published: 5 /
Format: CD X2
Impressive double CD anthology on Cherry Red from Iconic communal band The Global Village Trucking Company
In the early 1970s, bands like Ducks Deluxe, Dr Feelgood and, best of them all, Brinsley Schwarz (starring Nick Lowe and Ian Gomm, among others), played loads and loads of gigs all over the UK with their blues and boogie-influenced rock, taking a lot of inspiration from The Band (and also The Grateful Dead) in the US. What they all had in common was a dislike of the overly-produced and flashy rock trend at the time, and instead they opted for cheap recordings and playing gigs at small venues, such as pubs (hence the name of the scene).
In late 1971, singer/guitarist/songwriter Jon Owen, keyboardist James Lascelles (who is also in line of succession to the British throne, as he’s the second son of the 7th Earl of Harewood), bass player Nick Prater (who was later replaced by John McKenzie), lead guitarist Michael Medora and drummer Simon Stewart-Richardson lived together in a house on the Suffolk coast in east England, and decided to form a band, which they first called Equabar, but later the name was changed to The Global Village Trucking Company (after the drummer wrote that on the destination banner on their “tour bus”), a band name that would eventually be shortened to The Globs by their fans. And they got a lot of fans. There’s no doubt about that. Despite their somewhat meagre recorded output, they played tons of gigs (according to the essay in the booklet they played 390 gigs from March 1972 until August 1975, all of them in the UK), and the word soon got out that their gigs were a sight to be seen (and heard), as they often erupted into improvised jam sessions. Luckily (for me), their studio recordings were a bit more restrained, even though it manages to capture their sound in a good way at the same time. The band, with some additional members, later relocated to another house, Beehive Cottage, in Sotherton in Suffolk, where they lived together with their families, a communal living that attracted the attention of the BBC, who made a documentary, ‘By Way of a Change’, about the band in 1973.
The main reason for their sparse discography is probably the fact that they didn’t like record companies, and did their very best to avoid them. This means that the only official recordings available up until now are the self-titled album, released on Caroline Records (a Virgin sub label) in 1975, and an appearance on the compilation ‘Greasy Truckers Live at Dingwalls Dance Hall’, which was recorded live at Dingwalls in London in October 1973. But I could also imagine, as I mentioned earlier, that it was quite hard to capture a band that was such a live force on tape.
All those tracks are now available on this new CD compilation, which brings together the aforementioned material, plus some recordings made for BBC’s John Peel and other live tracks, totaling in eighteen tracks. As usual when Cherry Red is involved, this is a great looking release, with an undisputable track list, as it’s a complete collection, and a very informative and nicely illustrated booklet.
If you are a fan of the bands I mentioned at the beginning of this review, then you should surely check out this anthology as well. As always when there are unreleased recordings and live tracks included, there is quite often a reason why these haven’t been released before, but when it comes to The Globs, their minimal output during their lifetime might be a reason for that as well. With that being said, there are some nuggets among the bonus tracks here, especially when the band is leaning towards the more poppy parts of music.
On The Judgement Day
Love Your Neighbour
If You Don't Mind (Me Saying)
Short Change / Tall Story
Watch Out There's A Mind About
The Inevitable Fate Of Ms Danya Sox
Down In The Lowlands
It Ain't No Apple Pie
Love Will Find A Way
Watch Out There's A Mind About (Live)
Look Into Me
Earl Stonham (The Gunslinger)
You're A Floozy Madame Karma (But I Love Your Lowdown Ways)
Everybody Needs A Good Friend
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