Thursday, 27 January 2011

True Grit

Sean Tyla must have seriously questioned the validity of his existence when Dire Straits made it massive.
Back in the day the two bands could often be found playing side by side on the same billing; back in the day there were plenty of boozy venues crying out for solid rock acts.

Tyla Gang, as with Dire Straits, never sat easy among their contemporaries - my next post really highlights that - but were regularly lumped in with the 'new' punk movement and were often described as a pub-rock band.
In reality they were a long way away from Eddie and The Hot Rods and Kilburn and The High Roads, and they sounded nothing like 999; Tyla Gang just happened to be doing their thing at the same time; the venues just happened to be pubs.

Although, it must be said, it was the great champion of punk, John Peel, who introduced me to Sean Tyla's music; but like the best of us, Peel was never one to confine himself to a single genre, and really he had an ear and an enthusiasm for anything good.
Peace be upon him.

And it was this album, their second and last, that really caught me.
Many consider Yachtless, their debut, to be their best, but I think the second side of this album - from 'Spanish Street' onwards - is one of the finest collections of tracks from any British rock band of that time.

The songs are gritty, hard-played, and in that uniquely British way real seedy; perfectly capturing the run-down, beat sensibility which troubled so many at the end of that abysmal decade.

It suited the band to sign to an American label (Beserkley) as Tyla's muse had already taken him there. There's a sense of imaginative longing in his songs, a desire for better things; exotic things; things sensational, exciting and thrilling.
At the time, the late seventies, there seemed nothing more exotic and exciting than televisual America, and Tyla delineates it so well you'd think he was born on the West Coast; in fact he's a Yorkshireman.

But hey, forget that.
Grab this. Click on the track 'American Mother', turn it up to about seven or eight and prepare to be completely blown away.

And it still sounds good for a well played thirty-three year old cut of sickly yellow vinyl.

Tyla Gang - Moonproof (1978)

Tropical Love
Oakland Red
It's Gonna Rain
Did You Hear it on the Radio
Spanish Street
No Roses
American Mother
Suicide Jockey
Flashing in the Subway

Nice vinyl rip @320kbs
Join the Gang here


grantwe said...

Nice t-shirt

. said...

Tsk. Don't you know *anything* about how to handle vinyl?

roy rocket said...

Camden Market.

I find if you put a pound coin on top of the cartridge the stylus is able to plough its way through any amount of dirt and sebum.

Spencer said...

I just got this record completely by accident at a yard sale. I bought one record and this record was also inside as a hidden bonus. I knew nothing of the band, but after dropping the needle on track one I knew I found a gem. I'm listening to the record now as I read your blog entry. So far so good. Sort of a Bruce Springsteen meets power pop. Love it.

roy rocket said...

Ah, Sean Tyler.
He emerges from the most mysterious of places.
Enjoy, roy.