“The real deal. The most authentic 60’s inspired garage rock since Thee Milkshakes were around”. Lee Cotterell (Vive Le Rock, UK)
WHAAAAUW! The Courettes is the garage duo sensation from Brazil and Denmark! It's savage! It's dynamic!
After the blasting debut album “Here are the Courettes” (Sounds of Subterrania, Germany, 2015), the explosive single “Boom! Dynamite!” (Bachelor Records, Austria, 2016), the thrilling single “Hoodoo Hop”, a split with Powersolo (Sounds of Subterrania, Germany, 2017) and a shaking live album “alive from Tambourine Studios” (Chaputa Records, Portugal, 2017) – all of them critically acclaimed on the garage scene all around Europe - The Courettes released in 2018 their second album, “We Are The Courettes”!
The Courettes were busy last year delivering their full-speed energetic performances (more than 70 concerts!) in 12 countries around Europe and promoting We Are The Courettes.“The real sound of now busting through my door, new songs that keep kicking the history forward. I can’t imagine my turntable without The Courettes” - wrote the legendary David Fricke from Rolling Stone for the album´s inner notes. We Are The Courettes received brillant reviews in the main European rock magazines:
"The dynamite just keeps on coming!" Lindsay Hutton (The Next Big Thing, UK)
“Your new favourite band once you´ve heard them!” Marc Mcstea (Louder Than War, UK)
“Unbelievably good songs, top tunes. The COURETTES get along completely without covers and have found their own distinctive sound. Charming, twisting and always danceable.” By Gereon Helmer (Ox Magazine, Germany)
“Crooked girl group love songs fed on a diet of bathtub amphetamines” Henry Hutton (Shindig!, UK)
“Like amped-up Kinks meets The Sonics in a dark alley” Lenny Helsing (Bananas Magazine, USA/UK)
“The Courettes full-bore attack would do any festival proud”. Kieron Tyler (Mojo, UK)
“The coolest couple of the Reeperbahn Festival” (The Music Minutes, Germany)
“‘60s-style garage band that has the look, the vintage gear, raw production, and actually play with pure fire and intensity. Most importantly, they have SONGS” (Mojo Workout)
In 2018 The Courettes was also a pioneer with their single “Voodoo Doll”. Featuring Brazilian horror legend Coffin Joe, it was the first release world wide on revolutionary media “vinyl video”. The first images ever coming out of a vinyl record are of The Courettes!!! Ultimate retro-futuristic coolness!
Flavia Couri (Vox, Guitar) and Martin Couri (Drums, Vox) have played at festivals like Eurosonic (Holland), Reeperbahn and Garageville (Germany), Cosmic Trip (France), Franklin Fest (UK), Gutter Island, SPOT, Distortion and Copenhagen Psych Fest (Denmark) and also toured in Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Spain, Austria, Italy, Portugal and Brazil and shared the stage with artists like The Sonics, The Pretty Things, Holly Golightly and The Bellrays.
2019 has been another awesome year. The Courettes played in big festivals like Azkena Rock Festivals in Spain, Roots & Roses in Belgium and Bukta Festival in Norway, sharing the stage with names as B52´s, Stray Cats, Jon Spencer, Kitty, Daisy and Lewis, Gang of Four, Weezer, Franz Ferdinand, an many others. A new double single (recorded / mixed) by Liam Watson at legendary ToeRag studios in London is coming out in December and The Courettes are back in their own StarrSound Studios for working on new songs to their third album to be released in 2020. Stay tuned for more jungle wildness & loud as hell Scandinavian rock n’ roll!
