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I never thought I'd be including a "latest news" page on this site, since I presumed that the Automatons and their contemporaries were ancient history. It just goes to show how wrong you can be, eh?
9th April 2006
Heralded by the release of the marvellous Messthetics Greatest Hits CD on the always-excellent Hyped To Death label (which includes classic tracks by the likes of Danny & The Dressmakers, The Thin Yoghurts, The Digital Dinosaurs, Steve Treatment, The Mud Hutters and the wonderfully-named Scrotum Poles), there seems to have been a slight upturn in interest in the UK DIY movement. A noteworthy example is an article that appeared in the Film & Music section of The Guardian just recently.
Also worth a mention is the emergence of an online version of Part Time Punk fanzine. PTP head honcho Ian has taken great care to reproduce the cut'n'paste, handmade look of the classic punk fanzines, and has also had the good taste to review CDs by The Automatons, Animals And Men and The Midnight Circus, as well as the aforementioned Messthetics series.
22nd January 2006
A new year and a new look for the Waterden site. As the site has grown out of all proportion to my initial expectations I thought it was time to bite the bullet, break out Dreamweaver and reorganise the thing. It's not completely finished yet - there's still some work to do on the Mark Automaton section - but I thought it was high time to go live. As part of the launch party, there are two new CDs available in the catalogue:
Gallimaufry is a compilation of subtly remixed versions of the original compositions that appear on the four Mark Automaton solo CDs, and I am pleased to finally make available the digitally remastered CD version of the classic Angst In My Pants double EP.
I also recently received an email from Graham Massey, ex-member of the legendary Danny & The Dressmakers, who sent me a couple of scans of mementos from the notorious Fuck Off Records Free Tour. I've included them on the Gig Posters page.
1st October 2005
The Instant Automatons 26-track anthology Another Wasted Sunday Afternoon is now released on the US-based Hyped To Death label. This is a commercially-pressed CD (rather than a CD-R) and contains a significant proportion of alternative versions and previously unreleased material. Customers from the UK and Europe can order it from the Waterden Catalogue, but those in the US will probably find it cheaper (and quicker) to buy from the Hyped To Death web-store.
28th September 2005
For our overseas customers, and those from the US in particular, I have have now set up the WATERDEN STUFF INTERNATIONAL shop on CafePress. The range of products is slightly different to the UK based shop, so it's worth checking out both.
24th September 2005
The Waterden empire expands even further! I've just set up a Simply Icons eShop called WATERDEN STUFF to distribute the sort of merchandise I can't make at home. There's only a few items in the shop at the moment, but I'll keep adding to them. Earn the respect and admiration of total strangers by being the first on your block to sport an Instant Automatons "Electronic Music is the opium of the people!" T-shirt.
1st September 2005
First the bad news: due to the rising cost of materials and current exchange rates, I have had to raise the price of CDs in the Waterden catalogue. Single CDs are now £4 in the UK, €9 to Europe and $9 to the US and the rest of the world. Not a massive price-hike, I hope you'll agree, but hopefully this will mean I am no longer losing money hand-over-fist, and can get back to losing just the regular amount.
Now the good news: I have finally been persuaded to re-release some of the Automatons' cassette recordings. The 2-disc set Last Train To Woolwich Arsenal consists of Blues Masters of the Humber Delta and Tape Transport in their entirety, with bonus tracks from Radio Silence and Eating People. Also included are some previously unreleased tracks. As this is a double CD, the price is slightly higher - £5 (UK), €10 (Europe) or $10 (US) - but still jolly good value for money, I think.
One more item of news: THE ELEPHANT BROTHERS (the latest in a long line of bands to give gainful employment to ex-Automatons mad axeman MIC WOODS) have a damn fine CD out. Called MORGUE 1, it's available for the giveaway price of £6.99 on the Savage Peanut Recordings label.
15th June 2005
On this day in 1381, the Peasants' Revolt came to an end with the slaying of the insurgents' leader, Wat Tyler, at Smithfield.
624 years later, another Revolting Peasant in the shape of Mark Automaton brings forth his latest offering. How Different From The Home Life Of Our Own Dear Queen is available to buy for a handful of groats from the Waterden Catalogue.
7th April 2005
I've been playing around with some of the basic CGI scripts offered by my webspace provider, and have created a Waterden Guestbook, so now you can publicly slag off The Automatons et al without fear of reprisals (other than me deleting your posting - ha ha!)
