Face in the Crowd – Phoenix

Face in the Crowd
1984 Stride
Cheshire, England, United Kingdom

Side 1:

Rupert Loydell – Vocals (1-8, 9-11, 12), bass (1, 2, 4, 6, 9-11), synth (12)
Russell Kirk – Guitar (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9-11, 12), bass (3), synth

Simon Dangerous – Drumatix (1, 2, 5, 7, 8), dangerous guitar (2)
Kathryn – Vocals (7)
Het Zweet – Backing tapes (9 & 10)
Tom of Megaton – Music (1, 2)

  1. I Can Play
  2. How Much Do You Know?
  3. So You’re All Little Anarchists?
  4. Don’t Go
  5. Poem to Order
  6. Total Eclipse
  7. Somebody Else’s Stranger
  8. For Simon Pitt
  9. No Sweat
  10. Timeless
  11. Call Them Us
  12. The Sudden Stain of Music Across an Empty Page

Side 2:

Live performance 4-25-84
Performers: Sue, Katheryn, Russell, Rupert

  1. Seduced by Colour
  2. Corrugated Shadows
  3. Breath of Warm Air
  4. Chunter and Podge in the Friedhof
  5. Huge Metropolis
  6. Blister Already
  7. Closed to the Public
  8. Heavy Breathing
  9. Phoenix
  10. Feckless
  11. Brick.Shadow

This is quite the eclectic collection of songs. The first few tracks are lo-fi indie experimental alt rock songs with vocals, but the music gets more experimental as it goes along. Side one is a collection of different recording sessions. There are some spoken word-type songs as well. Side 2 is a live recording that becomes more and more experimental / improvisational noise (the genre, not an insult). Instruments and sounds listed are “found percussion, whistles, recorders, acoustic guitar, voices, and radio.” There are also statements and words spoken randomly during the performances. I’m not really sure if people that get into side one will get into side two, but you never know. This appears to be their first album, followed by The Family That Blows Up Buildings in 1985.

Centre of Gravity

Centre of Gravity
1985 Stride
Cheshire, England, United Kingdom

Side 1:

  1. Pacific 231 – Psycho Moon
  2. Pacific 231 – Gare De L’est 1943
  3. The Dangerous Bros – On 45
  4. Vox Populi – Pygmies in the Park
  5. Vox Populi – Mind
  6. Vox Populi – Glassy Stare
  7. Face in the Crowd – Clown
  8. Face in the Crowd – Love is Like a Cancer

Side 2:

  1. Griff – Wrant – U – Wrant
  2. Griff – Poser
  3. Griff – Match’s Mate
  4. Celestial Orgy – Pig to the Abbatoir
  5. Celestial Orgy – Feminist
  6. Celestial Orgy – Maths
  7. Inlaws and Outlaws – Foot Inside Your Door
  8. Face in the Crowd – Summer Fool
  9. Face in the Crowd – A Strong Voice
  10. Face in the Crowd – Justice

This is a mysterious compilation from Stride that serves up several songs from mostly noise/industrial/experimental bands – with a few exceptions. So who is on it? First off is Pacific 231, a noise/experimental project by Pierre Jolivet of Paris that has been going since the early 80s. If the band name sounds kind of familiar to you, Pacific 231 has been on some split albums with Psyclones, also an early noise/industrial band that was composed of Brian Ladd (aka Blackhouse) and Julie Frith. I can’t find these songs listed on any Pacific 231 releases, so they might be exclusive to this comp? I can’t find any information on The Dangerous Bros, but they appear to be an experimental free-form band with guitars. Vox Populi has also collaborated with Pacific 231, but is a band from France that has been around since the early 80s. They have an experimental noise sound as well, with some vocals and instruments. Face in the Crowd has released many tapes in the Christian tape underground, usually of a more experimental band sound, with some spoken word parts, some sung parts, random instrument playing, etc. Griff has also been featured here before, but he is experimental folk rock with an extreme British sense of humor. Don’t know much about Celestial Orgy, but it seems they only have compilation appearances listed on Discogs. They appear to be the closest thing to a rock band on here – definitely some alternative guitar and drums, but still more experimental than most alt rock. When they hit the high pitched vocals, it almost reminds me of Danielson. Inlaws and Outlaws is another band I can’t find much on, but they also are the most traditional industrial/electronic band on the compilation (although many others use industrial elements).

Face in the Crowd – Singing on the Narrow Ledge

Face in the Crowd
Singing on the Narrow Ledge
1986 Artaman
Cheshire, England United Kingdom

Russell Kirk – Instruments, tapes, effects, noise
Rupert Loydell – Instruments, tapes, effects, noise
Tim Hodgson – Instruments, tapes, effects, noise
Martin Hibbert – Taped flute and vocals

Recorded live February 1986

Side 1:

  1. At Least Six Years…
  2. …What Are You Doing Tomorrow?
  3. We Only Came to Dream
  4. Rotating Globes
  5. Singing on the Narrow Ledge
  6. Attempts at Connection
  7. Nameless Trees Flashed Past
  8. Poor Julia (She Grew Very Strange)
  9. Even Hate Has Some Truth in It

Side 2:

  1. Even Hate Contd.
  2. Power Chooses Its People

This one took a long time to convert to digital. The music is basically live improvisational music, kind of along the lines of White Trash, Inc. Or maybe not – I am not totally familiar with this type of music. That is the closest that I am familiar with. Eventually, I was able to find cassette clicks where the various songs ended and finally made the individual songs. Many of them are named after quotes or samples that are played during the songs. There are instruments played on here, plus found noise and samples as well. Each side is over 47 minutes long – with the last song clocking in at over 33 minutes. I can take White Trash , Inc. on a 7-inch for a short amount of time, but this really pushed my attention span. It probably works better as background or meditation music.