Thursday, 27 June 2013

Eton Crop - Peel Sessions 1983-88

Revised and expanded edition of an earlier (now deleted) post. Includes three sessions in completion, with only two songs missing from a total of twenty that the Crop recorded for the John Peel show.




Someone should contact the relevant authorities and put out a missing persons alert for Eton Crop: there is virtually no information about the group out in the junk-jumbled jungle of cyberspace whatsoever.

Eton Crop formed in 1979 in Nieuwkoop, South Holland, and released a total of 12 singles and four albums over the next 15 years. Frequent visitors to the UK, they toured with many of the "pre-C86" groups like The Membranes and The Three Johns, the latter with whom they shared a not too dissimilar musical approach. While many groups from that era downed tools towards the end of the decade, Eton Crop battled on into the mid-nineties, their last full length album, Get Real!, appearing (on cd) in 1992, eventually bowing out in 1994 with the 4 track ep Everybody.

Despite their longevity and high output, with many comparatively short-lived groups from that era reforming following reissues of their back catalogues and internet-generated interest ranging from those with first hand experience of the groups to a younger generation of fans not even born at the time, it seems the Crop have vanished from the face of the earth. A few of their artefacts have (ahem) cropped up on blogs in the past, but most of the links to the sonic delights have long expired. Even after much trawling through Google images I could only find the one band photo (posted above). But who knows, maybe they're still out there somewhere plotting their "next move" or playing the odd squat gig in a vacant room above Dr. Bongo's Coffee House.

The Crop recorded five sessions for Peel in the space of  five years - a total of twenty tracks, eighteen of which are included in this post. Their third session  from 1985 gained a limited commercial release in 1988. Cobbled together by my good self from tracks found on old cassettes, files on the John Peel Wiki, and the alluded-to Strange Fruit 12".

He Didn't Say Anything
Explain
Gay Boys On The Battlefield
Boring Isms

Get Something For Doing Nothing
Quality In The Grooves
Boy Meets Tractor
Snobhill 

 Harry Nelson-Pilsbury
 It's My Dog, Maestro
Coca-Colanisation
You Won't Get Me Out In The Rain
   
Paraffin Brain
A Bundle For A Dead Dog
Jolly Adventures With Janus McManus
Banana Battle
   
A Jolly Cheerful Crowd
 Pavel Morozov The Bastard
Beating The Sicilian*
Trivialities


* Thanks to Stuart, missing track added 22/01/2014.


Update 6/4/2016: Upgrade of 2nd session aired on Gideon Coe's 6 Music show.
 Now includes Quality In The Grooves!




33 comments:

  1. Wow, this is a nice suprice! A note from a Cropper on holiday in Thailand. It's so nice to know that our music mentioned something to some! And it's so good to find back music we'd even forgotten we'd made! I'll get back to you later, but for know i'll point you to two other classics ;-)
    1. One of our very first gigs we did in Kudelstaart! 1980 or so:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBiw-iofleI
    2. In the same period we pretended to be a Russian punkband and did get good reviews in NME / MM and rightly so, i think ;-) Listen:
    https://soundcloud.com/blomdaalder/sets/eton-crop-ruspunk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Wowser! Members of da Crop in da house! Thanks for getting in touch, Erwin. Will check out the link later. Good to know you're still out there :-)

      Delete
  2. Now i'm looking at it, it's a rehearsal, not a gig. I'll post the gig later!
    Erwin Blom writing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But after 6 minutes or so the gig ;-)

      Delete
  3. And some information from another band member: as it is, we are still active (mostly in the studio though) but have transformed from Eton Crop into EC Groove Society. Somewhat different from the old stuff, but you can check it out on the interweb thingie. :-)

    Spike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Spike. Thanks for getting in touch. Great to hear you're still making music. I think it's high time The Crop's complete recorded works received the lash multi-cd box set treatment - the type normally reserved for the Grateful Dead and Miles Davis!

      Delete
  4. And we started putting all our stuff on Bandcamp today! Find our third session and It's My Dog, Maestro here: http://etoncrop.bandcamp.com/album/the-peel-sessions-1985

    ReplyDelete
  5. Excellent stuff! I shall keep my eyes, er, peeled.

    ReplyDelete
  6. http://peel.wikia.com/wiki/08_June_1988 The full 5th session is available including the missing track at that link. Stuart

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks for the link, Stuart. Will investigate and upload the missing track at some point.

      Delete
  7. Sterling, old chap... I don't suppose you have a copy of EC's debut Timmy Barker Is A Coward EP that you'd be able to upload do you, it's the only thing I've never heard of by (I think)? Keep me posted... ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alas, no. Can't find the track anywhere on t'net either. I only have the first three lps and the Don't You Want Me 7".

      Delete
  8. Hi there, Erwin Blom of Eton Crop here. Of course we have the single but we need to digitize it first. Try to do it soon! And there must be a long lost album that never came out somewhere as well. And last but not least, we played last week for the first time in 20 years ;-) Here's how it sounds no! http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLNpvKmaXbX7z6OdFVDzBSzlPT-sQs6il

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Grateful Dead issued a 72 cd box set recently, so I don't see why Eton Cop shouldn't get similar treatment!

      Delete
  9. I was listening to the Gay Boys On The Battlefield & Six Silhouette Rmances EPs earlier today (for the first time in AGES) & they both still sounded excellent - I'd love to finally hear Timmy Barker at some point too, EC's early recordings were/are quite odd, but very interesting... :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. p.s. Erwin, you should definitely digitise those early recordings, bundle them, & sell them c/o Bandcamp, etc. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. We should! There's a pretty good cassette we released back in the day as well!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Excellent! Let's 'ave a listen... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Any progress, re: the Timmy Barker EP, I'm still "gagging" (oh baby) to hear it? Ditto that early tape if it's popped anywhere? Ta. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No luck with Timmy Barker. But I have another EC post planned in soon which I've never seen on the net and is an absolute corker! Stayed toned!!!

      Delete
    2. If you're still keen to hear the Timmy Barker 7", I've just got hold of a copy, and it's great - I'd be happy to send you a digital copy. I also recorded two of their recent UK gigs, and I'm sure Erwin wouldn't mind if I sent you those too. While I'm at it I could send you the Nightinagales recording I promised you over a year ago!

      Delete
  14. OK OK we promise to do it soon! Really!

    ReplyDelete
  15. @birst Actually we'd like the TBC single digital ourselves! So we can put it on our Bandcamp

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've just discovered "Tommy Barker" on your Bandcamp page, many thanks for sharing it at long last... And next, how about that Koesette Snack tape (hint-hint), eh? :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. And there it is! http://etoncrop.bandcamp.com/album/koesette

    ReplyDelete
  18. Kchng! said the Bandcamp mail! Appreciated, hope you like it!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great that Quality In The Grooves is there now as well!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I just downloaded everything from the Bandcamp page too! Great stuff! Don't know how I missed Eton Crop the first time around!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hopefully this will set the ball for more EC sessions to be aired in the future. Could do with a better quality version of the first sesh.

    ReplyDelete
  22. @ecgs just back from the Concerto instore show in Amsterdam. Ha ha the only show on the European mainland this year! Nice to see you live again after Grauzone 2014. Cheers

    ReplyDelete