Iron Man Records releases to be incuded in British Library Sound Archive

March 23, 2017

Something happens while you are orbiting the Nation’s capital on the M25 for 25 hours in a van with a dangerous madman jumping around and shouting instructions from the back seat. James at British Library Sound Archive has been in touch, he wants to catalogue and archive all the releases on Iron Man Records. The music will become part of the nation’s audio & cultural heritage and it will be available (on a restricted access server) to anyone holding a British Library readers pass (writers, researchers, fans etc.). You have to go in person either to London or to the other site in Boston Spa, Yorkshire. The Library do not allow any material to go out on loan or be downloaded and they comply with current copyright legislation regarding sound recordings. When catalogued the releases will be part of the Sound & Moving Image collection.. http://sami.bl.uk

I have supplied physical copies of everything where they exist, and WAV files of all releases to ensure a good copy will be available.

James says “with world class facilities at hand we can provide the safest possible home for your releases, both for preservation and access, for many generations to come.”

Amazing. Some things cannot be explained. I will let you know when the materials supplied are available to access. James may be at work for a few weeks assembling it all at his end.

British Library Sound Archive
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB

To date, the releases supplied include:

IMB6001 I.O.D – Mundane Existence CD/WAV

IMB6002 P.A.I.N featuring Howard Marks and Larry MacDonald – Let Me Grow More Weed CD/WAV

IMB6003 P.A.I.N – Our Universe Commences Here (O.U.C.H) Vinyl/WAV

IMB6004 LESS – “And I’ll see you never work again” taunted Florence CD/WAV

IMB6005 GORGEOUS – Cursed with Being….. CD/WAV

IMB6660 LEGION OF DYNAMIC DISCHORD – Negative Entropy  WAV

DLPR2006 PIGFISH – The Reverend James CD/WAV

IMB6007 SIST – Talking Points Not Tragedies CD/WAV

IMB6008 ACADEMY MORTICIANS – What Happened? CD/WAV

IMB6009 P.A.I.N – Oh My God, We’re Doing It! CD/WAV

IMB6010 LAST UNDER THE SUN – Windfall CD/WAV

IMB6011 LAST UNDER THE SUN – All Empires Crumble CD/WAV

IMB6012 LAST UNDER THE SUN – Gone CD/WAV

IMB6013 SENSA YUMA – Up Yours! CD/WAV

IMB6015 DUFUS – Neuborns CD/WAV

IMB6016 DUFUS – The Last Classed Blast CD/WAV

IMB6017 NIGHTINGALES – Out Of True CD/WAV

IMB6018 POLICE BASTARD – It’s Good To Hate….. CD/WAV

IMB6019 LAST UNDER THE SUN – Hooligan Jihad CD/WAV

IMB6020 POLICE BASTARD – Dead To The World WAV

IMB6021 POLICE BASTARD – Confined CD/WAV

IMB6022 JOHN SINCLAIR – Mohawk CD/WAV

IMB6023 DEATH TO FANATICS – Iron Man Records 1999-2014 compilation CD/WAV

IMB6025 Steve Fly – They Came To Starburg WAV

IMB6027 T.C. Lethbridge – Moon Equipped WAV

IMB6028 T.C. Lethbridge – 2000 TC WAV

IMB6029 T.C. Lethbridge – Mina WAV

IMB6030 Police Bastard – Traumatized WAV

IMB6032 John Sinclair – Beatnik Youth WAV

IMB6033 John Sinclair – Beatnik Youth Ambient  Vinyl/WAV

IMB6034 Dr Marshmallow Cubicle – Occupy WAV

IMB6035 Robert Anton Wilson – Meets Steve “Fly Agaric” Pratt WAV

IMB6036 Police Bastard – Confined – Vinyl/WAV

A big thank you to all Iron Man Records Patrons who continue to support the work:

Suzy Tweddle, Deborah Ritchie, Scott Roe, Margaret Calleja, Thomas Rathgeber, Dan, Lee Parsfield, Chris Scales, Muir Mathewson, Michael Howe, Jonathan Harris, Dave Barnard, Bill Fadden, Mike Burgess, Jachim Palm, Lyle Bignon, Thomas Burke, Ben Cartlidge, Matt Grimes, Toby Conyers, Chris, Andy Cavendish, Steve Wyatt, Andrew Dubber, Frank Knoblich, Vaughan Roberts, Ian Robertson, Marcus H, Seth Faergolzia, Ricky Lee, Kathryn McCormack, Ade Cartwright, Sunwoo Jung….

The only way to support a revolution…..

December 23, 2016

Looking back on this year, Iron Man Records has had an interesting one. Three recurring themes emerged.

“The only way to support a revolution is to make your own” — Abbie Hoffman, Woodstock Nation.

“Reality is not enough; we need nonsense too. Drifting into a world of fantasy is not an escape from reality but a significant education about the nature of life.” Edmund Miller, Lewis Carroll Observed

“It’s dangerous to understand new things too quickly” — Josiah Warren, True Civilization

Make of that what you will. Some of the significant things that happened this year included:

Seth Faergolzia of Dufus brought his new band Multibird to Europe on Tour.

John Sinclair published a book called It’s All Good: A John Sinclair Reader.  Stories of tragedy and triumph that will take you on a trip through the Wonder Years with music lyrics and poetry. Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone attempted to find out how to live a psychedelic life with the poet and activist John Sinclair as BBC Music’s My Generation celebrated the 1960s.

Dr Marshmallow Cubicle – Occupy was released on Iron Man Records, 23rd April, 2016.

In the early hours of 10th April 2016, Howard Marks died peacefully in his sleep. Iron Man Records had the pleasure of meeting, working with and listening to Howard Marks. He really was exactly as you would hope: A truly decent bloke, funny, humble and just Mr Nice. His life and work will live on…..“You might control a lot of things Drugs Tsar, but you’ll never control my mind…..” Howard Marks from the song Let Me Grow More Weed he recorded with P.A.I.N

Robert Anton Wilson meets Steve “Fly Agaric” Pratt was released on Iron Man Records, 23rd June, 2016

The entire Iron Man Records music catalogue was made available on Bandcamp. To start with all releases are £5 or you can Stream the releases and listen for free. All Releases are available on most of the download and streaming platforms already but for those of you who want an alternative to Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Google, Youtube, Facebook and all the other main providers, Bandcamp seems good.

Some people wonder what on earth I do for a living. Well, I earn money working as a Tour Manager and I spend all of it keeping Iron Man Records going. I spend the rest of my time trying to stay sane, despite serious provocation from people who are totally convinced or totally stupid, and often both at the same time. Have a read and make up your own mind: Back In Five Years  and My life is a pile of receipts in a deserted restaurant on a cross channel ferry

Simon Reeves at Framework Studio spent three days recording Oliver Senton reading Cosmic Trigger 1 by Robert Anton Wilson for a forthcoming audio book. Iron Man Records somehow managed to neglect it’s responsibilities to The Cosmic Trigger play but was happy to help see Oliver Senton looked after during these recordings.

Test pressings arrived for John Sinclair – Beatnik Youth Ambient which includes a beautiful recording of Howard Marks’ last lost words called War On Drugs with an ambient soundscape masterpiece from Youth…and also Police Bastard – Confined. Both records will be released in 2017.

But these things wouldn’t have happened without the money burning antics of Iron Man Records Patrons and people like you supporting the madness and getting involved.

Iron Man Records has ambitious plans to make a big impact in 2017. And with Patrons helping out, I feel positive we can make a big change. I guarantee there will be no funding appplications, no idiotic culture bids, no creative consultants, no government, business or arts advice types involved. Just you, me, musicians, madness and music.

If you want to contribute, have a look in the shop before you go: http://ironmanrecords.bigcartel.com

Thanks again for all your support and have a fun Christmas.

Cheers Mark

TC Lethbridge – 2000TC – Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On


March 7, 2016

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC book by John Higgs

Long, long ago in in the deep forgotten past, three musicians came together in an ancient landscape and made music that drifted away, seemingly lost for all time.

This was in Wiltshire around 1992, to be more precise.
2000 TC Standing on the verge of getting it on

The band was TC Lethbridge. It contained Doggen and Kev Bales from Spiritualized/Brain Donor and the artist Flinton Chalk. The band did not last long – they imploded before they had even played their first gig. But something happened to these musicians as they practiced, wrote and recorded in the Neolithic village of Avebury in the early nineties. They were marked by the experience.

