Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tubilah Dog-Hop Pickers Ball,bootleg tape,1987+In Search of Plaice,CD,1998,UK

"TUBILAH DOG" .. Formed 1984 in Coventry from a bunch of festival going hash fiends. Early line up consisted of Alf Hardy (keyboards), Mark "Banny" Bannister (guitar), Steve Mills (vocals), Jerry Richards (guitar), John Oddy (bass), Andy Copleand (drums). Played just about every free festival betwen 1985 and 1990 John Oddy moved to mixing the sound Tim Kelsall, Steve's old compadre from a couple of rock bands joining on bass. After 1990 went through many line up changes these days the band consists of Steve Mills Vocals (guitar), Ashley Dreher (bass). Alf and Banny play keyboards and guitar on studio projects...
Similar bands... HAWKWINDS. The Dogs often played as HawkDog with Dave Brock and Harvey bainbridge from HAWKWIND. Songs have been described as sounding like ... The CLASH playing JETHRO TULL... Euro Pop meets the MINISTRY on black acid... and PINK FLOYD on skunkweed. At present Steve is producing and playing on the album ‘Dark Erotika’ for the Artist Bel Adair.
Steve Mills, ENGLAND for ProgArchives
The Hop Pickers Ball was Tubilah Dog's way of finishing off the hop picking season. A lot of Coventry folks had been working on the hops after the summer festivals and the band wanted to have a bash to celebrate the homecoming/end of the hard work. It was a quid a ticket - to pay for the petrol costs. Screech Rock turned up out of the blue and played support. Dave Brock was at the gig; the year after, Tubilah Dog were playing support with Hawkwind.
It was a frantic late night drive down from Coventry to Kent; trying to find the venue down dark country lanes and making many wrong turns. Space cakes, cider and 'shroom tea were a-plenty when we got there. We freaked out to the ultra voilet madness that was Screech Rock, met old friends and danced to the Dogs. At one point the cops drove past us...slowed down and looked in amazement as freaks and hop pickers partied their arses off...and then they drove off into the foggy night.
Here's what they missed.
01- Imhotep
02- Hassan I Sabbha
03- Making Love On The Telephone
04- Forty Floors Up
05- The Facts
06- Step Down
07- Waiting For A Jam
08- Not Just Another Maybe
09- Safe Zone
10- City Of Tiny Lights
11- 'U.F.O' theme
12- Saucer Surfing jam
13- Motorway City
14- Shot Down In The Night
Source: Tape copy of the original mixing desk recording {a bit rough in places }
Date: Saturday 19th September 1987
Venue: the oast house, Harefield Farm, Selling, Kent.
Support band: Screech Rock
Flyer/ticket art: Brian Needle & Martin Chaplin
Line up: Steve Mills - vocals; Jerry Richards - guitar & vocals; Tom Griffin - bass & vocals; Alf Hardy - synths & keys; Mark 'Banny' Bannister - rhythm guitar; Andy Copeland - drums; John Oddy - guest bass on 'City Of Tiny Lights' & sound mix.

Tubilah Dog – In Search of Plaice
Dating from 1998, this CD bears a well-known name but the Hawkwind connections are probably limited to the historical. Once upon a time Jerry Richards had been a member of the band, but when this was made was on board the mothership. Nonetheless the Dogs were always within the overall ambit of psychedelic space rock, and had supplied a slim majority of the personnel in Hawkdog and the Agents of Chaos – bands in which Dave Brock spent much of 1988-89 playing the free festival circuit.Watching (while the revolution dies) is surprisingly clean, featuring the clarity of a pulsing bass, occasional blasts of crunch guitar and poppy keyboards. The Irish sea shanty feeling is somewhat reminiscent of the Pogues on the chorus but the vocals sound like Jackie Leven of the much-maligned Doll By Doll.
Inside the Circle opens with some synthier moments: warm and resonant, but they have nothing to do with the main part of the track which is a mellow guitar-based piece, almost countryish though the vocals are more soulful than that. The songwriting thus far is very good, carving out distinctive numbers along very traditional lines. I almost want to draw a Van Morrison comparison here.Wyrd Romance also opens with spacey synths, and then goes into grungier territory with a subterranean guitar / bass / drums workout, envelope-shifted lead guitar and layers of textural, spacey synth. This lopes along nicely, with that bass again propelling the song - it’s much more what I was expecting Tubilah Dog to be, knowing their background and the track they did on one of the Hawkwind, Friends & Relations albums. The coda is tense, anxious and sexual, culminating in an orgiastic blur of freakish guitar. Splendid!Flowers In The Forest starts with some distant foreboding keyboards before pulling more of the celtic influences out of the hat. This sounds like some sort of duet of generically ethnic stringed instruments, with a nice undertone of menacing fuzzed guitar to stop it from becoming too safe and cosy.Flat, Broke and Busted is yet another rootsy piece, with most of the ballast coming from acoustic guitars, though there is again a sustained droning lead instrument which I can’t identify (but it says here “Northumbrian pipes”…). The folksy vocals suit this kind of arrangement perfectly, which never goes into any kind of clichι because the individual tonality of the instruments and their placement in the mix is not normal. Right at the end the acoustic guitars invoke echoes of ‘You Know You’re Only Dreaming’, and given the title of this album, perhaps ISOS was an influence. If so it’s mostly well disguised!Friends, with its understated vocals, prefigures the sort of thing Coldplay have been doing for the last couple of years. But another unusual arrangement stops that comparison dead in its tracks: a throbbing bass pedal is offset against distorted guitars low in the mix, alternated with reverberating crystalline keyboard arpeggios. The vocals again get quite soulful on the chorus, and some “orchestral hit” type samples punctuate all this quite effectively. I’ve made it sound like a dog’s dinner but really, it works very well and is utterly original without being at all strange! Domitius – more dark, sweeping synth chords and some quavering mad lead guitar (?) make for a drawn-out, unsettling intro. A sepulchral bell and widely-spaced bass drum beats insinuate themselves into proceedings…then the vocals come in, suggestive of a Gregorian chant, as an entire layer of synth is withdrawn at the exact same moment. Rather an odd transition, that. And it gets odder, with some dark, grinding guitar welling up at about five and a half minutes…almost a Sabbath-type riff, where the timing is off-kilter, giving the whole thing a psych / prog / gothic vibe.O.W.V. is the last track, and initially the most Hawkwind-ish with a wash of keyboard over a tentative, pulsing rhythm. But then some oddly-shaped squawking guitar chords and menacing semi-whispered vocals reassert the originality of this whole album. The bridge and chorus vocals are almost proggish and this makes me think of the Cardiacs (not a band I know very well) in terms of intent rather than sound, perhaps.Overall, a very interesting album. There’s a definite progression from the traditional moves in the opening tracks to a darker, twisted theme. It never totally rocks out, but isn’t that kind of album anyway. I suspect this one’s a grower.

***************NEW LINK POSTED SEPTEMBER 2012***************

Get it here
get the cd here

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Do you by any chance have the original tape of this show? I've managed to find a slightly higher resolution copy of it (160k versus the 112k that your blog links to ).

But, 160k is still nowhere near as good as the original tape or a wav transfer. Also, the "new" version I've got cuts out part way into Motorway City and does not have Shot Down in the Night, which is a real bummer.

I've got some excellent remastering software (iZotope Ozone) that's done a fantastic job on the version that I have got, but I'm wondering if you can help me start from a better place.

If you don't have a better copy that the one that you link to here and you want a copy of mine, just let me know.

Followup comments should come straight to my email but, just in case, it's


(replace -dot- with a . and replace -at- with an @)

Cheers. Rob.