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Why A Heart Attack Must Not Arrest The Cardiacs
The Quietus , May 4th, 2010 06:05

With friends like Napalm Death, Israel and Eastender’s Phil Mitchell, who really cares what your enemies think of you. Graham Bendel explores the appeal of a band that many love to hate.

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You might have heard the terribly sad news that Tim Smith, founder of Cardiacs, suffered a serious heart attack at a My Bloody Valentine concert not so long ago. (The irony did not go unnoticed.) Also distressing was the accompanying news that Cardiacs would not be playing for a long time. If ever again. It got me thinking about the band and what made them previously tick.

Hailing from Kingston upon Thames in Surrey, the Cardiacs could easily have come from outer space – so different were they to anybody else.

The last time I received any correspondence from the group was 1986, when I wrote to the band asking them what their influences were. The responding letter, now lost, was from the saxophone player Sarah Smith – and in it she extensively explained how the unhinged sound of the Cardiacs came to be. Influences cited were Van Der Graaf Generator, Deaf School, Wire, Gentle Giant, Y Alberto Y Lost Trios Paranoias, and others. The letter served as a syllabus, essentially, for years of future listening. A play-list that I tortured my friends with. Suffice to say, I went through an intense period of unpopularity, and was later banned from playing my music in other people’s houses or cars (including my own).

It’s not too hard to understand why Cardiacs provoke such reactions in people.

For starters, we have the fairground tease of the keyboards, the spoilt-boy schizophrenia of Tim Smith’s vocals, sing-song choruses as if from a football match or nursery rhyme; and the fact that some songs stop then start, stop-start, and so on – in a series of differing time signatures. It’s a musically bewildering and perplexing cut of cloth, interweaving colours and textures that many would consider unthinkable put together. Despite the influences they have worn so clearly on their sleeves, they are like no other band on earth. However, a few notable bands have ended up sounding quite like them. Famously, Radiohead and Blur’s respective OK Computer and Modern Life Is Rubbish are full of melodic nods and discordant winks to the trademark sound of Cardiacs. Faith No More and Supergrass have also gone on record to acknowledge the Cardiacs’ muse. Writers Cathi Unsworth and Steve Aylett have confessed a predilection for them. As have Radio’s Marc Riley, Napalm Death and, according to rumour, ‘Phil Mitchell’ from Eastenders.

Despite impressive line-up changes, their most celebrated squad was the one from mid-late 80s. Back then, they dressed in shabby lift attendant costumes (with badly-applied clown make-up), were incredibly rehearsed and tight, and starred in what seemed like their own therapeutic, surrealist pantomime. Their audience (hippies, punks, misfits and students) would plead with their lead singer not to hit unsmiling bassist Jim Smith (because he was “fat and was to die soon anyway”). Their hardcore fans, with their automated, jerky style of dancing would become a strange tableau to behold – turning the moshpit into a sweltering sea of something-near-to-performance art. At the conclusion to the night, a well-dressed man and his female assistant would come on stage with champagne and flowers. This would all happen to a euphoric sweep of saxophone and keyboards that wouldn’t seem out of place in a 70s cigar advert.

It was childish, psychotic, thrilling and unlike any other gig I’d ever attended. It all seemed to ‘mean’ something, but I couldn’t exactly grasp what. The end of innocence?

Metaphysical, existential anguish? Something to do with clowns?

Although they were very much industry outsiders, The Sunday Sport – in 1987 –ran a piece on how Tim and Sarah Smith were actually brother and sister…which made the French-kissing and groping on stage seem somewhat suspect. You could almost have believed the rumours. You see, there was ‘something’ in the music that was palpably disturbing – so why not, through osmosis, had this element not contaminated their lives? (This was years before Jake and Meg White tried their similar tack.)

Even stranger than the accusations of incest was the never-before-considered-prospect of them selling-out. Their Single ‘Is This The Life’ actually entered the charts in 1988, meaning that an innocent public could glimpse (on TV) this very disturbing collective. Championed by Radio DJ Gary Davies and being voted as ‘best newcomers’ in a SMASH HITS poll was a testament to actually how enjoyable and accessible the band could be once you scratched the unsettling and ridiculous surface. As Tim Smith has always maintained: Cardiacs were never punk or prog (or ‘pronk’) – they had always been a ‘pop’ band. A ‘pop’ band who played ‘psychedelia’.