The album they were recording as they fell apart was a project that always required closure. Two decades needed to pass before the politics and damaged relationships created by the band’s collapse could allow this to happen. In 2014 that album, 2000TC by TC Lethbridge, was finally mixed by the band from the original tapes and released on Iron Man Records.

T.C. Lethbridge - Band photo

One of those fascinated by the legend of this lost album was the author John Higgs. The Quietus has said that Higgs’ last book The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds “might well be the best music book of the 2010s”. In The Guardian Dorian Lynskey described it as “like Adam Curtis brainstorming with Thomas Pynchon”, and Alexis Petridis called it “a thing of endlessly fascinating, utterly demented genius.” Alan Moore has said that Higgs’ next book Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century, to be published in August 2015, is “an illuminating work of massive insight, I cannot recommend this magnificent work too highly.”

Such was the lure of the TC Lethbridge story that Higgs set about writing another book, 2000TC: Standing on the Verge of Getting It On, “in order to understand the drive, integrity and ambition of the young musicians in that Avebury hall”. This makes TC Lethbridge the only band to have a biography written about them before they had even gigged. In keeping with the unobtainable, mythic nature of the band, Higgs published this book in a limited run of only 111 copies. It is not for sale and there are no plans to make it available in any other format.

The book was published to mark an event that was for a long time considered unthinkable: TC Lethbridge played their first gig over the night on November 22-23rd 2014, at the Robert Anton Wilson festival and Cosmic Trigger play in Liverpool, hours after being presented with copies of this book.

This, then, is the story of TC Lethbridge up until that point. They are now an active live band whose three albums – the once-lost 2000TC, their first album Moon Equipped and their instrumental CD Mina – have all been made digitally available.

If this is their past, then what is their future? Perhaps that is a myth that has yet to be written.

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC, Mina and Moon Equipped released 23rd November 2014 on Iron Man Records

Burn Money – Become A Patron of Iron Man Records

March 3, 2016

Burn-Money-A6-Postcard-No-Crop-Marks

Iron Man Records wants to make all new record releases available on Vinyl.

23 Patrons currently support the record label. You are invited to become a Patron to ensure the insanity continues.

The journey from 1996, when Iron Man Records began, has been back-breaking. The record label has generated a mountain of debt and a serious Class “A” drug habit would have probably worked out a lot cheaper. Everything I earn, working as a Tour Manager, goes into keeping Iron Man Records moving and your support would be much appreciated at a critical time.

Iron Man Records continues to release records by some of the most interesting and talented artists, writers, and musicians. There has to be something that opposes the “reality” that we are surrounded by every day.

I don’t expect everyone to like what the record label releases, but at least you have a choice.

Musicians have to go to band practice, pay for their rehearsals, record their music, and work out a way to release their music. Many musicians have to plan and finance the costs of touring to promote their music by themselves. Musicians also need to eat and have a roof over their head, and I do too. It’s a tough time for musicians and artists, and you have to be mad to carry on sometimes.

I want to return to making every release on Iron Man Records available on Vinyl, as well as via streaming, downloads and on CD. It’s madness in the current economic climate, but a little bit of madness is just what is required. Are you still with me on this?

BVPy5zWIEAAgl1f

I’m not asking anyone to pay for everything, nor am I asking anyone to pay me to run Iron Man Records, I can look after all that myself. What I want to do is invite people to contribute to reducing the costs of producing albums on Vinyl in exchange for a number of rewards to make it all worth while.

Patrons will get a copy of everything the label produces, as it becomes available. Patrons will also get access to digital files of everything, so you can listen on portable electronic devices, and you will get all sorts of other benefits. For example: free stuff from the Iron Man shop, stickers, email updates, free tickets, and whatever else I can think up as I go along. There is method to the madness, all you have to do is join in.

If you want to support struggling musicians who are up against it on a daily basis, then please consider offering your support to the cause.

I have put a page together on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/ironmanrecords which appears to be an interesting way to raise money. This will help produce Vinyl in small quantities and to the highest standards. Patreon lets you make recurring monthly donations and helps to reduce the upfront costs of producing music on vinyl. Anything from £1 a month or more is actually really helpful.

Iron Man Records is not in the pop business. The Label’s debts are what it’s worth. The label is trying hard, during a tough time in the history of recorded music, to help musicians and artists develop a sustainable future. To me, the simple way to do that, is to give the bands and artists a record to sell at gigs, that people would love to buy.

Iron Man Records wants to create Vinyl, something special, something that presents music in a format that people want to keep and enjoy. Life isn’t just about computers, mobile phones and social networking. There has to be an alternative. So if you want to join in and Burn Money, become a Patron and let’s make something happen. You have to make the world you want to live in.

Have a look here and any comments, good or bad are invited.

Immanentize

 

Your Insanity Will Do – Become A Patron Of Iron Man Records

February 8, 2016

I bought a copy of “The Manual” by Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond in 1996. I’d been looking for a copy for years. Some of it made sense, some of it didn’t. I liked the writing style and the advice given. I sent my receipt as proof of purchase to the PO BOX printed in the book and requested The Guarantee.

This is the reply that Bill Drummond sent back on headed paper. By reply Bill Drummond became the first Unaware Patron of Iron Man Records. Blame him for everything. A lot has happened since 1996. Your Insanity will do.

Iron Man Records - Your Guarantee

Your Insanity could help Iron Man Records to release more music on Vinyl via Patreon. There are 21 Patrons currently supporting the record label, you are invited to become a Patron too.

Iron Man Records has been running since 1996. The label has released over 30 records and continues to work hard on a daily basis. Iron Man Records wants to make all new record releases available on Vinyl. The label will continue to make everything available through digital channels. You are invited to get involved.

Why help Iron Man Records? Here’s a quote from Detroit Poet John Sinclair, who released an album called “Mohawk” through the label in recent times. This sums up the sort of thing going through my head when I started out trying to bring people together to do something under the label name of Iron Man Records at the start of it all in 1996.

“One of the most important things to young, formative artists is having a group of one’s peers that one can be a part of, can talk to, work with, work out ideas, etc and can give crucial support.

Modern society has succeeded to a frightening degree in alienating artists from one another (and of course from people in general; or at least vice versa) and atomizing what could be a vital, active community into a group of lone, defensive, hung-up people who are afraid to talk to and/or work with anyone but themselves and (maybe) three or four friends.

A community of artists means that a group of highly conscious people can help each other in very real ways. Artists working alone are cutting themselves off from sources of inspiration and influence that can help them immeasurably in their work.

The lone artists have no one to listen to their work, no one to offer criticism and ideas that would bring their work into sharper focus with itself. Hard to get as excited, as completely involved in one’s work by oneself; when you can talk about it with/to others who are trying to do the same thing as yourself and communicate it to others, you can achieve and maintain the state of consciousness Henry James called “perception at the pitch of passion.” And who better to communicate to than those few people who are operating at the same level of awareness and involvement as oneself?

We are now in a period of expanded consciousness in all the arts. NOW is the time to find out what’s wrong with your work, NOW, at least get an inkling of what other real people will think of it and how it communicates.

So: what we want is a place for artists—musicians, painters, poets, writers, film-makers—who are committed to their art and to the concept of community involvement to meet and work with one another in an open, warm, loving, supportive environment—a place for people to come together as equals in a community venture whose success depends solely upon those involved with it.”

In reality, the journey from 1996 has been back-breaking, and the record label has generated a mountain of debt. Everything I earn working as a Tour Manager goes into keeping Iron Man Records moving forward, and in doing so, I try to provide a platform and focal point for everyone involved with the label.

To-The-Gig

I manage to ensure that new records come out every year and during difficult times perhaps every two years. Without fail, Iron Man Records continues to release records by some of the most interesting and talented artists, writers, and musicians. The label seeks to share what resources it has, and provides an alternative to the onslaught of pop culture and everything that goes with it. There has to be something that opposes the nonsense that we are surrounded by every day, there has to be a meeting place and platform for those that demand an alternative. There has to be a mechanism to share contacts, resources and ideas.

