The La’s – In Concert – 1990 – Past Daily Soundbooth

The La's - live at The Marquee - 1990
The La’s – sadly pigeonholed as one-hit wonders. But . . .

The La’s – Live at The Marquee – August 21, 1990 – BBC Radio 1 In Concert – BBC Radio 1 –

The La’s to end the week. Recorded live in concert at The Marquee on August 21, 1990 for the BBC Radio series In Concert.

The La’s formed in 1983, with original member Mike Badger stating that the band name occurred to him in a dream, as well as it being Scouse for “lads”, and having obvious musical connotations. The band existed briefly as an arthouse/skiffle-type outfit with a few tracks released on local compilations. Lee Mavers joined in 1984 as rhythm guitarist, eventually gaining songwriting prominence and emerging as the band’s enduring figurehead. Bernie Nolan, accomplished musician formerly of The Falcons, The Russian Rockabillys and The Swampmen was the original bassist. John Power joined the group in 1986, having met Badger on a local council-run musicianship course. Badger however left the group in late 1986 to form The Onset.

The band attracted the attention of several record labels after a series of performances in their hometown in 1986, and demo tapes copied from a session at the Flying Picket rehearsal studio in Liverpool began circulating. One of these demo tapes was sent to Underground Magazine. A journalist there with the task of reviewing unsigned bands gave the cassette to Andy McDonald at Go Discs. Several record labels later became interested in signing the band. The band chose to sign with Go! Discs.

The La’s then spent two years fruitlessly recording and re-recording their intended debut album, with a constantly changing band line-up, where only the core of Mavers and Power remained the same. However, recognition, at least critically, came for the La’s in 1990 when the self-titled album, The La’s, was released. The album reached No. 30 in the UK charts and received a Silver certification, but the album did not fare as well overseas. The album only reached No. 196 on the Billboard 200 and to date has sold fewer than 50,000 copies in the U.S. The album included, among new material, re-recorded versions of all the previous singles, including a remixed version of “There She Goes” which was then re-released as a single. This time around, the song reached number 13 in the UK singles chart and remains the most visible and enduring of all the band’s songs. Additional singles from the album included the LP versions of “Timeless Melody” and “Feelin'”. Both sold reasonably well, reaching chart placings around the top 40. A short promotional tour proceeded, accompanied by television appearances on shows such as Top of the Pops.

Sadly, they were pigeonholed as a one-hit wonder, but The La’s were capable of a lot more. But things just didn’t work out. As a reminder of that particularly fruitful period, here is that gig done for In Concert from August 21, 1990.

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