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Shriekback — The Underwaterboys
Album: Big Night Music
Avg rating:
6.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1428









Released: 1986
Length: 4:38
Plays (last 30 days): 1
We all know fata morgana
She keeps herself to herself
She likes the sound of explosions
You know - some people need nothing else
She has a volatile nature -
Moves in a dangerous way
All the creatures around her:
They keep quiet, or she blows them away

They sing:
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...

Theres always fast talking Jonny
He used to get so ill
He spent a while in the country
Now he's clean and serene but he can't stand still
Little Nick wasn't happy -
He felt sick inside
One day he jumped from the window
Into the arms of a Wagnerian bride

Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...

And then there's old Uncle Charlie -
He don't speak any more
He lives one side of a mirror,
A refugee from the chemical wars
A critical disposition -
He likes to eat his own hands
His principle motivation
Is a special secretion from a secret gland

He sings:
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Comments (220)add comment
 Azrica wrote:
Wikipedia :
Shriekback are an English rock band formed in 1981 in Kentish Town by Barry Andrews, formerly of XTC and League of Gentlemen, and Dave Allen, formerly of the Gang of Four, with Carl Marsh, formerly of Out On Blue Six soon added to the line-up.
{#Crown}
 
 
Bravo Azrice! :-) 
Could be The the / Matt Johnson
 mobboss wrote:
Leonard Cohen-ish. like the atmospherics.
 
Exactly my impression, before looking I thought it was  "By the Rivers Dark".
 nagsheadlocal wrote:

I did not know that about Shriekback - thanks for the tip.
 
...so maybe an XTC connection with Wendy & Sarah [Partridge] perhaps?
 ick wrote:
What a relief this is from Arcade Fire... whew!  Thank goodness for the PSD button.
 

That PSD button is the best feature. Beside Flac.
I don't hear any shrieking. But I do see Jeff Bezos on the cover. 
 rgarvin wrote:
Singer has the Chris Rea growl I like... but, special secretion from a secret gland?
 
Meet the Shriekback. Some of their songs are in the IR part of the spectrum.  
check out 'My spine is the baseline' and 'hand on my heart', 2 superb Shriekback songs
Leonard Cohen-ish. like the atmospherics.
Singer has the Chris Rea growl I like... but, special secretion from a secret gland?
Not to be confused with  The Waterboys
So glad the lyrics are included....I always was trying to figure out "Wha diddle...." thinking it was English.  The song is pleasant enough.  
Image result for mullet hair
I never thought much of these uber-fantasy lyrics, but the strings and the unmistakable brightly shimmering 1980s sound still send me.
I shriek when I hear Nickelback.
 Pjesnik wrote:
Anyone married to a Wagneriam bride?

 
I think Tristan still is.
Classic 80's beautifully distilled with quality lyrics. 
This brings back some memories from the college days.  Thanks for playing it !
I have heard this song eighty-bajillion times on RP, but never took the time to check who the artist was. BillG just said it was Shriekback*, and my ears tweaked forward like a cat's will do. I can't believe that I never checked to see who this artist was. For me, it's just been background music. 

*My knowledge of Shriekback is, uh, of much more energetic songs.  
 CHuLoYo wrote:
I'm not a fan of this band but this song is fantastic. A 9 from 8

 
...... ditto
I'm not a fan of this band but this song is fantastic. A 9 from 8
Anyone married to a Wagnerian bride?
 
Song always grabs my attention - love it.  Rest of their stuff not so much, but they really nailed this one!
Thought this was Tom Verlaine for a minute. 
First 10 from me. But it is Shriekback and that is not negotiable. 
The Fairlight does everything on this tune. That was worth the investment.
Wikipedia :
Shriekback are an English rock band formed in 1981 in Kentish Town by Barry Andrews, formerly of XTC and League of Gentlemen, and Dave Allen, formerly of the Gang of Four, with Carl Marsh, formerly of Out On Blue Six soon added to the line-up.
{#Crown}
 
 Proclivities wrote:

They were contemporaries, more-or-less.  This singer was in XTC earlier.

 
I did not know that about Shriekback - thanks for the tip.
 ziakut wrote:
I'm sure I'm late for this comparison...but it sounds much like Matt Johnson. Is there a connection? Love this by the way!

 
They were contemporaries, more-or-less.  This singer was in XTC earlier.
the good stuff from the 80ies {#Cool}
  ScottD wrote:
I wanna hear gunning for the buddha

 
I wanna hear "My spine is the baseline"

 Stingray wrote:
"BIG NIGHT MUSIC" (very true) should not be missing in any serious collection.
ALL 5 stars for this magnificent work!
*****
PS The band - among others - consists of members of great bands like: - XTC  - League of Gentlemen (Fripp) and - Gang of Four 
I really need to dig this CD out and burn it.

