Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Pastel Time (Again)

After the mid-july 3 day heatwave, it's raining over London. Well, perfect weather for staying at home, eating homemade raisins bread with exotic jam and diving deep inside the music folder of my Portable Mighty Memory Machine. And I found that:

(yep it's a bad cap from my screen, couldn't find anywhere the original)

That is (drum roll)Entertaining Edwards, a bootleg cassette-only of demo and live and other rarities of The Pastels from 81/82. So, a poorly-recorded, not-so-well played (and of course not authorised) cassette of The Best Band In The World So Far. Yes, you want that. Well, I also dream every night of having that thing close to my C-86 cassette.

What's inside? The two first demos, a song from their first live ever, some great "Poor Me Boo Boo" 20-second track of Stephen and his guitar, their best song or so "I Like Painting" and even some truly innocent and naive and cute noise experimentations sounding like Delia Derbyshire remixing Le Forte Four. And some live introduction with the sexiest accent ever. Glasgow, my love.

Obvisously not the beginner stuff but perfect for a nerdy stupidly crazy fan like me. ("Oooh a test pressing of "I Am Alright With You" in a blank cover with the original Creation ad stick on for only £10").

By this time, The Pastels didn't had that much songs, and did like every band when it's come to make up their lake of creativity: COVERS. Yeah!

Lots of them: Modern Lovers ("Roadrunner" and its immortal punchline "Bye, Bye/Not Really") , Buzzcocks (a medley of two of them: Boredom and a really noisy I Love You, Big Dummy) , TV Personnalities (Part Time Punk with new lyrics), Troggs (Wild Thing), and among lots of VU cover, something I believe being of a cover of Sister Ray (unfortunatly less good than the live cover of Subway Sect/The Slits, but at least far better than the Joy Division one)

Yes, Sister Ray and Wild Thing. Yes, The Pastels was a really baaaaaadaaaaaass band.

Errhm well..

All that singing with the cutest childish duck voice ever.

And... And the Shangri-Las' Past Present Future. The best Shangri Las song singing by the best amateur band, that's something. That's the peak of this cassette. Incredibly... beyond I don't know what, but definitly beyond. (well I just notice than Tea Time Song is actually a semi-cover of Past Present Future)

Well actually, the real peak is another song. And I can't tell if it's a original or a cover: (Alone In The) Painbox.

Ok, I explain: on one side, we've got a almost perfect melody, obviously too perfect for the Pastels of this period. 2 verse, 2 chorus and... 1 bridge!

Do you imagine The Pastels putting a bridge in their song? No, I can't really. Or maybe around 85 or 86. Not in 82. 82 is the year of Song For Children. Heaven's Above and Tea Time Song. Not exactly the kind of with-a-bridge song.

But... On the other hand, the lyrics: "I am alone in the painbox/I wish you paint with me" and after, some great rhymes with "together" and "love forever" and some "pastels shades". Who else can dare to sing that except Stephen Pastel?



  1. (Alone in the) Paintbox is the demo for a song called Supposed To Understand which has the girls from Strawberry Switchblade on backing vocals. It was the B-side for I Wonder Why. The A Bit On The Side bootleg contains a more chipmunky demo version of it from 84

  2. Yeah, I actually discover that 3 days after this note. But couldn't bother to correct it.

    BTW, are you going at The Pastels gig in London ? We went yesterday to the one in Glasgow; was really good. Even Veronica Falls was quite fine (we're not big fans of Royal We/Sexy Kids, obviously).