5th April 2005
Added a couple of pictures of The Drunken Maidens at the 1 in 12 Club, Bradford to the Post-Automatons Photo Gallery
19th March 2005
Mark Automaton collaborates with New York-based sonic sculptor christöphilax on the CD 74'33" - read more here.
Also, there is a new 391 CD available: Light Mass Prayers, inspired by the haunting of Borley Rectory.
31st October 2004
The new Mark Automaton CD, The Book of Lies, is released today. This collection forms the third part of what I have loosely termed The Mark Automaton Trilogy. Rush to the Waterden Catalogue and buy it now - you know you want to!
3rd September 2004
Things are pretty quiet on the Waterden front at the moment, but Zounds have just issued the following information, which I feel it is important to pass on...17th June 2004
BOOTLEGS (A cautionary Tale)
Zounds are quite happy for anybody to record any show the band performs for their own listening pleasure. If people want to swap these tapes, or give them away we are totally cool about that too.
To be honest we are not fantastically bothered about people selling them in a non-profit sort of way either.
But there are a lot of pretty bad CDs doing the rounds at the moment selling for inflated prices, particularly on ebay (notably Berlin 2003).
Don't buy them, everyone we have heard is rubbish.
The drama and excitement of a Zounds show does not translate that well to the living room anyway. And the blatant profiteering is distasteful to us and exploitative of people who like the band.
Save your money, buy a guitar and start your own band.
Today sees another important release on the Waterden label: the CD Langton Freeman's Summer-house Tomb by The Mystic Umbrellas. The Umbrellas made their debut in 1980 on the Deleted Records tape Deleted Funtime with the ethereal, drifting keyboard composition Journey To The West. This CD is a remastered and remixed version of the cassette that was originally planned for release on the Deleted Records subsidiary Fashionable Trousers, but which never actually appeared.
3rd May 2004
After months of apparent inactivity, the Waterden sound factory has gone into overdrive, churning out CDs with the frequency of Barbara Cartland novels (but hopefully with a little more quality). After the two aforementioned 391 CDs, today sees the release one of the most eagerly-awaited collections yet - the much-talked about Instant Automatons LIVE CD!
Yes, I finally managed to get my finger out and finish it off. It's called ARCHAEOLOGY, and it's ready and waiting in the Catalogue. Woo-hoo!
29th April 2004
Now that 391 have got going, it seems there's no stopping them. Today sees their second CD released within a month. This one is called Notes From Underground. Of course, it's available from the Catalogue.
3rd April 2004
Wow! Three months since I last updated the website. I've got a good excuse, though: the past couple of months has seen the reformation of one of the projects I had a hand in back in the 1980s - the legendary 391. There are two CDs available - one is a limited edition CD EP that is being included free with all orders from the Waterden online catalogue while stocks last, and the other is a full-length album of tracks inspired by favourite movies. They even have their own website.
4th January 2004
Happy New Year to all our readers and happy birthday to me. First and foremost, the new Mark Automaton CD, The World, The Flesh & The Devil, hits the streets today. You can read more about it and hear some audio samples here.
Secondly, I'm making it one of my New Year's resolutions to finally get round to finishing off and releasing the long-promised live Instant Automatons CD, and also (hopefully) the CD of unreleased material. Keep your eyes on this page for updates.
7th November 2003
I cannot recommend too highly the current issue of UGLY THINGS magazine - it contains a truly massive section on the phenomenon that was Fuck Off Records, including interviews with the legendary Danny & The Dressmakers and one of the godfathers (or should that be grandfathers?) of UK DIY, Kif Kif Le Batteur. Also included is an (almost) complete Fuck Off Records discography/tapeography. Is tapeography a word??
31st October 2003
Two new articles have just appeared in online magazines. The first, in Freize, is a general piece about the UK DIY music scene and includes a lengthy paragraph about The Automatons. The second is a full-blown article in Perfect Sound Forever, written, like the previously-mentioned Dusted review, by Wilson Neate. Cheers Wilson!
4th October 2003
I haven't contributed any latest news for a while, mainly because there hasn't been any, so I just thought I'd use this opportunity to say I have updated the LINKS page with a considerable number of additions.
25th July 2003
The latest edition of Dusted online magazine features an in-depth review of Not So Deep As A Well, written by the great Wilson Neate. Read it here now!
