Friday, 10 June 2011

SONG FOR TODAY: Grouch - Out Of It

Those not familiar with the concept of 'Song For Today' should be aware that I do an A to Z series of great songs, one for every day, and for the last few weeks I have been running you through an A to Z of lost late 90's/early 00's indie classics, mostly from forgotten bands.

I've gone from A all the way to W, but couldn't find any lost indie classics from the late 90's/early 00's that were made by any artists beginning with Q, X,Y or Z. So to make up for that I'm including some extra tracks. This one is from a band called Grouch........

I first heard the group via their single 'Out Of It', which was released in January 1999, and a couple of months later found a 7" copy of their previous single 'Smile'. I never heard of Grouch again after that, but it turns out the group have a bit more history than I realised. They were formed out of the ashes of Midway, a 1990's indie group who I've heard a lot about but never listened to. The only information I can find about Grouch is on a very out of date official website, which claims an album entitled 'Dynamo' would be released in June 1999. Here's 'Out Of It'......

Formed from the ashes of early 90's noise merchants and Press favourites, MIDWAY STILL, Grouch were formed in 1997 as a threepiece. In this guise they released a 7" only recording of 'Smile' on PPP. The single received radio support from Lamacq and Peel. Just before this they had begun working with Tav, the manager of Ash, and had signed a publishing deal with EMI Music.

After 'Smile' the band changed into a fourpiece with the addition of keyboards and a change of drummers, and released another 7" only single, 'Up to You' on Southpaw, which once again got good support from Radio 1 (getting played on Radcliff's afternoon show twice, as well as receiving several airings by Lamacq and XFM).
Having split with their management, the band again changed, losing the keyboards but gaining another guitarist and vocalist and the lineup settled as:

Paul Thomson - Guitar and vocals.
Carmel Lee - Guitar and vocals.
Jan Konopka - Bass.
Clive Dicker - Drums.

The band then set up their own label, Antipop, as a means of releasing their material and in January 1999 the single 'Out of It' came out to the usual good support from Radio 1 and XFM and reviews in NME and Kerrang. Around this time the band did an acoustic set on the Sean Hughes radio show on GLR.
The second release on the label was 'Smile' (re-recorded since it's first release) which appeared in April 1999 to a similar reception ( a live session on GLR) and this was promoted by a short tour of the country.
The next release will be the mini album 'Dynamo' due out in this country on June 7th . The album was produced by longtime friend of the band Paul Tipler who had cut his engineeringteeth on Midway Still records and who has since gone on to record albums by Stereolab and Idlewild among many others. Paul had salvaged the original recording of 'Smile' and produced all but one of the songs recorded after that.

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