Bear Up from Songs For Swinging Shepherds.
The history of everything noise related but mainly The Gits (in excruciating depth)
Anyone here speak Brazilian?
Whilst wading the web one sunny day in June I came across a mention of The Gits on the Brazilian Take The Pills! blog and after writing with thank yous and a few comments I ended doing an email interview. It’s no longer on line so here it is for posterity.
Filed Under: Marcadores: jangle pop, post punk
I’m baaaack! Pois é, tive uns problemas com a maldita da OI e fiquei sem internet esses dias todos. Enfim, voltando à ativa (hehe) com mais uma pérola esquecida do jangle pop. Há alguns meses atrás postei um vídeo da banda The Gits, e depois de um tempo recebi um email do Rob Boole, guitarrista desse pop combo de Horsham, UK. Rob me enviou duas compilações com gravações e demos, Golden Hour Of The Gits e Songs For Swinging Shepherds, veja o que ele fala:
[Machine translation: I’m baaaack! I’m baaaack! Yeah, I had some problems with the damn OI and I had no internet all these days. Anyway, getting back on hehe with one more forgotten pearl of jangle pop. A few months ago I posted a video of the band The Gits, and after a while I received an email from Rob Boole, guitarist for this pop combo from Horsham, UK. Rob sent me two compilations with recordings and demos, Golden Hour Of The Gits and Songs For Swinging Shepherds, see what he says:]
The first, ‘Golden Hour Of The Gits’, is an extended version of a compilation I did after a local radio interview bringing stuff together from ‘Men Or Gods?’ and ‘Chris Morris’ whilst the later is our last full length effort, ‘Songs For Swinging Shepherds’, plus a few extra tracks. They are all four track cassette recordings so the quality isn’t wonderful.
Perguntei então se ele poderia me contar mais sobre a banda, como e quando ela surgiu, o porque do nome, essas coisas. Gentilmente, Rob escreveu um ótimo texto com muitos detalhes sobre a história do Gits. Não irei traduzir pra não perder a essência, saca?! Olha o texto:
I then asked if he could tell me more about the band, how and when it came about, why the name, these things. Gently, Rob wrote a great text with lots of details about the history of Gits. I will not translate to not lose the essence, you know ?! Look at the text:]
The Gits – Like The Beatles But Better
Anyone here speak English?
The band started as a reaction to a lot of pseudo psychedelic bands that used to visit our home town of Horsham in Sussex from Brighton. Me and Ben E. Git the bass player were both fans of The Misunderstood who John Peel had originally brought over from America in the late sixties. The idea was to do something like that but it didn’t take long to realise we didn’t have the slightest hope of getting anywhere near it so ended up doing anything we could come up with which was ‘Pure Pop For Pop People!’.
Thinking of influences some folks used to compare us to the Wedding Present because of the fast strumming and though I was generally aiming at somewhere between Edwyn Collins and Eric Clapton the rapid rhytm was actually rooted in seeing the Woodstock movie late one night and the playing of Richie Havens.
I think the band name came from the third chap to join calling Ben a git on occasion, that would be Matt ‘Guitar’ Git. We possibly put more effort into slogans and stage names han the music. I was ‘Dave Evans’ as it mildly amused me to use The Edge’s real name as he didn’t think it rock ‘n’ roll enough.
Our first attempt at finding a singer was to go as far a field as Ben’s next door neighbour who quite fairly thought our early stuff was pretty crap. I only mention it as he went on to reasonable success as ‘The Vessel’ in David Devant & His Spirit Wife.
But then we got Jammie Git in to sing who was actually a drummer so naturally we didn’t make the slightest use of that skill throughout the bands existence and all the rhythm came from Glen Sislea / an Aelsis HR16 drum machine.
Now I’ve hit a bit of an impasse here because we didn’t actually do much of interest or achieve a great deal. We didn’t have the faintest idea of what we should do to become successful and instead of spending time trying to get gigs I was obsessed with working on new songs with the idea that if the Kinks could go from ‘You Really Got Me’ to ‘Waterloo Sunset’ in three years we should be changing all the time. Unfortunately that could tend to leave people confused, the world probably still isn’t ready for such as our attempt at a Cocteau Twins / Mike Oldfield fusion.
So we did a fair number of gigs in the local area and Brighton and could get a few people to turn up to see us mainly on the back of a couple of Radio Sussex ‘Turn It Up’ interviews. They used to use one of our songs ‘Turn Away’ to back their gig guide but weren’t allowed to play us during the day as the word git was a little too risque. I notice that you’ve featured The Brilliant Corners which was one band we supported and another of a similar ilk was The Chesterfields. The only other one I remember is The Man From Del Monte who has also been on one of the Fire Station Records labour of love Leamington Spa series of compilations. We’re due to be on Volume 7 with a never before heard version of J.K. Rant which is cobbled together from a couple of different versions of the tune.
As I’m name dropping we did have Alistar Adams of Test Department guest on bagpipes at one gig after he heard ‘Bottled Delight’ where I’d laid in an old tape of some pipe playing when I couldn’t come up with a guitar solo.
