I was introduced to the music of The Purple Things by Blond Stuart, the nephew of 'Admiral' John Halsey (drummer with The Rutles, Timebox and others).
Blond Stuart (there must have been a glut of Stuarts at the time) introduced me to quite a lot of interesting music, to which I'd like to thank him now:
Thanks, Blond Stuart, wherever you may be.
The Purple Things only existed as a band for a couple of years, but during their brief stay managed to release an album and a couple of excellent extended plays; all now deleted and criminally unobtainable.
Their first lengthy release, the mini-LP Out of the Deep, I feel really captures them at their best.
Full of energy, brimming with enthusiasm and despite the retro psychobilly, garage-punk style it sounds remarkably fresh; in the same way listening to The Monks or The Sonics sounds fresh, mainly due to the lack of manipulation in the recording: when you listen to The Purple Things, you can hear the valves humming.
The stand-out tracks are 'Shadowed Room', with its lengthy gurgly outro; a classic rendition of the old nugget 'Girl I want You'; and the marvellously paced instrumental: 'Theme for the Gunship Reptile', a track that finds its inspiration in the surf genre as much as neo-garage.
Deep in the Mind Of was the band's first release and again relies heavily on the rawness of the live-like sound. The opening track, a confident version of the rockabilly standard 'Wild Man', really marks their territory and pushes an oversized stiff quiff right into your face.
But then they go and challenge the listener's conventional ear, and move about as far away from psychobilly and garage-punk as possible (for a psychobilly, garage-punk band that is) during the track 'Insect Bones and the Astronauts'; a track that starts conventionally enough (well for a psychobilly, garage-punk song at least) but moves towards a more Butthole Surfers kind of sound.
In fact the Butthole Surfers is a good comparison; if you like the more psychobilly styled numbers the Surfers released this may well be worth checking out.
A very English flavoured take on a very American genre; hegemonically speaking of course.
The Purple Things - Out Of the Deep (1986)
Girl I want You
Suzie Cream Cheese
Theme For the Gunship Reptile
The Purple Things - Deep in the Mind Of (1985)
Subterranean Cave Mind
Beautiful Red Sky
Insect Bones and the Astronauts
Immaculate cassette rip
Make yourself go all all purple here