Here at Last Day Deaf, we feel more than honoured to be part of an indie-pop (& shoegaze) fest from three of the bands that defined the 80s-90s British (and beyond) scene. Ladies and gents, if you are near Preston on Friday 17th, make sure you don’t miss Sarah Records favourites The Orchids, immaculate indie-poppers The Chesterfields and exceptional indie/shoegazers The Suncharms perform live on the same stage for the very first time.
All three bands were kind enough to provide us with interviews and as usual (with the vital help of Marcus Palmer) a photo tribute will follow after the event. Stay alert!
Tuff Life Boogie & They Eat Culture present a hand-picked selection of classic indie-pop and shoegaze from three great bands of the 80s and 90s, including a mega rare set from Sarah Records favourites The Orchids!
Acclaimed Glasgow band The Orchids recorded for the cherished independent Sarah Records during their original run, which ended in 1995, appropriately at the Sarah farewell party in Bristol. Tracking back to 1987, The Orchids’ first release was a song called ‘On This Day’ on one side of a flexi disc on the uber-indie Sha-La-La label, which you could only have found inside the coolest indie-pop fanzines of the time. Later on they also did a one-off single for Bob Stanley of St Etienne’s boutique label Caff Records, but they will always be remembered for their outstanding Sarah releases, reissued by LTM Recordings in 2005. This prolific yet overlooked five-piece recorded a string of terrific singles for Sarah, including ‘I’ve Got a Habit’ (Sarah 002, £150 on Discogs!), ‘What Will We do Next’ (Sarah 23) and ‘Something for The Longing’ (Sarah 29) as well as three excellent albums.
Often compared to similarly cerebral pop operators such as Felt, Aztec Camera and (early) Primal Scream, The Orchids were musically one of the most interesting Sarah bands and certainly developed far more than the most of the other groups on that label. Starting with a fairly conventional melancholy guitar pop sound on first album Lyceum (1989) and contemporaneous singles, they moved on to become more keyboard and sample/effects-based for their second and third albums, Unholy Soul (1991) and Striving For the Lazy Perfection (1994) developing a more electronic sound, possibly as a result of their producer, Ian Carmichael, who was a member of dance music hit-meisters One Dove.
The Orchids reformed in 2004, and whilst they have since released three more albums: 2007’s Good to be a Stranger (“softhearted, circular melodies reminiscent of anything the band ever released on Sarah” Ryan Foley), 2010’s The Lost Star (“compares favourably to the band’s output when they were at their best.” Allmusic) and 2014’s Beatitude (“a sophisticated and largely successful continuation of their quest” – The Quietus), Orchids gigs have become pretty rare. Don’t miss this opportunity to catch a genuine cult band in action.
The Chesterfields were an English indie pop band from Yeovil in Somerset, formed in summer 1984 by Dave Goldsworthy (vocals, guitar), Simon Barber (bass, vocals), and Dominic Manns (drums), joined in 1985 by Brendan Holden (guitar). After some cassette releases they cut their teeth, like The Orchids, on one side of a flexi disc shared with The Shop Assistants which was given away with the Legend! fanzine.
They signed to The Subway Organization, releasing three well-received singles, and their debut LP Kettle was released in July 1987, with a compilation of the early singles, Westward Ho! issued later the same year. The band then moved to their own Household label, issuing three more singles and a third album, Crocodile Tears, before splitting in 1989. The Chesterfields reformed briefly in the 1990s to tour Japan after their material was re-issued there. Dave Goldsworthy was killed by a hit & run driver in Oxford, UK, on 9 November 2004.
In June 2014 Chesterfields founder member Simon Barber’s band Design (along with Andy Strickland of The Loft/The Caretaker Race) played a set of songs by The Chesterfields at the London event organised to celebrate the reissue of the NME C86 tape. Design continued to play classic Chesterfields songs such as ‘Johnny Dee’, ‘Lunchtime for the Wild Youth’ and ‘Last Train to Yeovil’ throughout 2014 & 2015 and in 2016 The Chesterfields returned with a new line up of Simon Barber, Andy Strickland, Helen Stickland and Rob Parry. Tuff Life Boogie was at the C86 show and, if The Chesterfields’ great set there is anything to go by, they will be well worth your attention.
The Suncharms (renamed after David Gedge of The Wedding Present pointed out that their original handle, The Eunuchs, wasn’t great) are a Sheffield based indie/shoegaze band originally active between 1989-1993, during which time they put out two 12″ EPs on Wilde Club Records, recorded a John Peel session, and became a staple at indiepop gigs, sharing bills with many of the legendary bands from the late 80s and early 90s. After recently releasing a retrospective CD compilation on the respected US indie-pop label Cloudberry Records, the band have reunited and are working on brand new material.
This show in Preston is The Suncharms first show in almost 25 years and we are delighted to host their comeback gig!
Catch The Orchids / The Chesterfields / The Suncharms here on Friday 17th Febuary 2017.