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Andrew Murchie - The Murch Music Archive

Biography - A short written intro to the various bands I was invovled with and their surrounding worlds. Include links to content relating to South African punk bands (or at least bands from that era) including Peach, Asylum Kids, Dog Detachment and Wild Youth.

Scribbles and Nonsense
One Page Too Many

Greatest Non-Hits
Days Before - Iffel Demo

Days Before - Rehearsal Tape
Sidney Motorscooter - For Openers
Sidney Motorscooter - Max Bygraves Goes Apesh*t Crazy with a Pick Axe Handle
The Raw I's - Early Group Demos
The Raw I's - Late Solo Demos


At long last I've got a good number of the tracks I recorded from punk "Boys on Heat" / post punk "Days Before" days in South Africa from around about 1980 through to the solo "Sidney Motorscooter" recordings in the mid 80's UK and ending up with "The Raw I's" that had several incarnations from around 1994 until the present as a non-gigging musical project.

My first band, "Boys on Heat" consisted of Friggin' Fredde on drums, Legless Leon (he had polio as a kid) on bass guitar and myself on guitar and vocals; we gigged around Johannesburg in the late 70's early 80's supporting both Peach and The Asylum Kids who were at the time the major alternative bands in the country. Other local bands around at the time that were a major influence on us getting up off our arses and playing were Corporal Punishment, Dog Detachment and Wild Youth who's shows were a major inspiration. However we were chaotic and fairly poor musicians but our enthusiasm kept us going until we imploded as far as I can recall due to Fred and myself never being able to maintain a cohesive strategy or musical direction for the band.

Although we played a one of gig as "Alsations at Dawn", a name derived from our friend Barry Falloon who thought it sounded good following an experience at Sun City, Fred and I regrouped for our second band proper - "Days Before the Bomb". The name very quickly became shortened to "Days Before" and we gigged in and around Johannesburg in the early 1980's. Amongst others we supported The Softies and The Dynamics who were again a major influence in keeping our enthusiasm going in an atmosphere where alternative live music struggled to garner much support. Again though we imploded with Fred and I having major disagreements about how the band should sound and, considering other problems I had with the South African government at the time, I left South Africa and returned to Edinburgh in 1985.

In the following years although I continued to write and record, I never really gigged again. We became good friends with a local Edinburgh band called "The Dancing Bears" and to this day I am stunned that their singer songwriter leader "Ritchie Lambert" never made it big as he wrote some of the greatest pop tunes I ever heard. In the early 90's I started to get a band together using the name "The Raw I's" however apart from a few rehearsals we too never actually gigged.

Below then are a wide range of recording from very early on in "Days Before" through to several of my later "The Raw I's" tracks.

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"Greatest Non-hits" - Of all the tracks I wrote/recorded these are my favourites. - circa. 1984 - 1996

I'll Be Yours (1996) - In my opinion my best song, I'm very proud of this - from the arrangement through to the lyrics it's the only song I wrote that I was 100% happy with... and the recording is pretty good too, well except my vocal track. It's a personal take on a love song in a warped damaged world.

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Stone Grooving (1996) - Another track written around the time of "I'll be Yours" where I came close to writing the song I wanted to. It's inspired by sitting listening to Hendrix realising listening to this music was like an opening a pathway through time. This thought holds for all recorded music/images of course, not just Hendrix.

Bad Dream Girl (1988) - Now this surprised me, I forgot writing this one but I really like the song and the arrangement/sound. As fits this particular stage of my songwriting it's an imaginary love story about a girl... but a girl who has come out of my deepest darkest dreams, dragging the darkness into reality.
Cold (1986) - The lyrics to this came about from me standing feeling a bit down, waiting in the rain for a bus about a year into having returned to the UK after nearly 20 years in Africa. This is another song I still really like - it's good to be able to go back and listen to songs years later with a more critical ear. Of course it's quite painful when most of them are really pretty dodgy!
Acid (1984) - Following my first experience visiting a chemically induced alternate reality I felt inspired to try and write something that was musically a mix of the sensations I felt with the lyrics attempting to relay some of the strange things that I saw that day. The most bizarre vision, which isn't mentioned in the lyrics, was my friend Ian bothering me by walking around without a head - some people are so inconsiderate! Mind you the trees morphing into green, naked, human bodies and twisting sensuously around each other was quite intriguing too. Bizarrely enough this was also the day I met the girl who I would marry.
Hymn (1984) - A very early experiment with a slightly more psychedelic style, probably Joy Division influenced - came to me when I was under water in a friend's pool and looked up to see a weird warped vision of them peering down at me in the water, and wondered about a scenario where some dark "power" would try to kill me by holding me under water.

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Days Before - Iffel Demo - circa. 1983

No Harm - Meant to be a song lampooning the second generation imitation-punk bands and their overtly negative attitude - this was probably our most misunderstood song and the one lyrically I'm most embarrassed about - some local skinheads thought the "I hate black, and I hate white, I hate everything" message was serious. F*ing racist idiots.

