Since this is not the medium for pages crammed
with text, this history is deliberately kept short,
yet I tried to make it as complete as possible.
|If you are really interested, you are much better of
reading Mick Mercer's book (see references) -
it will make you laugh your head off
(if that's what you want ofcourse.)
|In The Beginning, Goth Created... (crap jokes already - and I haven't even started)|
...Julianne Regan, a Coventry girl who moved to London at the age of 19
in order to become a music journalist. In 1982, after six months of study,
she started working as a freelance contributor to the music magazine
ZigZag. Her first piece was an interview with
Gene Loves Jezebel,
a band Julianne regularly went to see whenever they played.
She kept in touch with the Welsh twins after the interview and got asked
if she could play bass as they were in need of a player.
In February 1982 she joined the band, playing bass and doing backing vocals
on their debut 12" Shaving My Neck (Situation 2SIT18T, released in June.)
After 10 months, in the beginning of 1983, Julianne left the band. The ZigZag magazine closed down at the time, and she started working in a bookshop in Hampstead. In her sparetime she recorded demotapes, one of which she sent to Ivo of the 4AD record label. Ivo passed it on to Manuela Zwingman who had just left her band X-Mal Deutschland and had moved to London from her native Germany. Manuela wanted to start a new band, and after being put in touch with Julianne in February 1984, The Swarm was formed.
After advertising in Melody Maker for a keyboard player, a bassist and a lead guitarist, Tim Bricheno came down from Huddersfield to join them as guitarist. He had just left his band, Aemotii Crii, after one year of playing gothrock. The Swarm rehearsed for a long time with James Richard Jackson on bass, who stayed in the band until 1985; this in contrast to short time members Chris from Vague fanzine and Gus Ferguson. Later on Julianne would describe their music as 'cacophonous Sub-Goth shit.'
|The Garden Of Eden (glad this isn't my joke)|
A 5 track demo tape
was recorded and sent to various record companies.
The demo contained : D For Desire, This Isn't Heaven,
A Trembling Hand, Fate Flies, and No Sleep Until Dawn.
Through Manuela’s and Julianne's X-Mal and Jezebel contacts, Red Rhino offered them a short term deal, giving them their own Eden label. After recording the first single in May 85 at Southern studios, Manuela left the band to have a baby, while bass player James joined Test Department. In the 15 months The Swarm existed, they never played live.
After the line-up change a new name had to be found, and after considering Electric Funeral and Red Red Wound, All About Eve was chosen, after the movie classic with Bette Davis.
Meanwhile, with the single to be released in July, Julianne and Tim needed a new bass player and drummer. The latter was found in the form of a drum machine, the former in the form of Andy Cousin, an old friend of Tim from the Aemotii Crii days. When this band split up, Andy came down to London too, to join synth pop duo Pink And Black. They released a 12" single Sometimes I Wish, with Andy appearing on the back cover, even though he didn’t play on the record.
|1985 : First Single, First Concert, First T-Shirt|
With Andy the Eves line-up was complete and the first single
D For Desire was released in July 85
in 12" format only. At this point only Julianne and Tim remained
from the original 4-piece of the recording sessions.
The sleeve was designed by Vaughan of celebrated company
23 Envelope; he did it for free but was so choosy about
the printing quality that the sleeve finally cost more than the
recording session itself (£ 2000.) The B-side of the single,
Don't Follow Me (March Hare) was a re-working of an earlier
Swarm track Fate Flies, with new lyrics.Music press reviews
drew comparisons to the Cocteau Twins
and basically slagged the single to death ("D stands for drivel").
Rehearsals took place in Julianne's flat in Carleton Road for 3-4 times a week, as all the band were now on the dole. Meanwhile they were interviewed for Artificial Life, a fanzine run by Jake Jacob who had previously known Julianne from the time they both saw Gene Loves Jezebel gigs (before Julianne joined them). After the interview Julianne asked Jake if he would like to manage the band; he accepted, and within weeks the Eves had their first live show.
