THE PLIMPTONS are (or were, if you’re reading this after 10:15pm on the evening of Saturday 30th March 2013) a punk band of sorts from Glasgow … well, Motherwell more precisely. I say ‘of sorts’ because although ostensibly that’s what they are / were, they incorporate(d) so much more into their music and performance.
(I need say no more other than to highlight this with a few videos from the band.)
Formed in 1999, THE PLIMPTONS are very possibly the most featured band on LOUD HORIZON throughout its six-year existence in various guises. But all good things must come to an end, and after thirteen years, they have decided to call it a day. Several of the six members play in other bands / offshoots and with changes in personal circumstances it was becoming increasingly difficult to get everyone together for rehearsal / shows.
As I write this, they will be at Stereo, Glasgow, preparing to go on stage for the last time as a band at 9:15pm tonight. But they leave us with a career spanning ‘retrospective’ album, ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Plimp‘ which will be available through all the usual digital outlets from Monday 1st April.
There is also a FREE download of of the four-track ‘The Plimptons are Dead‘ EP from their Bandcamp page.
I know there will be many from around these parts and indeed further afield, who will miss THE PLIMPTONS, and join me in wishing them all well in their future ventures. As the esteemed author Douglas Adams once almost said:
‘SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE PISH.‘
(It may be too late … but you can have that one one me, lads!)
Yup – about thirteen years after being (some would ‘rashly’) allowed the freedom of Glasgow’s music venues, THE PLIMPTONS, Glasgow / Motherwell punk mentalists, are calling it a day.
But you wouldn’t expect them to go quietly would you?
So, in their own inimitable style they have arranged an ‘all-dayer’ at Glasgow’s Stereo Bar where they will be joined by a host of other established punk / alternative bands from the locale – see poster below.
“The only real reason is that it’s really hard to get the 6 of us together. We’re all in other bands, and quite a few of them with each other…but I don’t think we’d want to call it The Plimptons unless everyone was involved…and it’s always better to go out with a big party with your mates than let it become a chore or that kind of thing,” explains guitarist / vocalist Martin Smith.
The band are also releasing a nineteen-track retrospective called “The Life and Death of Colonel Plimp” the following Monday (1st April) and right now they’re giving away an all new EP called “The Plimptons are Dead” from :http://theplimptons.bandcamp.com/
(I know this post is a little self-indulgent and that most readers won’t be able to go along to the show – but the Glasgow ‘scene’ owes a lot to these guys, and as personal favourites I think it only right and proper to give them decent send-off. Here’s a little of what can be expected on the night. Each of the following tracks can be found on the retrospective collection, ‘The Life and death of Colonel Plimp.‘)
The Plimptons are dead … long live The Plimptons!
This mental Christmas track comes courtesy of Glasgow bands Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5; The Plimptons, and The Girobabies.
It’s fun, catchy, full of West of Scotland dry humour …… and has been released as a ‘charity single’ with the aim being to raise funds to send a little three-year old girl, Caoimhe (pronounced Keeva) to America for specialist treatment of her condition – Anaplastic Ependymoma with Spinal Metastases, a grade three malignant brain tumour.
(Donations may be made here.)
The Glasgow music scene can be very incestuous at times. Take The Plimptons for example. I get confused with the number of ‘side-projects’ that have spawned from the creative juices of the city’s favourite punk mentalists.
But I do know GUMS are one of them, with Martin, Nora and Tommy all playing with both outfits. Their line-up is completed by Jack Taylor on guitar / vocals.
Now, don’t go thinking LOUD HORIZON has ignored all the Christmas hype and the plethora of Festive songs that have found their way to my inbox, but I’m going to skip slightly ahead with this one. For unless Bono and Co re-release their perennial classic, or The Alexander Brothers (ask yer Granny!) back catalogue gets an unexpected airing, then it’s unlikely there will be many more semi-festive classics released to compete with GUMS and ‘New Year.‘
(This terrific little song is available as free download from the GUMS Bandcamp page)
The last time we ‘met’ with COLIN’S GODSON, they were travelling ‘In Space’ on a (successful) mission to destroy Thatcher’s Brain. (I won’t even bother trying to explain … follow this link if you want to pick up the story where we left off.)
Well …. It seems that on their return voyage to earth (supposedly in time for tea) there was a malfunction and the space-ship ended travelling back in time. (As it transpires, it was the ships Chief Medical Officer, Dave, who programmed the time-travel facility so he could go back to the year 2000 so he could watch the first series of Kirsty Allsop’s epochal, ‘Location , Location, Location.’ Except ….. there WAS a malfunction and he overshot the desired year and ended up in mid-Nineties Britain. )
Their ‘mission’ this time around ends up being to prevent the disappointing millennium Blackadder sequel, ‘Blackadder Back and Forth’ from ever being made.
