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Wouter E.



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Erstellt: 29.01.2011
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The HOBBY HORSE "Singles Collection" would also prove to be the last releases under the HOBBY HORSE moniker. In July of 2008, STEVEN COLLINS sent out a message on the label's mailing list announcing he put the label to rest. The reason was that he found out there was another HOBBY HORSE label in the US which, though more or less inactive, had trademarked the name. To avoid potential problems later on, the label was renamed to MIDWICH RECORDS.

Apart from the new name, another big change for the label was a deal they struck with SOUTHERN RECORDS. They would manufacture and distribute all future releases. Furthermore, "A Garland of Song" would be reissued both on CD and vinyl. For the occasion, the album was remastered and partly rerecorded. This reissue would also have completely different artwork designed by DOM COOPER, who has since become their in-house designer and is in charge of most of the artwork and the website design. Thanks to this reissue, THE OWL SERVICE's debut was easily available again. The remaining early recordings were compiled in "The Petrifying Well", which was also the first MIDWICH RECORDS release to see the light of day.

New THE OWL SERVICE material was released in the form of "The Bitter Night" EP, the first single of the HOBBY HORSE "Singles Collection" and the first new recordings since "A Garland of Song". Another EP, "The Fabric of Folk", was released through STATIC CARAVAN and was a collaboration with ALISON O'DONNELL, one of the singers of '60s folk rock outfit MELLOW CANDLE.

The line-up of THE OWL SERVICE was further enhanced with the addition of JASON STEEL on guitar. By now, depending on the occasion, the line-up would consist of up to seven people. And quite a few of these people would release their solo material through MIDWICH RECORDS too in the next year. Previously, the releases on HOBBY HORSE/MIDWICH RECORDS were mostly by THE OWL SERVICE but 2009 would see releases by NANCY WALLACE with "Old Songs" and JASON STEEL's "Eternal Embers" EP.

The only THE OWL SERVICE release of 2009 would be a short EP called "Tigon Session" which can be considered a follow-up to the "Cine" EP from 2006. As with its predecessor, it contained interpretations of some classic horror movie soundtracks. As can be guessed from the title, the movies are from the TIGON stable: "Blood on Satan's Claw" and "Witchfinder General". Throughout the year, THE OWL SERVICE would be working on "The Pattern Beneath The Plough", a project consisting of four releases, one of which would eventually become their second full album.

Fresh blood was added to the roster too in 2009. THE KITTIWAKES released "Lofoten Calling", a concept album about the Lofoten Islands in arctic Norway. ELLEN MARY McGEE, formerly of the band SAINT JOAN, released her solo debut "The Crescent Sun" the same year. The album is mixture of traditional (murder) ballads and self-penned material.

Another interesting release this year was "Midnight House", an album of mainly improvised material performed by STEVEN COLLINS and LAURA HULSE under the name THE TRYSTING TREE. This was once again a homemade CD-R release and a few others would follow: and EP titled "Conversations With Death (Five Excursions Into Dark Americana)" which is a compilation of cover songs performed by various MIDWICH artists. A Halloween special was also released in a very limited run. The main attraction on the Halloween EP were the inclusion of three songs by THE FIENDS, a special one-off project consisting of STEVEN COLLINS, DOM COOPER and JASON Steel that exclusively played MISFITS covers. The DIY nature and independent stance of MISFITS has always been an influence on THE OWL SERVICE. A few years earlier, on Halloween 2006, a cover version of another MISFITS song, "Halloween", was made available on the band's MySpace page.

To finish off this overview of 2009 releases, the next two installments of the much-plagued Hobby Horse Singles Collection came out: JASON STEEL's "We Deserve Fire" and THE GARDENELLES' contribution "John Paul Jones".

Wouter E. für nonpop.de

Verweise zum Artikel:
» Rif Mountain Records
» Rif Mountain @ SoundCloud
» Review of "A Garland Of Song" & Interview with Steven Collins @ NONPOP (both in German)

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