10 April 2009

London Pleasures - Summer of Love/ London Pleasures (Double A Side)

London Pleasures - Summer of Love

Label: Paperback
Year of Release: 1982


This one has been stuck in my "to upload" pile ever since I started this blog, but I've never got around to it purely because... well... the strength of feeling was never quite there, I must be honest. Despite the fact that this single has been listed on several collector's sites (and record stores) for rather ambitious sums of money, I've never quite understood what anybody might be seeing in it beyond the fact that it's yet another reasonable early indie single with a limited pressing.

The London Pleasures were indeed a London-based band (despite this coming out on a Peterborough based record label) who consisted of Mark Wragg on guitar, Brian Thorpe on Bass, Paul Addie on Drums and Phil Brammer on guitar and vocals. Judging from the two sides presented here, their particular schtick was a slightly new wave styled noise with sixties influences tacked on. Like a great many bands of their ilk, however, they were cursed with ultra-cheap production values which mean that neither track seems to rise much above demo tape quality, and frequently doesn't even hit the highs of the decade eighties recording technology was supposed to supersede. By the time the messy, noisy basics of punk had faded away, the DIY approach of many a bedroom indie label was left looking rather exposed when bands tried to record more complicated material.

Still, there's some nice ideas going on throughout the disc, and a sense that if they'd been given a bigger budget to play with and further releases, something more striking might have come out of the London Pleasures camp. Their theme tune "London Pleasures" is timeless lyrically at least (as well as being the stronger side), bemoaning the impossibility of anybody young actually living a swinging life in the hostile capital, whilst "Summer of Love" apes psychedelia and marries it with a fat, beefy bassline, a pleasing riff, and more lyrics protesting about the fact that the eighties were basically the evil yin to the sixties yang. There's also a gentle groove going on here which would probably have pleased Edwyn Collins and his Orange Juice cohorts more than the numerous piss-poor Postcard copyists who littered the indie scene for years afterwards.

Sadly, nobody rushed forward to finance any further releases, and this seems to be the sole offering from the band. Paperback Records apparently released one other single by another act before giving up too (although the Internet doesn't seem to have any data as to who this was by) and what we're left with is a whole bunch of guesswork about both the band and label. Still, don't go off and pay fifteen quid for this, for God's sake, just download it below.

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