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Monday, 18 May 2015

Alphabet Beats #132: S is for...Shop Assistants

S is for....

Indie Music in the mid-80's was quite an interesting mix of styles and sounds. For me one of the stand out bands of that time were the Shop Assistants. This post is a slightly rejigged version of a post I did last year about them, a few new pictures have been added and some layout changes. Hope that you enjoy this one today. As usual click on the links to enjoy the music - Doug

Formed in Edinburgh in 1984 as Buba and The Shop Assistants the original line-up was: Aggi (Annabel Wright. later of The Pastels) on vocals, David Keegan (Guitar), Sarah Kneale (Bass), Laura McPhail (Drums) and Ann Donald (Drums). This line-up released their debut single and in fact their only single 'Something To Do' in November 1984 and it was produced by Stephen Pastel (who also contributed backing vocals).

In August 1985 with new front woman Alex Taylor and the name shortened to just Shop Assistants the band released 'The Shopping Parade EP' on Subway. This would put them on the map. 'All Day Long' and 'All That Ever Mattered' would both feature in John Peel's Festive 50 for 1985. Morrissey would describe 'All Day Long' as his favourite single of the year.

In February 1986 they released what is considered as their finest single, 'Safety Net' on new label 53rd and 3rd. The single peaked at #2 on the Independent Charts.

Safety Net
All That Ever Mattered
Almost Made It
Somewhere in China

Fixed Grin
I Don't Wanna Be Friends With You
Ace of Spades
Before I Wake

Home Again
Isn't It Funny
What A Way To Die
It's Up To You

In 1986 they signed to Chrysalis Records' sub-label Blue Guitar. They released one further single in September followed by their debut album in November - 'Anything Will Happen', and the band split in 1987 as Alex Taylor left to start life in The Motorcycle Boy

Will Anything Happen

Two years after the breakup the band reunited without Alex Taylor (Sarah Kneale was on vocals). Margarita Vasquez-Ponte was on the drums with Laura McPhail moving to bass and of course, the only bloke in the band David Keegan on guitar. The group would release a further two singles on the Avalanche label:  

'Here It Comes'
January 1990


A-Side: 'Big E Power' 
May 1990
and then it was all over.

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