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One Nation Under a Brolly
January 15, 2013 7:47 PM   Subscribe

In the 1980s, there were twee bands, and then there was Trixie's Big Red Motorbike. Formed in Shanklin, Isle of Wight in 1981, TBRM were brother and sister Mark & Mel Litten, sometimes assisted by Jim Bycroft on sax and Jane Fish (of The Marine Girls — whose most famous alumna you would have heard if you were alive in the 90s [previously]) on backing vocals. Their sound, lofi, their artwork handmade. Their first single was sent to John Peel [passim], who proclaimed they'd “wipe the floor with the competition” and had them in for two sessions.

The complete recorded output of Trixie's Big Red Motorbike is:
  1. A Splash Of Red
  2. Invisible Boyfriend
  3. Hold Me
  4. You Took Him Away From Me
  5. Trixie's Groove
  6. One Nation Under A Brolly
  7. Whatever Happened To The Treetops?
  8. Norman And Narcissus
  9. In Timbuktu
  10. That's The End Of That
  11. I'm In Love With You
  12. When He's By My Side
  13. Fairytales
  14. That's Quite A Lot
A year or so ago, Mark and his daughter Jane reformed TBRM on another small island far from England, Shikoku [previously]. They've got the sound right down: Trixie's Big Red Motorbike.
posted by scruss (13 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm always looking for more twee. thanks!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:52 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ooh, "A Splash of Red" is reminding me of Orange Juice. Nice find, scruss.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:03 PM on January 15, 2013


She's generally called Jane Fox, not Jane Fish, although it would fit the maritime theme. She's the sister of Alice Fox (the Marine Girls' singer).

I loved the Marine Girls fan back in the day, and at one point was on the same tiny indie label, famed for its garden shed recording studio.
posted by w0mbat at 8:10 PM on January 15, 2013


Neat. Hadn't encountered this band, but some of the related ones. A close friend in high school gave me a Tracey Thorn tape that I played the hell out of - A Distant Shore. It's still the sound of my personal 80s, though I no longer have any copies of the music on any format.

This stuff very thoroughly anticipated the twee lofi indie of the oughts, didn't it. It just needed some ukeleles.
posted by Miko at 8:26 PM on January 15, 2013


Whenever John Peel loved something I totally fail to get, I assume the problem is with me and not with John Peel.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:09 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing Belle and Sebastian has heard of this band.
posted by orme at 4:52 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Great stuff. I don't think this band was mentioned in the 2005 Bitchfork history "Twee as Fuck: The Story of Indie Pop"
posted by exogenous at 7:31 AM on January 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Trixie's! Thanks for this. They were great.

It's funny, it seems like indiepop is going out of the woodwork these days; you can't turn on a radio or a TV without hearing music with a decidedly twee bent to it. Sometimes that's an annoying thing -- but if you remember the clangor that indiepop was in part a reaction to, and how impossible it once was to avoid it, you won't mind so much.
posted by Fnarf at 8:00 AM on January 16, 2013


Bitchfork

Intentional?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:02 AM on January 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lived through the 80s, read all of the links, and I still have no clue what "twee" means.
posted by Gringos Without Borders at 12:20 PM on January 16, 2013


Twee is not caring if the only instrument you can play is a recorder. Twee wears a vintage nordic anorak and a hair-slide, regardless of gender. Twee is covering your single with photocopied pictures from knitting patterns. Twee is serving orange squash at your gigs because everyone's underage. Twee is having your band written about in awed tones in zines despite never actually having quite got round to issuing a single.
posted by scruss at 1:37 PM on January 16, 2013


Twee
posted by Miko at 2:18 PM on January 16, 2013


... and to everyone's surprise, they just made their first new release since the 1980s: Don't Know What To Do.
posted by scruss at 4:57 AM on February 14, 2013


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