Monday, March 06, 2006

 

Sing Lush Sing


Hands up who remembers Lush , darlings of the British music press in the early 90's . A four piece consisting of two boys and two girls , and if legend is to be believed Miki and Emma were quite capable of keeping up with Chris and Philip when it came to partying . Being part of the ever popular Shoegazing movement , the band soon found themselves signed to 4AD after falling under the patronage of Cocteau Twin Robin Guthrie . Their star continued to rise with the release of 3 EPs , 'Scar' (1989) , 'Mad Love' and 'Sweetness and Light' (both 1990) . These releases copyrighted their Dream like feedback scarred songs , underlined by airy female vocals . Helped along by the bands healthy appetite in ligging they were seldom out of the press , this high profile and the positive reviews they were now getting led to Lush playing at the much respected Glastonbury Festival .
To help launch the band in the states 4Ad released the first 3 Eps as 'Gala' at the end of 1990 . Two albums were to follow using much the same template , 'Spooky' in 1992 and 'Split' in 1994 . The band while managing to keep their head above water in the Uk were finding the American market more difficult to crack , not helped by the uprise of homegrown grunge . Their last album 'Lovelife' , showed a distinctive change in style with a more traditional pop feel , gone was the feedback laced wall of sound , to be replaced by something more akin to the then fashionable Brit-pop movement . They were to be rewarded with a UK top 20 album and 2 hit singles . The festivities following the promotional touring and festival duties were to be short lived as drummer Chris Acland hanged himself in 1996 , the strain of such an event lead to the band splitting .
The bands entire catalogue is still available on 4Ad who added to this by rounding up the best of Lush in 2001 in the form of 'Ciao' (wonderful title so 1990s) , which you can pick up on their site . One title you won't easily find available is Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep a paying homage to their roots cover versions of the 60s hit by Middle of the Road , a very honest name for a very average band . This little nugget was originally to be found an a 1990 compilation 'Alvin Lives in Leeds' , whose purpose was to raise funds for the anti poll tax movement Can't Pay , Won't Pay . Needless to say this has been long deleted .
So , you may well wonder why all this interest in Lush . Well to my surprise I recently discovered that one of the Lushettes , Emma Anderson had not quit the biz , but had formed Sing Sing with Lisa O'Neil at the end of the 90s . They have visibly been plagued with bad luck in terms of record companies each of their efforts having seen the light of day under a different ensign . this led them to the conclusion that maybe life would be more simple if they looked after things themselves for their second album 'Sing Sing And I' which was released last year . The girls themselves have described it as having "such diverse influences as folk-rock , heavy metal hammer-ons , a bit of Motown and just down and out indie pop " . So I'll let you judge for yourself with the title Lover , and if you fancy anymore you can always buy the album on their web site .

Comments:
I'm trying to replicate my early 90's home made tapes and am looking everywhere for Lush's Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep. It looks like the MP3 was on your page but the link doesn't appear to be working now. It would be great if you could re-post.
 
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