tinhuviel: (Torquemada)

I haven’t done one of these in about 10,000 years, so let’s get this show on the road.

This is all true. photo 1264091_10153348891685721_288267917_o.jpg1. Full name: Tracy Angelina Evans
2. Nicknames: Tin, Tinhuviel, George, Darth Shriek
3. Birthplace: Asheville, North Carolina USA
4. Birthday: 10 September, 1967
5. Where Do You Live Now?: San Diego, California
6. Parent(s): Father Unit has passed.  Mother Unit is here in San Diego.
7. Sibling(s): ZERO
8. Looks: Better off invisible.
9. Favourite Animal(s): Anything non-human, except for millipedes and centipedes.  Like humans, they can go fuck themselves.
10. Favorite TV Show(s): Impractical Jokers, Better Call Saul

11. Favorite Kind(s) Of Music: Most everything but Country and Opera.
12. Favorite Movie(s): Sci-Fi, Unusual, Conceptual, Foreign
13. School: Some college, focusing on English and Veterinary Assistance
14. Future School: I’m too old for this question. The Chapel Perilous

15. Future Job: Testing new, effective sleep aids.
16. Boyfriend/Girlfriend: nah
17. Best Buds: I’m a bit of a hermit these days.
18. Favorite Candy: Milk Dud
19. Hobbies: Music, reading, writing
20. Things You Collect: Grudges, CDs, movies, moments in time.

21. Do You Have A Personal Phone Line: Yes
22. Favorite Body Part Of The Opposite Sex? The eyes and brain
23. Any Tattoos And Where Of What?: Red & Black Triskele on right hand, Green Shriekback logo on left hand, Mwanza Flat-headed Agama with green and blue hues instead of pinkish and blue.
24. Piercing(s) And Where?: not anymore
25. What Do You Sleep in?: clothing
26. Do you like Chain Letters: aw HELL NAW.
27. Best Advice: Reality is peripheral.
28. Favorite Quotes: Hope for the best, expect the worst. - Mel Brooks.
29. Non-sport Activity You Enjoy: sleep
30. Dream Car: A transporter

31. Favorite Thing To Do In Spring: Avoid the sun.
32. What’s Your Bedtime: Whenever I’m lucky.
33. Where Do You Shop: Wherever I can.
34. Coke or Pepsi: Cheerwine

35. Favorite Thing(s) To Wear?: Something loose that will allow me to blend into my surroundings.
36. Favorite Subject(s) In School: English and Creative Writing

37. Favorite Color(s): Green, Red, Black
38. Favorite People To Talk To Online: People with brains and a wicked sense of humour that has set them on the road to Hell.

39. Root-Beer or Dr. Pepper? Root beer

40. Do You Shave? I’m too old for that bullshit.

41. Favorite Vacation Spot(s): I don’t do vacations.  My favourite place to BE is England.
42. Favorite Family Member(s): Smidgen
43. Did You Eat Paint Chips When You Were a Kid? WHAT?
44. Favorite CD you own: Currently Without Real String or Fish by Shriekback
45. The ONE Person Who You Hate The Most: Going with an old standard here and saying Pat Robertson.
46. Favorite Food(s)?: Potatoes
47. Who Is The Hottest Guy or Girl In The World?: I have a very short list.
48. What Is Your Favorite Salad Dressing?: Bleu Cheese.
49. When You Die, Do You Wanna Be Buried or Burned Into Ashes? I don’t care, as long as I end up on Craggy Dome.
50. Do You Believe In Aliens?: Absolutely.

51. If You Had The Chance To Professionally Do Something, What would You Do? I’m already a Professional Misanthropist.
52. Things You Obsess Over: Various artists, ideas, philosophies, theories, general weirdness
53. Favorite Day of the Week: Don’t bloody care.
54. An Authority Figure You Hate: The Feudal Mistress still tops the list.
55. Favorite Disney Movie: Bambi
56. What Is Your Favorite Season? Winter
57. What Toppings Do You Like On Your pizza? Cheese, with extra cheese, and cheese on the side.
58. Do You Like Your School Food Itself (As In The District Food): I never ate it.
59. If You Could Live Anywhere, Where Would You Live? Avebury, Wiltshire, UK
60. Favorite Thing(s) To Do On Weekends: Sleep, if I can accomplish it.

61. Favorite Magazine(s): Don’t have one.
62. Favorite Flower(s): White rose

63. Favorite Number(s): 5

64. Favorite Ice Cream flavor(s): Ben & Jerry’s Wavy Gravy

65. What Kind of Guys/Girls Are You Attracted to?: Dangerously intelligent, beautiful, talented, and hilarious.

66. What’s Your Most Embarrassing Moment? I inadvertently introduced myself to someone as his wife.

67. If You Could Change One Thing About Yourself What Would It be? I would be fearless.

68. Do You Eat Breakfast First Then Brush Your Teeth or Brush first ten eat breakfast: breakfast first.

69. Favorite Time of Day: Whenever I get to sleep.

70. Can A Guy and Girl Be Just “Best Friends?”: Why not?

71. Do You Ask The Girl/Guy Out Or Do You Wait For Them To Come To You?: I don’t go there anymore.

72. Do You Mind Paying For Sex? I never would.

73. What’s The Most Important thing In Someone’s Personality: Sentience

74. Do you have a pager or cell phone? Cell

75. Favorite Sport: Flambodious Butt-walking

76. What Was the Best Gift You Ever Received? Love

77. How Long Did This Letter Take You To Finish?: Not very long.

78. What Did You Listen To While Completing It?: Electric Light Orchestra’s Alone in the Universe.

79. Are you or would you like to be married in the near future (next 5 years)? NEGATIVE

80. Don’t u just hate how psychics never win the lottery? I hate it more than I don’t win the lottery. I hate psychics, especially the ones who claim to talk to your dead relatives.  They’re grifters who should be drawn and quartered.  The End.

tinhuviel: (B Interview)

Another Throwback Thursday confection for all my homies.


Some time ago, we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves in contact with Barry Andrews via the Internet. He further astonished us by agreeing to an Interview! So, with an abundance of fan input, we put together a "small collection" of the most pertinent questions and fairly alarmed him with a Lengthy Interrogation. Undaunted, Mr. Andrews expressed himself as he most usually does: with eloquence and not a small amount of wit.

Shriek Questions

The Band

  • How did you meet Dave Allen, Carl Marsh, and Martyn Barker? How did the band come together?
    Errr, met Dave thru Sara Lee –(Bassist w. League of Gentlemen –Leeds connection) He rang me on leaving Go4, Carl wrote him a letter (ever the literary one) and I brought Mart in when we needed a proper drummer –I knew him from Clare Hirst, the sax –player who I was going out with and who played in The Emotional Spies w. Mart. ( I think that’s right ??)

  • Did Shriekback try to create an image with your music and visuals? If so, were you successful?
    Sure we tried, I think we had our moments.

  • Were you surprised with the positive response to last year’s album, "Naked Apes and Pond Life"?
    Very much so. I’d disowned the whole project and was off bashing bits of metal (rather than other band members). Had it not been for Lu and Martyn it would never have come out. The fact that it was sonically the least user-friendly of all our work made it doubly suprising that it was getting good reviews (the old ‘fuck em if they can’t take a joke’ ethic again I guess)

  • Is that what got you to thinking of the possibility of a new Shriekback project sometime in the future? There’s rumour that both Carl and Dave are involved with the new Shriek project. Would you care to comment?
    Dave was in London with a big expense account to abuse, so the Shrieks (class of 85) duly obliged. It was a heady mixture of lurid cocktails, free money and that ineluctable chemistry of 4 old pervs with something still to prove. It looks very likely that we will do Another One. With D & C.

  • What are the Seven Pillars of Shriekback?
    They were a series of principles by which we intended to focus our, at the time, dissipated and addled energies in order to create a rock band.  Have totally forgotten what they were, though..

  • Tell us about the Shriek logo. Whose idea was it and does it have a particular meaning. If so, what?
    It was Al Macdowell’s design –our sympatico Art Person (last seen being head of production design on the Fight Club film –howabouthat?).   I think it was to do with cyclical energy (otherwise known as going round in circles –hmm, be careful what you visualise).

  • Do you still have contact with Sarah and Wendy? What are they doing these days?
    Oh yes, very much so. Seeing them this Friday, actually. Wendy’s a homeopathic practitioner (with 2 kids) about to Move to The Country. And Sarah manages recording engineers and producers.

  • Are you enthusiastic about the resurgence of Shriekback’s popularity?
    Now there’s a leading question, with a certain ambiguity. I certainly like the idea of making some more music both with, and without, the Chaps. A Shriek-Renaissance would be handy. Is it happening? Maybe. You tell me… I don’t get out much.

Shriek Works

  • Why do so many Shriek songs resonate with a subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) spiritual energy, both sacred and profane?
    Aww, get outta here. Do they? Cheers. Nice one.  Like Jah Wobble (whom God Preserve) said: 'You either make music to see God, or to make money, and if it’s making money then you end up like a million other people all trying to get lucky with a beat.' That’s not exactly relevant really though, is it? I love the idea of touching people in That Place. That’s the main idea, of course.

  • Looking back on the albums the Shrieks have made, do you have a personal favourite and, if so, why? Do you have any favourite Shriekback songs? Any you dislike?
    Care, because we really had no idea what we were doing but we couldn’t help doing it. It was discovering a place where we / I could legitimately and comfortably express ourselves. Finding a Voice, all that.. The end of a hard, messy road of adolescent angst and it was Going To Be Alright after all. Still does sound like that to me, as it goes.


  • Evaporation because it was the first time I got the underwater, Lee Perry, ‘it’s dark but don’t be afraid’ thing to happen. Nice ‘tune’ (meaning melody).

  • Black Light Trap because it’s so ..Large. Lots going on. Architectural vibe. Big creaky Gormenghast thing with disco. Sounds like Shriekback and absolutely noone else.

