rosaThat lot pictured above are Rosa Mota (but you can tell that as the promo picture says so).

It’s of course Rosa Mota the band as opposed to Rosa Mota the famous marathon runner.

The band formed in 1992 and consisted of Ian Bishop (vocals/guitar), Julie Rumsey (vocals/guitar), Sacha Galvagna (guitar), Michelle Marti (bass) and Justin Chapman (drums). Their first two singles were released on Placebo Records after which they signed to Mute imprint, Thirteenth Hour Recordings.

The debut album was called Wishful Sinking and was released in 1995.

But it was only with the release of the follow-up LP, Bionic, in 1996, that they first came to my notice.

And all because of Clare Grogan.

Readers of old will know my infatuation with the ex-Altered Images singer and will understand why I sat up and took notice of Rosa Mota.

The most-perfect woman ever to stride planet pop had been a long time away from the scene, concentrating instead on an acting career. But then the world was informed that she had sung joint lead vocals on one of the tracks on Bionic and there were even rumours she might join the band. The music papers carried a story that Clare had co-wrote a song not featured on Bionic for use on a future single, and quoted her as saying

“It was amazing, it was really nice, no pressure, and it made me realise that I enjoy being in a band. Working with Rosa Mota brought the fun back into it for me.”

That was good enough for me, so out I went and bought the CD.

Which turned out to be nothing more than OK, although it does have the brilliantly titled From Her To Maternity as an album opener (sadly the title is better than the song).

Clare’s effort is however, well worth a listen:-

mp3 : Rosa Mota – This Grudge

Just a pity the proposal came to nothing. On this evidence, we could have had something asking to the pixie of pop fronting a PJ Harvey type band.

The album was produced by Steve Albini and is full of his trademarks such as sonic guitar bursts and a near live feeling to the record with few overdubs. But while there is very little on the album to make it truly stand out as distinctive and special, it does contain a genuine hidden classic that was released as a 45:-

mp3 : Rosa Mota – Space Junk

Another that should have been a hit when you think of all the Britpop crap that got into the charts roundabout the same time.

Happy Listening.



Type in ‘Rosa Mota’ to a typical search engine and you’ll get loads of info about a very talented athlete who dominated the Womens’ Marathon in the 80s. You need to add the words ‘the band’ to learn a little bit more about today’s largely forgotten musical ensemble.

Formed in 1992 (just as the athlete’s career came to a close), Rosa Mota consisted of Ian Bishop (vocals, guitar, clarinet), Julie D Ramsey (vocals, guitar), Sacha Glavagna (guitar, bouzouki, keyboards), Michelle Marti (bass guitar, harmonica) and Justin Chapman (drums and percussion).

As one historical tome records it, they drew sonic inspiration from Bauhaus and Echo & The Bunnymen, (although I also detect a bit of that Pixies/Breeders/Belly thing going on).  Two EPs and two singles in 1994-95 sold in very little quantities but such was the record industry in those days that enough faith was shown in them to enable a debut LP, Wishing Sinking to emerge in January 1995, although it too sold in small numbers.  Fast forward two years and new material was released in the form of a CD single and a month later the sophomore LP Bionic was released.

It was the Jan 97 single which brought the band to my attention thanks to the promo video being aired on a BBC music show. Seeing said single on sale for a very low price the following week, I bought it:-

mp3 : Rosa Mota – Space Junk

All these years on and I’ve still got a soft spot for it while its b-sides are a mix of the good, bad and indifferent:-

mp3 : Rosa Mota – Thenezine
mp3 : Rosa Mota – Starstruck
mp3 : Rosa Mota – Angel (French)

I recalled reading at the time of the release of this single that the wonderfully sassy and sexy Clare Grogan had been tempted out of semi-retirement to contribute a vocal to one of the tracks on the second album and so when I saw a second-hand CD copy going for £3 a few months later I took a gamble.  Nowadays you can pick it up for 60p plus postage which means it is like probably 90% of my music collection in that its value is less than the sum originally paid. It’s also reflective of the album being no more than average for the most part, which is also the word I’d use to describe the track featuring Ms Grogan:-

mp3 : Rosa Mota – The Grudge