Despite their ever-increasing popularity (through digital word-of-mouth, YouTube and blogs, etc), Cardiacs have been the recipients of some very strong criticism. They really wind people up, as Tim Smith and other members of the band know only too well. Detractors have described them as: “Idiotic”, “shit” and “absolute fucking nonsense”. And that was just my friend’s mother.

Others find them “unlistenable”, “embarrassing”, and much worse. Still, their fans love them and that love knows no bounds. Not even geographical ones. Thus, it was certainly odd to learn, recently, that they had been embraced by another lot only marginally less unpopular and condemned than themselves: Israel…

Israel’s left-wing daily, Haaretz, had included a piece about Cardiacs and encouraged fellow countrymen to watch ‘Jibber and Twitch’ on YouTube (“three middle-aged Englishmen, one wearing only underpants, and a younger guitarist”). They described the band as a “wild attack on the senses”, and highlighted the bands global popularity.

So just what is it that draws people to them? And what’s stopping more people from committing to their unique approach? Like with heroin and marmite, some try a little, are sick, and never go back for more. But don’t give up: the initial frog of discontent the debut listener experiences, once swallowed, can be transformed into something far more princely with repeat listens. A world can open up. A challenging, hard-to-decipher world that begs to be explored amidst the empty air and PR-driven disappointment of bands who supposedly push the envelope, but never really do (Vampire Weekend, The Guillemots, Wild Beasts, and so on).

Cardiacs are often lambasted for trying to be ‘wacky’ and ‘quirky’, but Tim Smith is one of the few authentic figures on the British music scene who is truly extraordinary. Is he difficult to work with? A tyrant? I don’t know, but I know he has ‘reinvented the wheel’, and, once having achieved this, has not bothered to put it back on the car he took it from.

Instead, he’s been moving forward on his own terms, and truly advancing modern rock music – but without the brakes-on career safeguarding that stifles all pioneers in the end.

There is something at work and play in the music that is significant and precious. Listen to the melodramatic sweep of ‘Stoneage Dinosaurs’ or the compelling, daunting narrative of ‘Buds and Spawn’. Consider the brain-twisting assemblage of ‘Hope Day’; and mentally crumble at the multi-shaded melancholy of ‘The Everso Closely Guarded Line’. With more notes than an understudy’s memopad and more time signatures than an over-eager traffic warden – Cardiac’s records aren’t everyday tunes, and they are not for your everyman.

Blending intricacy with intimacy, Smith produces convulsively beautiful, fractured, awe-inspiring tracks – with more punk attitude than a Bad Brains’ b-side. Despite those monumental guitar riffs, these twisting, arcane epics have more in common with religious hymns or classical symphonies than rock music.

Often, their work is as ‘English’ as The Kinks, tea and muffins. Cardiacs are something that we should truly be proud of.

To try Chrome Hoof, Rolo Tomassi or any idiosyncratic new collective without having sampled the Cardiacs top-of-their-game innovation is like absorbing yourself in Jimmy Carr at the expense of experiencing Bill Hicks or Peter Cook.

‘NOBODY does this left-of-field thing better’, as Carly Simon might have said.

But, surely, music this unconventional and unique can’t find a very big audience?

They are of the few bands – Crass and Fugazi included - that have taken the punk/DIY paradigm and really lived by it. The Alphabet Business Concern is their label and it’s exactly where you’ll find their impressive back catalogue. Despite interest from other record companies over the years – they’ve stuck to their independent guns and sold thousands upon thousands of records and CDs.

Tim Smith is a rare talent. His loyal fans declare him a genius: a ‘Mozart’ or ‘Beethoven’ of the rock world. An album such as On Land And In The Sea will possibly be recognised as the OK Computer of its time (in twenty or so years). Although that would seriously undermine how complex and fascinating this band are. Uncompromising and singular in their hellish and creative visions, Cardiacs are nothing short of exceptional.

I wish Tim Smith a successful rehabilitation.

Graham Bendel (Billy Childish Is Dead & A Nasty Piece Of Work) is the co-founder of the Fortune Teller Press.

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May 4, 2010 10:22am

great piece on one of the greatest bands of all time.

it took almost a decade for cardiacs to advance in my affections from 'mild curiosity' to 'absolute slavish devotion'. there's not a day goes by when they aren't in my ears.

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May 4, 2010 12:23pm

Lovely writing - some great soundbites in amongst it - well done!

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May 4, 2010 12:46pm

It's features like this that bring me back to The Quietus again & again.

