C86 Show - Indie Pop
The Chameleons with Mark Burgess

The Chameleons with Mark Burgess

April 29, 2019

The Chameleons special with Mark Burgess in conversation.

The Chameleons released their debut album, Script of the Bridge, in 1983. They followed it with What Does Anything Mean? Basically and Strange Times in 1985 and 1986, respectively, before abruptly disbanding in 1987 due to the sudden death of the band's manager. After the split, Burgess and Lever formed the Sun and the Moon, while Fielding and Smithies formed the Reegs. Burgess also had a short solo career with backing band the Sons of God. The Chameleons reformed in 2000, releasing Strip (2000), Why Call It Anything (2001) and This Never Ending Now (2002) before separating again in 2003. Burgess alone continues to play Chameleons songs live under the name ChameleonsVox. Lever died in 2017.

Known for their atmospheric, guitar-based sound and passionate lyrics, the Chameleons are regarded as one of the most underrated Manchester bands of the 1980s. They did not attain the commercial success of other groups from the Manchester scene but developed a cult following.

The Wild Swans with Paul Simpson in conversation

The Wild Swans with Paul Simpson in conversation

April 22, 2019

The Wild Swans special with Paul Simpson in conversation

The Wild Swans formed in 1980 when Paul Simpson, who had left The Teardrop Explodes after the recording of their first single, teamed up (on vocals) with Jeremy Kelly (guitar), Ged Quinn(keyboards), James Weston (bass) and Justin Stavely (drums).

An opportunity arose when Pete de Freitas of Echo & the Bunnymen (an old friend and flatmate of Simpson's) agreed to fund their first single "The Revolutionary Spirit" (1982, Zoo Records). Stavely had dropped out of the band, so De Freitas ended up financier, drummer and producer for the single;  he was credited under his middle names, Louis Vincent. The single spent 9 weeks on the UK Independent Chart, peaking at no. 13.

Despite turning out to be Zoo's last ever release, the single received a measure of critical acclaim and in time, developed cult status. Subsequent to the release of "The Revolutionary Spirit", weekly rehearsals were given a degree of urgency when the band was offered a BBC Radio 1 John Peel session. Songs on this session, all written by the team of Simpson, Quinn and Kelly, include "No Bleeding", "Enchanted" and "Thirst". By this point, the band was rounded out by two new members: Baz Hughes (bass) and Joe McKechnie (drums).

The Wild Swans were sporadically active in the early 1980s; touring with Echo and The Bunnymen in 1981 following a residency with The Teardrop Explodes. A David Jensen session came in spring 1982, with the band penning and performing "The Iron Bed", "Flowers Of England" and "Now You're Perfect". The group split very soon after this BBC Radio 1 session was broadcast.

Post-split: Care and The Lotus Eaters (1982–1985)

Once the band split, Kelly and Quinn started up The Lotus Eaters with co-founder Peter Coyle. Simpson followed suit with the duo Care, teaming up with Ian BroudieStrangely, Arista Records, who had refused to sign The Wild Swans, then snapped up both of the offshoots.

Both groups issued several singles. The Lotus Eaters scoring a chart hit, and releasing an album in 1984. Care, meanwhile, reached number 48 in the UK charts with the single "Flaming Sword". Both bands had broken up by 1985, with Care having recorded an unreleased album.

Revival: The Wild Swans, Mark II (1986–1990)

In 1986, the session recorded for the Radio 1 John Peel Show, was finally released on Strange Fruit Records, containing the tracks "No Bleeding", "Enchanted", and "Thirst". It repeated the single's success, peaking at no. 13 on the independent chart. Shortly thereafter, Simpson, Kelly and Quinn got together and began playing once again as The Wild Swans.

By 1988, Quinn had dropped out, Simpson and Kelly were joined on bass by Joe Fearon, and a long-awaited debut album finally emerged. Titled Bringing Home The Ashes(1988, Sire/Reprise Records), and featuring session players on keyboards and drums, it was produced by Paul Hardiman and yielded two singles, "Young Manhood" and "Bible Dreams". Simpson is nowadays disparaging of the sound developed on the album and feels that some of the aura and magic surrounding the (Mark I) Wild Swans had been lost. "Major label thinking is like a virus, you forget why you started the band and fall into the 'hit' record mind-set". He went on to offer even more stark words of wisdom for those thinking of setting up a band: "Major labels suck the poetry from your bones and fill the gaps with a cement made from cocaine and crushed teenagers."