Denne gang drejer det sig om en dansk debutplade, som på mange måder blev et vendepunkt i dansk rock. Det er albummet "Supertanker" med Kliché, som i 1980 indvarslede en ny dansk rocklyd med denne udgivelse. Da først den unge selvbevidste kunststuderende i Århus, københavneren Lars Haagensen havde fået lyttet til Bowie's Berlin-trilogi og måske især Brian Eno's første soloplader, var han parat til at lade penslerne skifte ud med Fenderguitar og -forstærker og i bedste punk-etik-ånd: "lært et par akkorder, og derefter dannet et band". Nå ja, og skiftet det upunkede "Haagensen" til...Hug! Så var spørgsmålet, hvordan får man lidt til at lyde af meget? Men med en god sangstemme og passende attitude kan man som bekendt komme langt i musikbranchen. Musikerne, der blev indrulleret i hans band, var absolut ingen ørne på deres instrumenter, men passede perfekt til en ny kompakt lyd, hvor der ikke var brug for solistpræstationer. Nystartede Medley Records med tidligere CBS-boss og -producer Poul Bruun(=Gasolin) havde fået blod på tanden og allerede udgivet dansk punkmusik med københavnske Sods' "Minutes To Go", så new wave havde de nu også fået mod på. De så sig om og fandt den nye musik i Århus. Også punkbandet Lost Kids havde Medley allerede sikret sig i deres stald. (I parantes bemærket udgav også århusianske new wave-band Warm Guns med Lars Muhl debut'en "First Shot Live" på forbilledet Elvis Costellos skandinaviske plademærke Smash Records- jo, Århus havde klaret generationsskiftet på smukkeste vis. En af de ubesungne helte i dansk rockmusik, guitaristen Niels Henriksen (googl selv!) blev sammen med Poul Bruun medproducer på Klichés debutplade. Han medvirker endvidere også på pladen på guitar. Og sangene? Med egen tekster om den moderne verden samt løsrevne Mao-citater sat til original musik lykkedes det dette ganske lille new-wave-band at lyde som førnævnte forbilleder og Kraftwerk ikke at forglemme- bare på dansk! Kolde synthesizere på instrumentalnummeret "Igen Og Igen" er rockmusik til tiden her i 1980. Så er stemningen ligesom slået an. Gentagelsen er i øvrigt et gennemgående princip i både melodier og tekster. Bevidst mekanisk spillet på konventionelle rockinstrumenter samt føromtalte synthesizere og med en falset-jodle-syngende Lars Hug, der lyder, som gjaldt det selve livet!
Med denne plade lykkedes det Kliché -som Sods før dem- at fjerne sig fra den danske mainstream, hvor navne som Sneakers, Shit & Chanel, Sebastian m. fl. havde dominansen. "Supertanker" afsluttes med den smukke sang "Masselinien" med sin gentagne rundgang af både musik og tekst (af Mao) om "folket og kun folket er drivkraften i skabelsen af verdenshistorien"! Det er Kliché, når de er allerbedst. Visuelt tilføjede bandet også den danske musikscene noget nyt. Klædt i ens "uniformer": lyseblå skjorter og almindelige jeans fremstod de anonymt på fotos og i live. Her var scenen endvidere flankeret af indkøbsvogne med kolde, hvide lysstofrør. Sangene fra "Supertanker" fik yderligere en gang ekstra energi live, hvor Kliché virkelig kom ud over scenekanten. Undertegnede så dem to gange på Hansens Værtshus (dér var det navn igen!)- den ene gang udvidet med netop ovennævnte Niels Henriksen på støjguitar og anden gang havde man fået forstærkning på synthesizerne af keyboardspilleren fra århus-progrock-bandet Taurus. Hvem dét var? Steffen Brandt- endda med overskæg! Som koncerten skred frem stod han med et underfundigt smil på læben, gad vist om han havde fået en god idé til at revitalisere hans eget band? Ikke til at sige- blot kunne det konstateres, at næste års nye danske navn hed TV2 (som af nogen forklares med "Taurus, Version 2"!) og debutpladen hed "Fantastiske Toyota"!! PGP
This time I'll have to beg of you, dear reader, to bear with me on my choice of "The Perfect Debut Album", because as with the other albums in this series was about the music, the singing, the playing- the overall songs of a given debut album, all of this doesn't necessarily apply to the "perfect" album presented here. I'm thinking more "The Perfect Consumer Product Debut Album" as a whole. Fashion, attitude, style, hype, oh yes and music(!), three perhaps four good songs on a 64 minutes' double album...come on!! I forgot to mention the secret weapon for promoting all this was still a novelty. Mind you MTV started in 1981 but some of the music videos merely showed a band playing "live" in the studio or a concert situation. The videos to promote FGTH's singles were small motion picture