It feels like the sun will never shine…
When the legendary Some Bizarre Album arrived in 1981, it not only established the iconic record label but also provided an intriguing snapshot of the UK’s synth-pop/alternative scene of the time. That included tracks from the likes of Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, Naked Lunch, Blancmange, The The and a 4-piece outfit from Mansfield called B-Movie.
Consisting of vocalist/bassist Steve Hovington, guitarist Paul Statham, keyboardist Rick Holliday and drummer Graham Boffey, B-Movie charted an intriguing career through the musical catalyst that the early 1980s brought. This included the tight grooves of ‘Remembrance Day’ and the haunting pop of ‘Nowhere Girl’.
As with many acts of their era, B-Movie’s tenure was brief, although the likes of Paul Statham continued into the modern era as part of Peach, responsible for the 1997 hit ‘On My Own’. He also worked with Peter Murphy and co-wrote Dido’s first single ‘Here with Me’, which became an international hit. Statham also cowrote several songs on Simple Minds singer Jim Kerr’s first solo album, 2010’s Lostboy! AKA Jim Kerr.
Meanwhile, Steve Hovington kept busy in his post-B-Movie years with a band called One, who signed to Chrysalis in 1987 and released an album titled Upstream. He later went on to form dancepop outfit Amethyst during the 1990s.
B-Movie later re-established themselves in the early 2000s as both a live act and a recording outfit. This included the release of their album Climate of Fear in 2016.
October this year saw B-Movie return with ‘Promenade’, a stylish slice of modern pop that marries an angsty lyric to some sharp guitar and synth work. The end result comes across like The The meets Cult With No Name, with a smidgen of Berlin-era Bowie thrown in for good measure. Steve Hovington’s vocal delivery has a laid-back insouciance to it, giving an effective edge to lyric lines like “It feels like the sun will never shine/Nothings going to change my state of mind”.
Meanwhile, electropop duo The Rude Awakening have been recruited for remix duties on B-Movie’s new offering.
A collaborative effort between musician, promoter and radio presenter Johnny Normal and singer/songwriter and radio presenter Bridget Gray, The Rude Awakening drew praise for their 2019 debut album Kaleidoscope (see The Electricity Club review previously). More recently, they returned with the bouncy pop of ‘Squeal!’
The Rude Awakening serve up two remixes here, the first offering a fairly straight interpretation with a new rhythm track, but combined with signature TRA synths and vocals (including some added vocal out-takes from the original B-Movie recording session). The end result gives the song a shimmering quality along with some effective percussive fills.
Meanwhile, the ‘Bucket and Spade’ remix enables the electropop duo to create a more “Rushent-esque” take on the song. Harkening back to the classic era of 12″ remixes from the 1980s, this mix gives ‘Promenade’ more of a groove and more of a breakdown. Buzzing electronic effects drop in and out and the mix also weaves in some later choral trills to keep things interesting.
For those that like to see classic synth-pop acts meeting contemporary electronic outfits, ‘Promenade’ offers several flavours for you to choose from.
Promenade (The Rude Awakening Remixes) is out on all platforms 25th November.