A new, and favourable review of UV POP's Bendy Baby Man/Anyone For Me here on a German site - http://www.backagain.de/ Here's a rough translation for us English types - Today, everyone knows who is interested in a bit of wave music from the 80s and Minimal-Electro, the English band (long a solo project by John White) UV POP, published their cassette tapes and vinyl records mostly in the first half of the 80s. I do not know if and how successful the band was at that time, it was basically just one of countless groups between wave and pop, that existed at the time. Their minor hit "Serious" though survived in clubs and at the end of the 80s is still a favourite in many ears. A beautiful wave pop anthem with an irresistible melody. In addition, the group was quite forgotten, too, because the recordings were hard to find. In the 90s more and more people discovered yet more little catchy tunes such as "Anyone For Me" or "No Songs Tomorrow" and especially "Sleep Don't Talk" and the old LPs were slowly but surely looking above all, like expensive collectibles . In the third millennium and there is new interest in the band well it did surprise us that nothing was published except for a re-release of "serious" in the mid 90s, but no one released their back catalog. Only in 2011 did UV POP themselves bring out a Best Of CD and now following suit, Genetic Music release the LP 'Bendy Baby Man, "published together with the 12" EP "Anyone For Me" on CD. The music on offer is a wonderful sound of pop, New Wave, Wave guitars and again ultramelodic pop. Take a pinch more or less of melancholy against, a portion of early Smiths - bearing in mind you have UV POP already creating something like 'The The' front of "Infected", a less folky Frank Tovey and the result is music that is quite magical that is fully and most of all UV POP. It would not surprise me, putting here so have a lot of inspiration hrausgezogen when the old Dutch-German heroes Carlo van at The Convent. Was the first album "No Songs Tomorrow" a few outliers up, so is "Bendy Baby Man" far more homogenous and self-contained. An album to "always listen" in the best sense, as there are usually only very large bands like New Order hinbekommen (in other musical contexts) or even the Smiths. The fact that the very rare 12 "EP" Anyone For Me "with equal billing has been included on the CD is likely, for some who seek it, made more than happy more so if it's primarily about the music itself. Finally, there are five great, much more electronic, songs again to buy and all at a fair price. It is also interesting to compare the two quite different drives. Finally, UV POP, are back to tour the world, and have here included two bonus tracks donated one each a live version and the 2011 re-recording of "No Songs Tomorrow". Especially the last song stirs the hope that rests UV POP is not just re-living past glories, but perhaps even writing new songs for future release. The CD comes in a digipak designed simply, the presentation of it is somewhat reminiscent of old factory plates. It would have been nice if they had shown the original artwork and liner notes, maybe just a couple even, but you can not have everything. Wave history at its best, the old bags like me driving one way or another a nostalgic tear in the corner of my eye: so true. (A.P.)
On arrival at Bremen it has to be noted that we knew we were playing tonight on a boat, we knew our support act was a synth duo called No More but other than that we knew nothing. After arriving in Bremen we found negotiating our way down to the boat to be very hard – one way systems are just as confusing in Germany as they are in the UK – this is a fact! But we got there and as we stood gazing at the boat that was to be our night’s venue (a little warily it has to be said) 2 people rushed up to meet us. As they met us they embraced Rainer and Rhona very warmly – clearly they knew each other very well – it was the other band – No More. So after formalities were over we all made our way on to the boat – the footbridge was at quite a startling angle as the tide was out and the final 20 ft or so were like a 1 in 2 – well ok not really but well you had to be there. The venue itself turned out to be great actually – just a fantastic looking place with a smallish stage and a great PA but first we had to get our gear down that slope.. oof! After we set up they put out this amazing feast for us to enjoy a variety of cooked foods including the necessary veggie options for me. The best food so far on the tour and that says something actually. We watched as No more went through their set and they were brilliant but then it was time for our set, we even played ‘Sleep don’t talk’ (just for Rainer). Later as we made our way to the hostel passed by the blues room – a rockin’ pub that appeared to be still open and so we went in, for what John refers to as a snifter. Note that when John refers to something as a snifter he means we get totally rat-arsed. The place was totally rocking with great music and so Jason and Tim decided it was time to get dancing – and they hit the floor with some style – ha ha – as in “NO” style. John also made friends with a few of the locals and there was an unconscious man in the corner who, after being roused by paramedics just promptly ordered another beer – ha ha John’s hero I think. We, Jason, Tim and I, shared a room this night and during the night Tim got up and walked to the door, opened it (he was in his blue pants for connoisseurs of the male undergarment) muttered