  • This Big Hush - A big scary fantastic Love affair in the snows of 85 and everything impossibly vivid. Well that’s what I was doing. Add your own recollections, of course.


  • Get Down Tonight (what were we thinking of? oh yeah, making money , that’s right)

  • Mercy Dash the single (the intoxication of trying to sound like someone else - don’t do it, kids, especially not with machines that you don’t understand.)  Still, that’s it, not bad over 8 albums, is it?

  • What songs were made into videos?
    Nemesis, Get Down Tonight, Lined Up...

  • Any hope of a video compilation? Speaking of videos, who conceptualised the ‘Nemesis’ video?
    Probably not, who could possibly have the ‘masters’? and they were all dodgy apart from Nemesis.  I did all the ‘conceptualising’, Al McDowell did the visualising, Tony VandenEnde (the ostensible director) made it happen.


  • There is word of a new compilation album of obscure and unreleased material coming out sometime in March entitled "Aberrations 81-4". In what countries will this be available? Is there anything further you would care to offer to your listeners regarding this album?
    The territories are down to who wants it –where we can get licensing deals. The States will be covered by Nail Records, we think…  It will be available from Mauve Records mail order if all else fails.  It’s an interesting car-boot sale of weirdness, 9 never before released songs also remixes, live bits etc. Copious sleeve-notes by Marsh and I. We’re going to include ‘Naked Apes’ in the package, so it’s cracking good value for anyone who never got the latter.

  • Will we ever see the BBC recordings released?
    Hope so, we’re looking into the Legalities (not the name of a soul band).

  • Michael Mann used the Shrieks’ music extensively in ‘Miami Vice’ and in the movie ‘Manhunter’. Did you ever meet him and do you foresee any future collaborations?
    No and No. Shame: I especially liked it when they were chasing the Miami coke-baron round the harbour in speed-boats, white 80’s trousers flapping and Shrieks are singing some weirdshit in Sanskrit (Running on the Rocks). Obviously made sense to Mike.

Personal Questions


  • Tell us about your Illuminati project.
    Doomed doomed, emotionally overwrought Guitar driven rock, Humungous female vocal, ravishing melodies. Me trying to be ‘non-ironic’ and ‘not weird’. Don’t fight your nature, that’s what I learnt. Still have the album in the can. Maybe release it someday.

  • What music do you listen to? What do you think of today’s pop music scene?

bazzachat2015.jpgANDREWS PLAYLIST 2001

  1. Beethoven ‘Creatures of Prometheus’

  2. Planxty (Irish trad) ‘The Woman I loved so well’ ‘After the Break’

  3. Nick Cave ‘The Boatman’s Song’ ‘Murder Ballads’

  4. Arvo Part 'Cantus for Benjamin Britten' 'Festina Lente'

  5. John Cooper Clarke ‘Snap Crackle and Bop’

  6. Slade ‘Greatest Hits’

  7. Underworld ‘Everything Everything’

  8. Mouse on Mars ‘niun niggung’

  • Will we ever see a collection of your solo work?
    Dunno, it’s nearly all only on cassette so it would be a hissy kind of a thang.

  • Will we see anymore from The Caretakers, the Refugees, or some other project yet to come to light?
    Caretakers are Bruce Mcrae and Carlo Asciutti, both of whom are complicated men to get hold of. Bruce is in Canada and Carlo’s in East Dulwich – which might as well be Canada. Come on guys, the World needs you… sigh, what can you do with ‘em?

  • What prompted the song ‘Win a Night out with a Well-Known Paranoiac’?
    The Adolescent angst of which I spoke and my snotty scruffy persona, (at 22-23) & resistance to authority which wound up all the right people sufficiently to support a – that’s right - paranoid world view. I liked the idea of a spoken song like Patti Smith’s 'Piss Factory'. It’s funnier though-especially the bit about the 'Underwater Toilet.'


  • When did you develop an interest in music?
    The parent’s collection of 78’s on the wind-up record player (fuck-I’m old) me alone in the attic playing ‘Shifting Whispering Sands’ and 'Indian Love call'. The rest is history.

  • Most of what we’ve heard about your departure from XTC has been from sources in relation to that band. In fact, in the liner notes of the recent XTC box set, Andy Partridge laments your leaving the band. To balance things out, would you like to let your side be heard?
    Well, as I’ve said probably more times than I should – I always regarded XTC as a stepping stone –we came from the the same town, were all working class pissheads and were all talented, it was never really a meeting of minds. Thus, as soon as we had some breathing space from touring and getting a deal it was obvious that this combination had run it’s course. You don’t need a degree in Workplace Dynamics to see that both an Andrews and a Partridge is one egomaniac only-child too many. For me that was – as they say in Swindon – ‘it and all about it’. It was great fun for a while though. And loads of shagging.

  • Many articles and XTC book passages indicate that you’ve seemingly resented the intellectual labels attributed to you and, later, Shriekback. Have your feelings changed on this issue or do you still wish to stress the physical aspect of your music?
    I don’t know why you say this. Anyone who calls me an intellectual will have me purring on the floor and buying them drinks.

    Oh, you probably mean that ‘what do your lyrics mean?’ type thing.

    It’s really that what I’ve always tried to do with music – specifically SONGS- which are a brilliant art-form and still nowhere near exhausted - is create new places - funny little aquariums where the rules of the outside world no longer apply. Bear in mind that this is not sheet music it’s recorded music so all sorts of subtleties and inflections are possible – the ambient sound in the room, the slapback echo all have different things to say (ambient sound says ‘fly on the wall documentary,’ slap-back can mean Elvis or, add a few repeats and it’s Nuremberg). What I mean is that Songs are perceived sonically, primarily - then we add the strata of meaning. But, as with all good art-forms the most fun is in the grey areas. Where the Delicious Frissons of Ambiguity live.

    So when you can’t quite hear what Strummer’s singing on Janie Jones, you hallucinate your own visions into the gap between what you can understand and what you can’t. As one does as a child listening to the grown ups talk. It’s an interesting place to be. When I finally saw those lyrics written down the song was over for me. Not that they were bad lyrics, just that they were only what they were, no longer all the things they might possibly be.

    So the lyrics are one part of this tense interdependent little biosphere. Another example: Marvin Gaye's ‘Grapevine’ –it’s dark, the bass and congas sound jungly (like a Rousseau jungle in purples) the song’s about jealousy - there are loads of different ways of saying ‘people are saying that you’re seeing someone else’ but he picks vines – big strangly creepy things with round sweet purple grapes on them and the jungly groove and the sweet sad voice and the minor key all support each other – organically, you’d have to say - the medium and the message all beautifully shmershed together. The lyrics as written don’t tell you any of this, like the sheet music doesn’t tell you how sexy that bass line is. The experience is to be had in front of a speaker and that’s it. SO - even if you use words like ‘parthenogenesis’ and ‘historesis’ you’re still playing the same game. I used ‘parthenogenesis’ mainly because it sounded good and almost rhymed with Nemesis. The meaning was secondary (but relevant). So if you were to apply the ‘Grapevine’ treatment to that chorus - my intention was to get a laugh - or at least an internal smirk - from the big-almost football crowd-chorus, the long ungainly scientific word, the huge daft power chords, and everything within this barmy context of ‘let’s examine the nature of morality’ – like some philosophy professor who went to Vietnam and listened to a lot of Gary Glitter. Still makes me laugh.

    Another way to see it is like you ‘get’ a joke, which, if you want, you can explain, and you can even analyse why it’s funny. But the point of the joke is really only in the ‘getting’ of it. If you don’t experience that then all the rest is pointless. Thus, when people make a big deal of 'explaining the lyrics', it very often (experience has shown) means that they never really ‘got’ the idea of the song. It’s turned into some gnarly little Eng. Lit puzzle.

    Blimey, value-for-money-question.

The Individual

  • We know that you are a consummate musician, that you’ve dabbled in filmmaking, and that you’re also an artist, having studied 3-D design. It would seem that you’re quite the Renaissance man. Is that a fair description? How would you describe yourself?
    Naah, the trouble with doing lots of things is that you meet lots of people who only do one thing and are therefore extremely good at them. Bad comparisons are inevitable. ‘Jack of all trades’ says it . Still, it seems to be my nature to apply a similar aesthetic to lots of different things and this is as close to a mission statement as I can get: ‘try everything, make up as many things as possible; remember to take notes.’

  • There have also been many comments from folks who’ve met you that you exude an otherworldly air. Would you care to address that?
    I have been known to drift, somewhat. Oh yes..

  • We’ve heard many stories from fans whom have attended Shriek concerts and, afterwards, were thrilled to find you dancing, drinking, and generally making merry with them after the show. Why are you so prone to mingle with the fans when artists, including other members of the band, don’t generally engage in such activity?
    Human fucking Beings, man. What else is there?

  • In what other projects are you currently involved?
    The ongoing exegesis of Parc Stic (a metaphysical theme park) and amassing material for a solo album. And keeping an eye on Finn (the lad) who’s starting his own musical career (which is spooky).

  • Being the primary lyricist for Shriekback, it’s obvious you have a gift with words. Do you write prose as well or have you considered doing so?
    Saving that for when I’m Really old and can’t do anything else.

  • Who or what would you say is your greatest influence?
    Alex Harvey, Lee Perry, Patti Smith, the Constructed World (not a band either).

  • The dance that you and the Sids perform to ‘The Reptiles and I’ in the ‘Jungle of the Senses’ concert video exhibits a variety of Kung Fu movements. That, combined with the fact that you’ve been spotted many times wearing Tabi, lead us to ask if you’re a Martial Artist as well. If so, what form or forms have you studied?
    Mark Raudva – who plays on ‘Naked Apes’ - is a qualified Tai Chi teacher and would piss himself if he read that. I studied with him for about six months and gave up. I did Aikido for about three weeks – way too upsetting.

  • What do you think of the world today?
    Oh the easy ones at the end eh?

