Friday, 15 November 2013

Were having a ball ...........60ft Dolls

Whilst tuning in to Radio One's Evening Session which I did every Monday to Friday, Steve Lamacq played a single from one of a new set of bands that were emerging from Wales. The single was Pig Valentine and the band was The 60ft Dolls.  They gave the whole Britpop sound a stripping down with a swagger of rock and a whole load of punk. With sound scapes ranging from Mod and Metal to early 90's Grunge they gave the scene something that was lacking at the time and that was the classic 3 minute pop song, and boy these guys could write some. A whole album chock full in fact, but we will come to that later.
Forming in 1992 in Newport; Wales with connections to Donna Matthews from Elastica, hung out at the local music venue TJ's and listened to the local hardcore bands that played on a weekly basis and they took this and mixed it with rock just at the right time for the British public to take notice. I've spent many a drunken night in the venue TJ's when I lived in Newport and saw many of the ‘greats’ play there and can see why it was an integral part of the band making them what they were.
Being championed by Radio One's Evening Session they even broke the American market being featured in the New York Times’ Best Singles of 1996 and; given the amount of great singles released in that year that was pretty good going.  Being signed to the uber cool Indie label Indolent they released the two singles Talk To Me and Pig Valentine before releasing the storming classic album The Big 3. The album has gone down as a rock classic and would feature all the singles apart from White Knuckle Ride and would re-release and re-record their very first single Happy Shopper.From releasing Indie singles on an unknown label to being signed to Geffen and touring the world in just 4 years is pretty good going by any standards but alas it wasn't to last as most things from that era.They released their last single Alison's Room in 1998 with the following album Joya Magica in the same year and later disbanded.
I saw them a handful of times in the mid Nineties and each time they blew me away. For a 3 piece punk rock outfit hailing from Newport they did what some bands won't do in a life time and a sound that some can never re-create live no matter how hard they try.

Some bands just have 'IT' ! and the 60ft Dolls had it in spades.

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