You Are My Urusei Yatsura
CD Album (rgirl112)
Released September 2, 2016
Limited edition digipak CD available 2nd September 2016
“..The exception being Urusei Yatsura” - first review, LIST magazine.
“It means “Noisy Stars”” - Fergus Lawrie.
So it's coming up for the 20th anniversary of the “We Are Urusei Yatsura” album, so what better time to look back at the broken Woolworths guitars, damaged eardrums and bleeding knuckles of Glasgow's lo-fi, Tokyo dreaming geek rock quartet?
You could say it all began at the Glasgow Sound City event, when legendary BBC DJ John Peel came along to check out Urusei Yatsura at the 13th Note at the invitation of future Franz Ferdinand front-man Alex Kapranos. Liking the chaos that he saw, Peel invited the band to record a session for his show, asking live on air while guitarist and singer Graham Kemp was visiting the studio to talk about his “Kitten Frenzy” fanzine the next day.
“Peel arranged for us to record the session in Glasgow” says Kemp, “We didn't have any amps or any money to get to London.” Producer Stewart Cruickshank told the band that it was the first Peel Session recorded outside of Maida Vale since the Undertones. So no pressure there then.
This began a long association with John Peel and the BBC, which saw the band record 5 Peel Sessions, 3 Evening Sessions for Steve Lamacq, play live to air for Mark Radcliffe, and appear regularly on Radio Scotland for John Cavanagh and Mark Percival. Digging through old C-90's that had been partly taped over with that week's charts, the band have pieced together a compilation of the best tunes for you, the discerning 90's indie rock aficionado.
“..they sounded a bit like the Saints” - Thurston Moore, SELECT
“Some of the recordings we did for the BBC, I think, are better than what eventually made it onto vinyl. We did “Kewpies Like Watermelon” live in the control room for Radio Scotland and we had just learned it so it sounds really fresh and exciting. The version of “Siamese” is the best we ever captured, and I love the “Dice/Nae Dice” tune we wrote especially for Peel”. - Kemp
The challenge of recording and mixing four songs in a single day brought out the best in the band, and suited their impulsive, DIY rock n' roll spirit. The album, available on CD and vinyl, features 11 songs, including session versions of 6 singles, choice album tracks and live favourites from the only band who have been threatened by both the Yakuza and the Mafia (the latter incident generating the hilarious headline “Nerds Threatened With Death” in the Sun “newspaper”). The band have decided to call this hand-picked selection of the highlights of an eight year “career”; You Are My Urusei Yatsura, BBC Radio Sessions.
Other highlights of said career include; a number one indie single with a video shot in a Star Trek themed bar (Phasers On Stun), a Peel Festive Fifty placing (Kewpies Like Watermelon) an actual top 40 hit (Hello Tiger), numerous chaotic tours of Europe, UK and USA ,narrowly surviving a collapsing stage at Benecassim and a tent fire at Phoenix Festival, releasing three studio albums and 13 singles (including splits with Mogwai, the Delgados and the Blisters), taking Mogwai, Eska and Pink Kross on their first UK tours, supporting Super Furry Animals, Pavement and Teenage Fanclub, playing at Roskilde, Reading and T In The Park festivals, The CMJ festival in New York and MIDEM in Cannes.
The band consisted of the writers Fergus Lawrie (guitar and vocals) and Graham Kemp (guitar and vocals), with brother and sister rhythm section Elaine and Ian Graham on bass and drums respectively.
Journalistic catchphrases; Jesus & Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, Pavement, Swell Maps, manga, 90's Glasgow Scene, lo-fi, toys, something in the water.
- 01. Plastic Ashtray (Evening Session)
- 02. First Day On A Brand New Planet (John Peel Session)
- 03. Kewpies Like Watermelon (BBC Radio Scotland)
- 04. Phasers On Stun (Evening Session)
- 05. Siamese (Evening Session)
- 06. No No Girl (Evening Session)
- 07. Hello Tiger (John Peel Session)
- 08. Exidor (John Peel Session)
- 09. Slain By Elf (Evening Session)
- 10. Flaming Skull (John Peel Session)
- 11. Dice Nae Dice (John Peel Session)