As you will have divined from the cover of Too Much Hanky Pantry, the second issue of my fanzine came with a flexi disc by the McTells and Rig Veeda and the Twins. Paul McTell and his Bi-Joopiter partner in crime Gillian very nobly put up the money for the flexi, despite being not that much less impoverished than I was. It was also distributed with The Hip Priest and Escape From Bereznik fanzines and was played by John Peel, resulting in a deluge of SAEs and a trickle of demo tapes. I singularly failed to do anything with these, which is a great shame as I might well have beaten Sha-la-la to Exeter’s Visitors and subsequently gone on to found an extremely successful independent record label, rubbed shoulders with Alan and Noel at the infamous 10 Downing Street party in ’97, stuck the knife into Blair when it all went sour, and blew my ill-gotten gains on a habit which mollified the disappointment of losing out to fresher and more entrepreneurially astute labels on all the groups who might previously have wished to associate themselves with me. Rehab, gradual dwindling of activity, retirement, death.
In an extremely unlikely conjunction of old and new formats and technology, one of the tracks on the flexi, ‘Virginia M.C.’ is available in video form on YouTube. The suitably sepia-toned and murky footage (from a compilation video for the housing and homelessness charity Shelter) looks like something from the dawn of cinema, but clearly audible is the electroconvulsive racket made by these pioneers of the international pop underground.