Monday 16 January 2012

One Hour Later Over Iran

No band on the north Wales scene of the early eighties are more mythical than One Hour Later Over Iran and yet many people are to this day only sketchily aware of their existence. This is in some ways understandable when you consider that their entire public presence was limited to a single gig at the Glanrafon Pub in Bangor and 28 minutes and 24 seconds of recordings which were released on a very limited and highly sought after cassette, both in 1981.

Their single release was duplicated onto clear body cassettes - a brand new development in 1981 - and housed in a transparent case, all the information being printed on the label of the cassette. Although the packaging was inspired by Faust's classic 1971 debut LP's clear vinyl and sleeve, there doesn't seem to be any further discernible Faust influence on the group's music. With an ironic nod to music industry trends of the period, it was also released as a "1+1" cassette - with all the music on one side and a blank side for fans to record their "second favourite group" on!

These recordings amply display just how far ahead of their time the group were, anticipating the ramshackle DIY naïveté of the "C-86" scene by some five years. There's an endearing charm to the way all three members switch between instruments, although special credit must be singled out for Rebecca Ward's fine violin playing and drumming, probably the closest any of the group came to competence. Conversely, Alan's one attempt at drumming on the unreleased out-take "One Day the Red Flag Will Fly Over Albion" displays exactly why an otherwise fine song was excluded from the original release! It was of course this multi-instrument layered approach that was responsible for the group's reluctance to play live, although on the one occasion they did, they acquitted themselves admirably, without resorting to backing tapes or additional musicians. Sadly, the event was not recorded for posterity, and all that remains of this most elusive of groups are the seven songs that made up their sole release, together with two out-takes from the same sessions, presented here for the first time.

For trivia spotters, this page from the 1969 TV21 annual provides insight into the origins of the group's somewhat cumbersome name:

One Hour Later Over Iran - Complete recordings

1 A Road and a Field 3.09
Rebecca - violin/drums Alan - guitars Maeyc - vocals/bass
2 The Man in the Brown Coat 2.50
Rebecca - violin/vocals Alan - bass/organ/vocals Maeyc - vocals/drums

3 The Big Footprints 3.51
Rebecca - violins Alan - vocals/guitar Maeyc - drums/bass/vocals

4 A Woman Like You 3.11
Rebecca - bass/vocals Alan - guitar/vocals Maeyc - vocals/drums

5 Running Back 4.03
Rebecca - bass/violin/vocals Alan - vocals/guitar Maeyc - drums/guitar/vocals

6 People I Know 4.40
Rebecca - violins Alan - bass/organ Maeyc - vocals/drums/guitar

7 Nid Rwyf Eisio Mynd I'r Ysbyty 6.14
Rebecca - violin Alan - vocals/bass Maeyc - drums

bonus tracks:
8 One Day the Red Flag Will Fly Over Albion 5.11
Rebecca - bass Alan - drums Maeyc - vocals/guitar
(unreleased out-take from original album sessions)
9 Strut 90 4.05
Rebecca - drums Alan - guitar Maeyc - vocals/bass
(early version of 'A Road and a Field' with alternative lyrics)

get it here

1 comment:

  1. Going through all these, from the beginning. This one's gone straight onto the iPod. Bendigedig.

    Diolch yn fawr am y wefan.