Final Thoughts

  • What would you like see happen at Shriekback.com?
    The hub of a new Renaissance, a centre for Excellence, a source of psychic nourishment and high quality gas-masks.

  • Is there anything you’d like to say to the fans of both you and Shriekback?
    ‘Hold fast to that which gives the deepest jollies.’

7 February, 2001

Help the Shrieks give us all more memories.  Visit their official website to sign up for the newsletter, and don't forget to pick up a copy of their new album, Without Real String or Fish!

tinhuviel: (RepLogo)

Still in its relative infancy, the old Shriekback.com, The Shriekback Digital Conspiracy, launched a campaign based on the idea that artists and their fans should cut out the middle man. As part of Throwback Thursday, here's what is said about that exciting time on Shriekback's Tumblr blog:

Since we're once again *having a moment*, let's take a look back to the genesis of our "by subscription" EP, which foretold the rise of crowdfunding 14 years ago. This was the announcement seen on the old Shriekback.com back in 2001. To those who contributed then and are reading this now, we thank you again for helping make Having a Moment a reality, and cheers to you all for your continuing support. Having a Moment is once again available for purchase. You need only go to our online store. Whilst there, pick up a copy of our new album, Without Real String or Fish!

Personally, I think the band should be getting a cut of the profits sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo enjoy. Once again, the Shrieks were way ahead of their time.  Here is the original "Fate" page mentioned in the above announcement.  In order to easily read it, click the image for full size.


tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

The band have posted an hour-long interview, answering fans' questions. Take a gander, and don't forget to pick up a copy of Without Real String or Fish.

tinhuviel: (RepLogo)

~Through Us the Way into the Sacred City~

~Through Us the Way into Nights of Heat and Weirdness~

~Through Us the Way to the Illuminated Ones~

~Sheer enthusiasm made Us~

~And Passion and Poems and Sex~

~Before Us nothing but Excellence can endure~

~For We are the Gateway to Excellence, Deviance, and Delight~


tinhuviel: (RepLogo)


Big Electric Energy

by Lesley Sly

They are tired of being cult heroes – Shriekback, the weird studio band, the unpredictable performers. Their new line-up, tour and album were the firt lap in a drive for wider acceptance. Head shrieker, Barry Andrews, maps out the course.

The Shriekback of old was, by their own admission, chaotic and experimental. They were machine-men, dabbling with drum computers and Fairlights, every song a loose sketch from backing track to overdub. And live, it was jam science.

But the Shriekback that stormed Australia with a high octane live set and the cruisy cocktail-style album, Big Night Music, in March was a different kettle of…fish. (Alas, little light was shed on their strange preoccupation with deep sea creatures in our post-gig interview).

They are now a band intent on cracking the mainstream, getting their powerful live sound onto vinyl and dispensing with as much machinery as possible in the process.

They’ve been streamlining the human element, too. When they hit the cultish London circuit in 1981 with the mini-album, Tench, they were six-piece. By the following year, they were three – Barry Andrews (vocals/keyboards; ex-XTC, Robert Fripp’s League of Gentlemen), David Allen (bass; ex-Gang of Four) and Carl Marsh (guitar).

Then came the albums Care and Jam Science and in 1984 they took on drummer, Martyn Barker, had their first chart single Hand On My Heart and followed up with the album, Oil And Gold, inn 1985.

In early 1986 they signed a new deal with Island and lost Carl Marsh. Another change was the approach to recording. The writing trio of Andrews, Allen and Barker decided to concentrate on the expansive, atmospheric elements of their music and go for an ‘all-played’ groove, augmented by their four-piece Big Live Band – Michael Cozzi (guitars), Steve Halliwell (keyboards) and backing singers, Wendy and Sarah Partridge.

For the Australian tour they added a percussionist and Barry left keyboard duties to Steve, bar the occasional solo.

The last time I saw the band live was at one of their first gigs in a seedy London pub. On stage this year, in the claustrophonic refectory hall at Sydney Uni, there was hardly a trace of the enfant terrible. Dynamic, controlled, structured rock’n’roll theatre, a new authority, no chaos.

In the dressing room later, Barry Andrews explained this new order…

Your live set is much more structured now. There are middle-eights, you all start and stop in the same places. You’re very tight and professional…

I don’t know about very tight and professional, but certainly more than we used to be. We do all end at the same time.

Remember the Greyhound in Fulham (London), one of your first gigs?

(Shudders) Christ Almighty. We have changed since then.

Do you think you’ve sacrificed spontaneity for structure?

Not really. It used to be a fucking mess. There was a good, wild, out-of-control energy, you know all those AAARRRRGH, post-punk screams. But after a while…it’s unchannelled and ultimately not satisfying when you do seven gigs in a row and only one of them is any good.

I think we are channeling that energy more and there are still areas of improvisation…freedom within that structure.

What parts are improvised?

All the solos. I never play the same solo twice on Feelers, I’m always mucking around with the vocals, doing little improvised rants and stuff.

I think it’s a popular misconception that you have to do completely improvised music in order to have freedom. Mike (guitarist) always plays the same solo but there’s a difference when he’s really putting his heart and soul into it. It has an authority and power to it.

You get quite close to recorded sounds live…

I think we do considering how many overdubs and weird things we’re doing in the studio.

Were you using Fairlight much on Big Night Music?

No. We’d decided it was going to be a low budget album and we weren’t going to use the Fairlight as much as we had on Oil And Gold. We also wanted to use more acoustic instruments, so that it sounded like a band in a room playing some music, all in time.

Towards the end of recording there was a particular sound on Underwaterboys that we couldn’t get on either the JP8 or the DSS1 and me and Gavin (MacKillop, co-producer) were tearing our hair out [er, figuratively speaking]. So we decided to chip inn out of our own money and get the Fairlight to do this sound. As it turned out we did do it within budget – we didn’t have to sell our cars or anything – and so we went round the tracks putting little touches of Fairlight on here and there.

You’ve always used machines to make music. Was the decision taken on this album not to do so due to budget or were you bored with that approach?

No, it wasn’t because of the budget. It was the first record where Martyn (drummer) had really found his feet and he had loads and ideas bubbling over. It seemed a bit irrelevant to haul in a Fairlight or drums computer and put it through its paces.

We were bored with all that stuff after a four-year romance with technology too. Also, some of the rhythms are so subtle like, Running on the Rocks – there no drum computer in the world can do that.

How do you write your songs?

Always from the rhythm. In the old day it was a drum machine and we’d build the songs in the studio a la Bowie and all that. But, that wasn’t a particularly cost-effective way of doing things and we also decided that we wanted the…thing to happen in music that you only get when you’ve played a song for a long time on stage.

On Oil and Gold there was only one track that was like that (Health And Knowledge) which, while it wasn’t a great groove or even a particularly great song, had this smoothness, a rotundity to it. We thought it would be nice to have a whole album with the edges worn off, with a nice ‘used’ quality to it.

Do you write together?

Generally, Martyn will put down a rhythm and we’ll all – me, Dave and Martyn – improvise around that. If there’s an energy to the groove we’ll just tape the drums on cassette for two minutes.

Then, I take that home and put it on my cassette machine which has a loop function and just sit there singing to it, record that on another machine and listen to it. I find that quite often good things come out when you’re just burbling off the top of your head whereas if you sat down and tried to write it, that critical part of the brain might be brought to bear on it and crush the idea before it grows. I then go through and make notes, wander round, have a cup of tea, read a few books, find a few weird words (laughs).  Then I do the whole process again until the thing starts to bed down into a structure, verse, chorus, etc.  Then, I take it back to Dave and Martyn and we work on chords and details.

Atmosphere is crucial in your music. Is sound important in the writing process?

I tend to find that the rhythm will suggest a certain kind of atmosphere. It will all be encapsulated in that rhythm. Once you’ve got the initial crystalisation of the song, it’s all police work from there on. Like, Shining Path…it was obvious from that rhythm and the title that it was going to be this huge, swirly, exotic druggie-opium vision. From there on we knew it was going to need bells, big chords, wind gong, etc.

No home studios?

Martyn’s making moves in that direction. Sometimes I think it would be a good idea but then…I used to do that with XTC. I used to sit in my bedroom with an Akai two-track machine, a Wurlitzer piano and microphone and write the whole thing. Then I’d go along with a song and try to impose it on the band and tell the bass player and drummer what to play.It had a kind of awkwardness to it because they were playing something which wasn’t quite natural for them. Sometimes it worked but now it works every time because we don’t add things to songs unless they do work.

So, when you record now you take complete songs in?

Yeah and we’re going to work that way on the next album. There’s a couple of new ones we’re playing already.

How long does it take to get a song together?

Maybe a day per song. But, once I take the verse and chorus along we just put a bit of intense energy into it, maybe an hour, and then I take it home and work on it again. Then we bring in the other players.

You use the Jupiter 8 for rehearsals?


What’s happened to that battered old organ you used for years?

It’s in my ex-wife’s cupboard. I go round every now and then and dust it off (the organ, that is). It’s a sweet little thing, and I can’t bring myself to throw it away but I can’t find any use for it anymore.

Was recording Big Night Music standard procedure?

Yes…I haven’t worked in that way since the Robert Fripp album. Gavin is a very traditional producer and I really left it to him. It’s nice, there’s something very organic about recording that way [as a band]. You don’t have to go through the endless…well, there’s a drum rhythm and I haven’t got a clue what to do next, maybe go blurgh on the first beat of every bar and then try to find some chords, and lay three tracks of percussion that we’ll never use.

It was exciting to work like that and if money was no object I probably still would…

Because there’s always the element of surprise when you’re actually creating the song track-by-track?

Yeah…the only track we did like that was Sticky Jazz and I think you can hear the difference…the textures change suddenly.

What about vocal treatment?

On Big Night Music I was getting into big whispering but the process of recording was mostly traditional. Occasionally I fed my voice through an AC30 amp wound up like fuck and recorded in a live room. On the end of Black Light Trap I fed it though Mike’s pedalboard with the distortion wound right up…and all these other knobs. I don’t really know what they do.

