50THIRDAND3RD Staff Picks – Album Of The Year: David J ‘Crocodile Tears And The Velvet Cosh’

Album Art: David J.

It’s been a cold, rough year, this 2018 and I need gravitas, whiskey, a cuddle and a kiss, and I need Crocodile Tears And The Velvet Cosh. Reissued this past September on Glass Modern Records, Crocodile Tears was the 1985 follow-up to David J.’s 1983 solo debut LP Etiquette of Violence, which he had quietly recorded at Beck Studios with brother Kevin Haskins, friend and saxophonist Alex Green, and his wife, Annie, months before Bauhaus had officially split. In-fighting, mounting resentments, and creative differences had taken a toll on the band in the months leading up to their final show at Hammersmith Palais Theater on July 5, 1983 and after a successful yet stormy 5-year run, the boys were decidedly ready for greener pastures. Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins formed the short-lived Tones On Tail with former Bauhaus roadie, Glenn Campling on bass, Peter Murphy formed the ill-fated Dalis Car with Japan frontman, Mick Karn, and much like at the start of Bauhaus, David J. was once again, a free agent.

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Not the sort to let the grass grow under his feet, David J. and Alex Green (with the aid of a little Sigil Magic) embarked on a mini East Coast tour playing shows in Philadelphia and a gig at NYC’s Danceteria as a lead up to their performance on October 11th at Danforth Music Hall in honor of William S. Burroughs’ 70th birthday along with St. Marks Church Poetry legends Jim Carroll and John Giorno (read more about David J. and Alex’s adventures in David J.’s book, Who Killed Mister Moonlight?: Bauhaus, Black Magick and Benediction). 

It was also around this time that David J. had begun playing bass in Pat Fish’s delightfully twisted band The Jazz Butcher and made his debut on their sophomore album, A Scandal In Bohemia and began a breezy and enduring musical kinship spanning 25 years, 11 albums, and 35 gigs. In fact, The Jazz Butcher’s Max Eider and Owen Jones (“Too Clever By Half”), as well as the butcher, himself, Pat Fish (“Justine”) appear on Crocodile Tears. 

As a follow-up, Crocodile Tears is a more meditative, reflective album than the brooding Etiquette and it feels like a snapshot of a turning point in David J.’s life post-Bauhaus and pre-Love And Rockets. It’s at once a somber and forward-looking album. David J. is a little bit older, a little bit wiser, and he’s onto your game (“Crocodile tears falling down, that kind of water don’t wash, you pulled the wool over my tired eyes, you beat me up with the velvet cosh”). David J. peppers Crocodile Tears with tales of cruel women (“The First Incision”) and fallen stars (“René”) along with his more personal musings (and fears) regarding the pursuit of ambition (“Imitation Pearls”, “Light And Shade”) Lou Reed and Bob Dylan are palpable influences on this album and the slight jazzy 1970s NYC (by way of Beck Studios Wellingborough UK ’84) vibe of the title track (courtesy of Alex Green’s sax) is warm and poignant in equal amounts. Crocodile Tears And The Velvet Cosh is a gritty folky album, it’s easily my new Sunday morning favorite and incidentally, a favorite of David J.’s, as well.

Crocodile Tears And The Velvet Cosh remastered reissue is available on 180 g of gorgeous Heavyweight clear vinyl (with newly added sleeve notes from Glass Records’ founder David Barker) and for digital download from Glass Modern Records on Bandcamp, and yes, it’s an import.


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Photo: Eric Hanes

This past August, David J. performed an acoustic show at Beck Studios (his first time back since he had recorded his Blue Moods Turning Tail EP in 1984) and held a post show Q&A with Bauhaus historian Andrew Brooksbank before hitting the road with Peter Murphy for the 40 Years of Bauhaus Ruby Anniversary World Tour. The North American leg kicks off on January 11th in Mexico City. Check out the dates in your city below.


Fri, Jan 11 – Mexico City MX @ Teatro Metropolitan
Sat, Jan 12 – Guadalajara MX @ Teatro Diana
Wed, Jan 16 – Anaheim CA @ City National Grove of Anaheim
Fri, Jan 18 – Portland OR @ Roseland Theatre
Sat, Jan 19 – Vancouver BC @ Vogue Theatre
Sun, Jan 20 – Seattle WA @ The Moore Theatre
Tue, Jan 22 – Salt Lake City UT @ The Depot
Thu, Jan 24 – San Diego CA @ The Observatory North Park
Fri, Jan 25 – Phoenix AZ @ The Van Buren
Sat, Jan 26 – Albuquerque NM @ Sunshine Theater
Sun, Jan 27 – Oklahoma City OK @ Tower Theatre
Mon, Jan 28 – Kansas City MO @ The Truman
Wed, Jan 30 – Dallas TX @ Granada Theater
Thu, Jan 31 – Austin TX @ Paramount Theater
Fri, Feb 1 – San Antonio TX @ Paper Tiger
Sat, Feb 2 – Houston TX @ White Oak Music Hall
Mon, Feb 4 – New Orleans LA @ Civic Theatre
Wed, Feb 6 – Miami FL @ The Ground at Club Space
Thu, Feb 7 – Orlando FL @ Plaza Live
Fri, Feb 8 – Atlanta GA @ The Masquerade – SOLD OUT
Sat, Feb 9 – Carrboro NC @ Cats Cradle-SOLD OUT
Mon, Feb 11 – Baltimore MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
Tue, Feb 12 – Philadelphia PA @ Union Transfer
Thu, Feb 14 – New York NY @ Terminal 5
Fri, Feb 15 – Worcester MA @ The Palladium
Sat, Feb 16 – Montreal QC @ M Telus
Sun, Feb 17 – Toronto ON @ Phoenix Theatre – SOLD OUT
Tue, Feb 19 – Detroit MI @ St Andrews Hall
Thu, Feb 21 – Columbus OH @ Columbus Athenaeum
Fri, Feb 22 – Chicago IL @ Rockefeller Chapel – SOLD OUT
Sat, Feb 23 – Chicago IL @ Rockefeller Chapel-SOLD OUT
Mon, Feb 25 – Denver CO @ Oriental Theater
Tue, Feb 26 – Denver CO @ Oriental Theater – SOLD OUT
Thu, Feb 28 – Los Angeles CA @ The Novo




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Ms. Moneynine

Musician, Music lover, Maniac! I’m also a freelance writer and contributor at Please Kill Me. And I’m presently calling the PDX my home. You can also follow me on Bandcamp.

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