Monday, July 30, 2018

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Ton Up Pirates - Therefore I Am / Animated Blues (1990)

(Australian 1988 - 1991)
Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.

Ton Up Pirates were a Melbourne post-punk band in the late 1980's founded by Greg Bainbridge, and Tim Cluning.  There is scant little information available for this band and I have only been able to track down the derivation of the group.

Greg Bainbridge played with a number of Melbourne bands, including Jacksworld and Ton Up Pirates. Jacksworld comprised Bainbridge, Tim Cluning (vocals, guitar), David Bilston (lead guitar) and Michael Taylor (bass). The band played a moody brand of rock that drew comparisons with the likes of Echo and the Bunnymen, The Smiths and The Triffids. 

Bainbridge and Cluning split Jacksworld to form Ton Up Pirates with Greg Rodbard-Bean (bass) and Kenny Martin (lead guitar).  Greg Rodbard-Bean (bass) was later replaced by Nigel Harford from the band White Cross.  I suspect that the band took their name from a notorious Bikie Gang that existed back in the 50's. Below is one of their Club Pin Badges. But I digress.....

The band issued their debut recording in 1988, a 12-inch EP, "A Dirt Road So Far", on the Au-go-go label, followed by two 7" singles on White Label Records,  the first being "Therefore I Am" in 1990 and then a cover of Billy Thorpe's hit "Most People Think I'm Crazy" in 1991.

Ton-Up Pirates certainly fit the bill for this month's WOCK on Vinyl post, with a definite Obscure rating all round. I stumbled upon this single in amongst a box of records at my favourite Sunday Market some time ago, most of which were either water damaged or covered in 3 inches of dust.  
But when I saw the cover art and band's name - I decided it was worth saving. 

So, I hope you enjoy this 'unique' and 'rare' gem, ripped to FLAC with artwork sourced from the web (my cover was stuffed) and my label scans. I have also taken the liberty of including a YouTube clip of the Ton Up Pirates performing "Juke Box Baby".  This was the first ever live TV broadcast in Melbourne for free TV, later to become open channel 31 recorded live from Greek Theatre Richmond, 1988. 

The event featured Crown of Thorns, T.I.S.M. & Ton Up Pirates performing live at the Old Greek Theatre in Richmond. The vision is narrowcast to the inner west of Melbourne on UHF Ch47 during the week-long second test transmission by TVU.

Track List
01 - Therefore I Am
02 - Animated Blues
03 - Juke Box Baby (MP4 Video)

Recorded at Platinum Studios, Melbourne, March 1990.
Engineered by Paul Kosky.

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