Bringing Home The Ashes was issued in the United States initially, followed by UK and German releases. A near-simultaneous promo-only release called Music and Talk From Liverpool included Wild Swans tracks interspersed with interviews with Jeremy Kelly.

A second album on Sire, Space Flower, was released in 1990, subsequent to the departure of Kelly. It was produced by Ian Broudie, and featured a line-up of Paul Simpson (vocals, mellotron, effects), Joe Fearon (bass), Ian Broudie (guitars, keyboards), Chris Sharrock (drums) and Ian McNabb (additional guitars, vocals).[12][10] Sharrock and McNabb were both of the Liverpool three piece The Icicle Works.[12] Much of the material written for the album had a food-flavoured theme, depicted by the tracks "Melting Blue Delicious", "Tangerine Temple", "Chocolate Bubble-Gum" and "Vanilla Melange". The album was released in the US, Germany and Japan, but not initially in the UK.

The Wild Swans split up again shortly after Space Flower and Simpson went on to form his own project 'Skyray', recording several singles, EPs and albums, and the spoken word project Dream Diaries.

The Lilac Time with Stephen Duffy

The Lilac Time with Stephen Duffy

April 15, 2019

The Lilac Time special with Stephen Duffy in conversation

The Lilac Time is a British alternative folk-rock band that was originally formed in Herefordshire, England by Stephen Duffy, his brother Nick Duffy and their friend Michael Weston in 1986. The band's name was taken from a line in the Nick Drake song "River Man".

Since its formation, The Lilac Time has gone through various line-up changes, with the Duffy brothers as mainstays. The band's activity has intertwined with Stephen Duffy's solo and songwriting career.

The Duffy brothers and Michael Weston had recorded music that would become the band's self-titled debut, which was first released on Swordfish Records in 1987. Michael Giri and Fraser Kent joined when the band went on tour. The group signed to Fontana, which reissued the band's first album in remixed form in 1988. The group went on to release the albums Paradise Circus in 1989, and & Love For All in 1990, the latter of which was produced by Andy Partridge and John Leckie.

The Lilac Time was dropped by Fontana then briefly signed to Creation Records, where the band was subsequently managed by label head Alan McGee. The band's sole release on Creation was Astronauts, in 1990. The Duffy brothers' cousin, noted-session musician Cara Tivey, contributed organ and piano to the album.

The band later regrouped with Claire Worrall and Melvin Duffy (no relation to the brothers) and recorded Looking For A Day In The Night with producer Stephen Street for spinART Records in 1999. They then released Lilac 6 on Cooking Vinyl in 2001, followed by Keep Going, which was released in 2003 under the name "Stephen Duffy and the Lilac Time" on Folk Modern.

Runout Groove was released on 22 October 2007 on Bogus Frontage. The band played the 2007 Green Man Festival and the Queen Elizabeth Hall as a six-piece. The band's gig at the Green Man Festival serves as the backdrop to the film "Memory & Desire — 30 Years in the Wilderness With Stephen Duffy & The Lilac Time." The documentary was filmed over six years by Douglas Arrowsmith, who included new and vintage Lilac footage. The film is accompanied by a Universal Records album of the same name, which compiles songs from Duffy's thirty years of music making. The Queen Elizabeth Hall concert is to be released as a live recording.

No Sad Songs was released on Tapete Records in April 2015.

A new Lilac Time album, Return to Us is planned for release in late 2017.

Catherine wheel with David Hawes in conversation

Catherine wheel with David Hawes in conversation

April 9, 2019

Catherine wheel special with David Hawes talking about life in the band.

