Forgotten Indie Bands #1: The Bedflowers
This is the first of a possibly ongoing series, where I recall my more youthful days (ee, when I were a lad etc) and remember the long forgotten bands of UK indie-dom that really deserved a lot more coverage than they got at the time. Hopefully I'll be uncovering some hidden talent along the way.
By the way, if you're a member of any band I plan to mention please get in touch using the contact form so I can add more information and make it more definitive.
So, anyway, The Bedflowers. Who were they? They were basically a twosome from (I think) Tottington, just north of Bury. They were Janice White and Danny Moran and at the time had a small deal with local Manchester label Bop! Cassettes (who handled the early releases of the legendary Manchester band The Man From Del Monte) - as part of that deal they recorded a three track demo cassette in 1990 simply entitled "The Bedflowers" subtitled "Songs - Summer 1990". And here is the cover..
As you can see, just the three tracks with a picture of the band on the front, and all the info about the tape that you needed. But how does the actual music shape up? Well, it was very infectious and catchy pop tunes, to a degree. Despite the recording limitations with the budget that they had, the important thing that they had was a good eye for a good tune, and with nice easy to listen to melodies thrown in. And that was what made it addictive. So how do they stand up?
Well, without doubt, although the first two tracks are good (and anyone who titles a song called You're Not Blonde and Stupid, But Nobody's Perfect has to be in the Morrissey league of song-titling) the outstanding track just to has to be I'm So Cool. It very cleverly parodies all those people who came to Manchester in the post Madchester era around 1990 trying to be cool. To give you an idea, imagine someone today trying so hard to be into all things nu-metal, and doing all the things nu-metallers do to try so hard to be hip (being at a gig 4 hours before it starts to be at the front, wearing the baggiest jeans with the biggest chains, all that sort of rubbish) and imagine therefore someone trying back in 1990 being so hard to be truly hip and indie and alternative. To give you an idea, the chorus explains things nicely:
Manchester, North of England, but it's not as North as Tottington
I like James, I've got no brain, the Wedding Present are just the same
I hate Bros, I hate Conservative, cos I'm really really alternative
Let's go down to Affleck's Palace, I'm really really stupid.
(I should mention Affleck's Palace is a shopping arcade on Oldham Street, Manchester, that everyone and anyone was to be seen in in 1990. It's now populated by nu-metallers. Enough said.)
The final chorus gave some humour to it all as the first line rang out
"Manchester, North of England, but it's not as North as Horwiiiiich".
Horwich is a suburb of Bolton (north of the town where the football team
Bolton Wanderers now play). The brilliant thing though about I'm So Cool
was that is was clearly written tongue in cheek with a nice simple melody,
and even though it's only recorded on 4-track, the quality of the song comes
through big time.
Download I'm So Cool in MP3 format now, and rekindle those lost memories! (2.67MB) The rest of the tape will be coming hopefully soon depending on how much you like this one.
So what happened to them? No one knows, it seems. They did record another track for a compilation CD which was also pretty good, but then nothing. Whether or not they actually gave up on being musicians or indeed a pop career is unknown, but the world and music is a poorer place without them, that's for sure.
STOP PRESS - Janice White of the Bedflowers has got in touch with me. More on where they are now etc soon, but for now you might want to check out http://www.thecogency.com/ where she now works...