films with film sets, actors and extras. Nothing was too elaborate or expensive and I'm sure the videos paved way for selling loads of records! I shall refrain from comments on the contents of the videos! Post-punk, New Wave, Goth, New Romantics, the new Wave of heavy metal plus the old Guard, among them dinosaurs Genesis, Yes and Pink Floyd with their recent succes The Wall- the list was as long as your arm with genres and sub-genres. Some of these genres spawned from "The Year Of Punk" and on. Some of course from before 1976. But here in 1983 nobody could yet really see the future of rock 'n' roll! Yes, I do know that in Manchester something was happening and was soon to materialize but meanwhile, west of Davyhulme, a bunch of Liverpudlians with a mission, a few good songs and an ace producer were ready to roll! Frankie Goes To Hollywood totally dominated the UK singles charts at the end of 1983 bursting out with the number one single "Relax". Likewise with the singles "Two Tribes" and "The Power Of Love" charting the next year. But as an album's band! How would this work? Their 1984 double album, "Welcome To The Pleasuredome"(ZZT IQ1) is the one in question here! It contained both the three singles and the title track, a forth single and...not a lot more actually, that is if you're looking for original band material, because as fillers you find as diverse a selection of songs as "Born To Run" to "Do You Know The Way To San José?" covered plus Edwin Starr's "War" and Gerry And The Pacemakers' "Ferry Cross The Mercy" thrown in for good(?) measure. As the ongoing discussion to wheather "The Beatles" (aka "The White Album") should only have been one fantastic LP album you could argue the same here, but as with The Beatles' album where "more was more", in the case of "Welcome To The Pleasuredome"- "more" were almost too much: 64 minutes of so-called Hi-NRG dance music a few ballads and a rocker.
But this was how they got their message through, that's for sure. In the studio producer Trevor Horn (The Buggles/Yes) had conjured up this new "bigger than life"-sound that together with an impressive percussive energy added to the songs blew you away in 1984 and does in fact even to this day. With the instant succes- over a million copies and a number one in the British album charts as well as in other European countries FGTH danced all the way to the bank! Allow me to notice here that Trevor Horn prior to this release had given prog rockers Yes a new lease of life on "90125"(their Atlantic prefix number, by the way!) with his totally new aspect on how a studio album could sound in 1983. As spin-off of the original music product was an array of t-shirts and other merchandise carrying FGTH slogans like, "Frankie says ....Relax!" The inner sleeve listed all this merchandise. You just ticked the box(es) of your desired apparel and posted the order. Remember this was before the internet! The album cover itself was as pompous as the music itself. On the front of the gatefold cover a faux Fernand Leger painted portrait of the band and on the center spread a "Picasso fantasy" and some Warhol quote dropping. FGTH also played live! The surprise about this piece of information is that soon after the initial succes rumours had it that it was not in fact the members of the band you heard playing on the records but hired studio musicians!! A second unsuccesful album "Liverpool" in 1986 and a row between singer Holly Johnson and Mark O'Toole ended the band's career. All I wanted to do in this blog post was to draw attention to this perfect pop symphony that is the recorded sound of "Welcome To The Pleasuredome"!! Should you need further info I recommend you go to youtube, FGTH from Wembley Arena 2004. 427.183 viewers can't be wrong!! PGP
Some cities are luckier than others to spawn either bands or indeed whole music genres in the world of music. Think Athens/Georgia/USA(REM), Seattle (Grunge), Liverpool(The Beatles/Merseybeat). When The Smiths folded in 1987 Manchester couldn't believe that the next big thing in fact came from...Madchester- please pardon my French! The misspelling was caused by a small pill carrying only an embossed E but were very effective all the same: with Ecstacy in your bloodstream you could dance all night (and pay later physically) and in Manchester they did dance all night escpecially at the (in)famous FactoryRecords-owned discoteque Hacienda to the new bands in town, Happy Mondays, Inspiral Carpets and not least Stone Roses!
