Monday, February 21, 2011

The Wallflowers - Blushing Girl, Nervous Smile (1986)

The Wallflowers's single "Blushing Girl, Nervous Smile", released by Mantre in 1986, was added to my catalog of records in May 2009. "Blushing Girl, Nervous Smile" is a record in the genres of jangle pop and indie pop. This is a moderately enjoyable single — rated 3.5 stars out of 5. "Blushing Girl, Nervous Smile" is tied to the regions of Brighton, United Kingdom and England, United Kingdom; it belongs to the anglo-saxon and western-european cultural world zones. 1 out of 3 tracks on this single is marked as favorite, and it is "Blushing Girl, Nervous Smile"

'Blushing Girl' is recorded by Jim Ebdon at Surrey Sound, then lavishly over produced by the lovely Pete Hammond (Nob twiddler to Stock, Aitken and Waterman, no less) 'Caution to the Wind' comes into being one cold dark night in Brixton with living legend Grant Showbiz at the controls . 'A Great Big River' is recorded by Rob 'Mud Man' Davis in his garage.
Blushing Girl, Nervous Smile

Track list:

1. Blushing Girl, Nervous SmileOutstanding Track
2. Caution To The Wind
3. A Great Big River

  • Peter Brickley is a member of a band called The Telephone Boxes, part of the Rough Trade/All Trade Axis of Evil; Scritti Politti, The Go Betweens, Jonathan Richman, Orange Juice, Prefab Sprout, Aztec Camera, The Violent Femmes and many more, like The Smiths who the 'Boxes' support on their first tour of the UK.
  • Top gig – maybe The Smiths, Billy Bragg, The Redskins and The TBs at The Lyceum.
  • Having recorded a few choice demos for various disinterested record companies the TBs split.

  • Peter forms his own band and signs publishing deal with Intersong – Warner Chappel Music. Who insist he name the band, Pete calls it The Wallflowers.

  • Blushing Girl Nervous Smile
  • 'Blushing Girl' is recorded by Jim Ebdon at Surrey Sound, then lavishly over produced by the lovely Pete Hammond (Nob twiddler to Stock, Aitken and Waterman, no less) 'Caution to the Wind' comes into being one cold dark night in Brixton with living legend Grant Showbiz at the controls . 'A Great Big River' is recorded by Rob 'Mud Man' Davis in his garage.
  • Most people like it and even play it on the radio but not John Peel (r.i.p.). Janice Long is very kind and asks the band to record a session for her Radio 1 show. They do, and it is horrible, really bad; sorry Janice.
  • Thank You
  • This is the result of a weeks recording in Bath with Andy Partridge (of XTC) and a wonderful time is had by all – Andy singing and playing a bit of guitar, forcing Mr Brickley to write a middle eight at gun point and David Lord pops in to arrange and perform a keyboard strings outro. Then they all go for a Chinese.
  • 83.7 degrees
  • Recorded by Jim Ebdon again. Lots of enthusiastic input from Steve Lindsay who is great and used to play bass with Deaf School and worked with Graham Fellows. First song to include Vic Doyle on guitar, who went to school with Peter.
  • Then, 'That Girl'; ten minutes long including another song 'Empty Arms' sandwiched in the middle. Recorded at Rob Davis's garage in one continuous take, with over dubs. The same room where Kylie Minogue would later record 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' which Rob wrote.
  • Love, Peace and Pugwash – The Album
  • The wallflowers go to Livingston Studios to record the next single, 'Friends' of the Earth' plus 'She was only a Fisherman's Daughter' and 'Rainforest'. Later sent back to mix the tracks they instead record five more and tell Chappels its not finished yet. After a couple more visits the band have an albums worth of material ready to mix, but an irate Warner Chappel pull the plug. Gigs around this time include supporting Tom Verlaine in Leicester and being supported by The Stone Roses at Dingwalls in Camden.

  • The Wallflowers are now five. Kent Davies, John Strachan, Vic Doyle, Tracy Owen and Peter Brickley. Peter spends 12 months listening only to one album 'Lovesexy' by Prince and becomes intrigued by the idea of an Anglo/American Funk/Folk crossover album. Pfolk drum programming takes more than a month, then recording begins at Maurice Plaquet's (at large warehouse full of musical instruments for hire – used by the BBC, concert halls, touring bands etc.)
  • The tracks turn out a bit folky and a bit funky but mostly like a great new lo-fi Wallflowers album. Some vocals are recorded at Warner Chappel and everyone is too shy or embarrassed to tell Peter that he has been dropped.
  • Around this time Steve Lindsay (now with Go Discs) arranges a meeting/jam between Peter and Lee Mavers with a view to Brickley joining The La's, but the lads don't hit it off.
  • Pete Smith, original Wallflowers band member and more recently half of the band Denim with that Lawrence out of Felt, then joins Brickley and Tracy for some low key gigs, like supporting Flowered Up – everybody else leaves.

  • Peter records the slightly unhinged 'Spongefingers' album with help from Windsor Pop sensations Million Dollar Bash.
  • Peter spends four months, six days a week, as a Celt in the film 'Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves' and manages to totally avoid the camera.
  • Peter and Kent go to America.
  • Peter and Kent come back from America.
  • Kent goes to Vancouver.
  • Tracy has a band called Foam who record a single with Steven Street. Peter sings a bit and produces a bit. The Band soon split though and guitar and bass players Steve Philliben and Stuart Timmons decide they are the new Wallflowers. Ok but they have to wait two months for Kent who is now in Jamaica. From the word go this band is like a slow motion tornado. Never to record – these are the live Wallflowers, organic. The songs have no beginnings or endings and can last up to 45 minutes. Eventually the band implodes and Steve goes to Australia.

  • The Wallflowers regroup with invaluable contributions from Brian “ultrasonic” Cooper, their new guitarist and from the omnipresent Pete Smith on ocassional keyboards, percussion and vocals, plus a couple of guest apperances by bass player Russel Milton.
  • At some point the band (Kent, Stuart, Brian and Peter) decamp to Liverpool and spend a week recording at the Lathom Slipway Public House, just outside Ormskirk.
  • The tracks are basically live, loose and feisty, another sure fire hit album – on the shelf.
  • (Some) times are hard. The band is fraught with personal problems, health issues and rellocation (Kent to Oxfordshire, Stu to Canterbury, Pete to Brighton and Brian to Walthamstow, then Portsmouth).
  • Peter and Kent lock themselves in the studio (Pitt House) to begin recording 'Last of the Original Southern County Wallflowers'

to be continued...


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