C86 Show - Indie Pop
Girls At Our Best with Jez Alan

Girls At Our Best with Jez Alan

February 5, 2019

Girls At Our Best special with guitarist Jez Alan in conversation 

The group initially consisted of vocalist Judy "Jo" Evans, guitarist James "Jez" Alan, bassist Gerard "Terry" Swift and drummer Chris Oldroyd.

They took their new name from a line in their track "Warm Girls", released as the B-side to their self-financed 1980 debut single "Getting Nowhere Fast". The single, released in April 1980 on their own Record Records, reached No. 9 on the UK Indie Chart.

Oldroyd departed to join Music for Pleasure, and was replaced by Paul Simon (formerly of Limmie Funk Limited, Neo, Radio Stars, the Civilians and Cowboys International).

Second single "Politics", backed by "It's Fashion!", was released in November 1980, also on Record Records. It was distributed by Rough Trade, reaching No. 12.

Simon was replaced by Darren Carl Harper (formerly of the Expelaires) before Girls at Our Best! recorded their session for John Peel on 17 February 1981, which was first broadcast 23 February 1981.

The group's next single, "Go for Gold", issued in June 1981 by Happy Birthday Records, became their biggest Indie Chart hit, reaching No. 4.

On 20 October 1981, the group released their sole album, Pleasure. Rod Johnson shared drumming duties with Harper, who had left the band during the recording process in summer 1981. The album, the first to be released on the Happy Birthday label, came complete with a "Pleasure Bag" of stickers and postcards. Pleasure reached No. 2 on the UK Indie Chart and No. 60 on the UK Albums Chart., followed by the band's fourth single, "Fast Boyfriends" (backed by "This Train"), released by Happy Birthday in October 1981.

Girls at Our Best! split in 1982.

The band's 1981 Peel session, produced by Dale Griffin, was released as a 12" EP in 1987 by Strange Fruit Records. It featured "China Blue" and "This Train" on the A-side and a medley (titled "Getting Beautiful Warm Gold Fast from Nowhere") on the B-side.

Pleasure was reissued in 1994 by Vinyl Japan in an expanded edition that included the first two singles and "This Train". Another reissue, issued by Cherry Red Records on 18 May 2009, included the 1994 edition's bonus material as well as a four-song 1981 Richard Skinner session and a previously unreleased demo track. A 2014 double-vinyl reissue of the album by Optic Nerve Recordings featured the original album on the first LP and all four singles on the second.

 

It’s Immaterial with John Campbell

It’s Immaterial with John Campbell

February 4, 2019

It's Immaterial special with John Campbell in conversation talking about life in music.

It's Immaterial were formed by three former members of Yachts - Mancunian John Campbell vocals, Martin Dempsey guitar, and Henry Priestman keyboards - in addition to Paul Barlow, drums. By 1984, the band had been reduced to a duo - Campbell and Jarvis Whitehead, guitar and keyboards, who joined in 1982.

On 11 November 1981, around the time of the release of the band’s third single, It's Immaterial recorded the first of four sessions for John Peel at BBC Radio 1. The track listing was "A Gigantic Raft (in the Philippines)", "Imitate The Worm", "White Man's Hut", and "Rake". "A Gigantic Raft" was featured on the soundtrack of Jonathan Demme's 2004 remake of The Manchurian Candidate.

In April 1985, the band recorded their fourth and final John Peel session (track listing: "Rope", "Hang On Sleepy Town", "Space", and "Festival Time"). In the same month, the band's Fish Waltz EP reached number 30 in the UK Indie Chart.

Less than a year later the band had a hit single with "Driving Away From Home (Jim's Tune)". ('John Campbell puts his foot down on the pedal – ever so gently – to cruise out along the M62. A Mini-Midwestern road movie transported to Liverpool'. This song was their biggest hit and has since featured widely on television advertisements and on 1980s based compilation albums.[citation needed]

Another minor hit followed, "Ed's Funky Diner (Friday Night, Saturday Morning)", with accompanying video, before the release of the band's debut album, Life's Hard and Then You Die, in September 1986.

In 1990 they released their second album Song. As before, the music was of a subdued, understated nature, with wry wit in the manner of an indie Pet Shop BoysThe album was a commercial flop, despite receiving positive reviews in the music press. The album was produced by Calum Malcolm, best known for his work with The Blue Nile.

In the same year as Song, former It's Immaterial keyboard player, Henry Priestman, had a UK number one album The Christians with the band of the same name.

Since 2010 some unreleased songs from the album have appeared on different internet music channels. (Track listing (in order of their appearing): "Just North of Here", "New Moon", "Is it Alright (Between us)", "House for Sale" and "How Can I Tell You")

A deluxe edition of their album Life's Hard and Then You Die" was released on 1 July 2016. The double CD issue contains the original album remastered plus bonus tracks of single versions, B sides, remixes and one of the group's John Peel sessions.

On 23 September 2016 the group launched the campaign to produce and release their "lost and found" album House For Sale via Pledge Music. The pledge target was reached, although an initial tentative release date of Spring 2017 was later postponed to early 2018.

Blueboy with Paul Stewart

Blueboy with Paul Stewart

February 3, 2019

Blueboy special with Paul Stewart in conversation talking about life in music, Sarah Records and much much more

 

Blueboy were an indie pop band formed in Reading, Berkshire who were signed to Sarah Records and later Shinkansen Recordings. Core members Keith Girdler and Paul Stewart also recorded as Arabesque and Beaumont.

