This pencil was obviously sharpened by a left-handed Indian knife thrower


A jumped-up pantry boy has made frequent reference to the Claim over the two years it’s been up and running.  Here from Pot Plant Pantry is the piece in which I first wrote about them, spurred on by seeing the group for the first time at the Black Horse in Camden in July 1987 and by acquiring their debut LP Armstrong’s revenge & eleven other short stories, and the EP This pencil was obviously sharpened by a left-handed Indian knife thrower.

I can’t remember from where I dug up the picture of the smartly dressed set of sixties youth, but it’s not too far fetched to say that these were the kinds of faces you would see twenty years later watching David Read, David Arnold, Martin Bishop and Stuart Ellis, who had replaced Adrian Hatcher on bass.

Still no sign of that Bus Stop compilation, I’m afraid, and alarmingly the label’s website seems to have disappeared.  However, over at the Claim website, Rich has added a late demo dating from the time that the Claim changed their name to the English Scene.  Written after Dave Read had stared thoughtfully down from the balcony of a tower block in Bow, ‘Hercules’ a.k.a. ‘Cathy loves Hercules’ typifies all that was great about the group.

While we wait for the chance to hear more of the earlier songs in full Technicolor glory, here in black and white are the two songs I mention in the piece.

5 responses

  1. The Claim retrospective is now scheduled to come out on Cherry Red. Yes!

  2. That’s great news. Fingers crossed.

  3. It is great news isn’t it! Dan, I like to think the audiences at Esurient events looked a little more cheerful than that pic suggests!

  4. I do remember plenty of laughter; probably thinking more of my own Jack Dee face and state of mind at the time!

  5. […] That’s one half of the Esurient LP Boomy Tella by my reckoning, and sadly means no room for the trombone-fuelled knees-up of ‘Beneath the reach’ or ‘All about hope’, on which the Claim were at their most exquisitely pastoral.  Fingers crossed Boomy will before long get a release in its own right.  Neither ‘This pencil…’ nor ‘Another yesterday’ feature – they can be downloaded here. […]

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