While we sift through the Festival tapes currently pouring in, a brief detour back to the 80s tonight with New Wave outfit B-Movie in their first (and only) session for John Peel – recorded on March 31 and broadcast on April 7, 1981.
The band’s original line-up included vocalist/bassist Steve Hovington, guitarist Paul Statham, keyboardist Rick Holliday and drummer Graham Boffey.
B-Movie’s initial 1980 EP releases, the Take Three 7″ and Nowhere Girl 12″, were issued on the small UK indie label Dead Good Records. They were eventually signed to the Some Bizzare label, and their song “Moles” was featured on the original 1981 Some Bizzare Album.
In 1981, B-Movie signed with Phonogram imprint Deram, and had their biggest UK commercial success with the single “Remembrance Day”, which reached No. 61 on the UK Singles Chart. The follow-up single, “Marilyn Dreams”, failed to chart.
In 1982, they re-released “Nowhere Girl” as a single, which reached No. 67 in the UK, but there was no immediate follow-up or full-length album.
A revolving door of members started at this point. Drummer Boffey left and was replaced by Andy Johnson, while Martin Winter (aka Smedley) joined on bass. Next, Holliday left in 1983 to form Six Sed Red with Soft Cell associate Cindy Ecstasy (their biggest success came when Six Sed Red’s song “Dream Baby” was covered by Bananarama on that band’s 1984 eponymous LP). Statham switched from guitar to keyboards and was briefly replaced by Stuart McLean (Charming Snakes) for a tour of Israel. B-Movie then resurfaced in early 1984 (with Al Cash on drums) with the single “A Letter from Afar”, produced by John “Jellybean” Benitez but it only reached No. 81 on the UK Singles Chart. Cash then left, leaving B-Movie as a three piece of Hovington, Statham and Winter augmented by session players.
Towards the end of 1985, they finally released an album on Sire Records called Forever Running, containing re-recorded versions of their two hits, but both it and the single “Switch On – Switch Off” were flops despite a tour to promote them. The band broke up soon after.
But the break-up didn’t last for long – in 2006 there was a brief reunion and in 2011 a more permanent reunion took place and the band are back to recording and gigging. As of 2016, their 3rd album was released and are rumored to be currently touring.
But, as a reminder of 1981 and all that entailed – here is B-Movie’s session for John Peel, as it was broadcast on April 7, 1981.