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Bands come and band go... some fizzle out, others implode and others just slip from our peripheral vision without so much as a whimper. I could write about more obvious defunct bands that I love, like The Smiths and The Jam, but the web is already swamped with fan sites for them, many better than I have the time and energy to create. Instead, I've chosen to write about a few bands that I enjoyed that aren't already plastered all over the Internet, specifically:

Swagger, their undoubted highlightThe Blue Aeroplanes were an art rock group from Bristol, most active during the 1980s and 1990s. They are often compared to the Velvet Underground on a lot of music websites, but to my mind this is a lazy comparison based on the jangliness of their guitars and the semi-spoken style of their lead singer. For a short while (1989 - 1991, roughly), the Blue Aeroplanes almost became quite big. "Swagger" was their highpoint, and was followed up by "Beatsongs"... but there was more to them than this and their cover of "Boy In The Bubble".

Olympian, their debut albumGene were a band who blossomed in the mid-90's, beyond the obvious Smiths comparisons, to become purveyors of lyrically intelligent, guitar-led nuggets of musical beauty. Always rapturously received live, their recorded output found less of an audience as the nineties slipped into the noughties and their last studio album, "Libertine", hardly sold, despite being thoroughly excellent. Inevitably, the band decided to call it a day... Not undue chart-worriers then, but a brilliant band, more than worthy of your consideration.

Hands On, their debut albumThousand Yard Stare rode into the early-90's on the coat-tails of baggy. Sadly, they never really caught on, probably because they were just too tuneful with their guitars... plus they had Christian names like Giles and Dominic, which wasn't likely to get them past the first stop on the Tube line of musical stardom. I liked them though...

The classic George BestThe Wedding Present were formed in 1984 in Leeds. The following year they signed to Reception, a local indie label, and were soon gathering rave reviews from none other than John Peel - regular airplay on his landmark Radio 1 show helped the band to establish a loyal following, and to break in to the mainstream charts. Their first album, "George Best" was a landmark '80s indie album, and remains one of the best examples of fast guitar indie rock available - indeed, some would say it was all downhill from there for Gedge and the boys. Not me though, I think they're great.


Page updated 28-Jan-2007 11:00:55 GMT

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