It’s your fifth album and seems like a summary of the rest. Do you agree?

No, I think there are areas left out…mainly the big noisy stuff. It’s like taking one of the themes of Shriekback, which is the big, dark, quiet cocktail band thing with more of the reggae influence. We’ve taken that and really explored it.

On the next album we’ll get into the big racket.

Using players and no machines?

Yes, I think so. It usually becomes apparent after you’ve been on the road a while what sort of album you want to make next. On this tour it’s become clear that everyone is excited about taking the atmosphere we get live and trying to record that and mess with it and see what happens.

Back to the whispering…you’ve said you’ll do more shouting next time. Isn’t the whisper part of Shriekback’s charm, a hallmark almost?

Well, for the sake of making an homogenous record…it always irritated me, about Oil And Gold especially, that you’re listening to a noisy track, you’re in party mode and then suddenly it goes all quiet and mushy and you have to leap for the turntable and get that track off.

When I want to listen to a piece of music I want an atmosphere and I think most people do. So, I would say…yeah, we’ll have a whispering-free, high-noise album. (laughs).

Why are you so popular here and often dismissed as an arty band in the UK?

There’s two things…if you’re not getting played on radio in the UK there isn’t really the gig circuit to establish yourself anymore. Also, the British psyche finds it a bit disgusting seeing this person up there on stage going ‘waaaah, look at me’. They like records and nightclubs and keeping it all under control.

For a long time in England we were making experimental, reflective, not grab-you-by-the-throat sort of records and people got a bit bored waiting for Shriekback to do something that would be devastating. And live, it was a shambles. We couldn’t take an audience like we did tonight. Now, we can take a cool audience and have them in a frenzy by the end because we’ve learnt the art of rock’n’roll theatre.

The soundtrack you’ve done for the movie, Slamdance…

It’s not a soundtrack, it’s just the song at the end. I’m looking at doing a soundtrack though…I’ve done a film music demo to a whole bunch of image from wildlife documentaries and films like Conan the Barbarian and Passage to India. So we’re going to go to LA and throw a few video tapes at a few moguls there.

Shriekback has its own sovereignty – it’s not something that each of us independently would do. I found doing the film music demo it was more one dimensional.

You’ve talked about having a magic power live that you don’t understand. Is that created because of the audience?

I think it’s there in rehearsal too, it’s just a smaller audience! It’s partly that with the band the sum is greater than the parts. I like working on my own but I prefer having other people around to bounce off and crash into.

What about your preoccupation with fish?

(Laughs)…What can I tell you?

Other projects?

Yeah…Martyn is writing his own songs which sound fabulously commercial, Dave is talking about doing an album with Jorgensen of Ministry and I’m making Super 8 movies at the moment.

Film seems to be quite a strong direction for me…I’m just assembling images and playing around with scripts.

Solo albums?

No. Shriekback is not entirely my vision but at least I can involve all my musical interests which is great.

In XTC I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, only that it wasn’t XTC. It was only after that that I started to look at my musical language…finding out why I liked certain kinds of music, and what moves me.

Do you listen to music for pleasure?

Yes…not pop. I used to have a clock radio which drove me mad because it would come on in the morning with this pop music and I’d wake up going ‘oh, the bass is good, drums are okay, what about the chorus’ and you go into all that.

I listen to old church music, nice gentle things.

This need for wider appeal…does Shriekback need more commercial success to reach full potential?

I think it’s a popular misconception that you achieve commercial success and then you do what you want to do…I don’t know anyone who has done that.

We are doing what we want to do, it wouldn’t be different if I had loads of money.

What is there left for Shriekback to do?

The next album – translating the live thing. And, getting our music to a wider audience. I don’t think there is anything hopelessly archane about what we do and I don’t see why it shouldn’t appeal to a lot of people. I think it’s a case of appropriate presentation.

And…I’m tired of being a cult figure.


Martyn Barker (drums): I’m using a hired Yamaha 900 Series kit – 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 toms, 22" bass drum, 14" x 10" deep snare and Zildjian cymbals (16, 17, 18 crashes, Chinaboy and Swish both 16"; hi-hats are K Series (top) and Dynobeat (bottom); Camco chain bass drum pedal.

I’ve been using this kit on the American and Australian tours. In England I’ve been using a Gretch kit but I’m changing to Yamaha because I like the depth of the sound of this kit. You get a good natural sound, it’s very good live and as an all-round kit.

I’ve been using very thin crashes because Shriekback is a dynamic band so you don’t need any ride cymbals. The music needs good splash sounds…plenty of that.

The difficulty for me with cymbals is trying to change the sound all the time…in Underwaterboys I used coins to rub against Chinese cymbals which makes that off-beat sound. And in Nemesis the chorus has to be very dynamic so I use lots of splashes, lots of crash cymbals.

No electronic drums?

I used to use bits of Simmons gear and I use the Linn 9000 for writing. But for Big Night Music I used a real drum kit with percussion because it was easier and that was the direction the music was going in.

(Live percussion is: LP congas and cowbells. Cymbals in Zildjian (16" thin crash), and 20" Chinese wind gong.)

Mike Cozzi (guitar): I’ve been experimenting a lot lately and have just changed all my gear. At the moment I’m using a Gallien-Krueger amp as a preamp sending it though a Carver power amp. The main effects I use are a volume pedal, which I think is well under-used these days, and three different distortions, Big Muff, Boss overdrive, and the other is the distortion on the Krueger. I use various rack delays…everything is rackmounted.

I still use a Strat which I’ve had customised (added a Kahler tremolo and humbucker pickups). On the acoustic numbers I use a Hohner semi-acoustic 12-string.

Bass equipment: Music Man bass guitar through Trace Elliot gear, using 4 x 10 and 1 x 15 speakers.

Martyn: Dave has a custom-built bass which he uses for the slower moodier numbers which makes a deep, warm sound. But the Music Man is his main instrument.

Keyboards: Jupiter 8 and Korg DSS1 which wins heaps of praise from Barry Andrews: "We seem to be getting sounds which are as good as a Fairlight Series II. It’s helpful having the synthesizing part as a well as the sampler because you can really fuck around with those samples and make them sound interesting.

Sonic (July/August 1987)

Shriekback recently released their 13th studio album, Without Real String or Fish. It is available on their website. Click the album cover to be taken to their online store!

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tinhuviel: (RepLogo)

There is still a dinky handful of these left. Any of you who have known me for long, know the story behind them. If you don't, just ask. All you really need to know is that the CDs available are in their original wrap (the cigarette kind, not shrink wrap) with the barcodes and spine sticker unaltered or defaced in any way. These are, for all intents and purposes, brand new. Shriekback are offering the album for £40 (just over $60, USD), which is a median price for what the used CDs are typically going for on sites like eBay (new copies of the double CD are priced considerably higher, and you can't be completely sure that what you're buying hasn't already been opened and played, then rewrapped). With these, you can be confident that the product has never been unwrapped and played, and your money goes directly to the band, instead of to middleman profiteers. More importantly, your purchase will help Shriekback record more music for us all to enjoy!


To the best of my knowledge, these are the very last new copies of 'The Y Records Years.' To acquire one is pretty much a chance in a lifetime at this point, and I am not being dramatic. The band began to send word out a couple of days ago, that the CDs are available, and many have already been reserved for shipment. Right now, I believe around 10 are left.


Write the band at shriekprods@outlook.com to inquire about purchase.

If you have any questions regarding the double CD, feel free to ask me here or at susperia5@yahoo.com. If I know the answer, I'll give you one. If I don't know, I'll try to find out, then let you know what I've found.

Also, you may want to look into purchasing a copy of Shriekback's new album, their 13th studio project called Without Real String or Fish. It is a genuine tour de force that will more than satisfy longterm fans as well as seduce newcomers into Shriekback's eclectic reality.  The new album is available through Shriekback's official website.  Click on the album cover below to be taken to their store.  Besides the new album, they also have all manner of goodies ripe for the picking.  It's a veritable musical Garden of Eden!

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Now, go forth and shop with abandon!


You may get a better look at the CDs by clicking on the images for full size.
Hand model is Wilma Terry Evans.

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)
And the album is getting excellent reviews already!  Take, for instance, Dadjago:

no titleTo me at least, the Shrieks have always felt as if they were otherworldy creatures dropping strands of (sometimes rather ichorous) knowledge on us. It might not be immediately intelligible, but there'salways been something there (barring "naked apes and pond life", not sure about that one...) worth examining. This is no exception, the terpsichorean wordplay and capering tunes all come together rather nicely. Much like "Life in the Loading Bay" the album is also possessed of that odd assurance that only comes from having been around the block a few times. There's no doubt, no existential crises, and no peacocking about in some confused attempt to get the attention of a lover or a contract. Not to say that any iota of energy or mystery has been sacrificed for this maturity, that's all still there, in grand amounts, it's just not wasted. Just, you know, buy this. You'll not regret it.

That's not all. Dadjago has plenty more to say, as do all the ones who have so far added their two daktari to the fray. Amazon is only offering the digital album, which can be purchased by clicking the album cover featured in the image above. But you can still obtain the actual physical CD from the band themselves. Having the lovely CD booklet and libretto is well worth the wait for the mailman to come calling! Or you could just do both. The more support the Shrieks have, the more likely we are to get more ingenious music from them.

tinhuviel: (RepLogo)

The World’s Second Best Pop Group with a Bald Singer
By Dave Segal (‘Creem’ June 1987)

“…Shriekback have opted to make a different kind of music – one which exalts human frailty and the harmonious mess of nature over the simplistic reductions of our crude computers.” – liner notes to Big Night Music. This thing called Shriekback is a strange beast. Trying to describe them gives me one hell of a headache. The new Shriekback music (it’s called Big Night Music but it could just as easily be called Small Morning Music) screws with rock critics’ rote jargon. If you wanted to be crass, you could label ‘em an intellectual funk band with gospel/cocktail lounge pretensions. Unlike most Anglo-Caucasians who funk around with black styles of music, Shriekback throw a skewered light on what, in pedestrian hands, can be a brain-numbing genre. You can attribute Shriekback’s uniqueness (no lie) to keyboardist/singer/lyricist Barry Andrews.