some nonsense and set off out into the corridor. When it was time to get up, Rhona and Eliza came to knock us up and again he ran to the door in his pants and sped off out – were the girls screaming with joy, disbelief or horror? You decide. And so we left Bremen in a haze of drunken sleepiness (though thankfully both Rhona and Rainer had had the good sense to not get hammered, and off we sped back to Weeze – and home. What happened post blues club last night will be forever lost in the legends of UV POP over Bremen but suffice to say that a very drunken Tim going in pursuit of a strip joint might well have happened. But I’m saying nothing. The journey went well though and by the time we hit Weeze I could even accept a cup of coffee – quite an improvement I think. On the ferry we got a cabin upgrade this meant some champagne, yeah well OK, nicer towels OK, some fruit – oh come on – and a better telly – yeah we could watch the x-factor ! Now I don’t want to elaborate too much about the meal as I am still filled with the horror of it all (stop giggling at the back) – Anyhoo I decided on having something like what was offered on the way out – fish and chips – and there in it’s usual place was a nicely breaded fish steak. Only while I was sat at the table munching away on this new fishy delight did I hear – “Tony – that’s not fish – it’s turkey”. Well having been a “veggie/fishy” for some 20 odd years it was a shock. One I will never live down in fact as I am often offered a fish wing for dinner – oof!! Curse those boat self service dish type filler, fellas. It’s all their fault.
And so the journey to Witten was long OK, not so long as the journey East from Weeze to Berlin, but long enough. We arrived in time for soundcheck – hurrah and the place we were playing was relatively new. It was a lot bigger than the King Kong Klub and resembled a large leisure centre – hope they have a pool! Anyway it was super modern venue with a big stage, purpose built lighting booth and enormous desk. We were in time to catch Patrick as he soundchecked and afterwards John got to chat with him. They were one time road buddies when, in the early days of UV POP and John would venture south to London he would often find himself rolling up at Patrick’s where he’d spend the night. Well the dressing room was interesting, We got to share a tiny room with super cool duo – Sixth June and Patrick. I nibbled on the veggie section of the rider. We set up but couldn’t soundcheck for the meteors were only half way through their soundcheck, waiting for our bass rig, which they were borrowing. So I watched sixth June as they went through theirs, they seemed to be unhappy with how it was going but they did sound great to me – I made a mental not not to miss their set later. Eventually the Meteors turned up and ran through their soundcheck, didn’t take that long actually so in no time at all the big lads vacated the stage and it was down to us. After soundcheck I wanted to chill in the dressing room but, it’s not illegal in Germany chaps, a few people sat smoking in our tiny dressing room an, especially since I am asthmatic, I had to abandon the rider (I mean smoking while sat right by the food) and leave the room. Annoying! I spent most of the time hanging round the lobby instead. As the show got underway I checked out the set from Sixth June – they were great, a Serbo-hungarian two-piece with a the beautiful but ice-cool singer while on keys was the artist – Laszlo who had designed our Bendy Baby Man/Anyone For Me re-issue (released 7th Nov by Genetic music, check out it out on discogs). They were great actually but seemed a little cold and detached, but their back projections were very arty – I loved what they were doing there. Later I discovered they hated their show though – I found out later why though as they told me how the sound man, not realising they were fluent German speakers had said to one of his assistants “Oh it’s just another shit disco band – who cares” Schoolboy error! Well anyway we hit the stage to find someone had been trying to sabotage our show – twiddling with the pots on our amps – whoever it was they’re just a bunch of losers!! It didn’t work of course but how sad is it when you get people trying these tricks at this level. It’s a warning to all of you bands out there – some bands are not as supportive as they could be, but we took it as a compliment – someone obviously felt threatened. We reckon we know who it was too. Anyhoo – we played a great set and the audience was brilliant. Several people filmed it and already we have seen a youtube vid of Serious on the web. Check out UV POP- Serious at Witten I love it.. Afterwards we had more of the signing as our merch sold like hot cakes. We spent most of the Meteors set doing this – and I sincerely hope no-one interfered with their amps. After the gig we left for the town of Bochum – here is where we should have been playing – the Zwischenfall gig (tonight’s gig at Witten was in fact a benefit) but anyway this is where our hotel was and it was pure luxury. Oh don’t you just love gigging in Germany we’re so well looked after. But what a sting in the tail – back at the hotel I was told by Rainer (from Genetic music) that they’d be meeting us for breakfast at 10am and could I let the others know. I knocked at Jason and Tim’s room to pass the message on and Jason kindly let me know where John and Fiona’s room was. They sniggered behind their door as, at 3 in the morning I knocked up an old couple... the bastardinos!!!
