Live at The Town & Country Club

Released by Jettisoundz in 1987 on VHS video format.

This video captures the Rose’s performance at London’s Town and Country Club on 14th June 1987. The quality of the shoot is good, with good use of multiple camera angles. The sound could be sharper, but overall it gives a good portrayal of the Rose in action.

The video also contains the first ever performance of Dreamland, later to appear on “In Rock”.

Live at The Town & Country Club

Stick In The Works
Just Like Yesterday
Mainline Man
Velveteen
A Thousand Landscapes
Waiting For The Sun
Always There
Dreamland
Too Many Castles In The Sky
Gimme Some Lovin’

LA Rain – The Singles

This compliation album is made up of the tracks from the first 5 Rose singles from 1985 – 1987.

There are 15 tracks on the CD:
“L.A. Rain” / “Rise To The Groove” / “Conceal Me” / “Goddess” / “A Thousand Landscapes” / “Gimme Some Lovin’” / “Too Many Castles In The Sky” / “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” / “Assassin” / “Velveteen” / “Who Cares” / “Just Like Yesterday” / “Always There” / “Waiting For The Sun” and “Majesty”

As all the tracks had been previously released you can read the reviews of them on the appropriate pages.

Catalogue Number: Nectar Records

LA Rain Singles Album

I.C.E.

Released on 26th August 1991 on Rebel Records on LP / MC / CD formats.

As discussed, UK musical tastes were changing. Any audience left wanting a more guitar driven style of music now also had the American Grunge invasion to satisfy their hunger, further reducing the audience for the remaining Goth bands moving into the 90′s.
At this point the Rose has all but disappeared from the UK music scene, and between 1991 / 92 I’ve yet to track down a single gig played on UK soil. Following the success of “String ‘A’ Beads”, and the changing tastes in the UK, the band seem play exclusively in Europe. “I.C.E.” was very much a product for that audience.

Paul also notes by the stage they came to record “I.C.E.” the band had been going for some 7 years. The income from the music alone was never going to be enough to earn a full time living from, so the band members had growing interests outside of the band, leading to “I.C.E.” being recorded during the night shift.

I think this lack of focus and commitment is evident in the final product, the record lacking that enthusiastic feel of a band passionately throwing everything they have into it.
The opening track “Ride The Storm” launches the album with great expectation, being high tempo and catchy.

“Two Time Baby” follows, and is a steady if not spectacular. Here we see the changing style in line with the times. Paul’s guitar playing is much more rhythmic and broken up compared to the jangly Goth riffs of the 1980′s and Andy is using a disco style hi hat pattern on the verses. Here could be the root of the bands problem to keep up the changing trends. The music was adapting, but Phil’s baritone vocal style wasn’t adaptable enough to carry these poppier, groove driven tracks.

“I Love the Ice” is formed of a catchy guitar line, but again Phil struggles to carry the tune.
“Destination Nowhere” somewhat brings Phil back to his comfort zone, being much more suited to his voice, and is a passable track.

“The Garden” follows and is again is a catchy and progressive tune, but doesn’t quite hit the sweet spot.

“Lost The Chance” steps it up a gear and is a straight ahead fast and simple rock out.
“Wall of Pain” is one of Phil’s better performances on the album. The production on this sounds a little cold, the drums in particular being very tinny, but it’s a decent enough track.
“Everything’s OK” is a slow builder, but the vocal and lyric just simply doesn’t fit the track and the end product is awful.

The album closes with “Take All My Money” which is quite atmospheric, but ultimately as poor as “Everything’s OK”.

In summary I feel the album highlights a band coming to a point of disintegration. A lack of preparation and focus during the writing and recording is blindingly obvious. It would certainly seem Phil wrote the lyrics and laid down the vocals separately to the recording of the backing tracks as often tracks feel disjointed, with the lyrics fitting awkwardly around the song structures.

