Later this week my dear friend Jonathan Field celebrates his 50th birthday. These days he is a highly respectable layabout and family man, but way way back in the early to mid 1980s he was an indie-folk troubadour going by the name Johnny "Conical" Field. He cut a swathe through the small but perfectly formed Dorset music scene of the time, and even made an appearance at the Cambridge Folk Festival before real life intervened and he packed it all in.
Back then he made some recordings for the Dorset-based DIY label Cuddly Records. The recording quality was pretty primitive to start with - it would have made what today's hipsters consider "lo-fi" look very hi-tech - and they were cassette only releases so the quality of my copies has deteriorated even further in the nearly thirty years since. But here are three of the slightly more audible highlights of his body of work.
"Chestwig Obsessional Vol. 4" - Johnny "Conical" Field
"The Navel Of A Policeman's Wife" - Johnny "Conical" Field
"Donovan Takes His Shirts To Mr. Wu's Chinese Laundry Now" - Johnny "Conical" Field
In case you are wondering: Yes the first one does nick the tune from Bob Dylan; the second one is his loose translation of a Georges Brassens number; and the third is what you might perhaps call a "mash up" of George Formby's "Chinese Laundry Blues" and this: