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).

Griff Pilchard – Another Piece of Fruitcake

Griff Pilchard
Another Piece of Fruitcake
1987 Griffnozis Tapes (GP5)
Rushden, Northants, England, United Kingdom

Griff Pilchard – Titles, words, music, and wit

Side 1:

  1. (All I Want is) A Little Red Van
  2. The Infamous Frog Song
  3. Maggie (Just Like Frankie Sez)
  4. The Usual Tale of Pistonhead Pete (I’ve Had a Tad Few Beers)
  5. Hanz Behind Our Bachs
  6. Sheepshaker
  7. Signing On

Side 2:

  1. In This Old Town
  2. Waiting for the Summer
  3. Waiting in the Shelter
  4. If You Had Sense
  5. (I Wanna Ride) On the Little Red Bus
  6. (Let’s Talk) Telephones
  7. I-I-I-If
  8. Alias Smith and Nose (Superheroes)

More acoustic skit-song weirdness from Griff. What I mean by “skit-song” is that when most songwriters say “I am sick,” they just leave it at that. Griff will stop the song, make some sick noises, and even make a full-on throw up sound. This makes many of his songs sound like skits some-what, or skit-songs. Sometimes he really is doing a skit rather than a song. He definitely has an off-beat way of writing songs. You will either like or hate his humor – a lot of it is what we call “Dad-jokes” these days.

Griff Pilchard – Henry the Giant Turd

Griff Pilchard
Henry the Giant Turd
1989 Griffnoizes Tapes (GP7)
Rushden, Northants, United Kingdom

Griff Pilchard – vocals, guitars, keyboards, sound effects

Side 1:

  1. Danny’s Sideburns Go All the Way Down to the Bottom of His Ears Nearly (but not Quite)
  2. The Yo-Yo Song
  3. Henry the Giant Turd
  4. Free Entertainment
  5. Tea
  6. 21st Century Spacemen

Side 2:

  1. I Wanna Look Like Cheech Marin
  2. My Bicycle
  3. Ethel the Transexual Spider
  4. Let’s Guild a Motorway Baby Yeah
  5. Let’s See This Night Through
  6. The Further Adventures of Henry
  7. Cat Paper (as Sold by Dick Cells)
  8. Gooey Gnome

Yes, this is a rather odd tape. It’s mostly acoustic folk-ish music with a few sound effects here and there to help tell the joke stories for each song. The sense of humor here is really off the wall. I would say it is closest to Marc Catley – but I don’t really see Catley ever singing about turds and transsexual spiders. It’s oddly entertaining, even if the jokes occasionally fall flat here and there. The song about the transsexual spider could have gone to some bad places, but seems to stick with a few bad clichés about transsexuals applied to a spider as more of a detail about the spider than a way to bash transsexuals. Also, the song about cat paper is about… someone testing out whether toilet paper really is as soft as a kitten. I’ll just leave it at that. So, yes, there are definitely some moments of actual potty humor in a few of the songs beyond just the title song. Everything on here was apparently recorded in one day all by Griff himself. Since the number of this tape is “GP7,” I guess we can assume he has 6 tapes before this one? There was at least one after it that I know of.

Griff – Nang Nang Nang

Nang Nang Nang
1993 (no label)
Rushden, England, United Kingdom

Griff Pilchard – Vocals, acoustic guitars, cover art

Side 1:

  1. Wrapoff
  2. Howl for Bristol Town
  3. Cheryl’s Song
  4. Routed Tubars
  5. Poser
  6. Waiting for the Belb

Side 2:

  1. The Rushden Boys
  2. Wratrace
  3. We’re All Going Down the Waggon
  4. Viscious Circle
  5. 8 O’Clock at the Vic

I know you are thinking what I am thinking – what on earth? Nang Nang Nang? Well, this is basically English acoustic protest folk acoustic music. The j-card was actually laminated as well. I am hoping some of the odd song titles and word spelling make more sense in Rushden, England? If you like this type of music, this is a well recorded and written example of it. Griff takes some risks with his vocals and guitar playing that changes things up a bit – think of this as sounding a bit like acoustic Tribe of Dan/Dan Donovan music because of the experimentation. “Nang” is apparently an Australian slang word for laughing gas it seems – not sure if that is what is referenced here. Cool cover art as well, but no indication who the mysterious Griff is.

Update: I found out who Griff is, and that he had other tapes as well.