|Altered Images||Clare Grogan|
|Words taken from the sleeve notes from Reflected Images The best of Altered Images|
you do 500 words about the band, what they meant at the time, their influences,
who they have influenced, why you liked them, any stories you have about them?'
the letter said. Well yes and no.|
The traffic was worse than usual heading into Braintree, Essex, Roadwork's. Diversions diverted us across a housing estate at the Altered Images demo tape went into the player. People were already saying that here we had a sort of Scottish Siouxie and the Banshees. You could see what they meant, I suppose, but the Banshees were darker, pre-Goth Goths. Altered Images were lighter, even, well, flirtatious. The tape was wonderful. It must have been around the beginning of October, 1980, for two weeks later Altered Images recorded their first Radio 1 session. They were influenced, perhaps, by the Banshees but as much by the feeling at the time that, musically at least, anything was possible. On major label or minor, just do it and worry about it later. Who was influenced by Altered Images? I don't know. Anyone who had a birthday in 1981?
I can still close my eyes and see Clare cavorting on stage at Leicester Polytechnic. At the time it was OK to be lively and colourful and daft. A lot of us have never been lively, colourful and daft but Altered Images made you feel that the possibility still existed that one day, you might be. That's probably why one night after a programme, when really I was tired and wanting to go to bed, I climbed into a car with Clare Grogan and Tich Anderson, the drummer, and went out of town to Martin Rushent's studio to sing and whistle on 'Song Sung Blue'. My singing debut and I'm singing a Neil Diamond song. Why? Because Clare asked me to, I suppose. On the road to the studio, we had discovered that I weighed as much as Clare and Tich combined. That hurt. So did the reviews of the subsequent LP, 'Pinky Blue'. As I said, all of a sudden lively and colourful were out.
Thing is, say what you like, Altered Images could rip the shit, both on record and on stage, out of a lot of the bands of the period, bands that the experts now take very seriously indeed. Any complaints? I'd have put 'Beckoning Strings' on here. And 'Song Sung Blue', of course.
I loved them. Still do, in a way.
John Peel May 1996
Epic 484339 2
All songs written by Altered Images
© 1996 Sony Music Entertinment (UK) Ltd.