Songs for Swinging Stalkers (BRUT CD-005)
In 2005 The Bordellos first releases were made, with “Prince of Discontent” and “Scream”
Their debut single, “Scream”, released on 25 October 2005 on Chromium Records, was released in a download only format but you can listen to it here.
The photo for the ‘Scream’ cover was taken in the converted barn studio that The Bordellos recorded their first two LPs.
Mike Simm left the band in December 2005 to pursue ‘different musical interests’.
The two tracks tracks above appeared on their second LP “Meet The Bordellos” released in April 2007 on Brutarian Records.
“Arthur Lee” was originally released in April 2006 and was a tribute to the Love frontman of the same name. Is was part of “A Gift Of Sunshine”, an EP with Perfect Blue, who were a UK electronica project of Scott Causer with various other musicians also providing support. The name is taken from the Japanese Manga film. https://www.discogs.com/artist/888417-Perfect-Blue.
This was released around the same time as The Bordellos debut album, “Songs For Swinging Stalkers”, at first a download only LP but later released in March on CD from Brutarian Records.
“Melancholia” was also released as a track on “Songs For Swinging Stalkers” in 2006
The full tracklist for “Songs For Swinging Stalkers” is as follows: 1. Velvet Mind 2. Deadwood 3. Is Death the End? 4. Drunk (Is A State I Like To Call Home) 5. Little Bird 6. Girl With No Name 7. Hurting Kind 8. Poet Or Liar 9. Blank Letter 10.0 The Week After Jeff Buckley 11. Setting Sun 12. Northern Star 13. Melancholia 14. Plasticine Man 15. Arthur Lee 16. Too Old for Lovebites 17. The gift of noise
Meet the Bordellos (BRUT CD-004)
The Amazon editorial says the following of the “Meet The Bordellos” album:
One of Britain’s hottest underground bands, and hailing from the northwest of England, these boys are the next in a long line of true eccentrics, taking music from the past several decades made in the industrial centers of the UK and moulding it into something sublime and exciting. In sum, a fascinating mix of droney, whimsical psychedelica a la My Bloody Valentine and arty pop in the manner of Morrisey and a must for your continued musical education.
Tara Brown from the USA posted the following review on Amazon:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Pleased to Meet the Bordellos
By T. Brown on March 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Meet the Bordellos
The Bordellos, 2007
Listening to Meet the Bordellos was the first time in a while that I was bowled over by a record from a band I knew nothing about other than digging the handful of songs on their MySpace page. It might just be my favorite record of 2007, and most definitely among my most frequently listened to.
The Bordellos come from St Helens, a small town in Northwestern England that is oh, so conveniently situated between Liverpool and Manchester, a legendary crossroads of popular culture and musical influences and history. It would be easy to say they are a punk-pop band in the vein of The Fall, The Wedding Present, or even The Pixies, and they are–they are every bit as exciting, rousing, and inspired as those bands. However, the Bordellos are a brilliant anomaly in that the lyrics are wrought with a distinctly British sense of humor, wit, and a gleeful embracing of smut–and there is no denying main vocalist and lyricist Brian Shaw’s northern English accent–but the music has an experimental/psychedelic rock groove about it, reminiscent of the Velvet Underground’s best moments between Reed and Cale. It simultaneously caresses and snarls, seducing and repelling at the same time, only making you want it more. I imagine that I would have stumbled across the Bordellos playing some New York City lower east side bar on a sweaty summer night circa 1975, sounding cool before it was cool.
It’s difficult to choose stand out tunes on a record like this where each song has its own story to tell, but if pressed for a response a few of my favorites include “Hooked,” “That’s My law,” “These Boots Are Made or Stalking,” “Broken,” “On How to Be Dumb,” and “Brook Street.” “Hooked” is a love song with a, erm, hook [very bad pun, I know]. The lyrics capture the sentimental reveries of the early days of love: “There is the bench where we sat on the night we first f@(*ed/High on vodka and laughter, first throes of love.” But relationships always become more complex than we expect: “Whatever will be, will be, and may come to pass/You go fetch the matches and I’ll light the gas./We live together, in love forever,/ we’ll die in each other’s arms,/ cause darling we’re hooked.” Now, imagine all this wrapped up in a Serge Gainsbourg inspired French pop song. It’s pretty fecking perfect.
I don’t know how the band produced “That’s My Law,” but it kind of sounds like two different songs playing at once, with introspective lyrics that are almost more spoken than sung over both layers of music. Closing with the haunting command, “Don’t make mistakes that I have made/Now, that’s my law,” the song is just cool.
On “These Boots Are Made for Stalking” the music grows and builds, slowly and rhythmically to a satisfying frenzy, much in the vein of TVU’s “Heroine,” while the lyrics build in a similar fashion as a stalker declares all the ways in which he’ll be as close as possible to his beloved: “I’ll be the leather seat in your car/I’ll be the padding in your bra/I’ll be your tampon/I’ll be your champion.” It’s a fun, funny, crazy song that is most definitely for adults only and that highlights Brian Bordello’s mad gift for rhyming lyrics filthy euphemisms.
