In a parallel universe a band called East Village are feted the world over while a bunch of blokes called Teenage Fanclub never got known outside of their home town……

There’s no question at all that this lot from London, who consisted of Paul Kelly (vocals/guitar), Martin Kelly (bass), Johnny Wood (guitar) and Spencer Smith (drums) were hugely influenced by the likes of Big Star, The Byrds and the sound of 60s Rickenbackers but in the late 1980s such music was waaaaay out of fashion.

They had actually began life as Episode Four and in 1987  released a self-financed EP before changing their name to East Village and releasing two EPs for Sub Aqua in late 1988, a period in which they also supported The House of Love and McCarthy.

The subsequent collapse of their label left them somewhat in limbo and it wasn’t until 1991 that new material in the shape of a new single came out through the newly established Heavenly Records.  Not long after though, the band broke up leaving behind songs recorded for an intended debut album which eventually saw light of day in 1993 with most folk thinking it was another cash-in on the now fashionable sounds of the 60s and not realising the sad tale of a band who were just ahead of their time.

Paul Kelly and Spencer Smith would become part of the Saint Etienne touring band in the mid 90s so it is hardly a surprise that Bob Stanley, in compiling the tracks for CD86. would look favourably on his old mates and include them on the compilation even though they had next to no connection, musically, with the movement.

mp3 : East Village – Vibrato

It’s a fine piece of music that clocks in at just under two minutes in length. It was actually given a release as a single in 1991 on an Australian label called Summershine but I’ve not been able to track down its  b-side which is called Violin.

Instead, I’ve gotten hold of the four great tracks from their debut EP for Sub Aqua in June 1988:-

mp3 : East Village – Cubans In The Bluefields
mp3 : East Village – Break Your Neck
mp3 : East Village – Strawberry Window
mp3 : East Village – Kathleen

As I said, somewhere in a parallel universe…….