November 22, 2006

Ga-ga-ga-golly, golly gosh! (Leftovers 4)

The Sound Of Young Scotland ca. 1981: The Delmontes. Who you say? Yeah... amidst all the (due) adulation showered upon Orange Juice, Fire Engines, Scars etc. in recent years, The Delmontes have been all but forgotten. They shouldn't though; their singular brand of catchy organ driven garage-pop was as important a part of that particular pre-C86 indiepop "scene" as that of their more famous contemporaries, and they became a much played favourite of mine after I bought their singles on an early outing to London. ('Gaga' from the first one made it onto every mix tape I compiled the following few years.) Two excellent records, but that unfortunately was it. If ever a case of unfulfilled promise; The Delmontes split up (drummer Bernice Simpson went on to become part of The Pastels for a while) and faded into oblivion.

The Delmontes | Carousel

Luckily, their (almost) complete output, along with a wealth of unreleased material, has recently been collected on 'Carousel' by the very fine LTM label. Finally I get more of The Delmontes than the five tracks from the singles. 25 years on, and they sound as great as ever. None of that initial magic has been lost. Sublime tunes, haunting at times, dreamy singing, European art-pop crossed with the sound of 60s girl-groups which a touch of early Stranglers (sans gloom). Listening to some of the previously unreleased songs... damn, they should have been huge!

One track that didn't make it onto 'Carousel' is the remix of 'So It's Not To Be', from a version of their second single released some months after the original. Without further ado then, as a bonus for those who've bought the compilation and a taster (although there are better Delmontes songs) for those who have yet to:

The Delmontes | So It's Not To Be [remix]

'Carousel' is a wonderful collection. Get it for Christmas.


Julia said...

I remember the Pastels. I think they did the soundtrack to the flim 'The Last Great Wilderness' which is one of my favourite films... One of the best i've seen , infact. We can watch it when you come, if y'like (or buy it, if it's still available) :)

ji x

PC said...

Cool :-) Haven't seen the film but I have the soundtrack album which is lovely.