You can see why Paul said that he had enough and quit the band at that point because the band were coasting at a certain level. Doing enough to sell a few records and secure small / medium size European venue tours, but not really putting all they had into becoming bigger and better, and Paul still had that desire to not just “play” at it.

In summary “I.C.E.” is a disappointing final chapter in the career of the band, because it just doesn’t compare to the earlier body of work the band produced, however all good things come to an end at some point…it is no surprise that at the same time the Rose finally imploded so did many of their remaining Leeds peers like Salvation and Ghost Dance.

ICE Cover

Ride The Storm (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:40)
Two Time Baby (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:15)
I Love The Ice (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:57)
Destination Nowhere (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:15)
The Garden (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:30)
Lost The Chance (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:04)
Wall of Pain (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:01)
Everything’s OK (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:40)
Take All My Money (The Rose of Avalanche) (6:00)

Catalogue Number: CD 084-30342
LP 008-30341

ICE Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICE Promo Sheet

String ‘A’ Beads

Released on 8th October 1990 on Avalantic Records on LP / MC / CD formats.

At the end of the decade the UK alternative music scene was going through dramatic change. There was a history of underground music genres bubbling under the main single & album chart, with the bigger acts of those genres occasionally breaking through into the charts alongside the mainstream established acts. Remember this was back in the 1980′s when single sales were still significant enough to represent a challenge for any underground / Indie act to break the Top 40.

The “alternative” or “Goth” genre had enjoyed a pretty unrivaled run as the largest of these genres for the majority of the 1980′s, with bands like The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission, All About Eve, The Cult all breaking into the Top 40 charts. However towards the end of the decade, “Goth” was suddenly replaced as the top dog by a number of emerging genres.
The “second summer of love” saw Acid House & Dance break out from the underground of illegal raves and clubs into the mainstream charts. “Shoegazing” bands dominated the Indie Charts, and Madchester exploded in the late 80′s / early 90′s.

Suddenly bands like The Mission who were previously untouchable, suddenly found themselves torn apart by personnel changes, and in the desire to innovate their sound, released disastrous albums like “Masque” where they attempted to associate themselves with the new younger credible bands on the scene like Utah Saints. Unfortunately they only succeeded in alienating their existing fan base, and failing to attract any new fans in the process.

The Rose too faced this new market dynamic, their response being “String ‘A’ Beads”. Indie rock was quickly picking up the dance influences, and bands like Jesus Jones and EMF suddenly were becoming huge mainstream acts. The Rose had experimented in the studio with tracks like “I Believe Dub Track 1990″, and “Stringa” saw the delivery of 10 new tracks, drawing from this new sound and marking a significant shift from the previous album, “Never Another Sunset”.

The musical dynamic of the band had changed significantly. With Paul as the single guitarist, compositions were much simpler and cleaner. The bass became to the forefront in songs to compensate for the loss of the second guitar. Most notably the fresh approach to the drumming sound from Andy Porter sought to add the dance / electronic element to the sound, via the heavy use of electronic and sequenced drums.

The album opens with “Your Lights On”, which is a strong, fast paced catchy song, doing a good job of teasing up the rest of the album. The opening verse always slightly irritated me lyrically as Phil chooses to use a couple of phrases that are indelibly linked with The Doors & The Stones:

“Come on baby light my fire take me right away / I need your satisfaction girl, I need it here today”

Next up we have “All We Want” which is another solid, simple, straight ahead tune.
“Make It Right” slows things down, and has a catchy piano hook but Phil’s vocal is very deep on the verses.

“If You Only Knew” builds nicely. This then seamlessly runs into the short, acoustic “A Certain Truth”.

The title track “String ‘A’ Beads” is dominated by the dance style drum beat, and rhythmic guitar playing, but is a highlight of the album. “String ‘A’ Beads” is Yorkshire rhyming slang for Leeds, the bands home town. The song opens with a great lyric:

“We are what you want now, we are what you need / Fly me out to LA man, no take me back to Leeds / Home is where is the heart is I heard somebody say / Well my heart is in the gutter, that’s surely Leeds today”

“If It’s Right For You” is another straight ahead song, not one of the stronger on the album, and Phil struggles to adapt to the tune.

