I asked you a hundred times
Would you be my best friend
You replied a hundred times
You didn’t need a friend
The opening lyrics from My Best Friend. If ever there was a quintessential twee pop group it is Talullah Gosh, the band that was more Sarah than Sarah Records (but only ever released the compilation They’ve Scoffed the Lot on the Bristol-based Sarah Records label). Allegedly containing a complete back catalogue, every demo, single, and radio session. To whet the appetite of every fanzine loving mid-forty-year-old.
The name Talulah Gosh was taken from an interview between the NME and Clare Grogan from Altered Images. Amelia Fletcher from Talulah Gosh said, she did an interview and the interviewer “What are you going to do after your band ?” She said “I’m going to be an actress and I’m thinking I may call myself Talulah Gosh.”
Or there is another school of thought that the name derives from Jodie Foster character in the film Bugsy Malone. Anyway enjoy this comprehensive compilation.
Talulah Gosh : Was it All a Dream?
My Best Friend
Just A Dream
Don’t Go Away
Escalator Over The Hill
My Boy Says
Way Of The World
Bringing Up Baby
I Can’t Get No Satisfaction (Thank God)
The Girl With The Strawberry Hair
Talulah Gosh (Janice Long Session)
Do You Remember
Looking For A Rainbow
My World’s Ending
Be Your Baby
Break Your Face
In Love For The Very First Time
I Told You So
Steaming Train (Demo)
I Told You So (Demo)
Mmm Mmm He’s So Dreamy (Demo)
Sunny Inside (Demo)
Such is the reverence for this 22 track compilation, when it arrived it was the most indie thing that had ever happened. It is the benchmark in twee, jangly, indiepop and would be namechecked for decades, it basically launched indie. Listening to the compilation it is not all twee sugary jangle, Half Man Half Biscuit’s I Hate Nerys Hughes (From the Heart) is a fun-filled caustic tune, and where are the dreamy melodies in the MacKenzies Big Jim (There’s No Pubs in Heaven) the instruments are detuned creating and offbeat disturbing sound.
Listening to C86 I find myself thinking there must be a song on here by The Railway Children or Talulah Gosh but there isn’t but the compilation must have influenced them hugely. In the 90s before the internet took off, there were very few copies of C86 available and the majority of indiekids such as myself had never heard the album, but it was so revered and so unattainable, that this added to its mystique.
My favourite song is The Bodines Therese, this was a staple the indie disco I used to go to in Bournemouth even though it was 94 this song was still played.
Various Artists : C86
Primal Scream Velocity Girl
The Mighty Lemon – Drops Happy Head
The Soup Dragons – Pleasantly Surprised
The Wolfhounds – Feeling So Strange Again
The Bodines – Therese
Mighty Mighty – Law
Stump – Buffalo
Bogshed – Run To The Temple
A Witness – Sharpened Sticks
The Pastels – Breaking Lines
The Age Of Chance – From Now On, This Will Be Your God
Shop Assistants – It’s Up To You
Close Lobsters – Firestation Towers
Miaow – Sport Most Royal
Half Man Half Biscuit – I Hate Nerys Hughes (From The Heart)
The Servants – Transparent
MacKenzies – Big Jim (There’s No Pubs In Heaven)
Big Flame – New Way (Quick Wash And Brush Up With Liberation Theology)
We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It – Console Me
McCarthy – Celestial City
The Shrubs – Bullfighter’s Bones
The Wedding Present – This Boy Can Wait (A Bit Longer!)
From the ashes of indie twee Talulah Gosh, indie twee Heavenly was spawned. To the average listener there was not much difference between Talulah Gosh and Heavenly, to the indie expert that has the knowledge to rival the late John Peel there was not much difference between Talulah Gosh and Heavenly. It had all the redeeming factors of its precursor; twee, amateur and very shambolic. This is their first album released on Sarah Records, who were looking for a replacement for the label stalwarts The Field Mice. Its amazing to think that Talulah Gosh were not signed to the Sarah label, they could of been invented for each other.
Heavenly Vs. Satan is the first album from Heavenly. It has the cute girly vocals from Amelia Fletcher. Which still sound raw and unpolished compared to future Heavenly albums. The lyrical content is very sixth form romance based, such as Cool Guitar Boy. There are only 8 tracks but it is packed with enough sugar to rot your teeth.
I realise that I am probably painting a negative picture of Heavenly. But you can safely say that if you like other Sarah bands like The Field Mice, Talulah Gosh, St Christopher and 14 Iced Bears, you will like Heavenly.
Heavenly : Heavenly vs. Satan
Cool Guitar Boy
Boyfriend Stays The Same
Wish Me Gone
Don’t Be Fooled
Stop Before You Say It
I Fell In Love Last Night
Over And Over
Our Love Is Heavenly
Wrap My Arms Around Him
Escort Crash On Marston Street