Wednesday, April 29, 2009

High Llamas - Pipas - Stereolab - New X

Some more New Cross music connections towards the indie end of the spectrum.

Lovely indie-pop duo Pipas used to live in Jerningham Road, and indeed have a song called Old Kent Road on their 2002 album 'The Cat Escaped'. In this 2001 interview they mention Telegraph Hill Park and also refer to another band living in the same area: 'we think that we have these superstar neighbors, the High Llamas, and this whole year one of my projects has been to look into everybody's window as I walk up and down the hill and I've studied everybody's house and there's some people who look like they're into '60s tropicalia kind of stuff and it's got to be them'.

In a 1996 review of the High Llamas and Stereolab in Mojo magazine, Barney Hoskyns refers to them as 'two musical ensembles who dwell in the New Cross netherlands of south-east London, whose metier happens to be an uncanny kind of mimicry or pastiche. They do it brilliantly'.

Intriguing, somebody mentioned to me before that Sean O'Hagan (High Llamas and before that Microdisney - who I once saw at Glastonbury) used to live in the area but I didn't know that anybody from Stereolab did too. I would love to be able to weave them into the South East London musical history narrative so if anybody knows any more, do tell...

Anyway here's The High Llamas' Bach Ze to brighten up your day:


StuPC said...

I lived in Camberwell in 1996-7, and I remember being told that some members of Stereolab lived there somewhere on posh Camberwell Grove, not in New Cross - although, it's only a short hop on the 36 or 171 bus so perhaps my source (whoever they were) had gotten confused...

Transpontine said...

I lived in Brixton in the late 1980s and I sometimes used to see Tim Gane (Stereolab guitarist - then in McCarthy) drinking in the White Horse in Brixton Hill.

owen said...

Sean O'Hagan lives in Peckham, I believe - met him at Peckham Rye station last summer. Believe there is some Stereolab presence in East Dulwich - the 'contact us' address in their CDs is SE22..

Great choice of track, btw. :)

Anonymous said...

Some unrelated SE music info:
The two founding members of Stereolab lived in Camberwell for many years.
Their record label is based in East Dulwich.
The High Llamas were formed in Peckham. Three members live thereabouts.
I don't know whether this has been previously mentioned in Transpontine, but the legendary Dave Howard Singers (c. early nineties) were formed in Camberwell.
The House of Love were another nineties Camberwell band.
For a time they shared a guitarist (who is very much creatively active in the area and elsewhere).
Some of the personnel of Blur played a very early gig (as Seymour) in a back garden in Lordship Lane during a summer Saturday afternoon in the very early Nineties. They played a long version of 'My Funny Valentine'.
Two no longer living legends of music, Arthur Lee and Lee Hazlewood both spent time in New Cross rehearsing their respective bands. And drinking.

Transpontine said...

Wow, knew about the House of Love, thanks for reminder about Dave Howard Singers - but Arthur Lee and Lee Hazlewood in New Cross, you must tell me more. Presumably they were rehearsing at Music City or somewhere?

Anonymous said...

Arthur Lee rehearsed in the Monson Rd annex to the Music Room, about 1998. He drank in the pub opposite, now closed, whose name I can't recall.

Lee Hazlewood rehearsed at the Music Room for his final European tour circa 2001. Then again for his last gig, the RFH in 2004.
He liked to drink in The Five Bells.
He was accompanied (in 2001) by his friend the late great Al Casey (guitar - The Wrecking Crew, Elvis Presley etc).