For a whole bunch of complicated and related reasons, I sort of lost touch with music from late 1986 through to early 1990. Thankfully, I've been able to plug the gaps in my musical knowledge thanks in the main to my dear friend Jacques The Kipper who supplied me with all sorts of C90 cassettes over many years chock-full of great tunes that had passed me by.
By the time I had even heard of Close Lobsters, they had come and gone leaving behind a body of work that consisted of 2 LPs and 6 singles. Indeed, the first time I ever heard any of their songs was when The Wedding Present did a cover version on a b-side.
It was talking to folk in a pub one night in the early 90s about my recently discovered love of TWP (it took me until the single Kennedy in 1989) that mention was made of Close Lobsters and a couple of folk said they were best described as the Caledonian Weddoes. Intrigued, I tried to track down some of their songs, but wasn't successful as they had been released on a record label which weren't the best for re-stocking when a shop had sold out.
So it has only been in recent times through their songs appearing on compilation CDs that I've picked up on Close Lobsters. Oh and the advent of ebay which has allowed me to pick up one or two releases.
But above all else, its the recent re-releases on CD of 1987 debut LP Foxheads Stalk This Land and the release of Forever, Until Victory! a fantastic compilation of the singles that I've been able fall totally head over heels with the band.
A potted history:-
Close Lobsters were formed back in 1985 in Johnstone, which is a small town a few miles to the south-west of Glasgow by Andrew Burnett, Bob Burnett, Tom Donnelly, Stuart McFadyen and Graham Wilmington. They got their break via a song on the legendary NME C86 tape and then signed a deal with Fire Records. They toured extensively, including a major support slot to Jesus & Mary Chain. Bob Burnett left after only a couple of singles and was replaced on bass guitar by Paul Bennett.
Their sound was unmistakably of its era which is no bad thing. And yes, there's an awful lot of musical similarity between Close Lobsters and The Wedding Present, which again is no bad thing.
For a while, the band looked as if they would break through, thanks in particular to their songs featuring heavily on college radio across America. But it just never happened, and by mid 1989 they had split, reforming very briefly two years later for some live gigs but no new records.
The release of Forever, Until Victory! has been overseen by two members of the band, and a superb collection of songs it has proven to be. Indeed, in addition to including a look at one of the singles today, I'm also suggesting the LP as part of my Ideas for Xmas (see below.....)
And the single I'd like to rave about today?? It was released in August 1988 :-
mp3 : Close Lobsters - What Is There To Smile About?
mp3 : Close Lobsters - From This Day On
mp3 : Close Lobsters - Loopholes
mp3 : Close Lobsters - Skyscrapers of St Mirin
It reached #17 in the UK Indie Charts. Which in sales terms maybe amounted to a couple of thousand.