Talking Drums – Courage EP

Talking Drums
Courage EP
1982 Sticky Music (GUM 005)
2018 Dark Entries Records
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Carol Moore – Lead vocals, percussion
Charlie Irvine – Lead guitar, backing vocals
Dot Irvine – Keyboards, backing vocals, maracas
Stewart McEwan – Bass
Derek Clark – Drums
Malcolm ‘Hyper’ Duffin – Congas

Produced Steve Butler

  1. Courage
  2. Parasuicide
  3. Descartes Lives
  4. Lost in the 20th Century

This is not a tape I have, but one of the members of the band commented that this ep was recently released – so I had to track it down. I believe that at least one or more of the tracks on here were only released on this ep. I listened to this on Spotify, but Dark Entries Records have re-issued it on vinyl or digital versions elsewhere. The title track is an extended mix of “Courage” with horns and congas added. The sound here is alternative rock/new wave/indie pop from the early 80s. The bonus track is from their 1982 demo Fighting to the Finish, but I don’t know if the other tracks are or not. A cool piece of history that turned up finally – now if we could just get that 1982 demo out there as well 🙂

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Steve Butler – Waving and Drowning

Steve Butler
Waving and Drowning
1983 Sticky Music (GUM 007)
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Steve Butler – Lead vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitars, background vocals
Graeme Duffin – Guitars and background vocals
Stuart R. Duffin – Bass
Malcolm Duffin – Drums and percussion

Side 1:

  1. Waving and Drowning
  2. Time and Tide (A Love Lost)
  3. Sunk in London
  4. Back in France
  5. Child’s Tears

Side 2:

  1. Checkout Girls
  2. Head and Heart
  3. Seasoned with Your Love
  4. Gonna Fly
  5. Best is Still to Come

I thought I had this one, then I realized I didn’t, so I went looking for it online and found the remastered version up on BandCamp! Steve Butler has an incredibly robust background in the UK Christian Music scene, as he was/is a member of Lies Damned Lies and also one of the founders of Sticky Music label. His musical resume is pretty impressive. This album was – I think – his second solo release. I have seen this album labeled pop, soft rock, and rock – it certainly floats around that general area. To my ears, there are some slight alternative leanings as well, but not enough to be called alternative rock. Early adult alternative pop is probably more accurate. A solid release that is now available online for all to hear.

Talking Drums – Demos

Talking Drums
Demos
1983 Sticky Music (GUMM 009)
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Carol E. Moore – Lead vocals
Charlie Irvine – Guitar, vocals
Dot Irvine – Keyboards, vocals
Stewart McEwin – Bass
Derek Clark – Drums

Side 1:

  1. Warring Couple
  2. Compromise
  3. No Surprise
  4. Reassembly of the Heart
  5. In Two Minds

Side 2:

  1. What Do You Want?
  2. Why Won’t You Stay?
  3. Missing
  4. Slipping

Talking Drums were an alternative/new wave/synth pop UK band that went on to release a full length album called Reassembly in 1985. “Reassembly of the Heart” and “What Do You Want?” from this release of “demos” made it onto the full length. I put “demos” in quotes because these are well-recorded songs that really don’t sound demo quality. The tone is a bit more urgent than music typically is in the genre, but that actually works well here. Also of note is that Dot and Charlie were a part of Lies Damned Lies along with Steve Butler at this time as well. Both Talking Drums and Lies Damned Lies signed with major labels at later points. Not to mention that Sticky Music grew from a vehicle for demos and self-released music to a full-fledged label. In many different ways, it seems like this band/label/etc were a hit, but since it was in the UK… I wouldn’t know. Maybe someone from across the pond can chime in about how known or unknown Talking Drums actually was? There is a very informative story of these bands and Sticky Music for the music history buffs out there.

Brian McGlynn – The Vital Spark

Brian McGlynn
The Vital Spark
1985 Sticky Music (GUMM010)
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Brian McGlynn – Guitars & Vocals
Stuart Don – Drums & Drum Machine Programs
Norrie Craig – Keyboard Bass & Keyboards
Ewen Vernal – Bass Guitar
Kathleen Higgins – Backing Vocals
Lorraine McIntosh – Backing Vocals

Side One:

  1. Echoes of Another World
  2. Stranger at the Party
  3. What Can I Say
  4. Walk Softly
  5. Your Turn Will Come

Side Two:

  1. Touch Sensitive
  2. Goodnight Cherie
  3. Friday Night
  4. Soul Doctor

Something about 1980s alternative from the UK – you can almost always count on it being high quality. Brian McGlynn (sometimes going by D.B. McGlynn) is no exception. This tape starts off with U2-esque chiming guitars on the first track and never looks back. You can hear low quality rips of Side 1 and Side 2 on YouTube, but trust me that the recording quality is much better than these videos. You can also see that Brian does not stick too strictly with one sound – several other sounds are woven in. I would say he has a pretty original sound of his own even. I can’t find much about Brian online other than this interview years after this demo when he was going by D.B. McGynn. You can usually count on Sticky Music doing a stand up job. There is also another version of this cassette with just McGlynn on the cover, but it is the exact same album with a different cover (see above). Oh, and there is also a 7-inch single of “Soul Doctor” out there as well.