Type in ‘Rosa Mota’ to a typical search engine and you’ll get loads of info about a very talented athlete who dominated the Womens’ Marathon in the 80s. You need to add the words ‘the band’ to learn a little bit more about today’s largely forgotten musical ensemble.

Formed in 1992 (just as the athlete’s career came to a close), Rosa Mota consisted of Ian Bishop (vocals, guitar, clarinet), Julie D Ramsey (vocals, guitar), Sacha Glavagna (guitar, bouzouki, keyboards), Michelle Marti (bass guitar, harmonica) and Justin Chapman (drums and percussion).

As one historical tome records it, they drew sonic inspiration from Bauhaus and Echo & The Bunnymen, (although I also detect a bit of that Pixies/Breeders/Belly thing going on).  Two EPs and two singles in 1994-95 sold in very little quantities but such was the record industry in those days that enough faith was shown in them to enable a debut LP, Wishing Sinking to emerge in January 1995, although it too sold in small numbers.  Fast forward two years and new material was released in the form of a CD single and a month later the sophomore LP Bionic was released.

It was the Jan 97 single which brought the band to my attention thanks to the promo video being aired on a BBC music show. Seeing said single on sale for a very low price the following week, I bought it:-

mp3 : Rosa Mota – Space Junk

All these years on and I’ve still got a soft spot for it while its b-sides are a mix of the good, bad and indifferent:-

mp3 : Rosa Mota – Thenezine
mp3 : Rosa Mota – Starstruck
mp3 : Rosa Mota – Angel (French)

I recalled reading at the time of the release of this single that the wonderfully sassy and sexy Clare Grogan had been tempted out of semi-retirement to contribute a vocal to one of the tracks on the second album and so when I saw a second-hand CD copy going for £3 a few months later I took a gamble.  Nowadays you can pick it up for 60p plus postage which means it is like probably 90% of my music collection in that its value is less than the sum originally paid. It’s also reflective of the album being no more than average for the most part, which is also the word I’d use to describe the track featuring Ms Grogan:-

mp3 : Rosa Mota – The Grudge


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