thing in the world by far, but something different played by a band that obviously knew what they wanted to sound like and went for it. English band I assume, or at least their label is (formerly located at this address actually). This is obviously not the American Broken Records. There is also an odd image of a Gnome on the record that says “Famous Gnome”. Not sure what that is about. Not finding much online, but that is to be expected with the fairly common band name and album title.