Oh yes…and this from Brainwashed; “With very few exceptions, Simon excels at just about everything he tries..”

1989_009-2Lots of new exposure for the Mannequin records CD+2 X LP ‘Bourbonese Qualk 1983-1987’ project and the ‘Lies’ 12″ – from a strange mix of DJ magazine and new ‘industrial’ press…

Resident Advisor

Sentirescoltare (Italian)

“Colonna sonora perfetta della decadenza urbana, tra incubi distopici e sogni libertari, oggi come allora, i Bourbonese Qualk ci mostrano, da un passato mai dimenticato, lo spirito e le forme possibili della resistenza del futuro.”

Igloo Magazine (English)

“Bourbonese Qualk were as difficult as their name suggests: abrasive, uncompromising, highly conceptual and devoted to specific ideals. As one of the early original industrial bands from the UK emerging in the tumultuous wasteland of Thatcher’s England, BQ would influence many other bands to follow”

DJ Broadcast (Dutch)

Hartzine (French)

“…Perfide Albion”

Juno (english)

““God With Us” which originates from their 1983 LP Laughing Afternoon and suggests fragments of their musical legacy has spread deep into the DNA of modern electronic music.”

Bourbonese Qualk 1983-1986

Bourbonese Qualk 1983-1986

It’s taken a while but, the first of a series of official re-releases of Bourbonese Qualk archive material comes out in a few weeks on the Berlin based Mannequin Label. ‘Bourbonese Qualk 1983-1986’ not surprisingly, is a compilation of tracks taken from the first five albums during the early Crab/Stanza/Gilbert period of 1983-86 and will be available as a Vinyl LP and CD.

Track listing is as follows:

Bourbonese Qualk 1983-1986

  • 1. ‘Dream Decade’ Originally released in 1987 on the ‘Bourbonese Qualk’ LP
  • 2. ‘Born Left Hearted’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP
  • 3. ‘Pogrom ‘ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘The Spike’ LP
  • 4. ‘Soft City’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP
    5. ‘Headstop’ Originally released in 1984 on the ‘Hope’ LP
  • 6. ‘Gag’ Originally released in 1984 on the ‘Hope’ LP
  • 7. ‘Outcry’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP
  • 8. ‘Return To Order’ Originally released on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP 1986
  • 9. ‘Confrontation’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP
  • 10. ‘In-flux’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘The Spike’ LP
  • 11. ‘Qualk Street’ Originally released in 1983 on the ‘Laughing Afternoon’ LP
  • 12. ‘Backlash’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP
  • 13. ‘Sweat it 0ut’ Originally released in 1987 on the ‘Bourbonese Qualk’ LP New
  • 14. ‘There is No Night’ Originally released in 1984 on the ‘Hope’ LP
  • 15. ‘God With Us’ Originally released in 1983 on the ‘Laughing Afternoon’ LP
  • 16. ‘Blood Orange Bargain Day’ Originally released in 1983 on the ‘Laughing Afternoon’ LP
  • 17. ‘Shutdown’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘The Spike’ LP
  • 18. ‘Invocation’ Originally released in 1984 on the ‘Hope’ LP
  • 19. ‘To Hell With The Consequences’ Originally released in 1983 on the ‘Laughing Afternoon’
  • 20. ‘Erector’ Originally released on the ‘Hope’ LP
  • 21. ‘Black Madonna’ Originally released in 1984 on the ‘Hope’ LP
  • 22. ‘Suburb City’ Originally released on the ‘The Spike’ LP
  • 23. ‘Workover’ Originally released in 1987 on the ‘Bourbonese Qualk’ LP
  • 24. ‘Deadbeat’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘The Spike’ LP
  • 25. ‘Insurrection’ Originally released in 1986 on the ‘Preparing for Power’ LP
  • 26. ‘This Is The Enemy’ Originally released in 1987 on the ‘Bourbonese Qualk’ LP

The tracks were chosen by Alessandro at Mannequin to focus, I think, on the more electro-minimal, verging on ‘pop’ style. Not the choice I would have made! – I find my early, er, singing, too awkward and painful to listen to, but, it does seem to be what BQ have become ‘known for’ so who am I to argue?

You can get it here:

watch this space [   ] for more re-release news.


Memories of Lol

August 3, 2012

Lol Coxhill (19 September 1932 – 10 July 2012)

The Recedents Live at the Red Rose, London Feb 6th 2007

In 1984 I attempted to release the first album by Lol Coxhill’s trio ‘The Recedents’* on our Recloose Organisation label. Unfortunately all of the global distributors absolutely point-blank refused to take the LP claiming that even by Recloose standards this was strong meat i.e. no one but the terminally obscure or criminally insane would think of buying such a product. So, to my eternal regret I shelved the project.
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With empire came sugar and with sugar came slaves. Slaves that made the sugar (African) and slaves that brought it to England and processed it (English, Irish, Welsh and Scots). Those that exploited the labour made fortunes and built the city of Liverpool (the irony of Tate Liverpool).

