12 February 2011

Angel Pie - She

Angel Pie - She

Label: Echo
Year of Release: 1993

A slightly unusual upload, this one, in that it's a promo cassette rather than a piece of vinyl - hence the picture above bears no relation at all to what I have in front of me, which is simply a rather blank looking cassette thrown into a plain company case with the details printed on white card.  It is of bugger all value, but... let's not let that get in the way of the track itself, which slipped out almost completely unnoticed in the early nineties.

"She", far from being a cover of the Charles Aznavour classic, is a unique slice of ambient pop which oozes both class and atmosphere, from the slightly ominous chiming opening to the hushed vocals (delivered by Marina Van-Rooy) right down to the rather toytown psychedelic lyrics.  It sounds like an epic sixties orchestral belter turned inside out, with the peaks replaced by smooth, delicate ambient troughs - sound effects burble in and out of the mix, almost taking priority over the music at the tail end, and the strings are so subtle you might not necessarily notice they've arrived until a few seconds after they begin, drowning as they are in the audio soup and heavy bass the rest of the record offers.  Whilst the melody is very simplistic and delivered with breathy, girlish vocals, the record itself has so much going on that, despite owning it for many years, I've never really lost interest in it.  That it wasn't a hit shouldn't be very surprising, though - on the one occasion I heard it on daytime Radio One the DJ playing it simply sounded baffled as soon as the song ended, unsure of how to deliver his next link.  A promo video is on YouTube, but it's safe to say that it probably didn't get much in the way of MTV attention at the time either.

According to the information I have in front of me, Angel Pie were supposed to have had an album called "Jake" out, but I've never seen a copy anywhere and can only assume that it remains locked away in the vaults.  Their debut single "Tin Foil Valley" was more akin to snappy, Saint Etienne styled pop but did little business, and a third single "Tipsy Q Horses" appears to have been slated for release, but so far as I can see never materialised.  If my memory is correct the band were Liverpool-based and involved the producer Mark Saunders as a key member, but that's as much detail as I can recall.

More information on the band would be appreciated, most especially what happened to their album (which, believe it or not, I was actually looking forward to) and what they're up to now.


Adam Ant Fan said...

Great post, I am more of an 80s fan but still loved reading it.

Keep it up.

stevoid said...

Marina Van Rooy also knocked out a couple of ace solo singles on Deconstruction in the early 90s and also appeared in the video for Pale Fountains 'Jeans not happening' in the mid-80s too.

NNelly said...

Yeah awesome band, saw them live @ Bedford Esquires back in the day and they had several great songs over & above the singles. I think one was called 'Tipsy Q Horses' or maybe I was just tipsy......!

Marina's "Sly One" and "Let you go" were fantastic too as was the v.sultry tune "Say it to me" which as far as I'm aware was only featured on this Eight Records comp:

Would also love any information on whether anyone has a pre-release copy of 'Jake' they want to share with the world...!!

Anfunny said...

I wrote about AngelPie over a year back on my own site here; See entry 633-634 for more information ont he project...

23 Daves said...

Brilliant work! Thanks for the extra info - now... you don't have a copy of the album, do you?!

twicezero said...

One on my list of great 'lost' albums. I've wanted to get my hands on a copy since i bought the Tin Foil Valley single so long ago

23 Daves said...

Yes, it's really frustrating that nobody seems to have a demo or promo copy.

I do have a four-track demo tape somewhere in a cupboard which promotes the album, but at the moment I have no means of being able to convert from cassette tape to digital. So that would be a start, but I'd need to get the kit to upload it.

Meanwhile, the existence of that tape would seem to suggest that some full length tapes/ acetates/ demos must have been run off and made available to some people somewhere, and it would be really good if one were made available.

Unknown said...

I produced the album 'Jake' as well as Tin Foil Valley. I obviously was very disappointed when the band didn't take off. 'Jake' was not released I think because of a 'label reshuffle'. Usual story, an A&R person is fired, a new one comes in and drops bands that he/she is not interested in. It's cruel really the way that an enormous amount of effort put into a record could be lost on the whim of a new A&R person. I definitely think Jake deserved the light of day. I loved the songs. The album was named after my dog Jake who was hanging around the studio with me. The band were lovely people and Marina was a star. My favorite song from Jake is 'Neptune' - which, when I launch my new website '', I'll include in a playlist. We recorded the album in a studio owned by Tears For Fears somewhere near Bath.

23 Daves said...

Hi Mark, thanks so much for dropping by and giving us more information. I'm an admirer of your work and certainly look forward to the website.

When the website launches, please do let me know if you would prefer me to remove any mp3s or data from here and instead redirect to your site. I'd be more than happy to do so.

And yes, "Jake" really does deserve a proper release. Maybe somebody like Cherry Red could get on to it?

Unknown said...

Which songs do you have already from 'Jake'?

23 Daves said...

I think most tracks turned up in some shape or form bar about 4. I'm not sure whether the links are still active now, but I can certainly check.