Various Artists The Buntingford Long Playing Record

Zaius Tapes
24th March 2022

Format Info

LP - black vinyl

Cleave open the spirit of punk, the joy of some kid picking up a music-making piece o trash and you’ll find the liquid magma of inspiration and naivety that is captured so brilliantly and evocatively on Buntingford Long Playing Record.

For something so niche – it was recorded over two months in a small town called, well, Buntingford, England in the Youth Wing (is that a youth centre?) – the quality feels like it could be a greatest hits of the DIY movement. Except this stuff is so obscure that you’re likely not au fey with most of it. We weren’t. Seriously, this is all groups from the local era who decided to take up the original punk’s klaxon, and the quality is better than a Messthetics comp or a Killed By Death. Wonky, shonky, inspired, teen-aged boredom and nihilism, nascent indie pop, post-punk, mismatched outsiders and never-weres. This is the stuff we live for.

Listening to both sides, you’re caught not only by the effervescent spirit of these youngsters but also of their way with a tune and their chosen medium. What’s equally heartwarming is that the town’s website,, amidst their advertisements for recycling and plea for dogwalkers has a detailed history of every band and mp3s for each track. This is public, civil service at an almost altruistic level.

So now, in 2022, Zaius Tapes in, of all places, Tazmania have re-pressed this long out of print document of the time and place and it’s just essential if you’re anywhere near punk, post-punk, indie pop, DIY losers in spirit you’ll need this. Where to start? So each group has a song on each side, and The Debutantes open things and are already one of those groups you could swear you had a £300 7″ by. A little power pop, like The Shivvers with a guitarist who thinks they’re in Joy Division, a singer with a high teenage register who’s just killing it. On the flip, their She’s Out Of Your Way Now is like, I don’t know, a grade a banger that didn’t deserve to sink into obscurity.

What about The Choke!? Absolute Television Personalities rawness (except they were contemporaries!?), that drumming that’s like the drummer’s been drumming for about a week and the song is hanging by a thread, we just drink that stuff up. Infinite Lots’s Human Army just, just, just, man how is this not on that Soul Jazz DIY comp!? How is all this greatness from one wee town in Hertfordshire in one year. Infinite Lots are powered by post-punk with cheap-ass domestic synths warbling away in the background, clearly in love with Joy Division too, even that accent they’re putting on is just so so of the time brilliant. Riverside Rocky do a kind of downtrodden, harmolodic walking blues with barely tuned scratchy guitar that Country Teasers would have done some bad things for 10 years ago.

Special mention goes to a band called Malc The Talc. Primitive doesn’t really cover it, guitar sound is plugged straight into some hi fi made in 1973, there’s a ghostly backing vocal that sounds it’s either made by tuneful cats or kids that’s way more melodic than the lead vocal, which itself is half pub-rock half Dan Treacy. Love love love. Look, just look at the line up for Malc The Talc: Kev Michael
Stuart Campbell
Nick Marsh
Jo, Liz, Mads

If you do one thing today, buy this LP.

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