Spring Boutique were from The Philippines and consisted of Lorelie Landavora (vocals), Anthony Agarpao (guitar) Precious Agarpao (guitar), Basil James Silva (drums) and Caleb Domingo (bass). They released their their debut album via Philippine indiepop label, Dorothy and later on via the Japanese label Quince Records in 2003.  It’s an album that contains the perfect way to end this mini-series.

mp3 : Spring Boutique – So Twee



Twee might be best associated with the 80s and 90s, but in all truth it never went away, which to me is a good things.

One of the more recent examples of the genre are Very Truly Yours who hail from Chicago. Formed by Kristine Capua (vocals), Lisle Mitnik (guitar), Dan Hyatt (bass), and Andy Rogers (drums) in 2008 they soon began to get attention from appearances on various low-budget compilations. Katie Watkins later joined on keyboards.

From what I can gather, there then followed a split single and then a self-funded EP in 2009, an album in 2010 and a 7″ single in 2011.

Kristine and Lisle also have recorded solo projects and more recently have hooked up for an electronica band called Tiny Fireflies. I’m assuming therefore that Very Truly Yours are no more, but I’m willing to be corrected.

mp3 : Very Truly Yours – Popsong ’91 (from 2009 split single)
mp3 : Very Truly Yours – Reminders (from 2009 EP)
mp3 : Very Truly Yours – Things You Used To Say (from 2010 LP)
mp3 : Very Truly Yours – Girls Tell You Secrets (2011 single)




It’s worth dropping by……


It’s well-known that, following the demise of Marine Girls, fame, fortune and an extended career in the music industry would come to Tracey Thorn. What’s maybe not so well-known is what happened next to her bandmates, Alice and Jane Fox.

They stayed with Cherry Red Records, forming the unlikely named Grab Grab The Haddock, who also included Lester Noel and Steve Galloway. A three-track EP, entitled Three Songs by Grab Grab The Haddock was released in 1984 while the following year saw one more EP, entitled Four More Songs by Grab Grab The Haddock.

mp3 : Grab Grab The Haddock – Nothing You Say… (1984)
mp3 : Grab Grab The Haddock – For All We Know (1985)

The first of the songs was written by Steve Galloway while Jane Fox was responsible for the other two tracks.

There was one more EP in 1986, entitled Four More Songs by Grab Grab The Haddock, with writing duties this time falling mainly to Lester Noel, who wrote two of its songs, with one each for Jane and Steve.

The band called it a day shortly afterwards. Lester Noel enjoyed some later success as part of Beats International, the band formed by Norman Cook after the demise of The Housemartins, and who enjoyed a #1 in 1989 with Dub Be Good To Me.



From the band’s own website:-

St. Christopher are a British indie band formed in York in 1984, who released several records on the seminal Sarah Records label in the late 1980s, and have continued to release records since.

The band are mainly known among indiepop fans for their four singles and 10″ mini-LP on Sarah Records, although they actually have a much longer history, both before and after their time on Sarah, producing a prolific quantity of recordings on a variety of labels, from the early 1980s to the present.

The only constant member of the band during its more than thirty years of existence has been Glenn Melia, and, during this time, Melia and St. Christopher have recorded with many well-known labels apart from Sarah, including Bus Stop, Vinyl Japan, Elefant, Slumberland, Caff and Parasol. The band probably achieved greatest recognition for the single “All of a Tremble”, released in 1989.

The original line-up of the band also featured Terry Banks, who went on to lead Tree Fort Angst and latterly Dot Dash.

After a long hiatus St. Christopher began gigging again mid-2007 and have gigged intermittently ever since. 2014 saw the release of a Cherry Red 2CD, 53 track compilation ‘Forevermore Starts Here’ – the album comes with a 12 page booklet featuring band photos, memorabilia pictures, and an extensive interview with St Christopher founder Glenn Melia, providing some very interesting background info on the band’s history. 2016 saw the latest live show as well, at London’s iconic 100 club with fellow indie favourites Mighty Mighty.

It was only a matter of time before a Sarah Records band appeared in this series, and so here’s the three songs from SARAH 20, as mentioned in the above bio:-

mp3 : St. Christopher – All Of A Tremble
mp3 : St. Christopher – My Fortune
mp3 : St. Christopher – The Hummingbird

It all does bring to mind a young Tim Booth if he was fronting a jingle-jangle band.



A one-off three-track single on Matinee Recordings back in 1999. As the label says:-

Monterey was Ed, Jon, Jill, Jed and Karen and they lived in New York City. It ended all too soon but we have one sparkling 7″ to remember them always.

It may have been released just as the century was drawing to an end but these kids were going to party like it was 1986.

mp3 : Monterey – Another You
mp3 : Monterey – I Don’t Mind
mp3 : Monterey – Motorway



I’ve previously written extensively about this, my all-time favourite single, and so I won’t waste on your precious time this Sunday morning. Oh, and just to make it 100% clear….it’s the 12″ original version from 1983 that tops my all-time personal chart.

Few things to mention.

Firstly, it hadn’t occurred to me until Hooky mentioned it in his book that this was the first New Order effort without the involvement of Martin Hannett.

Secondly, the re-recording of the song for inclusion in the CD compilation Substance in 1987, is not one fondly remembered by the band. The idea was to try and make it sound more the way it did in the live setting but it ended up stripping out far too many of the lot of the subtle nuances in the 7″ and 12″ originals. It’s not one I’m keen on albeit it is the best known version thanks to its inclusion on the Trainspotting soundtrack.

Thirdly, another new version was recorded by the band in 1998.  It’s fairly similar to the earlier 1987 version, but given they didn’t like it to begin with this was perhaps an effort to rectify things. It certainly is a vast improvement but at a touch over 4 minutes is a bit short for my liking.  Was made available via the Retro box set.

Finally, a reminder that the 7″ plays at 33-and-a-third rpm and the 12″ rotates properly at 45rpm. Not knowing that caused chaos the first time I played it.

mp3 : New Order – Temptation (7″)
mp3 : New Order – Hurt (7″)

mp3 : New Order – Temptation (12″)
mp3 : New Order – Hurt (12″)

mp3 : New Order – Temptation 87

mp3 : New Order – Temptation 98



Tempting as it was to again offer the chance to enjoy the captivating brilliance of Candyskin, I’ve decided to go with the 1980 debut single, as released on Codex Communications, the label especially formed by Angus Groovy, the band’s manager:-

mp3 : Fire Engines – Get Up And Use Me

Legend has it that the band recorded their entire repertoire in one go when they first entered the studios, and having presented them with a bill for the princely sun of £46, producer Wilf Smarties then advised on what should be the single and what should be its b-side:-

mp3 : Fire Engines – Everything’s Roses

The attention garnered by the single led to them signing with Fast Product on which  there would be two singles and one album, all  now held up as classics of their time although they bombed on release.