Friday, 3 August 2012

Guest Top 5 Bands that only ever made one album by Alun Westoll

Hot on the heals of the Phantoms' singer Mark here's the first of two back to back top fives from drummer, vocalist and band driving force, Alun Westoll. Al is a huge Beatles fan and recently got the thrill of playing alongside the resident band at The Cavern Club. He's also a serial video taker and has caught me in drunk dance mode on more than one occasion.

Disclaimer: Apologies if the following is slightly more mainstream than usual. I’m aware that regular readers of Chops Top Fives will be used to a slightly more obscure musical view of the world!

Here’s my top 5 bands that only ever made one great album before either tragically splitting up or fading away into insignificance!

1. Longview "Mercury"

London based indie band formed in 2002 released the brilliant ‘Mercury’ in 2003 & have not been heard of since. I was lucky enough to see them supporting Elbow at the Cambridge Junction on 28th Sept 03 (with fellow Phantom Jon) which turned out to be one of my Top 5 gigs ever! Looking at the Longview website the band are still in existence so there’s still hope for a follow up yet. Not to be confused with the other Longview who are apparently an American Bluegrass Supergroup! Unfortunate.

2. The Seahorses "Do It Yourself"

The Seahorses were an English rock band formed in 1996 by guitarist John Squire after his exit from The Stone Roses. They released only the one great album, ‘Do It Yourself’ in 1997, and then split up due to ‘musical differences’ during recording sessions for the follow up in Jan 99. Shame!

3. Airhead "Boing!!"

In the words of Wikipedia, Airhead (formerly Jefferson Airhead) were a British indie pop band that achieved some success in the early 1990s, at the tail end of the Madchester music movement. Formed in 1991, released their first & last album in 92, split up in 93! This album was on constant play for me in the early nineties and still sounds great today.

4. Air Traffic "Fractured Life"

Air Traffic are (or should that be were?) a British alternative rock band from Bournemouth. Formed in 2003, they released their one & only album ‘Fractured Life’ in 2007, the same year being nominated for the Xfm New Music Award. In 2010 it was announced on the band's official website that they were ‘taking a break from being a band for a while to try other things’ & haven’t been heard of since. I saw Air Traffic play at ULU on 2nd July 07 with mates Stevie & Shrek & fondly recall Shrek refusing to go to the bar on behalf of an underage girl stating that ‘if my little sister were at a gig an’ sum big twat bought ‘er a drink I’d be reet pissed off!!’

5. Jellyfish "Bellybutton"

This is slightly cheating as Jellyfish released two albums before their demise but they were so good they had to get a mention in my Top 5! Plus I was struggling to think of another top band who have only ever made the one album. Jellyfish were a pop band from San Francisco, formed in 1989 & split up only 5 years later (due to ‘creative differences’), in-between releasing 2 albums, Bellybutton in 1990 & Spilt Milk in 1993. I was lucky enough to see them play at the Astoria in London sometime in 1993. Great tunes, amazing harmony & sound a bit like the Beatles. Loved it while it lasted!


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