Catherine Wheel formed in 1990, comprising singer-guitarist Rob Dickinson (cousin of Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson), guitarist Brian Futter, bassist Dave Hawes, and drummer Neil Sims. Hawes had previously played in a Joy Division-influenced band called Eternal.[citation needed] They took their moniker from the firework known as the Catherine wheel,[citation needed] which in turn had taken its name from the medieval torture device of the same name. The band was sometimes included in the shoegazing scene, characterized by bands that made extensive use of guitar feedback and droning washes of noise, as well as their continuous interaction with extensive numbers of effects pedals on the stage floor.

The band performed a Peel session in early 1991 while still unsigned; two 12" vinyl EPs were released on the Norwich-based Wilde Club Records, named after the regular weekly Wilde Club gigs run by Barry Newman at Norwich Arts Centre. They signed to major-label Fontana Records after being courted by both Creation Records and the Brian Eno-run label Opal Records. The band's debut album, 1991/92's Ferment, made an immediate impression on the music press and introduced Catherine Wheel's second-biggest U.S. hit, "Black Metallic", as well as the moderate hit "I Want to Touch You". The album features re-recorded versions of some of the Wilde Club-issued EPs. "Black Metallic" was later featured in the film S. Darko.

The more aggressive Chrome followed in 1993, produced by Gil Norton. With this album, the band began to shed its original shoegazing tag, while still making skillful use of atmospherics, such as on the song "Fripp". In a 2007 interview, Rob Dickinson said that members of Death Cab for Cutie and Interpol told him that without this album, their bands "wouldn't exist."

1995's Happy Days saw the band delving further into metallic hard rock, which alienated a portion of their fanbase, even as it increased their exposure in the United States during the post-grunge era.[4][5] The single "Waydown", and especially its plane-crash themed video, received heavy play in the U.S. A more sedate strain of rock known as Britpop was taking over in the UK, causing Catherine Wheel to continue to have greater success abroad than at home.

The B-sides and outtakes collection, Like Cats and Dogs, came out the following year, revealing a quieter, more contemplative side of the band, spanning the previous five years. This carried over into Adam and Eve in 1997, wherein the band scaled back the sonic force of their sound from its Happy Days levels, with clean playing on some songs that featured extensive use of keyboards and acoustic guitars. Alternately, songs like "Satellite" and "Here Comes the Fat Controller" were lush and orchestral in scope.

In 2000, Catherine Wheel re-emerged with a new record label, a new bassist (Ben Ellis); a modified name (The Catherine Wheel); and a new album, Wishville. After mixed reviews, record company turmoil and lacklustre sales, the band went on a still-continuing hiatus.

In March 2010, Ferment was re-released, containing bonus tracks and extensive sleeve notes.

Rip Rig & Panic

Rip Rig & Panic

April 1, 2019

Mark Springer - founder member of the group and came up with the name RIP RIG AND PANIC -in conversation talking about life in music & art with David Eastaugh

Rip Rig + Panic was formed in 1980 naming their newly founded project after the 1965 Roland Kirk album of the same name, the duo preferred to explore their free jazz and reggae roots in contrast to their former band's avant-garde and political leanings.

Pianist Mark Springer, who had performed live with The Pop Group, began collaborating with the duo by playing keyboards and occasionally providing vocals during live shows. Eventually, vocalist Neneh Cherry joined followed by bassist Sean Oliver. This line-up released the single "Go! Go! Go! This Is It"/"The Ultimate in Fun (Is Going to the Disco with My Baby)" on 13 August 1981, with Gavin Martin of NME saying "Rip Rig and Panic tread a fine line between undisciplined wasted and ingenious commercial aplomb."

The band's debut album, God, was released on 3 September 1981 by Virgin Records. It fused free jazz and free improvisation with post-punk, funk and reggae music. The music received high marks from NME for their viruoso playing and esoteric sense of humor, with the review calling it "an act of faith in tumult."[6] The single "Bob Hope Takes Risks" followed on 27 November.

For their second album, I Am Cold, the band adopted a more commercial approach in their sound while further embracing jazz and world music influences. The album was recorded with the help of vocalist Andi Oliver and jazz trumpeter Don Cherry. The band made a guest appearance in an episode of the British sitcom The Young Ones performing their 1982 single "You're My Kind of Climate". 1983's Attitude was the band's final and most accessible album, supported by the singles "Beat the Beast" and "Do the Tightrope".