Our ‘biggest’ gig was headlining the Powerhouse in Islington London where such luminaries as The Pixies and Throwing Muses had played. Unfortunately it was on New Years Day and even the traditional one man and his dog didn’t turn up. The fact that we were on with some punk fairies and another mob called Barf Rocko who had a singer who seemed to think he was Rod Stewart circa ‘Do You Think I’m Sexy’ suggested the promoter had just stuck on a lot of novelty acts when it didn’t matter. As always we still played as if our lives depended on it and did get asked for encores from both the front of house and monitor sound engineers!
We packed it in ultimately as we weren’t getting anywhere and people had to get on with their lives.
Bacana hein?! Ah, esqueci de falar que, parece, o The Gits estará no novo volume (o 7) da compilação The Sound Of Leamington Spa com uma versão diferente de “JK Rant”. A compilação será lançada ainda este ano pela Firestation Records.
[Bacana hein?! Ah, esqueci de falar que, parece, o The Gits estará no novo volume (o 7) da compilação The Sound Of Leamington Spa com uma versão diferente de “JK Rant”. A compilação será lançada ainda este ano pela Firestation Records.]
2 Responses to “The Gits (UK)”
popheaven Says: What a fantastic band! The singer’s voice is good. Very Smithesque and jangly. Really like the song “Cut”, I can’t stop playing it. I think I will post it on my blog someday. It’s a just perfect jangle pop long that should’ve been a hit.
takethepills Says: yes, i’m very impressioned with them! really fantastic songs. hey, great idea! you really should make a post about them on your blog. People need to know this band. =D
Outside MBN’s Loveshack at Collyer’s College Horsham in 1988.
A cover of an unreleased Wedding Present song at Champagnes night club in Horsham 1989.
Having transferred some old concert tapes onto the computer and started playing with video editing to prepare background projections for my first gig in fourteen years I knocked out this compilation. It’s had four thousand odd views, largely from people looking for The Gits (USA) and occasionally the Polish ensemble of the same name.
It was this and other uploads which led to a bit of interest around the web and ultimately the Retrospeculative.
Also available in A Bit Better QualityTM
Originally part of the Truly.Beautiful.Disaster website.
Any problem with the volume balance within the band can be cured by everyone turning up.
Whether you are just starting out or have been at it for many years you can always improve your playing by buying more expensive equipment.
For The Younger Band
Having your parents take you to the gig and then stand in the front of the audience cheering you on does in no way devalue the bad motherfugger attitude you assume on taking the stage.
Much like whales humans hear through their knees so a half stack system is ideal for monitoring your playing.
The other half of VTOR singing a ditty he composted for Momus’ Karaoke Parody Contest – part of his Stars Forever Album.
Listening to Turn It Up on 12th December 1989 is was something of a shock to find us joint third for the County.
Admittedly Sussex was not a hot bed of internationally successful recording artists, The Popguns and 14 Iced Bears were the bands ahead of us, but most of the other acts in the chart were what we’d consider ‘real’ bands as opposed us gentleman amateurs.
And given our incompetence at getting gigs I can only think it was the Radio appearances that did the trick where we were perhaps a little lighter in tone than some of the local groups.
It was also a rare placing for a Horsham band as usually Crawley represented the north of the County.
Interesting to note the dawn of The Levellers who were tenth in the Poll.
Some tunes from the top 10 acts are here.
An enterprising chap we knew from gigs in Brighton decided to put on a concert with us and Crocodile Ride at a Leisure Centre in Seaford on the Sussex coast. This seemed a little optimistic, the more so when the other better known band dropped out, and the more more so when we turned up and saw the size of the place. But the final straw in the coffin was having it on Guy Fawkes Night in the heart of Bonfire Society country.
The few folks who turned up seemed to enjoy it and we even sold some singles, the money for which we gave to the organizer, Pop Kid, for it was he. Ben reminds me that we also paid him for the beer he’d laid on which only seems fair. It’s one gig that was neither recorded or videoed which is a shame as we played a lot of stuff that we usually didn’t have the time to do.
A lean period for original music in Horsham was already setting in by the time Champagnes nightclub was knocked down in July of 1989 but losing the town’s only decent music venue and one which attracted charting indie bands lost the focus for a revival and meant that later recoveries remained largely insular.
Brighton moving up through the divisions of the Country’s artistic centres also made it harder for bands from Horsham to play there and losing Turn It Up in the merger that created Southern Counties Radio meant the chances of building a following and catching the attention of promoters was considerably reduced. But for now we soldiered on.
Yours for £2.50: Midwich Cuckoos, Still Life, The Gits, Spiralhead and The Loveless. And a good turn out at The College Of Richard Collyer by all accounts. Well, the one available account.
I spy an extended metaphor.
Third band of the evening were The Gits, who upped the termperature with a blistering set that ducked and dived, jabbed and hooked. A knockout display of hard pop, The Gits went into the ring full of confidence and won in the first round. Know what I mean ‘Arry?
Next of the regulars.
Spiralhead, the Hawkwind of the eighties.
I think we’ll leave that there.
From start to finish The Loveless were angry, entertaining and utterly professional. Vocalist Adrian De’ath put everything into the gig, the strength of his voice matched only by the strength of the songs.
All in all a great gig, but what of the future? Let’s hope a suitable venue can be found in the town for live music or all this could be a thing of the past which would be a great pity.