Archaeology cover

The Instant Automatons

Nothing Ever Happens To Me
Ignorance Is Bliss
Lower Third
Short Haired Man
Too Big/The Story Of My Wife
Eyes Like Saucers/Scared To Be Alone
Drunk In Woolwich
Baby, Burn Your Clothes
The New Dylan
Brains Under Glass
August ‘78
Failure (Is Just A State Of Mind)

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Original Sleeve Notes

Archaeology: some might define it as digging up and putting on display ancient artefacts that would be better left buried. That's probably true in this case, but what the hell.

When I was putting together the Instant Automatons anthology Not So Deep As A Well I discovered a considerable number of live recordings mouldering in my attic. Most suffered from poor sound quality, inept performance or (usually) both, but I realised that there was a quantity of material here that may well be of interest, including one or two items that had never made it as far as a proper recording studio.

As far as I can tell, all these recordings were made between 1980 and 1982, before audiences at various venues around the country. I have tried to limit my role as remasterer to achieving the best sound quality possible under the circumstances while preserving the atmosphere of the original performances, so there are no re-recordings, remixes or overdubs here and some of the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. While I have removed things like the longer tuning-up attempts and the awkward pauses when we were trying to remember what to play next, I have preserved a lot of the between-song repartee at I believe that what we lacked in technical ability we more than made up for in enthusiasm and self-deprecating humour.

I think this would also be a good opporunity to applaud the tireless (and often thankless) efforts of those who spent time and sometimes even money organising these gigs and bringing Free Music to the masses - whether the masses wanted it or not...

Step forward and take a bow:
Kif Kif, Grant, Steffy, JB, Steve & Alison, Janet Thompson, Zounds, the London Musicians Collective, et al

And thanks, of course, to the dozens of people who came along to the gigs and managed to refrain from throwing rotten vegetables.

The tracks in this collection were recorded at the following venues:

Blue Moon Festival, Nenthead, Cumbria
Idiot Ballroom, Clarendon Hotel, Hammersmith, London
Huddersfield Polytechnic, West Yorkshire
Nenthead Village Hall, Cumbria
Acklam Hall, London
The Instant Automatons were:
vocals, saxophone, harmonica, kazoo
guitar, vocals, drums on Drunk In Woolwich
bass, keyboard-bass-pedal-thingy, very occasional vocals
Drum Machine :
going "bink-bonk-bunk"
Extra special guest artistes:
Joseph Porter:
drums on Baby Burn Your Clothes
Nigel Jacklin:
drums on Failure, guitar on Drunk In Woolwich
guitar on Drunk In Woolwich
The Casual Labourers:
backing vocals on Drunk In Woolwich
Will Vigar:
wearing a fez on The New Dylan

They also served (but not on here):
Nag, Justin Adams, Jonathan Barnett, Kif Kif le Batteur, Cait O'Riordan, Su The Vampyre