Thursday, 2 June 2011

Kinky Machine: 1st Album, Bent, EP Tracks

Funny old business, this Pop lark. You can be in the right place, have all the tunes, have a commercial look and still not make a crust. All you can do is watch a whole slew of non-entities shoot up the greasy pole, while you skulk in the doldrums with just a support slot with Sleeper at JBs in Dudley to keep you from going back to Pizza delivery. Ladeez and genlemen, welcome to Cultsville – population: Kinky Machine.

Formed in London in 1991, Kinky Machine seemed to be doing everything right. Fronted by future Rialto (nearly) star Louis Eliot, they signed to indie label Lemon and released the frankly awesome ‘Going Out With God’ which manages to sound as good as its title. They gigged like crazy gigging things and ended up on Oxygen – a boutique label under the not inconsiderable wing of MCA. More top drawer releases followed – ‘Shockaholic’, ‘10 Second Bionic Man’ (is this the only Pop single written about the perils of premature ejaculation?) and two albums stuffed full of the good stuff. All around them, lots of bands seemed to be ploughing the same Glammy-Kinksy-UKcentric furrow, but not as well. The difference was that these pale photocopies of the originals were drinking champagne with Alex James whilst the Kinkys were drinking warm Carling from someone else’s backstage rider. I have to point out to you kids that it was Britpop time and for every one worthy band there were ten Menswears just waiting to be on the cover of the NME.

'Swivelhead'

In spite of being head and shoulders above their contemporaries, the Mott-The-Hoople stylings of KM failed to set the charts alight. They kept on gigging and I saw them by accident in ‘93 - supporting a clearly terrified All About Eve in Birmingham. As much as I loved everyone’s favourite Goth-Folksters. the Kinkys tore them to pieces like a playful mixture of the Buzzcocks and Hanoi Rocks. Oxygen let them go in 1994 and a year later they released their sole release on East West – the beautiful ‘London Crawling’. In spite of it being the best song Eliot wrote for the band, it sold poorly and Eliot and Guitarist Johnny Bull went off to form the slightly more successful (but not quite as good IMHO) Rialto. Kinky Machine remain a footnote in the last great movement in UK Pop.

video
'London Crawling'

I don’t know what’s not to like about KM. Maybe it’s a bit ‘London’, a bit too sneery…I’m clutching at straws here. These tunes are diamond hard Pop classics – and the band – oh my. Johnny Bull is a genius guitarist, the rhythm section was tough but supple and Eliot was a great frontman and superlative songwriter. They must have been sleeping with the wrong people.

As far as I know this is everything they ever recorded. The 90s was a boom time for multiple formats, so if something sneaked through on a coloured vinyl 12”, cassette single or limited edition wax cylinder, it ain’t here. This is all the stuff from the CD singles and both their albums. Almost every cut radiates class, whistleable tunes, great words and big fun tunes.

'Lounge Dummy' Live

Now, explain to me again why this band weren’t massive?

Kinky Machine

Bent

EP Tracks


KINKY MACHINE
1.  Shockaholic 2:57
2.  Candy Deceit 3:54
3.  Monkey on a String 3:33
4.  Glitter Bullets 3:44
5.  Going out with God 2:53
6.  Supernatural Giver 3:29
7.  Bring on the Clones 3:00
8.  Clever? 2:55
9.  Sister Magpie 4:17
10.  Swivelhead 3:14
11.  Blue Polythene 3:44


BENT
1. 10 Second Bionic Man
2. Gooseberry Fool
3. Dolly Mixture Kid
4. Cut It Down
5. Nosebleed
6. Lounge Dummy
7. Pissing In The Snow
8. Alsatians
9. Wet Cigarettes
10. Christopher
11. Chemical Lullaby
12. Last Song


