A couple years ago the HYPED 2 DEATH label unearthed a boatload of 1980-83 archival recordings, many of them cassette-only, from a little-known UK band called THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS. I was fortunate enough to get one, and they had me at hello. The CD, with the compact title of "RICHARD, RODNEY, RASTUS, RAOUL, RODERICK, RANDY, RUPERT", has a smattering of home & studio & live recordings from this sometimes-tuneful workingman’s artpunk band, who practiced their rough trade at the intersection of early MEKONS and Detailed Twang namesakes THE DOOR AND THE WINDOW. I was a bit surprised, given my immediate enthusiasm for these resurrected simpleton masterpieces, how little attention they garnered, and how to this day I haven’t read a single word of praise about the band that wasn’t part of a sales page or on my own blog. Here’s what Hyped 2 Death themselves had to say by way of introduction:
Midnight Circus are known to a handful of fanatics from the rare Angst in my Pants compilation EP, but they put most of their energy into the cassette-only wing of the DIY movement. Nevertheless, they churned out vinyl-worthy DIY-punk tunes by the score, and unlike most bands that did make it to vinyl -who typically spent most of their money on pressing and printing-- the 'Circus were free to blow it all on recording.
C’mon folks, have a listen – here’s two killers from the CD, which you can purchase by clicking here.
Play or Download THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS – “Leather & Lace”
Play or Download THE MIDNIGHT CIRCUS – “The Hedonist Jive”