Friday 9 October 2020

Long Fin Killie - Kismet 1994-1997


Short bio:
Long Fin Killie, from Scotland, released three albums and several EPs on the British avant-rock label Too Pure in the 1990s. The core line-up consisted of Luke Sutherland (vocals, violin, guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, saxophone, hammer dulcimer, thumb piano, etc.), Colin Greig (electric and upright bass), David Turner (drums/percussion), and Philip Cameron (electric guitar). In 1997, Turner was replaced by Kenny McEwan on drums.Their name was taken from a family of ornamental freshwater fishes known as killifishes, noted for their interesting drought survival and reproductive habits.

The members were all highly trained, enabling them to create complex, atypical music which usually featured hypnotically-bowed violins/celli, jazz-influenced drumming, and meandering ambient passages. Allmusic cited them as having "staggering levels of musicianly talent". Vocalist Luke Sutherland often delivered his cryptic, highly literate lyrics in an androgynous falsetto voice. Almost always provocative, he took on homophobia and racism, Sutherland's slithery, gentle voice often switching from pulse-racing eroticism to angered politicism on a dime, which was only reflected by the band's lush, repetitive, Krautrock- and post-punk-informed rhythms.

I have no recollection of where/when I first heard Long Fin Killie, most probably it was during a period of the 1990s when I was buying more or less anything released on the Too Pure label. I'd never really heard a band like them before, though I could detect certain influences, and I don't think I've really heard anyone like them since their demise. As the short bio states, they released 3 albums and several EPs, and playing through them the past week or so I didn't come across one track I disliked, which made compiling this anthology even tougher. Eventually I managed to cobble together the tracks which stood out for me the most.

Too Pure were, for me, one of the best UK independent labels of the 90s. Manerg suggested to me a few months back that I should do a compilation of the label. An excellent idea, and something I aim to do before the end of this year. For now, I hope you enjoy this collection of one of their finest bands, and in these still hazardous times stay safe and well! As ever, info containing track origin & year of release is tagged in the music files and in the download file.

 1. Flower Carrier (4:16)
 2. Clinch (4:08)
 3. Chrysler (3:24)
 4. Matador (6:21)
 5. Boy Racer (3:07)
 6. Love Smothers Allergy (5:58)
 7. Rhino (3:41)
 8. Flaccid Tabloid (3:15)
 9. Kismet (4:10)
10. Butterbelly (7:50)
11. Hollywood Gem (3:03)
12. Lipstick (3:57)
13. Coward (5:16)
14. Nation (2:42)
15. Ringer (3:55)
16. Fresher (2:56)
17. Stacked (2:34)
18. Love Life (3:26)
19. The Lamberton Lamplighter (5:07)