Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning’s a bit of a concern isn’t it?

I’m not talking about whether to do it or not (please!) or even how to get out of doing it (use your imagination!). I can see it’s got to be done and all that, and if pushed will even concede that the house does kind of look and feel a better place afterwards. I guess I’ve got no quarrel with it at all. In theory.

No, the reason it always leaves me feeling a bit queasy, is this. Once the curtains are down and spinning happily in the washer, the furniture’s been moved back and the nozzle’s been put back on the hoover, you think you can start to relax. There’s a certain inevitability, however, about the next stage – the Sorting Things Out stage, AKA the When Are You Going to Throw Those Out? stage.

Usually this applies to a stack of carefully kept magazines, or a pair of old trainers. But looking particularly vulnerable these days is a large rack of treasured LPs that have not been played for quite some time. Sometimes, in an attempt to avoid this becoming a bit of a Situation, I go to the special effort of being seen playing a couple of them, but I don’t think I’m fooling anyone…

Anyway, I was flipping through them idly this week, came across this, and thought I’d try something:

i Am Cold – Rip Rig & Panic

(The “i” is probably important)

It’s a peculiar record, being a double album of sorts, except that both disks play at 45, so it’s more like a double 12” single, if you can have that. Rip Rig & Panic were some sort of post punk experimental band with jazz leanings, which kind of makes them sound pretty unusual but as far as I can remember they weren’t the only band doing this sort of thing at the time.

They were led by a feller called Gareth Seger, but are probably chiefly remembered now for the fact that a young Neneh Cherry sang with them. Throughout this particular record, her step-father Don Cherry plays trumpet although I don’t think he was a regular. i Am Cold was their second LP and it’s a pretty wild affair in places.

I seem to remember buying this in the aftermath of going to see Pigbag at Cheltenham Town Hall, my first ever gig, and one that my friend Martin claims was a seminal gig for the area. I think there was some kind of connection between the bands (The Pop Group?), but I’m not too sure – they’ve always gone together in my mind, although in truth Rip Rig & Panic were far more adventurous and (let’s be honest) difficult to listen to.

If you were there at the time, you’ll know what to expect and there’s probably nothing I can do to persuade you to give it a listen. But what I would say is that although it’s definitely patchy, some of the better tracks (Reality Asylum, Tax Sex, Epi Epi Arp Woosh) stand up pretty well, still.

Anyway, I’ve ripped this from the vinyl using my trusty iRiver, for your listening pleasure. I haven’t done this before but I think it’s come out OK. I’ve followed the track listing on the back cover (which helpfully refers to North, South, East and West sides, rather than the more conventional 1, 2, 3 & 4 you might have been expecting. Crazy guys!), but I should say that in some places it’s pretty hard to tell where one track ends and another begins, so there could be a couple of mistakes. (The North side was a particular bugger to work out I can tell you…)

i Am Cold – Rip Rig & Panic

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Feb 25, 2008 @ 11:47:00

    thanks for this. i haven’t heard it for years…


  2. jim knox
    Apr 08, 2008 @ 18:31:00

    Cheers, ears!… i’ve got fond memories of this one – used to love the side that starts w/ Reality Asylum & ends on Liars (is that right?)“memories” (sigh)Anyways. Have a top week!


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