I don’t expect everyone to like what the record label releases, but at least the label gives you a choice. You don’t have to buy everything from “the man” and you don’t have to work for “the man” either. As the saying goes: “We may never defeat these swine, but we don’t have to join them.” There’s always another way, and for Iron Man Records and the musicians, artists and writers it works to support “the show must go on, by any means necessary…..or until we are all eliminated”

Sound-System

I can handle the logistics of running Iron Man Records by myself but I could use some help in releasing more Vinyl. At a time when “ownership” of music is becoming less important, and digital services are making “access” a much easier way of listening to more music than ever before, we have been left with a problem to solve.

How can the record label continue to release physical records by artists for people to “buy,” at a time when anyone, with any money left, can “access” more music for free, or at a fraction of the price, using streaming digital services?

We all know how to google an album, or a song, and find it for free. We’ve all done it. We all know how to access music on social networks for free, and through Streaming services like Spotify. Some of us buy our music from download sites. I think its fair to say some of us listen to more music than ever before, and choose to only spend our money on music from our favourite groups.

Iron Man Records has invested a lot of time and effort into making every release available through as many digital services as possible ensuring all the artists get a chance to be heard.

You can find all releases from Iron Man Records on iTunes, Apple Music, YouTube Music Key, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, Deezer, Groove, Rhapsody, eMusic, Simfy Africa, iHeartRadio, MixRadio, MediaNet, VerveLife, Tidal, Gracenote, Shazam, 7Digital, Juke, JB Hi-Fi, Slacker, Guvera, KKBox, Akazoo, Anghami, Spinlet, Neurotic Media, Yandex, Target Music, ClaroMusica, Zvooq, Saavn, 8tracks, NMusic, Q.Sic and others.

From the stats, it is clear that plenty of people want to listen to the music Iron Man Records produces, but they don’t always want to pay for it. Many people want music as cheap as possible, and ideally for free. They would rather have access to music, than ownership of music. Fair enough, I can accept that, enjoy the music the way you want it. But how can the artists be supported to produce more work if people want “access” rather than “ownership?”

It makes me laugh when you hear people talking about how they won’t buy music from Amazon because Amazon doesn’t pay its workers a fair wage, and then get drawn into a discussion about what sites to use to find music for free without having to use Amazon.

People forget that starving musicians have to go to band practice, pay for their rehearsals, record their music, and work out a way to release their music. Many musicians have to plan and finance the costs of touring to promote their music by themselves. Musicians also need to eat and have a roof over their head, and I do too. Some of the more popular releases on Iron Man Records might achieve 23,000 streams over a five year period but only sell about 60 downloads. In the same period they may only sell about 150 physical copies on cd and even less on vinyl. I read recently that 1,500 streams can equal one album sale. If that statistic is correct, in order to sell 1,000 albums, you need to generate 1,500,000 streams. That sounds ridiculous to me. It’s a strange time for music if you are operating independently. There’s not much money coming in from sales here at Iron Man Records yet more people are listening to the music Iron Man Produces than at any time previously.

These days, it’s interesting to note that many musicians would probably earn more per hour, packing boxes and packages for Amazon, even on the poor wages that Amazon pays, than at most gigs they end up playing. But lets move on, you get the point. It’s a tough time for musicians and artists, and you have to be mad to carry on against such odds that are always stacked against you.

Where does Iron Man Records find itself in the digital world?

Streaming is taking off and I have always loved vinyl as a format. I want to return to making every release on Iron Man Records available on Vinyl, as well as via streaming, downloads and on CD. It’s madness in the current economic climate, but a little bit of madness is just what is required.

It is clear to me that if you can produce anything of value in terms of your music, a digital version is necessary so people can access and even download your music on their mobile devices. But if you are serious about your music, you must release it on Vinyl so the really passionate fans of your music, can get a copy to add to their collection and enjoy when they are at home.

Iron Man Records is capable of releasing records and making them available worldwide across pretty much every digital platform. Producing CDs of each release is also affordable within the context of selling physical copies, sending out to press and radio and keeping things ticking over. Vinyl however, is a little bit tricky.

Producing a record on Vinyl is about three times more expensive than producing a cd, which means you have to sell three times more records to recover the upfront costs. So something has to give.

This year has been tough for Iron Man records, income from selling physical sales has continued to decline. In fact physical sales of everything both CD, Vinyl and DVD has steadily declined year on year since 2004 when I started keeping a record. Habits are changing all the time and the market is choosing to access music rather than own music. Times are changing and either Iron Man Records changes too, or it’s game over.

Where am I going with this? I want you to sign up or subscribe to insanity.

Immanentize

I want to start releasing records on Vinyl again and I need help reducing the front end costs. I’m not asking anyone to pay for everything, nor am I asking anyone to pay me to run Iron Man Records, I can look after all that myself. What I want to do is invite people to contribute to reducing the costs of producing albums on Vinyl. In exchange for help and support, you will get a copy of everything the label produces, as it becomes available. Supporters will get access to digital files of everything, so you can listen on portable electronic devices, and you will get all sorts of other benefits. For example: free stuff from the Iron Man shop, stickers, email updates, free tickets, and whatever else I can think up as I go along. There is method to the madness and all you have to do is join in.

I would like to think that if you like what Iron Man Records does, if you would like to encourage the label to produce all releases on Vinyl, and if you would like to support struggling musicians who are up against it on a daily basis, then please consider offering your support to the cause.

I have put together a page on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/ironmanrecords which I think is an interesting way to raise money. This will help produce Vinyl in small quantities and to the highest standards with regards to artwork and packaging. Patreon lets you make recurring monthly donations and thereby helps to reduce the upfront costs of producing music on vinyl.

Anyone who donates will get a copy of the vinyl produced and a number of other benefits. Anything from £1 a month or more is actually really helpful, and knowing a small regular sum is coming in each month allows me to plan more effectively.

Everything the label produces is accessible for free online anyway so you can have anything, anytime if you look for it. Offering a small monthly donation means that regardless of what goes on, Iron Man Records can keep releasing music on vinyl and keep helping the bands and artists to survive, and to make more music.

Let me be clear: Iron Man Records is not in the pop business. In fact it’s just not in business. The debts are what it’s worth. The label is trying hard, during a particularly tough time in the history of recorded music, to help musicians and artists develop a sustainable future. And to me, the simple way to do that, is give the bands and artists a Record to sell, at their gigs, that people would love to buy.

Iron Man Records wants to create Vinyl, something really special, something that presents music in a format that people want to keep and enjoy. That’s it really. Life isn’t just about computers, mobile phones and social networking. There has to be an alternative.

Have a look here and any comments, good or bad are invited.

Mark – Iron Man Records

Believe-Nothing

Become A Patron of Iron Man Records

October 23, 2015

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 12" and 10" LPs

Support Iron Man Records creating Record Releases on Vinyl.

As a Patron we invite you to be the first to hear new releases and you will be sent special updates and news. You will have unlimited access to the Iron Man Records Sound Cloud account and you will be able to choose any T-shirt, CD, or vinyl of your choice from the Iron Man Shop.

WAV files of all new releases will be sent out using a file transfer service.

Stickers, artwork and any other limited items of interest will be offered to you first as they become available. You will also get free tickets to special events.

You may also be first to get an invite to be driven round the M25 for 25 hours on the weekend of Gimpo’s M25 25 hour spin. Fuel and Vehicle included but sanity is up to you.

As a patron, you will join a highly valued group, committed to supporting the future release schedule of Iron Man Records, and will enjoy a copy of everything produced on Vinyl with your support.

Your donation as a Patron will directly support our creative programme of releasing music on Vinyl and will allow us to work with and champion artists, music, ideas and creativity.

To Become a Patron of Iron Man Records go here

Thank You

Mark – Iron Man Records, 23rd October 2015

5-Seconds

Iron Man Records would like to release more music on Vinyl. You are invited to get Involved.

October 16, 2015

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 12" and 10" LPs

I want to invite you to support Iron Man Records releasing more music on Vinyl via Patreon.

A small donation of something like $1 a month could help Iron Man Records release some of the recent CD and Digital releases on Vinyl.

