instant karma: completely gone fishing

in the 1990s instant karma was a musical flea-market on fire: 4 great albums and a few dozen songs that still seek their equal in the world of unpopular pop music. in every show, 3 brothers and a drummer played hopscotch with fans and industry expectations alike, doing everything they should not do and very little they should. recording in germany, england, belgium and on malta, touring on their own and opening for acts as diverse as david bowie, zz top, and uriah heep, IK always played in its own pocket universe, drawing fans from every camp and denomination into the grand sweet orgy.

sadly, after the death of vocalist gordon in 2010, the bandwaggon has now gone fishing, but the music and the love remains. peace.

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sorry, wrong planet: videos

Birthday Suite (1993)
Silver Whale (1996)
The Making of "Silver Whale" (1996)
SXSW (1996)
Nookie (1996)
File Under Love (1994)
Live On (1992)


No Real Friendship (1991)
Love Pisses Me Off (Studio Malta, 1998)
Breathe (Live, 1996)
Nookie (Live, 1996)
We Won't Get Fooled Again (Live, 1996)
Marty (Live, 2002)


Recorded at Temple Studio (Malta), Gogo Studio (Hamburg), Fear Factory (Osnabrück), and at home. Mixed at Horus (Hanover), and at Jeo's . Produced by Franz Plasa. Engineered by Michael Tiebes, Jeopard, Marcus Praed, and IK. Brass arrangement by Anselm Kluge. Add. Vocals by Alison Galea. Add. Guitar by Franz Plasa. All Songs by Instant Karma, published by Fort Knox.

lost album: 1998

Mystery Meat (4:59)
Marty (4:26)
Love Pisses Me Off (4:27)
Go Naked (4:13)
Ratboy (4:26)
You Might Be An Alien Abductee (And Not Even Know It) (4:58)
Whatchado (3:34)
Mummydog/Spaceecho (4:46)
The Sun Shines Out Of My Behind (1:09)
Michelin Man (3:41)
IRL (4:09)
A Word From Our Sponsor (2:09)
Three Cakes for Toad (3:06)
Herpes (1:31)
Planet Spain (3:32)
Dogcatchers Of Colombia (3:45)

Bonus Tracks:
Whatchado (3:19) - jeo mix
Michelin Man (4:32) - tom's demo version
IRL (4:09) - demo version

liner notes: planet spain

Basically I'm telling people not to watch too much TV, and at the same time Im watching TV like hell myself!! Apart from that, it's dealing with the fun-orientated generation who are far from leading poetic and really deep lives like we do. (Bollocks!) The producer was quite provocative about the lyrics and suggested that we should sing something like: "making love to the IRA". Bound to be a hit, ey!?

Everything is possible today, just as long as youre up to date. With the latest fashion to approve everything thats so real. Watch the man on the stool go to hell, see how he looks with the juice in his veins. As the spit runs down your mouth, you reach out for the sweets next to you. If I had the remote control, I`d zap you away to where you really belong, TV today. Now youre off on a holiday, having sex in the orient. As the spit runs down your mouth, youll pull out your card and pay for the boy. Somebody has to drive the car tonight. So we can get into town and feel alright. If I was to book your flight, I`ll send you to space. Where you really belong, to Planet Spain. Viva Espana.


Recorded & mixed in Hamburg, Germany, at Chateau du Pape Studios in May/June 1996. Produced by Franz Plasa. Engineered by Michael Tiebes, Jeopard & Harald Lepschies. String Arrangements by Stefan Pintev & Franz Plasa. Strings: G-String Quartet. Percussion: Marcio Doctor. Original Sleeve Design & Photography by Dirk Rudolph. Published by Goldrush/BMG. All Songs by Instant Karma, published by Fort Knox.

grammy: 1996

Freaks (3:48)
Tattoo (4:22)
Silver Whale (4:30)
The World Starts Screaming (5:07)
Distorted (2:33)
Beef And The Blue Sea (4:50)
W (4:34)
Breathe (4:44)
Sleeper (5:32)
Nookie (2:34)
Invertebrates (4:57)
Submarine (5:45)

Bonus Tracks:
Silver Whale (3:42) - with brass (single release)
Tattoo (4:17) - alt mix
Submarine (6:41) - rough mix
Nookie (3:14) - single edit
Nookie (Raga 1) (4:20) - club mix
Masturbate! (4:20) - Gordon's demo for Nookie
W (4:53) - Demo
The World Starts Screaming (5:35) - Demo

liner notes: beef and the blue sea

This songs a bit psychotic. At the end of the warm-up tour for the Grammy-recordings, we were driving home at night and encountered a road accident involving a truck full of cattle. Whilst waiting for the road to be cleared, the local authorities removed the corpses from the wreckage. Martin wrote the lyrics to this song during the rest of the journey. Spooky ...

We leave the pasture for a better life and get away. The man was right all along, time to make our break. Theres a girl I know, maybe she and I will go together. Well come back and tell them all of the wonders out there. Oh, back on the hill nobody knows just what its like out there and few of them dare to take a share. Everybody chews on the same green, still all that we dream of is the blue, blue sea. This night I heard a sound outside and I peeked through the cracks in the wagon. And then I saw them, they were working in a chain and they were handing things to one another. One looked like a leg and one looked like a head. It was dark still I could see. All around us they were fast asleep. I heard a scream. They were standing knee-deep in a still sea and I saw it with my own eyes, it wasnt blue, it was red, the red sea.


