Fatal Charm – In Concert at The Paris Theatre, London – August 15, 1981 – BBC Radio 1 In Concert –
Fatal Charm in concert tonight – recorded by BBC Radio 1 for their In Concert series at The Paris Theatre in London on August 15, 1981.
Fatal Charm (also known as the Fatal Charm from 1978–1979) was a post-punk turned alternative rock band that formed in Nottingham, England in 1978.
From 1980 on wards, their musical style contained variations on the alternative rock genre that defied comparison with other emerging UK acts such as Echo & the Bunnymen, the Cure, New Order and Ultravox, who were darker and more introspective. Neither were they as ‘poppy’ as the female fronted bands that followed, such as T’Pau, the Primitives, and the Darling Buds.
Formed in 1978 by Paul Arnall, they quickly became a three-piece and then a four-piece. Over the years, recording deals came and went, due mainly to a great deal of uncertainty and volatility that existed in the music industry at that time.
The four-piece released four tracks on the 1980 compilation LP East. As might be expected, the collapse of various recording contracts precipitated frequent changes to the personnel, but the addition of vocalist Sarah Simmonds in the same year breathed new life into the band and enabled Arnall to concentrate on his writing and musicianship. On occasion, the band was even reduced to the Arnall/Simmonds duo and yet, they continued to perform live with the aid of reel-to-reel tapes and Simmonds playing keyboards.
Supporting big-name acts like Ultravox and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark on tour, ensured that the band got some media coverage, including an appearance on Channel 4’s groundbreaking music television programme The Tube in 1983. They also played two Radio 1 In Concert shows, supporting Ultravox and the Cult.
In 1989, the band’s second album, This Strange Attraction was greeted by critical acclaim from most quarters and another radio session arranged for Radio 1’s Bob Harris. Tired of all the record company misadventures, this time the recording was on their own label – “Really Great Records”. Presumably the name paid homage to, or was a parody of, the East Midlands-based “Dead Good Records” later re-released on Native Records. Mansfield’s B-Movie included 3 Fatal Charm tracks on the 1979 compilation album East.
By now, there had been many Radio 1 sessions, for some of the station’s most respected DJs, including Janice Long, Andy Peebles, Annie Nightingale and Simon Mayo.
In the wake of the second album, there was considerable media interest in the band and they were offered financial backing, a new management deal and (eventually) a contract with major label RCA Records. Consequently, the Fatal Charm name was shelved, in recognition of a new beginning, based on a more ambient dance/pop style of music.
Here is Fatal Charm in an earlier setting – from 1981, in case you forgot – or missed it the first time around.
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