“On How to Be Dumb” is the longest song on the record, and one of the most haunting. Echoes, samples, and layers of sound create the perfect swirling sensation of falling and succumbing to influence. “We all sing along on how to be dumb…”
There is attitude to spare and an almost cocky edge to the songs on Meet the Bordellos, yet the album never reaches a full-blown arrogance, it never becomes self-indulgent. Instead, the listener finds a self-effacing humor and cynical, rock & roll guitar swaggers that try to hide the Bordellos’ tendency towards self-doubt and their romantic, lovelorn leanings. Don’t let that fool you – this is a band that wants to make you move, they want you to have a good time when listening to them, and trust me, you do! More than making your hips sway and shoulders shimmy, the Bordellos demand that you admit that the best songs are the ones without a happy ending, that melancholia is romantic, and that bittersweet is beautiful.
Meet the Bordellos defies any real attempt at categorization. It rocks, it rolls. It’s pop, punk, and psychedelic all at once. It’s bluesy and gritty, and it’s dynamic and experimental. Unconventional, underground, and eclectic, the Bordellos somehow manage to synthesize all that has come before them and produce something completely original and compelling. They make me smile.
The Bordellos are Brian on Vocals/Guitar, Ant on Vocals/Percussion, Gary on Bass, and Dan on Keyboards/Percussion/Vocals.
Tara Brown has kindly granted me permission to reproduce her article in full.
“Meet The Bordellos” full track list is: 1. Prince Of Discontent 2. Perfect Time To Die 3. Hooked 4. Scream 5. Syd Barrett 6. Arthouse Gang 7. That’s My Law 8. Blank Letter 9. These Boots Are Made For Stalking 10. Broken 11. Velvet Mind 12. Beholden 13. Home Is Where The Booze Is 14. On How To Be Dumb 15. Brook Street 16. Set Your Heart To The Sun 17. Spirit Of Christmas
Head Heritage Review: https://www.headheritage.co.uk/unsung/review/1640/
Debt Sounds Sampler EP released April 20, 2017
This EP is made up of four tracks from the Bordellos 17 track 3rd LP recorded during summer 2008. Debt Sounds an LP that is no longer available and never ever appeared on the net as download or stream. Only released briefly as a cdr only on 2 Feb 2009 on Welshcake Records.
The idea behind the LP was to get back to basics, so I set down these ground rules, all recorded on old tape 4 track using microphones and recording equipment bought from pound shops and cash convertors [under £5]
1. all tracks recorded on 4 tracks only no overdubs
2. all vocal tracks would be first take only even if disaster struck whilst recording, so a lot of these songs have only ever been sang once.
3. all songs recorded would have been written that week, so the rest of the band would never have heard them before recording
4. every song started would be completed that night so no going back
It was recorded over 10 consecutive Friday nights during that 10 weeks. There were two romantic break ups, the two ex girlfriends actually sang on some of the tracks to add to the spice, only just before the start a marriage had also just broken up .. there was lots of alcohol consumed, lots of madness. It is the sound of four people going out of their minds. Looking back I wonder how Dan managed as he only turned 17 during the recording of this LP, but his teenage angst mixed with our midlife crises made for a very dark work of art.
This was supposed to be our third Brutarian records release, but a label that boasted in its bumph as a label that released uncommercial uncompromising music refused to release it as it was too uncompromising..
I have very fond memories of this LP, recording it was a experience that was only matched in madness when recording our Ronco Revival Sound LP .. ..The full chaotic 17 track LP will be re-issued at a later date on www.smallbearrecords.com .. so please enjoy the 4 tracks.
The full track listing for the original CDR on Welshcake Records was as follows:
1. Fading honey, 2. Spirograph, 3. You Better Run, 4. Rolf Harris, 5. Sealhead, 6. She’s A Artform, 7. Homeless Bound, 8. I May Be Reborn, 9. Dead Friend Don’t Leave Me Hanging, 10. ???, 11. Merseybeat Memories, 12. I Dream Of Jimmy Campbell, 13. Captain Coma, 14. New York Girl, 15. She In The Sun, 16. Fine, 17. Honey Pie
The Bordellos for this LP was Brian Shea, Dan Shea, Ant Shea and Gary Storey
Original recordings, videos, artworks etc. are copyright of their respective songwriters/performers/publishers/artists or whatever is applicable to that particular work with All rights reserved.
All links accessed and working on 12 October 2017.
Chromium Records Facebook Page
Brutarian Records on Rate Your Music
Scott Causer on MixCloud
“A Gift of Sunshine” on Discogs
Welshcake Records on Discogs
Small Bear Records
Fruits de Mer Records
Thanks to Tara Brown from the USA for the “Pleased to Meet The Bordellos” review.
Thanks to Purrsia who adds the old black and white films to Bordellos tracks on YouTube. Nobody has a clue who he or she is.
This article was created, compiled and produced by Barry Grady with major contributions by Brian Shea from The Bordellos. Last Updated 27 November 2017.