It was genuinely pleasing to get such a positive response to the idea of using the 1st day of each month (or as close to the 1st if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday) to throw out the songs that were #1 in the UK Indie Charts 30, 20 and 10 years ago to the day. I genuinely have no idea what is going to come up until the day I start putting the piece together. Fingers crossed….
1 June 1987 : Nosedive Karma : Gaye Bikers On Acid (3rd of 3 weeks)
1 June 1997 : I’ll Be There For You – The Rembrandts (2nd of 4 weeks)
1 June 2007 : I’m Not Sorry – The Pigeon Detectives ( 1 week)
Oh dear. The middle one alone is making me have second thoughts about this series….
But back first of all to 1987.
Gaye Bikers On Acid. One of the greatest band names of all time. Just a pity that I cannot for the life of me recall any of their songs.
Wiki tell us they were an English psychedelic rock band from Leicester, and one of the founder members of the Grebo music scene. They later released both thrash punk and dance music albums under various aliases and consisted of:-
Mary Byker (Ian Garfield Hoxley) – vocals
Tony Byker/Phlegm Lubricant/Tony Shuttleburger/Sven Eleven- (Tony Horsfall) – guitar
Robber Byker (Ian Reynolds) – bass guitar
Rocket Ronnie (William Samuel Ronald Morrow) – turntablist
Kev Byker/Cubehead Buffalo Hyde/Gavina Hyde/Kenny Pride – (Kevin Hyde) – drums
Their first two releases – the single Everythang’s Groovy and the Nosedive Karma EP – were both recorded with the help of Jon Langford of The Mekons, and released on the InTape label which was run by Marc Riley (then merely an ex-member of The Fall and not yet one half of a terrific radio duo).
The success of these releases led to them signing to Virgin Records and releasing the albums Drill Your Own Hole in 1987 and Stewed to the Gills in 1989. Initial quantities of the vinyl version of Drill Your Own Hole was pressed without a hole in the centre, so it was necessary to literally drill your own hole to play it.
They also played gigs (dressed in women’s clothing) under the name ‘Lesbian Dopeheads on Mopeds’, supporting themselves, and thus getting paid twice. They also performed as a fictitious East German thrash punk band “Rektüm” (they claimed to have jumped over the Berlin Wall), recording an LP Sakredanus and an EP Real Horror Show under the name.
However management problems and poor sales meant that they were dropped by Virgin in 1989. They subsequently released the album Cancer Planet Mission on their own record label, Naked Brain. They also recycled and used the band name ‘The Purple Fluid Exchange’ (PFX) to release their dance cross-over material. It was at this time that Rocket Ronnie joined the band as DJ, sample player and dance advisor.
In 1990 they released Pernicious Nonsense, their last studio album, again recorded with Jon Langford . Poorly attended tours in the US and UK caused friction and the final blow came when Rough Trade, who distributed their Naked Brain recordings, went bankrupt owing them and many other bands considerable amounts of cash.
A band who, understandably, generated a loyal following who revelled in the fact they were far from predictable and by all accounts a bonkers and ocasionally brilliant live act.
Fast forward ten years.
As with R Kelly last month, this single exploited a loophole to qualify for the indie charts. The Rembrandts were part of Atlantic Records but the music came out on the East West imprint. This song was a massive hit thanks to it being the theme tune for the show Friends.
Fun fact. Barely believable but true. I’ve never seen a complete episode of Friends. I hated the idea of it back in the days just reading its premise and vowed to avoid at all costs. I’ve managed to do so more than 20 years on after it began airing. In keeping with the spirit of this belligerent attitude, the theme song ain’t getting on this blog.
And so to 2007.
The Pigeon Detectives are a band whose name vaguely rings a bell but again, I’ve no idea what any of their songs sound like.
Wiki informs that they came together in 2004 in Leeds and three years later issued their first singles and albums. They are still going strong today, racking up five albums in total, including two that went Top 5 in the UK. They were everywhere back in 2007, doing that thing where the music was initially released online to fans before becoming commercially available, thus building up a buzz of anticipation. They are on the label Dance To The Radio of whom I do own some releases by the likes of iLiKETRAiNS, and ¡Forward, Russia!.
It also says that over the years they have played on the largest stages at music festivals and headlined all sorts of tours, even selling out the 8,000 capacity Alexandra Palace in London. But nope, I still can’t say for certain if I know any of their tunes:-
Having listened….I have to ask myself why they made it big when a contemporary band like The Rakes flopped.
Catchy pop with an indie bent to it. I can see why they appealed so much to folk of a certain age (and their target market) back in the day.
More such nonsense on Friday 30 June (as 1 July falls on a Saturday)