C86 Show - Indie Pop

The Parachute Men with Fiona Gregg

March 13, 2020

The Parachute Men with Fiona Gregg in conversation with David Eastaugh

The Parachute Men formed in 1985, with a line-up of Fiona Gregg (vocals), Stephen H. Gregg (guitar), Andrew Howes (bass and keyboards), and Mark Boyce (drums and keyboards). After two years of gigging, the band were signed by large London indie label Fire Records in 1987. Their first release was a four-track EP with "Sometimes In Vain" as the lead track, in May 1988. This was followed in August of the same year by debut album The Innocents, which made the NME top 50 albums of that year. Two further singles were taken from the album, "If I Could Wear Your Jacket" (which author Mike Gayle has stated is one of his all-time favourite records) and "Bed and Breakfast". A further single, "Leeds Station" was released and also featured on the NME's Carry On Disarming video.

Howes and Boyce departed soon after, with Fiona and Stephen continuing as an acoustic duo until they recruited Matthew Parkin (bass) and Paul Walker (drums). 1990 saw the release of the second album, Earth, Dogs, and Eggshells, preceded by the single "Every Other Thursday" (a reference to signing on to the dole). The album was released over a year after it was recorded, losing much of the momentum the band had built up.[2] The band line-up changed again, with Canadian Colleen Browne replacing Matthew Parkin. They eventually recruited a further bass player, Tony Hodges, but after playing just one gig, at Liverpool University, split in the early 1990s with no further releases.