Sunday 11 September 2011

Sheiks - Ten Times Around 7" Standard SINGLE 1, 1980

You may have read some hype about the Sheiks' first single, released in 1979 by our old friend the Local Label. Well, someone's wallet was lightened to the tune of 110 bucks to find out what we can tell you for free: it sucks. Two parts whitey blues and one part Dylan cover will always a turd cocktail make, and no amount of comparison with Dr Feelgood can render it any more palatable. As with past cases of seller-generated hype, emptors should consider themselves caveated.

The real three-figure Sheiks record is the second single, though Popsike and the unclaimed copy in the Wallaby Beat trade pile might argue otherwise. Perhaps listening to Ten Times Around - which we invite you to do at the link below - will help to redress the balance. Hard to know what happened in the year between records to prompt such a drastic reorientation, but we suspect that the release of Entertainment by Gang of Four might have had something to do with it. The perfectly mid-fi recording (courtesy of Scattered Order and M-Squared) works in the song's favour, and the forcefulness with which it's delivered makes its dissonance sound less "post-" and more "punk". Rondos fans are unlikely to be disappointed.

In fairness to the first single, there are microscopic traces of Ten Times Around in one of its four songs (When You Bring Home Your Pay). Not enough to elevate it beyond being passable - we're talking a generous C-minus here - but just enough to connect the dots. Similarly, Ten Times Around's less strident flipside signposts singer/bassist Paul Cupples' next outing - we continue that story next week.

Ten Times Around [Download]


Anonymous said...

The more I listen to it, the more I like it!


Paul Cupples said...

Never thought I'd hear it again!
Paul Cupples (Bauern)

Anonymous said...

Hey, I think you're being a bit harsh about that first Sheiks EP. I reckon it's got a lot of charm, not withstanding it was recorded at my aunty's place and I play lead guitar. It's our basement tapes, recorded live on a tascam 4track in a large, high-ceiling'd, skylighted billiard room. We recorded dozens of songs, Ten Times Around included, but my good friend Arch Browne, Local Label impresario, always wanted to release the quirky, the rough, the...exact opposite of what we thought was cool and sometimes it paid off. He released the drunkenest, sloppiest version of a song of Lawrence Macefield's, "I Dig The Rain" under the moniker of The Worms and it made single of the week in NME or Sounds or whatever (it was a long time ago, 1978?).
Anyway, by the time we recorded Ten Times Around at a "proper" studio (still 4 track!), our drummer, who had only taken up the drums at my aunty's place had become brilliant in a few months. The drums are the best (and loudest) thing on the recording. And we weren't influenced by Gang Of Four or anybody- never heard them, we couldn't give a shit about any other band really, to be honest.

Paul Cupples said...

You tell 'em
You always were good with words
love P

Anonymous said...

We were playing from the heart back then. We meant it. It's real. That's hard to find these days. Hi Paul :-) Eric

Paul Cupples said...

That's true
Good to hear from you, Eric

Paul Cupples said...

still got sticks and a snare drum?

Anonymous said...

hi Wallaby Beat, I have the sheiks song 'New York' on single (1980)- the single is muddy to start with but such a good track. I think I saw the band live in sydney at this time (I was in a band called the proteens). perhaps ping me an email address if interested

regards Blue maloo

Paul Cupples said...

Hi Anon
I remember to ProTeens (great name)
What a busy time it was.
Paul Bauern (Cupples)

alleywaykid said...

Whoa, this is a great song for sure, but now I'm struck by a desperation to hear all the other bands in the comments thread! Please help!

The Worms - I Dig The Rain/Let's Call it Quits 7"
The Proteens,
and the world needs to hear this unreleased Dri Horrors LP!