Chorus - A song about competition, hallucinogenic's and teenage rebellion.
Banned - Co-written with another guitarist friend at the time it had something to do with John Lennon's death, later versions morphed into a song about Parental Guidance censorship.
Hymn - This version recorded in a friends basement is a bit lacking as it was a newish song and Philip who was playing bass had only really been playing for a matter of days when we dragged him in to do this - hence the weird shift in octave and timing that slides a bit!
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Days Before - Rehearsal Tape - circa. 1984

Last Generation - A punky teenage moan about society.
Nuclear Protein - Don't know what this was about - think it was inspired by Devo and just being stupid. We used to do a very silly syncronised dance to this. A really embarrassing video exists of me miming to this.
Banned - See notes above.
Hymn - This version of the song is a bit more dramatic, plenty feedback and rolling bass and drums- it's recorded a few months after the studio demo so we all knew it a bit better and Fred was experimenting with his drum parts a lot more.
Clowns - Another odd one, not quite sure what it was about either. Visions of clowns destroying the world - I think this kind of fear was commonplace in the 1980's. Mind you (at the time of writing) with the Bush circus in the Whitehouse it's probably a scarier vision now.
Public - Another song moaning about how apathetic the South African audiences were. The lack of support for live music and bands used to drive me crazy... on stage I used to use this to ramble on trying to rile the audience, an earlier live version has me ranting at them about being "useless f**ing w*nkers" and asking them to leave the gig? Who knows what I was doing, not me!!
Chorus - See notes above.
Acid - This early rehearsal version shows the energy and pace of the song with the bass and guitars playing the same pushing riff. Not a bad attempt for us in those days.
No Harm - See notes above.
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Sidney Motorscooter - For Openers - circa. 1986

Acid - The song that never dies. A different version, the first multi-track recorded version.
Pretty - A song bemoaning good looking, gold digger girls. As I never had that much money or anything for these type of girls to latch onto I was probably just unhappy at not attracting their interest.
Share - An early attempt at an anti-apartheid freedom song. It shows youthful passion in a naive kind of way.
Portobello - We used to sometimes go to Dunsappie Loch in Hollyrood Park in Edinburgh and stare into the dark depths - the lyrics here are a mixture of awe at this deep ancient loch and a notion of wandering round Portobello kind of lost in a depressed state One of my absolute worst songs - I really think this one stinks beyond belief!
Banned - See notes above.
Friend - A simple song about how good it is to have friends.
Cold - See notes above.
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Sidney Motorscooter - Max Bygraves Goes Apesh*t Crazy with a Pick Axe Handle - circa. 1988

Max Bygraves - The Cult of Celebrity. I had just got a cheap crappy sampler and for some reason this seemed to be the ideal thing to do with it! I think the lead riff here is re-purposed later for the Raw I's 3D Theme.
Leather and Lace - About this time I started writing songs that were not explicitly real or based as previous songs on my current reality. This then is just a simple little love song with a twist of S&M thrown in for good measure.
Summer Love - Another love song with a twist, as much a short story as a song. Take a listen for the "double entendres" in the lyrics though - comedy, love and death in one song.
Another One - Possibly inspired by listening to The Pogues' "Rum, Sodomy and The Lash" (what a great album) - a song about drinking as far as I recall.
My Blood - Don't really have much to say on this one. The lyrics speak for themselves. About broken down families and relationships.
On the day that I met Sidney... - schizophrenia put to a catchy pop tune.
I don't hurt - This was about a friend who was going through a tough time.
Bad Dream Girl - See notes above.
It happens every day - My second attempt at writing an anti-apartheid protest song. This one's a bit better but feels completely out of place in amongst the other tracks here. It was inspired by a song a friend of mine, Bob, used to play on the guitar (late at night drunk usually) about a soldier in Ireland during the troubles there who throws himself onto a bomb to save the families around him.
Acid (again) - Not much more can be said about this - apart from this is the best version.. so far!

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The Raw I's - Early Group Demos - circa 1994

Bruised - At this stage I was experimenting at creating a distorted droning kind of keyboard sound - so most of the demos have this kind of electronic droning keyboard backing - made me happy at the time! Also as samplers were all the rage I seemed to have gone a bit OTT adding samples just about everywhere. This is about how difficult it is not to press a bruise that really hurts, just to check if it's as bad as you thought it was. A metaphor for many things in life.
Sometimes - This is about how close two people can get, and how over time they begin to reflect each other in so many ways.
You wear it on your sleeve - As a person who has never had much care for what others thought of me this song reflected a frustration with a good friend at the time who I felt just tried too hard to be liked or to fit in.
Why should I smile (when I'm not happy)? - I think the title says it all. Don't you hate when people say "Come one cheer up" or "Come on smile, it can't be that bad" - well it can be that bad, so f* off!
Control - An instrumental track that I really still like - crazy flaky guitar and scary samples.
Cold - Raw I Group Demo - Not as good as the original Sidney Motorscooter version. I feel it lost way moving from a basic guitar - bass - drum track.
I'll Be Yours - Raw I Group Demo - A good attempt but not as good as the later version below.

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The Raw I's - Late Solo Demos - circa 1996

I'll Be Yours - See notes above.
Stone Grooving - See notes above.
The Raw I's 3D Theme - An instrumental experiment with sampling, got a decent sound but it's all a bit pointless really.

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All content images, audio and video on this site are copyright Andrew Murchie.