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Issue 28: 19 Jun 1999

The world's only FREE music mag edited by a bunch of semi-insane sociopaths who do odd things as they write. (allegedly.)

Currently lurking at the controls of the ISMO starship are Mr Slutto, Siggsworthy Craggs, Atilla the Hen and Graham Inglis


THE GOSSIPPING HEN: music industry news.

MUSIC FEATURE: Mike Odlfield - new album & upcoming tour.

WEIRD SCENES INSIDE T`GOLDMINE: including the Sinead saga, Beatles song unearthed, 'Bones' dies.


CD REVIEWS: Jeff Beck, Dark Star, Gang Starr, Liz Horsman, Sarah McLachlan, Number One Cup, Red Hot Chilli Peppers.

TWITCHY THE TRAMP fights the malign forces of cleanliness in his local park.


Atilla - our intrepid news-gathering musical hen - has gone away to have his spurs sharpened, so in this issue it's Graham who listens at windows and hangs around in lavatories... er sorry, bars.

Lionel Fanthorpe, the leather-clad vicar who fronts 'Fortean TV', is shortly to go into the studio with Jon Downes & the Amphibians from Outer Space. Watch out for fenian style weird shit including songs about monster-hunting and even possibly a hit single...

The Hawkwind space machine could soon be activated by Voiceprint Records, who are looking to treat us to CD versions of the original 'Weird Tapes' - Stonehenge 77, Hawklords, Brock solo stuff etc; the complete 'Live 79' set (including Tim Blake's 'Jerusalem' and the full rendition of 'Silver Machine'; and other previously-unreleased stuff ranging from 1975 to 1982. Triffic.


Mike Oldfield

New studio album, upcoming tour

by Graham Inglis

Mike Oldfield album cover

Mike Oldfield: 'Guitars'

WEA 3984-27401-2 * * * * * Released 24 May 1999

43 minutes of a variety of guitar-based instrumentals, some pretty raunchy and fuzzy, several warmly dense with a nice open mix, and everything played by Oldfield. He generates the drums and bass too, making this the nearest that our favourite tubular bell tinkler has yet come to heavy rock. And almost all of the ten tracks are under 4 minutes long, too.

Early plans for a series of guest guitarists were abandoned when Mike decided he could do the whole lot himself. Fair enough: if you want a job done well, then do it yourself, they say - and Mike does, layering the guitars up, sometimes in John Martyn style, and completely fulfilling the name of the album.

Computer technology including sampling and MIDI sequencing help Oldfield bring his own interpretation to various styles, including B B King, the Stones and the grungy end of ambient mood music.

Mike's and WEA's comments on some of the 8 tracks:

Cochise - a native AmerIndian sounding track, loosely based on the opening riff of Led Zep's 'Whole Lotta Love' - a persona fav of his. (and mine - Graham)

Embers - recorded with the aid of a custom-made classical Spanish guitar constructed by world-renowned guitar maker Ramirez, that Mike describes as a delight to play, with a deep bass end producing a sound reminiscent of a cello.

Four Winds - the north wind is stormy and harsh with pounding abrasive guitars, the south wind has a lazy hot summer's day feel to it, the east wind has Indian undertones with samples from sitar, fretless bass and feedback effects... (And the west wind sounds like the score from a US Western. Music to shoot people to? - Graham)

Out of Mind - born out of Mike's love of rock 'n' roll. With the Rolling Stones' sound as a base, he set about recreating his own version of their style by using a guitar synth program called 'Keith Richards' as a starting block. (If Ben Johnson had had the use of starting blocks like this then who knows... - Graham)

Tour dates:

Oldfield's 30-date 'Then and Now' European tour starts in Bupapest on 18 June and takes in 10 countries. There's two UK dates: 13 July Wembly Arena and 14 July Brum NEC. His first indoor dates for six years, so get those credit cards out!


News items we've stolen from various places heh heh heh



Star Trek actor DeForest Kelley has died aged 79 after a long illness.

Kelley became known as 'Bones' to legions of Star Trek fans, playing Dr McCoy on the original 1960s series. The McCoy 'country doctor' character played a major part in the series' later attainment of cult status as it was the chemistry between Kelley, Shatner and Nimoy that is one of the most enduring features of the show.