Andrews has full control of Shriekback now that Carl Marsh has departed with his Fairlights and drum computers for solo obscurity. Pared down to a trio (Dave Allen, he of the Zeus-like bass playing on Gang of Four’s first two LPs, and Martyn Barker on percussion toys), Shriekback have for the most part ditched Marsh’s vision of a “harsh disco reality” and gone for a rococo/eclectic sonic gumbo that’s as slippery to grasp as Eno’s skull in a bathtub. There’s a slickness to the Andrews/Gavin MacKillop production on Big Night Music, but don’t let that trouble yer noggin. It’s a good kind of slickness; Andrews has a Byrne-Enoesque aesthetic that enables him to craft exotic pop of excessive fussiness (‘Black Light Trap,’ ‘Running on the Rocks,’ ‘Sticky Jazz’) or of severe sparseness (everything else). You could call this The Soft Album without too much controversy.

Oddly, some of the songs sound better with the volume turned down. Perhaps because he can’t sing very well, Andrews often resorts to an intimate whispery delivery. Very nice and relaxing, this voice. And he’s a clever gump, too. It’s not by accident that wispy, gentle toons sit cheek by jowl with swollen brassy epics; and then out of nowhere will sprout a pretension-deflater like ‘Pretty Little Things,’ which sounds like Prince on helium and dexies. I tell ya, listening to Big Night Music is more fun than working in an abattoir on a humid day.

Andrews has the serene monkish demeanor of the Keith Carradine character in the Kung Fu TV show. Before Shriekback, he was in XTC from ’77 to ’79, and he also played with Robert Fripp’s League of Gentlemen in 1980. He’s a peace-lovin’, broad-minded intellectual dabbler wearing a black floppy hat and a long black coat. We had a civilized chat amid the delicately bubbling jacuzzi water inside a swanky Detroit hotel. Andrews proved to be more stimulating than a week’s worth of The Dick Cavett Show.

CREEM: Why did Carl Marsh leave Shriekback?
BARRY ANDREWS: He wanted to do solo things, really. Carl’s quite a self-contained sort of bloke I don’t think he ever found it easy working with other people. The band was becoming a two-headed beast that was tearing itself in half. Oil and Gold (released in ’85) suffered from that. A bit of schizophrenia between the Carl direction and my direction. I like things when they’re soft and vulnerable and maybe even a bit maudlin. I like a certain amount of crying into my Guinness.

Did Marsh’s departure cause a change in your sound?
Definitely, there was a sort of opening of the sluices. When Carl left, I felt like, firstly, I’ve got this huge canvas to work with on the whole record. It’s all gonna be my words, my tunes. So instead of it being this common denominator area we could inhabit with Carl, what the three of us could agree on was actually a bigger area because there were fewer things to filter out. I wanted to try doing something very simple and direct and emotional, like ‘The Cradle Song,’ Just trying out every option and seeing what’s possible. There’s a certain amount of experimentation that doesn’t work, but a whole lot that does. Normally we wouldn’t have even dared to try. Big Night Music is diverse. I don’t think anyone could complain about it being too homogenous. I think there is a coherence to it that we’ve never achieved on a record before, with the possible exception of Care (released in ’82)

Does everyone have creative input into the words and music?
I’m the sole lyricist. On the new album, Dave confined himself to bass playing, Martyn did a whole lot more than he’s ever done. He plays all the drums and does lots of percussion. So he’s actually responsible for quite a lot of the textures. I’m really responsible for the way the whole thing sounds and the structure of the songs. I can’t imagine collaborating with someone on a song. It would be like having somebody advise you while you’re having sex with somebody (laughs). There’s so much that just happens in your head. It’s quite a fragile process and it’s not something I could easily involve someone with.

Your lyrics have a stream of consciousness to them…
A stream of unconsciousness…(much laughter).

Sometimes it’s brilliant and at other times it leaves the listener baffled. Maybe they’re too oblique for universal understanding.
Maybe that’s a valid criticism. I don’t go in for any kind of broad political commentary.

You write more about personal things?
I don’t know if they’re even personal things, really. What I try to do is create an entity with sound that has not existed before. The songs are meant to be things you can walk into and walk around, that have their own kind of smell and atmosphere and texture. They’re not meant to be billboards or television programs. Or newspapers. The lyrics aren’t the point any more than the bass drum pattern’s the point. You might have a very good pair of kidneys but that’s not your whole story, is it?

If I asked you what ‘The Reptiles and I’ is about, could you tell me?
I can tell you what I was trying to do. It’s what it is for you definitely. That’s a nice fatuous answer, I suppose, and it’s what it means to me. And that’s about as far as it goes. I had this idea of using a lot of lists that I found in Webster’s Dictionary. A list of languages, elements, proverbs. I liked the idea of a bunch of verses that were lists. I was trying to create a nursery rhyme that would work in an adult way and would have that sort of darkness about it, that sinister kind of thing that the best nursery rhymes have. I’m really a little kid sitting at the foot of the great god Language. I’ve really got no command over it. I pretty much take what it gives me. I get excited by all the different ways people speak in the same way. I get excited about all the different cultures people can have, all the different ways of being in the world. It seems very rich and diverse and brilliant. And it inspires me.

Were you influenced by any writers?
I steal a lot. I’m a complete bastard for that. I’ll tell you the dead ones. I’ve ripped Shakespeare off something rotten. I’ve had my way with T.S. Eliot. Martin Luther King. The Bible. Certainly bits of the Koran. Complete verbal beachcomber.

At least you’re taking from great sources.
Oh yeah. That’s what they’re there for. To get crunched up and recycled. I don’t do it in any cynical way. It’s like doing a cover of a band’s song that you really think is a good song. It seems silly to wrack your brains when somebody else’s said it so well. I just rip it off. Shameless, really.

Have any current songwriters influenced you?
David Byrne’s approach – when I was a bit more uncertain about writing lyrics – he seemed to offer quite a good little cubbyhole to hide in, where you could get away without saying anything at all as long as it sounded all right. But on this LP, I got less and less satisfied with what you could do with that and more interested in what would happen if you pushed the thing up toward the light a little more. So things like ‘Cradle Song,’ ‘Reptiles,’ and ‘Gunning for the Buddha’ are like little narratives, stories, which I’ve never attempted before. Getting into the old Tin Pan Alley thing. People like Gilbert and Sullivan and the English music hall singers. Popular Victorian kitsch. Edwardian parlor songs.

Shriekback is often labelled an intellectual band.
It’s high time we burst that bubble.

Are you college-educated?
No. It was between making a choice of being in a rock’n’roll band or going to university.

Are you religious?
I don’t belong to a religion. I don’t have any faith, in that way. I do have a strong religious sense. It’s difficult to say without it sounding pretentious. I have a sense of awe of a kind of religious veneration or worship in the presence of what is around – people, mainly, the rush and energy of people and what they can do and build and keep going on and having babies. Just what it is to be alive. There’s definitely a force that moves us on in a mysterious way. I said to someone once that I feel about religion the way I felt about sex when I was 12. You know there’s something going on, but you don’t know what the fuck it is!

To read more about Shriekback's music and career, please visit their website (sign up for the newsletter for free downloads) and Tumblr. You can also join in our conversations over on Facebook. And, while you're at it, pick up a copy of their new album, Without Real String or Fish!

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

As seen on Shriekback's official Tumblr.

Filter Buried Treasure

Commodity Blaze

Dug up from the permafrost of punk-funk obscuria, ex-XTC and Gang of Four men explore the emotional life of monsters.  It’s alive…

Shriekback - Oil & Gold

ARISTA, 1985

Throughout the rock epoch, commentators have slagged record companies for the dilution of art in pursuit of profit.  Full marks to the Arista label, then, for releasing Shriekback’s Oil & Gold.  A chthonic portal into an inverse world of eat-or-be-eaten terror-funk, macabre amusements and terminal ambience, it would have sat heroically askance in the Phil Collins and Wham!-embracing charts of 1985.

Co-vocalist Barry Andrews looks back on an anomalous situation.  “There was a precedent in the Thompson Twins - also on Arista, also signed by the bloke who signed us - of a band turning from weirdo, uncommercial ugly ducklings into great big shiny ‘80s cash swans,” he reflects.  “I think Arista still held out a wispy hope that that would happen.  The cover idea was to make us look dreamy and great, but we ended up going for a gang of eels and feathers, which were props that became the main event.  Once again the record company were not totally made up.”shriekmojo3.png

Formed in 1981 in Kentish Town, the group’s core consisted of ex-XTC keys man Andrews, Gang Of Four bassist Dave Allen and Carl Marsh, former guitarist in squat funkers Out On Blue Six.  Having logged such unnerving dancefloor releases as My Spine Is The Bassline and Tench EP on the Y label, they’d signed with Arista for 1983’s Jam Science album.  After July ’84’s crisp single Hand On My Heart got to Number 52, they regrouped for a third LP, having been joined by drummer and Fairlight sampler operator Martyn Barker.

Andrews recalls a complicated genesis, commencing when the band took 20 rhythmic sketches to Rockfield studio in south Wales, with producer and future Hollywood soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer (who turned up three hours late, copping a £600 black cab bill after missing his train).  “Everybody was involved in a lot of groove-building and improvisation to get ideas rolling,” says Marsh.  “Then Barry and I would pick the ones we fancied and write lyric and melody ideas and structure them into songs, after which everyone would pitch back in with ideas to fill in all the gaps.”

After more session at Lillie Yard in west London, mixing took place in various studios in the capital and Bath.  It was not an over-harmonious process, remembers Andrews.  “There were a lot of major rifts,” he reveals.  “Our manager wanting to sack me, Carl was gearing up to leave, Hans getting sacked - we ended up mixing with Gavin MacKillop.  God we spent a lot of money.”