Here is a list of recent releases that could be made available on Vinyl with your help:

Police Bastard - Dead To The World final 1600x1600

IMB6020 POLICE BASTARD – Dead To The World – Digital Release (23rd November 2015)

M:CAD DrawingsKey ProductionGKA94675 CD 4pp GF Softpack 2 x P

IMB6021 POLICE BASTARD – Confined CD / Digital 2013

John Sinclair - Mohawk CD front

IMB6022 JOHN SINCLAIR – Mohawk CD / Digital 2014

Death To Fanatics FRONT 1600x1600px

IMB6023 DEATH TO FANATICS – Iron Man Records 1999-2014 compilation CD 2014

TC Lethbridge - Moon Equipped 1600x1600

IMB6027 T.C. Lethbridge – Moon Equipped – Digital Release (23rd November 2014)

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC 1600x1600

IMB6028 T.C. Lethbridge – 2000 TC – Digital Release (23rd November 2014)

TC Lethbridge - Mina 1600x1600

IMB6029 T.C. Lethbridge – Mina – Digital Release (23rd November 2014)

Iron Man Records invites you to contribute to reducing the costs of producing albums on Vinyl. In exchange for your help, you will get a copy of everything the label produces, as it becomes available. Supporters will get digital files of everything, so they can also listen on portable electronic devices. You will also get all sorts of other benefits like free stuff from the iron man shop, stickers, email updates, free tickets, and whatever else I can think up as I go along.

If you like what Iron Man Records does, if you would like to encourage the label to produce new releases on Vinyl, and if you would like to support struggling musicians who are up against it on a daily basis, then please consider offering your support to the cause.

I have put a page up on Patreon here https://www.patreon.com/ironmanrecords

I think it is an interesting way to raise additional sums of money. This will help produce Vinyl in small quantities and to the highest standards. Patreon lets you make recurring monthly donations and helps to reduce the upfront costs of producing Vinyl.

Anyone who donates will get a copy of the Vinyl produced and a number of other benefits. Anything from $1 a month or more is actually really helpful. Knowing a small regular sum is coming in each month allows me to plan more effectively.

Everything the label produces is accessible for free online anyway so you can have anything, anytime if you look for it. Offering a small monthly donation means that regardless of what goes on, Iron Man Records can keep releasing music on vinyl and keep helping the bands and artists to survive.

Iron Man Records is trying hard, during a particularly tough time in the history of recorded music, to help musicians and artists develop a sustainable future. And to me, the simple way to do that, is give the bands and artists a good record to sell.

Iron Man Records wants to create Vinyl, something really special, something that presents music in a format that people want to keep and enjoy. That’s it really, life isn’t just about computers and social networking. There has to be an alternative. You have to make the world you want to live in.

A small donation could help Iron Man Records to release more music on Vinyl

October 5, 2015

I want to invite you to support Iron Man Records releasing more music on Vinyl via Patreon.

Police Bastard

I have been running Iron Man Records since 1996. I have never earnt anything, of any significance, from the work I have done so far, and neither have the bands. In fact the debts are what the label’s worth. It has been a true labour of love, and I like to think the music has made a lot of people happy. The label has released over 30 records by some fantastic bands and artists and continues to work hard on a daily basis. Iron Man Records wants to make all new releases from the label available on Vinyl and you are invited to help.

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 7" singles

The journey has been back-breaking, and the label has generated a mountain of debt too. Everything I earn as a Tour Manager goes into keeping Iron Man Records moving forward. I manage to ensure that records come out every year and during difficult times perhaps every two years. But without fail, Iron Man Records continues to release records by some of the most interesting and talented artists, writers, and musicians. The label seeks to provide an alternative to the onslaught of pop culture and everything that goes with it. There has to be something that opposes the nonsense that we are surrounded by every day, in every format.

I don’t expect everyone to like what the record label releases, but at least the label gives you a choice. You don’t have to buy everything from “the man” and you don’t have to work for “the man” either. There’s always another way, and for Iron Man Records and the musicians, artists and writers it supports “the show must go on, by any means necessary, or until we are all eliminated”

I can handle running Iron Man Records by myself but I could use some help with releasing Vinyl. At a time when “ownership” of music is becoming less important, and digital services are making “access” a much easier way of listening to more music than ever before, I have been left with a problem to solve.

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 12" and 10" LPs

How can I continue to release physical records for people to “buy,” at a time when anyone, with any money left, can “access” more music for free, or at a fraction of the price, using streaming digital services?  

We all know how to google an album or a song and find it for free. We’ve all done it. We all know how to access music on social networks for free, and through Streaming services like Spotify. Some of us buy our music from download sites. I think its fair to say some of us listen to more music than ever before, and choose to only spend our money on music from our favourite groups.  

Iron Man Records has invested a lot of time and effort into making every release available through as many digital services as possible. From the stats, it is clear that plenty of people want to listen to the music Iron Man Records produces, but they don’t want to pay for it, they want it as cheap as possible and ideally for free. Fair enough, I can accept that.

It always makes me laugh when you hear people talking about how they wont buy music from Amazon because Amazon doesn’t pay its workers a fair wage and then get drawn into a discussion about what sites to use to find music for free without having to use Amazon.  

People forget that starving musicians have to go to band practice, pay for their rehearsals, record their music, and work out a way to release their music. Many musicians also have to plan and finance the costs of touring to promote their music all by themselves. Musicians also need to eat and have a roof over their head, and I do too.   These days, it’s interesting to note that many musicians would probably earn more per hour packing boxes and packages for Amazon, even on the poor wages that Amazon pays, than at most gigs they end up playing. But lets move on, you get the point.

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 12" and 10" LPs

Where does Iron Man Records find itself in the current digital world?

Streaming is taking off and dominating everything, people want “access” to more music and are very choosey about what music they actually want to “buy.” The CD in my view will be around for a while yet but, if you can already access the music as a digital file online either as a download, or a stream, why buy a CD as well? I have always loved vinyl as a format and I have reached the stage now where I want to start making every release on Iron Man Records available on Vinyl, as well as via streaming, downloads and on CD. To be fair, in the UK, not many people will buy the vinyl I produce, the real market for Vinyl is in places like Germany, or Czech Republic and other places in Europe who can’t get enough of it. Vinyl provides a good incentive for any band with Vinyl for sale to go and tour. And that’s what most of the bands on the label do when given the chance.

Some years ago I was talking with a friend in Czech Republic, while on tour with Police Bastard. He was talking about the state of music and he summed it up like this. “I google new bands and their music, and listen for free. If I find a band I like, I will find out where they are playing and go and see them live. If I like the concert I will buy their album on Vinyl even though I already have it as a digital file on my computer at home. The digital files are for listening to on my phone or sending to friends, the Vinyl is for my collection and I listen to it on my record player when I’m at home.

This friend was also the same person who booked Police Bastard to play, organised the promotion of the concert, cooked the food for the band and gave us a place to have a wash and sleep after the show. People like this are what makes being in a band worthwhile, they actually care enough about the music to do something to help.

It is clear to me that if you can produce anything of value in terms of your music, a digital version is necessary so people can access and even download your music. But if you are serious about your music, you must release it on Vinyl so the really passionate fans of your music, like our friends in Czech Republic, can get a copy to add to their collection and enjoy when they are at home.

Iron Man Records is capable of releasing records and making them available worldwide across pretty much every digital platform. Producing CDs of each release is also affordable within the context of selling physical copies, sending out to press and radio and keeping things ticking over.

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 12" and 10" LPs 

Vinyl however, is a little bit tricky. Producing a record on Vinyl is about three times more expensive than producing a cd, which means you have to sell three times more records to recover the upfront costs. I don’t think any of the bands are expanding their fanbase faster than the costs of producing their music on vinyl and no one wants to start putting prices up. So something has to give. Either the records are released as digital only, or the releases come out on CD first to test the market, or I have to find three times as much money upfront to release a record on Vinyl.  

This year has been a tough year, income from selling physical sales has continued to decline. In fact physical sales of everything both CD, Vinyl and DVD has steadily declined year on year since 2004 when I started keeping a record. Its not my fault or anything to do with the bands, the physical sales are declining because the market has a greater choice of music than ever before and what I am selling is becoming a smaller and smaller part of that market. Habits have changed and the market is increasingly choosing to access music to listen to via platforms like spotify rather than owning music via buying records to take home and play. Times are changing  and either Iron Man Records changes too or it’s game over.  

So where am I going with all this? Let me explain.  

Digital – I make every release through Iron Man Records available in a digital format and that is relatively cost effective and easy to do. From the stats at this end this is something people want, and a format that makes all the music the label has produced to date easy to access across digital platforms worldwide. As a record label that’s at least one job done that the bands don’t need to worry about themselves. I have yet to generate enough money through digital services to pay the bands any meaningful sum, but month by month the situation seems to be getting better. I remain hopeful for the future.  