On September 5, 1985, All About Eve played their first gig as support band to Chatshow at the Pindar Of Wakefield pub in Kings Cross. In the 30 minute set they played :
Four days later the Eves supported The Fifteenth at the basement bar of the Clarendon Hotel in Hammersmith. Both gigs were received well by the medium sized crowd. At the third gig, 2 weeks later again at the Clarendon, the place was packed with people. Most of them friends of Jake who came to see the band he was managing, so it was more of a social event than a normal gig. Further shows followed, and for a headline gig at the Clarendon the first AAE T-shirt was made, which sold out immediately.
During November and December new songs were written, and 11 demos were recorded at Julianne's flat. Four of them were put on a demotape : Suppertime, In The Clouds, End Of The Day, and Another Door. Suppertime was chosen as the first track, as it had already been properly recorded at a studio for the ‘Gunfire & Pianos’compilation. However, for the demo tape it had to be dubbed from a vinyl testpress as the band didn’t have the master tape any more, resulting in a clear quality loss. Some more gigs followed, with the December 5 and February 20 Underground gigs recorded on video.
|1986 : Second Single|
Early February 1986 the band spent 3 days recording 3 tracks at the
Chapel Studios in Lincoln : In The Clouds, Love Leads Nowhere, and
End Of The Day. This time the sleeve design was done with a somewhat
lower budget : Tim's mother, a teacher at an infants school, made the
children draw a picture after listening to the demotape. One of the
pictures was chosen as cover for the 12"-only release.
Julianne's sister Lise (later married to new drummer Mark Price)
took the group photos featured on the back.
Another gig at the Clarendon followed, supporting Balaam and the Angel, which got a good review in the Sounds magazine. Four weeks later, In The Clouds made it as single of the week in Melody Maker and got played a number of times on BBC radio. In June Mick Mercer got them their first interview in Melody Maker.
Some more songs were written : Set Sail (later rewritten as Candy Tree) , Will You Surrender, Our Summer, Dream Now, and Shelter From The Rain.
At this time the Eves wanted a change of direction; the Goth sound was changed in favour of slower, folky songs, with Julianne wearing white dresses. This caused a lot of their following to drop off, and a headline gig at the Timebox on September 22 was only attented by 30 people, even though one day earlier they went down a storm supporting X-Mal Deutschland.
Julianne's love of Australian band The Church and her work backing with The Fifteenth (rehearsals, portastudio demos, guest vocals at gigs) set a new direction to slower, acoustic songs like My Heart Is Sleeping (later rewritten as Never Promise), Gypsy Dance, Appletree Man, and In The Meadow.
In the meantime, Jake had given his friend Wayne Hussey of The Mission a demotape of the Eves, and in August Julianne was asked to do backing vocals on The Mission's song Severina. In return, Mick Brown would play drums on the Eves‘ new single and Wayne would later contribute backing vocals to the album track Shelter From The Rain. This was the start of a long relationship with The Mission, with the Eves supporting them on November 25 at the National Ballroom in Kilburn.
|1987, 1988 : On A Mission From Goth|
While Jake had just arranged for the Eves to support X-Mal Deutschland
again in March, behind the scenes the band had been offered to support
the next Mission Tour.
The Eves accepted this offer, together with a deal with the Mission
management, Golden Dawn Enterprises run by Tony Perrin.
To promote the forthcomming tour, in February the new single Our Summer was recorded and released on the bands own Eden label. With the single reaching No. 2 in the indie charts, together with the Mission Tour, a 2-page interview in Melody Maker, a BBC tv performance with The Mission and a headline gig at the Camden Palace, success was complete. Thursday April 16 the Eves signed to Phonogram for £100.000.
Despite their deal, one last single was released on the independent Eden label, Flowers In Our Hair, which reached no. 1 in the indie charts. Under the new contract the single In The Clouds was re-issued after having been re-recorded, reaching no. 47 in the Gallup chart, followed by Wild Hearted Woman, reaching no. 33.
