The Chameleons

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by bettsaj, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. bettsaj

    bettsaj “I'm in competition with myself and I'm losing.” Thread Starter

    The other night went to see The Chameleons for the 4th time in my life. It was at the Islington Assembly Hall in London. They were being supported by Theatre of Hate, who were excellent, and in all honesty I thought they were so good, that The Chameleons would struggle to follow them....... I was wrong, and oh, how wrong I was.

    Just a bit of back ground for the uninitiated, The Chameleons (or The Chameleons UK for our friends over the other side of the pond) were/are a post punk indie band from Manchester England. They are in my honest opinion, one of the UK's best kept secrets, and really should have got more popular than they did. Unfortunately their manager, Tony Fletcher died just after they released their 3rd album Strange Times on the Geffen label. Following his death they imploded and found they couldn't really function without him.

    Anyway, Mark Burgess, their front man, principal writer and bass player has formed a Chameleons band of sorts called Chameleons Vox of which has been touring on and off solidly for the last 5 to 10 years. It was them I saw the other night.

    They performed the first Chameleons album, Script of The Bridge in its entirety. It was brilliant. Just thought I had to share this.... I don't think they get the recognition they deserve.

    What you don't get from this footage (I didn't film this by the way) is how loud it was. The drums were so dynamic, and punchy i haven't heard a drum sound like that in years. The whole sound was excellent, not much else to say about it really. Why didn't they get the recognition they deserved back in the day.......

     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2018
  2. chromewaves

    chromewaves Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    amazing and totally underappreciated band. I was fortunate enough to see the original lineup on their 2002 reunion tour, and wasn't too surprised when they broke up again - neither Reg nor Dave looked super-impressed with Mark's over-the-top frontman-ness. Was very sad to hear of John's death a few years back.
     
    bherbert likes this.
  3. bettsaj

    bettsaj “I'm in competition with myself and I'm losing.” Thread Starter

    The new band members are great.... I know the guitarist on the left Chris Oliver fairly well (he put me on the guest list) The other guitarist Neil Dwerryhouse is also a brilliant guitarist. They do a great job of reproducing the Chameleons material.

    This started out about 8 years ago as marks farewell tour......... Well, he's being saying farewell since then and has toured pretty much every year since. They play the US nearly every year so if you get a chance go and see them.
     
  4. Hollow Horse

    Hollow Horse To pretend to be happy could only be idiocy

    A fond fan of them, me. Never saw them live though. Still play their songs today. In Shreds is as good for you today as it's always been.

     
    patient_ot, waterface and SuntoryTime like this.
  5. thematinggame

    thematinggame Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    I never managed to get into their first album but liked Strange times very much, also very fond of The Sun and the Moon and Mark Burgess' Zima Junction album. My favourite Chameleons-related album , however, is Mark's collaboration with French guitarist Yves Altana "Paradyning" from 1995, also saw them promoting this album in Germany around this time - great gig
    [​IMG]
     
    SuntoryTime likes this.
  6. bettsaj

    bettsaj “I'm in competition with myself and I'm losing.” Thread Starter

    Yves Altana played drums for The Chameleons Vox until last year, when he started working with Peter hook & The Light. he now plays second bass guitar for peter hook, who I'll be seeing in February.
     
  7. thematinggame

    thematinggame Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    He was a guitarist back then, and a very good one,too
     
  8. bherbert

    bherbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Africa
    I listening to What Does Anything Mean? Basically. I’m lost for words. This is music of the highest quality. Freaking awesome!
     
  9. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Here's an early scorcher -

    The Fan and the Bellows:

     
  10. bherbert

    bherbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Africa
    I picked up the first 2 albums. Are there any essentials I am missing? Any comps? Thanks.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  11. kevimetal

    kevimetal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Exeter, UK
    If you like the first two at all then you definitely, definitely need to get their 3rd LP "Strange Times", arguably their best- I believe most fans would agree that a tune from this LP called 'Swamp Thing' is perhaps their best tune, or at least top 5. Also, get the comp called "The Fan and the Bellows".

    Others might chime in with more, but everything everyone said in this thread is valid- eg, Mark's post Chameleons band called The Sun and The Moon is freakin amazing, but very, very expensive to find in any physical format these days.
     
    patient_ot, John54 and bherbert like this.
  12. bherbert

    bherbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Africa
    noted :)
     
    kevimetal likes this.
  13. kevimetal

    kevimetal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Exeter, UK
    I just did some research, and re: Sun and the Moon, it looks like Andy Clegg is selling their CDs here: The Sun and the Moon ...I can't recommend enough the comp 'Great Escape' which is just about everything TSATM recorded.

    The first CD is also available used on Amazon UK for £215. ;)
     
    bherbert likes this.
  14. bherbert

    bherbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Africa
    Great. I’m looking at the original cd as I’m always worried about remasters.

    The Chameleons - Strange Times
     
  15. kevimetal

    kevimetal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Exeter, UK
    The one you listed here is the one I have too. You inspired me to put Strange Times on this morning and it's blowing my mind for the 10.000th time. You are in for such a treat. The one two punch of 'Soul In Isolation' and 'Swamp Thing' is for me some of the best music made in the history of humanity - yeh that good.
     
