Saturday, 1 June 2013

June Brides - Marc Riley Sessions 2009-2012

The first day of June is upon us, so it seems appropriate to celebrate the non-existance of summer with some summery pop tunage courtesy of the June Brides.

Phil Wilson takes time out from his superhero status of saving the Buckfastleigh duck population from floods, foxes and fatal diseases, to lead his band oop north to promote The Junies first single release in a quarter of a century, copies of which can still be obtained from Occultation Recordings.

A January Moon
Every Conversation
In The Rain
The Instrumental

Up To London
Found A Friend
Heard You Whisper

Debut comeback session on national radio since the evils of rock 'n roll lured Phil Wilson away from nigh on two decades of civil servant monotony and anonymity. Initially starting out as a trio, with Arash Tarobi and Andy Fonda on bass and drums respectively, Phil was joined  for this session by old bandmates Jon Hunter and Frank Sweeney.

Bees had yet to return to the fold, and Phil was at first reluctant to trade under the June Brides monicker, preferring to continue where he left off as solo artist before his career was truncated after just two singles for Creation.

2010 saw the long awaited release of God Bless Jim Kennedy, strangely his first ever full length album proper. (Discounting compilations, lest we forget, There Are Eight Million Stories... was classed as a mini-lp, a format in abundance, particularly on the Creation label, around the mid-eighties, featuring a maximum of eight songs and usually retailing for no more than £3.49). Vinyl copies of GBJK are still up for grabs on Amazon.

Phil Wilson has never been exactly prolific as a songwriter, so it's unlikely fans will get to hear any great lost albums or rarities collections on a par with The Stooges Complete Funhouse Sessions. However, there are a couple of gems in The Junies slim but perfectly formed cannonette that have escaped digitisation for posterity on the satan's frisbee format.

In truth, not much different to the more familiar version nations across the globe have come to know and rejoice in. The backing track is the same, but the vocals and trumpet parts were re-recorded during sessions for There Are Eight Million Stories.... The middle eight is filled out with some choice "na-na-nas" in place of the yet-to-be written lyrics. There is also an alternate lyrical line before the "let's talk a little now" coda. The single mix is more trebly, giving it an over all thinner sound, with the guitars quite low in the mix.

If you purchased last years summer pop smasheroo, A January Moon, with the bonus cd, you'll be familiar with the incorrect tracklisting. While there may be no Phil Wilson solo version of This Town, let us console ourselves with this obscure Junies version instead, which quietly slipped out on the Ideal Guesthouse  compilation around the time the band called it quits in 1986.

Basically the same as the single but minus the bass and drums, this alternate "acoustic" mix gives the song a completely different feel. It seems the Junies were not only innovators of a whole new musical genre -dub in reverse - but may have also paved the way for every band and its Aunt Fanny  to board the Unplugged bandwagon in the mid-nineties.


  1. I saw them play recently at Preston and they were amazing. Thanks for the session.

  2. Nice share Sterling! I wasn't a massive Brides fan "back then" if I'm honest - I was far too busy leaping around to The Membranes & A Witness in a rancid jumble sale cardigan - but I taped their Peel session & I'd hear their records 'round at a mate's house. I'm a lot more inclined to listen to this kind of thing nowadays than I was then - I dunno if that's because the Brides were (hmph!) ahead of their time, or because the 2013 me is a clapped-out git who likes a tune or 2?

    I saw them live at Indietracks last year, they were bloody great. :)

  3. I was fan back in the day (which remains up to the present day), but never saw them live. All tht should change this Saturday as I'll be attending the Scare To Get Happy fest in London.