Monday, February 16, 2009

Bette Davis And The Balconettes

I haven't been able to find out much about this band, unfortunately. They hailed from Manchester and featured three girls and two boys, if the photo from the Damaged Good website is to be trusted.

These records are all totally amazing. There is so much good stuff here, and it makes me glad that I went through the trouble of tracking down all five of these. Consider yourselves lucky that now, at long last, you can listen to all of this digitally.

It is still hard for me to believe that they never released an LP.

If you like any of that boy/girl English stuff (Huggy Bear, Red Monkey, etc.) then you will love this. I know I do.

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, five singles by Bette Davis And The Balconettes.

Paul Power T-Shirt b/w Shopping On The Internet (Baby Boom)
1. Paul Power T-Shirt
2. Shopping On The Internet

0898 b/w I Wanna Be Your Moog (Baby Boom)
1. 0898
2. I Wanna Be Your Moog

Bette Davis And The Balconettes EP (Slampt)
1. Celebrity Fuckers
2. God Of Hate
3. Feed My Ego
4. Like Me, Be My Friend

Shergar b/w White Food (Damaged Goods)
1. Shergar
2. White Food

Surf, Surf, Kill, Kill b/w Big Pussy Sound (Damaged Goods)
1. Surf, Surf, Kill, Kill
2. Big Pussy Sound


wilgy said...

Thanks so much for these..I have all the singles but no digitally and it has saved me the problem of ripping're a star :)

I did see the band play live in Brighton,England sometime in 1997,I remember it being quite chaotic.

JGRAM said...

FUCK YEAH!!! they were an awesome band I had the honour of interviewing them for my fanzine NO PICTURES and I taped their live show on my dictaphone and it was amazing

Thank you so much for putting these songs onto MP3 - I wish they had lasted long enough to do an album

JGRAM said...

ha ha - yeah I saw them in Brighton too, it was probably the same gig (Brighton Crawl?)

wilgy said...

yeah,JGRAM it was Brighton Crawl and I do actually know who you are :) I'm wilgy was at a coupla gigs with you and Matt the Ipswich fan back in the day!

ddddfanzine said...

they were fantastic, we interviewed them a couple of times for our fanzine and they were THE BEST, sooooo funny and cocky, Brian should*ve been a chatshow host or on I*m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, he was soooooooo sexily funny, dddd fanzine is still going, it8s on the internet now, what a fucking bore, "Shopping On the Internet" said it all.

Famous Mortimer said...

I knew the lead singer, a little bit. I briefly went out with her best mate, who was lovely but I was a bit awkward and geeky so it didn't last long. But anyway. Great band.

Medium Wave said...

We bought some of their singles on ebay, went round to pick them up and who should answer the door? Only Sam and Brian out of Bette Davis and the Balconettes. Fortunately we had our mobile recording facility with us and they were kind enough to reminisce about their glittering showbiz career. Check out the interview on Episode 18 of the Medium Wave Podcast here:

Moss O'Brien said...

they were the best band ever!! thanks for this!

Nor said...

Norwood was the half- American Bette Davis drummer who came up with the William Tell inspired gallopping horsey drumroll ode to early Clint Eastwood's "Rawhide" that Sam the singer immediately morphed into the hysterical "Shergar" (The Wonder Horse) and made it's debut 7 May '96 @ the Manchester Roadhouse. A few days before the gig, the band hung fliers all over Wilbraham Road bearing the infamous horsehead profile of Shergar as used by the IRA amidst great laughter. A few weeks later, the IRA bombed Manchester city centre.

Norwood still has the original rehearsal tapes illustrating the song's creation and some others: "Surf, Surf, Kill Kill", "0898", and "Feed My Ego", if anyone is interested. However,Nor doesn't appear in the credits because he wasn't bothered enough to file with PRS following his accrimonious departure from the band which resulted in Mark E. Smith sacking them from a national tour with The Fall. Mark liked Nor. x

brian percival said...

Nor, sorry your wrong. We were dropped from the Fall tour because a sacked drummer rang Mr Smith to say we had split up. Ring a bell? Anyway, no hard feelings Nor, you were a cog in the madness!
All the best. Bri

Nor said...

Sorry Brian, I have only just now seen your comment, and in response to your question, a resounding 'no', it doesn't ring a bell, and here is why.

After Mark E. Smith rang us and asked me if our band "would like to take a tour of the council estates of Britain with The Fall', we got on really well. Because I became de facto manager in Simon's absence, he gave me his number (and that of his girlfriend's), and told me I could ring him anytime, which I sometimes did. One of the first things I achieved was to convince him that we could all ten of the tour's gigs instead of the three he originally offered. I also set about booking us at Manchester Uni, and was working on one for the Hacienda as well, but didn't get it done due to my departure. It is rather obvious that I was much more than a mere drummer, as your comment seems to imply. That is why I was the only one in the band that he allowed to have his private number. Therefore, I was out of the band and stayed in Liverpool with my mates for a few weeks. Whist I was there, Mark Smith had left messages on my answering machine (remember those?)in Chorlton. On the tape (which I still have) he specifically asks me to ring him back concerning the tour dates. I was too gutted to ring him for a couple of weeks until , finally, when it was abundantly obvious that i was to be temporarily replaced by a guitar playing mate of yours (Joe) instead of a proper drummer for the tour, rang him back.

As I had previously warned you, your sacking me made him very angry. He asked me what happened and I explained it all to him and afterwards, he remarked " the (expletive-ing) limey bastards! you were (expletive- ing) good! Right then, they're off the tour. I then replied " you might still want them Mark. They're playing the Night and Day on Wednesday if you want to check them out for yourself". Now here's the hysterical bit of the conversation. He said " what time are they on?" and I told him ten. He then said "meet me at the Castle pub at seven and we'll both go down there." I was pissing myself laughing at thought of the potential spectacle this would cause, especially after three hours of us drinking.

I then queried James (Pagella, a drumming regular at Glasto these days), Liam and Kezza as to what to wear for the occaision. We had a good laugh over what was about to transpire. However when I arrived at the pub, Mark wasn't there and I later found out he had already made the decision to sack you guys by then, and apparently wasn't arsed about the whole situation anymore.

So there you have it, Brian. And now that I've put this issue to rest, I just want to say no hard feelings and all the very best to you and Sam in the years to come. x