Thank you RP for discovering this song to me. The more I listen to it the more I like it. {#Bananajam}
 TerryS wrote:

Actually, it doesn't sound bad on a pair of $17 Panasonic earphones.

 
Sounding fine on my phones....I'm not so sure that the sound is 18x better, though ($300 Bose). They were a gift. I'm too cheap!
 fredriley wrote:

...or on my £14 Sony phones from Sainsbury's, plus I don't end up fecking off the fellow wage-slaves in my cell with speakers. A bit solipsistic, mind, but that's codework for you... :(

I really thought, on first hearing, that this was Matt Johnson from The The in a mellow mood. Captivating.

 
It's sounding pretty good through my <$40 pair of SuperLux HD668Bs


"BIG NIGHT MUSIC" (very true) should not be missing in any serious collection.

ALL 5 stars for this magnificent work!

***** 

PS
The band - among others - consists of members of great bands like:
XTC  
League of Gentlemen (Fripp) and
- Gang of Four  
 fredriley wrote:

...or on my £14 Sony phones from Sainsbury's, plus I don't end up fecking off the fellow wage-slaves in my cell with speakers. A bit solipsistic, mind, but that's codework for you... :(

I really thought, on first hearing, that this was Matt Johnson from The The in a mellow mood. Captivating.

 
Yes, it could have been certainly The's Matt Johnson. Good "observation", Freddy!
 TerryS wrote:

Actually, it doesn't sound bad on a pair of $17 Panasonic earphones.

 
...or on my £14 Sony phones from Sainsbury's, plus I don't end up fecking off the fellow wage-slaves in my cell with speakers. A bit solipsistic, mind, but that's codework for you... :(

I really thought, on first hearing, that this was Matt Johnson from The The in a mellow mood. Captivating.
GORGEOUS SONG and band!

CLEARLY a 10! 
Whoever the vocalist is, he sure sounds like Lloyd Cole.
 Stingray wrote:

6.7 is the avarage rating for this IIIIIIIIIINCREDIBLE SONG! 

Hear it on a good set of speakers (2500$ upwards) - and you (may) understand better!

Song itself is a very solid 9



 
Actually, it doesn't sound bad on a pair of $17 Panasonic earphones.


 ziakut wrote:
I'm sure I'm late for this comparison...but it sounds much like Matt Johnson. Is there a connection? Love this by the way!

 
Same era for 2 great bands, check em out..good stuff
I'm sure I'm late for this comparison...but it sounds much like Matt Johnson. Is there a connection? Love this by the way!
The The Underwaterboys. 
I wanna hear gunning for the buddha
A great album!
A classic and VERY cool tune! "8"
Nearly flawless segue.....
What is this fellow muttering about?
What a relief this is from Arcade Fire... whew!  Thank goodness for the PSD button.
Liking this so I thought I would buy the album......As previously mentioned its not available on iTunes so I thought I would try Amazon.fr.........................€89.99 (thats $142 for you guys over the pond )  WTF ......whats going on?
https://www.amazon.fr/Big-Night-Music-Shriekback/dp/B000001FT4/ref=sr_1_51?ie=UTF8&qid=1352494307&sr=8-51
idiot_wind wrote:
OK, It's Friday.
Play some rock n roll.

Please stop this mockey, jokey, souless, techno crap.
 
 Stingray wrote:

There is certainly a reason why you gave yourself that name, Idiot!

 
...agreed....well said....
Great stuff! 
 idiot_wind wrote:
OK, It's Friday.
Play some rock n roll.

Please stop this mockey, jokey, souless, techno crap.
 

There is certainly a reason why you gave yourself that name, Idiot!


10!!
OK, It's Friday.
Play some rock n roll.

Please stop this mockey, jokey, souless, techno crap.
I've had it at 8 since first hearing it a couple years ago. Oil & Gold fan, here.
 Why the hell is this not available on iTunes or Amazon?

6.7 is the avarage rating for this INCREDIBLE SONG! 

Hear it on a good set of speakers - and you will understandr?

 


 peter_james_bond wrote:
Shriekback's The Reptiles and I from this album is playing on the LRC at this very moment! What are the odds? {#Stupid}

 
2 : 3.000.000.000 is my offer!
 mandolin wrote:
Posted: Mar 31, 2011 - 11:55 < Reply >

 lemmoth wrote:  
heh.
 
... history repeats itself, repeats itself ...

To rate this song with 6.6 is an offense of Iraqian-attack quality!

Why America cannot live in peace with the world - and me?!

This song is a 9-10 - nothing else.

"Jump from a bridge" - if you disagree!


 elcerrofeliu wrote:
This song is the style of Leonard Cohen...
 

Only if you are a (grey) Alien.

