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A Brief History of Pumf Records

Those observant folk amongst you will have noticed that there are gaps in the Pumf catalogue numbers sequence. Explanations follow:

"" by A-void (PUMF 7, 1984), There is a Fountain Filled with Blood by Of Sound Mind (PUMF 14, 1984), Rotting Fish and Happy Hedgehogs by The Howl in the Typewriter (PUMF 28, 1985), More Of What You Like Doing Most by Sign Language (PUMF 35, 1985), The Frontal Lobal Shock Therapy by The People's Temple (PUMF 42, 1985), and Toucan Misadventure by Henry's Farm with Henry (PUMF 63, 1987) - all these albums are no longer available.
The best bits from the six releases were compiled into a 90-minute collection titled In the Beginning there was Shite (PUMF 280, 1997).

PUMF 21 was a 1984 compilation cassette, All Things Weird and Wonderful, which sold out quite quickly.

PUMF 77 was a 1986 VHS video titled It Ain't No Sin To Take Off Your Skin And Dance Around In Your Bones by Howl in the Typewriter. It was superceded by the inexorable march of modern technology in 2011.

PUMF 84 was a 1986 cassette album titled Deviations of the Impulse by Cyclic AMP. In 2011 it was retired and put out to stud.

PUMF 119 was a 1987 7" flexidisc titled Bedrooms and Knobsticks with one track each by Howl in the Typewriter (Close) and the Ceramick Hobs (The Stoat Rides Out). It sold out in 2010.

PUMF 126 was a 1988 compilation cassette, Pumf the Magick Dragon (More Things Weird and Wonderful), which sold out quite quickly. 

PUMF 133 was a 1988 cassette album by the ceramic hobs titled Disturbing 'Boxing-Ring' Fantasies. It was deleted.

PUMF 147 was a 1989 cassette album titled Oollamixy by the Japanese artiste Yximalloo. It was reissued as part of the Brown Paper Bag series after selling out in May 2003, and acquired a new catalogue number, PUMF 448.

PUMF 168 was a 1992 cassette album titled Mouldy Roll by SWANC. In 2015 it sold one more copy as part of a large order going to Italy, and went out in a blaze of glory.

PUMF 182 was a 1993 cassette album titled Designer Brain Damage by Magic Moments at Twilight Time. Twilight turned to darkness for this release in 2015.

PUMF 231 was a 1995 cassette album titled Fainting Memories of Lancashire Hotpot - it was a sampler featuring Crayola Summer, Treewirehead, Shrinkwrapped Genious and The Colgates, all from the Inner Psyche label. In 2015 it was discovered to be suffering from a combination of dry rot and rising damp, and had to be humanely destroyed.

PUMF 266 was a 1996 cassette album titled Bring on the Coincidancing Horses by Orange Sunshine. It was deleted.

PUMF 273 was a 1997 cassette album titled Invite you to Chew on your Yeasty Bits by Treewirehead, which suffered immensely from silliness. In 2015 that silliness had progressed to full-blown psychosis, and unfortunately it had to be admitted to a psychiatric institution on a permanent basis.

PUMF 308 was a 1997 7" vinyl 4-track EP by Ceramic Hobs titled 72 Hour Drink Binge - Alcopop Madness. It sold out, but the four tracks thereon were re-issued on PUMF 511.

PUMF 322 was Ceramic Hobs 1998 debut CD album, Psychiatric Underground. It sold out in 2oo9, but was re-issued as PUMF 609.

PUMF 336 was a 1999 cassette album titled Sonic Wallpaper by Acidfuck. In 2015 it sold one more copy as part of a large order going to Italy and went out in a blaze of glory.

PUMF 343 was scheduled for an October 1999 release, and was going to be a CD single titled Savant Guard by Flake. It was going to contain the tracks 'And So . . .', 'Exactly Fazakerley', 'Harold's Birthday', and 'Winter Hill (part 2)'. Here at Pumf we'd obtained MCPS clearance and had the pressing plant on standby . . . if only the lazy bastards in the band could have been bothered to get their shit together, this would have been a fine release.

PUMF 385 was a 2002 cassette album titled Four Hundred Rabbits by War Drum. In 2015 it sold one more copy as part of a large order going to Italy and went out in a blaze of glory.

PUMF 539 was a special limited edition artefact, the 77th Pumf Records release. To find out the whole thrilling story, click here.

