MP3: Sounds Showcase 2 Side A - Shop Assistants and The Woodentops
First up are long forgotten female fronted Indie-Pop/Twee foursome Shop Assistants. Forming in Edinburgh in 1983 under the name Buba and the Shop Assistants, their debut single Safety Net came out in 1985 and soon attracted the attention of John Peel, who quickly got them in to record a session. Best described as a slightly more poppy, female fronted Jesus & Mary Chain, Shop Assistants went on to feature on the legendary C86 compilation, released a series of really great singles (the most famous being Somewhere In China) before releasing their one and only album, The Shop Assistants on Chrysalis. They continued to release two more singles between 1987 and 1989 but by 1990 they'd effectively broken up. Apparently a reformed Shop Assistants released a single a while back, but i've yet to hear it. Still they were a great sounding band and their singles are well worth seeking out. For more info you can try Wikipedia, this page at Tweenet, this fansite or this article on the always excellent Tangents site.
Next up are Northampton's The Woodentops, who formed in 1983 and were soon signed to Rough Trade. After releasing a series of singles with them throughout 1985, their debut album Giant came out in 1986. It was soon followed by a singles collection named Well, Well, Well... The Unabridged Singles Collection, and that same year saw the recording of a live album in LA named Hypno Beat which would eventually come out in 1987. 1988 saw the release of their second album, the more experimental Wooden Foot Cops On The Highway, which failed to match the success of their debut despite some success on American rock radio. After touring for the next few years the band split in 1992, but vocalist/guitarist Rolo McGinty would go on to form the band Pluto who met some success in the 90s. To be honest I haven't heard a lot of their stuff but this mp3 definitely makes me want to hear some more. Great stuff! Again for more info you should try Wikipedia, Keeping It Peel or you can buy re-releases of their albums from Cherry Red. Enjoy.
Download: Shop Assistants / Train From Kansas City (New Version) - MP3 2.63mb (rapidshare)
Download: The Woodentops / Love Train (live) - MP3 3.57mb (rapidshare)