Digital Download

Out of print

Not My Shoes
The Hand That Bites

SKELETON CREW Free Dirt (Live)

2CD album | gg389
Skeleton Crew was founded in the early 1980s by Fred Frith and Tom Cora. The original idea was to create a new group out of the ashes of Massacre, but medical issues of several potential members saw Frith & Cora end up as a duo. They started experimenting with what they could achieve by themselves, recorded the fantastic debut album Learn to Talk and finally decided to take the new project out on the road. Dave Newhouse of The Muffins joined them for these live shows which proved very successful. Back in the studio, Frith and Cora recorded their second and last album, The Country of Blinds, and afterwards went on tour again. This time, they were joined by multi-instrumentalist Zeena Parkins who had already played on the recent album. Fred Frith remembers the days of touring as very low-key affairs with incredibly exciting results, saying the songs they played sounded very differrent every single night, such was the energy that was created by the band on stage. Everybody who has seen them perform will agree that Skeleton Crew on stage was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After several years of searching for recordings, mixing and mastering, and held up by the global pandemic, we are proud to finally offer you this double CD of live recordings, including songs that never ended up on any of their albums. Full tracklist: CD1 1. Introduction/The Way Things Fall 2. Almost Free I 3. Disporting Themselves At Improper Moments 4. Not My Shoes 5. Selected Short Stories I 6. Factory Song 7. Onwards And Upwards 8. Automatic Pilot 9. Hook 10. Selected Short Stories II 11. Life At The Top 12. Almost Free II 13. Yer Elegy 14. Dere Geliyor 15. Listening In 16. Los Colitos 17. Zach's Flag 18. Half-Remembered Yesterdays CD2 1. Just The Beginning 2. The Hand That Bites 3. Selected Short Stories III 4. Safety In Numbers 5. Bingo 6. Dead Sheep Coda 7. Factory Song 8. It's Fine 9. Spanner In The Works 10. The Folk Tune 11. Sparrow Song 12. Selected Short Stories IV 13. Begin Again 14. Second Rate 15. New Orleans Stomp 16. Selected Short Stories V 17. The Birds Of Japan 18. Selected Short Stories VI 19. You May Find A Bed. Price: € 24,-/incl. worldwide shipping.

Maybe it is the fact that this is a live recording, but there is some great energy with this music. Veering between rock songs, folk tunes, pikey punkiness and enthusiasts improvising, this is a two-hour wild ride of music. This is one of those releases that is another reminder to brush up on those gaps from the old days.
(Vital Weekly, March 2022)

Free Dirt is a work of love for an era and for music-making that is almost impossible today by the Viennese label Klanggalerie. (..) Skeleton Crew operated as a wild sound lab, unpredictable and unapologetic, totally eccentric and sorta kinda demented anti-industry and even anti-music (Friths description), but radiating an uplifting power, and stressing the profound and immediate connection that these gifted musicians have established. (..) Take this wild ride with Skeleton Crew. Soon enough, you will realize how much you needed it.
(Salt Peanuts, July 2022)