Tha Nineez - Colt 45's EE TEE SEE (online album of Split Enz demos 1978)

As promised, more audio from the old nilfun days is now online at www.neilfinn.com. Colt 45's - EE TEE SEE is an album of Nineez demos from Neil and Noel's days in Appletree Dell, Dog Kennel Lane, Chorleywood in 1978.

 

With Tim often in attendance they recorded early sketches of Famous People, Evelyn, Mind Over Matter and even Disembodied Voices! All very lo-fi and guaranteed to confound the grannies next door, as they did in their little country cottage thirty-five years ago.

 

Jeremy

Original Post

Thanks for this Jaffa, Neil and Co, I have been waiting many years to hear these... Experimental and utterly charming!   This was such an important year for the Enz as with their frustrations they really did start to shift up gears in both songwriting and sound. 

 

Is there any possibility that the old Mill House demos may appear perhaps in a similar fashion?  Some of that heard through your brilliant Enzlogy series Jaffa sounded great.... I love up against a Brick Wall.  Were these recorded in the same manner as the Ninee demos?  

 

I would also love to hear all of Neil's After Hours demos... the bits that have leaked out so far also sound great.

Originally Posted by Spencer Goode:

Thanks for the update! Disembodied Voices is so different!

That's because it sounds the same as "Rest" - the last track on "Say It Is So" (1999). There may be something else sounding like Disembodied Voices floating about but I don't think it is in this excerpt. I'm struggling to discern any of Catherine Wheels or Fraction Too Much Friction for that matter.

 

Don't know where to begin after listening to this the once through. Can you provide a little background Jaffaman as to how these are seeing the light of day just now? How was the album title and cover art chosen? I'm assuming that it's relatively recent that new stuff has been uncovered, as the previous small amount on Enzology/Nilfun didn't do this material justice at all. It's fantastic to hear it and I hope there's more to come from the vaults!!

 

There was a small amount of a vocal "Give It A Whirl" in one of the Enzology promos, which was stated to be from the Nineez. Was that perhaps from somewhere else or did you just decide to leave it out from this album?

 

 

 

I was almost about to say! Last time I heard the Disembodied Voices demo, I started singing "rest your weary head twentieth century" to my self. The Fraction Too Much Friction demo sounds like the verses to the Escapade track in the softer part but the chorus is yet to exist. For me the big question is what part of Heather Dee was used in How Will You Go.

Originally Posted by horse 2 water ski-ing:
Is there any possibility that the old Mill House demos may appear perhaps in a similar fashion? .... I love up against a Brick Wall.  Were these recorded in the same manner as the Ninee demos?  

 

I would also love to hear all of Neil's After Hours demos... the bits that have leaked out so far also sound great.

Some of the Old Mill House songs might go up one day. Probably not quite as many tracks as Tha Nineez collection. They are band rehearsal cassette tapes, with highlights dubbed to another cassette overnight by Nigel and then probably dubbed again, so the audio quality's mostly pretty lousy. "Brick Wall" is one of the better sounding ones. But there are some fun moments and the band recall that stay at Rockfield fondly.

The After Hours '76 and '77 demos and concert at the Maidment Theatre (which was nearly destroyed by fire last week) should go up sometime. I had the original 4-track tapes in my hands ten years ago when preparing Enzology but didn't have the right machine to play them on. Would love to get a good sounding mix of those demos rather than the less than optimal dubs from cassette that have been heard around and about. Must look into getting those tapes restored.

Originally Posted by David Goldsmith:
Originally Posted by Spencer Goode:

Thanks for the update! Disembodied Voices is so different!

That's because it sounds the same as "Rest" - the last track on "Say It Is So" (1999). There may be something else sounding like Disembodied Voices floating about but I don't think it is in this excerpt. I'm struggling to discern any of Catherine Wheels or Fraction Too Much Friction for that matter.

 

Don't know where to begin after listening to this the once through. Can you provide a little background Jaffaman as to how these are seeing the light of day just now? How was the album title and cover art chosen? I'm assuming that it's relatively recent that new stuff has been uncovered, as the previous small amount on Enzology/Nilfun didn't do this material justice at all. It's fantastic to hear it and I hope there's more to come from the vaults!!

 

There was a small amount of a vocal "Give It A Whirl" in one of the Enzology promos, which was stated to be from the Nineez. Was that perhaps from somewhere else or did you just decide to leave it out from this album?

Tha Nineez excerpt is just the beginning of the melodic idea which Tim held onto for years and used in both "Rest" and the verse of "Disembodied Voices". Same melody, pretty much. There is another Nineez demo which I've just realised sounds a bit like the chorus of "Disembodied", but it's a less obvious resemblance.

Tha Nineez guitar refrain of "Catherine Wheels" is playing what became the chorus in the final Crowded House track. It's faster and is only featured briefly, so isn't that obvious. But if you listen to the Old Mill House section of Enzology Episode 5, there's a brief jam of that same section but with lyrics: "She was always the first to say gone." The same line featured in the finished Crowded House song 15 years later.

 

Spencer is right. The chorus of Tha Nineez' "Fraction Too Much" is the same melody of the verse of Tim's solo hit.

 

There is a Nineez "Give It A Whirl" recording with Neil singing, but no actual lyrics. Just da da dums. The instrumental version was preferred. Enzology 5 featured a bit of the Old Mill House rehearsal.

 

"Heather Dean", to answer Spencer's question, has a section at 46 seconds which was borrowed for the verse of "How Will You Go", but in a different time signature and with a significantly different arrangement.

 

Tha Nineez collection follows up on the Nilfun flash files that went up on neilfinn.com in February. As you mentioned, the original Nilfun site had a few Nineez tracks so I wanted to include them too - but this time in better quality and quantity. No new tape discoveries here. I had transferred all of Neil's Nineez cassettes to CD-R around 2000 in preparation for Enzology but there wasn't room in the series to feature more than a tiny amount.


The album title and cover art are taken from one of the Noel-designed cassettes of Nineez jams. The photo was also used on the Sniff page on the original Nilfun.

 

There will definitely be more audio and video goodies from the vaults, covering all stages of Neil's career.

Originally posted by Jaffaman:


Some of the Old Mill House songs might go up one day. Probably not quite as many tracks as Tha Nineez collection. They are band rehearsal cassette tapes, with highlights dubbed to another cassette overnight by Nigel and then probably dubbed again, so the audio quality's mostly pretty lousy. "Brick Wall" is one of the better sounding ones. But there are some fun moments and the band recall that stay at Rockfield fondly.


Thanks for the info: I remember ages ago that Nigel said he had a load of rehearsal tapes and they were pretty lo-fi: like the band playing the bat-man theme which evolved into Dirty Creature.  I find most of this fascinating from an historical perspective...  from the the idea to the finished piece and this period (1978) was probably their best for the cooking of the creative juices... especially when you consider the amount of songs or ideas for which later became songs.

Cheers for all that information Jaffaman, I love how I can always go back and read all these posts.

Why did Neil, Nigel and Tim record these demos under the "The Nineez" moniker in the first place? Was the intention for these recordings to become an actual side project, separate to Split Enz, or was the plan for them to become Enz songs all along?

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