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Eilidh Bradley Project: EP Review


Eilidh Bradley Project

Tiny Global Productions

Vinyl | DL available here

Available 13th August

For those who don’t know, Eilidh Bradley was a well loved member of the Manchester music scene in the early nineties, who sadly passed away just over ten years ago. This project has emerged from lost tapes pre Solar Race and gives you a glimpse into her early talent. Wayne AF Carey reviews.

Back in the nineties I was involved in a great part of history with some of the best up and coming underground bands at the time. We were all aware of the cliques and being on the outside we got in purely by badgering venues with demo tapes and getting our foot in the door with the lovely people who ran the venues like The Boardwalk, The Roadhouse, Night N Day, PJ Bells and more. We (Fruit Tumor) were the scruffy bastards from Middleton, Oldham and Bury who were always made welcome with our banter and crazy stamina, rehearsing like fuck and bumping into bands who were similar in stance including the likes of Kerosene, Flat Back 4 and Thrush Puppies, who were all influenced by the American Wave of Grunge at the time. We were angry but fun and all helped each other out across the town centre and Greater Manchester, sharing gigs and having great party times.

Solar
Screenshot

One band in particular who we had a close bond with were Sky Walker, fronted by Eilidh Bradley, with the powerful backing of Carl Rogers and Andy Holland, three of the nicest yet crazy people we met who partied hard and worked hard. John Robb was always involved and helped many bands out on production duties which made us feel a bit special knowing his history. Carl kindly sent me this article he found here to give you a bit of insight into the band. By this time their name had changed to Solar Race due to George Lucas sending them a warning to stop using the name Sky Walker for some small reason. Little did we know that Eilidh had been doing something back in 1991 with some familiar names…

Step into the future and I introduce you to Chris Bridgett (Dubsex, G.O.D. and the sadly missed Cold Water Swimmers), now a solo artist in his own right. After some rummaging around through some old stuff he found some old demo tapes that were recorded with Eilidh, Simon Wolstencroft (The Fall, House Of All), Martin Duffy (Primal Scream) and Andy Rourke (The Smiths) as he recalls:

“I discovered it on November 1st – traditionally All Saints Day or in Mexico – Day of the Dead .. it was like Eilidh wanted me to find it and share with the world. I know that sounds crazy – but that’s what I felt.”

Eilidh and Si pooled some money together and headed into the studio with their pal Chris, after Andy and Martin agreed to participate in a session for Eilidh, who was a large presence on the Manchester scene, musician, writer, record sleeve model and inspiration to many musicians. What I personally admire about her is that she never told me about any of this to up her cred. That’s how humble she was and she could have shouted from the rooftops about recording with one of The Smiths and Primal Scream but never did.

Opening track I Know Something is heart wrenching stuff, featuring images of Eilidh (above) and some grainy footage showing all the collective in various scenes from the past spliced with Bridgett as we now him now. He’s mentioned recently that it’s taken him years to play guitar properly, yet judging by this piece of anthemic jangly indie dreampop, he’s always had that magic in his fingers. It’s Marr like in sound and backed by Rourke, Wolstencroft and Duffy it’s a lost treasure that stands the test of time. Who I Am has a more electric feel with some great drumming by Wolstencroft up high in the mix following the bass and guitar with Duffy quite low in the mix, letting the echoing vocals of Eilidh shine throughout. New signings to Tiny Global – Keeley have a similar sound, yet Moss hasn’t heard this stuff which gives this an uncannily modern sound.

Be With You is an early dreampop number that has a feel of The Sundays debut flirting with The Cocteau’s and Lush. A beauty of a number which brings Duffy’s keys to the forefront, cuddling up with echoey guitars that thrill you, laden with the mellowed out drums and bass. Like floating on a lilo in the sun. I Need is another dreamlike number with Eilidh’s vocals soaring through the exemplary sounds of this early supergroup. Bridgett’s underrated guitar sound holds it’s own and goes down that Smithsonian route, especially with Rourke on the bass helm matching the sound of Funky Si’s percussion skills and Duffy’s laid back keys. This is a piece of lost and found beauty that has found it’s way back into the world courtesy of Bridgett and co to highlight a lost talent that’s as relevant as ever. RIP Elidh, Martin and Andy.

Words by Wayne Carey, Reviews Editor for Louder Than War. His author profile is here

 

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