the sad saga of ambulance ltd

Back in the early aughts, when Interpol and The Strokes had returned the spotlight to the New York music scene, Marcus Congleton was making waves as the brooding frontman of amped-up shoegaze act Ambulance LTD.

2004 debut LP was well received, 2006’s New English EP was dropped as a stopgap, and 2007 promised the release of a much anticipated sophomore album produced by The Velvet Underground’s John Cale.

Then, as The Village Voice details, record label TVT filed for bankruptcy, entangling Ambulance LTD in legal red tape that chokes the band to this day.

Everyone in the band other than Congleton has jumped ship, but he presses on, trying to win the rights to his own back catalog as well as the right to release new material under the Ambulance LTD name.

In a recent demo posted on the band’s myspace page, Congleton shows he’s still honing his signature jangle:

For more of what he’s been up to, download free demos here or stream some here.

If you’re not familiar with LP, it’s a wonderful snapshot of NYC hipster elitism that’s perfectly captured in the video for “Stay Where You Are”:

The “Primitive” video was another good excuse to hire models:

But Ambulance LTD weren’t always posing. They had a fresh, melodic take on shoegaze that I quite enjoyed — and they put on a good live show. The video for “Heavy Lifting” marries some live footage with the studio track to nice effect:

Here’s hoping Congleton’s perseverance is rewarded.


6 thoughts on “the sad saga of ambulance ltd

  1. Daniel Hopkins

    I like this song. Too bad all that stuff happened to ambulance LTD. Do you think their unreleased songs would still be relevant today? Their early stuff is pretty dated, although i still check back in every now and then.

  2. oldwaver

    Hard to say. The unreleased demos are all over the map, so who knows what would make the cut for an actual album.I referenced it in the post, but a fan of the band has made the demos available. How they got them, who knows… can also stream them on youtube on the aforementioned fan's channel: is the other option for streaming – which appears to be posted by Ambulance LTD's current licensing company:

  3. admin Post author

    obviously not of the shoegaze scene, but directly influenced by it

  4. Ryan Whiteside

    Nevermind that Heavy Lifting is one if the best indie tracks ever laid down.

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