A confession; I’m not so cool that I bought this record when it first came out – I was only thirteen years old at the time and, in fact, listening more to Rick Astley and Debbie Gibson. So maybe I’m even cooler than cool. Or something. As I got into indie-pop throughout the late eighties and early nineties, this record very quickly became something of a holy grail for me – back in those pre-eBay, record-shop-scouring days, some records were genuinely hard to get your hands on. This one had the dual attractions of being the first Soup Dragons record and a very early Subway release. Double indie-pop gold. I can’t actually remember where I finally tracked down this copy, but I have a feeling it was during one of many record shopping trips to Birmingham; excitedly handing over the £15 or whatever it cost as a ‘valuable’ (eee, that was a lot of cash back then) and mentally ticking off one more indie-pop aim in my mind.
I really like the look of these old records – bold, multi-colour printing that eschews full CMYK for a simpler two- or three-colour process that allows for some marvellous overprinting (be in accidental or not). This style of printing, combined with the Letraset-esque lettering and reuse of clipped-out imagery from any number of 1960s/1970s annuals or magazines, is totally evocative of the whole fanzine/indie-pop scene. The Soup Dragons were right there at the start, really, appearing on C86 along with Primal Scream and many others. I mention Primal Scream as they seemed to always be a step ahead – moving from indie-pop into their hard rock phase, then their neo-psychedelic-blissout phase, closely followed by the Soupies. I don’t know if the latter band were copying, or just drawing on similar influences and experiences that were around at the time. Perhaps there’s something to find out there.