Some days ago I got a couple of mix CDs from Satomi, one of the members of the Twee Grrrls gang from Japan, and before part of the Remember This club (whose setlists should make them the best indiepop club in the world ever). Actually these two CDs were given away at the Remember This club. One on the 9th edition of the club and the other on the 10th anniversary of it. I believe both nights happened in 2008. Anyhow, I’m thrilled and very thankful to receive new music, especially obscure tracks from the 80s that I have never before heard of!

I’m quite busy these days to write new interviews but will try to keep updating the blog with short posts – short for my standards – about “lost bands” ready to be (re)discovered. So, as I will do some research on the bands on these mix CDs, I thought sharing whatever I find here on the blog. Sounds good?

First track on the #9 CD is a track called “Wishing” by the band New English. It’s a lovely upbeat track, full of trumpets and pa-pa-pas, not much in the style of classic C86 but more in the vein of bands like A Craze, Friday Bridge or Big Outdoor Type. How do you call that style? I like to call that kind of music neo-aco, though I know for the Japanese that is a much broader term!! So what could New English mean? Let’s check on our dear Wikipedia:

The Old English (Irish: Seanghaill, meaning “old foreigners”) were the descendants of the settlers who came to Ireland from Wales, Normandy, and England after the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169–71. Many of the Old English became assimilated into Irish society over the centuries. Some were dispossessed in the political and religious conflicts during and after the Tudor conquest of Ireland in the 16th and 17th centuries, largely due to their continued adherence to the Roman Catholic religion. The so-called New English otherwise known as the settlers of the Protestant Ascendancy had largely replaced them by 1700. (…) the New English, that wave of settlers who came to Ireland from England during the Elizabethan era onwards as a result of the Tudor conquest of Ireland, kept their English identity, as well as their English religious, social, and cultural traditions, and, unlike the Normans and the Old English, remained distinct from the native Irish and Old English, at least for the first few generations. The new settlers were more self-consciously English, and were largely (though not entirely) Protestant, and most looked on Ireland as a conquered country that needed to be “civilised” and converted to Anglicanism.

I wonder if they had any Irish connection?

This song, “Wishing”, was actually released in a compilation LP called “Expose It!” which is terribly hard to find! The last time it was up for bids on Ebay in 2008(!) it went for 120 dollars. That because this compilation included also a song by a band called “No Man is an Island” (they later changed the band name to No-Man) which is a pre-Porcupine Tree band that featured Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness. That song was called “Screaming Head Eternal” and was recorded on the first day of these two guys working together. Ok. This doesn’t sound important to me, as far as I know Porcupine Tree is not something I enjoy listening, but I guess there are many crazy fans willing to pay this price for their first ever recording! I guess it makes sense, I know some people paying crazy money for Sea Urchins and the like.

Well, back to the compilation. It was released by a label called GI Records (catalog number GILP002) and it states that it features material from bands that were local to the Oxford area. So yeah, probably no Irish connection. The other bands in this compilation were: Passion of Ice, Bordello, Gadgets, Pows, Revolution, Kick Ass, Cybernauts, Tall Americans, Sinister Family and The Keatons. The only one I know is of course the last one, The Keatons. Wonder if any of the rest of  the bands played guitar pop! The LP was released in 1988 and was priced 4.99 pounds!

So here comes the surprise, on the black and white sleeve it does say that the band was from a place called Oxshott, in Surrey. South from Oxford, even further south than London! An interesting fact of this place is that it is situated in London’s stockbroker belt and the area consequently has some of the highest property prices in the UK – it was voted as the most expensive suburb to live in, by the Daily Telegraph on 26 December 2007 and, in 2010, they called it “the village with most footballers” in England. A very strange place for underground music to flourish!!

As always, if anyone know anything else about New English please share, I’d love to hear any other facts or even more songs if possible!


New English – Wishing