Tuesday, 25 October 2011

From the Top Drawer XXVI - Vane

As promised a while ago on this post, here is a rare live set from the band Vane which takes us back almost 30 years to Bonfire Night 5th November 1981, and to that well-known rock arena, the YMCA in Chelmsford, Essex (!) Please go back to that previous Vane post for a little more info on the band, but here I'm going to borrow from keyboard player Paul Chousmer's 2000 interview with Aural Innovations for his insights.
Vane - formed in Chelmsford, Essex 1981-3. We released two singles on Island. (You can get them HERE - thanks to the uploader)

DS: I've never heard either Vane or Ring of Roses before. What was their music like?
PC: Oh it was such a long time ago... Vane was primarily psychedelic, but remember this was the early eighties so we had just come out of the punk revolution here and were fishing about with Goth and New Romantic styles. We were very much into electric sounds and effects. So imagine if you can: we were fronted by James Vain, 6'4" tall, skinny as a rake, loads of make-up, electric coloured hair (he was influenced a lot by Bowie's transformations - but dissolute as Lou Reed!), low lights, big bass, electronic noises all over the place - can you picture this? Very much a precursor to what Webcore got up to. A little less danceable, but much better looking! The band got fairly well known around the seedier underground scene in London. Great fun and fond memories.

I would add - great live set from a band who really should have been huge if there was any justice, blah blah etc. No doubt of their time (early 1980s) but a-head of it as well.
An intoxicating Bonfire Night brew of edgy psychedelia with gothic overtones, imaginative lyrics/inventive playing, heady progressiveness...

 James Vain (Vane) - Vox / Phil Pickering - Bass / Clive Roberts - Guitar / 
Colin Woolway - Drums / Paul Chousmer - Keyboards 

Ripped @320kbps in two parts from a cassette of xxx origin, sounds like a very good soundboard recording.

Part One: Soldier / Moods, Dreams / Mannequin Party / Glad Again / Wake Me / Reality Of Fiction / One Too
Part Two: (unknown) / God Likes Us / Man, You Know / + Shadow Of Wrythe (Zig Zag Club, London W11, 16th April 1982)

Get it HERE

(Thanks to the Chelmsford Wild Youth Facebook page for borrowed photos)


  1. Nice posting - I've put a link to it on Chelmsford Wild Youth. Cheers Crispin

  2. Hi Crispin, thanks for your comment and for the lend of some pictures of the band from the FB page.