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The Suncharms make us all shoegazey

Mark E Smith mural Clifton Road Prestwich

Welcome to the show with ex-Peel Session stars The Suncharms. Luckily for us the band has reformed following their split up in the ’90s and are currently recording new material. There is an LP in the wings from The Suncharms. The band has been in touch and we are certainly looking forward to their upcoming release. Read on to discover more about the band and what to expect from them in the future.

Also in the show we have Richard’s father drop in on the studio and he stays for the entire show! Such is Old Man’s musical taste that he offers a few nuggets of wisdom on the tracks in today’s show. However, it’s not all beer and skittles. After playing the Eastern European classic from A Hawk and A Hacksaw, he cites it obvious middle Eastern influences and then rambles on about Kashmir for a bit. Did you listen in Geography lessons all those years ago? And you always said my geography knowledge is appalling! We are always on the lookout for suggestions from you, our listeners. So, if you’ve got a track you’d like to hear on the show please do get in touch.

Track Listing

  1. Walk On By Noosa
  2. God Bless the Ottoman Empire played from the vinyl A Hawk and A Hacksaw
  3. Body Syd
  4. Film Soundtrack The Suncharms
  5. Hey Luciani played from the vinyl The Fall
  6. Dub Be Good To Me Beats International
  7. Sail Noosa
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The Suncharms – straight out of Sheffield

The Suncharms from Sheffield shoegaze indie pop

FTBOTRB’s impression of The Suncharms

Thanks to Marcus of the band for getting in touch with us here at Record Box HQ. We loved The Suncharms here, their musical innocence and melodies hark back to an era when flares were back in fashion. And people wore elephant leg jeans – remember those? A time when we all had floppy bangs of hair and wore long sleeve tee’s printed all over with flowers. We all shopped at Affleck’s Palace and spent embarrassing amounts of time in Vinyl Exchange. Janglie indie pop at its best describes The Suncharms brilliantly. It’s an authentic sound and one we are hoping they are going to be able to replicate on their upcoming debut album release.

As told by Slumberland Records

Sheffield’s The Suncharms formed in 1989, inspired by the flourishing indiepop scene. Also by the sonic experimentation welling-up around them that would soon come to be known as shoegaze. Following initial garage rehearsals the band soon found themselves supporting indiepop legends such as The Brilliant Corners, St Christopher, The Orchids and The Television Personalities. By 1990 the first Suncharms demo tape had secured support slots with emerging Shoegaze bands such as Cranes, Catherine Wheel and Curve which brought the attention of Wilde Club records and by June 1991 the first EP was released to favorable reviews, reaching a fairly respectable No.23 in the UK indie charts. 

In November 1991 the excellent second EP Tranquil Day was released, which led to a Peel session in April 1992. The Slumberland Records crew LOVED those two EPs. They had all the guitar overload we craved, but wrapped around some unusually crafty pop tunes. Less ethereal or abstract than a lot of shoegaze, accurate reference points might include early Ride or The Boo Radleys. We first approached the band about the possibility of releasing something way back in 1992. Sadly the familiar scenario of band members lives going in different directions began to hamper progress so a release never materialised. In April 1993 The Suncharms played the last gig of their initial phase. 

Life after the split

Over the intervening years The Suncharms name was kept alive by a small group of indie enthusiasts, websites, online radio stations and bloggers. In 2014 Richard met Roque Ruiz of Cloudberry Records at the Indietracks festival and his enthusiasm about The Suncharms was evident. Plans were soon made to release a retrospective compilation of the two EPs plus assorted demos and previously unreleased songs. The resulting CD was released to a warm reception in March 2016. 

As a result of all this renewed activity the band received increased exposure through BBC Radio 6 Music. They decided to get back into a rehearsal space to see if they could still play the old songs. It soon became apparent that it was equally enjoyable to start working on brand new material. In February 2017 The Suncharms played their first gig since 1993 opening for The Orchids and The Chesterfields. A nice closing of the circle given that they’d first played with The Orchids way back in 1989. 

Over the past year the band have been busy working on new songs and the first fruits of their practices and recording sessions are the two songs which Slumberland Records are releasing – after all this time! 

Credits

Released October 12, 2018 

Limited edition color vinyl 7″ version available as part of the SLR30 Singles Series. More info here: www.slumberlandrecords.com/slr30singles

Mark E Smith – the man, the legend

As mentioned on the show Richard travelled to Mark E Smith’s hometown of Prestwich. As we learnt on the show Richard’s father who dropped in on the studio for the show also grew up in the town as a child. Here is one our favourite moments from Mark’s interesting and belligerent life.

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