I've seen Cardiacs more than any other band. I was gutted when I heard about Tim Smith's illness but didn't realise how bad his condition was until I spoke to Mike Vennart from Oceansize (another band who acknowledge Cardiacs as a massive influence). Tim has a long, hard road to recovery ahead of him & I wish him all the best.

Cardiacs are either loved or hated - sometimes both within a single show. When opening for Blur at Mile End they finished their set by playing one chord for the best part of 10 minutes. I saw bassist Jim in a kebab shop after - he was a bit miffed by the reaction of the crowd but pleased he could afford a large doner with all the coins that were thrown at them while they played.

An amazing band & Tim Smith is a national treasure.

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May 4, 2010 1:49pm

Some choice words on the world's best band. Good on you, The Quietus.

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May 4, 2010 4:31pm

thanks for your words, very true and truly real. this band is pure genius from start to finish, nothing will ever change this truth...

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Mr Sheridon
May 4, 2010 5:50pm

Simply the best band that have ever existed. Tim Smith, you are genuinely loved for who you are and what you do. Get well, with much haste....With loyalty and Respect.

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May 4, 2010 5:59pm

excellent article

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May 4, 2010 6:21pm

Cardiacs are the best kept secret in modern pop, the missing link in English music between Vaughan Williams and Radiohead. Except that Radiohead don't even come close. This article is absolutely spot on about Tim Smith's legacy - we will be rightly revered as a major figure in late 20th century English music in the decades to come. I think a key point this article didn't make is that underneath the complexity and idiosyncrasy are absolutely beautiful, beautiful tunes. The sort which can make you really emotional just from the way they sound. Cardiacs are authentically amazing.

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Mr Miller
May 4, 2010 7:30pm

I must go, there's something in my eye. x

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May 4, 2010 9:34pm

At last. The Cardiacs get the respect they deserve. Well done. A lovely piece.

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May 4, 2010 10:39pm

You, Sir, have nailed the unnailable

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May 4, 2010 10:56pm

Thank you.

Cardiacs may not have always had the support they deserved in the press, but never have I known a band to have such loving, supportive, and appreciative fans. We all feel fortunate to have been part of Cardiacs little family of fish.

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Betty Martin
May 5, 2010 5:35am

Excellent, well-informed article. Very underrated band, partly through lack of coverage in the mainstream media.... truly Tim is a national treasure as evidenced by the true devotion afforded him by fans and musical partners alike... whether Tim gets to perform again or not his legacy will live on in the mind-blowing recordings and the love that flows through the music of the family of bands and musicians who wear his influence openly.

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May 5, 2010 4:38pm

Disturbingly different..want to check this band out!!

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May 6, 2010 3:39am

Best band in the world.

Its funny, if you trawl the internet there are dozens of websites by fans praising the cardiacs, who like the street corner evangelists feel they just have to spread the word. Cardiacs get you that way, once you get the bug it never goes away. I first saw them 22 years ago having been dragged along to a gig I well and truly expected to hate and ended up utterly converted, I still play them nearly every day.

Get well Timmy.

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May 6, 2010 8:32am

Great article on THE band that has played the soundtrack for half of my life! Nice one!

And all the best for Tim, indeed he is a genius.

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May 7, 2010 1:41pm

The very mention and thought of Cardiacs and Timmy with all that beautiful and horribly grand music brings a tear to the eye, especially when thinking about that last gig in Leeds. The book on my 101 Cardiacs gigs is still waiting, waiting, but it IS all written (as some of you know) and will spring forth eventually.

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May 7, 2010 9:35pm

In reply to Belch:

Cardiacs are THAT band, the one that keeps on giving. Bog Bless Cardiacs. Thanks for doing it Tim

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Louis Jagger
May 8, 2010 1:04am

I got into them 3 years ago, aged 19. They were the final piece of the jigsaw.

Great piece, save for a lack of Sing To God and Guns which are IMO just as good as OLAITS.

This band aren't better. They're level-up.

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May 8, 2010 1:12am

In reply to Louis Jagger:

Sorry, this is a bit harsh. It really is a superb piece and I sound unnecessarily critical. Deals with Cardiacs both as a fan and as a journalist, which is not an easy thing to do! A great and persuasive argument for the finest of all bands.

