Sunday, 24 March 2013

Perculiar Clerk - Another Guy 7" Phoenix 13286, 1982

We always enjoy a band that can't even spell its own name correctly, but in this case we're not sure if we're more galled at the misspelling or the aesthetic blunder of referencing Petula Clark. Unlike previous Wallaby Beat illiterates, there's documentary evidence that Peculiar Clerk knew their way around a dictionary (see below), so we can't really blame the band itself. Perhaps lax educational standards at the EMI Custom typesetting department were at fault, but ultimately the buck stops with Tom Misner, owner of Phoenix Records (or, as he might prefer to call it, Phoenix Regords. Yes, Regords). The guy seems to cop the blame for everything else, so why not add proofreading to the list?

Peculiar Clerk formed from the ashes of Latis, a Zep/Heep/Quo cover band based in the western Sydney suburb of Blacktown. In 1979, the band ditched both its name and its heavy rock repertoire for revved up Beatles, Who and (of course) Petula Clark covers, a smattering of self-penned tunes, and the obligatory skinny ties. In lengthy self-analysis over at the Peculiar Clerk website, various members acknowledge that the arrival of punk made their former setlist obsolete, but are at pains to note that they were not a punk band themselves. All signs point to that subgenre we've come to know and tolerate, Oz Rock/powerpop, but setlist staples like the Undertones' Teenage Kicks and originals like Disco (Destroys Your Mind) show that their hearts were in the right place (though singer Peter Keen's assertion that disco sucks "starts with 's' and ends with 'k'" has us rethinking that entire first paragraph).

In 1982, two originals were recorded at Central Recorders by the then-active lineup of Keen, Rob Manego (bass), Peter Marples (guitar), and Steve Askins (drums). The resulting single, Peculiar Clerk's only release, pairs a couple of energetic powerpoppers which should get the job done nicely for fans of The Word et al., though we hasten to add that microscopic examination reveals no trace of a chorus on either side.

Peculiar Clerk folded in 1984 but not before playing an impressive double-header, performing firstly to around 30,000 people at a festival on the banks of the Parramatta River, followed by a nighttime gig at their Blacktown RSL home base. The band describes one of those venues as "a filthy cesspool" - take a tour of their website to find out which.

Another Guy [Download]

Miss You [Download]

Peculiar R Us

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Knew the name, but never saw the band, as far as I can recall. The record is better than I imagined it would be. 'Another Guy' has a passing similarity to a song with a different sex.