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'Broadcast One' - Dandelion Radio's 1st compilation album

Bumper month with 31 hours of December shows - plus 2022 Festive 50 arriving from Christmas day.

Artist Info

Modesty Blaise

Modesty Blaise
Image from Discogs
Powered by Audioscrobbler™Modesty Blaise are a British Pop group from the City of Bristol. They were formed in the early '90s by singer/guitarist Jonny Collins and bassist David W. Brown. The band's most notable musical influences are the great Pop groups of the '60s, such as The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Byrds and The Kinks.

They played their first gig in March of 1993 at The Mauretania in Bristol. The band's line-up consisting of singer/guitarist Jonny Collins, bassist David W. Brown, guitarist Jim Harvey, keyboardist Mark Langley and drummer Art Chalinder.

As is typical for any band starting out, the band played a lot of gigs in the first few years of their existence, gradually building an audience. These included several dates in support of Edwyn Collins, on one such occasion, at their gig together at Bristol venue Thekla, they even became his backing band for a few songs at the end of his set.

The first of many changes in the band's line-up came in September of 1994, with Phil Johnson-Smith replacing Jim Harvey on guitar.

They released their debut single “Christina Terrace” in December of 1994. The single was released as a joint venture between the Indie label Spirit Of 86 and the band’s own label Savage Bee. A limited edition 7”, it quickly sold out, leading to numerous appearances on local radio and television. Unlike all of their subsequent recordings, which have been produced by Jonny Collins, their debut release was produced by Edwyn Collins, a friend and early champion of the band.

After the departure of drummer Art Chalinder, the band briefly got by with a drum machine, before recruiting Steve Miles. April of 1995 saw more line-up changes, as Mark Langley left the band, with John Shewan taking over on keyboard duties and Gregory Jones filling the vacancy left by the also departing Phil Johnson-Smith on guitar.

April of 1995 also saw the release of the band’s second single “You Can Do Better than That/February Forever Girl”, a double A-side 7”. As with their debut, the single was released as a joint venture between Spirit Of 86 and Savage Bee. “February Forever Girl” remains one of the band’s most popular songs and a live favourite.

It wasn't until June of 1996, with their gig at The Louisiana in Bristol, that the longest serving line-up of Modesty Blaise took shape. Jonny Collins on vocals and guitar, David W. Brown on Bass, Gregory Jones on Guitar, Clem Courtney on keyboards and Julien Clapperton on drums.

In October of 1997 they released their debut album “Modern Guitars With Amplification” on their own label Savage Bee, this time without the involvement of Spirit Of 86. Released on both CD and vinyl, the album was subsequently picked up by Spanish Indie label Animal, bringing international attention to the band's music. Two songs from the album were released as 7” singles, “Blue And Beautiful” and “Let's Get Together”.

In June of 1999 Modesty Blaise played their first overseas dates, on a tour of Spain arranged by their Spanish label Animal. Around this time they signed a contract with German Indie label Apricot.

Their first release for Apricot came in September of 1999, with “A Beginners Guide To Modesty Blaise”, a compilation album. It contained some of their early singles such as “Christina Terrace” and “Let's Get Together”, as well as alternate versions of some of the songs from their first album and some previously unreleased tracks. In a review for Sorted magazine, Donnacha DeLong said of the album “It definitely makes a welcome change from the oh-so-boring guitar retro of Brit Pop.”

In November of 1999 “Uranium Girl EP” was released on both CD and a highly collectible white vinyl 7”. It was their first release made up entirely of new material for Apricot. A very silly Sci-Fi influenced video was filmed for the title track, which remains one of the band's most popular songs.

In November of 2000 they began their first tour of Germany, and released their second album “Melancholia” on CD and double-vinyl. As with their first album, two of its songs were released as 7” singles, “I'm Going Out” and the immensely popular “Carol Mountain”. To use a popular phrase, “Melancholia” was the band's most ambitious work to date. A highly accomplished, cohesive record, it proved a commercial and critical highpoint in the band's career. Inexplicably, there was to be no new music from Modesty Blaise over the next 10 years.

In October of 2004, the enduring popularity of the band’s song “Carol Mountain” was made clear, when it was included on the prestigious “Rough Trade Shops Indiepop 1” compilation album.

In June of 2012, Bristol based Indie label Big Pink Cake released “Commercial Suicide/Heavy Metal Friend”, a double A-side CD and download single by Jonny Collins & The Collins Family Singers. “Commercial Suicide” was originally recorded by the German/Italian duo Woog Riots, whilst “Heavy Metal Friend” was the first Jonny Collins composition to be released since the “Carol Mountain” 7”, in April of 2002.

Whilst Jonny Collins has often spoken of an interest in recording a Country album, it's an interest that will have to once again be put on hold, as Modesty Blaise are back. In July of 2013 they released a new single entitled “I Love You”, available on CD and download and are currently at work on a third album. The single was released on the band’s own label Savage Bee, following their departure from Apricot.

The new single picks up right where “Melancholia” left off, three minutes of sophisticated Sunshine Pop, described by Bristol Live Magazine as “uber-treacle” and by The Sound Of Confusion as a “melody-filled and joyous track, with bundles of organ to accompany the guitars and overly optimistic vocals.”

To accompany the release of the new single “I Love You”, the band played a gig at The Thunderbolt in Bristol, with support from their old friends from Germany Woog Riots.

There have of course been some changes to the band's line-up, since the “Melancholia” days. The current line-up now consists of Jonny Collins on vocals and guitar, David W. Brown on bass, Gregory Jones on guitar, Alastair Jenkins on guitar and Mark Bradley on drums.
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Artist biography from last.fm

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