Anyone remember Intastella?

It’s been written that they were Manchester’s answer to the London-based Saint Etienne but I’m guessing this was simply on the basis that they made indie-pop with a dance theme and had a female singer.  Anyway, Intastella came into being in 1990 (at the height of Madchester) and disbanded in 1996 (at the height of Britpop) having enjoyed only limited success.

But what’s this got to do with CD86 you might well be asking….and the answer is that Intastella rose from the ashes of Laugh.

And Laugh are one of the acts featured on CD86.

Laugh had formed in 1985 featuring Martin Wright (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Ian Bendelow (guitar), Martin Mittler (bass guitar) and Spencer Birtwistle (drums). They would go on to release three singles between 1986 and 1988 on The Remorse Label before moving to Sub Aqua Records for whom there was one single and an album.

They never quite cracked it, even in terms of the indie charts, and so it was no surprise when they called it a day at the end of the decade; all bar the guitarist would metamorphosise into the new band with the addition of Stella Grundy on vocals and a dancer called Lil’ Anthony.

Here’s the not too bad but not fantastically memorable track from CD86:-

mp3 : Laugh – Paul McCartney

It was the band’s second single for Remorse. The rumour is that Craig Gannon (who at this point in time would have been a past member of Aztec Camera and The Smiths) played on the record, although he isn’t credited on the sleeve.

Here’s yer b-side:-

mp3 : Laugh – Come On, Come Out




I make no apologies (again) for going into the archives over at the old blog for today’s piece.  It was one I stumbled across when searching for Dick Van Dyke’s adventures that were recounted just the other week.  This is from another of my old Sunday Correspondents gang who goes by the name of Cullen Skink.  He didn’t half select some banging tunes……….

If there’s a city outside Scotland whose impact is recurrently felt on The Vinyl Villain, it must be Manchester with its Magazine, Morrissey, New Order

I lived there as a student in the late 80s and early 90s, a period when Manchester gained its reputation for being the centre of the music world.

I was certainly enthralled by the musical heritage. My all-time favourite bands were Buzzcocks and The Fall. Joy Division/New Order too – though I eschewed The Smiths. And I was intoxicated by the contemporary scene: a huge Happy Mondays fan, I followed the Inspiral Carpets for a while, though wasn’t arsed about the Stone Roses

But you can hear all those bands any time, so here are some others that I loved around that time – bands that deserve to be glorified not forgotten. As behoves a VV Sunday Correspondent, let me turn once more to ye olde vinyl…

The Bodines made glorious, glimmering pop music, the pinnacle of 80s indie before syncopated funky-drummer beats took over. There’s a good case to be made for Therese (1987) as the greatest single ever. Certainly it should be on heavy rotation on all music radio.

mp3 : The Bodines – Therese

Laugh‘s funky swagger jumps out of this fantastic single from 1988. It drags you onto the dancefloor and shouts in your ear. They missed the Madchester bus, until they regrouped in time for the second wave as Intastella.

mp3 : Laugh – Time To Lose It

A forgotten music of the time is that loose agglomeration of ugly noiseniks that pointed sharpened sticks at earnest ears. I thought Dub Sex were Manchester’s best, though I wonder if anybody else did…

mp3 : Dub Sex – Swerve

As the Madchester phenomenon peaked, bands were chewed up and spat out as the media trendsetters moved on – to grunge or whatever the next big thing was. But of these second-wave bands, the New Fast Automatic Daffodils meant the world to me, and Big might be my most loved record of the time. As far as I was concerned it was indie-dance crossover on a par with Loaded or Fools Gold.

mp3 : New Fast Automatic Daffodils – Big

To my eternal chagrin I never saw The World Of Twist, though their concerts have become the stuff of legend. I just never imagined it’d be over so quickly – a couple of miraculous singles, a disappointing album, then nothing (and their frontman Tony Ogden died far too young in 2006).

mp3 : World Of Twist – Sons Of The Stage

Oh and while I’m in this mood, we’d better have some Mondays after all…

mp3 : Happy Mondays – Freaky Dancin’ (live)

Don’t sit down……

Cullen Skink, Sunday 25th April 2010