Thursday, 20 October 2011

Skeletons : Early Songs: (Early 90s): 'Not For This Boy'

'Not For This Boy' was the first MM song that ex Haircut 100 bassist Les Nemes played on.
We had already been introduced to Phil Smith (sax) by our then A&R man at Zomba,  Mark Fox (ex H100 percussionist) and those boys were pretty tight back then; rallying against Nick Heyward and the disappointments of the Haircut's enforced split just before the potentially money spinning 2nd album was about to be released. The music was in the can; Nick only had to commit his vocals; he chose instead to go solo; producing the very fine 'North of a Miracle'. Mark Fox threw his hat in the ring as lead singer briefly, before realising he best rest with his bongos; the album never saw the light of day, which was a shame; I heard a few of those mixes and they elaborated on the early sound of Pelican West with an urgency that reminded me of a poppy Talking Heads.
Here's a Nickless promo shot of the boys at the time (seemingly caught on CCTV) waiting for a bus.

Les and Phil recorded with Miracle Mile extensively and stayed with the gigging band , working not only on these early demos, but also on the debut 'Bicycle Thieves' and the follow up 'Candids', both leaving the band when we stopped gigging, just before the release of 'Slow Fade'.

For this track Les listened through once and then nailed the song first take. His big hero at the time was Ronnie Lane of the Faces and I think that you can hear it in his playful fretwork. Our Les was no backseat bassist... I believe that he currently resides in Spain and still plays with the Haircuts when they get together for the odd 80s review tour with T'Pau, Howard Jones and other lesser talents...


  1. Where did you get that shot of Les from?

  2. I lifted it from Les's MySpaceFaceTwitterBlog.
    I'll be hearing from his lawyers in the morning...

  3. North of a Miracle is one of my all time favourite albums! I loved the haircuts. New album on the way, just follow Nick Heyward on Twitter for details. The haircuts released a second album called Paint & Paint, but it stiffed, although the first single, 'Two up, Two Down' was rather good.

  4. i have a copy of a vocaless 2nd album somewhere.Downloaded it.Was it ever officially released that way? Mine just says 'The lost album'
    Sounds like it would have been a really good album.
    Tel Aviv

  5. 'Paint on Paint'.
    That was it... I didn't realise it was released.
    Good to hear that Nick is releasing. He's a neighbour of mine; we meet occasionally in gardening centres and discuss... foliage.

  6. I love whistle down the wind from north of a miracle

    I've also heard the vocaless unreleased lp (found it in some dark corner of the web

    I thought the orginal split was a classic case of was he pushed or did he jump?

  7. I know that I was only hearing one side of the story but I don't think it's any big secret that 'The Management' got in Nick's ear after Pelican West; whispering that he was going to be the next Paul McCartney.
    Agree that it all started really well with 'North of a Miracle' which had a wistful quality that made Nick's quirkiness kind of endearing (and, I thought, enduring).
    I also remember loving 'Warning Sign' for it's R&B and guitar solo, which I haven't heard for 20 years...