Born DeForest Jackson Kelley in Atlanta, Georgia, on 20 January, 1920, his career dream was to become a doctor like the uncle who delivered him. But his family did not have the funds to send him to medical school and he drifted into singing and theatre. His early screen credits include Gunfight at the OK Corral and Bonanza. Kelley is survived by his wife of nearly 55 years, Carolyn.



Sir Paul McCartney has vowed to use his late wife Linda's vegetarian range of meals to spearhead the fight against the introduction of genetically modified (GM) foods into the UK.

The former Beatle is spending 3 million pounds ($5,000,000) to ensure Linda's food brands are free from contamination by genetically mutated organisms. As McCartney launched his campaign, he criticised UK prime minister Blair for backing GM foods.

Meanwhile, the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, has scrapped plans for tests on GM crops because the costs of insurance against attacks by protesters are too high. - Daily Express 11 Jun 99


Texas (APBNews): Country crooner Ray Price sang his classic hit "Release Me" at a command performance last week - at the command of a judge.

The 73-year-old western warbler showed up in municipal court for a bail hearing on March 19, a few hours after local cops stopped him in the street and charged him with possession of marijuana.

Born near Perryville on Jan. 12, 1926, Price had his first No. 1 hit, 'Crazy Arms', in 1956. He is known to his adoring fans as the Frank Sinatra of country music.


Help is at hand for anyone who has ever gone crazy trying to remember the name of a drug buzzing around their head. Er sorry, that should be tune buzzing around their head...

Computer scientists at the University of Waikato in New Zealand have developed an Internet-based system that will name that tune after you sing a few notes into a personal computer. ‘Users can literally sing a few bars and have all melodies containing that sequence of notes retrieved and displayed,’ the scientists report on the university's digital library website.

The Melody Index (or MELDEX) service is currently in development and thus far limited to 9,400 folk songs from around the world. - Reuters


A University of Florida fraternity will be charged with operating as a brothel and up to 55 members and pledges may also face charges stemming from an initiation rite that included sex with strippers.

The alleged incident came to light when one of two strippers hired for the initiation ceremony told police she was raped by one of the fraternity members. That prompted an investigation that turned up eight hours of video tape showing members and pledges of the Delta Chi fraternity house tossing (yes, tossing) money at the women while they engaged in sex with several of the young men and with one another, according to a report by the University Police.

The fraternity as a whole will be charged with operating a place for the purpose of lewdness or assignation. As for the tapes, they could someday make their way to a video store shelf: since no sexual assault charges are involved, Florida law would generally make all criminal evidence available to the public once prosecutions are completed. - Reuters. (We at ISMO want a review copy, please...)


A mother is accused of stabbing her 22-year-old son to death with a bread knife after he refused to turn down his stereo.

‘The mother and son had an argument over the hi-fi being too loud. She allegedly stabbed him in the back with a bread knife,’ Captain Louis Jacobs said. The woman then went off to a nearby tavern while another son and his cousin raised the alarm. By the time help arrived the victim was dead. - Reuters

Yes, but the point is, what the fuck was he listening to? If it was Simon & Garfunkel, say, then the mother can plead mitigation.

Liverpool is going yellow this summer for a giant "Beatlennium" to celebrate the city's most famous sons.

More than 100,000 fans from 35 countries are expected in the northern English city where 150 bands will be performing the songs of the world's most famous pop group.

The Beatles cartoon film 'Yellow Submarine' has been restored and renovated for a new world premiere on August 30, which Liverpool City Council is declaring ‘Yellow Submarine Day.’

The film, which includes footage cut from the 1968 original, will be released worldwide on video in September with an album of remastered and remixed songs from the movie.

The three surviving members of the group also unearthed from the 1968 recording session a long-lost song which will be released as a single. ’It's a real rocker,’ said Beatles spokesman Geoff Baker. The song features the late John Lennon on vocals and was recorded at the Abbey Road studios during sessions for the psychedelic cartoon fantasy. - Reuters.


Polka dots and pink flamingoes are the latest weapons in North Carolina's war on crime. Troublesome inmates at Rockingham county jail are now sent to an isolation cell painted from floor to ceiling in vivid yellow, broken up by purple dots of varying sizes.