Hey - that Sea Nymphs album is pretty, pretty good too ;-)

I shall treasure the one time I thrived in the Astoria Pond as all about glittered funny sounds

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May 19, 2010 2:53pm

Great article. I too am surprised you did not mention Sing to God, which IMO is the best album of all time. Even without it their canon is impressive. Get well soon Timmy!!

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May 19, 2010 7:04pm

Fantastic post! Bang on the money.

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May 23, 2010 10:50am

I find it so fascinating that so many things said here are things I have said myself to describe the Cardiacs - I think there's a bizarre sort of unity between extreme fans. I'm 20 and I've been listening to the Cardiacs soldidly since I was 18, constantly struggling to find music that even approaches them... and despite my lack of presence or existence in their heyday, live videos and recordings are enough to move and inspire me...

My only hope is that I will one day be able to see the Cardiacs in some way, shape or form, and I hope Tim recovers, and can live out his life happily, whether he returns to music or not. Thanks for the article.

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Doctor Nut
May 25, 2010 10:42am

Fantastic article, well researched and clearly written from the heart (SERIOUSLY no pun intended for goodness sake).

I wish Cardiacs all the best of luck in returning to the music scene, but if nothing more, I wish Tim a full and successful recovery.

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May 28, 2010 4:06pm

Yep, got it spot on there. Cardiacs break all the boundaries beautifully, discovering them was the first time in years and years that I'd found something truly different...and by such a massive margin. It gave me a headache to start with but I couldn't stop listening, now there's nothing I'd rather listen to. Tim is true Genius, I really hope he's getting better and will one day be able to carry on his work. Good article that man.

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poor soldier
Jun 2, 2010 1:56am

greatest underground rockband in living history. tim smith is a jolly shaman and inspired musician, artist. I do owe this band a quantum leap in musical experience that still swings me ahead and about, after more than twenty years. this is music...from the soul.

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Alice Treasure
Jul 6, 2010 4:11pm

You've just brought a tear to my eye. X

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Jul 7, 2010 7:49am

In reply to Hooligan:

Haha. I was at that same kebab shop & said hello - Chicken Doner I think it was...
Anyone know how Tim is getting on?
All the best to him & the rest of the band.

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Jul 16, 2010 5:38pm

Great piece, thanks. Maybe the most underrated band ever.

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Homo Telepien
Aug 2, 2010 7:51pm

I miss them. I remember seeing them at their three nighter (I think!) at the Camden Falcon yonks ago and being late, and coming in during 'Silvery' which I hasn't heard. And the place was heaving and it was just a great live sound they got that night. What can I say. I wish all gigs planted such butterflies in the gut as Cardiacs gigs do (did?). When's the fateful LSD album going to be released, anyone know? btw I've often tried to describe cardiacs 'sound' and appeal to people, and its truly difficult because nearly every track has uniqueness and certainly every album is a new animal entirely. But I've found the following pitch helpful, if not expansive: "Imagine the Sex Pistols go to see Oliver Twist the musical, get pissed then end up hallucinating in a deserted Victorian fairground on the way home; a fairground where the rides are tended by the souls of lost children and the smirking, dead eyed ghosts of deep sea fish..." See? Not that hard after all! Simples!

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cursed with the awareness of my own existence
Aug 17, 2010 6:38pm

Vital article sir and thank you. Like pretty much everyone who has commented, I found myself becoming extremely sad reading as the fact is, you do write well and therefore rekindle that love in our souls that all of the family have for Tim and his genius.

An edition of the Penguin Book of Rock that we found in the mid nineties states that Cardiacs "will be seen as the most seminal band of the 80s". That's about right. But when that will be, who knows? The fact is, no other band went where Tim did nor played the music game with such DIY erudition.

For any of you reading this who have never seen them live, it may sound like we are all nutters. But what other band create moments when the entire venue stops dancing, lifts their arms in the air and start crying? Really. No exaggeration.

I saw them first in 1984. Have seen them over 200 times. But for the first ten years, I never went to say hello, for fear the magic would be lost.

But when I finally did, it was truly astonishing to have found such beautifully kind and loving people behind such terrifying music. A gentle, wild soul with the most twisted and hysterical sense of humor. And the music was terrifying, much of the time, a form of chaos and insanity that would descend on us all and be disturbingly comfortable despite it.

Tim is in all of out hearts and always will be. Nothing, nothing at all comes close to the experience of seeing Cardiacs live. All modern music pales in comparison. You know when all those folk stand up and get emotional on the last night of the proms? All of that emotion, filling the entirety of the Royal Albert Hall was compressed into one song of a Cardiacs set. Then the next song would move you as deeply, all over again.

