Flesh For Lulu, in their only session for John Peel, recorded on August 21, 1982 and broadcast on September 6th.
Flesh for Lulu formed in Brixton, London and were active between 1982 and 1992 before splitting up. They reformed from 2013 to 2015 with a new lineup. Their music was a mix of the New York Dolls and the Rolling Stones, with gothic rock’s gloomy atmosphere and aesthetics, while also encompassing shades of punk, pop, country and western, Marc Bolan, David Bowie, rockabilly and garage.
Nick Marsh (vocals and guitar) and James Mitchell (drums) formed the band and soon recruited Rocco (originally from Wasted Youth, guitar and vocals), and Glen Bishop (bass), taking their name from an American cult movie. After a well received John Peel session, they signed to Polydor Records in 1983, and soon thereafter, bassist Glen Bishop left to join Under Two Flags, and was replaced by Kevin Mills (formerly of Specimen).
Their first EP, “Roman Candle” did well, but the label dropped them a year later after their eponymous first album failed to find any commercial success.
In 1985, the band signed to Hybrid Records and released a mini LP, Blue Sisters Swing, which was produced with Craig Leon. The cover image of two nuns kissing resulted in the album being banned in the United States and Europe. Flesh for Lulu then joined Statik records, who released Big Fun City later that year.
The following year, the band signed to Beggars Banquet Records, and their song “I Go Crazy” was featured in Some Kind of Wonderful and received some airplay on American college rock radio stations. This allowed Flesh for Lulu to sustain a successful tour of the U.S.
In 1989, “Decline and Fall” followed and became a top 15 hit on the new Modern Rock Tracks chart. The next year, “Time and Space” written by newest member Del Strangefish (ex-Peter and the Test Tube Babies guitarist) became their biggest US hit, reaching the top 10 of the Modern Rock chart, but the song failed to chart on any other US chart. After Capitol Records dropped the band, a record deal with Hollywood Records fell through. The band disbanded soon after with singer Nick Marsh stating, “The reason Flesh really split up is because there wasn’t a definite…to coin the oldest cliché of them all, there were musical differences. That’s true, there were two separate trains of thought.”
The song “Postcards from Paradise” was covered by Paul Westerberg as a secret bonus track on his 2002 album Stereo. The Goo Goo Dolls also covered the same song, which is part of a “deluxe edition” release of their 2010 album Something for the Rest of Us available on the band’s website.
In 2013, Nick Marsh reformed Flesh for Lulu with a new line-up consisting of Marsh (vocals/guitar), Mark Bishop (drums), Keith McAndrew (bass) and Will Crewdson (guitar).
Marsh died on 5 June 2015 from cancer.
For a reminder of the band during their halcyon days, just before things really got rolling, here is that debut session for John Peel on BBC Radio 1.