CD – I have made every release through Iron Man Records available on CD right up to recent years and the boxes and boxes of unsold stock tell me that there is still a market for CDS but interest in physical CDs is steadily declining. Once I’ve sold the stock I’ve already got I doubt it will be replaced by more cds. 

Vinyl – I started out releasing records on Vinyl when I first started the label, over 18 years ago. To be honest I have still got half the stock of Vinyl I pressed all those years ago but that is probably more to do with the fact I pressed too many records in an enthusiastic, naive and hopeful state of mind.   What I am proposing to do is this. I want to start releasing records on Vinyl again but I need some help and support in reducing the front end costs of producing the Vinyl. I’m not asking anyone to pay for everything, nor am I asking anyone to pay me to run Iron Man Records, I can look after all that myself.

What I want to do is invite people to contribute to reducing the costs of producing albums on Vinyl. In exchange for help and support, they will get a copy of everything the label produces, as it becomes available. Supporters will get digital files of everything, so they can also listen on portable electronic devices, and they will get all sorts of other benefits. For example: free stuff from the iron man shop, stickers, email updates, free tickets, and whatever else I can think up as I go along.  

I would like to think that if you like what Iron Man Records does, if you would like to encourage the label to produce all releases on Vinyl, and if you would like to support struggling musicians who are up against it on a daily basis, then please consider offering your support to the cause.

Iron Man Records - Vinyl 12" and 10" LPs

I have put together a page on Patreon https://www.patreon.com/ironmanrecords which I think is an interesting way to raise additional sums of money. This will help produce Vinyl in small quantities and to the highest standards with regards to artwork and packaging. Patreon lets you make recurring monthly donations and thereby helps to reduce the upfront costs of producing music on vinyl.

Anyone who donates will get a copy of the vinyl produced and a number of other benefits. Anything from £1 a month or more is actually really helpful, and knowing a small regular sum is coming in each month allows me to plan more effectively.

Everything the label produces is accessible for free online anyway so you can have anything, anytime if you look for it. Offering a small monthly donation means that regardless of what goes on, Iron Man Records can keep releasing music on vinyl and keep helping the bands and artists to survive, and to make more music.

Let me be clear: Iron Man Records is not in the pop business. In fact it’s just not in business. The debts are what it’s worth. The label is trying hard, during a particularly tough time in the history of recorded music, to help musicians and artists develop a sustainable future. And to me, the simple way to do that, is give the bands and artists a Record to sell, at their gigs, that people would love to buy. Iron Man Records wants to create Vinyl, something really special, something that presents music in a format that people want to keep and enjoy. That’s it really, life isn’t just about computers and social networking. There has to be an alternative.

Have a look here and any comments, good or bad are invited.

Mark – Iron Man Records 5th October 2015.

TC Lethbridge – Neo-Psychedelic rock troupe missing for 23 years by Guy Hirst

September 4, 2015

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC book by John Higgs

Made up of two long standing members of space rock pioneers Spiritualized (Doggen, Bales) and named after the radical archaeologist turned occultist T.C. Lethbridge, the band return with three re-issues of their self-released albums recorded in the early nineties: Moon Equipped, Mina and 2000 TC – released November 23rd 2014 via Iron Man Records.

T.C Lethbridge is Kevin Bales, Tony Doggen Foster and Flinton Chalk.

TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC, Mina and Moon Equipped released 23rd November 2014 on Iron Man Records

The re-issues promoted their first public performance in 23 years last November at Liverpool’s Cosmic Trigger Festival, a theatrical production and continuation of the Illuminatus Trilogy – a satirical story of drugs, sex, magic and conspiracy theories – which was originally adapted to stage by legendary English writer and director Ken Campbell.

T.C. Lethbridge’s performance at Cosmic Trigger was a tribute to the late-great psychedelic evangelist Brian Barritt (cohort of LSD advocate Timothy Leary) who appears in the Cosmic Trigger book and had recorded with the band at Avebury stone circle during the making of 2000TC. Barritt also features on the track “Bou Saada” on the album and Flinton Chalk had previously collaborated with Barritt exploring the trance-inducing frequencies of Neolithic burial tombs – a main theme that runs throughout their music. In Brian Barritt’s words the group are exploring “Automatic writing on a sacred landscape.”

You can explore their music by listening to 2000TC here:

Author John Higgs has written a biography of T.C Lethbridge entitled “2000TC – Standing on the verge of Getting It On” and said:

“Spending a few months writing a biography of a band who have yet to show their faces in public was not the most career-minded way to spend my time, but it had to be done. This is a story about people who’ve had some form of visionary or incomprehensible experience, and about how they can only move on and process what happened to them through a creative act. It is about the impact an uncompleted artistic project can have on a life. It also functions as a jigsaw piece, connecting the story in my Timothy Leary book to the one I tell in The KLF. So, yeah, it had to be written.”

‘2000TC’ was recorded 1994 John Stewart Hall, Melbourne House, The Henge Shop, Avebury, 4 Track cassette, digitally remastered by John Davies 2014. You can buy 2000TC here

All re-issued TC Lethbridge albums can be found here

T.C. Lethbridge website: http://www.tclethbridge.com

– written by Guy Hirst 2015

The Story of TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC: Standing on the verge of getting it on by John Higgs

January 8, 2015

Automatic writing in the sacred landscape. Established 1991.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)

TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC (Released by Iron Man Records – 23rd November 2014)

If you spend too much time in a state of mind which prevents normal perception, behaviour, or social interaction you might end up running a record label. Living life in a completely deluded state, generating massive debt for no apparent reason can be difficult to keep going for more than 17 years at a time but, it seems by some terrible mistake I’ve made it look relatively easy. But anyway, enough of that, I want to explain something.

I went to a meeting last year year, the back room of a pub, The George in Southwark actually. The pub is just a few minutes walk from The Shard in London. Gimpo worked on The Shard and if I was going to park anywhere, parking at the foot of the Shard endorsed his work. I’ve spent time, 25 hours at a time, in a van going round the M25 with Gimpo, and believe me, it’s an experience to be had. I was with Steve Fly, a writer, musician and someone who plays drums for the Detroit Poet, John Sinclair who used to manage MC5 and was a founder member of the White Panthers. Steve and John released Mohawk through Iron Man Records in March and I was interested to accompany Steve to the meeting. I wanted to listen in, and if necessary, endorse him as a potential Music Director for The Cosmic Trigger, a new stage play by Daisy Eris Campbell. Daisy is the daughter of Ken Campbell who staged the Illuminatus! in 1976. I was 5 years old when all of that was going on.

The meeting was interesting as I had never met Daisy before and had no idea what to expect. Michelle the production manager, who was sat opposite, seemed to be keen to find the right people to take on the task ahead and no one was thinking any of this was going to be easy. A lot of hard work was ahead. If Bill Drummond had gone out to get Araldite in 1976, never to return…I was sure that this new stage adaptation of Robert Anton Wilson’s book The Cosmic Trigger was not going to be any easier for anyone.

Robert Anton Wilson was an American author novelist, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, civil libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic. I discovered Robert Anton Wilson by way of a band called The KLF and the various aliases from The Timelords, The Jams, The Justified Ancients of MU MU, to 2K and K Foundation. Magic Temple of Discordian Promotions gave me many of Robert Anton Wilson’s books as a present which I’ve read and sometimes re-read. Magick was also a big KLF fan and seemed to know more than me so we soon became good friends. Both Robert Anton Wilson and the discussions I had about his work with Magick gave me inspiration when organising gigs for bands in Birmingham, when signing on and eating the food in my housemate’s cupboard was about all I had. The last posting that Robert Anton Wilson put on his website said: “I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.” The whole concept of keeping the lasagne flying made sure I didn’t get any ideas like getting a job or doing anything sensible with my time. In fact, I only stopped organising gigs because the venue I worked at, The Old Railway, was scheduled to be bulldozed. But that’s an aside, someone else was at the meeting who I knew of but had never met. Flinton Chalk was sat across from me, he was the one who sold the old car to Jimmy Cauty which ended up being used in KLF music videos and was renamed Ford Timelord. Flinton had bought the car from a film studio and spent time with friends dressing up as a nun and driving around doing donuts in muddy fields in the middle of the night. You might be wondering where on earth all this is going. You see, as John Higgs will tell you, if you happen to run a record label and read his book The Brandy Of The Damned “This is the problem with doing weird things. If you behave like a reasonable person, then the world will be reasonable back. If you step outside of the norm, however, and act in freaky ways, then the world will match you step for step. ”

And this is how I ended up talking with Flinton about the car, dressing up as a transvestite pirate nun, Jimmy Cauty, KLF, Julian Cope, Tall Hats, Stones Circles, and his time living in Avebury. I used to live in Wiltshire so I know that part of the world pretty well. Judging by the number of times I had driven through Avebury late at night in the early 1990’s its a wonder I didn’t run Flinton down. Somehow we got on to 111hz which can wait for another time, and then to a serious story about his trip to Mothers Jam on Fyfield down near Avebury. A stone tried to dematerialise Flinton and Julian Cope on one of their outings to collect photos and detail for The Modern Antiquarian. Flinton also told me about his band TC Lethbridge, named after Thomas Charles Lethbridge, who was an English archaeologist, parapsychologist, and explorer.

