The potted histories that I’ve been providing throughout this series come from a combination of personal memories, material I have in a couple of reference books and info that is out there on t’internet. But I’m having problems trying to provide a definitive guide to 14 Iced Bears as there are differing accounts out there and being a Brighton band that I can’t personally recall from the era I can’t pretend that what follows is 100% correct.
They did form in 1985 and there is no doubt that in their initial existence across some seven years that they had an ever-shifting line-up of musicians and were on a number of different labels. They did however, centre around two principal songwriters in Rob Sekula (vocals) and Kevin Canham (guitars). They were an atypical 80s indie-pop outfit who had a number of devoted followers, particularly in and around their home town which has of course since become home to many talented and influential musicians of different genres but was seen in those days as being ‘not quite London’. They concentrated on singles for the most part, with Come Get Me, their fourth 45, coming out in April 1988 as one of the earliest Sarah singles and thus now worth a fair bit of money if you’re lucky enough to have an original.
There were five performers on this single with the two main protagonists joined by Steven Ormsby (bass), Graham Durrant (drums) and Susan Freeman (backing vocals).
By the time a self-titled debut LP was released six months later, the band were on a different label with a new bass player and no sign of Susan…..
By 1992 it was all over but they were a band that many later emerging acts on the indie scene frequently name checked as an influence, although whether that was true or was simply the idea of quoting an obscure name in an attempt to be hip is hard to tell.
For a band that sold next to nothing back in the day it was a bit of a surprise that 2010 saw a reunion with a series of gigs, tours and eventually a high-profile slot at the Indietracks Festival in 2012. The following year saw Cherry Red Records release a Hold On Inside, a 2xCD retrospective of their entire back catalogue.
It was the Sarah single that was included on CD86 :-
mp3 : 14 Iced Bears – Come Get Me
It’s a catchy enough bit of music whose chorus will lodge itself into your brain but I’m not convinced that it is a ‘classic’ but that is a matter of personal taste. Here’s the two b-sides to the single:-
mp3 : 14 Iced Bears – Sure To See
mp3 : 14 Iced Bears – Unhappy Days
** links to songs now active….see additional posting on Tuesday 21 July!!