Let The Show Go On!
Our Founder Tim who is the keyboard king and singer of our band ‘Soft Shell Crabs’ was approached by Record Collector magazine to remaster and re-release Loose Capacitor a prog ‘masterpiece' he made when he was 15 with his school band back in the day. This original 'Rare Record’ changes hands for over £1k today.
It all started in 1971
Tim’s then terrifyingly strict and repressive school did not permit any instruments that were not deemed ‘classical’ to be played; in fact it was against school rules and it was forbidden “for pupils from different houses to visit, even to speak to each other – making it near-impossible to form a barbershop quartet” or even any sort of ensemble.
Somehow, Dave Gardiner (lead guitar), Tim Wood (keyboards), Steve Biddle (bass), Nigel Jones (rhythm guitar) and Adrian Laycock (drums) saw potential in the silence of banging cushions (in the absence of a drum kit) to form Ptolomy Psycon that practiced in secret.
After the months of silence Dave smuggled in an electric guitar in his trunk and Steve made a bass guitar in woodwork class from recycled roof timbers. Tim had a suitcase Gemini Organ, relatively easy to disguise, as a suitcase.
School rules stated that no more than 2 students could practice together in the music school without a teacher being present. Caught and reported Tim and Nigel were sent straight to the Headmaster. Nothing was going to stop this contraband quintet and on the proviso that their hair was cut short it was quietly agreed that they could practice.
Modern day Mozart Tim convinced his English and Music teacher that it was a good idea to bring the school into the modern age even if it did mean losing the hippy locks.
With a fresh new look the boys wrote a piece for band and school orchestra and played it at the school concert to a standing ovation – despite the Deputy Head being so concerned about the noise level of amplified music that he handed out earplugs in the public gallery muttering 'the devils music' under his breath.
The new young History teacher was so impressed that he organised the recording of the piece and two other tracks penned by the band. The band designed and silk screen printed 250 album covers and all copies of the album were sold to parents and pupils. The last coveted edition was saved for Tim’s then girlfriend… who gave it back after a week.
Cut to 2018
Tim gets a call from Ian Shirley of Rare Records who tells him about the near 10K plays / views of the album on YouTube including hearing that a Dutch FM radio station was using it as an intro to one of their programs. Ian offers to rerelease the album as a collectors limited edition. The members of the band who hadn’t seen each other for over 40 years got together again to enjoy the story, have a giggle and a jam session. They pooled their original copies, including Tim’s ex girlfriend’s unplayed mint condition copy. These were then used to re-master a new enhanced edition.
The new gatefold, splatter vinyl, limited edition disc with the story of the band has now been re-released.