National Pastime to kick off the week. Admittedly, I wasn’t familiar with this band, but they were very much in a familiar genre of the mid-1980s; a heavy emphasis on Dance and Electronica. Reminiscent of a lot of bands during this period but very popular in Japan, although not so much at home, and virtually unknown in the U.S..
Originally from Manchester (a few scant years before Stone Roses . . .), they were very short-lived (1982-1986 . . about). With one album and six singles/eps to their credit – they were issued on Atlantic in the U.S., Spellbound in the UK and JVC in Japan. This concert, recorded for BBC Radio 1’s In Concert series featured them on a double bill with Freur, another short-lived band at the BBC’s Paris Theatre on December 5, 1984. They also toured the UK, opening for Kajagoogoo in 1984.
Sadly, there’s very little information on the band – what happened, who wound up where. There was a reunion recently, but what, if anything it may have led to is a mystery. Checking on the individual members, several are still in the music business and others have left to pursue other vocations.
But for that short period, National Pastime were playing concerts, selling records and making plans. Not every band makes it and becomes a household name – in fact, very few do. The ones that don’t make it often forget they were part of something and were the backbone of a genre or a period of time. At least they tried – a lot don’t even try and don’t get out of the starting gate.
This was the 80s, a period of musical history where a lot was going on and a lot managed to get overlooked. I think it would be safe to say that, listening to this concert and judging by the enthusiastic audience at the Paris Theatre, they were part of something and were relevant.