15th July 2003
A momentous occasion indeed! Today sees the release of my first solo CD, A Peck Of Dirt. As you may have read elsewhere on the website, I gave up writing and recording after I left the Automatons. However, as a result of working so closely with our back catalogue and the positive response I've had from buyers of the CDs and visitors to this website, the old creative juices have started flowing again. Well, trickling, anyhow. The result is this CD. You can read more about it here (and hear a couple of MP3 samples), or if you just can't wait to add it to your collection, go directly to the Waterden Catalogue.
25th June 2003
Amazingly, I finally got a contribution to the website from erstwhile guitarist and unreconstructed Everton fan, the legendary Mic Woods! You can navigate to his reminiscence from the Biography link above, or jump there directly.
17th June 2003
Well, it's been a while since the last update but that's mainly because there hasn't been any news. Anyhow, one of our correspondents (Kev Pedersen) has written to tell me about a record he found:
"I found this record through a website. It was listed as Nose Dive Music
Fuck Off Records... It is the Weird Noise EP... I'm guessing it's a test pressing that was made a cover, but otherwise I know nothing."
Kev very kindly included a couple of scans of the record in question. Here's the front cover, and this is the back.
Personally, I knew nothing about this version of the Weird Noise EP, so if anyone else has any information, I'd be pleased to receive it. Hey, vinyl junkies - that's another one for your collections!
2nd April 2003
Love Not Devotion is now available on CD. As before, I have included a couple of samples on the MP3 page.
The problem I've got now is deciding what to release on CD next: the choice is between Angst In My Pants (the legendary Deleted Records double EP) and The Street Level CD (as yet untitled) which will incorporate The Weird Noise EP, The Street Level EP and the One Million Hamburgers EP. Hey - here's a good idea: let's hold a competition. Email me and tell me which I should do, and why. The best three entries will be published on the site, and will win...oh, I dunno...a copy of the Ready In The Rhythm Section LP by The Syndromes vs. The Merciful Release All-Stars featuring The Impossible Dreamers. (A collector's item, folks!) Be creative. Be amusing. Be persuasive. Prove to me that someone actually reads this stuff I write.
21st March 2003
There are three more audio samples on the MP3 page - tracks from We Couldn't Agree On A Title.
20th March 2003
The CD version of We Couldn't Agree On A Title is now available. Meanwhile, back in the Waterden fairy grotto, the magic elves and pixies have made a start on converting the big black plastic disc that is Love Not Devotion into a small silver plastic disc.
17th March 2003
I've added a few more sites to the Links page - one I discovered myself, and two that were submitted by P.J. Peanutz. Thanks, P.J. If anyone else has anything to contribute, don't be shy.
11th March 2003
One of our correspondents, Hervé Hue, has informed me that the Chainsaw flexidisc that features The Automatons, The Dancing Did and Tronics is available here. It's highly likely that supplies will be limited (how many did you originally press, Charlie?), so if you feel you must add this to your collection, do it now! He who hesitates is lost.
6th March 2003
I've added a few samples tracks from No Platform For Heels and the Product Of Reason CD to the MP3 page, so you can try before you buy.
2nd March 2003
At last - I've finally got round to finishing the Product Of Reason CD A Cure For Insomniacs. This was originally going to be the first release on the Waterden label (it still has the catalogue number WDCD001), but I got so involved in doing the Automatons' CD and setting up this website that it sort of got put to one side. Well now it's out. Hurrah!
28th February 2003
The site's growing, so I made a site map. Well, I actually had a lot of help from Xenu's Link Sleuth, a fab FREE bit of software that checks all the links on a site (and produces a Site Map as a rather nifty offshoot).
26th February 2003
As promised, the CD of No Platform For Heels is now available via the Waterden Online Catalogue. I am currently working on We Couldn't Agree On A Title, and this should be available soon.
20th February 2003
As a direct result of publishing this website, I have had a number of queries about the availability of stuff like We Couldn't Agree On A Title and No Platform For Heels. I personally don't have any spare copies of any of these recordings but I was aware that originals were still to be had if you could track them down and were willing to pay the price. What I didn't realise was how ridiculously inflated some of those prices were - I was recently informed that a copy of We Couldn't Agree On A Title had sold for $250 on eBay. If I may be allowed to editorialise for a moment (hey - it's my website!) - that's just bloody stupid.
Of course there will always be vinyl junkies who don't mind paying £90 for a copy of Angst In My Pants (something we originally sold for £1.15), but for the rest of us - the ones who are interested in the message, not the medium - I have decided to eventually make these LPs available on CD. More details will be published here soon.
Also, if you haven't checked the CDs page for a while (or if this is your first visit), you may be interested to know you can now buy Not So Deep As A Well online.