Anarchy Rating

All reviews are scored out of a total of five Anarchy symbol's. A score of three is given to something that is a typical example of its style with nothing too outstanding or bad about it.


Blyth Power – A Little Touch Of Harry In The Night LP

When I first got this as a demo tape (remember them?) sometime in the mid-80’s I’d already fallen in love with the band. I caught them live in the early days and had a blast. Semi-serious sillyness for the fun of it spliced to some simple leg-stomping tunes guaranteed a good time, and that’s pretty much been the case every time since. It’s a musical path they haven’t really deviated from over the years, but why mess with a winning formula? I’ve got to say, though, that this remains my favourite BP release and era.

My copy went to cassette heaven way back but, while it lived, it was never far from whatever playback device I had to hand. When it finally gave up the ghost I felt like a little bit of me had died too. It had been the soundtrack to many good times, and I had hoped it would continue that way forever (or at least until rigor mortis set in). Not so many years later, the internet gave me the chance to find a reasonable rip, complete with all of its slightly wobbly, muddy hissiness. But the sound quality didn’t really matter anyway, it was something I was already well-accustomed to. I was just happy to have these songs back in my life.

Now the internet has come up trumps again. A few days back I saw a post on a forum where someone mentioned they’d just got hold of a vinyl pressing of ‘Harry’ and it immediately grabbed my attention. Was it a bootleg copy of a knackered old tape, someone chancing their arm to make a quick buck, or was it something more? A quick bit of Googling detective work and, from what I could work out, it looked like a bloke called Paco, along with Sean (Wat Tyler / Hard Skin), had pressed this and, from what others were saying, they’d done a sterling job on it. So I got in touch and sent Paco the cash (along with some more for a limited coloured slab of Hard Skin live) and the next day I had it in my hands.

This is, without doubt, the ultimate version of ‘Harry’. It sounds even fresher than I remember from the first time I played the virgin tape, and totally blows any of the subsequent mp3 rips I’ve heard out of the water (with one noticeable exception that I found just yesterday over on Mr. Embryo’s blog). What’s even more incredible is that this was remastered from one of those tapes and not from the studio originals. It’s pretty impressive what can be achieved in the hands of a skilled engineer. OK, it’s not hifi, but remember this is from a time when punks didn’t have access to fancy places with shit-hot kit and had to do things on a pretty tight shoestring, in this case using a 4-track portastudio (admittedly the shoestring’s still there but you can get a fuck of a lot more for it these days). I like that home-made rawness in my music now and again, and this is a perfect example.

As well as some nice well-pressed plastic, it comes with a glossy card fold-out poster covered with interesting blurb and pics and a copy of the booklet that accompanied the tape. The cover is a simple shiny black ‘n’ white affair with the original artwork on the front and a great old photo of the band on the back. It also bears the immortal words ‘Pay No more Than £6’! All in all, if BP float your boat then get in touch with Paco now (he’s a very friendly bloke to deal with) and prepare to fall in love (again).

OP’s opinion: Five

Download sample track – In The Ffucke-Masticke Room
Blyth Power website
Buy from La Vida Es Un Mus

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