Published Jan 22, 2014Weekend, the band vocalist Alison Statton formed shortly after the dissolution of cult post-punk favourites Young Marble Giants, are having some of their earliest recorded material highlighted via a vinyl reissue of The '81 Demos. Blackest Ever Black will put the 12-inch edition of the demos into stores March 3.
A press release notes that the recording was made in 1981 after Statton had hooked up with Reptile Ranch member Mark 'Spike' Williams and guitarist Simon Booth. The four-song set includes songs that would later appear on the band's 1982 full-length debut La Varieté, though the demo versions differ from those later interpretations.
The EP's "Red Planes," for instance, is described as "both starker and more richly atmospheric" than the one on La Varieté, playing out as a "a dubwise dream-pop epic" fuelled by a minimalist drum machine beat and Williams's violin. Of the latter, Statton said in a statement that the stringwork "soars and dives and weaves through every possible mood with no inhibitions, creating an almost psychedelic feel, with a menacing undercurrent."
You can stream the song down below.
An early version of "Drumbeat for Baby," here called "Drumbeat," is said to be stripped of the jazzier inclinations heard on La Varieté, while instrumental track "Summerdays" showcases the fluid guitar playing of Booth.
Another difference between the demos and their full-length counterparts is that by the time La Varieté arrived, Weekend's lineup had been beefed up to include jazz-influenced members Larry Stabbins on saxophone, Roy Dodds on drums and Dawson Miller on percussion.
The '81 Demos had previously been issued by Japanese imprint Vinyl Japan in 1995 and as bonus cuts on Cherry Red's 2006 CD reissue of La Varieté. You'll find the tracklisting down below.
The '81 Demos:
2. Red Planes
4. Summerdays Instrumental