“A Second Sight” was only available as a bonus track on the CD. It’s ok, but doesn’t stand out.

Even though the complexity of their earlier work had been stripped away, “A Different Child” carries on the bands history of delivering touching ballads. A beautiful song with a compassionate lyric it works really well. Phil often joked his knew how to reach out to the girls with his lyrics, this one shows why!

“Be True To Your Love” closes things out with a quality up tempo dancey, with a real catchy guitar line. It feels fresh and is Phil’s best performance on the album.
There is a remix of “Lights On” on the CD which is basically an entirely new song, reworked and remixed by Jon Dasilva who was an up and coming DJ / Producer, DJ’ing at Manchester’s Haçienda, which the band felt was a bit of a coup at the time.

Although ignored in the UK, and with no UK tours to promote the record, the album quickly outsold “Never Another Sunset”, with it being especially well received in mainland Europe.

Sring "A" Beads Cover

Your Lights On (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:58)
All We Want (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:04)
Make It Right (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:54)
If You Only Knew / A Certain Truth (The Rose of Avalanche) (7:17)
String ‘A’ Beads (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:51)
If It’s Right For You (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:47)
Second Sight* (The Rose of Avalanche) (5:04)
A Different Child (The Rose of Avalanche) (5:22)
Be True To Your Love (The Rose of Avalanche) (6:30)
Lights On* (Dasilva’s Dark Dub Digig Mix) (6:45)
Catalogue Number: AVE CD002

* Bonus tracks on CD only

Sring "A" Beads Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sring "A" Beads Info Sheet

I Believe EP

After the release of “A Peace Inside”, Mark Thompson decided to hang up his sticks and leave the band. New drummer Andy Porter joined in 1990, and “I Believe” was the first release with the new, and final, Rose line up. Issued only in mainland Europe, and only on 12″ vinyl format, via Rebel Records. It was only possible to get this record on import in the UK, making this probably the rarest Rose release.

Porter brought a very different sound to the band, highlighting on the as yet unreleased “String A Beads” album. He used a combination of electronic, sequenced and acoustic drums to give a punchier dance feel that was becoming fashionable at the close of the decade.

A double A side single with the “The Bounty”, “I Believe” starts out as a solid track, although not spectacular. Phil reels off a long list of things he believes in, including everything from Jesus coming earth, to giving people a second chance, to John and Yoko.
Next up is the highlight of the single, “Dream Baby Dream”. This has a great groove, rolling effortlessly through the three and half minutes. A simple but catchy tune, very much delivering on Phil and Paul’s desire to strip everything back to basics.

“The Bounty” opens the second A side. Musically the track works reasonably well, but similar to “In At The Deep End” on the “A Peace Inside EP”, Phil’s vocal flexibility is exposed, not really adapting his style to fit the songs verses.

To close things out there is a remix of the title track where the band experiment to the full with the studio adding a lot of dubs to the song.

I Believe

A Side
I Believe (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:07)
Dream Baby Dream (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:44)

B Side
The Bounty (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:28)
I Believe Dub Track 1990 (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:13)

A Peace Inside EP

Following the end of the European Tour to promote debut album “Never Another Sunset”, Shultz and McKay left the band citing burn out. Having built their uniqueness off the back of their complex and dual layered guitar attack, this development could have been a fatal blow to the band.

However it seems that band recognized they are become too self obsessed with the last album and had moved away from the original intention and sprit of the band. Paul mentioned that when they wrote their first batch of songs as kids they wanted to take over the world with 3 chord songs. With the departure of Glenn, Morris and Berry saw the opportunity to try and recapture that early energy and simplicity in the song writing, so elected not to replace Glenn.

