Returning again to the pleasures generated by the C88 boxset. The booklet says this:-
Formed in Summer 1987, when all four members of the band worked at the University of London’s halls of residence, Moss Poles were at the more melodic end of the ‘fast guitars’ spectrum. After appearing on the live scene, they were spotted by various loitering A&R men before recording for Jeff Chegwin’s Idea label (later home of the mighty Wolfhounds) and releasing a sprightly debut single, ‘One Summer’, which graced the indie charts. The scene-referencing ‘Underground’ followed – ‘let’s go down to the underground/it’s the only place where love is found” – and the album. Shorn, before the band’s all-too brief existence came to an end in summer 1988.
A little bit of digging reveals that the contents of the booklet are slightly wrong in terms of how Moss Poles came to be. It does seem the case that Nick Potter, Sean Bergin and Mick Kemp worked together in said halls of residence, but they were already in a band called Last of the V8s with the fourth member being a drum machine which, in due course was ditched and the name changed to Moss Poles in the summer of 1987. They were seemingly a more than decent live act and counted a young Steve Lamacq among their fanbase. The two singles and debut album all came out in a short space of time on Idea Records with the slick and polished sound betraying the fact they had already been together for a while before ending up in the studio.
The plan had been to record and release a follow-up in 1988 but on Mayking Records. Indeed, the tracks were recorded and set to go except the label went bust and it seems the master tapes were among the assets seized due to non-payment of fees to the studio. And that was the end of Moss Poles.
They’re another act that I would have known nothing about if it wasn’t for the boxset. One Summer is an excellent piece of music. It actually doesn’t have all that much in common with the genre and sound most associated with C86/87/88, being more akin to the power pop stuff so beloved by Brian over at Linear Track Lives
mp3 : Moss Poles – One Summer
Here’s yer b-side –
mp3 : Moss Poles – Go Down
I do think this was a band that a major label might have been able to do something with, perhaps even getting them the playlist at Radio 1 and the lower ends of the singles chart. It seems like another example of a ‘could’ve been’ combo from the strangest and most unpredictable decade in pop.