All this activity was building up to the release of the first album, produced by Paul Samwell-Smith (original member of the Yardbirds). The album was recorded during the summer of 1987 at Ridge Farm (Surrey) and The Manor (Oxford) and released in February 1988. It wasn't received too well by the cynical press, but still made no. 7 in the Gallup chart and finally got gold status. Mark Price (who had been in Nik Kershaw’s band before) originally played as session drummer on some album tracks, and joined the band after the recording sessions. To promote the album the Eves toured extensively through Europe in 1988, also as support for The Mission.
|1989 : Scarlet|
Almost 2 years after their first album, the Eves were booked into a
rehearsal studio in the countryside before recording their second album.
For a couple of months they had a rather awkward time being put up
with each other and having to write new material, so only a handful
of songs were worked out. Recording took place at Chipping Norton
studios (Oxfordshire) and lasted about 3 months.
In October 1989 their second album, 'Scarlet And Other Stories', was finally released, again produced by Paul Samwell-Smith. 3 Singles were taken from the album, Road To Your Soul, December (also released that month), and Scarlet. An extensive UK tour followed in October and November with 2 dates at the Hammersmith Odeon.
In the same year Julianne's relationship with The Mission's Simon Hinkler ended (a relation with Tim followed from the recording time of ‘Scarlet‘ on ), while Mark Price married Julianne's sister Lise.
|1990, 1991 : Touched By Jesus|
1990 was a relatively quiet, though very creative year for the Eves.
In April they played 3 sold out concerts
at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, the last gigs to include Tim.
This year saw Tim's relationship with Julianne end (this is what the
song Farewell Mr. Sorrow is about - see
lyrics), as well as his relation
with the band; the latter because of different ambitions / opinions.
Tim joined The Sisters Of Mercy and later started his own band CNN, who were forced to rename after their second release and became XC-NN; his latest project from 1998 on is Tin Star. For the handful of European mainland gigs in July and August, Keith Airey (an old mate from Mark’s Nik Kershaw days) was the stand-in guitarist.
One month before Tim left, Julianne had met guitarist Marty Willson-Piper of Australian band The Church when they played the Kilburn National. When a new guitarist was needed, Julianne contacted him and he agreed to give it a try, thus being in 2 bands at the same time. He quickly became a full member of the band. With the new blood a change of direction took place, and the Eves enjoyed a very creative time, writing more than 30 new songs with Marty, and rehearsing together in summer and autumn.
In January 1991 Warne Livesey (who had previously worked with Midnight Oil and Deacon Blue) joined in at Mill studios in Berkshire as producer of their third album, and last year’s demos were worked out. Recording took also place at 3 other studios, and expensive string sections and a guest appearance of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour required a big budget.
In September 1991 the new album was released, with the working title 'Hush' (see discography) being skipped in favour of 'Touched By Jesus'. In the same year 3 singles were released : Farewell Mr. Sorrow, Strange Way, and The Dreamer. Promotional concerts were played during September and November. As chart places weren’t as high as the record company had hoped for, 1991 saw All About Eve’s contract with Phonogram end. Julianne was still offered a solo deal, which she declined.
|1992 : Ultraviolet|
1992 saw another change of direction, with Julianne's voice set lower
in the mix of the recordings, making their music sound more like
Curve and Lush. The Eves changed record company and
management as well; a deal with MCA was signed which guaranteed them full
artistic control. Writing new material took place at a farmhouse
near the Welsh border, while recording was done at a studio near
the Kent coast. The band enjoyed a peaceful time there,
without too much interference of their record company, and they were
happy about producing themselves, with engineer Ted Hayton as co-producer.
The fourth album 'Ultraviolet', was released in October 1992. A 10 date UK tour followed in November and two singles were released : Phased and Some Finer Day. The album failed to be a commercial success and resulted in MCA dropping them in late 1992. The band split up in January 1993, with Julianne being fed up with people’s inability to accept and appreciate the new direction the band had turned to.
