10 days away from Popfest and things seem to be quiet once again in indiepop world. I guess the only noteworthy thing that happened last week was Papa Topo’s new video “Ópalo Negro“. This is the promo single for the same titled album that will be released the 17th of June. It’s a fantastic song that sounds a lot like one of Spain’s heroes, Carlos Berlanga. Can’t wait for the whole album.
Now on secret or kind of secret news, I had the chance to hear the new EP by fellow New Yorkers Pale Lights. It’s called “Seánce for Something” and it’s coming out on May 23rd. I’m not a hundred percent what format it will be released, I’m guessing as a 7″. I hope so at least. The band is still working on their 2nd LP, and if it’s anything like the beauty I hear on this EP, well, it might be a contender for best album for the year, whatever year it is going to be released. There are four songs in this EP, “Mother Cries”, “Girl in the Park”, “Alone in this Room” and “Sweetheart”. It feels like the sound of the band has gotten more and more layers. And I really enjoy the girl backing vocals in the songs. I think the band is growing better and better!!
In a way it’s kind of good that there are not that many news. I’m thinking of raiding the merch tables at Popfest. Not that I’m missing many things from the bands playing, but you never know. Also Chris Jigsaw is coming and he always brings a lot of goodies.
Also if anyone wants any particular Cloudberry releases please let me know and I’ll bring them to the festival for you. Can save you some postage. The same goes for anyone in Mexico City as I’ll be visiting in around 3 weeks. Just drop me a note through here, to the email or Facebook. It all works.
Anyhow, am I forgetting anything else? Is there any cool new releases that deserve my attention? I know the C87 box set has announced a release date for June 10th. That is an important release to get even though one knows almost EVERY song, but it’s always nice to read the booklet.
And whatever happened to the Twee.net poll for this year? It seems open still! What a shame.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote this on the Ferocious Apaches post:
The last bit of information I found is a poll from 1987 where the band gets the 10th place on the”What’s Your Favourite Local Band?” question. On the first place is Dance Stance who I don’t know who they are. Fetch Eddie (also covered in the blog) appear on 8th place.
Well, a little digging doesn’t hurt, right? I had to check who the Dance Stance were. Maybe they were good!
I find that they released one 7″ single in 1986 n What Records (WR 73). The A side was “The Other Side of Paradise” while the B side was “The Sweetest Pain”. I find the A side song on Youtube and I think to myself, this is a very fine tune!!
Beautiful guitars and then some trumpets! And the melodies remind me a lot of many Australian bands of the 80s like The Hummingbirds or The Falling Joys. Sure, Dance Stance are English, but what can I do? They just remind me of them! And it’s a good thing! I love all these bands.
Haven’t had the chance to hear the B side “The Sweetest Pain”, but did find on Youtube a video for “Gather the People“. Not very sure where this song comes from. Perhaps a demo tape. The video is said to have been shot in the late 80s by film students the band knew. It’s said that the audio is the result of a recording session at the Basement studios in London. The project was not completed as the band were ejected for excessive partying, Something at which the band excelled.
This song is a bit different to the one on the single. Maybe they were getting some Madchester influence by the late 80s.
And then we end on a website I’ve visited often, Tamworth Bands. Here we find out that the band started in 1984 and it seems at the beginning they were more of a soul band. The band was formed by:
Paul Hanlon – lead vocals
Neil Sheasby – bass guitar
Nick Thomas – lead guitar
Phil Ford – drums
Jim Stretton – trumpet
We do know though that on the record the band was formed by:
Paul Hanlon – vocals
Neil Sheasby – bass
Nick Read – lead guitar
Dik Delaney – keyboards
Phil Ford – drums & percussion
And they had the help of their “brass crew”, Guy Greenway on trumpet, Paul Tunnicliffe on tenor saxophone and Andy Codling on alto saxophone. So I wonder from what period of time is the band lineup listed on Tamworth Bands, before the single, or after the single?
Other credits on the single are the production by Paul Speare, the design by David Delaney and that the record was recorded at Ritch Bitch in Birmingham.
Sadly I don’t own this record, so if anyone has a spare copy please let me know. Would especially love to hear the B side!
Anyhow, what else can we find on the web? Well, they played a lot of gigs all the way up until 1990 at venues like Aston University or The Rathole among others. We find too that the band was originally from Atherstone.
Atherstone is a town and civil parish in the English county of Warwickshire. Located in the far north of the county, Atherstone forms part of the border with Leicestershire along the A5 national route, and is only 4.5 miles from Staffordshire. It lies midway between the larger towns of Tamworth and Nuneaton and contains the administrative offices of North Warwickshire Borough Council.
Atherstone has a long history dating back to Roman times. An important defended Roman settlement named Manduessedum existed at Mancetter near the site of modern day Atherstone, and the Roman road, the Watling Street (now known as the A5) ran through the town. It is believed by some historians that the rebel Queen of the Britons, Boudica was defeated at the Battle of Watling Street by the Romans in her final battle near Manduessedum. The Domesday Book of 1086, records that Atherstone was held by Countess Godiva.
On a clipping from 1989, from the Tamworth Herald, a gig of theirs at the legendary Mean Fiddler venue in London we learn the name of a bunch of other songs by the band like “Certain Feeling”, “Like Brother”, “Mighty Mighty”, “Push Comes to Show”, “Grandma’s Philosophy” and Reward”. Did they record any of these? On the same clipping it’s said that the band was signing a major management contract with Goodyer Associates. That’s cool, but it seems this didn’t help them much as one would have hoped for them to release more records. What a pity.
Also in 1989 the band appeared on TV on the tv programme “Opportunity Knocks”. This appearance is not on Youtube sadly. Wonder what song they played.
But I guess the most important news I could find on the site was that the band also released a CD single in 1987. Those days this was seen as very prestigious and rare. Not many bands were doing CD singles then. In it 4 songs were included, “The Other Side of Paradise”, “Heaven Help Me”, “Love Parade” and “Falling Down”. The latter three songs were recorded at Paul Spear’s Expresso Bong studios. 1000 copies were pressed. I haven’t see this CD single on Discogs. Would love to track it down and listen to the other three songs!
Then the sad news. Paul Hanlon, the vocalist passed away in 2001. I found out through the Tamworth Herald, that has some news for a memorial football match taking place September 22 in 2013.
Does anyone else remember them? Would be nice to know more about them, and hopefully listen to those other songs they recorded and even watch their tv appearance!