WTF018 - Abominations.
01 - Greatest hits: Volume 2.
Released as a strictly limited edition clear vinyl 7”. I say ‘strictly limited', there's probably two left in the wild. And they don't seem to fancy each other.
01 – Needleteeth, whoarethemonsters?
This came together so fast it was still hot to the touch when it arrived. Breathing softly.
02 – I (who have nothing), MK01, 22 June 2013.
03 - History Today, unfucked.
This was originally recorded at Giant Wafer during the Contains Mild Peril recording sessions. We just couldn't get the intro to sound right. It was only when technology became advanced enough to cure it that the poor thing could be defrosted and operated upon.
B-side to PETREC000 .
04 - Drinking hell dry, Underpass.
This doesn't sound anything like you think it's going to.
05 - Keeping you, Hand of Glory mixdown.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, all remixes should end like this.
06 - Needleteeth, siamese_cleeeeeeeeanteeth.
No-one seems to have an idea where this came from or who mixed it. Maybe it doesn't exist anywhere but in my head – which is possible seeing as I'm having to concentrate to hold this place together. I know it looks pretty good from where you're sitting in that chair that I've just made, but if you go out through the doors then you'd swear you were in a quarry or a chalk pit or Cromer or something.
07 - Girls.
07 – Girls who smoke are sexy, (XXX) Rated's X-Rated Mix.
Yes, it's the extended mixes of ‘Girls who smoke are sexy', now with added blasphemy.
08 - (Cipramil and) Serotonin.
The Reverend made this live. I heard it played in a club once. Gave me quite a fright as I didn't know who the DJ was or how he'd got a copy of something that –
We should probably have a chat about this. Tell you what-
09 - History is wrong.
Douglas Adams used to tell a story that involved waiting for a train and eating biscuits – I won't spoil it for you, it's not difficult to track down and well worth it. The following confession is a bit like that story in that I've been sitting on something approaching a punchline for ten years now. If they actually read this, which they might, then one or two people are about to hear a very distant penny drop. Here goes…
The basic accepted Nameless chronology is that Maida Vale is always followed by Fallow Time. There's a (very) brief period of time that doesn't quite match – Rated, Way and myself – and I'm only going to skim over quickly by mentioning that we headlined the main room at JBs in Dudley on the eve of the Fallow Time. After that I pretty much shut myself in my room and noodled until the century was hunted down, smeared in honey and staked out for the millennium bugs to chew to bits.
This was the first song that really came together as something new and actual. Not a remix or a reworking but a proper new song. Turned out there were three in there, rather than the twins I first thought. There was a lot of mess.
So, after ‘History is wrong' and ‘History Today', things started to flow a bit better on the ‘songwriting' front. The Reverend was helping out as well, which helped a lot.
Stuck in a slow collapse into singularity that started after The French was hurled off, Nameless kept unravelling slowly, like a half-arsed noose. The sound and direction altered as the line-up dissolved and things fell apart and spread all over the floor.
So, coming back, how do you announce that you're back on the scene and looking for something a lot like love? By advertising and sending out a demo naturally. It's like Snakes and Ladders. You just got crushed and ingested by a thing that would resemble an anaconda if it existed. You then spent months working your way through the hell of the intestinal tract to end up shat out on the first square again.
Returned to Go and raring to go with some sort of announcement.
Which brings us to the Welsh Music Foundation .
You've got to remember that at this time, Welsh music was becoming one of the country's biggest exports. Songs were crated up and flown worldwide, sold at auction in distant lands – sometimes different mixes would be forced to fight for their new owner's amusement. Basically, the WMF were there to keep an eye on (and out for) the Talent. If any of that's actually true then it's an accident, just so we're clear. I'm saying that the WMF were a little bit like an Arts Council version of Link 2 Wales but with an actual, kissable, building. It might not be right but that's definitely what I'm saying.
The day came that the WMF got in touch with us - I can't remember how though, although it was certainly in 1999. It's possible someone phoned Sklav, or there might have been a saucy postcard – it's a long time ago now. The first thing required was a demo tape and any promotional tools we might have lying around.
The first problem there was that we did have a lot of tapes lying round, but they all had The (recently jettisoned) French playing on them and it wouldn't be fair to use those. This must have taken place before Maida Vale because in the end, Sklav recorded a breaking-in Rated rehearsal and we gave the WMF that. It was a terrible recording of a very odd performance and (not for the first time) I got hit with a case of mad giggles just after handing the tape over.
