Thursday 12 April 2012

A Birdie demo tape

Paul Kelly kindly gave me Birdie's first demo tape in 1996 at a club I used to run. He was probably sick of me badgering him about an East Village reunion gig and was using his new band as a diversion. And what a diversion! These tracks came out as Birdie's debut single on Summershine. I asked Paul last week if they were the same versions: "I think these probably are the versions that were on the single but I'm not sure. They sound quite nice with the slight tape distortion though."

Alan McGee paid for the recording, but wasn't interested in releasing them on Creation. McGee did, after all, have to reserve his funds at that time to break Hurricane #1 and 3 Colours Red. McGee revealed last year that he "can't be arsed with music anymore", a conclusion many of us had reached long before last year; before, even, he rejected Birdie.

Paul and Debsey have just started a new band, The Bark Flares, and play their first gig on 21 April at the Betsey Trotwood with The Fallen Leaves and Trees and the Slipway. I suspect the leaves/trees/bark connection between the bands is conincidental. If their second gig is with Beachwood Sparks, then there might be something in it. Entrance is free.

Spiral Staircase

Port Sunlight


  1. The first clip is Linus not Spiral Staircase.

    As for the second yes, the Port Sunlight version does sound like the B-side to the Spiral Staircase debut single on Summershine. It is better than the version in the Some Dusty album IMHO.

    Would love to hear more about The Bark Flares!

    Vernon Lee

  2. Thanks for the correction. I saw the Bark Flares recently - they played only Birdie songs because their drummer couldn't make the gig and he's needed for the new Bark Flares songs. So I don't know what they sound like. No gigs forthcoming; time moves slowly in Birdie/Bark Flares land...