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Pale and interesting

The band which gave rise to Shack dig out the old set list for a one off gig. Want our hot pair of tickets?

Published on January 15th 2008.

Pale and interesting

In 1980 Michael Head and Chris McCaffrey were a young songwriting duo who lived round the corner from each other in Kensington.

They formed a bedroom band, with a couple of other people, and called it The Pale Fountains. Nothing new there, except the sound.

“The Paleys”, as they were universally known, played to a different beat. They worshipped at the altar of Love and Burt Bacharach and, when everyone else on Liverpool's thriving music scene was stabbing at a far harder sound, Mick and Biff (as Chris was known) were playing haunting melodies with trumpets and strings inspired by The Look of Love and Tony Hatch.

They added congas, played by one Ian Hart (nee Davies), got Nathan McGough (later of the Happy Mondays) to manage them, for a time, and, in their bermuda shorts and boy scout garb, were the hottest act on the indie scene.

When they eventually did sign to a major label, their Virgin megadeal had the music industry talking for weeks.

Astonishingly, they failed to make any commercial headway, despite much critical praise for the two albums they released, 1984's Pacific Street and 1985's ...From Across The Kitchen Table, produced by Ian Broudie. They split up soon after with Head forming Shack and trumpet player Andy Diagram joining James.

Very sadly, Biff died suddenly in 1986 of a brain tumour, at Liverpool's Walton Hospital.

In November 2007 Mick Head announced that he was reforming The Pale Fountains for two gigs to take place in February 2008. One at the Carling Academy, Liverpool on Saturday February 2.

It's a brilliant back catalogue well worth flicking through. We'll be there. Want to go too? You know what to do.

Competition closes January 28.

This is what the Pale Fountains used to do

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Thank you for your interest, but this competition closed to further entries on January 15th 2008.

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