Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Wibbley Brothers Go Wierd , LP, 1982, UK

The Wibbley Brothers, Ronnie and Terry, first came to Stretham in 1981 to record the 4 tracks which would appear on our e.p. "Dark Side of the Mune" (sic). For some reason we were signed to a Midlands label which specialised in punk and thrash stuff; I don't think they knew what to make of our more... er... individual approach to music-making, but I persuaded them to book Spaceward as I'd been a great Soft Boys fan. The tracks were engineered by Gary Lucas and "Dan" (according to the sleeve) and produced by Guy Jackson and the band. I think I realised I was entering an unfamiliar world when I was stopped on the platform at Ely station by a porter, helpless with laughter because I was carrying a Walkman. "Look at him; 'e's wearing headphones!" he shouted in disbelief to everyone in sight..
Later on in the year we came back to do the album "Go Weird" (with Joe Bull engineering, and making a vocal apperance at the start of side 2) and were generously allotted 40 hours to do everything - slightly tricky as I was playing all the instruments, overdubbed one at a time in these pre-sequencer days. Amazingly we managed to record and mix about an hour's worth of material in that time, but the real story of the week was the accomodation we enjoyed. This was before the studio had residential facilities, and we were put up in the guest house across the road. It was October and freezing cold yet our hostess refused to put the heating on because "it's too expensive this time of year". We slept every night shivering, fully dressed, with coats over the bedspreads. There was also a yappy little dog that would take chunks out of your ankles given half the chance. Consequently we did everything possible to put off our return until bedtime, which normally meant darts in the nearby pub, even joining in with a women's darts league match on one particularly desperate night. An evening out to Ely was like the bright lights of New York. The whole experience is related in a song on our forthcoming album "Mornin' Jack", together with a description of the fabled Stretham telephone box piled six feet high with leaves.
A few months later, the album still unreleased, we somehow got agreement to return for 2 8-hour days to remix and do a couple of new songs. Fortunately this time there was a room at the studio we could sleep in, although most of the night was spent with the first Roland TR606 and TB303s I'd ever seen, and their instruction manuals. This creative frenzy produced "The Wonderful World of Terry Wibbley" the following morning, along with hours of fun with yards of tape loops running round the control room supported by pencils held aloft. Samplers? Who needs 'em? Then we got our bicycles and pedalled back to Cambridge to catch the train home.

crazed out minimal electronics here!


ellanios said...

de xero an oi diskoi einai toso yperoxoi i an einai oi ilioloustes anamniseis tis efivias mas pou strifogurnoun kai pali sto mualo.opos kai an exei niotho yperoxa pou ta xanaakouo. na sai kala Muta.

Tinsel Shrimpfax said...

I've been listening to "up my road" for decades... I love that song!

Unknown said...

Is anything happening with the re-release? Is it possible to re-post the album? I can't stop the Wawazawa!

Ronnie W said...

Hi Bobby - We're still working on it; there have been a few silly problems that took us a while to sort out, but it shouldn't be too much longer. We're also hoping to bring out the difficult second album at the same time. So difficult it's taken us 27 years to record.

You must never stop doing The Wawazawa.


Ronnie W