Leaving Weeze was easy-peasy, we were soon hurtling along the autobahn at a suitably reckless 120km p.h. Of course I had slept like a princess on a pea and was so tired that I commandeered the long seat at the back of the van and before you could say snoring like a chainsaw I was fast asleep. An hour or so later though and I was busy at my keyboard writing all the details necessary for our Prs application to help with our visa application for next year when make the trip to SXSW.. Well that’s all another story but the form filling is quite a headache actually..Pht!! After a long while we reached, and picnicked at the old border between East and West. How bizarre it was to be sat there chilling our behinds off but all the time enjoying the excellent food provided by the lovely Eliza. Well cheese and bread really, but context is everything I find. It’s odd how field after field, tree after tree becomes building after building, overhead railways and inner city sprawl – one becomes the other but you’re never sure just when it happens – no field and then bang – city. It’s like an organic thing that grows by surprise and you find yourself gawping at the hugeness of it all; the commanding landscape of graffiti-clad houses, shops and eateries. The usual mix of burger, curry and falafel you find in most cities these days. A quick stop at the hostel and then (we were already late for soundcheck) we made our way to the venue – King Kong Klub. It wasn’t so far away but outside, well it is the centre of Berlin fellas, there were no parking areas so we pulled up with the van and rushed out with the gear. Inside, the atmosphere was a heady mix of grimly bohemian – in a nice way, how weird was the PA set up with the sideways facing PA, speakers perched edgeways atop the towers. Surely the sound wasn’t going to be sooo bad – was it? As we were setting up, I was introduced to our sound guy for the evening, who seemed affable enough but he seemed to me to be a little influenced by some herb he might have smoked maybe. Just a thought you know. After half an hour of trying to get Fiona’s keyboards through the PA (it was a faulty channel) we had something of an OK soundcheck but the mic strapped to the PA column was a little worrying – John called it right when he thought about how microphonic the mics might be. After a while the venue filled up – there was a sizeable crowd in and happily the guys from the UK came through too – brilliant stuff guys! I was busy with organising the back projection so didn’t spend much time back stage munching on the rider (my lap top was in a vulnerable place) but the good thing was that I saw, as the rest of the band walked out on stage, the audience reaction. It was great that they gave us such a warm reception even before a single note was played. I joined them and as John played the opening phrase to Portrait a cheer went up – our German adventure was finally under way. Afterwards John got on with signing copies of the CDs and the vinyl single (Just A Game) which were selling like mad things and chatted with the crowd - he was in his element. After that we headed off to the Hostel where I slept – not well at all!! Early morning and we were up, ready to make the long journey back across country from Berlin to the town of Witten. We hung around in the lobby waiting for Rainer, Rhona and Eliza (don’t ever believe the cliché about Germans always being punctual guys – it’s just so not true. Well after about an hour of empty bellied boredom – oh man another photo of the chunk of the Berlin wall outside to make – sigh!! But when they came we tucked into the recurring breakfast routine of cheese, bread and bird seed sticks... We love all that stuff. Just kidding guys..
And so our adventure in Germany began with an excellent podcast from the beautiful but small town of Weeze. After an uneventful North sea crossing (like a bowling ball on a billiard table – really it was that smooth) we docked in Zeebrugge and immediately John and Jason were launched into the interesting experience of driving on the right hand side of the road. Took us 4 long hours to take the almost straight route from port to town but then again we had Johnny 55 with us so it really would take a while zzz!! We made slow progress through Belgium (my second visit) through the Netherlands (My first) and on to Germany (again my first) where, just across the border we arrived in Rainer’s town of Weeze. After an excellent lunch (prepared by the beautiful Eliza) we took a walk around town – straight to the shop where we bought more beer – this is rock’n’roll, we began planning this evenings podcast Setting up all the technical stuff seemed relatively straightforward right - we had done this 3 times before already and so it should be second nature to us – ah well no actually. First of all we found John’s computer wouldn’t connect with the site - no matter how hard I tried, even setting up a different profile, it didn’t work. So in desperation I set up my laptop and - pht!!! It did it straight away.... Then as I tried to log into our site I found that, using my laptop I couldn’t – some server was asking me to log into it on some nonsense about it being changed – or something. Panic PANIC!! But not to worry – John’s computer worked perfectly so WTF?.. And with minutes to spare we had it up and finally running – we were going to broadcast on time after all, well what else could go wrong? Oh the damn thing crashed!!! John spotted that there were 3 bars appearing permanently on the volume meters.. Not good! So we had to re-boot it all, crossed fingers aaaand it worked!! Ten minutes late and we were finally broadcasting – with an introduction (in German naturlich) by the shy Rainer (we really had to make a lot of effort to make him do this..... No we didn’t, he was a pussycat really!! During the podcast we were surprised because we weren’t getting our usual stream of comments from people viewing – a little disconcerting because we had the strange feeling that maybe no-one was watching us at all and all the effort was in vain. But we carried on song after song in expectation we were just playing for ourselves but once we finished we refreshed the page and crikey me – all the comments appeared at once – damn this day of technical trials - at least we got all the difficulties out of the way on day one – now we could relax and everything would run smoothly.... Ha Ha!! Oh if only. So the morning after – the 3rd of November, we were up very early for breakfast to transfer all the equipment we’d removed from our cars, taken into Rainer’s house to store, out of Rainer’s and into the van we had hired and Rainer’s Audi. Totally knackered again we set off on the long-long journey East to Berlin.