The band toured extensively towards the end of 1989 with McKay’s replacement on bass, Darren Horner. The one and only recorded release from this line up was the “A Peace Inside EP” released on 12″ and 3″ CD on the 23rd October 1989. A limited edition version was also issued containing a press kit.

I suspect some, if not all, of the songs had been written while Shultz and McKay were in the band, but immediately upon listening the sound was a marked departure from the doom laden production of “Sunset”. An external producer, Ian Nelson, was brought in to co-produce the record with the band so credit the boys for recognizing the need for change.

The title track “A Peace Inside” sounds fresh and catchy, with a much more musical bass line supplementing the single guitar. “Eden Skies” continues where “Peace” leaves off, and again is simple and catchy with an up tempo chorus.

On the B side we find the hypnotic long burner “Can You See This Life” which first appeared in the live set during the “Groove Collision” tour in early 1989. The hook line grabs you and keeps you locked in for 6 minutes.

Closing out is “In At The Deep End”, which to be honest I have only listened to a few times over the years. For some reason the track never really worked for me, with Phil’s vocal sounding awkward over the top of a reasonable accompanying track.

A Peace Inside EP

A Side
A Peace Inside (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:56)
The Eden Skies (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:44)

B Side
Can You See This Life (The Rose of Avalanche) (6:51)
In At The Deep End (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:38)

Catalogue Number: AVE4T / AVE CD4

A Peace Inside EP with press

Never Another Sunset (Album)

After some 5 years together the Rose finally released their first authorized studio album of original recordings. “Never Another Sunset” was released on 13th March 1989 on LP / MC / CD.

Up until this point the Rose had followed a similar recording strategy to The Sisters Of Mercy, preferring to release very strong 7″/ 12″ singles rather than forcing out an album with sub standard tracks padding out the playing time. The Sisters formed in 1981 and their first studio album, “First and Last and Always”, was not released until 1985.

Therefore there was a degree of pressure on the band. All the excuses of lack of control had gone and it was time to put their money where their collective mouths were. Did they pull it off? Somewhat. There are some undoubtedly great songs on the album, but I think the overall impact is effected by the production on the record (it was self produced by the band). The overall feel of the album is heavy and self mesmerized, with all the songs recorded at a much slower tempo compared to the live shows.

However, this aside, the music does break through the gloom in patches…
The album opens with arguably the two strongest tracks. “What’s Going Down?” is instantly catchy with a powerful driving guitar riff and catchy chorus. This track opened the set during the “Groove Collision” tour in 1989. “Nowhere To Run” follows and is a slow paced ballad balancing out the title track on the B side.

“You Don’t Belong” is noteworthy for the white hot guitar build coming out of the instrumental break at 2:22 “The Devil’s Embrace” is another slow paced ballad, and is probably the most guilty of bringing down the whole mood of the A side, suffering from the wallowing production.

The title track is up next, see previous comments. The album then attempts to lift up the tempo with “Delusions” which is a solid track, comparable in quality to earlier B sides like “Who Cares”. “Her Fatal Charm” is accented by McKay’s slide bass, and quirky guitar line. A simple, straight ahead riff driven track, surprisingly not showcased live.

The album closes with two tracks that lose their energy somewhat in the recording. “Don’t Fly Too High”, and “A Romantic Vision” where both dance floor fillers in the live show, but on the album suffer from that lack of spontaneous live energy, “Vision” in particular is pretty hard going for the opening 2 minutes.

Never Another Sunset Album

What’s Going Down? (The Rose of Avalanche) (5:45)
Nowhere To Run (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:35)
You Don’t Belong (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:16)
The Devil’s Embrace (The Rose of Avalanche) (5:25)
Never Another Sunset (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:55)
Delusions (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:40)
Her Fatel Charm (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:35)
Don’t Fly Too High (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:15)
A Romantic Vision (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:30)

Catalogue Number: AVELP1 / AVECD1
Notes: The CD verison contains bonus tracks The World Is Ours and Mistakes

Never Another Sunset Album Gatefold

Never Another Sunset (Single)

Following hot on the heels of “The World Is Ours” single, the band opened 1989 with a new single, which was the title track of the bands forthcoming debut studio album “Never Another Sunset”, released on vinyl 7” and 12” single.

