4. Playing live

By 2003, I realized that I had accumulated enough material to put together a live set for Carcassette. Finding band members wasn’t difficult: Anth Brown, (who I’ve mentioned in the blog about Billy Mackenzie) for guitar, Ashley Dublin for bass, a musician that Billy and I had worked with previously, and the drummer from Anth’s band, Electric Music, Graham Instrall. All of the electronic parts would naturally have to be programmed. I decided that some kind of keyboard presence would be required and came up with an idea to provide extra visual appeal. I set up an old Vox Continental organ with a dummy computer monitor on it and a mirror. I then got my friend, Rebecca Drury, to sit behind the organ in a short skirt and thigh-length boots and, using the mirror, put on make-up for the duration of the set. ‘Performance Art’ if you like. In practice, this worked so well that many people in the audience spent more time watching Rebecca than the band.
During rehearsals, we had a surprise visit from the police. The song ‘Fire Station 6’ features a sample of a siren. A member of the public must have heard it out on the street and dialed 999, assuming it to be some kind of burglar alarm. The two police officers who appeared didn’t look too happy when they discovered the source of the siren. I attempted to explain the lyric, how a giant iceberg was in a state of meltdown near the equator, but they clearly weren’t amused.
We played a total of four shows up in London, and they couldn’t have gone better in terms of public reaction. The London music biz people, however, just didn’t get it. Carcassette is a cross-over, hybrid style of music which is hard to define in the usual terminology. Therein lay the problem. I pressed up some CD singles of ‘Milk from the Garage’ and set about looking for a plugger. I had set aside £1000 for this and thought it would be a relatively straightforward affair. Not so. No-one would take it on. All of this is best illustrated by a phone conversation I had with a contact of mine, Sean Cooney. Sean was, and still is, an active member of the London music business and generally nice guy. He started out as a plugger and I thought, who better to ask?
Sean called me about a week after I had sent him the CD. ‘What is this stuff, Steve?’ was his first question. I then reeled off all of my pre-prepared reference points: Nine Inch Nails, Devo, Kraftwerk etc but received no reply. ‘Are you still there, Sean?’ ‘Yes- but Steve, WHAT IS IT?’ I was then lost for words. ‘I don’t know, Sean. It’s music. People really like it- the gigs we’ve done have been really well received. I just need a plugger to take this on.’ ‘I couldn’t take your money, Steve. I wouldn’t know what to do with it.’ I appreciated his honesty but of course, was extremely disappointed. I saw no point in continuing with more gigs, without any proper media exposure or promotion. Playing gigs in London is an expensive business and I was running out of available cash. So Carcassette, the live band, was reluctantly shelved. On a brighter note, I have recently written a whole new batch of Carcassette material and finally, have an album ready and plans to put on some shows in Berlin.

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18 Responses to “Carcassette”

  1. IAN (theassociate) Says:

    Is like sex without love….Blinding..

  2. J@mes Reid Says:

    Nice story again Mr Aungle. So lefty was a Dundonian as well learn something every day. Just like to say Fire Station 6 love it so melodic whats the story behind the track Steve and who does the vocals. See Ya J@mes

    1. steveaungle Says:

      Thanks James- do I know you from Dundee? The name is familiar. It’s me doing the vocals on Fire Station 6- a track I did with Pascal Gabriel- will be telling that particular story in due course. Cheers, S.

  3. J@mes Reid Says:

    Hi Steve no i am not from Dundee but from Nottingham. I meet you and Billy in Seagate Studio and also in a flat in north london when i came to see Jimmy Mack. You played me and my mate the demo of 14th century night life and told us the story about your face locking up or having some sort spasm attack because of the frequency from the violins. See Ya James

    1. steveaungle Says:

      That whole business with 14th century Nightlife is related in the next blog on the Billy Mackenzie page. Should have it finished for Saturday- S.

  4. J@mes Reid Says:

    Steve top stuff the mullet of seaford love the idea and story behind the track. Please Fire Station 6 or Questions To A Shark next. See Ya James PS got to thank you for the tip you gave me years ago about putting vocals through guitar pedal’s

  5. J@mes Reid Says:

    Steve how many synth’s do you own and which one is your pride and joy. Also do you use any of the vintage virtual synth’s. See Ya James

    1. steveaungle Says:

      The only synth I still have is the Sequential Circuits one I bought from the Mullet of Seaford. All the other ones I use are virtual- the best is called the Minimonsta by G-force- really fat and beefy esp for bass sounds. S.

      1. J@mes Reid Says:

        Yep got that one by G-force also got the The Oddity, Virtual String Machine also the Arturia software synth’s are pretty good as well. Thanks James

  6. J@mes Says:

    Nice to hear the story about Fire Station 6. Steve i must of played that track over 50 times in on day just love it dont think it went down to well with the missus, Oh well cant please everyone. Thanks James Ps can you put the Dazed track up on your myspace page sounds very interesting pretty please.

    1. steveaungle Says:

      Thanks James- sorry about the missus- that stuff isn’t for everyone. I’m taking down the myspace page- it’s pretty pointless having it really. ‘Dazed will be on the Carcassette album due out on mont records shortly. S

      1. J@mes Says:

        Steve must admit i thought Fire Station 6 was paying some sort of tribute to François Truffaut “Fahrenheit 451”. See Ya James

      2. steveaungle Says:

        Hmm…I’ll have to look that one up. I know Francois Truffaut reasonably well- one of the great French film directors- but haven’t heard of Fahrenheit 451. S

    2. J@mes Says:

      Good film about books being outlawed by a government fearing an independent thinking public very 1984. See Ya James

  7. J@mes Says:

    ‘Fire Station 6′ love that track and love the bit about boys in blue not being happy. Steve love Carcassette please dont give up the idea and concept get Mister S Lester to do some vocals i think the electronica genre would suit him. Think a bit Misty Roses come Portishead now were talking Ambitious, lavish, downbeat pop melodrama. See Ya J@mes

  8. steveaungle Says:

    Thanks James- I have not given up quite yet. Steve L has his own electronic project ‘Meadow Zero’ which I’m doing some playing on. Interesting ref points but haven’t heard of Misty Roses. S


  9. Well, I saw Carcassette. They really wailed and it’s a shame it did not take off. Testament more to blindness and the short-cuts to thinking going on than any lack of talent or originality.

    Hey Steve. I’m home in Scotland now and deep into the music too. Where can I hear the old Carcassette stuff?

    I’m about to start work on a web-site. Any tips?

    G.

    1. steveaungle Says:

      Hi Gerry- good to hear from you. Haven’t got a clue about web-sites. Putting up blogs is about the limit of my knowledge. As far as the old Carcassette stuff goes there’s a vid here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKfscx07Yxk and a couple of tracks here: http://www.myspace.com/cybercell I’m finishing an album of mostly new material which will be available from here: http://www.montrecords.com Give my best to Rab when you see him. S

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