Having spent every last penny for the last 17 years on a record label that few people have any interest in, or understanding of, I was in no mood to consider working with another band and certainly not one that hadn’t played a gig, or had been missing for 23 years with three unreleased albums. But, I have done many things over the years, sometimes for money, sometimes for free, and sometimes because insanity is a far more rational approach to a complex situation than trying to think things through properly. And that’s how I ended up agreeing to help TC Lethbridge until they found someone more suitable.

Sat next to me, Steve Fly had just been appointed Music Director for The Cosmic Trigger so the work was done. I didn’t get out of the building until I had also agreed to do whatever I could to help The Cosmic Trigger. What had started out in my mind as a meeting to endorse Steve and “listen in and learn,” ended up as “You don’t listen and you never learn.” And so it began. TC Lethbridge had found themselves a record label.

I drove back to Birmingham wondering if I would ever learn anything ever. But that was then, so here’s to the now.

John Higgs is the Author of ‘The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned A Million Pounds’ and ‘I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary’. John Also writes fiction (as JMR Higgs) including The Brandy of the Damned and The First Church on the Moon.

I’ve read John’s book on Timothy Leary and also his book on the KLF and The Brandy of The Damned. All of them are well worth the read, you can make your own mind up which one to read first but, before you consider any of those, I want to tell you about his latest work.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC book by John Higgs
John Higgs has written a book called 2000 TC: Standing on the Verge of Getting It On. The book is not for sale, it will be one of a private edition of 111 copies. Don’t ask. The answer will blow the right side of your brain.

2000 TC was written to mark The Cosmic Trigger play and festival performance in Liverpool. It is the story of TC Lethbridge, who played their first gig after the play, 23 years after they formed. TC Lethbridge are Doggen and Kev Bales, of Spiritualized and Julian Cope/Brain Donor, and Flinton Chalk, who you’ll find more about in John’s KLF book (pages 116-117).

2000 TC Standing on the verge of getting it on

2000 TC is an album recorded by TC Lethbridge in Avebury 20 years ago. It was remastered by the same person who remastered the recent Led Zeppelin reissues. Don’t ask about that either, that’s another story altogether. Flinton met me backstage at The Barbican on 31st May after John Sinclair had performed with The Founder Effect supporting Marshall Allen and The Sun Ra Arkestra. The gig was to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Sun Ra and it was a suitable venue to hand over the 2000 TC master. The album was released on November 23rd by Iron Man Records along with an album called Moon Equipped and another called Mina. The band have been missing for 23 years and now they are back with a gig as part of The Cosmic Trigger, a book by John Higgs, and three albums on Iron Man Records.

I should mention that Thomas Charles Lethbridge was born 23rd March 1901 and passed away on 30th September 1971. You may be interested to know that 30th September 1971 is my birthday. Let me be clear: I am not the reincarnation of TC Lethbridge. If I had come up with a good reason not to work with the band of the same name, it still wouldn’t have stopped anything. It appears from birth, despite my protesting, I have been destined to know TC Lethbridge and release the records by a band of the same name. You cant make this stuff up, no one would believe it. Give the music a listen, you might like it.

The voice on the 2000 TC track Bou Saada is that of Brian Barritt. He makes an appearance in the book Cosmic Trigger, when Timothy Leary tells Robert Anton Wilson that he needs to talk to Brian if they are to both understand Aleister Crowley.

John Higgs said “Spending a few months writing a biography of a band who have yet to show their faces in public was not the most career-minded way to spend my time, but it had to be done. This is a story about people who’ve had some form of visionary or incomprehensible experience, and about how they can only move on and process what happened to them through a creative act. It is about the impact an uncompleted artistic project can have on a life. It also functions as a jigsaw piece, connecting the story in my Timothy Leary book to the one I tell in The KLF.

So, yeah, it had to be written.

No doubt it will be made more widely available at some point, in some format, in some way, should the band keep gigging and putting themselves about. But until then – more about the band here, and catch them Saturday if you can.”

All three TC Lethbridge albums – Moon Equipped, Mina, and 2000 TC were released on 23rd November 2014 on Iron Man Records. Note: Any money generated from sales of these TC Lethbridge albums will be used to finance a vinyl and CD release of each record in future.

If you are interested in reviewing the 2000 TC book or reviewing any TC Lethbridge album get in touch

John Higgs spoke in Liverpool on the Sunday after Robin Ince and made an attempt to make sense of the preceeding days. Unfortunately I didn’t get there, I had to finish a few things and then pop out for a bit. I needed to get some Araldite.

Find out more about the band here:

TC Lethbridge website: http://www.tclethbridge.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TCLethbridgeMusic

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TC_Lethbridge

Iron Man Records - TC Lethbridge A5

The square root of the M25: Gimpo’s 25 Hour M25 Spin

December 5, 2014

A witness statement from Iron Man Records 2014.
IMG_4189
I didn’t get much sleep the night before, I had been working on the release of the new John Sinclair record “Mohawk.” By the time I climbed into the car and started the engine it was 10am. I drove to London and dropped the car in Brentford, West London. I picked up the keys. I had a 9 seater VW Splitter van on hire from DYC Touring and headed to Shepherd’s Bush. I wasn’t due to meet the band until 3pm so I had a bit of time to park up and make phone calls.

If I was applying for a job I’d probably tell you I’m a tour manager, a music manager, I can drive a splitter van and tow trailers, and I have a clean driving licence. I could tell you I’ve been running a record label called Iron Man Records for 18 years, I play in a couple of bands, I run a few websites, I work freelance and so on. In reality, I don’t apply for jobs, employers find their way to me on personal recommendation because no one else, in a right mind, will take their work on. The day was looking no different to any other. The phone was ringing.

I have to do many things on a daily basis just to keep things moving, some of it for money, some of it for free, some of it because I have no other choice and some of it for reasons of pure nonsense. Don’t ask me to explain.
IMG_4114
Gimpo was due to start the 25 hour M25 Spin at midday, so by now he should have completed a lap and be half way round the next one. The time was 2pm and my phone was lighting up with messages from people asking if I was on the Spin this year. No, I wasn’t on the Spin, I was driving a band called “Tenterhook” to Hereford for a gig at The Jailhouse. They needed a driver and had a small budget to work with. I had no money, and on that basis I was “available” to do the work. Gimpo was planning to do the M25 Spin solo this year. You can’t reason with someone like Gimpo. He thinks things up and goes and does them. No Discussion. No Explanation.

I had decided to leave him to it for now. For various reasons Tim, who usually drives the van for the whole 25 hour M25 Spin, was unable to make it this year. Sharon, who handles Navigation and supplies while Tim is at the wheel, was stuck in Guatemala with no money for a plane ticket. Todd, who looks after the website www.GimpoGimpo.com was in New Jersey, I already had several messages from him asking “What the fuck’s going on?”
IMG_4116
Did I know what was going on? Can anyone know what’s going on in Gimpo’s mind? I managed to speak to Tim, he had been in touch with the man himself. Gimpo had made a start, but had only got half way round. Tim was worried about progress. Gimpo hadn’t got very far and Tim had been questioning Gimpo at length. “Half a lap? What are you doing? Selling Ice Cream? Get a move on, there’s work to do” It seemed to me that Gimpo was having technical problems. Gimpo was driving his own car this year in an attempt to do the M25 Spin solo for the first time. This might all sound pretty good, but the reality was a little different.

