The Lucy Show special with Mark Bandola in conversation.
The band was formed by Mark Bandola (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Rob Vandeven (vocals, bass), with Paul Rigby on drums, under the name "Midnite Movie". Rigby quickly quit, and Pete Barraclough (guitars, keyboards) and Bryan Hudspeth (drums) were added to the line-up, and the band changed name to "The Lucy Show". Bandola and Vandeven, two Canadian-born friends who had moved to England in the late 1970s, shared song writing and lead vocals equally, although the bulk of the early (pre-album) material had been written by Vandeven.
In 1983, they released their first single, "Leonardo da Vinci," on independent record label Shout Records, which managed to receive some airplay by John Peel.Guitarist Barraclough provided lead vocals on the B-side of the single for his song "Kill The Beast". In 1984, A&M Records signed the band, releasing two singles and an EP during that year (on an offshoot label imprint called Piggy Bank Records). After providing a cassette recording of their material to R.E.M., The Lucy Show was invited by the Athens band to support them on their 1984 UK tour.
In 1985, the band's debut album, ...undone, was released. With a guitar-heavy, lushly atmospheric, brooding sound reminiscent of The Cure and Comsat Angels, it received generally favorable critical notices and, even more importantly, eventually went to the No. 1 spot on the CMJ album charts in the United States. The band's momentum had been steady up to that point and they naturally assumed continuing chart success would be in their future. However, they were shocked when they learned that A&M UK decided to abruptly drop the band at the end of the year.
In 1986, the band signed to indie label Big Time Records, who released their second album, Mania. Produced by the now-legendary John Leckie, the band's songs were much more upbeat and bouncy this time around, with added acoustic guitar and piano, harmonica, synthesizer - and most noticeably, brass , making the group sound very different from their previous incarnation as a "jangly" guitar and new wave group. The change in direction initially promised to be effective, as the album once again topped the all important CMJ charts, and MTV began playing their music video for the first single off the album, "A Million Things". Both this song, and subsequent single "New Message", were substantial college radio hits.
Bad luck would strike the band again, this time when Big Time Records went bankrupt, leaving The Lucy Show adrift. Barraclough and Hudspeth were asked to leave and Bandola and Vandeven stuck together, releasing one final single, "Wherever Your Heart Will Go", in 1988 on Redhead Records. When that single went nowhere, both Bandola and Vandeven realized it was time to quit, and they permanently disbanded The Lucy Show.
Vandeven and Barraclough have continued to work within the music industry under a variety of differing names and projects.
Following the breakup of The Lucy Show, Bandola released an EP under his own name in 1993 entitled 'Til Tuesday, a collaboration with Let's Active producer Mitch Easter, and, for a short while, was a member of London post-rock group Ausgang. From 2003 until 2010 Bandola released experimental pop CDs under the name Typewriter ( mostly a solo effort but with contributions from various guest musicians ), with debut album Skeleton Key in 2003, a second, Birdsnest in 2006, and finally, Pictures from the Antique Skip in early 2010. After the third Typewriter album all seemed quiet until 2013, when Bandola formed psychedelic instrumental vehicle The Ramsgate Hovercraft - a duo with saxophone and synthesizer player Kit Jolly - in his recently adopted hometown of Ramsgate. Their first album ( January 2014 ) is the double vinyl LP, Arcane Empire on local indie label Galleon Records, which Record Collector magazine granted four stars and described as "... an ambience that’s both worldly and cosmic" and "a delicately layered, sumptuous odyssey". In March 2015 the duo released their 2nd album "Cinema Verite'" which also gained positive reviews. Since then, The Ramsgate Hovercraft has expanded to a quartet, adding drummer Paula Frost, as well as synthesist & pianist Paul Naudin to their ranks. The group have also played occasionally flamboyant & theatrical shows in their native East Kent. And, their new Album (third in total) will be released early in 2017 alongside a launch concert at the Ramsgate Musichall in early February 2017.
In 2005, Mania was reissued on CD by the Words on Music label, with numerous bonus tracks. In 2009, ...undone was released on CD for the first time by Words on Music. In 2011, Words on Music released Remembrances, a compilation album of rare and previously unreleased songs recorded by the band during the mid-1980s.