Since they’ve been under the radar and relatively inactive since 2000, listening to this session from Everything But The Girl reminded me what a really good and meaningful band they were at the time. A duo, consisting of Tracey Thorn on vocals and Ben Watt on guitar and keyboards, Everything But The Girl were not as dark as say, Joy Division, nor were they mindlessly cheery as much New Wave was at the time. They came along at a time when bands like The Style Council were taking a more sophisticated approach, with the music painting a sonic picture – and Tracey Thorn’s melancholy vocals cast a diffusion of dusky grey over the proceedings. In short, Everything But The Girl was a band you could listen to over and over – it was good rainy day music – it was good music for being alone with. They became one of the prime examples of the burgeoning Sophisti-pop genre of the mid-1980s.
This session, done for John Peel at the BBC on August 18, 1984 comes from the period where they are starting to get good word of mouth and audiences picking up their records.
There have been rumors and hints of a return from hiatus. But at the moment, nothing concrete.
In the meantime, here’s a reminder of what turned heads in 1984.