EP TRACKS
1 Crooked
2 Counting Down To Zero
3 Timebomb
4 President Yes-Man
5 Going Out With God (Live)
6 Swivelhead (Live)
7 Supernatural Giver (Extended Mix)
8 Mondays Child
9 Crooked
10 Supernatural Giver (Demo)
11 Charlotte Rampling
12 Crashing The Ambulance
13 Little Boys Blue
14 Queen Of The Slums
15 London Crawling
16 Waiting For The Weekend
17 Love Like Semtex
18 Hello Hello I'm Back Again
19 Candy Deceit (Live)
20 Yes Man (Live)
21 Supernatural Giver (Live)

11 comments:

  1. Sorry. I can't answer your question. It was always mind boggling to me how lesser bands passed these guys by as if they were standing still. They were a great band that went absolutely nowhere. A real pity and our loss. Never heard the EPs before. I'm really going to enjoy listening to this. Many, many thanks for this up.

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  2. Oxy - I nearly lost you with the Rush/Silver Sun thing, but I've clawed you back with Kinky Machine!

    There's some great stuff on the EPs - a hidden gem is 'Charlotte Rampling' which namechecks J M Jarre, natch.

    They were FEROCIOUS live. I saw them a few times and they never failed to deliver. I've just found a live vid on YouTube which I've grafted to my post...it's from a gig where they supported Salad. It must have been carnage. Great to have you back on board, even if I did enjoy the cut and thrust of intellectual debate.

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  3. So many bands that weren't/aren't massive and really deserve to be, I often wonder why a certain band is so small.
    I just discovered your blog, I'll add you to my blogroll in a second...
    Check mine out? still-listening-on-your-behalf.blogspot.com

    I'm only just starting out :D

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  4. Way back when, in the early days of my interweb adventuring, I met a Spaniard who'd consistently recommend great bands "I needed to hear." Kinky Machine was one of 'em he shared with me. The first time "Shockaholic" came roaring thru' my Sennheisers I nearly fell off my chair. Swagger that Oasis would kill for and enough cajones juice to fuel a jet fighter. I, too, am looking forward to hearing these which are absent in my collection. THANKS Rushbo. Much.

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  5. I didn't hear Kinky Machine in the day, and wasn't inspired to seek them out because, well, ermmm, I really hated their name! Kinky - oh puhlease! Machine - name me one decent band that has "machine" in the title - Tin Machine (yeuch!), Soft Machine (ouch!), Machine Head (turgid shite!).....only Rage against the machine eventually busted that theory.

    But I decided to gave the Kinky Machine LP a listen now - not because of the description (Mott the Hoople? I only liked one of their tracks, and that was written by that Tin Machine geezer), but because of the enthusiasm of Rushbo's post and the ensuing comments.

    At first I was a bit underwhelmed - by the end of "Shockaholic" I was wondering whether I'd bother listening any further - I didn't particularly like the vocals. But I persisted and ended up enjoying it. At time it reminded me of (early) Adam and the Antz and The Buzzcocks, but my final conclusion was that they sound like a UK version of Dig (checkout Shoulda Been Huge!).

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  6. totally agree with you would of loved to see them live, l could never convince anyone about them either

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  7. A friend of mine just recommended this band to me. I really appreciate you putting this biog and selection together. The Mott comparison really sells them to me. It's a wonderful world. Thanks.

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  8. Thanks, been looking for BENT and some of the EP tracks for a while :)

    Now I should have them all complete, had most already on CD, and cant understand myself why they never made it bigger. but there you go :(

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  9. Isn't it amazing what we can find. I've had the S/T album for ages but have never heard anything post that album. Really looking forward to exploring. I'm also amazed that your older links are still active! Very cool man. Thanks so much for this. I'll be hangin' around for a bit. I've also bitten on the Belltower stuff on your recommendation. Haven't queued that one up yet.

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  10. what are the odds to get a new link up (or send private)? Need to fill in the gap on some of these EP b-sides!!!!! ;D

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  11. Would also love this to re-appear - love Bent and would love to hear 1st album and EP tracks pretty please!

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