Eilidh Bradley (singer with Manchester band Solar Race) RIP

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were sorry to hear of the death of Eilidh Bradley- a well known face on the Manchester music scene in the eighties and nineties.

Eilidh was the blowtorch voiced, impassioned singer of Solar Race who I produced once in the early nineties. The band exploded into the post Nirvana scene with a ferocity and melody that should have seen them as a perfect UK riposte to the American new rock but being stuck in Manchester and in a UK that was more indie orientated they could never fulfil their massive potential. A rare woman’s voice in a town full of men, Eilidh had her own unique vision of how she wanted to sound which I remember her telling me when I went to se them rehearse in a  beat up pub in Salford.

I remember the session I recorded with them well- the band were in that post Nirvana melting pot of fierce and stark chords and soulful vocals ripped from the heart from Eilidh who was a captivating presence trying to make sense of the world with her music. Her voice was fantastic. We were in Suite 16 studio in Rochdale and the recording went on all night as we tried to understand what sound Eilidh wanted from her guitar- an intuitive and brilliant musician- it was like she was reaching for something in her but she could not quite get her hands to do it until it suddenly appeared at about 4 in the morning. Those are the only kind of musicians you want to work with – the instinct musicians not the text book musicians.

A face on the Manchester scene in the eighties- Eilidh had been the classic indie kid. It’s her face that appeared on the front cover of the Bodines Creation released Therese single, and she is there dancing around in the Happy Monday Wrote For Luck video and appears in a video for the High – these were the fun times- the party times but what we will remember her for is her remarkable voice and her great band, another one of those criminally lost nearly bands in the cruel and mean trench of the music business. She was also ahead of the game loving the post punk underground of the Slits, Lilliput etc when no-one else cared about it – just another music obsessed kid who really knew what was going on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a close though- John Peel loved them, they did a one off single with Fierce Panda Records and they were signed to Silvertone Records and toured Europe with Bush, Steve Albini recorded them and their music stands up to this day. They were closer to Shellac, Sonic Youth and Sebadoh than the indie she had gown up with and their debut album Homespun reflected this but with their own twist and lets face it the roots of this music were ours anyway- where would all those American bands be without the Manchester of Joy Division etc.

 

In 1995 they released their ‘Not Here’ single on Silvertone Records followed by a four track ‘Solar Race EP’ then the “The Peel Sessions Bar 2” put together from two of their Peel Sessions at Maida vale. ‘Resilient Little Muscle’ was released in 1996 recorded with John Fryer. The Album ‘Homespun’ was released in 1997, recorded at Abbey Road with Steve Albini. they worked hard and sounded great.

They had the raw power and the talent and Eilidh had the charisma but in rock n roll it’s all about the timing and not the skill but they left behind some remarkable recordings which sound as fresh to this day. You could do no worse than spend the day listening to their tunes on the internet and remembering this remarkable and lost talent.

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12 comments on “Eilidh Bradley (singer with Manchester band Solar Race) RIP”

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  1. Such a shame. I’m sure that a few people will check her voice out now, though it’s, sadly, too late

  2. Lesley Holland

    Rest in peace Eilidh, you were talented and unique and you are missed. x

  3. Gutted to hear this. Was wearing my holey 18 year old Solar Race t-shirt at the weekend. I loved Solar Race despite only seeing them and meeting Eilidh twice. She used to write to me and I’d send her tapes, she was one of the coolest yet friendliest singer/musicians i met in the 90’s. Was good to get in touch with her again thanks to Facebook. Was still holding out hope of some new music from her but she seemed to be writing poetry… really sad to read of her passing. Love and Condolences to her friends and family. xx ( Gonna play Drink My P… really loud tonight and remember a brilliant woman)

    Ged Babey

  4. Very sad to hear this. A great talent.

  5. Mat Ainsworth

    Some really good memories of watching Solar Race and nights out with Eilidh. Despite not having seen or spoken to her for many years, still feel saddened by her death. RIP.

  6. kath Ainsworth

    Really shocked to hear the sad news about Eilidh, saw her perform many times, her voice was amazing! RIP

  7. Solar Race… I had the utmost pleasure, the honour even, to follow this band around in my early years as a young man (I even got to travel with them in the tour van… WICKED!). Eilidh Bradley had a colossal stage presence and a wrecking ball for a rhythm section backing her up. This young woman was not a mere special talent but a complete and utter one-off. When your a youth, you just want be a rock star… but these guys opened my eyes, showed me that that isn’t just what it’s all about and left my ears glued to there records. I do hope that this doesn’t sound like some shitty impersonal review but rather my lasting homage. I OWE YA ONE
    I do reckon that the Lord sent down his best troops to collect your soul Eilidh and deliver it to that big main stage in the sky… God Bless Eilidh, don’t stop kicking out the jams, all my love… young Den x

    • Hi “young Den” how are you?nreally like what you have written there….x Andy Holland & Smith

  8. Just heard about this and can’t believe it, talented, beautiful and knife-box sharp. Sweet dreams Eilidh.

  9. I am sorry to hear this sad news about Eilidh. Apologies for the delayed response but having returned to The Netherlands back in 2001 and being out of the loop I’ve only just heard about this and am shocked.

    Back in 1996 I actually had the privilege of briefly working with them, put together a 20 date UK tour for their Resilient Little Muscle single, and I guess it’s fair to say that although at times we had a bit of a love–hate relationship, the simple fact was as a live band they were always absolutely amazing, while the range of Eilidh’s voice would often test the most experienced sound engineers!

    For me “Not Here” was the best single to get released in 1995 and to this day it remains one of my favourite songs from the 90’s (and by the single I refer to the version they produced and not the version they later re-recorded with Steve Albini for the album) – As I was fortunate enough to have seen them live on many occasions, I can state as a fact that whenever they played it during a gig they simply blew you, and everyone else present, away!

    I would also like to thank louderthanwar for this article which will keep her legacy alive whilst also providing a fitting tribute. They did indeed leave behind some remarkable recordings!

    My condolences to her family and friends.

    TerryA

  10. Tom Markkanen

    I came to this thread late. I loved Solar Race from that first play on radio one by John Peel. I was won over.

    I still have the cd single Not Here and bought the album Homespun at the time.

    One of the tracks that got me through university – depression and suicidal thoughts etc.

    I was in Paris as part of my French major and a Dutch girl knocked on my door. She had a spare ticket to see Bush
    and did I want to go? What did I have to lose? I didn’t know much if anything about Bush…

    The day before I had felt like the end of the world was completely coming.

    We arrived at the venue (I forget the name ) but it held I reckon 5000ish. Stepping into the crowd I spotted and heard the support band. I could not believe my ears/eyes/soul…The girl didn’t really get it , I don’t think I could express how I truly felt but I knew…by absolute chance, my favourite band was on stage and to this day I remember how I can feel differently from one day to the next. What a difference a day can make etc.

    So, I thank the spirit of Eilidh for memories I will have for life.

    Also going to see them with a uni mate at Tunbridge Wells Forum in Kent – there were only about 15 in the audience if that but it was great…I even jumped off the not very high stage in celebration and had to leave early to get a train home!

    RIP Eilidh and I hope somehow she knows she helped people through and not what she worried the other way. Music is art and without art, life would be so dull.

    Love to all fans, friends, family X and thanks louderthanwar

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