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Talulah Gosh

Line-up

- Amelia Fletcher (1.Jan '66) vocals, guitar
- Peter Momtchiloff (10.Mar '62) guitar
- Elizabeth Price (6.Nov '66) vocals, tambourine
- Robert Pursey (27.May '64) bass
- Chris Scott (31.Oct '61) bass
- Mathew Fletcher (5.Nov '70 - 14.Jun '96) drums
- Eithne Farry (21.May '65) vocals

Biographies

Formed in Oxford, England in February 1986, the much-maligned Talulah Gosh emerged in the aftermath of the New Musical Express's influential C86 promotion. Taking their name from an NME Clare Grogan interview headline, the group came to symbolize a movement that would come to be tagged as 'shambling'. Its hard-core followers indulged in the fashion of wearing asexual basin haircuts (boys) or straight short fringes (girls), plain anoraks, plus the affectation of a child-like innocence. The music borrowed a great deal from the Ramones, Velvet Underground and US 60s girl-groups, while the lyrics dealt with boy/girl relationships but barely mentioned sex in obvious 'rock'n'roll' terms, and their un-elitist sense of fun endeared them to many. The five-piece band consisted of Peter, Pebbles (Elizabeth), Robert (replaced early by Chris), Marigold (Amelia) and her brother Mathew. One of the group's most popular early songs was 'The Day She Lost Her Pastels Badge". They scored two UK Independent Top 5 singles with 'Steaming Train/Just A Dream' and 'Beatnik Boy/My Best Friend', both on the Edinburgh-based 53rd & 3rd label, which were later compiled on the best-selling 'Steaming train EP' in 1987. Elizabeth Price, who left in December 1986, was replaced by Eithne as second vocalist. Price later created the Cosmic English Music label with Gregory Webster (formerly of the Razorcuts) and as a duo also formed the Carousel. One final UK Independent chart hit ensued for Talulah Gosh with 'Bringing Up Baby' the following year. A later album 'The've scoffed The Lot', released on Sarah Records, compiled tracks from various BBC Radio One sessions from both line-ups. The group split in early 1988, due to university commitments and a consensus that the group had run its course. Eithne and Scott later appeared in Saturn V, while Peter, who had briefly played in the final line-up of the Razorcuts, joined Amelia and Mathew in a successful revival of the 'Gosh formula as Heavenly in 1990.
taken from "The Guinness Who's Who of Indie And New Wave Music"
Talulah formed in Oxford in the middle of '86, in the fall-out from NME's "C86" compilation [a one-hour free tape of lots of 12-string Rickenbacker bands and twee janglers, incl. Primal Scream in their cool {ie Not The Rolling Stones} phase and an early Wedding Present {when Sean Charman was still there}. "C86" was released as an LP by Strange Fruit in 1990. You may still find a copy somewhere). Initial line-up was Pebbles (a.k.a Amelia Fletcher)(guitar/vocals), Fat Mat (a.k.a Matthew Fletcher)(drums), Rob Pursey (bass) and Liz Price (violin/guitar/vocals/tambourine). After a matter of weeks, Rob left and was replaced by Chris Scott, and Razorcuts Refugee Peter Momtchilloff joined to provide some more sophisticated guitar parts. The name came from Clare Grogan's private nickname for herself, which I *think* itself comes from Jodie Foster's character in BUGSY MALONE. After an initial release on a flexi with Matt Haynes "Are You Scared To Get Happy" fanzine, Talulah signed to 53rd&3rd, (which is a bit of a misnomer: no-one "signs" contracts with real indie labels) in Glasgow (at the time home of the coolest music in the UK: Altered Images, JAMC....) attracting vitriolic condemnation from Matt, which is why Talulah Gosh never had anything out on Sarah 'till '91. All the singles are collected on an LP called ROCK LEDGENDS VOL.69 which you *may* still pick up (if not, Richard will do you a copy, but do try and buy it: it is worth it) which was re-released by a German label on a CD called TALULAH MANIA. Thirteen tracks. 28 minutes. Fucking cool. Talulah Gosh split in late '88. Circumstances are unclear, but may have to do with some shit Amelia took from some misogenystic arseholes (that's assholes for you in the U.S) at a certain venue. The venue's promoter (speaking in the NME) said "we used to put Talulah Gosh on, and these wankers used to stand at the front and just leer....it was fucking horrible". At the time of the split, Liz had been replaced by Eithne Farry (vox/tambourine). The band recorded two Radio One sessions (one for Peel, June '88, one for Janice Long, May '86) which are collected on THEY'VE SCOFFED THE LOT (Sarah604). It runs at 45rpm. This is important. The bast place to start in the Radio 1 LP, which neatly showcases 'both sides' of the 'Gosh sound: the twee, girlie end (side 1) and the vicious punk end (side 2, predictably enough). Following the split, Eithne formed The Carousel with Tim Vass from The Razorcuts, Matt formed/joined a sub-Mudhoney band called Jerkwater, Amelia had her Disco Queen phase and Chris disappeared.
by Robert Amphlett (u1a22@cc.keele.ac.uk) for the indiepop mailing-list in October '94

