There’s not been any enough jangly pop on this blog in recent times. As an apology for those who have to expect such things round on the little corner of t’internet, here’s a quite magnificent debut 45 that dates back to 1984

mp3: The Woodentops – Plenty

Released on Food Records, it was actually the second single to be released on the then new label that had been founded by David Balfe (ex-The Teardrop Explodes) and which would, a few years later, become the home of Jesus Jones and, later on again, Blur.

Plenty is a wonderfully jaunty single.  It was so good that Geoff Travis immediately made an audacious and successful bid to snatch The Woodentops away to his Rough Trade Empire, which was then riding very high from the hits of The Smiths.

Here’s the other two tracks on the debut 12″, all taken from a copy of the vinyl occupying a spot on the shelves of the large antique storage cupboard in Villain Towers, not too far away from the myriad of singles released by The Wedding Present.

mp3: The Woodentops – Have You Seen The Lights
mp3: The Woodentops – Everybody

The b-sides, and Everybody in particular, give an early indication that they were a cut above most indie bands of the era.

This guest ICA from Strictly Rockers, written back in April 2016, will take the story forward to that point in time.  The Woodentops are still going strong and a UK tour is scheduled for next month.*

*oops on my part.  As Mike from Manic Pop Thrills pointed out, the tour I had looked at on-line at the band’s website actually happened in 2022 and isn’t next month.  Sorry!



  1. Those early singles are brilliant and the pop-focussed debut album initially paled a little bit in cmoparison although more listens concfirmed it is terrific. They started to lose their way a bit with the second album although the third however many years later was pretty good. Haven’t seen them since they got back together again, had a ticket at one point but I think work got in the way. Hadn’t picked up on the March tour and might be tempted through although it would be another Glasgow show on a school night.

  2. What a callback. I LOVE all those early singles and for me Giant is one of my favorite albums of the 80s. They also managed to pull off one exceptionally rare feat: an excellent live album. They evidently came to SF a few times but I never managed to see them :/

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