22 January 2024

THE FISHHEADS – Lobster Basque Replica (2023, LP+CD Fruits de Mer Records) 




Label: Fruits de Mer Records

Format: LP+CD, Album, Limited Edition, Brown Vinyl

Format: LP+CD, Album, Limited Edition, Black Vinyl

Release Date: 9 Dec 2023

The Fishheads is not a band actually, it’s a gang of musicians rounded up by Marc Swordfish from Astralasia, on a non-regular basis. Their previous release was a 7-inch single released by Fruits de Mer Records – of course – at the end of 2021 (check my review here)Keith – head of FdM Records – explains:

“Fruits de Mer Records chalks up its 100th ‘Crustacean’ release and just when you thought it was safe to go back to the fishmongers, The Fishheads are back – a gang of roaming musicians rounded up by Marc Swordfish from Astralasia, force-fed classic 60s psychedelia and locked up in a virtual studio until they come out with a bunch of WAV files.

‘Lobster Basque Replica’ combines one side of covers – from Pink Floyd to Mighty Baby – with a sidelong piece that starts off owing something to Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Something’s Coming’ from ‘West Side Story’ and then goes somewhere else entirely, courtesy of Marc Swordfish.

The bonus CD includes alternative mixes of the LP tracks and another epic track from Marc that explores weird, new territory with ‘Lola’s Story’ (Lola being the lobster featured on the front cover)

‘Lobster Basque Replica’ was going to be a double 7″, but that would have cost more than an LP and we wouldn’t have been able to fit all the music on them, so it isn’t”…

So, The Fishheads that took part here are:

Anton Barbeau (vocals), Dave Smale (vocals, guitars), Simon House (Violin, piano), Stella Ferguson (violin), Michelle Devonshire (flute), Icarus Peel (additional backward guitar), Jon Chinn (additional backward guitar, lead guitar), Peter Pracownik (slide, feedback), Maria Szabo (backing reverse whisper vocals), Paul Chousmer (organ, electric piano), Bill Forwell (bass, guitar), Buaku (Bass), Ryann Snow (drums, percussion), Swordfish (toms, cymbals, synths, tape fx), Lola Lobstar (narrative).

Side ‘A’ of “Lobster Basque Replica” occupies 4 cover versions, 3 Pink Floyd and 1 Mighty Baby. Barrett’s “See Emily Play” and Wright’s “Remember A Day” are well-respected cool versions, adjusted to the nowadays modern psych scene, enough close to the originals while Water’s “Set The Controls” is a modernized version, pretty close to the original, a reinterpretation that the band magically manages to include “new” trippy elements to this masterpiece, cornerstone of British Psychedelia, this is a “guide-version” for the younger generation to start discovering the Real Pink Floyd (I’m sorry but “Dark Side” wasn’t Floyd’s first album, hehe…). “Egyptian Tomb” was the opening track of Mighty Baby’s debut self-titled album from 1969, and here The Fishheads with their reinterpretation are giving another motive to the younger generation (that seems kind of lost these days) to start digging in the past and discovering not only the magical world of Mighty Baby but also the exciting late 60s British psych scene… Side ‘B’ is occupied by the sidelong “Oops! Something Coming From Another Planet”, a 21:16 remarkable suite that starts as a tribute to Bernstein/Sondheim’s “Something’s Coming” (from “West Side Story”), then slowly mutates into a theme from an early 70s blaxploitation detective film, entering into a dreamy, mystical kind of late 60s West Coast Psychedelic soundscape, while the flute adds an “innocent” hippie feel, becoming an improvised cool hippie-jam, affecting/helping to ease-your-mind, empty all worries or whatever, letting your mynd relax and float downstream… Of course there’s a lot other things happening inside this long jammy anthem, like the middle section’s totally mind-expanding and trippy-ambient flirting atmosphere, as the track evolves a colorful Dead-esque aura covers everything, making the whole track acting like a piece of some modern intellectual improvised Psych! The bonus CD includes alternative mixes of the LP tracks and another epic track from Marc that explores weird, new territory with ‘Lola’s Story’ (Lola being the lobster pictured on the front cover). So, from the beginning of music there were covers just to be made, and covers that were meant something, covers that took the whole process to another level, and “Lobster Basque Replica” is one of these “take-it-to-another-level” albums, the younger will learn while the older ones will definitely have fun listening… Grab it now! TimeLord Michalis



A1 See Emily Play 4:13
A2 Set The Controls 4:57
A3 Remember A Day 4:10
A4 Egyptian Tomb 7:10
B1 Oops! Something’s Coming From Another Planet
Bonus CD
1 See Emily Play 4:13
2 Set The Controls (Full Version) 7:33
3 Remember A Day 4:10
4 Remember A Day (Alt Version With Anton Barbeau) 4:10
5 Egyptian Tomb (Radio Edit, Mighty Baby) 3:21
6 Egyptian Tomb (Full Version) 10:16
7 Something’s Coming From Another Planet 21:18
8 Lola’s Story (A Trans Dub Narrative) (Swordfish) 11:40



Get it through FRUITS DE MER RECORDS Web (UK customers)

Get it via SHINY BEAST Mailorder (International customers)







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