Warders say they are more than happy with the results of the psychedelic torture. The rest of the prison has been painted in a variety of hippy colours, swirls and patterns, designed to cheer up those who work there and depress the prisoners. In an annexe, two pink flamingoes stand on either side of a banana tree. Outside the administration building, a picnic table is painted yellow and blue with red polka dots. Inside, the colours are designed to hurt. "If you come to the Rockingham county jail," said Sheriff Sam Page, ‘you're not going to like it.’ (Unless you’re a dopehead? - Ed)


‘Ordained’ Sinead O'Connor has written an impassioned open letter to the Pope to endorse her and other women as priests, signing it from a ‘very naughty Irish girl’.

Bishop Michael Cox (53), who ‘ordained’ the Dublin-born pop star a priest in a hotel bedroom in Lourdes, has set up his own religious order - the Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church - and became bishop superior.

Sinead’s ‘ordination’ is just another oddity in a long line of wacky outbursts. She shaved her head to be different. She wore Doc’s (boots) and ballet skirts to challenge perceptions. Slagged off U2, at that time a rite of passage for any remotely successful Irish band or singer. Nothing too unremarkable yet, then. Then fame, fame, fatal fame, took hold and occasionally she would pick up a political hot potato (the IRA, the famine, the state of the nation) and juggle with it till she got her fingers burnt. There was the full page ad she took out in a newspaper cataloguing the effect the abuse of her mother had on her.

An opinion poll shows the vast majority (86%) of the public disapproves of her ordination in the Tridentine Church. The Catholic Church in Ireland has retained an institutional silence on the singer's ordination and her pronouncements about her right to administer the sacraments.

The writer Joe O'Connor, Sinead's brother, said, ‘She does have an eye for publicity. But this time around I just don't know what is going on, it doesn't make sense. Up to last weekend I thought she was strongly anti-Church. It wouldn't surprise me if in three months' time she became a Mormon or a rabbi.’ (or an ISMO writer??)

The most healthy reaction might be to treat the whole thing as a big joke. And yet the issues are undoubtedly serious, comparable to somebody setting himself or herself up as a judge of the Circuit or High Court. The sad thing is that, due to the general collapse of our religious culture, almost anything in the realm of faith can be claimed by anybody - and be taken seriously by the media. As a result, the issues themselves become trivialised.

Michael Cox bases his claim to be a bishop on a succession that goes back to an excommunicated Vietnamese archbishop, who ordained several priests and bishops in January 1976 in the village of Palmar de Troya, Spain - supposedly acting on instructions from a "visionary".


Each issue we get online and try to sort the dross from the decent stuff....


Ste's well-organised site includes downloads, a pic gallery, links, news, reviews. is another well-done site with band history, songs & releases, reviews and articles. sounds and links, and of course a news page.


by Graham Inglis

Ever found that a website is cluttered with adverts (some disguised as pop-ups), that clicking to continue beyond this rubbish unexpectedly sends you to a different site or server, javascript errors keep arising, your taskbar is getting cluttered with sub-pages, and you end up going in circles until you have to hit ALT+CTRL+DELETE ?

It's not only porn sites that can send your browser into a tailspin. The search for arcade machine emulators can have the same effect, especially if you are unwise enough to stray into the Stas/Emu loop.

Why the arcade emulation world, the world of such innocent pursuits as PacMan and Space Invaders, feels the need to follow the lead of the porn sites in being manipulative and commercially in-yer-face I don't know. But I wish they'd stop it.

Perhaps we need an Arcade Buffet, along the lines of Adult Buffet, to act as a springboard to those sites that DON'T jerk you around.



***** Brilliant!
**** Pretty damn' good
*** Average but no cigar, Mr President
** Could do better
* Shite

Jeff Beck
Who Else
Epic 493041 2 * *

Who indeed - it could have been just about anyone. This album sounds like the abandoned bits of lots of other songs all strung together Victor Frankenstein style. If cassette tapes were still in use to any degree I could have said he used sweepings from the cutting room floor (that would have been a tad more poetic). Not even nameing one track ‘THX138’ (after George Lucas`s pre-Star Wars film) can save this irrepressibly dull record. P.S. I hate instrumentals. - Sigsworthy Craggs.


20/20 Sound

EMI Harvest 4972012

Released 19 April 1999 - apologies for delay in reviewing!

