This is just the third individual appearance on TVV by Biff Bang Pow!

The debut came in August 2015 as the 25th act to be featured in the still-running Saturday’s Scottish Song series.  As I said at the time, some might argue that Biff Bang Pow! were a London band given that was where they were formed, but as they centred around Alan McGhee I decided they merited a place in the series.  It was also the case in August 2015 that the TVV collection contained just one song by the band, courtesy of She Paints being included on the Doing It For The Kids compilation issued by Creation Records.

The most recent appearance was in January 2021, in response to a request from someone I reckon might be the blog’s only reader in Chile.  Ozzy, (or Osvaldo to give him his ‘proper’ name) had e-mailed me asking if I could upload something by Biff Bang Pow! as he’d enjoyed hearing the song Hug Me Honey when he tuned into an online station based in Switzerland. I was happy to do so and revealed that my collection had expanded to five songs in the intervening period since August 2015.

That’s all changed in recent weeks, thanks to my patronage of Last Night From Glasgow, as I received an advance copy of an album about to be reissued after many years of being out of print.

The Girl Who Runs The Beat Hotel was originally released by Creation in March 1987.  It was the band’s second album.  There’s an interesting review/description of it over at the Trouser Press website:-

Poorly produced with thin, shrill sound, The Girl Who Runs the Beat Hotel reveals much stronger, more attractive songwriting. “Someone Stole My Wheels” and “The Happiest Girl in the World” are convincing period pieces colored in with, respectively, prominent organ and female vocals; “Five Minutes in the Life of Greenwood Goulding” uses crazy backwards guitars. Strangely, McGee’s vocals suggest Robert Smith on “Love’s Going Out of Fashion” and Lloyd Cole on “He Don’t Need That Girl.” The melodies and varied arrangements are stylishly appropriate, but the botched mix prevents them from being fully appreciated. The 12-inch of “Love’s Going Out of Fashion” avoids that sonic pothole and includes three atmospheric non-LP tracks.

The LNFG reissue, hopefully, will resolve some of the issues raised in the above review as it has been remastered by the very skilful and talented Paul McGeechan whose name has been mentioned a few times round these parts.  It’s also an expanded version of the album, with four additional tracks that had previously appeared as b-sides from the same period.

I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable a listen the album proved to be.  As much as Alan McGhee would hate anyone to say it, there’s an awful lot of the spiky and tuneful pop sounds of the likes of Josef K, Orange Juice and The Bluebells threatening to break out amidst the artful or psychedelia 60s influenced songs that I was anticipating from what little I knew of their material beforehand. The album arrived as part of the subscription I have with LNFG and it wouldn’t, in normal circumstances, have been something I’d likely have made as a speculative purchase.  I had fully expected that, after one listen, it would have found its way onto the shelf almost in an ‘out of sight’ fashion, but a few weeks on it’s still sitting close to the turntable readily available to be given further spins.

I haven’t quite got round to doing any vinyl rips as yet, so here’s a couple of unmastered tracks, that were also released as singles back in the day:-

mp3 : Biff Bang Pow! – Love’s Going Out Of Fashion
mp3 : Biff Bang Pow! – Someone Stole My Wheels

And here’s the one song I previously knew from the album, courtesy of it being included within the box set Make More Noise – Women In Independent UK Music 1977-1987. The vocals on this one are handled by Christine Wanless (who also co-wrote the song) despite her never seemingly ever being acknowledged as being part of the band.

mp3: Biff Bang Pow! – If I Die

The Girl Who Runs The Beat Motel does come highly recommended.  I’m not sure when the official release date is, but you can pre-order from LNFG by clicking here.



  1. Hello JC,
    I’m really glad to witness the appearance on The Vinyl Villain of the only album I ever appeared on (you can hear my speaking voice on “If I die” and, backwards, on “Five minutes in the life of Greenwood Goulding”).
    The “Someone stole my wheels” single was released as “J.C. Brouchard with Biff Bang Pow !” but I took no part in its recording. And the album closes with “The whole world is turning Brouchard”, also released as a very short instrumental single.
    Sadly, Christine Wanless died a few months ago (
    JC Brouchard

  2. Hi JC

    Thank you so much for the update, and I was very sorry to learn that Christine Wanless had passed away; if I had known, I would have included the information within the post.

    And yes, as I played the album for the first time, I did think about your contributions to Biff Bang Pow! – I had noticed on on Discogs that the single ‘Someone Stole My Wheels’ was attributed to J.C. Brouchard with Biff Bang Pow!, and I wondered whether it had been a different recording. Thank you for clarifying things for me.

    Please let me know, via e-mail, if you would like a copy of the album and I will make arrangements to have it sent to you.


    The other JC.

  3. Thanks JC.
    I forgot to mention that BBP! completists should get their hands on the 2022 Cherry Red 6-CD box set “A Better Life – Complete Creations 1984-1991” (
    For once, the “complete” adjective is fully adequate, as demos, rare and unreleased tracks are included, plus a live set and many tracks by pre-BPP! bands. I’m even on one previously unreleased track, “I need optimism”.
    I never thought I’d such a release for Biff Bang Pow!…
    JC Brouchard

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