What emerged clearly thrived on the discord.  Opening with the febrile, spasming Malaria andtwo more feverish funk eruptions sung by Marsh, Shriekback’s strangely scientific world of primordial nature was revealed in its noisy, intoxicated splendour.  Drastic contrast was provided by This Big Hush, a phantasmal, possibly post-apocalyptic contemplation of ultimate extinction sung by Andrews, and similarly spectral pieces including the Cretaceous instrumental, Coelocanth.  Marsh cites lead single Nemesis - which name-checked 2000AD comic’s alien hero who battles Earthling superfascist Torquemada - as “the one that sums up all the themes and contrasts into one pop blast.  The animals and monsters, the tensions between instinct and intellect, nods to high art and comic books, and big laughs in dark places.”

Despite this, Marsh would leave the group after the album was completed, fulfilling press and photo duties but bailing before the touring could begin.  “I did feel that the band had become a bit of a two-headed monster with myself and Barry both fronting it and pulling in different directions,” he says.  “That said, I’m actually always surprised the album as a whole has such a unified feel.  I guess we had a common purpose after all.”

The group forged on, but despite all efforts including an arena tour with Simple Minds, Arista’s dream of an immaculate cash swan would prove chimerical.  Director Michael Mann, however, would add to the group’s cult cache by selecting Oil & Gold tracks for his movies Manhunter and Band of the Hand.  “He got the tenderness in the weirdness, I guess - the emotional life of monster,” muses Andrews.  The singer continued to lead Shriekback, with 1986’s Big Night Music a worthy companion piece to its predecessor, but would cease operations after 1992’s Sacred City.  The beast would not die, though, and four more releases down the line, Marsh was back in earnest for 2010’s sterling Life In The Loading Bay.  Now Barker is also returned; the three-man line-up is finishing a new album.**

Twenty eight years on, Oil & Gold remains visceral proof of what they’re capable of.  “The actual title came from a lyric that wasn’t used,” reveals Marsh.  “‘It’s as physical as oil and gold’.  It was the contrast between dark, sticky, clingy blackness and bright, hard clarity that seemed to encapsulate some of Shriekback’s extreme qualities.”

Ian Harrison

MOJO July 2013

**The new album referenced in Ian Harrison’s article is Without Real String or Fish, our thirteenth studio album, just released earlier this month.  You can learn more about it on the official website.  Please join us in the discussion on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for free music downloads and current Shriek activity.

tinhuviel: (Shriekback - Nemesis)

Happy Throwback Thursday, good souls!  I'm currently transcribing a rare article that looks back to the Shrieks' Oil & Gold and upload it before the end of the day.  In the meantime, enjoy this interview straight outta Belgium.

And if you have not yet procured Without Real String or Fish, what on Earth are you waiting for?  The new album is sonic brilliance that I'm certain will enchant you more with every listen.

Many of Shriekback's fans may be a bit cultish (pulls innocent face), but we know great music when we hear it. You can trust me when I tell you that Jam Science - the album released around the time this video interview was made - is an excellent album, and that Without Real String or Fish is an absolute triumph, proving the band are still mad musical geniuses.  Their ability to still provide relevant music that outshines their contemporaries is so evident, one cannot logically debate it.  Click their gateway logo to the left, to explore their store, and grab yourself a copy of WRSoF.

tinhuviel: (Nemesis)
This track-by-track entry is on Shriekback's Tumblr.  If you have not already done so, click the album cover here to purchase Without Real String or Fish, so you can enjoy 'Beyond Metropolis' at your leisure!

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‘Without Real String or Fish’
Track by Track: ‘Beyond Metropolis’ (BA)

I often think about whatever alchemy of mind and circumstance it is that produces that elusive Last Track - the one that appears when the album seems to be over.  When you think you’ve mined whatever seam of compressed life-experience, obsession and influence-cluster it is that songs come from and you’re not exactly content but applying a sort of willed gratitude that, at least, it’s not all total shite, and - a baby miracle - another tune comes into being that you really didn’t expect and that seems to have, more than the others, a character that didn’t seem to have much to do with you (a bit like your children).

I find these are the ones I tend to listen to for fun the most. They’re more like someone else did them.  Past examples include Sticky Jazz, Coelacanth, Exquisite Corpse and Hubris. On this album we got two: Beyond Metropolis and Soft Estate.  Both voyaging into new territory: with BM an alt-funk anthem in an aircraft hangar with shards of space junk flying out of the darkness at you.

The chorus being a Bowie-esque, aching sunset of chords encouching word clusters of outrageous audacity. There is - gasp- even a key change (yeah we can do that muso shit if we want) and a key change back.

The groove upon which it was built was a thing I wrote a couple of years back, I had sent it to Carl but he hadn’t - as of last summer, when my ‘we are now finishing this fucking record if it kills me’ protocol was in full effect - come up with anything for it. I had booked Stuart Rowe for the mixing; we had enough tunes; Carl had 3 songs on the album; God was in his heaven and the sun was sporting a roguish titfer. Then..

..in his fearful aspect as the demiurge of deadline bending, Carl sent a roughie I couldn’t refuse. At a stroke, the mixing (which was to have been a stately affair of considered tweaking and contemplative strolls around the elegant parterres and formal gardens of the Lighterthief estate) turned into the usual Shriekback panicked scramble as we struggled to bring the prodigal Beyond Metropolis to the same stage of development as its siblings.

Not to do so would have been unthinkable, of course: it had the word: ’Enchromosoniradiopolis’, fer crissakes.  The heart bows down.

Barry Andrews
19 March, 2015

tinhuviel: (Bukket)

Mail just arrived, and with it came this.


I hate I couldn't afford the special box set with the 3-D fish, but I've been blessed with a lot of wonderful and inspirational music over the years, with the promise of more to come, so I really can't complain.

I'm looking forward to listening to Thee Caretakers' bonus disc to hear what dark sorceries Carlo Asciutti and Bruce McRae conjured. From looking at the images on the sleeve and CD, I'm already convinced it's going to be a strange, wild ride. Thee Caretakers have proven more than once that they're irredeemably certifiable.

If you haven't already nabbed a copy of Without Real String or Fish, I advise you to not tarry. I don't think it will be available forever, not in CD form at any rate, and you really must have a physical copy in the event of escalated world war where we're all cut off from one another. Click this pic to order the new Shriek, and don't forget to add the bonus Caretakers disc, as well.


tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

James from Canada was kind enough to share his Shriekback concert experience from 1987. Read on, MacDuff!

A Big Night - Music, Youth and Naïveté

It was back in April of 1987 that I got to see Shriekback live for the first (and, it seems, last) time, during their Big Night Music tour.  It was just a few days after my 18th birthday, so I was having quite a nice week. The show was at the now-defunct Concert Hall in Toronto, a cozy little venue with a standing floor space and a large, wrap-around balcony above.

800px-CTV_TempleAfter making our way past the merchandise table, where one of my friends bought himself a Big Night Music T-shirt (still kicking myself for not doing the same), my friends and I found our place up in the balcony, with an almost "front and centre" view of the stage.

As we sat there, I remember the excitement at seeing all of Shriekback's instruments on the stage: an eclectic mixture of modern electronic synths and old, earthy bongos, gongs and bells.  We knew that this was going to be a great show!

I don't recall who the opening act was, although I think it might have been the Comsat Angels.  We didn't care, though…  we were here to see Shriekback!  After what seemed like an eternity, the house lights finally went down, and the crowd went wild.  As the dry ice fog slowly filled the stage, we could see movement in the dark… who was that?  If my memory serves me well, it was Steve Halliwell first out on the stage, wearing a little hat on his bald head (no doubt to avoid being mistaken for Barry!)  Steve got the dark synths going, and as the multi-coloured stage lights pierced and wound their way through the fog, the rest of the band slowly came out, one by one adding a new layer of instrumentation to the intro track.  As the intro built to a crescendo and the first track came crashing in, Barry himself slunk onto the stage to raucous applause.

It's been so long since I saw this show, that my memories of what got played are pretty vague. At the time, though, the Shrieks had already started working on their next album - the much maligned Go Bang - and some of the new material made its way into our Big Night Music setlist.  The opening song of the show was "New Man", followed by a wonderful mixture of Big Night tracks and earlier material, all energized to the highest degree for an exciting live experience.  We heard "Black Light Trap" and "Gunning for the Buddha."  Classics like "Nemesis", "Hammerheads", and "Lined Up." Go Bang's "Intoxication" got introduced to the crowd around the half-way mark, and the show wound down with an encore performance of "New Man."

What a show it was.  So exciting and fun.  One thing which really stood out to me and my friends as we sat there taking it all in, was just how much of a good time everyone was having - both the audience, and the band itself.  I've been to many concerts where it seemed like the band was just "phoning it in", but that wasn't the case with Shriekback.  These guys know how to work an audience!  There was lots of dancing and clapping, and Barry engaged and entertained the crowd with funny stories about how his pants kept sliding down, while encouraging us all to sing along: "let's hear it again… 'My Spine.. IS THE BASSLINE!' ", and "With the GREAT BIG FISHES!!".  It was truly a special night, and everyone left with a big smile on their face.

It was also during this show that I experienced a bit of a life-lesson, although I didn't know it at the time, of course.  As my friends and I were waiting for the show to start, we spent some time looking around at the gathering crowd.  Our attention was drawn to one individual in particular - an older man, probably in his 50's, with grey hair and glasses, standing at the back of the balcony.  Now, remember that we were just in our teens.  Young and naïve, you could say.  Alphaville's "Forever Young" was our anthem song, and music like Shriekback was only for us "cool, hip, alternative" types!  So what was this older-than-30 guy doing here?  He wasn't even wearing anything black, for heaven's sake!  "Hey, check out the old geezer back there," we laughed among ourselves.  As the show progressed, we occasionally looked back to see the "old geezer" clapping and dancing along to the music.  "Ha ha," we thought sarcastically, "go home and put on some Easy Listening, will ya!"