We are happy to announce that we are coming to Germany to headline a mini-tour over there. Details are only just coming in and complete information isn’t available yet but - we can tell you this much!
We are there from the 3rd of November
The dates are as follows -
Thursday 3rd November - King Kong Klub Berlin http://www.king-kong-klub. de/ Friday 4th November - Gruenspan Hamburg http://www.gruenspan.de/ with support band - Sonnenbrandt. Saturday 5th November - Zwischenfall http://www.zwischenfall-cl ub.de/site/cms/front_conte nt.php?idcat=11&lang=1 With Danach Aftershow Party
For our German friends (well our German speaking friends) and I am afraid we are not one man, one guitar, saxophone and a Revox machine but, we are UV POP!
Eine Gitarre, ein Saxophon, Revoxbandmaschinen und ein hagerer junger Mann.Ein sonnenbrandverheißendes Buchstabenkürzel vor dem PØP, das so ganz und gar nicht zu der blassen und knochigen Erscheinung von John White passen will. Klänge und Visionen mit einer Ausstrahlung, die trotz der eingesetzten Technik den ´human touch´ nicht vermissen lassen.Von einer bekannten englischen Musikzeitung wurde U.V. PØP Anfang dieses Jahrzehnts als ´die Ein-Mann-Band der Achtziger´ bezeichnet. Dre lange Jahre mußte John White warten. Jetzt könnte die Prophezeiung an Realität gewinnen. U.V. PØP ist eine erneute Entdeckung wert.
Kommando Welle Neulich!
We are more pleased about this than many things because we are aware of the warmth we have received from Germany over the years and finally we are able to return that love by playing these concerts there. Hopefully we shall be fitting a fourth date - possibly across the border into Holland. Whatever happens - you’ll read it here!
We have finally sorted out our own web site - there's a lot of stuff on there and we're adding to it all the time so -come along and take a look see - uvpop.co.uk
You can get a brand spanking new copy of Serious - in a download (wave,mp3,flac etc) of your choice by just folowing the link from here.
We do this because we love you..
Sat with John at the keys last night where we went through tracks from the first UV POP album. Some - "No songs tomorrow" and "Portrait" are already in the set along with other songs from that time- "Anyone for me" and "Turkey bones"...and the ever popular "Serious". But one song in particular- "Sleep don't talk" has been missing.. well this might well change.. lost in time are the sounds we got from the vintage keys- (the legendary wasp) but I have an emulation and it sounds great.. well almost!! Anyone not familiar with the original keyboard- well touch sensitive pads really- won't be able to imagine just how unreliable a beast it was.. but unreliability brought with it extra-ordinary sounds and a biting edge with- well quite a sting. Gone forever from our soundbank but now- with this new emulation we can have it almost all- so will we be performing it again? Oh I hope so..don't you?
Our ep "Sea the stars" is now available for download. Well you can order it anyway-it's release date is the 6th of September- as I'd suspected it would be so you can follow this link and listen to snippets of the tracks before you place your order.- http://www.circuitrecords.co.uk/shop/shop.asp?artistid=37
Or, if you follow this link to our facebook page and scroll down the page, you'll reach our music player where you will be able to pick the same songs, and listen in to them in full, before buying..:) http://www.facebook.com/pages/UV-POP/208139675512 There you go- now that is nice...isn't it?
A free download of Serious 2010 is available from here - http://uvpop.bandcamp.com/track/serious