Still, I had worried that there may be a finite life to this blog. But then Mick Dillingham got in touch.
Mick, for those of you who don’t know, is a music writer, record collector and was co-compiler (along with Nick Saloman of the Bevis Frond) of the essential Music for Mentalists, a 33-track CD of obscure and bizarre music which includes several tracks – such as Dance With Me by ReginaldBosanquet and Together in Iceland by Mavin James – that I have previously featured here.
Since his first email, which supplied the tracks here today, Mick has sent me a slew of great material, much of which I was unaware of and some of which has me laughing fit to burst. I’m enormously grateful to Mick for providing such a bounty and you’ll be hearing some of those tracks over the coming weeks and months, but first – and certainly most importantly – he has kindly supplied us with the second Mavin James single.
And what a corker it is (pun very much intended). If you thought that Mavin’s He-Be – Har-Be was overproduced and would prefer something more akin to My Dad you’re in for a real treat: You’re Just Like a Bubble in Wine is a low-fi, two-track delight. According to the sleeve notes ‘Single 2, which might be considered to be amongst the best two-track recordings made, was recorded without mixing facilities and Mavin was only able to achieve this high standard of work as a result of continual practice’. Priceless.
Of its B-side Nothing to Do, another understated low-fi gem, the notes proclaim that Mavin ‘tends to sing in those moments in life when all appears lost.’ Says Mick of his find: "If the first single is his Trout Mask Replica and the third single his Sgt Pepper then this single is his Frampton Comes Alive..."
I’m still trying to track down more info about Mavin; perhaps there was a fourth single? Maybe somewhere in Rochester there’s a box containing the tapes of his unreleased album? Unfortunately what was once the home of Havasong Records, Mavin’s company, is now a car park. Perhaps we’ll never know anything more about the enigmatic Mr James. But at least we have these six sides.