60 Ft Dolls – Live At Finsbury Park – 1996 – Past Daily Soundbooth
60 Ft Dolls – live at Finsbury Park – June 23, 1996 – BBC Radio 1 –
60 Ft Dolls to increase the voltage in your seats this evening. Recorded live at Finsbury Park as one of the opening acts for the infamous Sex Pistols reunion concert – all happening on June 23, 1996 and faithfully preserved by BBC Radio 1 and Steve Lamacq.
60 Ft Dolls were formed in Newport (Wales) in 1992 by Richard J. Parfitt and Michael Cole, who met through Donna Matthews (later of Elastica), who was at the time dating Cole and working part-time in the same pizza restaurant as Parfitt. After problems finding the right drummer, they eventually took on pastor’s son Carl Bevan. Initially influenced by touring American hardcore bands that played in Newport (and in particular prominent local venue T. J.’s), the Dolls played noisy yet melodic rock, described by the NME as “grunge mod…proto-pub metal blues of the first order”. In 1993, Huw Williams of the Pooh Sticks became their manager and released the debut single “Happy Shopper”, named after a British convenience store chain, on his own Townhill label.
In 1995 they joined the first ‘BratBus’ NME tour with Veruca Salt, Marion and Skunk Anansie. After support spots with Oasis, Elastica and Dinosaur Jr., 60 Ft Dolls released their second single “White Knuckle Ride” on Rough Trade Records and then “Pig Valentine” on the RCA imprint Indolent Records. These early singles were championed heavily by BBC Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq, and as a consequence were picked up by influential American DJ Rodney Bingenheimer of KROQ-FM. This resulted in the band signing a deal with Geffen Records in the US. The New York Times listed “Pig Valentine” among its 1996 singles of the year. The band broke into the UK Top 40 with their fourth single “Talk to Me” (Indolent, 1996), the video for which extensively featured the Newport Transporter Bridge. This was followed by their debut album, The Big 3, which was produced by Al Clay, Reviews called it “as close to soar-away rock perfection as it’s possible to imagine” by the NME and “pure, unadulterated, no nonsense, emotional, tuneful, impassioned, purposeful, hedonistic rock ‘n’ roll” by Melody Maker. The album was included in Select magazine’s top 30 albums of 1996 and Mojo’s 2003 retrospective feature “Top 12 Britpop albums of the 90s”, which called it “a devilishly evocative document of the period”.
The band toured extensively in the UK, Japan and Europe, including several summer festival appearances such as Glastonbury 1997 as well as opening for The Sex Pistols at their 1996 Finsbury Park reunion gig. But they were dogged by alcohol problems, and after an exhaustive three tours of the US in 1997, never toured again. They released their second album Joya Magica, in 1998 but the band were dropped from their label deal along with other acts at Indolent and split soon after.
Here they are in their heyday, opening for The Sex Pistols on June 23, 1996.
Crank it up and dive in.
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