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So after a lengthy campaign of pestering, John Peel finally allowed us to record a session for his show in late 1986 (for the unaware; John Peel’s nightly BBC Radio programme was hugely influential to new music in the UK throughout the seventies and eighties) with the caveat that we weren’t to set foot in the BBC studios. John Walters, Peel’s producer somewhat haughtily claimed that we had such a bad reputation for anarchic trouble making, nicking stuff and smashing things up that we had to use our own equipment…which was a bit rich considering the long list of ruffians who HAD been allowed in.

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Auf einen Augen-Blick

February 11, 2012

‘Auf einen Augen-Blick’ is an animated video piece using sequences of hand corrupted jpg files. If I was a bit smarter i could probably have written a script that batch processed multiple files but I found that there is something important in the laborious process of doing each frame by hand – it introduces some organic element into what should be an efficient process…I like the contradiction of using digital media in such a manual way…especially when the content is all about degradation and corruption of the media itself.

Random Rough Mix

February 7, 2012

Been a while comrades: heres some audio and video of stuff from the studio floor that wouldn’t otherwise see the light of day – edited together in a random fashion. Quite a large dose of Geoff Leigh in there from the work we did together and never quite finished…


More Sunseastar video tracks from the album ‘Fjaerland’

Sunseastar ‘Saccades’

September 28, 2010

Video from the Sunseastar album ‘Fjaerland’

Orgonite melt

November 9, 2009

Geoff Leigh has uploaded some of his video experiments with ice formed under the influence of orgonite (with a soundtrack of some music work we did earlier this year). Orgonite, a dubious by-product of the Willhelm Reich school of pseudo-science, is an agglomerate of left handed metal swarf and acrylic resin said to have mysterious and mystical properties…


Geoff Leigh on myspace

leytonstone, london summer 2009.

leytonstone, london summer 2009.

As work on ‘The New Album’ comes to a close i’m faced with the inevitable quandary of not only what to call it, but what to call the ‘band’ and also decide the names of all (well, most) of  the songs. It’s not that the ‘songs’ aren’t about anything it’s just that describing them via titles would come across at best as either sterile – numbers, dates, sequences – or pretentious; trying to succinctly enunciate the meaning of the piece in short form. So, with this in mind i decided a good first approach would be to apply a logical process that will not only ensure commercial success but provide meaningful, memorable titles that will resonate with the intended demographic target…kind of:


  1. Find a list of song titles from the last, say, fifty years that have had some kind of chart success…
  2. Find the most repeated words within that list i.e. the most used song title words in the last fifty years…
  3. Stick these words together randomly to create two or more word song titles

so, the top forty words from the top ten songs of the last fifty years are:

ain’t around away baby blue boy cry dance dream eyes girl give gonna happy heart heaven home kiss lady life live lonely love man mine moon music night oh rain rock rose song star sweet theme tonight wanna woman world

It almost writes itself…

bourbonese qualk dma2 bourdeax 1989

bourbonese qualk. dma2 bourdeax 1988

DMA was a record label and music promotion organisation based in Bordeaux who were best known for the annual DMA2 ‘Divergences/Divisions’ music festival during the late eighties. This festival became one of the most respected ‘experimental with an industrial slant’ music event in Europe and featured such stars as as Legendary Pink Dots, Nocturnal Emissions, The Hafler Trio, laibach and of course, Bourbonese Qualk.

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Yan Jun with Wu Na & David Coulter/ White/ FM3/ Xiao He

Barbican St Luke’s London. 26-04-2009

‘Beyond the wall’ is a rare chance to glimpse the musical innovation that is taking place in China right now. Modern Chinese music is usually ‘state approved’, uncontroversial and sanitised i.e. the ubiquitous Mando/Canto Pop which almost exclusively dominates the airwaves and record stores. Despite and maybe because of this commercialism an experimental counter-culture has developed over the last decade under the radar of official or unofficial state control. Characterised by a noisy and experimental approach and championed by a loose pan-Chinese coalition of oddballs, new middle class youth and eccentric musicians; this music is the direct polar opposite of the banalities of Chinese Pop:

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Live series 2 cassette package
Live series 2 cassette package


To Londoners, The old Kent rd  has been for many years a byword for poverty; the cheapest, dismal brown coloured property on the monopoly board and in reality a grimy thoroughfare providing the boundary of two of the most neglected regions of London, Peckham and Bermondsey. Once the heartland of a solid white working class population the area was bombed close to complete destruction during the war and then rapidly rebuilt with monolithic high-rise housing estates which by the 1980s had begun to be abandoned and crumble.

