Time Machine 01
It’s 10 years today since we threw a party to launch our now legendary ‘Psych For Sore Eyes’ EP at the Red Gallery in London’s trendy Shoreditch. With no consideration for musical history, the site — which also included the much-missed KLF-related bar the Foundry — has since been cleared, and will be the art’otel London Hoxton (which, presumably, has a silent ‘f’).
Back in February 2013, it was the scene for a somewhat stressful night when headliners Hookworms somehow set up on the wrong floor and then had to heave their entire PA down two flights of stairs to set up all over again as door-time rapidly approached. The Early Years also played, and I think Younghusband did too, but neither of those were on the actual EP.
It all came from a chance meeting with Luke, John and Therese, the group of designers known as Heretic, who came along to see a Disappears gig at Corsica Studios with our mutual friend Jamie Putnam. At some point that night, or on a subsequent occasion, we formed an idea for a record that would somehow be a visual as well as an aural feast, with added punning.
Nowadays every town seems to have a psych fest, and ‘psych’ just seems to mean anything vaguely alternative, but back in the heady days of 2013, it was quite the buzzword. The Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia had launched the previous year, and the tribes were gathering.
So, I cobbled together six tracks from some new bands I liked (one of whom was the lovely Lorelle Meets The Obsolete, whose fourth album for Sonic Cathedral will be released later this year), got them mastered by Sonic Boom and pressed them up on two 7” singles (one red, one green). Heretic then wrapped them in a stunning, hand-printed poster that could only be truly appreciated with the accompanying pair of 3D glasses.
The fold itself was a work of origami art, and took all three Heretics and myself — watched over by a local mouse and warmed by spicy snacks from the Roti Stop in Stoke Newington — a very, very long evening to complete.
The 300 copies were then transported through the snow to the Post Office piled high on my infant son’s pushchair. This was the first release on Sonic Cathedral to sell out on pre-order! We got coverage on Pitchfork! We argued online with flippers who immediately sold their copies on eBay!
Each copy included an invite to the gig, which brings us back to where we came in; a whole decade gone by in the blink of a sore eye.