Airheads Discography

Boing!!

boing200 Album
27 January 1992
#29

CD– Korova 9031-76303-2
Scrap happy/I might fall/Right now/Funny how/Easy/Counting sheep/I don’t mind/Congratulations/Wish you were here/Isn’t it rich/Everybody needs/Funny how (original version)

LP – Korova 9031-76273-1
Scrap happy/I might fall/Right now/Funny how/Easy/Counting sheep/I don’t mind/Congratulations/Wish you were here/Isn’t it rich/Everybody needs

CASSETTE – Korova
Scrap happy/I might fall/Right now/Funny how/Easy/Counting sheep/I don’t mind/Congratulations/Wish you were here/Isn’t it rich/Everybody needs/Funny how (original version)

CD (1991 release) – Korova
Scrap happy/I might fall/Right now/Funny how/Easy/I don’t mind/Congratulations/Wish you were here/Isn’t it rich/Everybody needs

 

Congratulations

congratulations200 Single
1991
(as Jefferson Airhead)

CD– Korova KOW45CD
Congratulations/Something blue/Congratulations (demo)

12″ FANZINE – Korova KOW45TX
Congratulations (Airhead society mix)/Congratulations (demo)/Something blue

12″– Korova KOW45T
Congratulations (12″ mix)/Something blue/Congratulations (demo)

7″ – Korova KOW45
Congratulations/Something blue

 

Scrap happy

scraphappy200 Single
20 May 1991
(as Jefferson Airhead)

CD– Korova KOW46CD
Scrap happy/Take my train/Scrap happy (demo)

12″– Korova KOW46T
Scrap happy/Take my train/Scrap happy (demo)

7″ – Korova KOW46
Scrap happy/Take my train

I have a spare CD copy of Scrap happy if anyone is interested in buying it.

 

Funny how

funnyhow200 Single
30 September 1991
#57

CD – Korova KOW47CD
Funny how/Keep the apple/Funny how (album version)

12″ FANZINE – Korova KOW47T
Funny how (12″ mix)/Keep the apple (12″ mix)/Funny how (album version)

12″– Korova KOW47T
Funny how (12″ mix)/Keep the apple (12″ mix)/Funny how (album version)

7″ – Korova KOW47
Funny How/Keep the apple

 

Counting sheep

 countingsheep200
Single
16 December 1991
#35

CD – Korova KOW48CD
Counting sheep/Take my train/Counting sheep (demo)/Keep the apple

12″ FANZINE – Korova KOW48T (with free 6cm metal badge)
Counting sheep/Take my train/Counting sheep (demo)

12″ – Korova KOW48T
Counting sheep/Take my train/Counting sheep (demo)

7″ – Korova KOW48
Counting sheep/Take my train

 

Right now

rightnow200 Single
2 March 1992
#50

CD – Korova KOW49CD
Right now/The enemy/Through my window/Right now (demo)

12″ FANZINE – Korova KOW49TG
Right now (12″ mix)/The enemy/Right now (demo)

7″ – Korova KOW49
Right now/Counting sheep

 

That’s enough

thatsenough200 EP
1993

CD – Mother Tongue MOTHER1CD
That’s enough/They don’t know/Someone should have told me

10″ – Mother Tongue MOTHER1T
That’s enough/They don’t know/Someone should have told me

 

Second album?

A (possibly dodgy) CD-R featuring demos of the second album occasionally crops up on ebay.

 

Why I love Airhead

Kent-based four-piece Airhead lined up with Michael Wallis (vocals and guitar), Sam Kesteven (drums), Ben Kesteven (bass) and Steve Marshall (keyboards).

Signed by WEA/Korova as the Apples in September 1990, they became Jefferson Airhead before dropping the ‘Jefferson’ from their name on request of Jefferson Airplane’s record label.

Bow Wow Wow bassist Leigh Gorman was enlisted to produce the band’s first Korova recordings, and the first fruits of these saw the light of day in February 1991 when the sulky, baggy-sounding mid-tempo Congratulations was released. The song’s artwork was similar to 60s-psychedelia-inspired pop art, a theme which continued for all but one Airhead releases. A second single, Scrap happy, followed in May that year as the band’s fanbase continued to grow.

Autumn 1991 saw the release of what is perhaps now the band’s best-known song, Funny how, to good reviews and heavy airplay on BBC Radio 1. Its catchy couplet, ‘It’s funny how the girls you fall in love with never fancy you/Funny how the ones you don’t, do’ ensured it remained a floor-filler at indie discos, and years after the band split up, the BBC chose it as the introductory music on their Match of the Day football programme. Funny how climbed to number 57, the first time Airhead had troubled the top 75 chart.

