News and updates

10/19/11:  Sadly, the Mangum/ATP festival has been postponed until March.  No idea whether YMG will still be appearing.  I can’t afford to go either way, alas.

 Welcome to your annual update!  Two shows scheduled for this year: one at Ashley Wood Festival in July 2011, and the other at All Tomorrow’s Parties this December.  Did you check out the poster on the front page?  That’s the ATP curated by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel (one of your webmaster’s all-time favorite bands, and one he frequently enjoyed seeing in NYC in the 1990s), with the Raincoats performing their first album in its entirety. Will be there?  Geez, I don’t know.  I’m trying to think of ways to take an Aeroplane Over The Sea without breaking the bank.

3/9/10:  I know, I know.  Two kids and two jobs (one as a bankruptcy lawyer) puts a real crimp in my blogging and updating.  Yet this site lives.  Two pieces of news in YMG land: 1) They are playing The Roundhouse in early May as part of the Camden Crawl.  It will be their first show in almost a year.  You’ve seen the cheesy poster art on the main page, no doubt, but there seem to be some cool bands playing this thing, including Teenage Fanclub, Billy Childish and Best Coast.  Someday I will be a well-paid bankruptcy lawyer and will be able to travel again.  2)  Stuart Moxham’s hABIT label lives, and is about to unleash a few releases.  Get the details here.  It seems that we may finally get to hear the Plan A for America tracks that were supposed to come out on Feel Good All Over way back when.  Also one very belated piece of news: The Gist did a reunion show last summer.  In some ways I’d have been more intrigued by that than a YMG show, for the sheer unpredictability of the occasion.   

12/2/08:  Coming May 2009: YMG performing Colossal Youth in its entirety, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Camber Sands.  Wish I could attend.  They’ve got to play a NYC date at some point, I figure.  Also: added Everett True’s previously-unpublished YMG interview, written for Drowned in Sound webzine, to the interviews section. 

3/27/08:  It’s a YMG fiesta (or perhaps siesta)!  They have added additional live dates in Spain and Portugal to the below Barcelona gig, making it their first tour since 1980.  See the main page for details.  Thanks to Marie and Pascal at the very friendly and efficient Julie Tippex agency for details.

Speaking of the fictitious Julie and her very real agency, they are now handling YMG bookings exclusively.  Please direct all inquiries about live dates to their attention.

2/23/08:  Added info about a couple of shows:
1)  YMG in Barcelona, Spain, late May 2008.  There are rumors of other 2008 performances, including a possible American date.
2)  Alison Statton & Spike at Ten Feet Tall, a club in Cardiff, April 2008.  This will be a Z-Block Records night, featuring the best of the old guard.

I’ve also added some new pics, as well as info about the Weekend Live at Ronnie Scott’s reissue.  Keeping up with YMG in 2008 is proving to be a harder job than I would have reasonably expected.

1/19/08:  The Hyped2Death label has just released a new volume in its invaluable Messthetics series of postpunk rarity compilations.  Messthetics #104 is dedicated to the music of South Wales circa late 1970s and early 1980s.  There are no Young Marble Giants members on any of these tracks, but Andrew Moxham’s first band, The Boywonders, makes an appearance, along with many other bands from the Z-Block scene.  Of course there are a couple of Reptile Ranch tracks; they were arguably the true center of the Cardiff scene, although YMG was the only one that really broke out internationally.  The liner notes are absolutely essential to anyone who’s interested in understanding where YMG came from; they comprise exactly the kind of scholarly article I wish I had time to write. And lest you think this is merely a gussied-up Is The War Over?, Swansea and Newport also check in here.  Lest we forget, Newport was once home to Scritti Politti’s Green Gartside and the Mekons’ Jon Langford; both appear here with early projects, and there’s even an unreleased Great Pop Things comic strip by Langford and Colin Morton.  Wales seems a rough place to have been if you aimed to blaze new musical trails, so we should be thankful the bands on Messthetics #104 made it out alive and recorded.  (Note to Chuck: what, no unearthed demos by Rhyl’s hometown favorites, The Alarm?  You’re slipping, dude.)