Why didn't they get recognized by the wider music industry? Because they didn't care for it. They cared for the family, the fans, for the art of creating astonishing music and astonishing live experiences. I have never met any artist as real as Tim Smith is. That's all that should ever matter for any true musical artist anyway. And look at this insanely rich legacy of albums that are out there for the world to one day catch on to. That's better than entering that fickle and pointless money led world of frippery and fakery surely?

In terms of influences, you missed out something central: Henry Cow and their associated projects.

Also, I think that Bill Drake (William D Drake) is the only Cardiacs member who has gone on to create music at a comparable level. The Mr and Mrs Smith and Mr Drake album (Tim, Sarah and Bill) was gobsmacking for the family when it came out as was the band they went on to be: Sea Nymphs. Bill still has that fragile, ornate, terrifying, giddy resonance and I can't recommend him highly enough.

My last gush: Tim Smith and Jo Spratley created a one off project called Spratley Japs which released an album called Pony. It includes what many people believe to be some of Tim's greatest pieces. I know that near the time that Tim took ill, he had been discussing taking SJ on the road.

We miss you so much Tim and love you so much. Wish you all power and light in your rehabilitation.

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David Sheridon
Oct 20, 2010 2:22am

In the future, after the scientists and the religious leaders of the world have discovered the real story behind the creation of the universe....people will STILL be asking - "How could ONE band just be THAT fucking good?" :

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Paul and Karen
Dec 22, 2010 7:31pm

For 20 years I expected to be disappointed by these guys because the previous releases/tours could not be surpassed. Then out pops "Everso", then "Ideal" or "Core", then "Dirty Boy", then "Made All Up". Don't waste the word "genius" - this guy is worth 100 times more than that.
Get better Timmy xxx

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Mar 27, 2011 11:45pm

When is Damon Albarn going to put his hand in his pocket and pay the royalties he owes - and pay for Tim's treatment. Blur would not have a career but for the blatant ripping off of Tim Smith. Everything Blur did from Popscene to the Great Escape was lifted from the Cardiacs.

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Apr 8, 2011 7:38pm

What can you say? Cardiacs are simply the finest band to have emerged from these benighted shores. Their music defies the boundaries of rock/pop/prog, or any other label, they simply ARE.
i have had the pleasure of watching the band since the early 1980's, when i saw them supporting some unlikely acts, such as The Subhumans, and needless to say, the blew my tiny little mind.
Over the decades i regularly sojourned to The Astoria in London for what became their annual tour, (usually in November, as i recall) and had the pure delight to see all three nights they performed at The Garage in Islington. Basically, they have formed an integral part of my musical landscape for half of my life,and i am sure i am not alone. Each and every performance was nothing less than stunning, leaving you bouyant and able to face, the often grey, realities of life, until the next time, and the next time. Their music is that special. They are the ultimate drug. Perhaps now they will get the recognition they deserve? Perhaps now someone will make that documentary,'revealling' Tim Smith as a songwriter/musician who ranks amongst the 'Greats'? Perhaps.
News of an artists illness or death often upsets, but this is different. i love Cardiacs, and Tim Smith, even though i've never met him, he just deserves, well, more.
Whatever happens in the future, those who love and follow the band will always have the memories of the gigs, memories that constitute some of the happiest evenings of my life, and the incredible music. Sorry, but like the other gentleman, i seem to have something in my eye. x

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May 21, 2011 3:58pm

In reply to Jules:

Saw them 5 times and they were the best of concerts . I still play their music more than any other and I'm 48 now . Possibly they will never get the recognition they deserve and thats a shame . I have the memories of those extraordinary concerts and have been blessed. God bless you Tim .

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Marina Organ
Jun 19, 2011 12:11am

Oh thank goodness more people out there are describing this band truthfully, at last. When you're exposed to something that special, that good, you might want to hold back a bit from describing the reality. Because your readers, or your editor, might not believe you. Its like being the fighter pilot who reports the weird lights. But you were there, and saw and heard everything, and had to run up to strangers in the street to tell them about it and just when you thought you were imagining things you met someone else who'd seen it too.
I've looked, every day, for the last 25 odd years, for a band or composer with the originality and depth of Cardiacs and Tim. Some come close, but only for one or two moments, for an album or a few songs. You put on any Cardiacs song, and the arrangements, the elegance of it, whatever part of their pure pop/avant-envelope-pushing spectrum it comes from, just blows you away. It's all real.
If anyone wonders why such a seminal band is so missing from the records of the wonderful British Music Press, (with one or two brave exceptions) just remember that the editor of the NME banned them for many years, including the day he turned up at a gig (The Venue, 1994ish, sold out) and implied that the support band were the headliners; and if you want more evidence of the backwardness of 90s music coverage have a scroll down here ...But who cares about all that silliness, now that dozens of American underground bands have discovered them, and the world is sharing Tim Smith's work? Oh, how... unfair.
Thank you for a fine peice of writing.

