Monday, August 03, 2015
The PowerString Game
The PowerString Game
Henk Van Mierlo Kreative Kommunikatie BV. LP
Have you noticed how the charity shop record bins are changing? Admittedly you wont have to dig far before you come across a Jim Reeves record or something by Bert Kaempfert but all those records that were bought in the 60’s by people who were dying in the 90’s are slowly drying up to be replaced by people ditching their bland 80’s and 90’s pop 12 inchers. Now I’m starting to see a smattering of battered pop tunes and Donna Summer LP’s. Not that bad in itself and perhaps worth a ten bob punt should you be in the mood but those Jim Reeves records wont be around forever and while Sid Vicious may have been a fan I can’t see myself ever buying one.
I used to buy lots of chazza vinyl and some of it I bought just because I liked the gaudy cover or reckoned that what lay within would be much better than the sleeve showing three beardy blokes stood in a field with banjoes and fiddles. I cut right back when I realised I had nowhere to put them and took about a hundred of them back to where they came from vowing to be more stringent in my chazza choices in future.
And to a larger extent I have been a good boy and left behind what I would have normally taken but that's not to say I’ve stopped looking. How could I? The lure of a charity shop record bin is as strong as ever. The thought that behind that Shirley Bassey album may lie something by Asmus Tietchens [something that did once happen to me in the Red Cross in Heckmondiwke] and its not as if I’m just digging around for rare Hamster Record releases. My love of the absurd and weird is something that goes hand in hand with charity shop record bins. You could trawl eBay and Discogs but the real buzz is to be had in finding something like The PowerString Game, which is essentially a promotional tool for the PS Hy-O-Sheep oil filled tennis racket string with added cheesy music.
Rescued from Mind in Brighouse on Saturday morning [along with three Greek Rebetika records and a lap steel LP by Rod King, perhaps of which more later] The PowerString Game contains one 14 minute track of promotional guff for the strings and 11 tracks of music to inspire the tennis player. These being, amongst others, easy listening versions of The Old Fashioned Way, Mack The Knife, You Are The Sunshine of My Life, Magic Fly [?] and two lounge-core instrumentals; one called ‘PowerString’ the other ‘Another Ace’ both of which were written by someone called P. Elsterre who nobody has heard of but some sad completeist on Discogs where six entries are to be found against his name.
So far so odd but its the 14 minute PowerString opener that features the Brass Band of the Royal Guards, Chris Evert Lloyd, Jimmy Connors, a Wimbledon speaker, an umpire and a commentator that separates this one from the rest. Part of that 14 minute track contains a set of tennis being played with no commentary, the announcement of the scores by the umpire and applause being your only guide. Another section goes into the technical detail of the PS Hy-O-Sheep oil filled tennis racket string, repeating the words PS Hy-O-Sheep oil filled tennis racket string every ten seconds like they were trying to brain wash you into buying the PS Hy-O-Sheep oil filled tennis racket string in a not so subtle way before reminding you that point of sale material will be place in every sports shop in the land while the tennis match between Evert and Connors continues in the background. And now on to those inspirational instrumentals.
Even the back cover is weird. A tennis player holding a racket like he’s got the left side of a marching banner in his hand, hands far apart, racket in front of face, grimaced as if it was nuclear device he was trying to fend off and not a fluffy tennis ball.
Sadly my order form is missing from the record. I know it should be there because the man who’s doing his best to sell me PS Hy-O-Sheep oil filled tennis racket strings tells me so. My life is incomplete. There’s one for sale on Discogs for 67p but it doesn't state whether the insert is there. Perhaps I could get in touch. Perhaps I could get a life.