Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We've Got A Mighty...

We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It, or just plain Fuzzbox to their fans, formed as an all female indie pop quartet in Birmingham, England in 1985. When I think of both their image and music I liken it to The Runaways meets the Bangles. They had the semi-glamorous (though more sexually overt) image of the Bangles, but with a harder edged sound drawing on punk and even goth-rock influences. Their name Fuzzbox presumably was in reference to the term used to describe an effects pedal used for guitar sound distortion (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).

The face and voice of Fuzzbox was then 16 year old Vickie Perks, joined by guitarist Maggie Dunne (the only member who had previous band experience), her younger sister Jo Dunne on bass and Tina O'Neill on drums. After securing an early independent contract and releasing a couple of EP's to local acclaim, Fuzzbox eased up on the punk edge to their image and embarked on conquering the mainstream music scene. To this end they worked with Bangles producer Liam Sternberg on their debut album 'Big Bang!'. The album lived up to its title debuting at #5 on the mainstream U.K. charts in 1989. The album yielded several top 30 hits including my personal favourite 'Self!' (UK #24). Perks took off in post 1990 to pursue an eventually unheralded solo career and the band split for a time. Maggie Dunne went on to play with respected indie outfit Babes In Toyland.

The following YouTube clip for the song 'Self!' will give you an insight into the look and image of Fuzzbox, and here's a bit of trivia courteousy of Wikipedia: the band wanted to use the Thunderbirds as a feature in the promo clip to the song 'International Rescue' (makes senses), but couldn't obtain the rights to do so. In place they came up with a spoof of the film Barberella featuring Adrian Edmondson (he of 'The Young Ones') playing the role of Duran Duran (the villian not the band).

There is an official Fuzzbox website which is actually pretty cool and features heaps of info on the band. If you like the sound of 'Self!' it'll be worth your while checking it out.

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