And finally, we reach the point in this series where the focus is put on the band that I personally associate with C86/twee indie than any other on the planet.
Talulah Gosh were a five-piece group from Oxford consisting originally of Amelia Fletcher (vocals, guitar) Mathew Fletcher (drums), Peter Momtchiloff (lead guitar), Rob Pursey (bass) and Elizabeth Price (vocals), although Pursey would depart after just three gigs to be replaced by Chris Scott. The legend goes that the band formed when the two girls met at club in their home town in 1985 having gotten talking to one another on the back of them each wearing a Pastels badge and that they took their name from a quote that had been given by Clare Grogan in an interview with the NME a few years earlier.
They signed to the Edinburgh-based 53rd & 3rd label but their blend of the Velvet Underground and 60s style girl pop groups divided opinion. There were some who saw them as amateurishly pretentious while others thought this was a great leap forward for pop music with an indie bent. Their first two singles – Steaming Train and Beatnik Boy -the band to be replaced by Eithne Farry.
The next single appeared in May 1987 and it is that piece of music which was has been included on CD 86:-
mp3 : Talulah Gosh – Talulah Gosh
There were two more singles before they broke up in the Spring of 1988, commemorated originally only by a compilation LP that brought all the singles together.
Amelia Fletcher would release a solo single while Peter Momtchiloff would briefly join The Razorcuts, another of the bands to emerge from he C86 movement. Come 1990 the two of them, together with Mathew Fletcher and Rob Pursey would form the nucleus of Heavenly who, for the next six or so years would release a number of singles and albums on Sarah Records in a style that was initially very akin to that of Talulah Gosh but as the years moved on transformed increasingly into a more standard indie-guitar outfit that didn’t sound too out-of-place amidst the Britpop movement.
The tragic suicide of Mathew Fletcher at the age of 25 in June 1996 brought an end to Heavenly but the other members of the band, as well as those associated with Talulah Gosh, have enjoyed remarkable success in their chosen careers and professions.
Elizabeth Price in 2012 took the £25,000 Turner Prize for a piece of video work which blended Sixties pop with footage from a 1979 Woolworths fire; Amelia Fletcher completed a degree at Oxford University and is a senior figure in commerce; Rob Pursey works as a producer in television; Peter Momtchiloff, is a senior commissioning editor in the world of publishing; Eithne Farry is a published author and has been a literary critic for a number of publications.
Everything the band recorded, plus demo tracks and live tracks can be found on the compilation 2 x LP Was It Just A Dream? released on Damaged Goods Records. It includes the b-sides of Talulah Gosh as well as a radio session version of the single:-
mp3 : Talulah Gosh – Don’t Go Away
mp3 : Talulah Gosh – Escalator Over The Hill
mp3 : Talulah Gosh – Talulah Gosh (radio session)