Saturday, 26 March 2011

From the Top Drawer X - The Moonflowers

Self styled 'divvies' the Moonflowers were formed in Bristol in 1987/88 and in 1990 enjoyed a massive indie chart hit with 'Get Higher' as a one-off release on the Heavenly label. Coming on like a loose mix of Sly & The Family Stone, Funkadelic and the emerging 'baggy' scene, they caught the mood of the record-buying public at the time, and with their painted faces and tales of wild gigs they rode a wave of interest from a crossover indie kid/raver audience. Later releases came out on their own Pop God label which featured associated spin-off bands such as Praise Space Electric. They set out on the road after a while and went to live in Europe busking and playing impromptu gigs here and there from what I can gather. I believe they existed in some form or other for the rest of the 1990s when they called it a day and moved on to other projects.

I caught them at a few gigs in London when they were at the height of their fame, and one night in Tufnell Park they were supported by Pulp (!) but I arrived too late to catch Jarvis and co. I also remember seeing them play an early morning slot on the band stage at the Avon free festival, which took place at Chipping Sodbury Common over the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend in May 1991. I was stumbling back to my tent from the rave area just as it was getting light and caught the band totally enjoying themselves despite there being little or no audience paying them any attention. I always liked hearing the guitarist Jesse let rip on his weird looking (Ovation Breadwinner?) instrument, reminding me of a cross between the styles of Funkadelic's Eddie Hazel and original UFO guitarist Mick Bolton, a great sound that really scraped out the multicoloured cobwebs at the back of your mind. The vocal harmonies were a good effort but didn't always hit the musical mark! Groovy stuff anyway.

This tape was something I picked up at the merch table at one of their gigs and it reflects their live set around the turn of the 90s with most of the crowd favourites of the time. The recording's a bit rough and ready, not sure whether it's soundboard or an audience job for the live tracks, but quite listenable anyway. If you feel like holding hands with somebody while you're listening, I'm sure that would go down well with the band...

As for the track listing...there are no titles given on the artwork at all, but if you've got any of their early records, you'll recognise the songs.

Ripped as two side-long tracks @320 kbps
Download HERE

This video shows what can happen if you stand too close to a divvy.

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