 


I can't believe it!

RP plays three of my favourites in a row!

Bouree, Golden Brown and now The Underwaterboys!

I would like to advise my American friends and fellow listeners

to rush to the record store tonight in hope to be able to buy this

FANTASTIC album.

An all-time-top-10 among the 15.000 albums I own on my shelve and in my PC (12.500).

 

 


 fredriley wrote:
'Kinell! I've just been listening to The The, then come back to RP and hear a singer who's the spitting image of Matt Johnson. Not quite as angry, mind...
 
Matt's has a friendlier voice, IMHO. "Dusk" is one of my top ten all-time faves. Yes, dark and brooding like Shriekback, but also like so many others of the time. Black was the only color.
Nice and smooth - a solid 8. Shriekback lyrics are always dark, but that's a good thing.
Great music from a great time. I forgot about them till now.
Thanks for playing!
One of my favorite songs of all time, totally made my day hearing it out of the blue. Thanks, RP!
Always liked this....thank you RP for swinging it around again.
My god, the lyrics... This is worse than StephenKing creepy. A guy who likes to eat his own hands? Shit, I know I'ma have nightmares now.
For some reason, this song creeped into my brain.

I really, really like it.
Hmmmm.... Nights spent with Stinky... don't ask!  {#Lol}
 elcerrofeliu wrote:
This song is the style of Leonard Cohen...
 
By way of Peter Murphy

This song is the style of Leonard Cohen...
And then there's old Uncle Charlie -
He don't speak any more
He lives one side of a mirror,
A refugee from the chemical wars
A critical disposition -
He likes to eat his own hands
His principle motivation
Is a special secretion from a secret gland

?
 lemmoth wrote: 
heh.
Lots and lots of Fairlight. It must be 1986 :-)
 fredriley wrote:

Matt Johnson must have mellowed, then, because The The's 80s albums were absolutely coruscating with seething (and, IMO, righteous) anger at the state of Thatcherite Britain. He sounded like he was spitting blood when he sung the songs, and the lyrics are brutal.

 
I was making a joke about the "spitting".  Yes his social politics then and now are quite vitrolic, in a good way.

 lemmoth wrote:
Shriekback - The Underwaterboys
Chroma Key - Astronaut Down
Oi Va Voi - Yuri
Peter Shilling - Major Tom

Worst 4 song stretch of music every since I have started listening to RP - and its been 5 years.
Thank God its over
 
agreed and ditto.
 SmackDaddy wrote:

disagree on the spitting image part, and Matt's not that angry. I've met, albiet breifly, and he seems to be quite a peaceful fellow.
 
Matt Johnson must have mellowed, then, because The The's 80s albums were absolutely coruscating with seething (and, IMO, righteous) anger at the state of Thatcherite Britain. He sounded like he was spitting blood when he sung the songs, and the lyrics are brutal.

Shriekback - The Underwaterboys
Chroma Key - Astronaut Down
Oi Va Voi - Yuri
Peter Shilling - Major Tom

Worst 4 song stretch of music every since I have started listening to RP - and its been 5 years.
Thank God its over
 DaveInVA wrote:
This sounds like something Leonard Cohen would do...
 
In collaboration with Dieter Meier, mayhap?

This sounds like something Leonard Cohen would do...
 JohnnySockhead wrote:
Only $147 on Amazon for this CD!
 
Holy crap. I bought this cassette used for 2 bucks back in '88 or something. Nuts.

Smooooth segue...Shriekback is so damn decadent.
Yep. Good stuff.
 fredriley wrote:
'Kinell! I've just been listening to The The, then come back to RP and hear a singer who's the spitting image of Matt Johnson. Not quite as angry, mind...
 

disagree on the spitting image part, and Matt's not that angry. I've met, albiet breifly, and he seems to be quite a peaceful fellow.
Bloody hell! Shriekback they haven't crossed my conciousness for decades. I saw them at Hatfield Poly in the 80s. As I remember they had some kind of fish fixation, oh yes and they made a square single which buggered my stylus!

 peter_james_bond wrote:
Shriekback's The Reptiles and I from this album is playing on the LRC at this very moment! What are the odds? {#Stupid}

 
Just went and gave it a thumbs-up {#Smile}
 daveesh wrote:
each time i hear this, it takes me right back to my college days. uncanny.
 
Yesss... me too... 1986... living with 3 friends on the edge of the U of A campus in a large house that used to belong to a frat... I used to play this album over and over, especially when I was relaxing... as soon as I hear it I'm right back in that dodgy old living room with its beer-stained carpet and cracked walls... amazing...