So, that’s the background. Here’s the music:
As with their previous release, COLIN’S GODSON have produced a rather mental ‘concept’ album with an album’s worth of short, sharp, poppy, punky songs.
Also, just for good measure, for the first time in pop history, COLIN’S GODSON IN TIME comes with a -1 track, intended to be attached before the start of the album, which can be downloaded from www.colinsgodson.com
(Released on a limited edition basis through the band’s Bandcamp page for £5)
Which is why I was not in the least bit surprised to read about a forthcoming 7″ vinyl ALBUM, featuring twelve bands, each supplying a track with a duration of no more than 70 seconds! Of course, THE PLIMPTONS are featured as are offshoots, GUMS! and COLIN’S GODSON – all of which have been reviewed on LOUD HORIZON in the past few months.
There are some real little gems on this one – in fact there isn’t one bad track (but even if there were, you wouldn’t have to suffer it too long would you?) but as a long-standing fan of THE MURDERBURGERS (partly because of their Lillingtons / Teenage Bottlerocket similarity) I am particularly pleased to see them here.
And of course there are going to be a few pleasant surprises in such a frenetic and packed release – for me it’s THE PARAFINNS with all the electronic blips and bleeps of ‘Backwater.‘ PULSAR take this electronic theme and twist it with a sort of Country and Western Booty Rap, which kind of sums up the whole project!
And there’s got to be a special mention for a band I’d never heard of before, despite the Glasgow links – ATOMGEVITTER. Their hardcore contribution ’4298 Thrash Attack‘ takes me back to the days when the best band in the world, Bristol’s Five Knuckle, used to grace the stages around the city in the early part of the century.
Obviously I’ve missed mentioning a few bands – no offence intended – but you can listen to them all below, and hopefully show your support for an innovative project by pre-ordering a copy of the vinyl 7″ which is available for £5, including p&p!
Can’t say fairer than that!
I’ve taken the highly unusual step of posting this before even listening to the music …. simply because anything that features Glasgow mentalist punks The Plimptons or one of their own, simply just has to be good!
“A Glasgow Summer” is a new, FREE one-off 6 track EP by Glasgow underground super-group GUMS! for Summer 2012.. GUMS! features members of anarchic institutions The Plimptons, post-hardcore devotees Orphans, Edinburgh dream-popsters Collar Up and monster riff experts Headless Kross.
Mixing moments of Tom Waits balladry with Arab Strap’s conversational tone, the dream-like lilt of Morrissey’s “Vauxhall and I” and moments of punk energy recalling The Buzzcocks at their rawest, the six songs on the EP create a series of eclectic vignettes which both muse on the underside of Summer in the city and provide a poignant reflection on Summers past.
You can download your own free six-track EP from above, whilst watching the video that accompanies the lead song, which incidentally is taken from “The Littlest Album” a forthcoming 7″ vinyl compilation of 1 minute songs.
Arriving completely unannounced through the post, this album came in the shape of a 7” vinyl single, packaged in a comic, but actually containing a CD. With me so far….?
These eleven songs which will occupy a mere seventeen of your Earth minutes, chronicle ‘ …. one band’s crusade across the stars to destroy a Thatcherite satellite and be home in time for tea, observing some subtle space vignettes along the way.’ (Their words, not mine.)
You know – this is one of those albums you can enjoy without even listening to it! And in some ways you actually fear pressing the ‘play’ button, just in case it doesn’t quite live up to expectations. But then I don’t suppose that would allow for much by way of a ‘review’ would it?
‘Colin’s Godson in Space’ is like a wee punk(ish) rock opera. The song titles are the equivalent of the various ‘acts’ and indeed tell the outline story when read chronologically. Starting with a forty-nine second version of the famous space theme, ‘Also Sprach Zarathurstra’ it quickly lifts off into the ‘(Theme From) Colin’s Godson In Space’ which is obviously based, perhaps rather tenuously on Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity,’ what with the cello and handclaps and all. From here on in our heroes cross the galaxy in search of the rogue satellite, to the soundtrack / inspiration of Fat Wreck Chords type bands like Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, The Swingin’ Utters and NOFX et al.
It’s all good-time melodic pop / punk with witty and genuinely funny lyrics.
It matters not whether you like or dislike punk music; or humorous songs; or Thatcher; or Star Trek. Or Colin or indeed his goddamned Godson, for God’s sake! This will brighten your day – it kicks proverbial ass, man!
(Released through Puzzled Aardvark and available now via COLIN’S GODSON website – May 2012)
For their new UK tour dates and an unmissable invitation to see where all the action! action! action! action! action! takes place, click here.
No need to say owt! MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
Aye – well, the ‘Holidays Are Coming’ Coca Cola advert’s been screened for over a week now so I suppose I can justify including this one.
It’s perhaps not de rigeur to like Christmas songs, but me ….. I love ‘em! Especially when they’re like this – fast, fun and tailor-made for accompanying a beer-fuelled party!
