Bit of a story for this next obscure new release. Well, it was obscure and a new release back in 1986 or 1987, when I first heard it via a cassette tape of a John Peel BBC Radio One show sent to me in NZ from the UK.

“This Way to the Cargo Cult” by The Gravity Pirates was from a 1986 12″ EP on the Survival label from Sydney Australia.

It was an interesting enough slice of Gothic New Wave to get me writing to the label address in Australia Peel read out after playing the song. I bought a copy of the 12″ which I still have. It also led, a few months later, to an international exchange of cassettes and letters. I’d forgotten it was this song which became the chance catalysts for several music connections I made across the pre-internet world at the time. But I found the letter again tonight which explains how it all happened.

Some time later, after receiving the 12″, I also received a letter from someone going by the name ‘Bimbo’ from Cleveland, Stockton-On-Tees, England. The first letter from ‘Bimbo’ was an intriguing smart-assed riddle, but I took the bait and replied anyway. These pages below are from ‘Bimbo’s’ subsequent response.

Bimbo letter

There were a few other people who also got in contact using the mail list shared by Survival Records and we all ended up exchanging cassettes of favourite music. I provided some splendid compilations of my favourites from the Flying Nun Records catalogue at the time because, as ‘Bimbo’ explained: “New Zealand Music” can generally be used inter-changeably over here with the phrase “The Chills”. A shocking state of affairs.”

The tape from ‘Bimbo’ compiling the greatest hits of Yeah Yeah Noh is much treasured and still played even though I have most of the Yeah Yeah Noh records now.

I have no idea who ‘Bimbo’ was (and hopefully still is). Not even sure if ‘Bimbo’ a she or a he. But it doesn’t matter. ‘Bimbo’ shared my taste in music, wrote very amusing letters and shared some great music with a stranger half a world away. All using cassette tapes, paper, envelopes, stamps and taking the patience to post letters and months later receive replies.

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