The CD player was broken in Gimpo’s car and the radio doesn’t really do it these days. Gimpo had fixed up the video camera with cable ties, and had a stock of blank mini DV tapes at the ready. But, there were a few other issues that hadn’t been thought through. You cant drive and text can you? You cant drive and take pictures can you? You cant drive, take pictures, text, answer the phone, send emails or reply to requests can you? So what was Gimpo to do? He was already on the M25 spin. Solo. No support. And how was he going to document the event? He had stopped at Clacket Lane Services to discover this was going to be a long and complicated day. He had an iphone, with a SIM card, which gave him free internet access but the camera on his Nokia phone was better. For some reason the Nokia wouldn’t send emails so Todd wasn’t going to get any picture updates for the website.
IMG_4124
I rang Gimpo, as time was moving on, to find out what he was up to. Gimpo would not be stopped by anyone. Gimpo was doing the M25 spin and he would do it solo with or without anyone knowing about it. I had to go, it was nearly 3pm, the band needed to be in hereford for 6pm. I told Gimpo I would come and find him when I got back after the gig. He would have to go it alone till then.

3pm arrived and I found myself collecting a band, who are being managed by one of the few capable music management companies I know. They look after Madness, so no joke, they are going to do good things with this lot. The band are actually a singer and songwriter with a great voice who plays the guitar and goes under the name of “Tenterhook,” he’s 19. He works with some other musicians who play drums, guitar, bass and keys. The van was loaded and by 3.15pm we were on the road, to Hereford. The gig was just like any other I’ve been to. Headliners took for ever getting their soundcheck done, they didn’t really speak to anyone and then vanished. The lot I was with sound checked and agreed last details like set order, start and finish time, and made a start on the limited rider provided by the venue staff.

By now there was a long list of messages and emails asking what the fuck was going on? Where was Gimpo? Was he ok? What did I know? Had I heard anything? The Spin was on, nobody needed to know. Gimpo was at the wheel and with that thought in mind, it’s probably better not to know what’s going on.
IMG_4143
“Tenterhook” didn’t go onstage till much later than planned. The band had a good one, it was their first gig and the applause gave the band the endorsement they were hoping for.

Outside the band members gathered to load the van while people came out of the the venue to chat and find out who they were, and where they had come from. It was their first gig together.

On the way back to London the beers opened, and the talk poured over the gig and what had just gone on. The band knew how much work was ahead but it seemed like a good start to the process.

I dropped the band back at 5am and taxis were waiting to take people home from the meeting point. “Where are you going now, where are you staying?” came the inevitable question. I unloaded the gear and handed it to the exhausted band members. “Don’t ask, you don’t want know” was my reply. I could see there were a load of messages that had come in on my phone while I was driving back from Hereford. I dared not even look till the van was parked, the gear unloaded, and the band already gone.

The phone was full of madness. I called Gimpo and found him at Clacket Lane Services. He had just pulled in to try and send some pictures to Todd. No change there then. I suggested we meet at Cobham services, only 30 minutes further round, to talk through what was going on.
IMG_4154
I arrived at Cobham around 6am having dropped the splitter van back to DYC Touring on the way. The parking at Cobham is free for 2 hours then its £25 for up to 24 hours. As I despaired at the parking situation Gimpo arrived, “Don’t worry about parking Mark, lets book a meeting room for £8 the parking is free with that” I wasn’t about to try booking a meeting room at 6am on a sunday morning. Neither of us looked in any way believable and if we booked a meeting room and then vanished it may generate suspicion. We defaulted to the only option available, a cup of tea from Greggs and a meeting in the comfy chair area to work out what sort of plan might be possible under the circumstances.

Gimpo started emptying his pockets of leads, head phones, charger cables, car keys, phones and assorted other items. He explained the problem. “Ive got this iphone but you need two hands to work the camera. This Nokia has a better camera, and you can work it one handed, but I can’t get it to work. I can’t send emails to Todd.” I looked at both and tried to have a go at getting the Nokia to work. It was full of pictures, but no, the internet wasn’t working and I couldn’t work out how to get it to send and receive.

We finished the tea and returned to the vehicles. Gimpo spoke first. “Lets drop your car off on the A3, I know a place where Bill and Jimmy took a load of Journalists in the middle of the night. Ockham Common, It’s where we showed the money nailed to a piece of wood”. Back to reality, that sounded like a great idea even if no one would even remember or believe the basis upon which the suggestion had been made. I digress. I refused to pay £25 to park my car, that’s a waste of money isn’t it? I followed Gimpo back onto the M25 and just one stop further on we turned off onto the A3 and headed south for a few minutes. On the left is Ockham woods and there’s a car park with free parking. I parked my car and took what valuables I had with me. The early morning doggers looked on as Gimpo explained at length and in detail about his previous visits with Bill and Jimmy. I listened with interest as the story poured out and I transferred my stuff to Gimpo’s car. I didn’t have to time to think about the rest.
IMG_4156
In a few minutes Gimpo was back on the M25 and the Spin continued. Gimpo looked worn out but determined. This was his M25 spin, he was the artist here, and no one was going to stop him. This was his first solo M25 spin. The phone rang and Gimpo activated his hands free set, it was Tim. Tim sounded like he was checking in to be sure that nothing had gone wrong, Gimpo passed the phone across. “Hi Mark, is everything all right?” he asked. Tim and I chatted a while longer and I handed the phone back. Gimpo continued on with the story about the phone, versus camera, versus driving solo problem. And then Tim was gone, and the spin continued.

Next up was “Give Peas a Chance” Bridge, just north of J16 where the M25 crosses the M40. We headed North while Gimpo endlessly flipped from one radio station to the next, attempting to find anything worth listening to, whilst broadcasting his irritation at the fact the cd player was broken and he had no “modern music” to listen to.

Gimpo drove at a steady 56 miles an hour. “The price of bloody fuel these days Mark, it’s a rip off” He said. “The spin gets more and more expensive every year, the only thing I can do is drive at what the car manual says is the most economical speed. 56 miles an hour. It’s not a race.”

Gimpo turned off at J23, South Mimms, he wanted to get some fruit juice and have a driving break. He parked up and as we both walked into the services he spotted four “Beat The Street” double decker tour buses parked up. “That’ll be Elton John or some other shit I bet” he said. “Who do these people think they are?”
IMG_4159
Once inside I got a dissertation on the pros and cons of Krispi Kreme Donuts and Gimpo’s theory on who buys them, how, and why.
IMG_4166
Back outside Gimpo showed me how he had stuck his signs to the roof of the car with gaffer tape. Only the truck drivers or bus passengers would see. We got back in the car and Gimpo set to work labelling and loading the next tape to go in the video camera. We headed back onto the M25 and I got the full account of Spin Island, the only island on the M25. Gimpo wants to plant an Argentinian Flag on it. He says he’d like to buy it and give it to the owners of Stott Hall Farm, between J22 and J23 on the M62. The story goes they refused to sell up and move house when they built the M62 Motorway over the Pennines so by rights, they should have spin Island too. Gimpo says there’s a hot spring on Spin Island. That’s why they had to split the motorway to go around it.

Onwards through a couple of tunnels then it was up over the Queen Elisabeth Bridge. Traditionally the spin starts at midday on the Saturday, top dead centre on the Queen Elisabeth Bridge. Descending on the other side Gimpo only uses Toll booth number 23. Gimpo paid the toll and as the barrier went up it was almost exactly 9am.
IMG_4170
Next stop was Clacket Lane Services, “Doggers Delight!” Gimpo declared. “They put a rat trap in the hedge just there but the rat dug a hole underneath it.” More fruit juice and a quick driving break before moving on to Cobham and the lap was completed. Gimpo still couldn’t find anything to listen to on the radio. He switched it off in despair. “Where’s Tim?” he shouted, “He always has the music, we need Tim here to put the music on.”
IMG_4178
Gimpo explained he wanted to do the last lap by himself so he dropped me back to my car. A committed artist. I collected my car and followed Gimpo back onto the M25. Some things just can’t be explained. Gimpo is making the worlds longest road movie. He wants to know where the M25 goes. His plan is to drive round the M25 every year on the closest Saturday night/Sunday morning to 21 March each year for 25 years. Gimpo has 7 years left to completion.
IMG_4190
I looked across at the other drivers as they passed by on their way to nowhere, circling the nation’s capital. Another ruin of a world city. Gimpo was ahead at a steady 56mph, unmoved in his commitment to the work. Who would know who was in the car in front? An artist alone at work. An artist without a name or a country. An artist who has nothing in common with you. An artist filming the world’s longest road movie in an attempt to find out where the M25 goes. An artist with no gods and no masters. The M25, the London Orbital Motorway, 117 miles of open road where Gimpo is the artist. One man, just getting into it for himself.
IMG_4198
Mark – Iron Man Records. 2014

TC Lethbridge

November 5, 2014

TC Lethbridge are Doggen, Kev Bales and Flinton Chalk. Automatic writing in the sacred landscape. Established 1991.

