It’s Immaterial: Young Man [seeks interesting job] UK 7″ 
- Young Man [seeks interesting job]
- Doosha [a success story]
I first heard the Liverpudlian band It’s Immaterial when a demo of their track “Washing The Air” was included on the short lived but legendary SFX C-60 UK music magazine back in 1981. I thought the cut sounded exactly like faves OMD at the time; not surprising given their proximity. I kept my eyes peeled but I never ever saw a record by this lot until they signed to Circa Records five years later and unleashed the wonderful “Life’s Hard And Then You Die” to an uncaring world. By that time they had moved far away from the derivative sound that first caught my attention.
I next bought their hard-to-find second album, “Song,” mail order at the time of its release in 1990. Good thing too. It was an import only release that I never saw a copy for sale of. This album found them back in magpie mode. This time they had fallen under the spell of another group I dearly loved; The Blue Nile. They recorded their album with Callum Malcolm, The Blue Nile’s engineer, producing at his legendary Castlesound studio. The end result sounds for all the world like an unreleased Blue Nile album with someone else singing.
It was about five years ago when after listening to both of the extant It’s Immaterial albums and being bowled over by their merits, that I thought that I needed to collect the output of this band with an eye towards making a BSOG®. So I did some research and discovered that the group had knocked around many different local indie labels for a good five years before finally signing with the majors in 1985! There were about half a dozen early singles, so I made it a point to start buying the rarest of these when they became available online, which wasn’t often in the case of this single! I snatched a copy and it’s sat on the racks… until now!
“Young Man [Seeks Interesting Job]” was the band’s debut single on what seems to be their own label. The record was produced by “the four executives” whom were the band, presumably. That would be John Campbell, Jarvis Whitehead, Henry Priestman and one other [nameless]. The sleeve isn’t giving up names and neither is the internet. Campbell and Priestman were both ex-members of The Yachts, who have several fine releases in the Monk’s Record Cell. After a while, Priestman would leave It’s Immaterial to go on to his own band, The Christians, by the time the group had signed to a major.
I enjoyed The Yacht’s singles and have one of their albums, so in a way, I was shocked to see that the first It’s Immaterial single was a cover of an obscure British 60s track by The First Impression. It’s certainly an extroverted little number; worlds away from the quiet, interior focus of what most would recognize as It’s Immaterial. It’s a real vital example of pre-psychedelic beat combo chops. But it’s a bit disconcerting to hear John Campbell sounding like a, a… frontman!
The shock of the A-side is immediately dispelled by the frankly weird B-side which has the feel of a Russian folksong about a young man who emigrates from India to the West and his glorious future. Like the A-side, it sounds like nothing you might associate with It’s Immaterial. More astonishingly, the track sounds like a throwaway joke of some sort. Overall, it hardly seems like an auspicious start to a band that would go on to carve out a unique niche for itself in the Liverpool music scene. They left a brace of non-LP singles, including this one, and two fine albums before disappearing for the last two decades. A third album for Circa was shelved, but earlier this year, Whitehead and Campbell surfaced on Soundcloud with some of the unreleased tracks in addition to many of their rarities. If they’re testing the waters for interest, I think they’ll find that their fans would certainly be ready for more of their quirky, introverted sounds.
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