Shadow Records part 2. They Will Come.

Shadow Records part 2. They Will Come.

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Idea and Music: Gunnar Orvegård. Images and Text: Ludvig Orvegård.

I found these pictures in an slim folder labeled “They Will Come 2008”. Nick took them in July 2008, in and around the small community of Darkford in northern England. The images are some kind of documentation of a music festival and a break-in at a derelict mine. Aside from the pictures, there are also eight microcassettes from Nick’s dictation machine full of interview fragments. There is also the “Red Record”, which appears to be an early seventies bootleg compiled from various open air concerts. The songs have names like “Sighting (Sound + Show), 020573 - 1.30 AM, Lakeside - “Dry Coals”” and “Sound Only, 122672 - 11 PM, Coventry - “The Dawn is Coming””. The band is called The Vanished. I haven’t been able to find the glasses.

Dawn is Coming (1974)


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“They Will Come” festival outside Darkford. The picture is labeled “Kelly & Claire, TWC parking”. The dialogue is taken from the dictaphone recordings.

Nick Thicke: So you’re fans?
Claire: Bro, this is what we live for.
Kelly: This is what we live for. Ghosts and Beer is all we’ve got.
C: (Laughs) Beat it, he’s a reporter...
N: Well, not a reporter, but...
C: So you’re a fan? You think they’ll come?
— Cassette 4. They Will Come. Friday July 18 - 2008. Around 14.00.

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This picture was taken a few days earlier during a long and long-winded interview with Margaret Thorpe, the mother of one of the band members. He disappeared a long time ago.

Nick: So when did he disappear?
Margaret: The last day of October. 1972.
N: And then someone sent you the record?
M: Yes. Easter Day ‘74. In the mail.
N: And he plays the guitar on that record?
M: (sighing) I think so.
— Cassette 1. Interview with Margaret Thorpe. Monday July 14 - 2008

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Festival. One of the dictaphone cassettes is full of stuff like this. It seems like Nick left the recorder on by accident.

Guy: The don’t release records. They choose to appear. Okay?
Claire: Yeah?
G: And we record that, and then we release the records.
C: You release the records? Right.
G: (Annoyed) We! Us! The fans! So if they haven’t made the album cover, how do we know the song is called “Dawn is Coming”?”
C: Because that’s how the song goes. Does it matter?
— Cassette 5. They Will Come. Friday July 18 - 2008. Around 17.00.

Dawn is Coming (1974)


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From the interview we learn that the boy in the bottom right is Margaret’s son, Bobby, who was fifteen years old when he disappeared. The singer’s name is Ian Maple, and the “keyboard player” with the piano book is Ron Thwaite. The bass player has the unusual name Stoddard “Stod” Parker. The drummer isn’t mentioned in the interview.

Margaret: They wanted to get better. He was always talking about how they needed to get better to make it.
Nick: [Inaudible]
Margaret: They’re gone. All of them. The kids call them “The Vanished”.
— Cassette 2. Interview with Margaret Thorpe. Monday July 14 - 2008.

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This picture was taken outside the Darkford Coal Mine, closed down permanently in 1969. These piles of flowers, homemade merchandise and assorted junk appear every year during one July week and are “unsightly and impede traffic” according to an angry letter to the editor in the Darkford Advertiser.

Margaret: Every year. Like vultures. A bunch of kids in leather jackets going into the woods to drink and… they want to see Bobby play guitar.
— Cassette 2. Interview with Margaret Thorpe. Monday July 14 - 2008.

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View of Darkford Lake and the stage. “Travis” is Travis Calabro, Nick's friend and partner in crime, who seems to have accompanied him on the UK trip. You can see him in some of the other shots.

Nick: [inaudible]...for almost a week. Travis and me. And we...
Kelly: Is this Travis coming here or...?
N: No, he’s back at the hotel. He doesn’t believe in this thing.
K: His loss.
N: I don’t even know if I believe in...
Claire: We passed the town on our way here. I get why They left. What a dump.
K: What could you possibly have done in that town a whole week?
— Cassette 6. They Will Come. Friday 18 July - 2008. Around 20.00.

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I’m showing the pictures from the breaking and entering: it was ten years ago and Nick is missing. The receipt for the bolt cutters are in the folder along with receipts from every restaurant they went to and the receipt for Nick’s Big Ben T-shirt. He's like that. The man in the picture is Travis Calabro.

Travis: This is where she said they went in. The “girlfriend”.
Nick: Ian Maple’s girl. Mary.
T: There are thirty miles of tunnels in this mountain. Do you honestly believe the police were able to search the whole thing in eighteen hours? Someone’s lying.
— Cassette 3. Darkford Mine. Wednesday July 16 - 2008. Around 02.00.

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The band in the picture is a Vanished cover band called The Darkford No-Shows. Nick has recorded parts of the show with very bad sound.

Singer: I think we have a shot tonight, do you know that? I think we’ll get to see them. They. Will. Come! Until then: are you ready to show them how much you love them. Okay. Here’s “Fist of the Storm”.

— Cassette 6. They Will Come. Friday July 18 - 2008. Around 22.00.

Fist of the Storm (Original: 1978)


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Travis: I don’t think anyone who’s been here since ‘69 has gotten out again.
— Cassette 3. Darkford Mine. Wednesday July 16 - 2008. Around 03.00.

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The recordings become increasingly incoherent. Nick seems to have left the recorder on for long stretches of time to record nothing in particular.

Claire: It’s almost like… Like they’re already here.
— Cassette 7. They Will Come. Saturday July 19 - 2008. Around 01.00.

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I don’t know what we are looking at in this picture. I won’t speculate. The glasses are the same model that Bobby was wearing in Margaret’s photo. If they are his glasses they had been lying in this room for 36 years when Nick found them. Same thing with the Stratocaster. 

Nick: [Inaudible] Travis? Abra! [Inaudible] What the hell?
— Cassette 3. Darkford Mine. Wednesday July 16 - 2008. Around 03.00.

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Like I said. I haven’t been able to find the glasses.

Claire: “Shit. Okay.”
Kelly: [Inaudible]
C: “I guess he doesn’t need them anymore.”.
— Cassette 8. They Will Come. Saturday July 19 - 2008. Around 03.00.

Dry Coals (1980)


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Claire: Maybe they won’t come. But we’re here anyway. If we stop showing up, maybe they will too.
But I think they will come. Any time now.

— Cassette 8. They Will Come. Saturday July 19 - 2008. Around 03.00.
Shadow Records part 1. Cryptoslavia: Douze Points!

Shadow Records part 1. Cryptoslavia: Douze Points!