Stone Roses...a brilliant band name and their 1988's debut album "Stone Roses"- and what a brilliant debut! Albeit their non-album single "Fools Gold" from the same year pointed directly at the dancefloor of the Hacienda- "Stone Roses" the album took a different direction with its 1960's psychedelia updated to a melodic indie rock here in 1988. Soon other British bands followed suit. But here and now Stone Roses were the only comfort when you couldn't have The Smiths!! As regards the members of the band whatever Ian Brown may lack in the singing department he had in attitude. On stage he acted more like your proverbial elephant fighting with just to sing in tune. Painter and guitarist John Squire did his best Johnny Marr-impersonation (and succeeded best regarding haircut!) and Mani and Reni looked like a couple of skaters at the wrong gig. But when you sum up the four individuals of Stone Roses you find that together they sound way bigger and especially speaking of their sound on record: You may add to this the experienced producer John Leckie (from Floyd via XTC to Palma Violets!!). He did wonders for the band! But it is the songs that save this album and make it so perfect. When I listen to it these days I practically hear the album as a whole with the various songs as variations on a theme that is the album. Of course one song is different from another but not that different. With the album's overall sound it becomes a symphony of sorts. Even Ian Brown's notoriously weak voice sounds strong in the mix too!! This modern piece of nu-psyche-brit pop (mind you before brit pop!) is a timeless masterpiece and can still be enjoyed even in these troubled times. I hereby recommend the debut album "Stone Roses" and like anybody else: I Wanna Be Adored!! PGP
In the mid-70s a change had to come in the music business. It had become more "a business" than "music" with bands caring more for a steady career.
Record companies, music rights lawyers, band managers and concert promoters now "took care" of the music business. A recording contract with the big international record companies could prove fatal either to the band´s creativity or their financial situation.
Making a record became an expensive production that needed a big turnover to pay for itself. Rights to the songs especially if they became succesful were a commodity you would sell and buy. Band managers charged a (for them personally) healthy percentage of the band´s income.
The concerts themselves got bigger and bigger- stadiums were more the rule than the exception when popular bands toured. Often the tour was just an extension of sales strategies of how to sell the latest album. The performance was often flawed by bad sound and/or the unability to actually see who was on stage!!
All this must be taken in consideration when looking back 40 years on what the state of the music business was back then.
This was before the CD and streaming services of course. You would listen to music in the radio then go to the record store to buy either a vinyl album or a musicasette (a recorded cassette tape). Very few had bought an expensive video recorder where you eventually could buy live concerts with only the biggest bands in the industry. On a rare occasion you could record one of the few rock concerts televised in (Danish) television. I believe the Brits were lucky to have the BBC. In Germany it was Bremen´s Beat Club early on and later the Rockpalats series of concerts.
The freakbeat and garage bands of the 1960´ies and (later named) proto punk bands like New York´s Velvet Underground, Detroit´s MC 5 and The Stooges (and a lot of other lesser known bands) pointed in a different direction than the so-called supergroups. They were not very capable on their instruments but had instead energy and determination to claim a place for themselves on the music scene with their more simple approach.
In the New York area new bands emerged all the time and around l971-74 interesting bands like The Ramones, Television and New York Dolls appeared- the latter to record first. It took a British entrepreneur Malcolm McLaren to manage the New York Dolls and secure them a name outside of New York- in fact as far as Manchester. (...just ask a young boy named Patrick Stephen Morrissey!!) and indeed for posterity via their two albums "New York Dolls"(1973) and "Too Much Too Soon"(1974).
Meanwhile in England a circuit of pubs in order to help the sales of beer on slow evenings opened the doors to a lower division of musicians so to speak. In the pubs´ function rooms in the back when not occupied by weddings, silver anniversaries etc. you often found a decent stage an ok room for the audience and of course enough beer to keep everyone happy.
The music that came out of the pubs were simply called "pub rock" and the bands enjoyed together with their audience a much more intimate experience of playing live music in these surroundings. If one of these pub rock bands got lucky a record deal with a minor record company was within reach. I´ll try to avoid namedropping but have to mention the bands Brinsley Schwarz(with Nick Lowe) and an American band who were hot on the British pub rock circuit namely Eggs Over Easy. These bands toured the pub circuit and didn´t become a big success. Dire Straits did precisely the same but became a world known act almost instantly from the early 1980´s and on...
Out of this scene also grew a more agressive, political and social aware movement when around late 1975 early 1976 a few bands and their supporters began dressing differently in leather jackets with studs, tartan skirts, safety pins through both clothes and earlobes. Some sporting a Mohican hairdo. In fact anything to make a shock effect on the parent generation. A Swastica arm band could also be used to shock older people. Badges were pinned on the jackets to show others who your heroes were...and who were they?
