14 ICED BEARS: Hold On (12″, Borderline BORD 12 001, 1991)

14 Iced Bears - Hold On

This 12″ is from the latter days of 14 Iced Bears, who first (I think) released a couple of 7″ singles on Sarah in the late eighties. Despite sounding as shambling and perky as many an indie-pop band of that time, they always seemed to be slightly edgier, with one foot in strange neo-psychedelic territory. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t like a modern incarnation of Country Joe & The Fish; it was just as if they had imbibed more psychedelic substances than, say, the Field Mice. Perhaps I’m wrong? All I have to go on is the music, after all.

A strong memory created by hearing the 14 Iced Bears band name is a fantastic compilation tape made for me in around ’93 by my good friend Rob, which had all kinds of marvellous stuff on it (Sultans of Ping FC! Swervedriver! Pond!) alongside the 14 Iced Bears track ‘Come Get Me’, which would nowadays sound completely wrong unless it was played on slightly warped, very worn cassette format. I haven’t seen Rob for years – I bumped into him in the streets of Oxford ages ago and that was the last time, I think. He was living in Brighton – maybe he still is? – and was in Oxford for a wedding. I’d lent him my Crybaby Wah-Wah pedal a little while before losing touch – I don’t want it back; I hope he made/is making good use of it!

Borderline Records (the label on which this 12″ was released) was, and I believe still is, a Brighton-based record shop (which extends some kind of Brighton-connection-circle, perhaps). There have been a few instances of real, physical indie record shops also releasing their own product – Borderline in Brighton, Swordfish in Birmingham, and Hospital, Time-Lag and Aquarius out of America are a few I’m aware of… are there others? Do the two things – selling records and making records – go naturally together?

1 thought on “14 ICED BEARS: Hold On (12″, Borderline BORD 12 001, 1991)

  1. I think Action is another record shop/label – they released the first Boo Radleys album (pre-Creation), but I don’t know if they’re still going. Drift in Totnes is my new favourite record shop though – when I was there in the summer they were doing a deal of the label’s entire catalogue (eight albums, I think) for around £40.

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