Well, fast-forward almost thirty years, and here I am in my 40's - the proverbial "old geezer", still listening to Shriekback.  While my hair isn't white yet, the grey has definitely started to creep in, and I really must see the optometrist about getting bifocals.  It is only now, later in one's life, that you realize just how silly and naïve some of your attitudes were when you were younger.  Usually, though, these moments of realization come when you find yourself doing something that you swore to your parents you would never do.  Like telling your kids to be extra-careful, or not to swear or watch that rude TV show.  I never expected, though, that it would be via the medium of a Shriekback concert that I would learn one of the truths about life's little pleasures.  Namely that good music is timeless, and crosses all boundaries of language, culture, and, yes, age.  Good music is there to be enjoyed by everyone.  I wonder if the guy I saw at the concert that night, who by now must be in his 60's or 70's, is listening to Without Real String or Fish?  I sure hope so!  I know that I will still be listening to the Shrieks in the coming decades, and that's something I'm definitely looking forward to!

©James from Canada
14 March, 2015

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)
I thought it might be convenient, as well as give the album more visibility, if I created a You Tube playlist featuring the three official music videos for Shriekback's Without Real String or Fish. The URL for the playlist is below the embedded player here. Please share it with anyone and everyone!


no title

Also, if you want to buy the album, which I advise you to do, as it may be the best decision you make all year, click the festive Shriek logo to your right to be taken to Shriekback's online store. While you're there, click the music option, 'cos there are songs there to download, some of which are free!

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

Barry Andrews posted the video for Now Those Days Are Gone, from Shriekback's new album, Without Real String or Fish. The album can be purchased directly from the band on their website store, beginning at Midnight GMT on 4 March, 2015! Just a few hours, and your life could be filled with some of the best music you'll ever hear. Enjoy this wonderful Gen X anthem, and be sure to make note of the accompanying information, regarding the Shrieks and where you can find them on Teh Intarwebz.

From 'Without Real String or Fish,' Shriekback's 13th studio album. Available only from http://shriekback.com/store from midnight GMT tonight, 4 March!!

Visit: http://www.shriekback.com and sign up for the newsletter!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shriekback
Tumblr: http://shriekbackmusic.tumblr.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shriekbackmusic

Subscribe to Shriekback's You Tube Channels!

Barry Andrews - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo3E-T15XkSzg0reNcFalPw

ANAXATON6 - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJMkzOIkm9sqOjch00BhHBg

I'm also reposting the other videos the band have made available this week, but I'm cutting it, so please click to expand the entry.

They have such sights to show you )

If anyone has questions regarding any of this, please feel free to reach out. Also, if you would like to review the album, or know anyone who may want to take on such a task, let me know. The more response the band gets, the more music we will get to enjoy in the coming years.

Be sure to pass all this great music on to everyone and, as noted in the album announcement, send the band proof of your dissemination, and they will heap all manner of musical treasure on you.

Be pure, be vigilant, behave!

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)

I screen-capped a portion of Shriekback's latest blog post on Tumblr. The entry concerns my favourite song on their new album, Without Real String or Fish, available for purchase beginning tomorrow, the 4th of March. If you don't get this album for any other reason, you need to get it for Beyond Metropolis. Just click the picture to go to the full blog entry.

Beyond Metropolis is an unprecedented feat of linguistic skill that is 100% not safe for work for anyone who suffers, as I do, from WGS - Wanda Gershwitz Syndrome. And that's all I'm saying about it.
tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

Today, Shriekback released a second video, this time for Carl Marsh's genetically-enhanced tune, Recessive Jean, from the band's new album Without Real String or Fish, which will be available starting 4 March.

From Shriekback's 13th studio album, 'Without Real String or Fish,' released on 4th of March, 2015 Visit: http://www.shriekback.com and sign up for the newsletter! Also be sure to take pics to show you're sharing this and other vids and news having to do with Shriekback and our new album. We're keeping a list of all of you who have so far participated, and will send a bulk mail out to everyone on the list at the end of our campaign to get the word out! Any pictures or screen cap that will get you on this list should be sent to shriekprods@outlook.com. To learn more about Shriekback's offer to fans who help promote the new album, go watch the announcement:

Click to connect:
There are two Shriek-related You Tube accounts to which you will want to subscribe.

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

Good things
come to those
who wait.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 8.36.32 PM

The English proverb certainly applies to Shriekback’s thirteenth studio album, Without Real String or Fish.  Begun back in 2011, the band completed work on their latest offering on 1 November, 2014 – a wholesome day, indeed – much to the delight of their fans, both old and new.

Before I delve into the song-by-song, I must come clean by informing readers that I count myself among Shriekback’s fans, and the songs I can admit to not enjoying that much can be counted on one hand missing a couple of fingers.  Although I will do my level best to remain objective in writing this, my subjectivity should be considered when you read it.  For that reason alone, you should listen to the album, so you can judge for yourself.

Also, please bear in mind that any lyrics interpretation is mine alone, and could be completely off the mark.  Again, you should listen and judge for yourself.

That said, let’s go!

  1. Now Those Days Are Gone (Andrews/Marsh)

In the tradition and spirit of Shriekback’s 1985 magnum opus, Oil & Gold, and its first track, Malaria, Now Those Days Are Gone bombards the senses, leaving no doubt the band are not playing around.  The groove is deep and unrelenting, living up to the Shrieks’ decades-old agenda to create music to which people cannot resist dancing.  The combination of Rock and Funk, along with the rousing chorus, makes the song a solid anthem.  The lyrics sound not only autobiographical, speaking to Shriekback’s early days, they also convey a biography of the time in which most of us long-time fans came of age.  The chant-like call and response chorus hint at regret for an age that’s passed, but the accompanying music doesn’t let any potential navel-gazing progress go too far.  Sure, those days might be gone, the song seems to say, but we aren’t, and that is what matters.

Favourite lyric:

We were living in the future
Now those days are gone
We were kings, we were preachers
Now those days are gone
We had incubi and succubi
Now those days are gone
All these pleasures standing by
Now those days are gone

  1. The King in the Tree (Andrews, Barker, Marsh)

hapexamendiosBeginning with a clockwork carousel, the song seems to promise a tour through a deserted fairground containing the ghosts of revelries once indulged in happier times.  In typical Andrews fashion, the lyrics contrast with the music, and they conjured in my mind visions of the demiurge-like Hapexamendios, the insane architect of the First Dominion, in Clive Barker's Imajica. Regarding The King in the Tree, Andrews had this to say: [M]y image of a King in a Tree was King Sweeney of ancient Eire (from Flann O'Brien's 'At Swin Two Birds'), who was cursed for attacking a priest and went mad:  climbing into a tree where he stayed - reciting poetry and eating cresses.

The title character in the song also seems like a representation of the Green Man in modern times, invisible to most everyone who prefers to turn [their] face to the wall rather than see him and rescue him from us before we find ourselves in need of rescue from him. A wise warning indeed.

Favourite lyric:

Secrets words of the world are Engulf and Devour
(why is all this tyrannical shit in the soul of a flower?)

Note:  When listening to this portion of the song, pay attention to the music when Andrews sings “why is all this tyrannical shit in the soul of a flower?”  It mirrors the lyrics with an aural blossoming.  Brilliant.

  1. Soft Estate (Andrews, Barker)

Soft Estate weaves a delicate soundscape that will doubtless make the hearts of Big Night Music enthusiasts beat just a little faster.  The undulating melody dresses lyrics that encourage the listener to populate that soundscape with beasts and structures.  It is absolutely a song you would want to sing in your sleep, but it also one that promises waking dreams.  Andrews shines here, his command of language obvious, along with an uncanny ability to seamlessly meld poetry and music to create a unique visual for every listener.

Favourite lyric:

all along we were licking at the light
and clawing at the roots
and walking in the night
all startled at the sound
and reeling at the sight:
all the information:
limitless and liminal…

  1. Woke Up Wrong (Andrews)

Musically, this song is probably my least favourite, but the lyrics, with their play on names and words, more than compensate.  The conceits are all tongue-in-cheek, but for any linguaphile, they will also double as pure delight.  The second verse takes the wordplay a step further, hinting at a little bit of danger you think you can’t quite grasp, but it may be you really don’t want to…  Like so many Shriek songs, the mischief implied latches on to your subconscious, and that’s what you carry with you long after the song has ended.  A particular stand-out is the piano solo, sweeping the languid patterns of the rhythm along in a flourish.

Favourite lyric:

Barney Manglue with his running gags
(you wouldn’t want to do the kind of things he wants from you)
Butcher’s sawdust in a hundred bags
(needs that soak-up since he woke up).
Stretch the moment with his steely claw,
spread this second to infinity and more.
World-matter rattle, it’s a losing battle
(we always knew it had a tendency to get bad)

  1. Beyond Metropolis (Andrews/Marsh)

After days of mulling over how to best describe Beyond Metropolis, I finally settled on Etymological Chimera.  This song is a triumph in every way, and will more than likely drive lovers of language to smoke a cigarette after each listening.  The afterglow is that good.  I’m really not going to say much about Beyond Metropolis, because it would be unfair to spoil those who have not yet listened to it.  Musically, the song is what we’ve come to expect from the Shrieks:  intelligent, funky, and rhythmically perfect.  Lyrically, Carl Marsh makes a good case for adding words to the Scrabble dictionary that will let you win every single time.

Favourite lyric: All of them.

  1. Ammonia Tree (Andrews/Barker)

This song may be the perfect example of why so many of Shriekback’s fans are often also seekers of knowledge, long after they have completed their “official” education.  It is fraught with references to mythology, literature, history, theology, and philosophy, but also offers Easter eggs of a more personal nature, evidenced in a kind of gentle angst and nostalgia.

