Ten Little Records: The Woosh Collection

Just released by Jigsaw Records in the States is a Woosh retrospective; Ten Little Records: The Woosh Collection. (PZL069) For those too young, or not paying attention, Woosh was a record label in the late 1980s based in Newcastle. It began life as a club putting on acts such as My Bloody Valentine, McCarthy, The Clouds, Cud, Jesse Garon & The Desperados and The Membranes to name a few. All at the Broken Doll, a legendary venue in the town. Sadly now part of the bypass!!!
As Woosh made a profit the founder Stephen Joyce decided to put the money into a fanzine and record label.
Woosh 1 came out in the summer of 1988 and included a Flexi with two of the support acts at the club; The Holidaymakers from Edinburgh and local stars The Nivens. These two acts had played the club a number of times and built up a following which meant the Flexi and fanzine sold out. This meant more fanzines and eventually hard vinyl singles.
Woosh lived in the same era as other great indie labels such as Subway, 53rd & 3rd, Sarah, Medium Cool etc. All looking to emulate the success of Factory, Creation and 4AD. Unfortunately like many labels of the day Woosh was short lived. Only 10 releases came out of the North. This release collects them altogether.
Woosh #1: Let Loose of my knee by The Nivens/Everyday by The Holidaymakers. Two great slabs of indie pop. Uwe Weigmann From Firestation Records says this is his favourite ever Flexi. The Nivens go all Housemartins on us. The Holidaymakers go all Martha & the Muffins backing the Stranglers!!!
Woosh #2: The Driscolls Father’s Name is Dad/Strawberry Story Tell me now.
Woosh #3: The Haywains get a Flexi all to themselves containing two tracks; Bythesea Road and Tobe’s gone West.
Woosh #4: The first hard vinyl single was the second appearance of The Holidaymakers. Cincinnati and Seventh Valley Girl reached the top 20 of the indie charts.
Woosh #5: The second hard vinyl single and Woosh’s most successful release. Completely selling out in a few weeks and making The Melody Maker and NME’s indie charts. Peaking at number 10. The Niven’s Yesterday and my personal favourite I hope you’ll always be my friend. This release is still listed in Record Collector. Featuring a picture of Stephen Joyce’s mother on the cover it made a small splash into the indie world of January 1989.
Woosh #6: Featured Esmerelda’s Kite performing Vampire Girl and, for some unexplained reason, a track not featured on this CD. The Groove Farm’s Heaven is Blue is conspicuous by its absence. No reason is given for it not featuring so we must jump to our own conclusions!!!
Woosh #7: The Pooh Sticks Hard on Love. Wales finest indie pop sensation.
Woosh #8: Two great North-East bands. Ashington’s own St James Infirmary doing The Boy who crossed the Street. They are, as far as I am aware, the only band still going to this day. Singer/SongWriter GW Lang the great “lost” talent of the past 30 years. If Lawrence from Felt had come from Ashington instead of Birmingham!!!! Coupled with Tynemouth’s The Sunflowers performing Bubble Bus it looked like Woosh was gaining momentum. Sadly only two more releases would see the light of day.
Woosh #9: The final vinyl release and the beginning of the end for The Nivens and Woosh records. A 4 track EP taking a line from a De La Soul song as inspiration for its title and a cover reflecting the glory of The Jam’s Start. The Nivens wore their influences on their snot stained sleeves. Due to a dispute with another set of Nivens the single was withdrawn. Copies burned in the style of the KLF. The 4 tracks are lovingly collected here; Beautiful, The Necessity for Spastics in 20th Century Culture, Northumberland and I Love Me. Despite I Love Me making it onto the TV, the withdrawal of the single meant a financial loss for Woosh and shortly afterwards the splitting up of Northumberland’s finest indie exponents.
Woosh #10: Woosh’s last hurrah making the perfect 10 releases. A final Flexi combining The Eye Pilgrims Wall of Sand with Choo Choo Train’s Many Happy Returns. Then in a little under two years it was gone. Obviously it did something right as people in America regard it so fondly they collect all the releases together and put them out on CD and in true indie style; on tape!! I’m sure the Pooh Sticks appreciate that irony.
A great collection of songs from a long forgotten era brought together on one CD. My only gripe is a lack of information on the bands themselves and pictures of the sleeves etc etc. Maybe a Woosh retrospective is needed to put this right or even a full scale Woosh re-union tour???


JIGSAW RECORDS: http://jigsaw-records.com/

THE NIVENS “I LOVE ME”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0EWKZkgRwc

By peter on March 15, 2015

Check out all the pics

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