We are sorry to hear of the death of Jo Dunne from eighties indie band We’ve Got A Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It. Jo was the bass player and guitarist in the Birmingham based band who had a few hits with their dayglo, messy indie pop in the eighties and released three albums before splitting.
She died today after a short illness.
The band formed in Moseley, Birmingham in 1985. They took their name apparently after they bought a distortion pedal for their guitars and Jo’s sister Maggie stated “We’ve got a fuzzbox and we’re gonna use it!”
They initially made their name with the brightly coloured attitude and stage presence and ability to make songs without being bogged down in musical ability, although Jo was far more musical.
They were signed to the Nightinglaes label, Vindaloo Records and their first release in March 1986, was a single of XX Sex and Rules And Regulations which reached No. 41 in the UK charts.
Their debut album, Bostin’ Steve Austin, was released with the band’s first Top 40 hit, Love Is The Slug and the minor hit What’s The Point being pulled from the album.
In the summer of 1986 the band teamed up with their Vindaloo Records labelmates, The Nightingales and Ted Chippington to record the gimmicky single Rocking With Rita (Head To Toe) under the name of Vindaloo Summer Special. The single had Fuzzbox coveting Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini on the b-side and was a minor hit.
Signing to WEA they released their next album Big Bang! in 1989) reinventing themselves as a slick dance-pop Bananarama style vocal group, with lead singer Vickie Perks being cast centre stage as a sex symbol.
The album was a star away from their DIY punk roots as possible and was classic pop of the time with the band playing little part in its construction but the first three singles from the album, “International Rescue” which hit number 11 in charts, Pink Sunshine, which got to 14 and “Self!” which peaked at 24 were proper hits.
They split a year later whilst working on their next album, Out Of This World.