Saturday, 1 August 2015

The Genius of Tim Smith #12

#12: As Cold As Can Be In An English Sea by Cardiacs

This tune dates back to the band's very early days. It first appeared on their second cassette 'Toy World' in 1981, later revived on the 'Archive Cardiacs' compilation. Its title appeared in the lyrics of Baby Heart Dirt from 1989's 'On Land And In The Sea' before the full song emerged one final time on the 'Special Garage Concerts' live album in 2005.

It's one of those that displays everything that should be so, so wrong with Cardiacs, yet succeeds in being so, so right. It's magnificent and shambolic, utterly mental too. While that early recording suffers from pretty appalling sound quality, the later manifestations show off the ridiculous genius of the whole thing. I mean, really? How do they do it? What the feckity heck was Tim thinking when he wrote this? Probably best not to ask I reckon.

You really need to see the video below. It's the band rehearsing the tune just prior to those Special Garage Concerts. Tim coughs. Kavus falls over. Jim plays wearing only his underpants. Superb.


  1. I wish Cardiacs would somehow release these rehearsal tracks officially. The three videos available are brilliant and I assume there are more tucked away somewhere.

  2. As Iain says, BRILLIANT video, superb stuff Robster

  3. .......I might not hear a better track all week.

  4. Thanks for this! Wow, as an American who has never heard of the Cardiacs, this is was a revelation.Thanks, I will be exploring more. I'm not sure how I found your site (a link froom Crying All The Way to the Chip Shop, maybe? I'm any case, thanks for sharing.