I´ll try to stay away from namedropping again when possible. You can google yourself for more names and info.
A band called The Damned was the first of this new breed of punk rock bands to record. The 7" "New Rose" was the first record to hit the shops in 1976. It was issued on the Stiff record label- a small company set up (famously on a 400 GBP loan from the late and great Lee Brilleaux of Dr. Feelgood fame) to sign some of this new exciting music. The Damned got signed by Stiff Records and issued a couple of albums here ("Damned, Damned, Damned" known for its cover of the band smeared in whipped cream) before moving on to other record deals.
But entrepreneurs are always ready to have a go when the fashion changes...and Malcolm McLaren were no upstart in the music business as we read above. Back from USA and a moderate success with The New York Dolls he had set up a fashion clothes shop firstly called "Let It Rock" then the more daring "Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die" and finally the shocking name "Sex" as early as 1974 with Vivienne Westwood selling her clothes and shoes design.
Malcolm McLaren had sensed this change on the music scene in New York before moving back to London and now this was also happening here. So among the customers in "Sex" he picked a bunch of young, eh well....punks to get them to form a punk band with him as their manager. They only needed a singer to complete the line up and one John Lydon with his Pink Floyd t-shirt over written by hand with "I hate" was auditioned along with the shop´s jukebox´s repertoire and chosen for the slot as lead singer now re-named Johnny Rotten in the band to become "Sex Pistols". A suitably shocking name for a band McLaren thought.
On this background Sex Pistols have later arguably been called just another boy band created by the music industry.
What you can´t argue with is the impact and sheer importance for the punk rock movement (and indeed the whole music business from now on) Sex Pistols would have.
And this despite a time span of only two and a half years with four singles, one proper studio album and later (in 1980) the movie "The Great Rock ´n´ Roll Swindle" (with McLaren mocking the whole punk rock movement stating that he was just in it for the money). (Then small independant company) Virgin Records famously secured a recording contract with the band after Sex Pistols had been sacked two times by major companies.
Scandalous often cancelled concerts around Britain and abroad Sex Pistols showed a way to hundreds of unacademic musicians who just wanted to play rock music in a band. It is documented and shown later in the movie "24 Hour Party People"(2002), that the Mancunian audience of around 50 in june, 1976 all went to form bands afterwards (google: june 04, 1976: Four Dozen People Witness "The Gig That Changed The World" for more info!).
Also scandalous was the boat cruise on the Thames while playing "God Save The Queen" (continuing with the line "She´s No Human Being"!) while the Royal Silver Jubilee was celebrated in 1978 resulted in a river police raid! The 7" single charted at the number two slot but outsold number one in the official charts. A case of backwards payola you could say!
Then things went sour: bassist Glen Matlock(who wrote the Pistols´ original musik) was sacked/or left and (friend of the band) Sid Vicious (who couldn´t play) took the bass playing duties. Then John Lydon left due to a falling out with McLaren over money.
They carried on for a few months. McLaren then had the crazy idea for the band to go to Brazil to record "No One Is Innocent" with exiled bank robber Ronnie Biggs. A new shocker for the Brits who had almost forgotten the train robbery in 1963 from which Biggs had escaped and was now an exile in a country that didn´t had an extradition agreement with England...
Then Sid Vicious was accused of murdering his girlfriend and shortly after overdosed on heroin and died at 21.
As you can see and indeed hear in their music Sex Pistols was a band who practised what they preached so to speak. They lived fast and died/stopped young leaving us with only a few songs compared to other bands of the day.
With this blog post I hope to have turned some new listeners on to this exciting genre that led on to many other good things: New Wave, post punk, the indie movement- meaning all the independant record companies that gave their life blood for this, The Smiths(!), some of the metal subgenres and later grunge.
If I have reached my goal please do go on and investigate on your own! It´s all out there: google, youtube....begin with "punk"!!
PS I stated that John Lydon left Sex Pistols but he in fact formed one of the first bands to be called "post punk" namely Public Image Ltd. (PIL)
This band exists to this day albeit with a few years in hiatus and is still as fresh sounding as ever with Lydon´s idiosyncratic voice as strong as it ever was!!