The Cravats – “Land Of The Giants” (Overground)
Not that many truly great things come out of Redditch (an abridged version of the ancient Saxon name for the town, Red Ditches Full Of Blood): Kevin Turvey, The Cravats – the A448. That’s about it. Not exactly prolific city, is it? (OK, as I’m sure Kevin would doubtless be the first to point out, it’s not actually a city! Can you see a cathedral?)
Luckily for Redditch, The Cravats are one of UK Punk Rock’s national treasures & a source of much local pride. Mick the lodger has a Cravats tattoo on his not inconsiderable biceps. Mick used to be in the army but he left under suspicious circumstances. So suspicious, in fact, that if anyone from the army ever comes looking for him we’re to say we’ve never heard of him!
Meanwhile, back at the plot, Redditch has been abuzz with anticipation recently since the Lord Mayor’s office issued a press release informing all & sundry of a new shiney CD release from those lovable scamps, The Cravats. This is a magnanimous occasion, you see, as The Cravats have never released their music on CD before – yet alone in this painstakingly restored & sonically polished aural fashion.
‘The Land Of The Giants’ is a 32-track career-spanning double disc outing on Overground Records:
Off The Beach/Terminus/There Is No International Rescue/I Am The Dreg/Daddy’s Shoes/Working Down Underground/Ice-cubists/Rub Me Out/Who’s In Here With Me/Land Of The Giants/The Shroud Of New York (Volume 1)/The Station/Execute His Will/Still/ Triplex Zone/You’re Driving Me/XMP/Firemen/All On Standby/In Your Eyes/And The Sun Shone/Precinct/ The Shroud Of New York (Chapter 2)/The Hole/When Will We Fall/Ceasing To Be/The End/Séance/Still/In Your Eyes/Tears On My Machine/I Hate The Universe
Guy Debored talks to The Shend:
trakMARX - It's taken a while to find a home for The Cravats CD anthology: "Land Of The Giants" (Overground). Has it been an arduous & time-consuming process?
The Shend - It has been incredibly blooming arduous - although finding a spoon to stir my coffee is arduous - so it's more down to our lack of inertia over 20 years! Plus - until we met the nice folk at Overground Records - we thought the project was impossible - but then we thought, “if man can journey all the way to the centre of the Earth, we should be able to release an album!” So we have!
trakMARX - The collected caustic jams contained within the walls of "Land Of The Giants" have waited nigh on 20 odd years to see the light of day. Why here? Why now?
The Shend - I've sort of answered that above - but add the amazing feats of Dale Jowett, our website curator and prodder of ne'erdowells, who has stirred us into life and made us realise that it wasn't just Billy Gravel from Evesham who liked us after all. Add your good selves as well to this hotch potch of Cravats chums who have made us the behemoths of rock we are today.
trakMARX - "Land Of The Giants" bookends The Cravats career nicely - containing - as it does - almost all of The Cravats' tunes in two highly digestible sittings. I say 'almost all' - but the truth is that debut 45 "Gordon" has been omitted. I've asked this question once already: why? No swerving this time - or I'll begin to think it's a conspiracy!
The Shend - We can't put “Gordon” out again because every third word of the song combines to create an incantation so powerful, the fragile eco-system of this planet may collapse entirely - plus who says we're not going to release all the rest of the stuff at a later date. I mean, can you see “Little Yellow Froggy” amongst the tracks - or "Situations Vacant"? No!
Or maybe it's because I still have 2674 of the single ready to fly out of Ebay for £62 each over the next 12 years.
Nah, I've actually got 2 of them.
trakMARX - Your recent collaboration with Orbital's Mr Hartnoll, the jaw-droppingly brilliant "Seance" (included here), is set to be released as a 45 by Caroline True Records. Are you expecting an cross-market pollination to take place? I mean, can we smell a hit?
The Shend - It's always nice to think so - but then singles are notoriously unpredictable - and if no one gets to hear it then no one will buy it. I have sent it to loads of DeeJays around the country - and its been a bit of a hit on the dancefloors of the land - but will some florist from Bury buy it 'cos he heard it at 1.30am in Cecil's Discotheque? I don't know.
trakMARX - Does all this frantic activity herald a new creative dawn for the face workers in the DCL?
The Shend - Er . . . well, I drew a picture of some sheep yesterday, if that counts – and Robin painted his shed at the weekend - so put that down as a 'yes'.
Did you know that the arm of a pair of sunglasses makes an ideal hot beverage stirrer? Life is full of discoveries.
Guy Debored – tMx 27 –11/06
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