* * *

Bearing the same name as my favourite sci-fi B-movie, several of the Levitation bunch get back together and make lots of noise. Released to considerable fanfare: 15 clubs across the UK held Dark Star nights, where the album was played and t-shirts and posters were dished out.

dark star album cover
The vocals are so heavily filtered they sound like the lead singer was in orbit and singing through a NASA comm link. I presume he's meant to sound etherial but I think the effect is pointless and detracts rather from what otherwise is entertainly gutsy prog rock, structured rather like Skunk Anansie but with an even harder edge - especially the lead guitar. Or, a noisy goddamn racket, depending on your viewpoint. My landlord came by to collect the rent while I was playing it, and he wasn't impressed at all. I like it but wouldn't recommend listening to it while tripping.

They have a website: - Graham

Gang Starr
Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr
Cooltempo Cdgangdj002 * * *

Despite their name, and the name of the album, this lot aren't your gun-toting gangsta-rap merchants going around kurupting our kids. If your granny ever asks you what 'rap' is like, you can safely play her this chronological compilation of 10 years of hip-hop singles (A and B sides), remixes, soundtrack contributions and two new tracks. Mellow, tuneful and inoffensive. - Slutto


Who in their right mind would want to celebrate a decade of this fucking shit? How come real crap like dance and rap seem to go on forever whilst brilliant bands like Joy Division disappear like the melting snow in spring. 31 tracks of pure wank; at least in some gangster rap there is the consolation of seeing how many times the idiots can say 'mother fuck'. With these morons you can’t even do that. And another thing, how can they call themselves gangsters? I can’t see 'gangster' rappers lasting 2 seconds against Capone or Dillinger. - Sigsworthy Craggs

The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Warner Brothers 9362-47386-2 * * *

A surprisingly low-key return to recording for their first album in four years. Where there were once searing guitar sounds and throbbing basslines there are now mellow and almost laid back grooves which sound far too bland for my liking. Maybe its a symptom of the band getting old, or maybe it is just that anyone who puts the word `california` in their album titles is automatically tempted to sound as much like `The Eagles` as possible. - Atilla the Hen

Iron Maiden
Ed Hunter
EMI 7243 5 20520 04 * *

A compilation of songs in order of votes received at the website for the top 20 Maiden tracks of all time. Lousy reproduction quality. Also there's a game disk but the launch instructions aren't correct so we can't tell you what it's like. - Slutto

Mike Oldfield
See featured artist.

Sarah McLachlan
Mirror Ball
Arista 07822 14049) * * *

This album was a slight disappointment. Her last studio album was released to acclaim from all quarters (including us - see ISMO #15) but this live album is another kettle of fish. Again, like so many of the records this week, it doesn`t actually go anywhere and although it is pleasant enough it doesn`t say anything (musically at least) that Joni Mitchell didn`t do thirty years ago, and although her lyrics and voice are pleasant enough, her AOR/country stylings make one immediately condemn this album to the realms of late night easy listening when in reality it deserves a lot more.

I don`t know what it is that has been lost in the transition between studio and stage. It is hard for me, even as a musician, to put my finger on it, but the vibrancy has been lost and replaced with a veneer of adult sophistication which this particular reviewer finds mildly irritating. - Atilla the Hen.

Number One Cup:
People people why are we fighting?
Cooking Vinyl Cookcd 179 * * * *

Instantly likeable band but hard to describe or categorise. Maybe that’s a good thing in this day and age of mass produced faceless dullard`s crap. Perhaps the nearest I can come to their music is a hybrid of They Might be Giants (but not so gloriously oddball) and the stranger end of REM. The earlier songs on the album are the best, particularly track 2 Vintage male singer. - Sigsworthy Craggs

Liz Horsman
Heavy High
Food foodcddjx27 * * * *

A remarkable album from an equally remarkable woman. It's hard to work out what is best about Liz Horsman, her voice, tunes, or her lyrics but they all come together so well it doesn't really matter. Track 5 'This is blue' is outstanding in particular. Have I been influenced by the fact she has beauty in industrial quantities? No, I would have loved this album if she had looked like Dame Peggy Mount (my girlfriend looks like Peggy Mount, what am I supposed to do? I`m up the creek ... never mind a paddle, I haven't even got a canoe.) - Sigsworthy Craggs


A hobo speaks: thoughts on life, love and music from Twitchy the Tramp in his tawdry little ditch..

Recently I have been appalled at the spate of crime in and around Riversley Park. Tramps mugged and robbed of their cans of Special Brew lager, cardbord boxes broken into and rifled. It was getting so bad that bag-ladies dare not walk abroad after dark, and something had to be done!