1/2/08:  Wow, what a year.  Two reunion shows, a deluxe Colossal Youth reissue, and even a Cherry Red reissue of the Gist’s Embrace The Herd – it’s been the biggest year for Young Marble Giants since 1980.  I’m out here in the Midwest – far away from Wales or France – but it’s been exciting tracking the rejuvenation of my all-time favorite band.

A quick site update:  I’ve finally added a BBMix page.  Thanks to Michael Korchia and Guillaume for letting me use their photos.  Also I wanted to bring your attention to the Boston band Pants Yell!  In December 2007, they released an album called Alison Statton on the Soft Abuse label.  It’s meant in the spirit of Unrest’s “Cath Carroll” – as pure tribute.  There’s even a title track, although it’s not actually about Alison Statton per se.  At left is the badge Pants Yell! made in honor of the occasion.  Yes, I have one.  No, I don’t wear it.  My life is too often an “Ask Me About Alison Statton” badge already.

9/16/07: News from Stuart Moxham.  Take it away, Stuart.

The sun is steaming the dew out of the Lloyd Loom garden chair; the Hoovering is done, one of my Great Lost Albums, which one is it? – ah, yes, Cars In The Grass is playing loudly (!) through the open cottage windows and I have a free hour before I pick up the kids for the weekend. This is the time to blog!Hard News
First: I’ve just signed Embrace The Herd by The G!st to Cherry Red Records for an early October release. That’s the third release for the early ’80s oddity, oh yeah. Strangely I find it more and more listenable as the decades schlep by – an extraordinarily fucked up album with some moments of pure bliss, some of gut – turning weirdness and even several baffling episodes, but there it is; some kind of ultimate, if I do say so myself – and it’s been known to make women laugh – though not in a good way!

Now then, imagine this: an album featuring Songs, Singing , Electric Guitar, Keyboards and Percussion by Moi, with Phil Moxham’s Bass, Andrew Moxham’s Drumkit and Spike Williams’ Electric Guitar, not to mention the totally genius Harmonica of Chris Ridgeway, all recorded live in a studio we built ourselves…..yes folks, that’s the aforementioned Cars In The Grass, and guess what? It too is going to be re-released, along with “Signal Path” and “Random Rules,” copies of which currently grace Louis Philippe’s swish West London domicile prior to being given a much-needed resurrection on his Wonder record label.

And there’s MORE! I have a pantload of unknown The G!st material, some of which was debuted on the ironically titled Audio Cassette Square One back in ’81. If you can find a copy of that on eBay, I’ll eat my hat.

So it’s catchy-uppy time, people. Or soon will be – start saving now! One’s complete back catalogue, plus some of the finest stoner noodlings ever squirrelled away on master tape (and that’s really saying something) will be available for your quality time listening.

And now, in the great feast or famine tradition,

Breaking News
I am currently in proud possession of thirty plus NEW SONGS which I am pitching at Young Marble Giants and Louis Philippe for two new albums…..following the glory that is The Huddle House I’m itching to get back into Ken Brake’s Regent Park studio to begin the next eponymous effort and it’s also early days for the YMG project but, rest assured, we’re on it. Just don’t hold your breath.

Oh, and this is still steaming:  The ink ain’t dry but take it from the horse that the Young Marble Giants song “Final Day” is going to be used in an episode of Ashes To Ashes which will be the ’80s followup to the diverting ‘tec – stuck – in – the – ’70’s series “Life On Mars”……..

Right, that’s your lot, I’m off fishing. T’ra!

7/18/07:  The 10/28/07 Bologne show is confirmed.  Says Domino’s website: “Young Marble Giants have announced they will be playing the Boulogne-Billancourt Bbmix Festival next to Paris, France on 28th October this year. Others to play the festival include Pram, Deerhoof and God Is My Co-Pilot.  For more details go to the festival website:”

Also: put up a couple of nice photos circa August 1980 that reader Augusto emailed to me, and updated the live shows section.