Last sessions were done at this point at the Wapley Barn studio near the Welsh border, and after Julianne left, the demos were used for a project with the working title "Never Swallow Stars". The project, with Marty on vocals and new material worked out in rehearsal, finally got released in 1997 on the cd Seeing Stars (on the Swedish label Borderline.)
Subsequently Andy joined The Mission, Mark went back to doing session work while Marty continued to work with The Church and on his solo projects. After starting to write her own demos, Julianne was introduced to Gilbert Gabriel (ex Dream Academy), and a one off record for the Rough Trade singles club was made under the name The Harmony Ambulance. In April 1993 a 7" with a cover of the Spirit classic "Nature’s Way" was released, with flip side "All This And Heaven" written by Gilbert.
|1994 - 1995 : Solo Projects & Mice|
After working on a couple of fruitless projects with various people,
including Polly Hancock (who later co-wrote the Mice track
"Die Übermaus") and French singer Jean-Luis Murat,
Julianne collaborated for a short period with Bernard Butler,
who had just left Suede. Recording had already begun for four days
at a French studio, when the project suddenly came to an end for
Before meeting Bernard, Julianne had written a couple of songs with Mark’s friend Tim Mc Tighe, who was available full time after he quit his Camden band Powder. More demos were recorded, resulting in a deal with the indie label Permanent in February ‘95. Christian ‘Bic‘ Hayes (ex-Levitation) joined the duo, but left in Winter ’95, after the first single was released under their new band name Mice. The single, Mat’s Prozac was released in November ‘95 and reached the indie top 10.
Mice got a fairly wide press coverage, with many reviewers being surprised by the new indie style, which was quite different from anything previously recorded by Julianne. Andy appeared on the Mission’s album "Neverland" the same year, and did some live work with them. Like the other All About Eve members, he played on the recording sessions for the forthcomming Mice album.
|1996 - 1997 : Mice Tour & Seeing Stars|
Mice toured extensively in
the UK in April, and 2 more singles were released in April and July:
(reaching the indie top 10 again) and
The Mice album finally hit the streets in August, with the working
titles 'The Innocent' and 'Anyone For...' skipped
in favour of ...because i can.
Due to financial problems of the Permanent label, Julianne found
herself out of contract at the end of September ’96.
With Andy still in the line up, The Mission released the album Blue and played their 'final' gigs in July ’96, like Mice who appeared for the last time live at the Phoenix festival on July 20. A temporary line up included Andy Cousin, Mission guitarist Mark Thwaite and Anna Nyström on keyboards.
1997 saw the release of the Seeing Stars album in April and Mark joining Glasgow’s Del Amitri in May, after former commitments with The Cure and Right Said Fred. Julianne and Marty worked on new material, but the project was abandoned after they couldn’t find a direction that pleased them both. They both contributed to the album The Night We Taught Ourselves To Sing from Dallas band The Volares, with Julianne singing main vocals on 'Asleep In Egypt'.
Andy formed a new band The Lucy Nation with Swede Anna Nyström. They got signed in September by Madonna’s Maverick label; the first song to see the light of day was 'Alright', to be found on the 1999 soundtrack of 'Austin Powers 2'.
|1998 - 1999 : Jules Et Jim & Reunion|
Together with Jean-Marc Lederman from Brussels, Julianne set up the
new project Jules et Jim, after having been in touch with him
since Gene Loves Jezebel days and exchanging tapes from ’96 onwards.
Demos were completed in November and sent out to record companies.
In August ’98, Julianne joined Irish goth rockers This Burning Effigy in London’s Substate Belgravia studios and contributed vocals to 3 tracks of their Descent album, with the track 'Exquisite' featuring Julianne on main vocals.
The Jules et Jim debut Swimming came out on the Belgian Wilson Music label in June'99, coupled with another new track, 'Only A Fool'. Once again, it showed Julianne pursuing another direction, with a very electronic pop feeling and the use of sampling technology.