    Billchi_11, SJP and bherbert like this.
  16. Goggen

    Goggen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Oslo
    Second Skin from Script Of The Bridge is just perfection. I always come back to it :love:
     
  17. Rgfinch

    Rgfinch King Rocky

    Location:
    Uk
    It doesn't matter which version of Strange Times you buy, they all sound the same (not great sadly).

    Lots of compilations and live recordings out there but I'd say your top priorities are:-

    Get the Peel sessions album, the original 1990 release got remastered 5 or 6 years ago but unfortunately the third session sounds lousy on the remaster, but the second session sounds better than the original. I have a hybrid of both releases on my DAP.
    The 1983 session is my favourite 20 minutes of music by anybody (Perfumed Garden is glorious here)

    Also get the comp "Dreams In Celluloid" rather than the Fan and The Bellows. Most of the tracklisting is the same but DIC CD also includes the best mastering of the Tony Fletcher EP (their only post-Strange Times recordings, and essential).
     
  18. Rgfinch

    Rgfinch King Rocky

    Location:
    Uk
    I bought "The Great Escape" from him on ebay. It was a home-made CD-R with no packaging, I assume it's a clone of the old CD. Much louder than TSATM original album, but I prefer it as it's a little more full bodied sounding.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  19. kevin5brown

    kevin5brown Forum Resident

    Just curious, I have the Tony Fletcher EP on the Rise of the Roughnecks CD, and I figured that might be better because it's earlier (1997 vs 2013). Dreams in Celluloid is better?
     
  20. Rgfinch

    Rgfinch King Rocky

    Location:
    Uk
    Yes definitely. Both discs in the roughnecks set mastered very loud. DIC isn't. I also have the original Tony Fletcher CD and DIC version sounds better than that as well.
     
    black sheriff likes this.
  21. thematinggame

    thematinggame Forum Resident

    Location:
    Germany
    discogs has the Lp listed from € 12 upwards , cd prices start around € 32 - so not that expensive
     
  22. kevin5brown

    kevin5brown Forum Resident

    Excellent. Thank you!! :) (I will have to look what other Chameleons CDs you recommend, for where there are other multiple choices. :) I did see you comment above that theoretically, we'd need both Peel Sessions, cool.)
     
  23. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I have DIC but not Roughnecks. DIC is not overly compressed if that's what you are wondering.

    foobar2000 1.3.17 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
    log date: 2018-07-16 20:22:48
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Analyzed: Chameleons / Dreams In Celluloid, Disc 1
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DR Peak RMS Duration Track
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DR9 -1.37 dB -11.20 dB 3:32 01-The Fan and the Bellows
    DR12 -0.30 dB -13.78 dB 4:07 02-Dali's Picture
    DR12 -0.30 dB -14.06 dB 3:28 03-Everyday I'm Crucified
    DR12 -0.30 dB -14.04 dB 4:26 04-Looking Inwardly
    DR8 -1.29 dB -11.20 dB 5:27 05-Nostalgia
    DR10 -1.32 dB -12.72 dB 3:55 06-Turn To Vices
    DR10 -1.36 dB -12.82 dB 4:02 07-Love Is
    DR11 -0.80 dB -13.36 dB 3:09 08-Nathan's Phase
    DR12 -0.41 dB -14.46 dB 6:42 09-Dreams in Celluloid
    DR11 -0.30 dB -13.55 dB 5:19 10-Things I Wish I'd Said
    DR9 -1.29 dB -12.40 dB 4:34 11-Less Than Human
    DR9 -1.33 dB -11.67 dB 4:08 12-In Shreds
    DR14 -1.80 dB -19.59 dB 4:21 13-Prisoners of the Sun
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Number of tracks: 13
    Official DR value: DR11
    Samplerate: 44100 Hz
    Channels: 2
    Bits per sample: 16
    Bitrate: 825 kbps
    Codec: FLAC
    ================================================================================

    foobar2000 1.3.17 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
    log date: 2018-07-16 20:23:09
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Analyzed: Chameleons / Tony Fletcher Walked on Water [EP]
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DR Peak RMS Duration Track
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    DR9 -0.86 dB -11.69 dB 5:42 01-Is It Any Wonder
    DR8 -0.40 dB -10.12 dB 4:22 02-Free for All
    DR8 -0.46 dB -11.04 dB 7:04 03-The Healer
    DR9 -0.42 dB -11.07 dB 4:24 04-Denim and Curls
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Number of tracks: 4
    Official DR value: DR9
    Samplerate: 44100 Hz
    Channels: 2
    Bits per sample: 16
    Bitrate: 892 kbps
    Codec: FLAC
    ================================================================================
     
  24. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    These are essential:

    Peel Sessions

    Radio 1 Evening Sessions

    Strange Times

    The Sun and the Moon

    Dreams in Celluloid


    After that it depends how much of a fan you are.
     
  25. kevin5brown

    kevin5brown Forum Resident

    Cool, I'll get numbers from the Return of the Roughnecks tonight ...
     
    patient_ot likes this.

Share This Page