The band’s commercial peak and biggest singles chart success would be with Counting sheep, the lead single from their debut album. This soaring, poppy 1991 Christmas hit was backed with the standout b-sides from the previous two singles Take my train and Keep the apple, and it even managed to break the top 40 by reaching number 35. This was pre-Britpop in the time when any sort of chart action was seen as a success for bands pigeon-holed as part of the indie genre.

Airhead were offered a session for BBC Radio 1, so in early January 1992 they duly visited the famous Maida Vale studios in London to record four tracks for Mark Goodier’s Evening Session programme.

The broadcast of the session later that month co-incided with the release of sparkling debut album Boing!!, which collected together the band’s four singles so far and six new songs. Produced by George Shilling, it garnished great reviews in the music press and peaked in the album chart at number 29.

A final single was lifted from the album in March that year. Right now was to be the bands third and last top 75 hit, reaching number 50.

Between the release of Right now in 1992 and the following year, the band were dropped by their record label Korova, only to be signed by Mother Tongue to release a further EP. This period also saw bassist Ben and keyboard player Steve leave the band. Roger Wells took over on bass and Michael was to play keyboards when required.

The new line-up went to Falconer Studios, London, in March 1993 to record new material, self-produced by Michael. The results of these sessions appeared in record stores in August 1993 with the band’s final release, the That’s enough EP. The three tracks showcased on this CD/10″ showed a darker, brooding and somewhat broken Michael over a less-poppy arrangement. The EP wasn’t a commercial success, and although the band continued to play live in search of a new record deal, the writing was on the wall.

Band members have cropped up in various other acts since then, but fans of Airhead can’t help feel the long term-promise shown by the much-loved debut album (which commands £15-30 when it crops up on internet auction sites) was never allowed to be fulfilled.

Band members

michael2Michael Wallis
Vocals and guitar

sam2Sam Kesteven
Drums

ben2Ben Kesteven
Bass (to 1992)

steve2Steve Marshall
Keyboards

 

  • Roger Wells played bass 1992-93.
  • Sam and Ben were also in The Popinjays.
  • Michael and Sam were also in Spike.
  • Roger was in Resque.
  • Sam plays drums with Wonderhorse (see also Channel 4) and is now a photographer who has worked for Time Out in London. He was also the subject if the identity parade in an episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks in 2004.

It is believed that some members were in a band called Inswinger in the mid-1990s.
The producer of the band’s early singles, Leigh Gorman, now lives in Hollywood.
The producer of Boing!!, George Shilling, is still based in the UK.

Why I love Airhead

I’ve been looking for Airhead on the internet for some time but not come across much so I thought I’d put together a few pages to ensure the band has small corner of the internet to itself. They didn’t achieve much chart success, I’m not sure if they were even ever cool to like, but I think they deserve some sort of online acknowledgement.

Boing!! was the first CD album I ever bought; as a result it became the soundtrack to my formative teenage years along with other great early-90s indie. I also also bought Michael Jackson’s Dangerous in the same transaction, thank goodness that didn’t go on to influence my musical tastes quite so strongly.

Most of the content on this site is made up from the scraps of information found in the 12″ fanzine singles, bits I’ve stolen from the internet or things that people have emailed me. If you have anything more substantial then please get in touch.

There is also an Airhead Facebook page at facebook.com/airheaduk (not to be confused with Finnish death metal band Airhead).

Happy Tweaking

Continuing my ‘HappyTweaking’ series (:D) I spent yesterday doing all the twiddly things to the site that I’ve been meaning to do for a while but never got round to because they seemed too little.1) It occurred to me that the design of this site was very much geared around simplicity and that there was very little to suggest lilesville. Pedantic, I know, but a picture paints a thousand words. I googled and found a nice black and white spiral image which I adapted to make a favicon, a separator (I’ve never liked that grey swirl very much) and a Photoshop brush to embellish the header image. Now I feel like I’ve got much more of a logo and a defining image. Shiny.

2) I added Gravatar support and used the fractal motif as a default image.

3) I bought the domain townoflilesville.travel – you can now reach this site from it. This time next year I shall have to think about paying for hosting.

I’ve also been reading lots of articles on improving blog content and writing quality. Over and over again I read that ‘Good content keeps people coming back’ so I’m trying to update every day and make sure what I write is interesting and relevant, although I find it hard to read my own stuff and critique it objectively. It’s good practice for November though.
One day I would like to be considered good enough for submission into 9rules – but I’m not there yet. I think it would be a nice gesture if the 9rules people offered help and guidance to people whose websites aren’t up to scratch but who are willing to learn and take criticism. They could call it 9schools!

