Swell Maps found their way through cacophonous collisions into a secret island of surreal post punk soundscapes and adventurous avante angst. Brothers Kevin Paul Godfrey (Epic Soundtracks) and Adrian Nicholas Godfrey (Nikki Sudden) started the band in 1972 in the Birmingham suburb of Solihull, They had expanded to include Richard Earl (Biggles Books), David Barrington (Phones Sportsman), John "Golden" Cockrill, and Stephen Bird (Jowe Head) by the time they recorded their debut single "Read About Seymour" in 1977. Their debut album A Trip to Marineville came out in 1979 and reached the top of the new independent album chart.
Their final album The Swell Maps in 'Jane From Occupied Europe' featured Epic Soundtracks on drums, piano, organ, toys, vocals, handclaps, violin, guitars, sax, concrete, and typewriter; Nikki Sudden on vocals, guitar, organ, toys, handclaps, bass, and piano; Jowe Head on bass, sax, guitar, toys, and vocals; Richard Earl on guitar, organ, toys, vocals, handclaps, and bass; David Barrington on guitar, violin, kazoo, vocals, and bass; John Cockrill on handclaps and vocals; and Barry Gray on organ.
Sudden says: "The electric typewriter was a home recording that Epic and Phones Sportsman had done with the mic inside the typewriter, hitting the keys and screaming at the top of their voices. We were trying a lot of the same things The Beatles had done - independently, not really knowing anything about their techniques. And doing it on a much lower budget. I was just trying to make records that sound like T Rex, and Epic was trying to make records that sounded like Can. When Epic got into Scritti Politti, it was like he didn't want to do songs any more; he just wanted to make things up. It was a battle to actually record my songs. I was the one who wrote all the songs basically. My songs sold the albums and the singles. When we did the last single, "Let's Build A Car", they wanted to put "Big Maz" as the a-side, just an instrumental, but I managed to overrule them."
"Let's Build a Car"
"The Helicopter Spies"
"Cake Shop Girl"
The Swell Maps in 'Jane From Occupied Europe'
00:00 "Robot Factory" (Soundtracks/Earl) – 2:27
02:24 "Let's Buy a Bridge" (Sudden) – 1:55
04:18 "Border Country" (Sudden) – 2:12
06:30 "Cake Shop" (Head) – 2:25
08:57 "The Helicopter Spies" (Sudden) – 4:20
13:13 "Big Maz in "The Desert From The Trolley"" (Swell Maps) – 5:11
18:21 "Big Empty Field" (Soundtracks/Earl) – 3:44
22:05 "Mining Villages" (Soundtracks/Sportsman) – 1:01
23:09 "Collision with a Frogman vs. The Mangrove Delta Plan" (Swell Maps) – 8:06
26:49 "Secret Island" (Sudden) – 4:34
35:45 "Whatever Happens Next...." (Sudden) – 2:58
38:45 "Blenheim Shots" (Sudden) – 3:42
42:25 "A Raincoat's Room" (Soundtracks) – 1:42
44:09 "The Stairs are Like an Avalanche" (Swell Maps) – 4:04
47:31 "New York" (Sudden) - 3:19
"Let's Build a Car" (Sudden) – 3:06
"Epic's Trip" (Soundtracks) – 0:55
"...then Poland" (Swell Maps) – 0:52
"Full Moon in my Pocket"