T.C. Lethbridge - Band photo
T.C. Lethbridge – Band photo.

Daniel James, Kev Bales, Tony Doggen Foster, Flinton Chalk at John Stewart Hall, Yatesbury, Wessex, where most of the tracks for Mina and 2000TC were recorded.

Flint had a tape with him, rough mixes of 2000TC songs recorded in Avebury which he pulled out of a box of cassettes under the stairs. I was keen to hear it. I was a big fan of the Mina instrumentals. I don’t know what I had been expecting, but it wasn’t the overwhelming sense of purpose that burst out of the speakers. I was reminded of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, which I was not prepared for. There is one particular section of 2000TC that for me crystallises everything that Flint, Kev and Doggen were doing. It is at the end of the sixth track. Doggen’s playing becomes increasingly possessed by some musical spirit, the like of which I have never heard before. As the song progresses you get the strange sense that those musicians no longer exist, that they have been replaced. They have sunk a deep well and been swept away by the sound gushing out of them. This builds and builds and… stops, abruptly. The tape ran out. But back in that hall none of them noticed. They continued, utterly lost in what they were doing… To hear where they were when just before the tape ended is a cruel tease indeed. But it also points to those lost moments we can never recover, of three musicians in Avebury who had left their egos far behind and were producing, as Brian Barritt put it, “automatic writing in the sacred landscape.” – John Higgs

 

‘Moon Equipped’ – 250 Vinyl 1994 self released. Recorded 1992 on board Judith, a Dutch barge on Thames at Battersea Bridge on 4 Track cassette.
TC Lethbridge - Moon Equipped (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)
TC Lethbridge – Moon Equipped (Iron Man Records – 23rd Nov 2014)

‘Mina’ – 500 CDs self released 2001, recorded John Stewart Hall, Yatesbury, Melbourne House, Avebury, 1993, 4 track cassette, released to mark 100 years since Lethbridge’s birth.
TC Lethbridge - Mina (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)
TC Lethbridge – Mina (Iron Man Records – 23rd Nov 2014)

‘2000TC’, recorded 1994 John Stewart Hall, Melbourne House, The Henge Shop, Avebury, 4 Track cassette, digitally remastered by John Davies 2014.
TC Lethbridge - 2000 TC (Iron Man Records - 23rd Nov 2014)
TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC (Iron Man Records – 23rd Nov 2014)

Band Line up:

Formed 1991 (Laurel Canyon) named 1992 (Avebury).

Flinton Chalk – Vocs, Keys, Percussion, Engineer, Producer.

Tony ‘Doggen’ Foster – Guitars, Keys, Lead Vocs, Digital Remaster Engineer.

Kev Bales – Drums, Percussion, Vocs,

Daniel James – Bass on 1st album.

Next public performance:
The Cosmic Trigger Festival, Camp and Furnace, Liverpool, 22nd Nov 2014 around 10pm…..

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014
The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience
Find The Others
Conferestival

Performance, Speakers, Art, Music Cinema, Rituals, Workshops, poetry, Quizzes, Stalls, Discordian Papal Ball.

Prof. Robert Temple, Robin Ince, Nina Conti, Youth, Adam Gorightly, Johnny “Dolphin” Allen, C.J. Stone, John Higgs, Dr. David Luke, Greg Sams, Jeff young, Liverpool Impropriety, TC Lethbridge, DJ Kin, Michael Brunstrom, Dr. David Bramwell, John Constable, Salena Godden, Jacqueline Genie, Adrian reynolds, Jamie Reid, Jimmy Cauty.

Camp and furnace, Liverpool L1 0BY

14:23-02:23 Sat 22nd november 2014 (Play and Ball)

11:23-23:23 Sun 23 Nov 2014 (Conferestival)

Tickets £69 (full weekend = play and ball and festival)

Phone The Everyman box office: 0151 709 4776 www.cosmictriggerplay.com

T.C. Lethbridge website: http://www.tclethbridge.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TCLethbridgeMusic

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TC_Lethbridge

Iron Man Records - TC Lethbridge A5

A Festival of Detroit Artists’ Workshop People 1964-2014

November 1, 2014

A Festival of Detroit Artists' Workshop
“an autumn ecstasy in the contemporary arts”
Music, Poetry, Photography, Dance, films

A Festival of DAW People – 50th Anniversary 1964-2014

with the

Ron English Trio
John Dana
John Sinclair and His Blues Scholars
Leni Sinclair
George Tysh
Robin Eichele
Bill Harris
Ken Mikolowski

Sunday October 26th 2-5pm Mocad 4454 Woodward
Sunday November 2nd 2-4pm Scarab Club 217 Farnsworth
Sunday November 9th 2-4pm Scarab Club 217 Farnsworth
Monday November 10th 11.30am-1.30pm WSU Undergrad Library Community Room, 5150 Anthony Wayne Dr.

www.detroitartistsworkshop.org

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014

October 18, 2014

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience
Find The Others
Conferestival

If you are interested in finding out more about Robert Anton Wilson, The writing (and living) of Illuminatus, the cult novel which launched a million conspiracy-freaks; Stumbling, via LSD and Aleister Crowley onto a 6500-year-old conversation with the planet Sirius; Dreaming up the formula, with Timothy Leary, of positive human evolution; Co-conspiring to create the Discordian religion, which worships Eris, the Goddess of Chaos and Confusion; Tantric sex, musical sing-alongs and mass initiations; Bob’s fellow Discordian being accused of being “the second Oswald” in JFK’s assassination; Mind-blowing visual effects, extraordinary musical soundscapes, and proper “Ken Campbell style” acting; The journey through Chapel Perilous, a dangerous occultist crossing point, from which one either emerges paranoid or agnostic. This might be for you…..

Performance, Speakers, Art, Music Cinema, Rituals, Workshops, Poetry, Quizzes, Stalls, Discordian Papal Ball.

Prof. Robert Temple, Robin Ince, Nina Conti, Youth, Adam Gorightly, Johnny “Dolphin” Allen, C.J. Stone, John Higgs, Dr. David Luke, Greg Sams, Jeff young, Liverpool Impropriety, T.C. Lethbridge, DJ Kin, Michael Brunstrom, Dr. David Bramwell, John Constable, Salena Godden, Jacqueline Genie, Adrian Reynolds, Jamie Reid, Jimmy Cauty.

Camp and Furnace, Liverpool L1 0BY

14:23-02:23 Sat 22nd november 2014 (Play and Ball)

11:23-23:23 Sun 23 Nov 2014 (Conferestival)

Tickets £69 (full weekend = play and ball and festival)

Phone The Everyman box office: 0151 709 4776

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience – Find The Others Conferestival 22-23rd November 2014

October 11, 2014

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014

The Full Cosmic Trigger Experience 22nd/23rd November 2014
Find The Others
Conferestival

Performance, Speakers, Art, Music Cinema, Rituals, Workshops, poetry, Quizzes, Stalls, Discordian Papal Ball.

Prof. Robert Temple, Robin ince, Nina Conti, Youth, Adam Gorightly, Johnny “Dolphin” Allen, C.J. Stone, John Higgs, Dr. David Luke, Greg Sams, Jeff young, Liverpool Impropriety, TC Lethbridge, DJ Kin, Michael Brunstrom, Dr. david david Bramwell, John Constable, Salena Godden, Jacqueline Genie, Adrian reynolds, Jamie Reid, Jimmy Cauty.

Camp and furnace, Liverpool L1 0BY

14:23-02:23 Sat 22nd november 2014 (Play and Ball)

11:23-23:23 Sun 23 Nov 2014 (Conferestival)

Tickets £69 (full weekend = play and ball and festival)

Phone The Everyman box office: 0151 709 4776

More info: www.cosmictriggerplay.com

 

Next Page »