Cranes – Wings of Joy

The first full-length album by the Cranes. which I brought probably on the strength that no one else had a copy,.  There were times of pointless indie snobbery back in the nineties, I might have had a Miranda Sex Garden album too at one stage.

Correctly described as; haunting, beautiful, otherworldly and creepy, but I do have a problem with Alison Shaw’s vocals.  I know that Slowdive’s Alison is rumoured to be written about the Cranes vocalist, but her voice is reminiscent of a toddler, who has been given a cocktail  of day-glow coloured pick-and-mix sweets and helium. The only comparisons I can draw are with fellow 4AD label bands such as Dead Can Dance and This Mortal Coil.

The Cranes are refreshingly different and are a contrast to the identikit indie bands that can be seen throughout the charts and music press.

Cranes : Wings of Joy
Living And Breathing
Leaves Of Summer
Tomorrow’s Tears
Beautiful Sadness
Hopes Are High

Cranes – Jewel

To be honest the indie scene of the early 90s does not owe much to Portsmouth, except the S.K.A.W and The Cranes.  But saying that even less came out of neighbouring Southampton and Bournemouth.

The Cranes enjoyed moderate stardom and this was probably due to The Cure taking them under their wing and giving them a support slot on their Wish tour.

Robert Smith remixed Jewel from the album Forever for the title track of this EP, and does a good job of smoothing out the the abrasive drums.  He also seems to cheer this gloomy goth number up a bit.


Cranes : Jewel

Jewel (Re-mix)
Leave Her To Heaven (I)
Jewel (LP Version)
Leave Her To Heaven (II)