Pictured above are the four members of The Charlottes, who formed in 1988 in the town of Huntingdon, England (and which had former Prime Minister John Major as its MP from 1979-2001).
Petra Roddis was the singer, Graham Garguilo played guitar, David Wade was the bassist, and the drums were banged by Simon Scott who, in due course who find some fame and fortune as part of shoe-gazing combo, Slowdive.
The Charlottes first single came out in late 1988 on Molesworth a very small and locally-based label. It’s 1 minute and 45 seconds of fabulously frantic pop that musically has a lot in common with so many of their contemporaries, with a similarity to early Soup Dragons and The Wedding Present:-
mp3 : The Charlottes – Are You Happy Now?
The b-side was another fine indie-pop by numbers – less frantic and more of a tip of the hat to the increasing number of female fronted indie bands of the late 80s, but not quite as twee:-
mp3 : The Charlottes – How Can You Say (You Really Feel)
They would next pop up on Subway Organisation, for whom there was a single and album in 1989/90 before they headed over to Cherry Red Records in 1991, and again for a single and album. The Charlottes never really got much in the way of success, nor much in the way of attention from the media.
They were one of those groups that came along a little bit to late with the indie-sound that they were initially so good at dying out as the baggy/Madchester era came into being – and where the likes of The Soup Dragons embraced this, The Charlottes leaned more towards shoegazing as their third and final single demonstrates:-
mp3 : The Charlottes – Liar
They really didn’t stand out from the crowd by this point….but somebody, somewhere saw potential in the man with the sticks.