I know it’s not really the ‘true’ meaning of Christmas that’s reflected on these three tracks but let’s be honest, it’s the time of year that town centres the length and breadth of the UK are filled with staggering party-goers …. and Glasgow punks THE PLIMPTONS are the ‘go-to’ guys to provide the soundtrack!
Title track ‘Christmas All Over This Town’ is a seasonally chimed punk ditty, celebrating the breakout of camaraderie endemic at this time of year. Of course, where you have THE PLIMPTONS, you also have beer. And pubs. And a paaarty! This one’s gonna warm your little toes!
Having myself experienced ‘Christmas In Motherwell’ on five occasions, I know where they’re coming from in the frantic second track. The sound of Slade being played out of shop-fronts in Brandon Parade (shopping arcade) in September is not far from the truth!
Final song ‘Christmas Is Over’ is the least festive sounding of the three tracks as it reflects on the aftermath of several weeks partying. It’s a bit loud for a hangover cure, but adequately conveys the rather empty feeling we all have when the normality of regular life returns in early January.
I love Punk. I love Christmas. I love THE PLIMPTONS!
(Released through 16Ohm Records as a free download fro the band’s website at www.theplimptons.co.uk from 5th December 2012)
THE PLIMPTONS are a band that for some reason or other, I have failed to see play live at any point in their eleven-year existence. God knows why – their name appears on enough gig posters around Glasgow, so it’s not as if I’ve not been given the opportunity. (Mental note for 2011..!)
Actually, when I think about it ‘mental’ is perhaps a more than apt word to use in any connection with THE PLIMPTONS. There’s definitely a touch of ‘The Nutty Boys’ about them, for although the fifteen tracks on ‘00s Nostalgia With The Plimptons’ cover the whole spectrum of pop / punk / ska it is all presented with a wacky touch of humour.
There are not many bands that can carry this off without sounding pretentious and a bit ‘look at us…. we’re feckin’ mental, we are!’ It can so easily become tiresome. But like Madness before them, THE PLIMPTONS have found the balance between great, energetic, fun and varied music and nonsensical / flippant lyrics.
Yes – ‘Madness.’ I’d place THE PLIMPTONS alongside Suggs and Co. Just about that good!
As mentioned, the style of music is wide and varied. Opener, ‘Drink Y’Self Sober’ mixes ‘3 Chord Rocket Science’ type punk (Teenage Bottlerocket / The Vapids / The Apers) with little ska breakdowns and some cheesy Hammond organ. ‘Seaquest Dependent Pleasure Cortex’ continues in basically the same vein, but with added brass and gang backing chants.
A change comes with ‘Virgin On The Ridiculous’ where there are definite musical references to very early Elvis Costello; ‘Lonely Old Man’ has a touch of The Pogues about it before ‘Irony’ is a minute and a half of ragtime, bursting into a punk hybrid, and presented in the fashion of a pub sing-a-long!
‘Everyone Knows Everyone Else’ has a familiar piano sound as its base. It also contains some ‘classical’ flashes – all mixed with a Chas & Dave type delivery! ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Dead’ is more straight up 3 Chord punk, with chant-a-long choruses and an irresistible beat. ‘The Day My Baby Said She Hated Ska’ will be familiar in sound to anyone who has listened to the ‘Give ‘Em The Boot’ series of compilations from a few years back. It’s a ska track, as if you didn’t know – and done really well, I have to say, with the traditional organ and horns mix. The last minute or so breaks down into a lovely ‘dub’ sound. Brilliant.
‘This Is the Story Of My Self Pity’ is another with a familiar sounding melody. I think it may have been plagiarised from somewhere, but can’t put my finger on it. But everyone will recognise it, I’m sure. ‘(I’m) Bipolar Baby’ has a Madness feel about the piano flirting with the organ; ‘Ocean Colour Resurrection’ is a frantic, rousing punk song that will have crowds going crazy at the live shows; ‘It’s A Crime’ has really bouncy bass line and horns while ‘I Hate Halloween’ integrates Boris Pickett & The Crypt Kickers type vocals and theremin with searing guitar and pounding drums.
‘Away From The Zeitgeist’ is the longest track by far at almost six and a half minutes (the others rarely tipping the three-minute mark.) That alone makes it different from anything else on the album. It starts out with honky-tonk piano and mandolin, and develops through this more jazz based feel to scuzzy electro. (That one came completely out of left field, I have to say!)
Closing track ‘ We’re Gonna Out-Live You’ rocks it up in punch-the-air / mosh-pit punk style and takes a bit of a self-deprecating look at the band’s history.
Yeah – it’s all good. This to me is what music should be all about…. fast, furious and fun – and not to be taken too seriously.
(Self-released on 22nd November 2010 and available through www.myspace.com/theplimptonsuk )