In September Wayne Hussey approached Andy, after an idea from Mark Thwaite, to see if there was a chance of an AAE reunion to support The Mission (who just reformed for the 'Resurrection' tour.) After all the band members agreed, All About Eve played 3 nights to an enthusiastic crowd in November - their first shows after 7 years.The line up was the same as from 1991 on, with a guest appearance by Rik Carter (ex-Mission) on guitar and keyboards.
|2000 : Unplugged|
Following an idea from Marty, Julianne and Andy agreed to do an acoustic
tour in the UK in January and February
as a 3-piece, playing 10 sold out
dates in intimate venues, with another enthusiastic response from the
audience. June saw the release of the live album
Fairy Light Nights
(Volume 1 of 2) on the Almafame label, with recordings taken from these shows.
Marty’s first solo album since ’92 was released in February, entitled
'Hanging Out In Heaven'.
Further acoustic dates were played from May until November. Full electric shows included the Cropredy Festival where the Eves played in front of 15000 people, and sold-out gigs at the London Garage and in Colchester. A 40-gigs schedule ended with a special semi-electric Christmas concert at a sold-out London Union Chapel on Dec 9th (as recorded on Union Chapel cd).
|2001 : On The Road Again|
After last years' success, the Eves toured the country extensively again.
The band set up their own label 'Jamtart' (JAM stands for Julianne,
Andy and Marty)
and released a couple of albums that year :
the follow-up Fairy Light Nights 2
hit the streets in May and included another acoustic set, recorded between
March 2000 and March 2001.
Jules & Jim finally brought out their second release with the six track EP Subtitles and the long deleted Mice album became available again in a New & Improved version.
Last years' semi-electric gig at the Union Chapel was also pressed on disc and a busy fifty-one gig schedule ended with another concert at the atmospheric Islington church, this time fully electric.
|2002 : New Guitarist & New Songs|
As of April Marty has left the band due to 'musical and personal differences'.
His place is taken by Toni Haimi from Finland, who previously played
The Eves went on the first full electric UK tour for 10 years and played 13 dates in April featuring six new songs. On the release side a compilation of their 1985-1987 records came out, entitled Return To Eden, making those tracks available on cd for the first time.
With the Iceland cd released in December the Eves put out their first studio material since 'Ultraviolet' ; it contains surprising covers of Christmas songs, 2 reworkings of 'December', plus 2 new compositions.
|2003 : A few new drummers|
To coincide with a series of 20 gigs in April and May, last year's Shepherds Bush concert
is released on dvd and cd. The Cinemasonic dvd
is the band's first official live visual.
After the departure of Del Hood new drummer Robin Guy fills the vacant spot. The 2003 setlist
features 3 new (and yet unreleased) songs, Aquamarina, Nobody's Perfect, and
In June the 2 Fairy Light Night albums see a re-release as a 2cd set entitled Acoustic Nights.
As of October drummer Robin Guy leaves the band and when the Eves headline a night at Whitby's Goth Weekend new member Ben Savigear gives his debut. December sees the new line-up play another set of gigs culminating in two nights at London's Borderline club.
|2004 : Another Split Up|
In April the band hit the road again doing 18 gigs, with no new material
but "D For Desire" as a surprise song from the early days. The band
released their first single since 1992, "Let Me Go Home" - originally
scheduled to coincide with the start of the tour, but coming out May 24.
Despite best efforts (a Yahoo! newsgroup was started to push it in the top-40)
it peaked at number 52. A German mini-tour (5 gigs) was planned in June,
but cancelled at short notice due to drummer Ben's back injury.
In July another Yahoo! newsgroup was created to organise a 20-year anniversary project (involving fan contributions), but sadly Julianne and Andy discontinued working together in August for various reasons, including the anniversary project and delays in recording the new album. According to Julianne's website we shouldn't give up hope though to see new material in one form or another in the future...