7/11/07:  Domino Records’ Colossal Youth reissues were released this week in Europe.  They will be released in the U.S. on September 11, 2007.  Domino has a page about it on its website.  Thanks to Domino for including a link to this site in the CD artwork and on their website!

Also: added the Domino reissues to the discography section, and put a couple of Hay Festival photos up from Stuart Moxham’s daughter, Melody.  Thanks to Andrew Moxham for sending them along and thinking of me.

There is tentative news of a YMG show in France in late October 2007.  So far the only listing is on this MySpace page.  I am awaiting confirmation from the band and will post more information once I have it.

I’ve been getting tons of great feedback from readers lately as word gets around about the reunion show and the CD reissue.  It’s always nice to hear from fellow YMG fans who share my excitement about all the current band activity.  Keep it coming!  -Mike

6/1/07:  Added a separate page for the Hay Festival show.

5/15/07:  Two additional news items besides the upcoming reunion show.

1)  Stuart Moxham and Louis Phillippe have just released a CD called The Huddle House, their first collaborative effort and Stuart’s first new solo album this century.  It is available through their own Wonder Records by visiting their MySpace page or page.

2)  Domino Records has finally announced its Colossal Youth reissue.  Its full title is Colossal Youth and Collected Works.  It will be available in the U.K. on July 2nd and in the U.S. on September 11.  The track listing is as follows:

The original 15-track recording.

1.This Way
2.Posed by Models
3.The Clock
5.Zebra Trucks
6.Sporting Life
7.Final Day
8.Radio Silents
10.Ode To Booker T
11.Have Your Toupee Ready
13.Brand – New – Life
14.Zebra Trucks
15.Choci Loni
16.Wind in the Rigging
17.The Man Shares His Meal With His Beast
18.The Taxi
19.Constantly Changing
20.Music For Evenings
21.Credit in the Straight World
22.Eating Noddemix
23.Ode To Booker T
24.Radio Silents
26.Loop The Loop

tracks 1-6: TESTCARD E.P.
tracks 7-9 FINAL DAY single
track 10: IS THE WAR OVER compilation
tracks 11-26 SALAD DAYS album

1.Posed By Models
2.Searching For Mr. Right
4.Brand New Life
5.Final Day
Recorded August 20, 1980.

More info here.  So much news all of a sudden!

4/20/07:  The title page says it all.  After a few false starts over the years, Stuart Moxham, Alison Statton and Philip Moxham are confirmed to play The Hay Festival in Wales on May 27, 2007.  The performance, their first since December 1980, will be in celebration of Domino Records’ forthcoming Colossal Youth deluxe reissue.  The set will consist entirely of material from Colossal Youth and perhaps the “Final Day” EP.  This is obviously very exciting news.

Sadly, I will not be there.  I am presently a law student/parent living in the American Midwest, and I have neither the time nor the money even for such an auspicious event as this.  (Plus I think my passport’s expired.)  So I am counting on those of you in attendance to email me with photos, show reports, videos or anything else.

9/7/06:  New artifacts, including a flyer and promo postcard in association with their 5/1/80 Clarendon Hotel show.  And check out the new Z-Block website!

5/20/06:  YMG’s “Choci Loni” appears on the Rip It Up and Start Again compilation CD, which is a companion to Simon Reynolds’ recent postpunk history.

Also, both YMG and Weekend bassist/Alison Statton collaborator Spike now have MySpace pages.  We did not do either site, but we endorse them both.

12/21/05:  The LTM label has reissued Alison Statton and Ian Devine’s two collaborative EPs, 1988’s The Prince of Wales and 2000’s Cardiffians.  Both include bonus tracks and Everett True’s new liner notes; The Prince of Wales features new cover art as well.  March 2006 will see LTM reissue Alison Statton & Spike’s Weekend in Wales and Tidal Blues (as one CD) and The Shady Tree, originally released on Vinyl Japan last decade.  I have updated the discography pages to include this information.