 - Introduction to a review feature by War Arrow, Sound Projector #8, 2000
Older readers may remember I reviewed a CD by The Ceramic Hobs last issue, and took the opportunity to vent my spleen on the subject of Pumf flyers. Pumf being the label run by Hobs chap Stan Batcow. At one point In my life a thousand tiny photocopies advertising Pumf clobber would fall from every envelope or parcel I opened. Anyway, shortly after that issue of Sound Projector hit the streets, or at least those with weirdy record shops, a parcel turned up from Stan containing a letter which opened with the entirely accurate prediction "bet you fuckin' SHIT your pants when you saw the return address on the back of the envelope". No truer words. After a bath and change of underwear, I waded through quite a lot of Pumf flyers, and read the rest of the missive. Despite a few pretty disparaging remarks on my part, Stan, much to my relief, recognised the fact that I'd actually enjoyed the CD, which is nice: some people seem to expect nothing less than Kamikaze pilot levels of unquestioning devotion for their mighty works. Within the ocean of flyers now over a foot deep throughout the flat, I came across a Pumf catalogue offering cassettes that were not only dirt cheap, but sounded kind of intriguing.
Pumf has been going for quite some time and so it seems, has stuck to its commendable DIY ethic of doing one's utmost to not rip people off. The cassettes are cheap, recorded on good quality tape, with readable informative covers. The actual music depends entirely on your taste, but of the 38 listed Pumfworks comprising cassettes, a few records, one CD and a VHS video, there seems to be a pretty eclectic range of stuff, and while the recording quality isn't always of the kind that might satisfy Pink Floyd, it's clear that every effort is made to produce something which is as good as it can be . . . and frankly, of the following, I've heard a hell of a lot worse. I should mention that Pumf also produce numerous oddly shaped zines (one of them is round!) collecting Stan's thoughts on just about anything from the internet (of which he's deeply suspicious) to dentists (he approves) or even Toilet Humour For Dogs, as one particularly weird piece of shit is entitled. Like with the tapes, it may not be up everyone's street, but there's usually something that'll get you going hidden away in there, and you can't help but admire the spirit in which it's done, remaining underground without being wilfully obscure or succumbing to that vile self-important cliqueiness which seems to have killed off independent comics. I'm sort of regretting that I didn't investigate this geezer first time round, but never mind. Don't be a twat like me, check it out y'all. No-one ever died or lost their job through sending off for Pumf stuff.

 - Article by Robin Duke, Evening Gazette, Oct 2002
Classic record labels come and go - look at Stiff and Immediate - but Pumf goes on forever. Alright, it's not as big as EMI and not as old as RCA but Pumf has come of age and is 18 years old. Its owner is a few years older than that and operates the label from his base . . . That would be Stan - as he's known when releasing products by the likes of Howl In The Typewriter or The Def-A-Kators or Michael Aspel's Flying Saucers. Or Stan Batcow - as he's known when publishing the likes of Blip! My Life In A Child's Imagination through his Stanzine Publications outlet. Or Mark Standing - if you discover his birth certificate or pass him the gravy over a family Sunday lunch.
But against all odds, Stan and Pumf have released 55 items - first cassettes, followed by a video, a 7" flexidisc, a 7" single and umpteen CD's. Earlier this year, the three-part Brown Paper Bag Series of CD-R's was released with the promise of further releases every couple of months at 4 each. Pumf Records and Stanzine Publications went online before last Christmas and features catalogue listings and reviews of its products plus other information about its bands, plans and ideas. There is also, for some reason, a page of 77 facts about the number seven! Almost unbelievably, [Pumf Records] material has become collectable - the Psychiatric Underground CD is virtually sold out and the single, 72 Hour Drink Binge - Alcopop Madness was a single of the month in Record Collector.
"I've just kept chipping away over the years," says Stan, "If you throw enough stuff at the wall some it might stick. I've never made a living out if it - if I break even I'm lucky. It's a very expensive hobby." And when he not Pumfing irony, Stan is an arts & craft community worker and one of the backbones of the Blackpool School of Samba. Food parcels and business plans to Pumf Records HQ.

Other Stuff

pStan Batcow is always busy; one of his previous projects was photographing and researching the Post Boxes of Blackpool, England. To see the results please click here.

 

Over the years we've had a right good old laugh or two, with people sending in Pumf Records-related jokes.
Here they are - control your mirth.

Q: How many Pumf Records artistes does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: One to change the bulb, and another six to make the number up to seven.

Q: How many people does it take to make up a Pumf Records artiste's gig?
A: The members of the band plus enough audience to make the numbers up to seven.

Q: How many chickens crossed the road?
A: (Do I really have to answer . . ?)

(If you've got a Pumf Records-related joke, why not send it in for inclusion?)

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