In this regular feature hosted by Simon Smith (@HertfordSoul) we will be re-discovering some of our long lost indie favourites who didn’t quite make the grade and have since disappeared off many people’s radars.
We’ll be featuring one Great Lost Indie Band each time and, in true indie style, we’ll be following the ‘Who? Why?’ Where? format (copyright Jesus Jones). ‘Who are they?’, Why are they a Great Lost Indie Band?’ ‘Where are they now?
Of course there are only so many bands a middle aged indie kid can muster so, once Simon has posted a few of his own chosen long lost gems, he’ll be opening this feature up to the rest of the Everything Indie Over 40 community to share theirs.
In this edition, Simon turns his attention to….
Great Lost Indie Bands #2 – SWEET JESUS
Who are they?
Sweet Jesus were a 4 piece indie band from Birmingham, consisting of Ben, Roy, Gavin (Dave prior to him) & Paul. They released 4 singles between 1991 and 1992 but unfortunately an album never appeared. Like Formula One before them, their name has now been stolen by a hardcore punk band from New England, far from the shoegazer style of the original band.
I first discovered Sweet Jesus on a cassette that came free with an Indie fanzine (which I can’t remember the name of). The song ‘Albino Ballerina’ was included on there and I instantly loved it. Not that long after I went to my first Reading Festival (1992) and they really impressed me live. I thought this could be the start of a beautiful musical friendship but unfortunately they wouldn’t be around for much longer.
Why are they a Great Lost Indie Band?
Just listen to ‘Albino Ballerina’ (YouTube clip below) and you’ll see for yourself, it’s a great tune. Ben’s vocals remind me a bit of one of my current favourites, Gengahr, but a lot more shoegazey, of course.
Unfortunately, even though they were tipped as “ones to watch” in the music press in the early 90s, the demise of Rough Trade Records also saw the band call it a day.
Before they did, however, they appeared on MTV’s 120 Minutes which in those days was great exposure for up and coming indie bands.
Where are they now?
Each of the members went on to form various bands after Sweet Jesus – Venus, Groupie and, more recently, Butterfly Fan the Inferno – but nothing hooked me like when I first heard them on that fanzine tape. I just wish I still had it, the only other band I remember on there were the excellent Magic Faraway Tree Band with the song “I love life”. Another Great Lost Indie Band to add to the list…
Anyway, here’s ‘Albino Ballerina’, enjoy…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Failed Rock Star in awful early 90s grunge band, Prehistoric Wife, failed blogger with dad blog ‘musodad’ and collaborative music blog ‘Session Bloggers’, Simon went solo in 2013 with the release of his own music blog ‘Hertford Soul’.
With over 6 months without a post, Simon was recently plucked from obscurity by the lovely people at EIO40 with a chance to resurrect his music blogging career. Many have likened the transfer to the risk Brendan Rodgers took in signing Mario Balotelli but Simon sees himself as more of a Rickie Lambert-type blogger. Erm, hang on a minute…
What great lost indie band will Simon be tracking down next?