Violent Femmes


Funnily enough I was reminiscing with some online friends recently about the Violent Femmes and their popularity amongst the alternative/goth communities of the mid-80s which we were loosely involved with. In particular the song “Add It Up” (‘Why can’t I get just one fuck’, etc etc) brings back some fond memories from that period, being a staple dancefloor hit at the sort of clubs I used to frequent back then. But the whole album is of a similar standard of ramshackle excellence.


This is the 1987 reissue on London Records, which is quite fitting for me because it would’ve been around that year when I was listening to the Femmes and this is probably the edition that most of my friends would’ve bought at the time, rather than the Slash Records original from ’83. This copy is in near-perfect condition, still in shrinkwrap and mine for just 49p. Lovely!


Herb Garden – H.M.S. Disaster


Well I suppose it was inevitable that one day my thrifty foraging would dig-up a record by someone I actually know, or more accurately, some people I used to know. Herb Garden were a sort of indie-rock group (with heavy socio-political lyrics) from Bristol. Two of their members, Dave Herb and Rat Herb worked day-jobs in the same civil service department as me, and although I wouldn’t say we were close, I knew them well enough to have a beer with occasionally. I was in a group myself at the time, a very different sample-based project, but they gave us our first gig, supporting them at the Mauretania in August 1993.


I knew they had a few records out, but even though I liked them as people, I didn’t care much for their music, so never bothered acquiring anything. But when I saw a copy of their album ‘H.M.S. Disaster’ going for a quid in the British Red Cross (Staple Hill branch) this week, I just had to have it, as a little keepsake for a certain time and place in my life. I still don’t like the music much, though!

The record still has all its inserts, including the ‘Propaganalogue’, a catalogue of recent releases from their Gwent-based record label Words Of Warning, which reveals a hive of underground activity, from a bunch of long-forgotten groups who probably thought they were gonna change the world. ┬áNow they’ve probably all got careers and families, hurtling towards middle-age, all the old hopes and dreams crushed into the dust.

Yep, talkin’ ’bout my generation…