Friday, February 02, 2007

UK Early-80s Indie Pop - part 6

In essence, great bands just writing and playing great songs.

Go Betweens

Formed in 1977 in Australia by singer-guitarists Grant McLennan and Robert Forster, famously described by Village Voice critic Robert Christgau as "the greatest songwriting partnership working today", they were joined by Lindy Morrison on drums and Robert Vickers on bass.

Briefly signed to Postcard records for a single (the superbly jaunty and jagular I Need Two Heads), their first album Send Me A Lullaby was released in 1981. However, they reached their peak with a quartet of stunning albums Before Hollywood (1983), Spring Hill Fair (1984), Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express (1986) and Tallulah (1987) - each full of diamond pop songs.

They disbanded in 1989, releasing a bundle of solo albums, and then reformed in 2000 to release the acclaimed The Friends of Rachel Worth (assisted by Sleater-Kinney!). The marriage was only over when Grant Mclennan died in 2006.

the June Brides

One of my favourite indie bands, that I've already blogged about - utterly shambolic, but uplifting and original. Probably the only band close to them in sound today are the excellent Snowglobe from Memphis.

    The JB's were formed in 1983 and comprised Phil Wilson and Simon Beesley on guitars, Chris Nineham on drums, Jez Wallis on vocals and Andy Johnston (George) on bass. Frank Sweeney's viola and Jon Hunter's trumpet came about a year later. Their first single was the sublime 'In the Rain' on the Pink record label, the rumour being the label got formed because Alan McGee refused to release the June Brides on Creation records, which in pre-Oasis days was inexplicable.
    The next single was the even sassier 'Every Conversation', followed in 1985 by the superb 'There are Eight Million Stories...' LP which topped the independent music chart for 4 weeks and remained on the chart for 38 weeks. Naturally, the band was too good for this world and within a year of this success had self-destructed. Phil Wilson took a solo deal with Creation. Their press release of 1st July 1986 read: 'The June Brides have decided to part company and become legend'. The Go-Betweens reference (to the song 'Part Company') was apparently intentional.

  • June Brides - Heard your Whisper mp3 website


willenvelope said...

I'm really enjoying this series. Two more great bands--thanks for turning me on to the June Brides. I hadn't heard of them before making your acquaintance.

simon said...

been searching for "just a king in mirrors" for a while and ended up here. track means a lot to me so pleased to see it does to others too.