In the cold winter of 1984 we – bourbonese qualk and crew – occupied the Ambulance station, an empty five story castle-like building on the Old Kent Road. Our ambition was to create a radical ‘cultural-political centre’ (though we would never have used that term) and a general base for our activities – performance space, recording studio and office for the Recloose organisation label –  in the middle of this piece of un-picturesque South East London. After lengthy renovation (removing 1 meter deep layers of dead pigeons, replacing piping, windows and tiles on the vertiginous roof) The top two stories were converted into artists studios, the middle storey our living quarters. The first floor was taken up as meeting space for anarchist groups, a free cafe and offices for the local squatters organisation, ‘S.N.O.W’ (who housed more people in 1985 than the local council). The ground floor was changed into a large performance space and bar as well as a recording studio, sculpture studios and print workshops.









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The grand erector

November 10, 2008


Bit late now because it’s sold out – but, Andy Wilson’s (Sunseastar etc) latest audio product is ‘The Grand Erector’ a fancy limited  edition (100), 12″ vinyl, ten page booklet type thing which also includes six audio tracks of mixes, distortions and mangling of sounds contributed by members of the  Faust mailing list. Can’t vouch for the music as i haven’t heard any of it and don’t have vinyl reading technology – but it probably sounds a bit like this:

The Grand Erector – “Brasov Monkeys”

This and many other ‘fascinating’ releases are available on the Beta Lactam Rrring website  – soon with free MP3 downloads!

adventures in forestry

August 29, 2008

lots of Qualkology this week. This time an mp3 compilation put together by Uncle Spellbinder at  Anomolous Mind – a kind of online label that issues unnofficial bootlegs, mashups and so-on (incuding, strangely, the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and the Who) .  ‘Adventures In Forestry’ is the title they have given to their selection of early ‘classic qualk’ (not my description) of the 1983-1987 period.

Bourbonese Qualk  is by far one of the most under appreciated bands in my memory. One of the main reasons I created this comp of the early years was with the hopes that others would come to appreciate the wondrous sounds Bourbonese Qualk created over your all-to-short tenure” says kindly Uncle S.

download it here: ‘Adventures In Forestry’ bourbonese Qualk 1983-1987


August 28, 2008

In one of the most drunken fits of my life, I single handedly managed to wreck a Bourbonese Qualk gig. Porto, Portugal, 198…9? 91? I love BQ, I have all their musical output, but I can’t avoid being proud of wreaking havoc that night. For years, people I didn’t know came up to me and asked: “aren’t you that guy who…” yes, that’s me!
haha! not quite what happened…you came on stage and miles strangled you until you passed out – while still playing guitar..
ah well, I MUST have been there…true, my memories are a bit hazy but I definitely don’t recall any drunken Portuguese ‘wreck’ the gig…I suspect that you were so drunk you wrecked the wrong gig.
Simon! Put up some more vids fer god’s sake!!!
um, ok…i’ll see what i’ve got.
Go on ! Bung something up, otherwise this is the only online evidence of your godlike genius… and I stole it off your own website anyway !
its impressive how music and people were so diferent…im 22 years old and a feel so disconected i wish i lived in the sixties
Ok,the whole story to refresh your memories:there was no stage, Labirinto is too small for a stage,and the place was packed.I was right at the front with my mate, and we were so drunk that we started plucking the guitar(bass?too drunk) strings while Miles(?) played on.He wasn’t too happy,so he kicked us a couple of times.I wasn’t too happy either,so when he put the guitar down(in between songs or during a song with no guitar,not sure)[continued on next comment]
Good for you, twat!! You sound like a genuine fucking arsehole. I’m sure your typical British Stag Night shenanigans are exactly what every BQ fan wants to read about. Thanks so much for being pushed out of your mother’s foul cunt!!!

Charming.  Jorge Stretcher WAS at the above mentioned gig (Bourbonese Qualk  at the Labirintho, Porto, Portugal in 1990) and made these recordings of the somewhat chaotic event:

Bourbonese Qualk live at the Labirintho, Porto, Portugal in 1990

Free Morris

July 14, 2008

Morris Dance

on the 2 January 1492 the Andaluz city of Granada fell to a besieging army of christian Celts and franks ending 750 years of Arab civilisation in the Iberian Peninsula. What had become a haven of learning, culture and tolerance met the kind of violent end that was to characterise christian expansion; with papal approval Arab, morisco (mixed christian and Arab) and Jewish populations were indiscriminately slaughtered, the libraries and universities torched…

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bourbonese qualk 1989

Some time ago, well, many years ago, we (bourbonese qualk) were asked to provide some unique material to be broadcast on a French radio show by Tristan Koreya. We put together a collage of work in progress at the time (1989 ?). The result was a snapshot of half finished tracks linked together in typical qualk fashion i.e. semi-randomly. Some of the music made it onto various releases in a slightly more polished form, others didn’t, thank god.  most of the music is Miles Miles and I (where was Owen?) with a focus on twangy guitar tunes and Arabic doodles – The quality is patchy and some of it over-indulgent, sketchy and in need of severe editing, some of it kind-of works – bear in mind, this was intended as a one-off never to be heard again broadcast. Tristan has posted MP3s of the show on His blog ‘nostalgie de la boue‘ which brings a snapshot of the time, and all the accompanying ghosts, back to life:

bourbonese qualk unreleased broadcast 1989