NME Indie-Charts success

Entry Single title Highest Pos. weeks on charts
6.Dec.86 Steaming Train 4 10
6.Dec.86 Beatnik Boy 5 10
27.Jun.87 Talulah Gosh 3 10
18.Jun.88 Bringing Up Baby 10 6

Heavenly

line-up

- Amelia Fletcher (1.Jan '66) vocal, guitar
- Peter Momtchiloff (10.Mar '62) guitar
- Robert Pursey (27.May '64) bass
- Mathew Fletcher (5.Nov '70 - 14.Jun '96) drums
- Cathy Rogers (29.May '68) vocals, keyboard
- Dick Edwards (off stage only) sound-engineer

Biographies

After the break-up of Talulah Gosh in 1988, Amelia, Matthew and Peter re-formed, while still in Oxford, in the summer of 1989, as Heavenly, The line-up was completed with the addition of the original 'Gosh bassist Robert. Whilst retaining the fun and, at times, some of the tweeness of the previous outfit, Heavenly displayed a tighter, mature sound, particularly in Amelia's love-song lyrics and Pete's guitar playing. Recording for Sarah Records, Heavenly's debut single in 1990 "I Fell In Love Last Night" was followed by "Our Love Is Heavenly". The debut-mini-album 'Heavenly vs. Satan' was a perfect statement from the group, highlighted by 'Shallow' and 'Stop Before you say it'. A perfect example of Amelia Fletcher's self-depreciating sense of humour was to found in the b-side 'Escort Crash On Marston Street' (a re-working of the debut album's 'Wish Me Gone'). The group's line-up was enlarged in the summer of 1991 by the arrival of Cathy Rogers for the recording of the group's first full album, 'Le Jardin de Heavenly' in 1991. With the break-up of the Field Mice in 1991, Heavenly can now claim to be the Sarah label's greatest asset.
taken from "The Guinness Who's Who of Indie And New Wave Music"
Yeah, Heavenly's perhaps the greatest band in the history of pop music. Form '86- '87 four of the five members of Heavenly played in the band Talulah Gosh. (Though Rob didn't last for long). They were quite successful at doing their '60s-esque twee punk thing until the UK press decided their music was far too catchy for their ears. I'm not sure why that band broke up after only a couple of years. Apparently they just stopped having fun. Heavenly formed in 1989 doing quite a similar thing. Poppy girl vox, brilliant guitar, and now with the addition of Cathy a couple of years ago, lots of bouncy keyboard work lies in their songs.
by Scott S. Zimmerman for alt.music.alternative in 1994

Last updated: 1-Nov-1994 © 1994-2014 TweeNet Creative Commons License