Sunday, 26 August 2012

SONG FOR TODAY: Lush - Ladykillers

Another track I first discovered on the excellent 1996 Britpop compilation 'True Brit'... Feeling a bit lazy today, so a Wikipedia entry will have to serve you dear readers: "Lush were an English alternative rock band, formed in 1987 and disbanded in 1998. They were one of the first bands to attract the "shoegazing" label. Later, their sound progressed toward Britpop. The band formed in 1987, initially named The Baby Machines, with a line-up of Meriel Barham (vocals), Emma Anderson (guitar), Miki Berenyi (guitar), Steve Rippon (bass), and Chris Acland (drums). The band members decided on a change of name to Lush, making their live debut at the Camden Falcon on March 6, 1988. Barham left the band and later joined Pale Saints. Anderson and Berenyi then took on lead vocal duties.

In 1989, the band signed to 4AD Records and released Scar, a 6-track mini-album. Critical praise for Scar and a wildly popular live show established Lush as one of the most written about groups of the early 1990s UK indie scene. Lush's first full-length album of completely new material was 'Spooky', released in January 1992, reaching number 7 in the UK Albums Chart. The album was preceded by the band's first UK top 40 single, 'For Love.' Rippon left the band during the final mixing of the album. He was replaced by Phil King. Also in 1992, Lush toured America as part of the Lollapalooza festival. Lush was eagerly added to the 2nd Lollapalooza roster in 1992 by its organizer, Perry Farrell, the Jane's Addiction/Porno for Pyros frontman, who personally requested Lush for his new tour program. 'Split' was released in June 1994 and featured a more stripped-down sound. Two singles from the album ("Hypocrite" and "Desire Lines") were both released on 30 May 1994, making Lush the first band ever to release two different singles on the very same day, though neither single broke into the UK Top 40. 1996's 'Lovelife', the band's final album, became the biggest seller of their career as it was released on the heels of the Britpop craze, possibly due to a more upbeat production style than their earlier releases. Lovelife included the hit singles 'Ladykillers' and 'Single Girl' and also featured a guest appearance by Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, in a duet with Miki Berenyi on the song 'Ciao!'

In October 1996, tragedy struck the band when drummer Chris Acland committed suicide by hanging himself in his parents' house. After a long period of grieving, the band continued for a time, with rumours that they were working with former Scarce drummer Stephen Albert, but the band officially announced that they had split up on 23 February 1998. Miki Berenyi went on to work as a production editor at two major magazine publishers. In 1998, Emma Anderson formed a new group, Sing-Sing, with singer Lisa O'Neill. Sing-Sing released two full-length albums but in January 2008, announced they were disbanding. Emma Anderson currently resides in London and has had various jobs in the music business in management, PR and at a booking agency. Bassist Phil King played bass for The Jesus and Mary Chain but now works on a music magazine as a picture researcher..."

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