Recorded in Brighton, England at Advision Studios in October 1993. Mixed in Brussels, Belgium, at ICP Studios in November 1993. Produced by Reinhard Falk. Engineered by Manni Struck. Assistant engineer: Mike Jeffries. Original Sleeve Design & Photography by Dirk Rudolph. Published by Chlodwig/BMG. All Songs by Instant Karma, published by Chlodwig.

sweet orgy: 1994

Birthday Suite (4:52)
Pulp (3:08)
2 o Clockwise (3:17)
Ditch (3:01)
Starling (4:21)
Hail (3:35)
Seeds (4:50)
File Under Love (3:18)
My Jealous Head (3:09)
19 Chord Misery (3:21)
The Big Collector Says (6:30)
Gone Fishing (7:21)

Bonus Tracks:
Birthday Suite (3:45) - shorter, for single release
Starling (Bruno Martelli Mix) (3:45) - includes Tom's cut "fame" audition

liner notes: birthday suite

"The single of the album with a great, unusual animated video. A favourite for many, it's about an old man in a pensioners home, communicating with the bugs in his room. Slow forest, by the way, is the nice Thai word for cemetery. The highlight of the song , the elevating finale with Tom and Ollie on their best Pavarotti, was inexplicably culled for the radio single."

I'm not growing anymore, I decompose, I break my leg my shoulder, I lose my ears, I lose my nose, oops there it goes ... And she doesn't know that I'm not quite alone, I got friends on the ceiling, got neighbours in my bed, they're keeping me the company I never have, they're everywhere, and she won't care, that I see semaphores, they see moths, I receive morsecode, they see fireflies. They all tell me it's a slow forest, all the bugs and worms and maggots and butterflies, they're all friends of mine. I'm a giant, a whole world of their own. I'm all hills and valleys and forests and roads, they party on my pelvis and hide in my toes, and when the lights go down, they make music for me ... listen.


Recorded & mixed in Bochum, Germany, at Fairland Studios in Jan/Feb 1992. Produced by Reinhard Falk. Engineered by Manni Struck. Original Sleeve Design by CCCP, Cologne. Photography by Peter Boettcher. Published by Ariola/BMG. All Songs by Instant Karma, published by Chlodwig.

small mother: 1992

Sorry, Wrong Planet (2:15)
Give Me A Deal (3:12)
Live On (3:38)
No Real Friendship (3:05)
Firehead (6:35)
Square Minded Jack (4:03)
Soul Goodness (4:47)
Bird (2:10)
No Song (6:08)
Digging Hippie Shit (3:28)
The Variety Of Sparetime (4:04)
Midwaveradiotrauma (3:36)
Love Grows (3:21)

Bonus Tracks:
Shrapnels Of Guano (3:21) - warm-up session for "Bird"
Square Minded Jack (4:13) - demo, 1991

liner notes: sorry, wrong planet

I wrote and recorded the demo of this song after a good night out and rather too many toxic fluids. So there I was, 4 AM, totally drunk with this brilliant idea in my head, no microphone, just a metronome, an electric guitar, my 4-track tapemachine and headphones. Because I was living in a student home with paper-thin walls and hundreds of direct neighbours at the time I had to be all quiet as well. OK, I could use the headphones as a mic, just plug it in and record the metronome at 120 beats per minute. What do you do when you've got no guitar amp or fuzz and you still want a bit of distortion? You just use the transistor line gain on the 4-track and make due with the rather edgy outcome. Singing? All quiet? and just one set of headphones? I put the headphones on, left side on my mouth, right side on the back of my head, watched the VU-Meter of the metronome on the 4 track, counted my way through the song and whispered the lyrics. All done, I repulsed the phones to the appropriate input, noticed the recording level was near zilch, turned the volume to max and printed it to tape. You can imagine that this technique increased the overall noise level to unbelievable heights. And we even managed to recreate all this in a proper studio for the opener on `Small Mother.

Oh, I'm sorry this is the wrong planet that I put you down on. Though the clocks are ticking forward, time stands still for all but one. They all look like humans, yet nobody's sure the are. More than one. Beam us up, spare us the pain, all is hot, too hot to care for. Taken time, we feel the need to blank our minds and start to read. Books surpassed our deafened eyes and all that turns our heads are flies. Are flies ...


file under love: singles, b-sides, collectibles

Small Mother (3:34) - Vinyl EP, 1992
The Show Must Go On (4:23) - Leo Sayer cover for vinyl EP, 1992
Hoverlove (3:43) - Demo for Grammy, 1995
Polly Styrene (3:03) - Demo for Grammy, 1995
Bambi (3:59) - Demo for Grammy, 1995
River Boredom's Aquanaut (3:35) - Demo for Grammy, 1995
Summer Wine (4:06) - Ollie's 4-track recording, released on Silver Whale, 1996


Dummies Of The Mob (4:09) - Out-take from Sweet Orgy, 1994
Ode To Ernie (3:37) - Out-take from Sweet Orgy, 1994
And Bert (2:33) - Tom's 4-track demo of Ode To Ernie, 1994
Sick Today (2:55) - Tom's demo for Lost Album, 1998
Smile 8501 (3:04) - Tom's demo for Lost Album, 1998

Instant Karma / David Bowie show (1996)
Obit Gordon (2010)

the world starts screaming: links etc.

Our groovy old website
All Instant Karma lyrics
The Oldest Swinger In Town (2000)

Instant Karma are: Oliver Hoevels (drums), Tom Ivison (bass), Martin Ivison (key), Gordon Ivison (guitar). All content (c) 2011-2012 by Instant Karma. Contact: Martin Ivison