Groovy packaging on this record. I’m a big fan of the use of transaparency and opacity effects in design, especially when it’s used to mess with your mind a little bit. Not sure that it’ll come out in the photograph, but the sleeve contains a clear insert with green lettering. This lettering is arranged with every other word reversed, every other word capitalised, and a few letters reversed out. The sum total of all of this is the simultaneous creation of three messages:
- The reversed words spell out one message.
- The capitalised words spell out another, different message.
- The reversed out letters combined spell out the band name.
It’s an acrostic, typographic slice of genius, I tell you. But I’m not going to tell you what the first two messages are – track down a copy and work it out for yourself! It’s all carried out in such a way that’s incredibly subtle, and when combined with the semi-opaque vinyl it creates a great look. Clear or semi-opaque vinyl is always great – and it’s made better with some interesting stuff wrapped around it.
I once played a gig supporting Calvados Beam Trio, at the now-closed Jug Of Ale in Moseley, Birmingham. I don’t remember many specifics but I’m pretty sure that they were incredibly good, and were very accomplished musicians. I do remember the crowd; they were rabid enthusiasts who certainly loved to interact with the artists. I wouldn’t say heckling so much as friendly banter. Friendly, yet relentless and loud. Sometimes that kind of crowd can be a lot better than a bunch of arms-crossed chin-strokers who are watching live music for appreciation at the expense of fun. The best combination is, obviously, a bit of both.
A real shame that the Jug Of Ale isn’t operational any more – I saw quite a few great gigs there. I was once supposed to see Heavenly play there (in around ’92 I think?) but they’d cancelled. I instead found myself at a nightclub called Snobs, which (based on a quick internet check) is still going. I think it was actually good fun. Who’d have thought it?