Sunday, 13 March 2011

Little-known bands, Part IV:

Fette Farben

Indie-rock band from Ralbjerg (RAL). Despite its name, which makes fun of the Baring language, the band is known for serious lyrics about society's outsiders, melancholic state of life, and mostly unhappy love. Fette Farben has become a well-known name in the gig world of most of the Nexboean-speaking parts of Nexdomtaso, yet remains without a record contract. That is why the band released the self-financed 8-track album Schwarz in 5000 copies in November 34, together with the promotional single Nete Fra Nordbyen.

The Ground

Quartet from Mock Quisbee (LAR) whose slow, at times almost silent indiepop-style songs were often based on social questions. The best known example is the cult classic Anonymous Android (from the third album Waiver) whose lyrics about alienation in a materialistic society are reputed to be the most-quoted on Larnese wall graffittis.

The Ground was formed in 23 by university dropout Phileas Noice (vox and bass) and two of his former university mates, Peter Hamilton (guitar) and Rüdiger Althmann (keyboards), the latter being an exchange student from Innstadt (BAL). Norbert Wick, originally from Overwind (LAR), soon joined on drums. The debut album Fragments Of Outer Life was released in October 23 and highly praised by indie critics but never sold very well. Gone Jigging from March 25 didn't do much better but gave the band enough material to tour for nearly two years, mostly to universities and underground clubs around the Chanalian Islands.

Waiver, partly recorded during the tour, was not finalised and released until December 30. An everything but streamlined ragbag of rough recordings on one side and more polished arrangements than on the former albums on the other side, this 23-song double album became the band's biggest commercial success, not least because of Anonymous Android. One reason for the long production time of the album was that Althmann tragically died in an accident in January 28. The keyboards and synths were taken over first by by Eastwimpton music conservatory graduate Michael Sothburn and later by a childhood friend of Wick's, Mickey Winder.

The Ground's last album ― and only the fourth in 12 years ― entitled Tales Of Metropolitan Wisdom was released in June 35.

Posh Hippies

Rock band from Fredericaville (VMI), formed and lead by singer, guitarist and keyboarder Julian Evermore (real name Julian Madison, born 10 in Fredericaville as the son of a mostly unemployed blacksmith and a committed mother who earned a living for her alcoholic husband and seven children by hard work of different kinds).

Julian had always been fond of music and got his first guitar from a junkyard at the age of 8. A 16-year old cousin gave Julian guitar lessons in return for carrying light drugs for him. A highly creative mind, Julian seemed to never notice that he was marginalised both by teachers and pupils at school. He set up theatre plays but was eventually thrown out of secondary school because he caused a scandal in front of parents as a play he had written and directed turned out to be lewd.

After a few years of taking on occasional jobs to help his mother, he got in touch with a Fredericaville pub owner, formed a 5-piece band almost overnight, and gave a gig of crazy and mostly improvised songs. This was in early spring 32. The producer Mick Farnell from the growing Be At Ease label happened to be in the pub that night. Rumours say he was drunk but he did sign a contract with the band... that in fact had no name. Evermore came up with 'Posh Hippies', inspired by an ad in which the words 'hush puppies' were used.

Only two months later, the weird but joyfully melodical poprock album In A World Of Green was released. It became one of that year's biggest commercial successes but Evermore and his everchanging band members never got a lot of money out of it, as Farnell took the biggest share, especially from the revenues on other continents. For example, the only single Hayadoo became a summer plague in parts of Nexdomtaso, and the concerts that Farnell arranged for the band to give at festivals there turned out to be a bad deal financially for the Posh Hippies.

After one such concert, the band split, or rather Julian Evermore sent the others back to Fredericaville, leaving two concert commitments unfulfilled. His current whereabouts are not known.

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