The And Band: Outhern (Spacecase Records)

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The And Band: Outhern (Spacecase Records)

It's a game any seriously frivolous music lover has played, making up names for bands and albums.

My imagined album title – probably for some lousy rhythm and blues band – is Cheap Muscatel and a Korean Guitar.

I remember at school my mate Barry came up with The The and The And Band.

And lo! It came to pass . . .

This actual And Band was George D Henderson (later of the excellent Puddle), Mark Thomas and Susan Ellis who recorded this in Christchurch in 1981 and it was released only on cassette.

But it has now been given a vanity project/collector's item vinyl release.

Now let's be clear, this lo-fi, sometimes languidly stoned, frequently quiet sonic noise from guitars, organ, percussion, autoharp and cello will not be to everyone's taste.

But if your listening has ever run to the most minimal end of Tall Dwarfs or some of the more marginal things which came out of Factory Records then it will be right in your zone.

The second side opens with She Done Dead which has declaimed lyrics adapted from the horror writer HP Lovecraft and comes at you over percussion clatter and discordant prepared guitar, like some post-punk poetry recorded in the kitchen.

Elsewhere there is cheaply recorded free form piano and clanking drumming (with moaning and sometimes barely decipherable vocals), suggestions of a chorus occasionally, meandering improvisations on the pleasant March on the Stronghold . . .

Some of this might be described as “experimental' (it's in the nature of experiments that not all are successful) but Henderson has said it was the sound of a band breaking up.

And soon enough the Puddle would emerge.

The vinyl of Outhern is available through Spacecase Records here for a remarkably modest $16.50.

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