Guest Post: Trixie's Big Red Motorbike present Marine Girls and Grab Grab The Haddock

It is with great honour that I present this guest post written by Mark Litten, brains behind one of my all-time favourite bands, Trixie's Big Red Motorbike. Originally active between 1981-85 and reformed in 2012, Trixie's were one of the most intriguing, playful and melodically exciting bands of not only the 'twee'/'C86' scene, but of the 80s itself. I could write for days about this band - in fact I may one day write an essay of my own. But for now, I shall allow Mark to present two of his favourite bands from the 'C86' era. 

Mark Litten (Trixie's Big Red Motorbike) presents...
Marine Girls and Grab Grab The Haddock:

I want to write something about a very special but overlooked band from the early eighties. Grab Grab The Haddock seemed to have discovered the blueprint for the 'C86' sound well before the NME worked out what was happening in the DIY indie world. Who were these people? Read on... you might get a surprise!

Marine Girls were perhaps the single most important influence on what was to become known as "indiepop". Gina Hartman, Tracey Thorn, Jane Fox and her sister Alice came up with a unique melodic and minimalist sound based on prominent vocals, jangly guitars, tuneful basslines and hand-held percussion. Their first album "Beach Party" from 1981 is now recognised as one of the cornerstones of the genre. Marine Girls disbanded in 1983, due to musical differences. According to Alice, Tracey wanted to write songs for estate agents, while Jane wanted to throw ping-pong balls onto a xylophone.

All was not lost for their fans, however. In 1984 Jane got together with Lester Noel (later of Beats International fame), and with Alice on vocals, Grab Grab The Haddock were born. With Steve Galloway on second guitar, a drummer (Michelle?) and friends playing various other instruments, their sound was now fully fleshed-out indiepop.

Speaking in 1996, Jane said; "It was a hugely different experience to playing with the Marine Girls, and actually, playing live with Grab Grab The Haddock could be tremendous fun".


P.S. It was between the Marine Girls split and GGTH that Jane recorded with my band, on a single and a John Peel session. For contractual reasons she is credited as Jane Fish!

Trixie's Big Red Motorbike -

No comments:

Post a Comment