I decided to take the law into my own hands. I studied ancent tramp martial arts under the monks of Tuttle Hill (who have taken a vow of inebriation). I honed my body and mind into a lethal fighting machine. Now all I needed was an image. Criminals are a cowardly, superstitious lot; I needed something that would strike terror into their hearts. Then from out of the darkness my answer loomed: a pile of steaming ‘dog`s eggs’. Yes, I would become a turd, a dark avenging creature of the night. Thus Scat Man was born.

Dress in cape and cowl I sallied for each night from the Scat Ditch (my secret hide-out) in the Scat Mobile (an old pram with turbo charged engines, missile launchers and an ejector seat) to prey on the criminal scum of Riversley Park. The common criminals were no match for Scat Man and his incredible array of crime fighting weapons such as the Scat Utility Belt and the Scat Computer (a large cardbord box containing several well-educated tramps and a tatty old encyclopedia from 1951). But not even Scat Man can be everywhere at once, so I needed help. To this end I took two sidekicks under my wing: Scat Girl, a voluptuous crime-fighting bag lady, and Slobbin the Scum Wonder. Together this terrific trio rid the park of crime....or so we thought.

One night a railway tanker full of bubble bath became derailed and crashed into a lorry containing 4000 bottles of shampoo. Both fell into the park`s paddling pool creating a cleansing chemical soup! An un-named tramp pissed on Buckfast who was on his way home from an un-sucessful audition as a down-and-out stand up comedian and he fell into the pool.

The soapy water dissolved his layers of dirt, bleaching his skin clean and white. The effect shattered his mind. In those awful moments the tramp died only to be born again like an evil pheonix from those wholesome waters as the Sanitizer clean and insane.

In the weeks that followed, the Sanitizer cut a clean swathe through the park leaving his poor victims totally washed. The madman had to be stopped but this was no ordinary criminal as I found out to my cost.

After several desperate battles of dirt against soap, my arch foe managed to shampoo Scat Girl`s hair, ending her crime fighting career (The Killing Soap). Then barely days later he trapped Slobbin in an exploding warehouse of air fresheners ridding him forever of his industrial strength Body Odor (a wash in the family). Finally, after foiling his plot to release hundreds of incense-filled nodders (rubber jonnies) into the park I cornered him on top of the bandstand.

The Sanitizer was an awsome foe. His madness gave him the strength of 10 nit nurses and he wielded deadly deoderent sprays. I fought with all my strength and in a stale stalemate we both toppled from the giddy hights of the bandstand and plunged into the polluted waters of the river Anchor. The Sanitizer`s manical laugh rang in my ears as he disappeared beneath the oily waves, and I struggled to the shore.

Is he dead? I`d like to belive it but I know deep in my heart he`ll be back. Back to spread sanitation and madness to the good folk of Riversley Park. But I’ll be ready for him, for now the park has a guardian, a man who knows the park for the bitch she is, a man who rides the night on ebony wings and cuts away the cancer of crime with the sharp scalpel of justice.....Scat Man.



Barbara Thompson - the lass with a sax; Screaming Lord Sutch; anti-Capitalism riots.


by Stephen Porking

About 4.5 billion years ago a swirling disk of hydrogen and helium, slightly contaminated with other materials, condensed and cooled to form the sun. Some of the contaminants (iron, silicon, etc) formed little blemishes known as planets. On one, life arose, producing gibbering apes who came down from the trees and set up record companies.

Humans calmly carried on with the business of killing each other and singing songs about it. Then, in October 1988 a bunch of disaffected music journalists, anarchists and substance abusers started up a badly photocopied cut-and-paste fanzine called ISMO. It was named after a fictional anarchist group in the John Verney novel of the same name.

Although we tried valiantly, the ethos of 'dope, rock and roll, and fucking in the streets' (which we attempted to convey through interviews with various anarcho-bods and musicians past and present) never really jelled in the way that we would have wished.

Despite the fact that ISMO became highly prestigious within the music business, general sales were sluggish - and after eleven issues we gave up.

Then came the Internet... and we felt that it was time to try again. So ISMO magazine is back, now in the form of a website and an e-zine sent free to your email address... the revolution starts here.... Enjoy.

ISMO magazine is free. However, offers of sponsorship, gifts of cash, free records or nudie bum bum pictures are always gratefully accepted.


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All material except the news items in 'Weird Scenes' and quotes from music industry press releases is copyright ISMO. If reproducing anything then please credit ISMO MAGAZINE.