Unfortunately, someone in the WMF actually listened to the tape.
We'll speed through the Fallow Time now and emerge, blinking, in the new century. In 2001. By now ‘Eye Bits' and Sklav had escaped, Dems, Teflon and Petrified are on the scene. We'd just recorded ‘Read More Books' but weren't going to send it out as a promo just yet, which only left us with ‘Eye Bits' as being non-Sklav, for the same reasons outlined above. Consequently, a promo CDS was made up, consisting of ‘History is wrong' and ‘Serotonin'. This got sent to everyone who needed a copy, with the remainder being flogged as singles at gigs. Apparently, it even got an airing between bands when Roger Taylor (him off the Queen , not the Duran s) played in Cardiff Bay . I might be embroidering that a bit, to be fair, but I got told it happened, so who knows?
Unfortunately, someone in the WMF actually listened to the CDS.
And that's why you'll notice that more than one quite prominent component of the Cool Welsh Pop equivalent of Big Finish , got baffled when ‘Read More Books' came out.
10 - An evening with Paterson Joseph, just seven inches.
Got an idea and ran with it.
So, anyway, this agent…
Having a mad five minutes, I looked up Paterson Joseph 's details on what was masquerading as the internet back then. I got the details of Mr Joseph's agent – remember, Tom Baker ( TOM BAKER !) had guested on a Mansun record, so you can see what direction I was heading in – and wrote a lovely email, explaining who we were and how we'd written a song in honour of his client.
The agent was very polite and replied saying that his client was flattered and baffled and would very much like to hear this opus. We bantered back and forth, I got the address and posted off a shiny cassette, with the most up-to-date-and-recorded-in-a-studio version of ‘Song for Paterson Joseph'.
If you've heard ‘Song for Paterson Joseph' (which you must've or you wouldn't be wading through this book – a book disguised as liner notes, and CDs - *) then I imagine you can guess what happened next.
11 – Sheer heart attack (torn out).
Originally by famous goths The Queen .
From a rehearsal. Obviously.
12 - Keeping you, sudden moments.
Way: Us? I thought it was that new Nine Inch Nails single.
13 - Identity, are you real?
The sister mix to the ‘justified paranoia' version that decorates the first half of WTF004 . For a while there it was this track that was going on the album, largely because le Jean Grande thought it was better. In the end we just made them fight it out.
14 – Sosa, onanism. TBC
Like the demo, but more.
15 – Hope, D'Vinyl intervention.
D'Vinyl Records is a grotto of joy hewn from living nostalgia and vinyl. I spent hours in there, looking for bargains and drummers. If you haven't been, you should. In fact, you must. Right now. We'll still be here when you get back.
16 - Milky 3.
Recorded at the end of the Cartrefle sessions. Just us, a single microphone and a young fellow who had the grace to sit there looking severely embarrassed throughout.
17 - Silver skin, AD 1996.
The French and I watched Hammer's classic-for-the-wrong-reasons classic, Dracula 1972 AD far more than was healthy. In the end we had something approaching a full commentary's worth of material.
Just a couple of quick Doctor Who links then: it was written by Don Houghton , who penned a few stories for Jon Pertwee – Johnny Alucard could also (industrial action notwithstanding) be seen having a ball in Douglas Adams' Shada . I could go on if you like?
18 – “Eating people is wrong,” said Ramases. (Removed at author's request.)
The first fansite that wasn't run by us produced this tribute version of ‘Eating people is wrong', but kept very quiet about it. It's got a certain something.
Ramases also drew the cover to WTF012 and took many of the ‘informal' photographs that decorate the interior of WTF015 .
19 - Coppula eam, se non post acceptera jocularum.
* Yes, I really did just do that. Bwah ha ha.
Now's as good a time as any to reveal that this is actually – and has been all along - an interactive book. I keep calling it a ‘novel', which should tell you plenty. We're very close to the end now. I wonder how many of you had already guessed.
Nameless will never be more than a curious warning, dissolving into Cardiff 's past. The preceding collage of stolen recordings, awkward success, bridge-building, glorious failure, high-contrast wallowing, shameless review plundering and name-dropping hopefully becomes something like a channeled autobiography, with its concluding chapter yet to broadcast.
And when it's done, it'll sit here being digital, until the heat-death of the universe.
The Beast's getting restless, shuffling and clanking.
Somewhere, an axe is being sharpened…