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Stolen Jewels (released 1990 on Ghetto Records Cat.no. GHETT D4)

Several months after the band split I happened to be at a wedding reception where I met a guy called Steve who worked at Ghetto Records - a new company that had started out with money from Morrison & Leahey ( George Michael’s publishers). They had two bands from Liverpool on their rosta; Shack and The Lightning Seeds. When I described what I was doing in a drunken stupour he asked "Is it like the Pet Shop Boys?". I thought I'd better say “yes" and the next week I went round to play them my demo. They seemed a bit bemused and didn’t really comment at all. But the next week I got a call from Stuart Lawn saying they’d been listening to the demo over and over again and they’d like me to come in again and have a chat. They offered me a deal and I started work on the album almost immediatley at the in-house studio that Stuart ran at Star street .

Stolen Jewels was my sampling album. I hardly played any bass on it at all. It’s a hit’n’miss mixture of arty-farty stuff and pop. To my embarrassment, Ghetto even chose a single of the CD, ‘The Sound of Gyroscopes’ and a video was made featuring me walking on the ceiling. It was even played on ‘The Chart Show’. However the album did not sell well. It also came out at the time of one of the worst recessions in British history. As I was beginning work on a second album, a fire broke out in the studio basement overnight and the place was reduced to ashes. Morrison and Leahey weren’t getting on well at this time so they saw it as an opportunity to conclude their dealings together. The Ghetto artists that had commercial potential were sold off to the highest bidder while the company closed down. You’ll be lucky to pick up Stolen Jewels as most of the copies were actually destroyed in the fire.
 
  Track List Guest appearances from
1. Punch & Judy
2. The Sound of Wood
3. The Parson’s Nose
4. Meantime
5. We Haul in the Booty
6. 2000 Turkish Kebabs
7. The Sound of Gyroscopes
8. Chain Smokin’
9. The Lipstick Maker
10. You’re Not in the Mood
11. Bathtub Symphony
12. That’s our tune
13. The Pool Song
14. Thirteen Fingers
Maurice E. Marshall: vocals
Simon Walker: guitar
Samantha Bickley: vocals
Walter Ego: vocals
RJP Townsend: banjo
Rob McKahey: vocals
Chris Salmon: guitar

Reviews of Stolen Jewels
NME Review for ‘Stolen Jewels’ 18th August 1990

Leaving his days with Stump and their tales of buffaloes and camels behind him, Kev Hopper has picked up his sampler and produced and album whose nearest bedfellow is probably MacLaren’s ‘Duck Rock’
Stolen Jewels has all the energy (and sometime sounds like) a demon-possessed clockwork toy, track after track underpinned by clockwork rhythms, thuds and crashes.There are virtual-locked grooves of almost inaudible noise, and on ‘the Parson’s Nose’ snores and a wonderful( real ) banjo take pride of place.
Most tracks are almost completely instrumental, but Hopper’s lyrics are often sharp and very, very strange: “That’s what I call socialism/our arteries are hardening on behalf of our brothers abroad’ ( 2000 Turkish kebabs) and Chain Smokin sees Hopper curl his lips around such phrases as ‘Oral compulsion / visceral corruption / chemical seduction’.
The final track, ‘That’s our Tune ‘sounds like an even spookier version of Fat’s Waller’s organ playing, as used in Erazerhead, but at times the superb single' The Sound of Gyroscopes' Hopper achieves something that is grandiose, operatic and thoroughly likeable. Some day we’ll all go mad, and all pop music will be made this way.