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Crokodile Tears

Crokodile Tears

by Christopher Sidwell


My first band was called the Digital Dinosaurs. We thought that we were great at the time and couldn't understand why no-one else agreed and liked us. We recorded lots of cassettes, had tracks on an EP ('Angst in our pants'), contributed to a couple of vinyl compilation albums and made 6 acetates of a single and then we sort of drifted apart into other bands though we did remain friends. That was 30 years ago and its hard to believe that an American label, hyped2death run by an enthusiast Chuck Warner has put a lot of those early tracks out in his 'Mesthetics' series as well as 2 CD albums from the Digital Dinosaurs. And the really funny thing is that people on the other side of the world are prepared to pay huge sums of money for those acetate singles - £1,000 from a dealer in Singapore - if only we'd made more but of course it’s all about supply and demand !

I started Crokodile Tears as a solo project and it was intended to be my 'pop' project (as in popular). It has been a labour of love and it has been great working with a wide range of gifted people but though we've released 6 albums that I've been very proud of we've never 'made it'. As the Croks have been going for nearly 25 years now I keep wondering if someone like hyped 2 death's Chuck Warner might champion Crokodile Tears retrospectively like he did with my previous band the Digital Dinosaurs – it would probably be when I’m dead now of course!

Crocodile Tears began with a 1986 vinyl mini-album recorded with Paul Sampson (who produced the Primitives 'Crash) it got some great reviews but we didn't have a distributor. The album is worth quite a lot when it crops up on rare vinyl sites these days – Gem sells copies for 60 dollars!

YouTube Video

After a 'difficult' and unreleased second album and a period of retirement I started working with an old friend, Alf Hardy who is a multi-instrumentalist and has worked with Spacemen Threes Sonic Boom in his Spectrum and Ear projects in 1992. 'Dodo-ism' the eventual second album was released in 1997 after a couple of EP's and a 12 inch single but we were now Crokodile Tears and I was a qualified teacher who should know how to spell crocodile. The album sold well through Peoplesound an early fore-runner of i Tunes and all of the digital music download sites that we now have today. After a privately released album,'Peacrok' and a couple of mini albums we recorded 'Go for the jugular' in 2005 though it wasn't properly released until last year. We also signed a deal with Catapilla and released a retrospective album in 2007 called, ‘Gullibles travels’which also included new material ,'Gullibles travels'.Our next album,'Words of wisdom ?' took 3 years to record but we were also writing, producing and recording a girl-band project Blush.

We also made a video for our song,’60’s guitar’ directed & filmed by Jilted John / John Shuttleworth’s Graham Fellows that was shortlisted for the Cravefest International video competition in Canada.

Dodo-ism’, 'Go for the Jugular', 'Gullibles travels' and 'Words of wisdom ?' are all available through i tunes and Amazon along with the 25 years of Sonar (our publishers) compilation and the original vinyl mini-album is available again through Sonar Records. 2012 also saw the release of 3 single CD’s ; ‘Hats’,’ plus a download-only track ‘Make u smile’.

Our latest album, 2012’s’If Hippies ruled the world’, is probably our most grown-up album yet and has had some wonderful reviews R2 calling it, ’Sparkling’ and ,’Something special’ with the local Coventry Telegraph referring to it as, ‘Probably our best album’. Since then we've put out the Crokodile Tears,’Little nippers’ E. P. earlier this year which includes the brand new song ,’Go to bed with Janice’. We also had ‘Egg ‘n’ chips’ on last years’ Sky Blue Trust, ’Sent from Coventry too’ compilation album which features 23 local bands and has been part-funded by the Football League.

Alf Hardy and I have continued to play live as an acoustic trio with long-time contributor guitarist Jerry Richards and last Summer the band played the largest free music festival in the country – Coventry’s ‘Godiva Festival’, the ‘Apex Weekender’, the first ‘ Warwickshire Pride’ and the ‘Onboard the craft’ festival in Bromsgrove. This year the band are playing return gigs at Leamington Pride (Saturday 28th. June), the ‘Godiva Festival’ (4-6th. July) and ‘On board the craft’ (5-6th. September). In the meantime we will be working on our new album ,’Maid in Meriden’. This album starts at the beginning of my life where I was made and features some guest instrumentalists including for the first, and only time on a Crokodile Tears record, a sitar !

Why not check out some of our videos on Youtube (you could start with,’60’s guitar’) or visit our website ;