Framed within Mark Gowland’s fierce harmonica, and underscored with a quiet rhythm, both of which enhance the longing, and a certain level of regret, you can clearly hear in the lush tapestry of Andrews’ keyboard work, Ammonia Tree vividly takes you to the locations, both real and imagined, mentioned in the song.  It paints pictures and freezes moments you can take with you when drawing to a close.

It may be of interest that the last stanza of the lyrics is signature Andrews work, which focuses on a word or phrase – this time, it’s a phrase – that becomes a chant.  It’s very Shamanic in nature, using mnemonics to teach by rote.  This signature composition places Ammonia Tree in Shriekback’s family of songs that also includes The Reptiles and I and Hammerheads.

Favourite lyric:

When your own head bores you
with its bloody awful song
it wasn’t pretty wasn’t clever
and didn’t last for very long:
it felt like looking in the mirror
with all the strip lights on.
(might be a Stendhalian glory if you can only wait that long).
Is it holy intropection or wrestling futility?
In the quest for Truth and Beauty under the Ammonia Tree

  1. Recessive Jean (Andrews/Barker/Marsh)

In the hierarchy of my personal taste, Recessive Jean would rank #11 to Woke Up Wrong’s #12.  What I find most impressive about the song is the rhythm and bass that makes it sound like a descendant of Feelers.  That’s not to say it’s a rehash of the elder song; Recessive Jean is undeniably a force unto itself, but it carries that Feelers vibe, which will make many Shriek fans miss Dave Allen.

Carl Marsh is once again taking the lyrical and vocal reins in this one, growling about the clever homonym in the title.  The apocalyptic implications are deftly hidden within the jaunty melody, and is a reminder that nothing is ever what it seems when you’re listening to a Shriekback song.

Favourite lyric:

With a charm to disarm and a passion for harm
In so many ways, so many ways
A façade of calm can but raise the alarm
At the end of days, the end of days

  1. Horrors of the Deep (Andrews/Barker)

One of Shriekback’s more consistent trademarks is combining unease with beauty.  What could easily be the title of a chaotic Death Metal song delivers to you an ethereal vastness that overwhelms the senses.

Horrors of the Deep revisits Barry Andrews’ preoccupation with the sea in all its metaphorical glory.  The music alone is an aural ocean unto itself, all delicate ebb and flow.

As with Cormorant’s Sea Theory, Andrews offers up a meditation on the sea and how little we know about it, despite being born from it, carrying it within us, and eventually coming to rest within it, in some way or other.  The dust of our evolutionary ancestors can be found on ocean floors, and attempting to comprehend that is often unsettling, as such evidence forces us to come to grips with our impermanence when compared to the unimaginable immensity from which we came.  So, too, is our inability to understand mortality and what happens after.

Just as with death, the deeper the waters go, the less we know.  And it’s a human trait to fear the unknown.  That fear is etched into our DNA.  But just as with this song, if we dare to explore these arcane landscapes, we often find beauty and transcendence just under that layer of dread encoded within us all.

Looking at it from that perspective, the horrors woven into song become a living cradle instead of a watery grave.  Despite the horrors, in the end, it is illumination (or bio-luminescence) that wins the day.

Favourite lyric:

Sumptuously poised here in the foam
a watery quintessence
later pitifully trailing home alone
my bio-luminescence.    

  1. In the Pylons (Andrews)

An instrumental that may be a musical re-enactment of touring an Egyptian temple, In the Pylons begins subtly, but escalates into epic, hard-driving drum-fest. No proper Shriekback album can go outside without an instrumental to keep it warm.

  1. Man of Foam (Andrews)

The first thought that came to me upon the initial listen is that Man of Foam could be a lyrical look in on New Man from Go Bang! Elegant piano and shimmering synth carry the tune into Big Night Music territory, bridging a gap between the two albums in a very satisfactory way.

Favourite Lyric:

Oh Man of Foam
What you gonna do if he follows you home?
There will come a day
when the moth meets the naphthalene.

  1. Everything Like That (Andrews/Barker)

Prepare to worship at the Church of Shriekback when you’re tossed into the Gospel-driven Funk that is this baptismal fire they call Everything Like That.  If anyone needs proof that Shriekback are still making music, this is all the proof you need.  A culmination of Andrews giving a nod to an author whose books have been of inspiration and the long love affair the band have with deep and dangerous grooves.  Everything Like That is relentless in its invitation to be properly arranged in the construct of the song.  Lyrically, it is a very close to being as brilliant as Beyond Metropolis.  The bass line of the song is one of the best on the album, in my opinion.  Judge for yourselves; however, it may take more than one listen to hear everything that’s going on.  It’s a veritable fun park for Shriek fans who prefer their tuneage to threaten as much as delight.  It could break some hearts as well, though, because you can only imagine how a live performance of this song would be.

Favourite Lyric:

Under the time-lapse clouds
out on the screen of green
I want to see the monsters couple
with the wet machine.
You are my salad witch
that I would like to dress.
I do not lack the Wound.
I do not lack the Mess.
And Everything Like That.

I could have easily said “all of them” as I did with Beyond Metropolis; however, this particular stanza holds one of my personally favourite things about Shriek lyrics – words that usually would not be capitalised, but are, to make them seem Very Important,  but the reason or meaning behind it is never explained, and that makes my imagination go wild.  What is this Wound of which you speak, Shriekback?  No, don’t tell me, I have my own ideas.

  1. Bernadette (Andrews/Barker/Marsh)

A perfect end to a nearly perfect collection of songs, Bernadette is a lullaby that lets you get grounded after the manic Everything Like That.  It promises you good dreams and rocks you, overlooking a sprawling cityscape bathed in the twinkle of electricity, as the sun retires with you.

Bernadette‘s gait is akin to a metronome, used not only to maintain the see-saw magic of the melody, but to also hypnotise and assure you of your safety, even when the music spirals down as though the cradle has fallen.

Carl Marsh’s vocals and Barry Andrews’ piano give the song a stately air, a sort of ritual procession done each day as the sun begins to set on the place you call home.

Favourite lyric:

When beauty starts to fall apart
The savage eye and beating heart of darkness
Blessed Darkness.

WRSoFOverall, I cannot recommend Without Real String or Fish strongly enough. Since they returned to music with Having a Moment, I have always cited Cormorant as my favourite among the albums they’ve recorded in the 21st Century. That must change now. This is one of those Shriek albums that doesn’t just shine in its place among the recent outings; I have no doubt that Without Real String or Fish will stand the test of time, and find itself treasured by Shriekers old and new. From the opening song until the soft dissolve into Dark, it’s more than obvious that this was a labour of love.

And we are the winners.

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

Here's the announcement vid with all the details and links, regarding Without Real String or Fish by Shriekback. I'm also copypasting the info.

Barry Andrews confirms release date for new Shriekback album, 'Without Real String or Fish' and then makes you an offer you can't refuse.

Be sure to take part for exclusive Shriekback freebies. Send entries to shriekprods@outlook.com.

Also, please subscribe to Barry Andrews' personal and secondary channels here on You Tube:

Barry Andrews - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo3E...

ANAXATON6 - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJMk...

Sign up for their newsletter at http://shriekback.com, and follow them on Facebook (@Shriekback), and on Tumblr and Twitter.

Tumblr: http://shriekbackmusic.tumblr.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shriekbackmusic

Please, by all means, spread the news, and be sure to get evidence that you've done so!

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)

Calling all Shriekback Fans!

The new album is right around the corner and the band need
you to spread the festive news like warm butter.

Be sure to pass on everything and screen cap it.

Your involvement will not only help fund more music,
you will also enjoy exclusive freebies for your loyal service.

And who doesn't want that?

tinhuviel: (Nemesis)

Full text:
Cheers to Gordon DW Fleming for this blurb on the Toronto Star's website. As he said, ignore the article's title!

'One of the more eccentric acts to emerge from Britain in the 1980s is about to return to action. Centred around early XTC member Barry Andrews, Shriekback was responsible for two of that decade’s most muscular post-punk singles: “All Lined Up” and “My Spine is the Bassline.”

'"Without Real String or Fish" will be their 13th studio release and their first in four years. Thanks to Gordon Fleming for the heads-up.'

The Toronto Star's website is http://www.thestar.com and they can followed on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/torontostar."

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)


This is a composite created with three different images used from 1983 to the release date of their new album, Without Real String or Fish. I think it turned out pretty well, considering my Photoshop skills still leave a lot to be desired. The name design turned up on the album, Jam Science, as did their logo. The version of the logo I used was created by one of the designers of the Shriekback Digital Conspiracy website. And, of course, the 3-D fish that adorns the front of the upcoming record. I made it to help twig on to people that they have less than two hours to pre-order the deluxe fish box of the new album. Pre-ordering ends at 8 PM, Greenwich Mean Time.

tinhuviel: (Shriekback Logo)

From the band as seen on the Shriekback Tumblr blog:

Limited Deluxe Fish-Box Redux

ok then

after the (slightly startling) success of our Limited Edition Fishbox last week we were-it’s fair to say- innundated with the plaintive entreaties of anguished pilgrims (some of them long-standing supporters and friends) who had for any number of perfectly valid reasons, failed to respond in the less-than -24 hours that they (the boxes) took to sell out.

We, here at Shriekprods, were then presented with a something of a dilemna:

If we make some more, we would: please all those disappointed people,make us more moneyget our, it must be said, very beautiful art object to a wider audience

however, we might also make those who bought a limited edition feel legitimately short-changed since the object has become a bit less limited than at the time of purchase.

This is the sort of thing you do when you don’t have much previous in Record Company World. With hindsight, we would of course have Done Things Differently.


Click pic to continue reading!

tinhuviel: (Can't Stop Writing)

Shriekback have made available for pre-order their 13th studio album, Without Real String or Fish, in a limited edition box, with only 50 available. To learn more about it all, just click the picture. If you're like me and already know it's going to be brilliant, better dash to the store now, 'cos people are already laying claim.

August 2017

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