Keen to re-establish themselves after the year long break from recording, the band quickly followed up 1988′s “Winter Thrash” UK tour – with another one called “Groove Collision” to promote the new album and single, kicking off in Birmingham just three months after the end of “Winter Thrash”.

The lead track was another example of the Rose’s ability to pen a brooding, smoldering ballad, following a path that “A Thousand Landscapes” and “Velveteen” had trodden before. Despite only officially appearing on this release in 1989, the band must have been working on the song for some considerable length of time, as it first appeared in their BBC Radio 1 session aired back on 11th March 1986, some three years earlier. Comparing the two versions, they are very similar with only small changes in the phrasing.

On the B side we find the delightful and surprising “Mistakes”.  The opening 1:05 of this song is yet another beautiful example of the guitar work of Berry, Schultz and McKay. When the vocal comes in I don’t think Phil’s vocal style is a natural fit to the almost flamenco rhythm of the track, but he just about pulls it off and it remains, especially for a B side, a great Rose track.

The 12″ closes out with a cover of Iggy Pop’s Gimme Danger. It had been a while since the Rose had referenced their well documented American influences, and this is another track that they made their own, with a great cover version, markedly different to the original recording.

Never Another Sunset Single

A Side
Never Another Sunset (The Rose of Avalanche) (4.55)
B Side
Mistakes (The Rose of Avalanche) (5:20)
Catalogue Number: AVE2

 

 

 

Never Another Sunset Single
A Side
Never Another Sunset (The Rose of Avalanche) (4.55)
B Side
Mistakes (The Rose of Avalanche) (5:20)
Gimme Danger (Pop / Williamson) (6:01)
Catalogue Number: AVE2T

The Word Is Ours

After their enforced hiatus, the court case with Fire was settled and the Rose could once gain resume their recording careers towards the end of 1988. The band formed their own label “Avalantic Records” and now, for the first time, had complete artistic control.
The come back single was called “The World Is Ours” and was released on vinyl 7″ and 12″ formats. The single was released at the time of the “Winter Thrash Tour” so there was a product to promote.

The optimistic title of the lead track perhaps referring to the new sense of optimism within the group to kick start their careers, although an underlying bitterness started to permeate interviews around this period. The Rose having seen the rise of many of their peer group at a time when the Rose were handcuffed by the legal proceedings against Fire Records.
The title track provides a creative platform for Phil to have a go at the “industry” and the untrustworthy individuals that operate within it:

“Never trust a man with the magic hands / never listen to him talk” and “Never trust a man with a hand on his heart / Don’t listen to what he says”

All the tracks on the single are quality in their own right, continuing the “traditional” Rose guitar led melodic rock theme, with a harder edge on “Rain Keeper” and “King of Fools”, the latter often featuring in the live set.

The World Is Ours 7"
A Side
The World Is Ours (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:15)
B Side
King Of Fools (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:23)
Catalogue Number: AVE1

 

 

 

The World Is Ours 12"
A Side
The World Is Ours (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:15)
B Side
King Of Fools (The Rose of Avalanche) (3:23)
Rain Keeper (The Rose of Avalanche) (4:07)
Catalogue Number: AVE1T

Always There LP

Yes, you’ve guessed it, a re-issue by Fire Records!

The compilation is made up of tracks from the standard and limited edition verisons of the “Always There” single, the “Velveteen” 12″ single, and “LA Rain” & “Rise To The Groove” plucked from 1985.

As all the tracks had been previously released you can read the reviews of them on the appropriate links above.

Catalogue Number: FIRE LP7
Notes: This was also released by Emergo records

Always There 12"