Blueboy formed around 1989 and initially consisted of Keith Girdler (on vocals) and Paul Stewart (on guitars), formerly of little-known band Feverfew. They soon signed to Sarah Records, releasing the home-recorded single "Clearer" in 1991, and took on more members, including singer/cellist Gemma Townley and second guitarist Harvey Williams (of The Field Mice/Another Sunny Day).

"Clearer" was followed by several singles and two albums on Sarah, If Wishes Were Horses and Unisex. In October 1994, Blueboy recorded a session for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show. Their final release, The Bank of England, was released in 1998 on Sarah head Matt Haynes' new label, Shinkansen Recordings. By then, Girdler and Stewart were the only original members of the band. Girdler and Stewart were also involved in two other bands, Arabesque and Beaumont,  and Girdler also recorded with Lovejoy. Townley later joined Trembling Blue Stars, as did Williams.

Keith Girdler was diagnosed with cancer in 2004 and he died on 15 May 2007. Prior to his death he was working as volunteer manager for Age Concern in Eastbourne.

In 2008, Siesta Records issued a compilation album called Country Music (Songs for Keith Girdler). The compilation was put together by Richard Preece (of Lovejoy) to raise money for the Martletts Hospice in Hove who cared for Girdler.

 

Martin Stephenson special

Martin Stephenson special

February 2, 2019

Martin Stephenson in conversation talking about life in music, table tennis & much much more

Martin Stephenson & the Daintees are a British rock/folk/pop band combining elements of "rockabilly, show tunes, rootsy pop, straight-ahead rock and punk". The band is fronted by songwriter/guitarist Martin Stephenson.

The band were signed to a recording contract with Kitchenware Records and released their first single in 1982. Like other Kitchenware acts the group had their origins in the North East England. The band enjoyed a high critical profile and some minor commercial success. Their best-selling and most acclaimed album is Boat to Bolivia released in 1986. In June 1989, Stephenson took part in that year's Glastonbury Festival. They recorded three further albums – Gladsome, Humour & Blue in 1988, Salutation Road, produced by Pete Anderson, in 1990 and The Boy's Heart in 1992 – but sales fell short of expectations and the band were dropped by their label.

After parting company with Kitchenware, Stephenson disbanded the group in 1992, but continued to record both solo and as part of a group. The Daintees reformed in 2000.

In April 2012 Martin completed an eleven-date high-profile tour with The Daintees playing The Boat to Bolivia album in full to critical acclaim. The touring Daintees line up since November 2010 features original guitarist John Steel (Boat to Bolivia/Jackdaw4), John's wife Kate Stephenson (Midge Ure/Sam Brown/Jackdaw4) on drums, and Lou Short (Martin Stephenson 1997/2000) on bass guitar who left the group March 2013.

Daintees have signed a major deal with Absolute music and also have a new agent Neil O'Brien and will be playing festivals in the summer months as well as another UK tour for late 2013

BOB special with Dean Legget

BOB special with Dean Legget

February 1, 2019

Dean Legget from BOB is in conversation - talking about life in music, BOB and much more

The initial line-up was Richard Blackborow (vocals, keyboards, guitar), Simon Armstrong (guitar, vocals). Jem Morris (bass guitar), joined the duo in 1986, and, augmented with a drum machine, they recorded the band's first release, a flexi disc, released in 1986 on their own House Of Teeth label, and containing three short songs: "Prune (Your Tree)", "Groove" and "Brian Wilson's Bed". The band gave a copy to John Peel in a fortuitous encounter in the Rough Trade record shop, and he played it many times. The drum machine was replaced by Gary Connors (drums) in 1987, and this line-up recorded 1987's What a Performance EP and the first of three BOB John Peel sessions. Blackborow stated in 1988 that the band had a diverse set of songs in their repertoire at that stage and that the songs on the EP were selected from "by doing a quick poll of our friends".

Early in 1988, Gary Connors was replaced by former Jamie Wednesday drummer Dean Legget, and the band recorded their second single, the Kirsty EP, a session for BBC Radio One's Simon Mayo, and their second John Peel session. Both singles received heavy play by John Peel.

The two singles were compiled together with the earlier flexi disc as Swag Sack, which was their final recording for the Sombrero label. All later releases were on their own House Of Teeth label.

In 1989, the band released the Convenience EP (which reached no.31 in John Peel's Festive Fifty at the end of the year), followed by a limited edition/fan club release containing three songs: "Esmerelda Brooklyn", "I Don't Know" and "Sink". After their third and final John Peel session, Morris was replaced by ex-Caretaker Race bassist Stephen 'Henry' Hersom, and this final line-up recorded the Stride Up EP in 1990, an LP Leave The Straight Life Behind and the Tired EP in 1991, and one last single, the Nothing For Something EP in 1992. BOB became one of the victims of the demise of Rough Trade's distribution arm, which limited sales of the album and forced the band to tour for an extended period to recoup the album's costs. A feeling of disillusionment with the 'business' side of the music caused a drop in morale, and they disbanded early in 1995.

The BOB single "Convenience" was released for the first time on a digital format on the John Peel compilation box set Kats Karavan in October 2009.

In February 2014, "Leave the Straight Life Behind" was re-released by British independent label 3 Loop Music as a 2CD expanded edition which included the remastered album plus a bonus CD of all the John Peel and BBC sessions, as well as extra tracks.

C86 Show special

C86 Show special

February 1, 2019

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