15 October 2004

Yeovil Boys tried to Fuck Up Mark Pritchard's Career Shock

Mark looks like he's trying to work out what the five-string bass is all about. "One lower" someone tells him and he nods, sucking it up, ready to spew it out later...


It's approx 1990 and we're in the Gardens nightclub, Yeovil; Mark's first record, Roobarb and Custard(as Shaft) has been in the charts already and the boys have limped a performanceon TOTPs and the rest of us are treading the piss-take/envy axis, windinghim up for selling out while secretly wishing we'd all bothered to make something to sell...

"you needed to have Kev on TOTPs" someone says "add in some of his urbanWilde twattoness, or some of Mysiak's abendigoes and glued hair or some of Leyshon's Mad fast Cody out-of-all-time drumming"

"The next one's going to be more experimental" Mark says and this cheers us up; we're into Crass and Nurse With Wound and Throbbing Gristle and we'd have made the roobarb and custard theme spiked and echoed-out and something like Rephlex Grime while Mark's bit the bullet and gone and made something despicably popular...


What was he thinking?

He's almost apologetic, trying to please us (Reload's - A Collection of Short Storiesis the result and it's marred only by those crap sci-fi shorts and Mark's absolute unwillingness to cede to our demands for more power drills and signal generators and sheet metal).

On the dancefloor one of us, maybe B, is Cosack dancing to S-Express.

I think we wanted Mark to fail, not so deep down, and we all should be ashamed because even though he's sitting there he's already way off by now, giving birth eventually to the ambient prime of Global Communications which we hate because it'll sell loads and get used on Grandstand and the cosmic C 21st soul-yearning sof Troubleman (which we'll hate because it makes everyone look grown up).

(Meanwhile we're making unlistenable TG-stews on SK-5s and banging our heads on metal sculptures and Crowley samples)

Mark's starting to dig Detroit Techno, wanting warmth where we want cold,getting into Jazz and funk and old-skool electroid nonsense that'll eventually morph into The Jedi Knights and beyond. We'll be into that stuff later, but right now it seems too human for comfort.

"Why do you have to be so goddamned tuneful?" someone asks him. Mark shrugs, still thinking about that five string bass.

The Cosack dancing has stopped, replaced by cider sweats and some really nasty speed that seems to taste like bitten girder. Now there's some 30 year old women dancing the Lambada with their nephews. Later, a misplaced french kiss will steal the show.

Moebius Rex has a new track by an old Yeovil friend of mine, Mark Pritchard here. I'm glad he's still doing well, glad he didn't listen to any of our ranting, glad he pushed on regardless. We really were a bunch of clueless fuckers.


For a more considered view of Mark's career go here. For a review of Mark's album as Troubleman "Time Out Of Mind" go here


Jason Mulgrew said...


jason mulgrew
internet quasi-celebrity

kek-w said...

The Kid Shirt 12" on Global Communication's Universal Language label came fairly close to happening at one point. Mark and Tom came round a couple times and sat in the spare-room 'studio' and we debated 'marketing strategies': the inital concept was 50 lock-groove peieces on one twelve. But it all fell apart and fizzled out like these things inevitably do. To their credit, there was nothing even faintly commercial about the stuff I was doing, yet they seemed fairly enthusiastic about my complete lack of talent. After my dad died (and my mum 6 months later) I made a series of obnoxiously charmless tapes with a brutal abstract-hardcore sensibility, completely at odds to the stuff I was doing a year earlier; the 'music' was angry and violent: it staggered and lurched around, squawking like a petulently drunken robot (which is a fairly accurate description of me around that era); amateur and vitually unlistable (I'd like that to be my family motto - wonder what it is in Latin?); Mark's fiance Kirsty Hawkhead said it gave her a headache and I'm kinda proud of that fact.

Years later, when I review that mid-period stuff, I wonder at my skewed mental processes and I'm also slightly terrified (and embarassed) by the externalised anger on display. Some of it, I have no idea how (or why) it was recorded...it's like it was programmed by a complete stranger and I find idea that pretty thrilling. I still sample my own 'back catalogue' as the neural circuitry that produced those tracks has long since burned itself out. When I go to mp3, some of this stuff might make a guest appearance on me blog and I apologise in advance for that.

Yeah, Tom Middleton and Mark Pritchard: top blokes, and there's no denying their love and enthusiasm for music as a whole, but, sorry to say, they do occasionally have the 'whiff of the muso' about them.

Mark trained to be a chef at Yeovil Court restaurant; Did you know that?

kek-w said...

Sorry, I meant Hawkshaw, not Hawkhead. Nearly wrote Hawkwind. Duh!

Loki said...

yeah; he used the cash to finance the first record while the rest of us went off to Uni and...um, did nothing... did you see the 'gig' he played with Kevin Hann and Pugsy in the first incarnation of Shaft (not sure he goes under that name now) in the Studios? Twin FZ-1 attack... where did Casio go with their samplers? they coulda been contenders...

kek-w said...

Nah, missed the Shaft gig. I think Mark also played at The Gardens as Reload (well before the LP came out); I think that was just him, but I might be wrong as I missed that too! (Couldn't be arsed to leave The Butchers that night; nicely settled in, etc).

Totally with you on the FZ-1; a hugely underrated sampler... If I had the time/money/spare room I'd get one. 16-bit, wasn't it? I think their synths are hugely underrated too; I love my CZ-101 to death. Their digital synth (the VZ-1, was it?) was pretty good too...I've never been a fan of the DX7, but Casio's version is/was really nice; loads easiler to program; nice sour, brittle sound...

Anonymous said...

Wow, whos Loki? Hi Kek, Muso? five string basses.
I remember hating Yeovil the more interesting people were a pain in the arse and then you were left with people that liked fighting and the air base idiots. I enjoyed it when the rave thing kicked in seeing guys that would glass you for looking at them all of a sudden start hugging each other and putting there arms in the air, i suppose those people must be really f%cked now, what is Yeovil like now by the way?
I still keep in touch with Dom Fripp whos now in Bridgewater, whats Paul Mysiak up to? I heard from Saxon Roach a few years ago also, at the time he had a script that was going to make it to film but im not sure what happened.
I really did want to sign keks stuff, not sure why it never happened, i think it was at the end of the Universal Language days and we were having problems.
I wonder why people always hate to see other people do there thing, and lets face it i definitely dropped some dodgy music along the way, ill be first to admit that.
Im doing a new Reload album at the moment for Warp and i promise no sci fi film samples, no 5 string basses and no musoness

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