Comsat Angels : From Beyond 1987-1995 Best of Volume 2

from beyond comsat angelscdmred170Cherry Red Records CDMRED170

My association with the Comsats goes way back – I used to watch them at the Broadfield pub, just down the road from my bedsit, and I joined a band called Red Zoo, who’s singer Elaine was “going out” with Kevin from the CSA. So it was that I saw them frequently and got to know them. I watched enviously as they recruited a different extra guitarist seemingly every time they went on tour and *finally* they saw sense and asked me to join. We did a warm-up gig at the “Take 2” venue (I’d dearly love a photo from there, if you have one), the album was complete, the US tour beckoned (under the name “Dream Command” due to legal problems from Comsat Inc.) then Island pulled the tour, claiming there were no hit singles on the album (and the CSA being such a cheerful, radio-friendly bunch)! I’d even got married on the strength of a lengthy US tour – that’ll learn me.

Whilst we waited, they laid down some demos for new songs (Ice Sculpture” appears on this CD) and I was asked to play geetar on a cover of the Soft Boys “I Wanna Destroy You”, which I feel (impartially) would have made a good single. T’was not to be. So, I went into cold storage while they “sorted things out” and several months later, was chatting with a complete stranger in the guitar shop, as we both admired some Starts. “Who do you play with?” says I, “The Comsat Angels” says he. Hmmm. A few phone calls later, the nasty truth was revealed, they’d either got bored or didn’t like the cut of my jib and had found someone else. It was a small consolation that he didn’t stay the course either.

My good friend Andy Peake was highly embarrassed about the whole affair. Still, had I known upfront, I’d still have joined. They remain, to my jaundiced yes, one of the finest bands Sheffield has ever produced and I’m proud to have spent a short stint with them. I still see them from time to time and remain deeply unoptimistic that I can persuade Steve Fellows to do some loopy guitar gigs with me. He produced an ambient guitar “Mood X” CD on my brothers label some years ago, but has released nothing since until a recent solo album

A Sound / My Minds Eye / I Hear A New World / Mystery Plane / Always Near / Sailor / Ice Sculpture / Goddess / Valley Of The Nile / Shiva Descending / Venus Hunter / I Wanna Destroy You / Waves / Mood X / Can’t See Me (Brown Bacon Quarmby Dub) / We Must Be Mad / Soup

ps, the cd title might imply there would a “volume 1” to follow(!) this, but pretty poor inter-band relations strangled that at birth.