Shriekback's The Reptiles and I from this album is playing on the LRC at this very moment! What are the odds? {#Stupid}

each time i hear this, it takes me right back to my college days. uncanny.
Nice!
'Kinell! I've just been listening to The The, then come back to RP and hear a singer who's the spitting image of Matt Johnson. Not quite as angry, mind...
{#Meditate}
 ianmoff wrote:
Is RP going prog?



I'll get me cloak 
 
{#Lol}

Yeah, the Leonard Cohen similarity is pretty apparent, but it sure reminds me of Geoffrey Oryema's, er, "The River" I think.  But I see this came out first...  Makes ya wonder.
They have an Interesting Website
Is RP going prog?



I'll get me cloak 
Thought this was David Sylvian!
Thank you so much for playing songs from this planet´s best unknown band. It´s such a shame they are so forgotten. Please(!) play something from their most-forgotten  - first - album CARE. In my opinion, this is one of the best first albums in rock history, but they were 20 years ahead of their time. (In fact they invented  Trip Hop on this record, amongst other things, and this was 1983!)
 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
Everyone knows that Shriekback's Barry Andrews is The Veils' Finn Andrews' dad, right?
 
Thanks for the link Scott   {#Clap}  I've been a Barry Andrews fan since his days with XTC but I didn't know he was Finn's dad. Very cool!

Everyone knows that Shriekback's Barry Andrews is The Veils' Finn Andrews' dad, right?
Only $147 on Amazon for this CD!
 horstman wrote:


Kinda Leonard Cohen in its vocals and The The in its production?
 

Indeed. That plus some Real World Studios Peter Gabriel collaboration.
 jadewahoo wrote:
Lyrical, poetic, sublime...

We all know fata morgana
She keeps herself to herself
She likes the sound of explosions
You know - some people need nothing else
She has a volatile nature -
Moves in a dangerous way
All the creatures around her:
They keep quiet, or she blows them away

They sing:
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...

Theres always fast talking Jonny
He used to get so ill
He spent a while in the country
Now he's clean and serene but he can't stand still
Little Nick wasn't happy -
He felt sick inside
One day he jumped from the window
Into the arms of a Wagnerian bride

Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...

And then there's old Uncle Charlie -
He don't speak any more
He lives one side of a mirror,
A refugee from the chemical wars
A critical disposition -
He likes to eat his own hands
His principle motivation
Is a special secretion from a secret gland

He sings:
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...

 
Appreciate the lyrics, good ol' Uncle Charlie

Knew about them, never heard them. This I like. RP rocks.
The Stranglers and now Shriekback... I feel like I'm on the cooler side of the '80s.
Nice. I'm assuming this song is atypical for them (ie mellower than most of their stuff)?
Lyrical, poetic, sublime...

We all know fata morgana
She keeps herself to herself
She likes the sound of explosions
You know - some people need nothing else
She has a volatile nature -
Moves in a dangerous way
All the creatures around her:
They keep quiet, or she blows them away

They sing:
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...

Theres always fast talking Jonny
He used to get so ill
He spent a while in the country
Now he's clean and serene but he can't stand still
Little Nick wasn't happy -
He felt sick inside
One day he jumped from the window
Into the arms of a Wagnerian bride

Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...

And then there's old Uncle Charlie -
He don't speak any more
He lives one side of a mirror,
A refugee from the chemical wars
A critical disposition -
He likes to eat his own hands
His principle motivation
Is a special secretion from a secret gland

He sings:
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...
Singing
WHA DIDDLE IDDLE I DOH
DOWN HERE - THE UNDERWATERBOYS...

Kudos on another terrific segue Bill!  {#Notworthy} And this is a better song. But what is this tune about....scuba divers? {#Ask}
Can't believe I haven't heard this before. It's great! Thanks Bill.{#Hearteyes}
I can't believe that I am hearing this here! Shriekback is such a brilliant and forgotten group! This is from their best album, "Big Night Music". I would LOVE to hear more Shriekback on Radio Paradise. Great pick, Bill!
catsoup wrote:
I've heard this song on RP before, and liked it, but the segue from Astronaut Down was sublime.

You're not kidding - that was freakin' brilliant ...

I feel like an astronaut in a submarine...

 mandolin wrote:
...i hear roxy music...
 
Agreed, same same...

I've heard this song on RP before, and liked it, but the segue from Astronaut Down was sublime.
For some reason the XTC connection escaped me all these years. So I upgraded my already-high score for this immaculately produced and cleverly written tune.
Emwolb wrote:
Bill needs to dig up Gunnin' for the Buddha from this collection...great song.


++

{#Sealed}
The playlist needs something from their Oil and Gold album:  say, "Fish Below the Ice"?
Papernapkin wrote:
Sounds like soft-rock, easy-listening music you'd hear at the dentist.


she likes explosions
you know, sometimes you need nothing else


sounds like maybe the last thing you'd hear at the dentist.