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Nov 11, 2011 7:37pm

In reply to :

Yeah, crossed my mind too....

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Irish Al
Dec 14, 2011 8:22am

In reply to Marina Organ:

The Rock's Back Pages site linked here requires a staggeringly expensive subscripion.

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Daniel K.
Feb 18, 2013 2:45pm

Great article, great band. I discovered the Cardiacs in very early 90s. I suffered a stroke and had heart surgery about 300 days after Tim did, but recovered nearly 100%. Love Cardiacs & Tim Smith forever! Daniel, Switzerland

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Apr 19, 2013 2:32pm

I once traveled in the boot of a car in a blizzard from Exeter to Bristol to see the Cardiacs. And 'Phil Mitchell' was at one of their gigs in Kentish Town back in the 90's, which was quite strange.
I love them, and playing one of their CDs can sure clear the room after a party.

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John Tait
Jul 25, 2013 10:48pm

I've seen Cardiacs loads of times. I didn't go to the Garage gigs because I wasn't expecting the bad news. I pray God blesses Tim a great recovery not for my sake, but just so he's a healthy man again. Good luck Tim! See ya in the Garage again!

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Joel Atkin
Jan 24, 2014 11:25am

Did you just tell me to not give up on heroin?

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Jan 10, 2015 2:16am

It's now 2015. I spent New Years Eve with Tim. A handful of us. He's still in a wheelchair and can't speak. But he is still, still, his radiant self when you watch as he stabs at the alphabet on a pillow.

I have no anger against Blur or any of the other bands who have learned so much from him and done so well by him but am confused by why they haven't come to his aid.

We love him, always will and in Bic's new band Zofff, and in his Mikrokosmos, in North Sea Radio Orchestra, in William D Drake, in Kavus' Knifeworld, the family still gather and honour what Tim gave us

Someone please push Cardicas and Tim out there into the face of the music world

Or maybe not

Cursed with the awareness of my own existence

Jake x

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Jan 10, 2015 2:18am

In reply to Jake:

PS sorry, forgot to put a headlight on Arch Garrison too, Craig has a second d album out now. They all live near Tim's hospital in the West Country, and they all still play immaculately in his honour x

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Apr 3, 2015 1:15pm

important not to understate what tim and the cardiacs have done. you can hear a cardiacs song you've known for 25 years and heard a million times, and it will still thrill you and amaze you and make you smile or make you cry, and leave you somehow able to go on with life.

cardiacs genuinely leave everyone else in the dust. there are lots of great bands, and great songwriters out there. loads of artists whose work i revere and adore. and yet none of them even come close. i'll stop now. like everyone else here, i have something in my eye.

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Apr 20, 2015 10:38pm

In reply to Jake:

Thank you so much for that update, Jake. Please let Tim know we love him and we will see him again some day x

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Jun 20, 2015 4:06pm

obvious and juvenile write by numbers piece. shame. cardiacs are so much more worthy. ...of laudation. there - now you've rubbed off on me.

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Ian Hunter
Feb 11, 2016 9:20pm

Absolute one-off band. Never sounded like anyone other than the Cardiacs. Musical invention and genius beyond this world.

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Feb 12, 2016 2:27pm

You Sir, are truly worthy of laudation.

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Feb 24, 2017 10:56am

Lovely, well-written piece. What a band. Get well soon Tim x

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Sep 15, 2017 3:55pm

Nothing takes me back to my late-80s Oxford days like the Cardiacs (s'ok, I was one of 'The Fools on the Hill', as the Uni liked to label us!)

If you love and know 'OLAITS' inside-out, then listen to the track 'Turkeys, Turkeys' from 'Let's Make Up' by the Bonzos -- a grand influence that I've not seen mentioned anywhere.

Wishing TS all the best, knowing what 'tis like from my very own heart trouble...

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