performing ferrets

The Ferretable Thing (1979)

The Ferretable Thing

Cassette released in 1979 on Maidstone independent label Dead Hippy (who also released stuff by other Maidstone bands). Recorded in Rochester, tracks included "Brow Beaten", "Develop That River", "Shoo-Shar", "Morgan", "Rouse Rouse" and the infamous "Didn't Like Us", widely misinterpreted by the local skinheads as a reference to them. "It's about the KM" (Kent Messenger newspaper) protested vocalist Paul Skilbeck, to little avail. Received a fairly favourable review in Sounds. 

Brow Beaten/Disco One/Shoo-Shar (1980)
Brow Beaten EP

The single, also released in 1980 on Dead Hippy - this single had the disadvantage that all of the tracks had been released on The Ferretable Thing some two months earlier. Manchester underground music mag City Fun commented "Tinny, dull...their guitarist would benefit from a better group". Mark E. Smith of The Fall allegedly approached vocalist Paul Skilbeck in a Manchester nightclub and said "Brow Beaten...shake you by the hand!" First played by John Peel the same night as Orange Juice's first single.... and where are they now?

Performing Ferret Band LP (1981)
Performing Ferret Band LP

Factory supremo Tony Wilson told us "albums sell themselves". Taking this as fact, the band released the Performing Ferret Band LP in 1980. It did not sell itself. Recorded in a day in Stockport, the album suffered from slightly flat production , which was worsened by a poor quality acetate for pressing the actual records (enough of the bloody excuses, Chatfield). In a desperate attempt to draw the attention of John Peel, the album was released on Pig Productions; the band's own label. Factory Records boss Tony Wilson was given a free copy at a gig at the Cyprus Tavern in Manchester - at the end of the set, he came back over and paid for it, obviously not wanting to feel under any obligation whatsoever.

The Moneyspinner


The Moneyspinner

Fingers burnt by the album not selling itself (and not having any more money), The Moneyspinner (1982) was released in cassette format. The tape was the brainchild of guitarist Steve Maguire (who did go on to benefit from a better group) and featured "seven tracks for £1" including the classic "(Walking Down) Bower Mount Road" - anyone who lived in Maidstone and has actually walked down Bower Mount Road will realise just how much pleasure there is in this activity.

No One Told Us

No One Told Us

“28 songs from one of D.I.Y.'s iconic bands, 1978-82, including most of their astonishingly scarce LP, which music-historian / journo / D.I.Y.-enthusiast Johan Kugelberg described as "the most seminal LP to come out of DIY... Fantastic over-enthusiastic juvenilia of an almost supernatural beauty."The Ferrets started out in Maidstone, Kent, in 1978 but they soon settled in Manchester while parlaying academic careers in Manchester, Portsmouth, Nottingham and Preston into appearances all over the U.K.: John Peel once lamented that every gig he deejayed there seemed to be a Ferret there "clutching a demo tape in its sweaty paw".There's a touch of The Fall and the TV Personalities, a little garage and Beat, hints of the rhythm-propelled sounds of the Monochromes, Feelies, Beefheart, Gang of 4/Delta 5 or Diagram Brothers, and a dry wit that had more to do with the Ferrets' favorite authors and comedians than anyone from the class of '77, but the Ferrets' response to D.I.Y. was all their one told us collects 28 tracks from 1980-82, including their lone Peel-championed 45. They also released two cassettes (perhaps 200 each) and 300-odd copies of their self-titled LP. After two years in Manchester the Ferrets wound down when two of them ended up in Miaow with Cath Carroll, another took over the editorship of Manchester's legendary City Fun, and a fourth got a doctorate in immunology. The complete saga's in the 12-page booklet, along with photos, artifacts, and almost 80 minutes of the Ferrets' finest on the CD

Performing Ferret Band LP (2017 reissue)

Alehop! and Beat Generation present a reissue of Performing Ferret Band's self-titled album, originally released in 1981.

Performing Ferrets EP

Ferrets EP 2017

The 1980 EP with bonus track Convenience, released by Insolito Records on vinyl.