How I built my new site

If you’re reading this, you’ll have realised that townoflilesville has a new home – new hosting and a new address. I have to say that buying web hosting was a very good decision – things work here! No longer shall I be forced to compromise on features because ITS don’t have the mod_rewrite module installed! No longer shall I be inundated with spam because Akismet doesn’t quite work! No longer shall I have to wait 2 weeks for support emails to be answered! (Don’t get me wrong, I support the ITS, and I even like them, but free hosting isn’t their main priority). I have been very happy with my current service – Orion Hosting. The support I have been getting is really impressive.So, how did I do it? Well, firstly, CSS layouts are really not my strong point. They get me frustrated and confused, which is why I’m glad I found layoutgala. It’s a collection of 40 fully validating CSS layouts, in percentage, fixed and fluid designs, and it does all the hard work for you, and a reasonable amount of intelligence is required to tweak them to dimensions which work for you.

Having got the template downloaded, I separated the content and the css, and opened the css file in CSSEdit. This is a truly wonderful piece of software – one of the only pieces of shareware I’ve bought, and it’s indispensable for writing and debugging valid CSS. Version 2 adds a live preview window among other things, and I’m really not sure how I lived without it.

When I had the layout sorted, it was time to fire up Textmate. Everybody loves Textmate, and for good reason – I never knew writing HTMl could be so rewarding. First I used dummy text to create the look and feel of the site I wanted, then I used Brett’s WordPress Theme bundle to effortlessly add template tags. At this stage my computer is a bit old and slow to be hosting a wordpress installation locally, so I just uploaded the whole site and told no-one it existed while I tweaked.

So I’d got a wordpress theme working quite happily – but now I wanted photos, books and ma.gnolia links. Implementing the Flickr badge was quite easy, thanks to Elliot Swan’s Custom Flickr Badge API Documentation, the ma.gnolia links were much more straightforward once I’d found the linkroll output html, and the Librarything widget was more of a challenge, but I got there in the end. I also customised my own feed icon for the bottom right hand corner – I didn’t think orange would ‘go’.

So there you have it. A wordpress-themed site, built from scratch, with all the extras seamlessly integrated. It’s my first try at all this, and I’m actually really quite proud of it, especially since it almost-validates (The one error is due to putting the flickr badge in twice – I can’t work out how to fix that one). The CSS validates fine, but I defy anyone to write invalid CSS if they have CSSEdit installed. Finally, I’m tracking everything with mint, which is fun but addictive, especially with the dashboard widget!

Let me know what you think in the comments 🙂

The buy to let market in Anson County

mountain-lake-properties-nc14You can now choose from a wide range of buy to let mortgage deals, including fixed rate, discounted, tracker and flexible schemes. With latest figures telling us that the rental market is booming, it is a great time to speak to a broker who specializes in the buy to let market.

Investing in residential property to rent out in Lilesville can be very lucrative, especially over the last few years where properties have appreciated in value year on year. So if you are looking for an investment plan to buy a house and let it out we can help with your mortgage in seconds.

a-beautiful-house

In the late 90s only a handful of lenders started offering special buy to let mortgages. Now with the market having increased significantly over the last few years most mainstream lenders cater for this market. Buy to let investors can now choose from a vast selection of products but with the offerings varying so much and different lenders requiring different criteria it is wise to talk with a mortgage lender that is a specialist in this field. Not only will theyt give you advise on the best deals around at present but will help guide you through the whole buy to let process.

Requirements for a Buy to Let Mortgage

Generally you will be required to have at least a 15% deposit. The rental that you will be charging for the property will normally need to be at least 125-130% of your mortgage repayments. This is put in place to protect you too since there may be periods when your property will not be let ‘void periods’, either because you have no tenants or perhaps need a few weeks to redecorate before new tenants arrive.

Some lenders have limits to the amount lent on a buy to let property, some are lower than you may think so do check.

How many buy to let properties can I have?

This varies with different lenders, some will limit you to the number of properties you have in your portfolio, others have monetary limits to the portfolio but there are lenders who may allow you to expand your portfolio with no preset conditions except that each additional property makes sound business sense.

Where should I buy?

It is very important that you research your area very well before deciding to purchase a buy to let property. Speak to the local estate agents, especially those that have a letting department within their agency. Find out what the local demand is for, whether their is over supply in the area and which properties are in demand, e.g Flats for professionals or perhaps 3 bedroom house for families because the area has a good selection of schools.

Where can I get help and information?

For all potential landlords the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) is the best place to go. They have a panel of recommended buy to let lenders and their website gives some very useful information regarding the buy to let market for both landlords and tenants and the potential pitfalls you may expect when entering the buy to let market.

What additional costs may I expect?

You will need to decide whether to instruct an agent to fully manage the property or to just find the tenants and perhaps collect the rent. Letting agents charge different commissions for this and you may get a better deal if instructing one on a sole agency basis. Standard rates vary from 10-15% depending on the service you require.

You are also responsible for the upkeep and general maintenance of the property, so some savings kept aside is advisable. Buildings insurance will need to kept up on your property and you may also wish to instruct the services of an accountant or tax advisor, although many letting agents offer a tax service as an additional cost.