10/29/05:  I’ve just updated the links section.  Sorry I haven’t done much else with this site lately.  Between law school, day job, the occasional freelance writing assignment, and looking after a gorgeous, spunky toddler daughter with another on the way next year…well, let’s just say I’ve been overextended.  To be fair, there hasn’t been much happening on the YMG front, either.  There’s a new American band called The Young Untold that may or may not be named after a line in “Searching for Mr. Right.”  And Broadcast’s amazing new album, Tender Buttons, seems to be heavily YMG-influenced in its guitar and drum machine textures.  More news as I receive it…

4/18/05:  Added a link to Futurama 1980 photos (at which YMG performed).

4/2/05:  Stuart Moxham will perform on April 22 and 23 as part of the Bush Hall Wonder Weekend Festival in London.  Also on the bill both nights are Louis Phillippe, producer/arranger Bertrand Burgalat, and Sean O’Hagan.  All four acts will play acoustic sets on the 22nd and electric sets on the 23rd; O’Hagan will perform on the 23rd with the High Llamas, who haven’t played a London show in a long time.  The show is at Bush Hall in London; doors open at 7:30 pm and Stuart plays first both nights, so be prompt.  Tickets available through Ticketweb.  

2/4/05:  Added a couple of new articles, including a nice one from the San Francisco Bay-Guardian.  No word about new YMG recordings or concerts at the moment.  In December 2004, Stuart played solo at a Chickfactor-sponsored concert in London.  (Topping the bill: a reformed Television Personalities, featuring the just-out-of-jail Dan Treacy!)  Reviews were good, although Stuart’s self-effacing about the whole experience.

10/24/04: Cherry Red has now released an audio CD of the Live At The Hurrah! concerts.  Details in the discography section.

9/5/04. On her recent trip to Sweden, my friend Shirley actually encountered a Noddemix bar.  (You can imagine that I’ve done Web search after Web search on the term “noddemix,” and never found anything.).  I couldn’t help but steal the photo for my site.  Thanks, Shirl.

6/26/04:  Added lots of new materials to the photos and artifacts sections.  Added a scan of the Live At The Hurrah! DVD to the discography section.

6/20/04: Cherry Red has reissued the Live At The Hurrah! videotape on DVD.  Information and ordering here.

4/29/04: Just a few tweaks to the photo page and Re/Search interview.

3/1/04: Added some new photos.  This is a bittersweet series of portraits from November 1980, right after the band called it quits.

I’ve also disabled the guestbook feature for now, since Guestpage seems to have gone offline.  And I’ve updated the message board, with a new URL tot throw spammers off the track.  No registration for now.  Please post away!

2/15/04:  BBC Radio Wales will air a Young Marble Giants documentary on February 18, 2004 at 6:30 pm GMT.  The program will include interviews with Mark Radcliffe, Geoff Travis, Everett True, and the band members themselves.

Here is the BBC blurb, also viewable here:
Wednesday 18th February
Colossal Youth: The Story of Young Marble Giants.
In the early 1980’s Cardiff’s Young Marble Giants were touted as ‘the future of rock ‘n’ roll.’ Today in Wales, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s heard of them. However, they influenced a whole load of international acts including Nirvana, REM, Courtney Love and David Byrne and are still cultishly popular with today’s alternative music fans. Colossal Youth tells the story of who they are, why they were important and why they’ve decided to reform and record new songs for this documentary. The presenter is Huw Williams.

James Hale, who produced the show, was kind enough to email me some photos from YMG’s live session in late January.  Go to the photos section to see them.

1/4/04: Two short items:
* The South Wales Echo recently ran a pair of articles about Young Marble Giants.  You can read them in the articles section.  Note the hints concerning new recordings and concerts.