Pomona Sounds

 

I set up a label to put out bands whose music I absolutely loved. The motif was ‘Music With Heart’ (stolen from my favourite magazine, The Big Takeover) and each CD had generic artwork. The music refused steadfastly to fit into an identifiable genre which was not really the right way to run what is now called a boutique’ label. Two of the acts I released – Black September and The Monkey Run – were bands in which I played.

http://www.pomonauk.com/shop/store.php

http://www.pomonauk.com/music/catalogue.php
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The Rosenbergs – Ameripop

PS001

Pom sounds - rosenbergs

the rosenbergs

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Black September – Black September

PS 002

pom sounds  - crass

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Mudskipper – Eggshells

PS 003

pom sounds - mud

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The Monkey Run – Escape from the Rake

PS 004

pom sounds - monkey

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Crass – You’ll Ruin it for Everyone

PS 005

pom crass

steve ignorant letter

The concert (of which this album is a recording) took place on July 4th 1981 at the Lesser City Hall, Perth, Scotland. It was originally released in 1993 as a limited edition of 1,000 copies. We had numerous requests to make it available again and did so with  a new cover (above) and revised booklet. In hindsight, we all felt the original cover was too bleak! It be here:

crass - ruin

Crass, press release

Crass album, Mojo

The sleeve notes read: During the spring of 1981 there had been civil disturbances throughout the UK. By July, as a humid summer exacerbated a simmering wrath, cities like London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol were the subject of fierce riots. Windows were smashed, cars turned over, milk bottles filled with petrol. Youths terrorised their own neighbourhoods and police were afforded a surfeit of overtime. Parliament passed an emergency law prohibiting any gathering of more than three people in a public place.

Crass, with wretched timing, were touring, confronting this nihilism in out-of-the-way places where naked anger, often for its own sake, was widespread. Its apogee came in Perth, a town in northern Scotland, usually tranquil, but polluted on this night by enough louts to goad their own rueful version of a riot. The instigators, National Front supporters apparently, had travelled to the town purposely to cause trouble.

Elsewhere in this booklet, people who were present on the night write about the experience. The CD of the concert, regularly interrupted by pleas for calm, speaks for itself.

Crass were an easy target; they inadvertently enticed confusion. The group’s imagery, lyrics, graphics and their furious music had the aura of hostility. They merged the boundaries – passion/violence, energy/aggression, love/hate – it called on an intelligent mind to discern the slogans.

Anarchy was, by their definition, the freedom to do as one pleased, so long as no one else was harmed in the process. It was not a manifesto of recklessness or selfishness: this was the misunderstanding at Perth.

It is obviously easier not to think, to see merely the cartoon, the power chord, the rant, the black uniformity. And to become agitated by it and, eventually, wish to destroy it. For many though, Crass were an inspiration. They became a rallying call for groups, poets, writers, artists. They each wanted to be part of this counter-culture motivated, for once, not by greed or ego but by creativity for its own sake.

Their stance accidentally became evangelical and it was right that in 1984, they went their separate ways. They had served their purpose; a spasm of urgency, a seed planted, and then to disappear to play out their individual lives.

The tape from which this CD was mastered was recorded through the mixing desk at Perth. It has not been re-mixed in any way. The sound quality, while much better than most bootlegs, is not fantastic. It is released with the full permission of Crass although the project has been undertaken by Pomona Sounds. The tape was kindly supplied by Andy T, himself a perfomer on Crass Records.

It was released in the vain hope that (the ghost of) Crass could once again incite free-thought, enthusiasm, ingenuity, lashings of lentil soup and just a bit of love, peace and anarchy.

crass postcard from gee

A significant portion of profits made from the sale of the CD were donated to the Dial House Foundation, – a centre for alternative globalisation. Dial House has been home to various members of Crass for many years and a place of refuge for hundreds more, a ‘cultural community centre’, in fact. Individual donations can be made to ‘Penny Rimbaud’ at Dial House, Ongar Park Hall, North Weald, Epping, Essex, CM16 6AE.

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Killing Stars – When the Light First Fell

PS 006

pom sounds - killing

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Black September -You Can Do Anything When You Set Your Mind To It

PS 007

pom sounds - bs 2

 Touchingly poetic and rather hypnotic,” – Q.

“Their future looks bright,” – The Times.

“Proper deviant music, a misshapen hybrid of lo-fidelity folk and septic indie rock.” – NME.

“Dark and light, and quite beautiful too…” – The Guardian.” ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

POMONA RECORDS

Before launching Pomona Sounds I co-managed a fantastic group called Wonky Alice who were a hybrid of Echo and the Bunnymen, The Chameleons, Pink Floyd and the B52s. In other words, pretty much irresistible. I remember seeing them for the first time and feeling everything was right about them – the music, the hair, girl bass player (a la Talking Heads),  the shoes (from Tommyfield Market, probably), the introspection, the lot.

wonky band shot

Two EPs, an album and a single were released on Pomona Records before the band split up, although they convene occasionally for one-off shows.

wonky - atomic

This is their track, Atomic Rain Dance:

and Stone Circle:

Most of their material is available on YouTube.

wonky insects

wonky - sirius