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
The single, also released in 1979 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
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.
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.