Blancmange confirm reissue of ‘Irene & Mavis’ EP, plus full release for ‘Happy Families … too’.

Following on from our recent Blancmange live reviews, news reaches us today that Blancmange have re-released their debut 7” ‘Irene & Mavis’ on the Minimal Wave label.

The single was originally recorded in 1979 then released in 1980 – Irene & Mavis, though not exactly representative of what Blancmange later went on to become, is a fascinating relic that captures the gestation period of the duo, fresh out of art school and keen to experiment. The D.I.Y. sound of the EP fits right in there with the early output of Soft Cell, the Human League, and Cabaret Voltaire; but what separates it from those like-minded releases of the time is that it’s even more distinctly English. In fact it was Daniel Miller, supporter and Mute boss himself who first recognized this when he proclaimed them “the maiden aunts of electronic music”.

The six track EP is available on 10” black vinyl and limited to just 999 copies – Order from Minimal Wave.

And sticking with release news, Blancmange during their recent UK made available a re-recorded version of their debut ‘Happy Families’ album, now entitled ‘Happy Families…too’ – Cherry Red Records have today confirmed that they will providing the album with a full commercial release in February 2014.

Neil refers to the new versions, which include fan favourites ‘I Can’t Explain’, ‘Waves’ ‘Feel Me’ and the Top 10 hit ‘Living On The Ceiling’ – as an “interpretation”. “I just wanted to approach the songs using today’s technology,” he says. “Every time we perform it’s a different interpretation. So rather than just dust off the old songs, I wanted to bring something fresh to the project and make it a contemporary reworking rather than an exact imitation.”

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.

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