He of many bands, most of them found here on the Half A Cow label (picture from 2004)
Blast Cools 90-92 hac212
buy the cd * Bandcamp *
The third instalment of four-track recordings from Nic Dalton. These thirteen songs from early 1990 to March 1992 are all previously unreleased (except for home mixes of "Lost Four Days" and "King of My Feelings" which appeared on the Booth Tape cassette). At the time Nic was in the Plunderers, who were experimenting with psychedelic pop and that can be heard on a lot of these songs, especially "Red Electric Noodle", "Flat Lemonade" and "Blast Cools".
Apart from Smudge/Godstar drummer Alison Galloway on three songs (including a faster version of “Way Out Jim”), Nic plays all the instruments himself. In May 1992, Nic left Australia to join Boston band Lemonheads and his routine of four-track recording his latest batch of songs pretty much ended, with only sporadic sessions taking place from then to now. The painting on the front cover was chosen specifically for this reason - it was done the night before he left Australia in May 1992.
Five of the songs were mixed by David Coulthard-Clark at Charing Cross studio in 1998 and Tim Kevin mixed the remaining songs at Tempe River studio in 2018.
Babe Rainbow: The Godstar four tracks hac206
Bandcamp * iTunes
A collection of four track recordings originally released under the Godstar moniker.
The Teapot Refuses / With Tomorrow hac205
Bandcamp * iTunes
A song where the teapot refuses to pour until the couple start communicating. Backed with a 1999 recording of a Gene Clark song.
The Scary Lane/I’m Like A Bird hac201
Bandcamp * iTunes
Whilst waiting to finish the next Gloomchasers album, Nic is releasing a bunch of digital singles. Here's the first one - a spooky song about a crazy night in Glebe - backed with a version of Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like Bird". Plus a little ditty called "You're Freaking Me Out".
Scout On A Bike / When I Write The Book hac201
A new song about a girl buying a cd and a boy doing a painting, backed with a 1999 recording of Nick Lowe/Rockpile's "When I Write The Book"
Bandcamp * iTunes
Last Seen Near Trafalgar 87-89 hac133
Following on from Romolo 86-88, seventeen songs recorded by Nic Dalton between 1987 and 1989 on his 4 Track. Includes early versions of eight Plunderers songs (including 'Muffin'). All tracks previously unreleased except a different mix of 'Ring On Every Finger' appeared on a French compilation. Includes double-sided A4 liner notes.
from the liner notes:
"It was strange mixing songs from twenty years ago. I thought it was a long time back when I mixed the songs on the Romolo 86-88 cd and that was ten years ago, so this is double the memories. Strange also that it seemed like such a normal thing to do. Hearing me, twenty years earlier, same me, different me. Stoned lyrics. Better drumming than I could do now. Strange old songs. Funny thing they sounded so fresh still. I've got drawers and shoeboxes full of 4-track cassettes, more than I can count. Plus the ones lost in space. And the one that escaped and ended up inside Eagles Greatest Hits. From early 1986, right through to NOW I have been recording on the trusty Tascam 244 (been through about six of the machines). The work rate has dropped a little these days but in the late 80s whenever I wasn't working, mixing bands, seeing bands, (occasionally) recording in a 'proper' studio or playing shows, I was at home or tucked away in a daytime rehearsal space recording the latest batch of songs I'd recently written. Sometimes I was really organised and I'd have six to ten new tunes to lay down drums for and then spend the next few weeks adding the good stuff on top.
I've never treated my 4-track recordings as 'demos'. Why going to all the bother of borrowing drums, borrowing a car, an amp, a 12-string or electric guitar, hiring a space, getting the drum tracks as good as possible and then calling it a demo? I know the ones that are demos, though. They're the ones done real quick with a vocal and guitar played onto one track or, more typically, played into the Walkman.
"I wrote and recorded a lot of songs back in the mid-80s to early 90s. It became my favourite thing to do. You could say I was obsessed. I didn’t care that these songs were being recorded simply for their own sake. And it didn’t bother me that songs (most of them) didn’t get to be played live. There were all the other songs done by the Plunderers and, like I said before, they seem to be the ones that had that extra spark to them. Stevie and I still wrote songs together but we would only work on them at our weekly rehearsal. We hadn’t done any band 4-tracking since early-mid 86 when we first arrived in Sydney from our nine months in Melbourne (where we 4-tracked heaps!).
"So there’s a five-second gap and then the rock songs appear. Tracks 11-17 were all written to be performed by the Plunderers. All were, except ‘Coming Attraction’. In Spring 88 Pete Velzen left the Plunderers to play drums for the more commercially-appealing Falling Joys. ‘You want to be underground,’ Pete said to me at a party at Miles Ferguson’s place in Clovelly around this time, ‘just like the Velvet Underground, you want to stay underground. That’s why you didn’t want the Plunderers to play ‘Turn Around’ because it would have been a hit!’
"Stevie and I had only one drummer in mind and if we couldn’t get him, we’d pack the Plunderers in. We wanted Geoff Milne from the Eastern Dark. ‘That’ll show Pete and those Falling Joys,’ we said, ‘we’ll replace him with one of our heroes!’ And Geoff joined the band. The first rehearsal wasn’t that great and Stevie and I avoided each other for the next week, knowing that if we saw each other and started talking about it, we would have lowered the flag. But at the next rehearsal, we were on fire. Geoff nailed it. And we worked on a whole bunch of new songs. Plundees Mark Three Are Go. (We still did one last show with Pete at the end of December 88 billed as ‘All Petered Out’)."
NIC DALTON Last Seen Near Trafalgar will be launched on Wednesday 30th July during Bernie Hayes' regular spot at the Rose Of Australia, Erskineville Road, Erskineville. Dubbed Nic Dalton and the Tascam 244s, Nic has surrounded himself with musical cohorts from each of the last three decades. Lindsay Dunbar on the drums played with Nic in the Plunderers in the mid-80s, John Encarnacao on guitar and bass played with Nic in Godstar in the mid-90s (amongst many other projects) and Bryan Estepa on guitar has been rehearsing and writing songs with Nic in the late-00s. The band will be playing around twelve of the Trafalgar songs sometime around 10pm during the Bernie's night at the Rose. A night not to be missed!
Romolo 86-88 hac72
This is Nic's first solo album - in late 1985 the Plunderers decided to leave their hometown of Canberra and move to Melbourne, finding a terrace called "Romolo" on the edge of West Melbourne, a few blocks from the Victoria Street Markets. They bought a four track and these are Nic's first recordings, alongside the Love Positions and the early days of Plunderers cassettes. Nic recorded the rest of the songs (tracks 11-16) when the Plunderers moved base from Melbourne to Sydney at the end of '86.
More acts featuring Nic Dalton:
Nic Dalton and the Gloomchasers
Girls With Money
the Kombi Nation
Love & Death
V/A She Loves You Too